Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Legacy media types like these acronyms for advanced, but still developing, economies.

In macroeconomics, you need to know them to be conversant.

BRIC’s and PIIGS are old ones, and you can find write-ups on them in other parts of this blog.

MAVINS is new: this is Mexico, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Unfortunately, those in the legacy media aren’t often that sharp. Let me take some of these down.

Mexico: a good choice, bigger and richer than most people realize.

Australia: a horrible choice, a reporter probably got a free trip there to include them. Australia does not have the base population, population growth, or immigration to ever be a serious contender.

Vietnam: a great choice. Very populous, and almost a generation of making decent macroeconomic decisions.

Indonesia: a good choice. Very, very, populous, and doing pretty well for almost 40 years.

Nigeria: WTF. Big population. Not really a country so much as a bunch of tribal areas stapled together. It’s resources are badly managed, but it’s fairly common for journalists to think everything revolves around resources.

South Africa: WTF. Not quite as big a population. Not very many decent economic or political choices in a generation. Lots of bad choices prior to that. Lots of easy ground to make up, which will look impressive for a while.

Unusually, this article also contained entries on countries that almost made the list, but didn’t.

South Korea: you might be able to justify not including this one because it’s already a First World country. South Korea is already what Vietnam wants to be when it grows up.

The Philippines: a hop, skip and jump away from Vietnam and Indonesia. I tend to agree that it should be excluded right now, but this could easily change.

Pakistan: a disaster. Why even talk about it in this list? To even put it on the list without including Bangladesh (the former East Pakistan), which started out poorer, and has outstripped the former West Pakistan is to accentuate your cluelessness.

Turkey: a basically developed country, with large population, that is going to be competitive with really big and rich countries like Italy in your lifetime.

Iran: another basket case. Big population, badly managed economy, supported by arms and oil sales. This country was on everyone’s list 40 years ago. Now it is a slow motion replay of Argentina in the 20th century.

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