The BRICS bank: An acronym with capital

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America’s lost oomph

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The BRICS bank


Setting up rivals to the IMF and World Bank is easier than running them



FOR years the BRICS countries have insisted they are more than an acronym. To dispel any lingering doubts, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, who gathered in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza for their sixth annual summit on July 15th, announced the creation of two financial institutions: the New Development Bank (NDB) to finance infrastructure and “sustainable development” projects, with $50 billion in capital to start with, and the $100 billion Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), to tide over members in financial difficulties.
On the surface, the NDB and the CRA, which must still be approved by the five countries’ parliaments, look like upstart rivals to the World Bank and the IMF, together the cornerstone of the post-war economic order. The BRICS complain that the Bretton Woods …

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