Monopoly leads to decay
After the summit in Ufa, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he does not see the need to convert the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) into a full-fledged international organization. It is more important to show commitment to integration instead of bureaucratizing the structure, Putin said. "All of this develops naturally. No one is rushing anyone. This is an extremely important thing, because all the participants in this process feel the objective need for cooperation ... especially the need for more democratic principles of the construction of the world economy." Experts believe that the creation of the Bank of BRICS and the Reserve Fund is largely a reaction to the failure of international financial institutions, which are in the power of the United States. According to some data, now the total GDP of the BRICS countries is roughly equal to the US, although in 2007 the United States was twice ahead of this group in terms of economy.
At the same time, according to Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, "as in the case of the Bank, and in the case of the Agreement on the contingency fund, our activities are not directed against any one of the international multilateral bodies. The reserve fund is intended to support the economies of our countries when faced with adverse conditions such as high financial instability."
The Chief Advisor to the Head of the Analytical Center of the Government of the Russian Federation, Head of the Department of World Economy of the HSE, Leonid Grigoryev, is convinced that "the creation of banks is more important and symbolic and practical than just the money that is pumped and invested into them. So far, only the infrastructure is created, not even a penny invested, and this cannot really change the economic situation in any of the BRICS countries themselves or other countries, if they are participating in the projects."
But the symbolic and intellectual value, according to the expert, is enormous: "For the first time, there is a parallel system that can give any country a loan instead of the IMF. The IMF will not give, and the fund will. Let it be a little money, but a bit on other principles, for other purposes. The term "competition at the level of institutions of development banks" appears because all regional banks, in Asia and Africa, are subordinated to the policy of the World Bank, they are not completely independent ... No bank, even the World Bank, can solve the problem if you do not invest in the countries themselves. Typically about 20-25% of the GDP of each country is going towards investment. The shares of foreign investment are one, two, three, four percent, no more. Foreign money never replaces the national one."
According to Grigoriev, "the Bretton Woods institutions are almost gone from the 'hard' projects – they stimulate private investment in infrastructure and industry, but they are almost a thing for financing the types of projects that were in the developed countries 30-40 years ago. This field is left bare. They include the Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank infrastructure. But the ADB infrastructure is primarily Asia. The project is linked more with the SCO, which is expanding."
The Asian Economic Community is gradually forming, and the Development Bank of BRICS will likely have a different fate: ‘’It is not very big. It is not going to compete with the World Bank, or the entire system of the Bretton Woods institutions or the Bank of Infrastructure. It will have a role to play. It will have to carry out pilot projects, it should work throughout the BRICS. It cannot solve all the problems at once. It is small in comparison with the global challenges and problems of the BRICS countries. But I hope it will be very important, and it will lead intellectually."
Meanwhile, the director of the Institute of the Academy of Economic of Sciences, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Ruslan Grinberg, says the political component dominates in the BRICS: "The world is full of all sorts of uncertainties, there are no mechanisms for managing global affairs. During the Cold War the US commanded one bloc, the Soviet Union another, there was a developing world. It also had its problems, but it was more manageable. After the disappearance of the Soviet Union the monopoly of America remained in all cases in the world. But the Americans are not able to carry out even any order in the world. There is talk of a multipolar world, the BRICS has a good chance intelligently, without fanaticism, of overturning the US monopoly in world affairs."
With a reference to Lenin, Greenberg said that monopoly leads to decay, "When you're the only one that is big and strong, you can afford to do various tricks, we see it in Iraq, Libya, the bombing of Belgrade." According to the expert, in the framework of the BRICS there should be an equal partnership, and Russia "has great trump cards in settling conflicts between the different BRICS countries, which are generally interested in the limitation of power of the monopoly in world affairs."