The Surprising Wealth of BRIC Economies

Isolated pockets of emerging economies are surprisingly wealthy. When I visited Moscow this past fall, it struck me at how much wealthier it was than I had expected. Turns out I wasn’t wrong.  A back of the envelope calculation on Moscow’s economy showed that Moscow has a per capita GDP that worked out to over $33,000. The U.S. average is around $45,800.  To be fair, that number was distorted by the fact that in 2008, Moscow had 74 billionaires with average wealth of $5.9 billion, which placed it above New York’s 71 billionaires. The median number is likely a lot lower than the mean. And Moscow’s number of billionaires plummeted as a result of the financial crisis. But the point still stands: the wealth of BRIC countries is not just a promise of the future. It’s a reality  already today.


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