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Farouk Martins Aresa: What More Does The Rich Want From Emerging Markets?



Impression of the making of the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos
Does Africa have an economic model beyond unfulfilled regional cooperation? We need some commodities originating from Africa as raw and sold as finished products at least in Emerging Markets but preferably sold worldwide to get out of others’ economic predictions and expertize. Until we get those finished products out at competitive prices, no foreign “expertize” can cure us. The only commodity so far is Nollywood but finally automobiles may be ready for export.

What more does the rich want from poor Emerging markets? After buying them for very little by urging privatization, the “Experts” blow up regional markets for sale by aggrandizing them as the next regional financial power house by the year 3000. Political cronies they trained in their economic model create enabling environment for them to milk and go.
Stock traders venture in African countries, Europe and America not to lift us up by bootstraps but in their self-interest.
They reward accomplices by honorary degrees that preach their trickle down economic model. It could be oil in Nigeria, gold mine in Ghana, diamond mine in Sierra Leone or uranium in Niger; these speculators use the principle of “Multiple Expansion vs. Earnings Ratio” to milk and go. As soon as they turn penny stock, the price they paid, into “Emerging Markets”, fund managers and individual investors rush in, drive prices higher – nobody ever lost money by taking profit.

Inflating stock without commodity, their latest “Milk & Go” is the Emerging Market, other name like MINT or BRAC for developing countries like South Africa, Argentina, Ghana, Nigeria, Turkey and China (played hard ball) as best places western investors could get high returns: finally are faltering. As the Chairman of U.S Federal Reserve Bank tightens its fiscal policies by raising rates, its currency gets stronger other currencies tumble. The developing countries get the worst of it.
I thought China is a communist country! See Emerging markets selloff.

Devaluation and Structural Adjustment Program are well known in Africa. Emerging Market is another scheme that has never benefited those at home but gives higher interest rate that can never be tolerated in the western world except when Paul Volker was fighting inflation to reign in recession. Since Volker, United States has got many booms. But developing world where high interest rate killed local investments hardly got out of recession as their stock markets soar!

Ever heard about inside trading? Remember how PIGS – Portugal Ireland Greece Spain – got into super inflation, tax dodging by the privileged and soaring real estate fell until the banks became broke and the Government had to bail them out with people’s money. Sharks bailed out before artificial boom went burst. Stock brokers hardly lost real money (paper money) since they win when you buy and win when you sell. They also time and bet on when market is going to crash.
Nobody brought money from his mother’s womb. We outsmart one another by opportunities. Risk is if the rich win we win.

They still win if we lose our stocks, banks and pension. So life has been good to the daredevils after lopsided recovery from the worst recession since depression. Stock markets are up, the rich took profits as one percent made 95% of recovery gain. What has poor countries got to show for artificial profits from SAP, MINT, BRAC and Emerging countries?
Wealth cannot create profit out of nothing; the same people abused and despised so much are needed to get rich. These are consumers whose pensions are traded, enticed to buy corporate advertised products and voted in the governments that give corporations the big contracts that make corporate bums rich. The more consumers that can afford their products and services, the more jobs are created. High demand creates jobs not the goodness of corporate hearts.

In the Emerging Markets, many workers just make enough to send home to families living far away or in shanty-towns around the main cities. Our politicians preach austerity measures to tighten belts forever, enable foreign companies paying local wage or little more for profit. Even worse, they allow the type of working conditions that would never be tolerated in their home countries. It got so bad, China Apple I-phones or iPods workers jumped to death from stress.

Globalization has been used to the advantage of the rich to depress wages. Any pressure by local unions has been neutralized with the threat of taking their jobs to countries where wages are lower. Enron was just a typical example of how big corporations used their governments for cover and bully developing countries. While Enron was failing and under probe at home, they were still getting contracts they knew would not be implemented from Asia to Africa countries.
Traveling across Africa, prices are just beyond the reach of the hard working people. They have to work harder, longer and sometimes with the help of their children to buy less of what they need like food, clothing and housing.
It brings no sense of relief to tell them, how worse it is in a neighboring country. While efficiency of global working poor has increased, their salary has been stagnated by inflation, while salary of politicians, profit of funds and bank managers soar.
Do you know how much it cost to attend Lagos State University? Prices are so high in Nigeria, if you travel to Benin Republic, Togo or Ghana, your money would buy more. You can buy enough for yourselves and some left over to sell. Indeed many take their vacation in highbrow locations in Ghana and Benin Republic before submitting to hustle and bustle rat race in Nigeria.
So most Nigerians do not want to stay, they just want a place where their money can go further. A place you can send your children to school cheaper without paying overseas fees, where old universities still command some respect and medical facilities geared to attract Nigerians. For the few Nigerians, their U.S dollars are easily obtainable at home than in United States. So the neighboring countries are closer than the next choice like India for medical adventure.

Article written by Farouk Martins Aresa

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