The BRICS Summit: Significant or Hoopla? || Peter Zeihan | Summary and Q&A

August 25, 2023
Zeihan on Geopolitics
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The BRICS Summit: Significant or Hoopla? || Peter Zeihan


The BRICS Summit in South Africa aims to discuss plans and potential new members, but the lack of meaningful deals and diverse interests make it unlikely to achieve anything substantial.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ—ΊοΈ: The BRICS Summit in South Africa is aimed at discussing potential plans and considerations for the group, including the possibility of expanding membership.
  • 🌍: The BRICS, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, were initially established as a financial grouping focused on investing in bond markets, with over 90% of the capital coming from China.
  • πŸ’±: There have been discussions within BRICS about the formation of a global currency or an alternative currency to challenge the US dollar, but these discussions have not resulted in any concrete agreements.
  • 🌏: The participating countries in the BRICS Summit have diverse interests and grievances, making it difficult to reach meaningful agreements on significant issues.
  • πŸ›’οΈ: The inclusion of countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Argentina in the BRICS Summit has sparked discussions about potential implications for the global oil industry and the US dollar's status, but such claims are overstated.
  • πŸ’Ό: The motives behind countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE considering non-US dollar transactions are primarily driven by their concerns about security and finding alternative partners in case the US reduces its regional involvement.
  • 🌍: The addition of countries like Egypt, Argentina, and Ethiopia to the BRICS Summit may complicate decision-making due to their differing viewpoints and limited contributions to the organization.
  • 🌐: The expansion of the BRICS Summit could lead to a polarization of viewpoints within the group, potentially resulting in a paralyzing effect on decision-making processes. The organization's effectiveness in the long term remains uncertain.


everyone Peter zein here today we're going to talk about the brick Summit it was originally intended to be a two-parter one during the summit and one after but because progressing got shot down yesterday we're combining this into one so if it seems it's a little bit disjointed that is why and here we go hey everybody Peterson coming to you from the... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why was the BRICS Summit originally created?

The BRICS Summit was initially created by a finance person to invest capital in bond markets in Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

Q: What is the primary reason for the lack of meaningful deals within the BRICS group?

The lack of substantial trade between the BRICS members, except for China, limits the potential for meaningful deals within the group.

Q: How does India differ from the other BRICS countries in terms of their approach to international alliances?

India has been leaning towards aligning with the American camp due to China's increasing assertiveness, unlike the other BRICS countries.

Q: What are the primary motivations behind the participation of Russia, China, and India in the BRICS Summit?

Russia is seeking support for its stance on Ukraine, China wants to gather trade concessions, and India is positioning itself as a non-aligned power with increasing ties to the US.

Q: What is the historical context of the non-aligned movement and its connection to the BRICS Summit?

The non-aligned movement in the Cold War era saw these countries as not aligning with the East or West, and the BRICS Summit brings together countries influenced by that movement, although with more diverse interests.

Q: What are the consequences of adding countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to the BRICS group?

The addition of these countries creates opposing positions on significant issues, particularly in the energy sector, making it challenging for the BRICS group to have a meaningful energy policy.

Q: Why did Argentina and Ethiopia apply for BRICS membership, and what do they bring to the organization?

Argentina hopes to gain financial support from China and has a history of seeking financial access points, while Ethiopia brings little to the table but adds an African element to the organization.

Q: What are the potential future scenarios for the BRICS group, and what factors influence their success?

Either the Chinese pay for everything, leading to their influence over poorer countries like Ethiopia and Argentina, or the group expands to become a new non-aligned movement, though with diverse interests, making significant progress unlikely.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The BRICS Summit was originally intended to be a two-part event, but due to recent events, it has been combined into one, making it seem disjointed.

  • The BRICS grouping was not founded by its members but by a finance person looking to invest capital in bond markets of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

  • Despite the formation of a Development Bank, the lack of meaningful deals and diverse interests among the members hinder any significant progress.

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