Emerging markets. They’ve been the “Hot New Thing” for a decade.
Are chief investment officers and their boards finally ready to fully
embrace them? Joe Flood reports.
It’s difficult to remember a time when emerging markets weren’t the buzzword, or bugaboo,
of institutional investors. When investor and World Bank economist Antoine van Agtmael coined
the term “emerging markets” as a more flattering, if less accurate, version of Less Economically
Developed Countries (LEDC) in the 1980s, South America’s budding capitalist economies were all
the rage. Then there was that whole issue of Marxist guerillas, right-wing death squads, Iran-Contra,
and, more importantly, the bankruptcy of Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. Then, after the fall
of Communism, the whole world again seemed ripe for an economic explosion—until the ensuing
debt bubble, crony capitalism, and short-sighted currency manipulation took down Russia, Indonesia,
Thailand, and whatever investors were foolhardy enough to go all in.
Art by Victo Ngai / victo-ngai.com
16 | ai-CIO.com | October 2010