The new term coined by a little-known research analyst at Morgan Stanley last summer identifies Turkey, Brazil, India, South Africa and Indonesia as economies which have become too dependent on skittish foreign investment to finance their growth ambitions, reports the New York Times.
Investment analysts come up with catchy names and phrases that simplify their views and, ideally, capture the market spirit of the moment.
During the early period of the euro crisis, rather unkindly PIGS came to describe Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. And when the focus turned to Greece and its future in the eurozone, Grexit became the term of art.
In a report last August, Morgan Stanley used the term “Fragile Five” which became a quick and easy way for investors to give voice their fears of a broader routs of emerging markets, propelled by runs on the Turkish lira, Brazilian real and South African rand.
The New York Times said the name has caught on in large degree because it highlights the strains that occur when countries place too much emphasis on stoking fast rates of economic growth.
The new catchphrase also raises pressing questions about not just Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) but about emerging markets in general.