This column was originally published on RealMoney on May 30 at 11:29 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
These selloffs in the emerging markets are breathtaking in their similarities. I defy you to hit up a chart of
and see if you can find a difference.
This selloff may be the most daunting of all in the emerging markets, because unlike all the others I have seen, there is nothing driving it other than the U.S. interest rate picture.
Sticking with the Brazil-India analogue, there are no real problems in either country to speak of. There are riots in Brazil, and some of the adjacent countries are in turmoil, for sure, but Brazil is energy self-sufficient in an environment with rates coming down. India's economy is extremely robust and its auto business has a secular growth story, including a new entry into China.
Doesn't matter. These stocks are going lower. What's really amazing is that if rates in the U.S. are going higher, for certain our economy will slow and that's the old "when we catch cold, they get pneumonia." But will they? And is that money, which is such high-risk money, really just pull in its horns? Where's it really going?
The bottom line here is that the emerging markets are signaling something else, something bad that we can't figure out.
Maybe what we should be saying is, whatever might happen, we might
be glad that Hank Paulson just took the job of Treasury Secretary.
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