June 13th, 2011
05:06 PM GMT
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June 13th, 2011
12:35 PM GMT
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Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) - It's becoming an area of spirited debate in government and financial circles - what is and isn't a BRIC country and how should they be classified?

One one side of the arguement is BRIC creator Jim O'Neill at Goldman Sachs and his supporters. In 2000 O'Neill put together a group of four countries –Brazil, Russia, India and China - which he considered would rank uppermost in the list of most economically important countries within 40 or so years.

Their size was already or would be, in the not too distant future, 3%-5% of the global economy.

It turned out to be not only a prescient forecast but a golden marketing term for the four countries as they continued to surge ahead in economic might and importance.

Soon after that somone else suggested the BRIC block to include South Korea. Nothing to do with Jim O'Neill.

In fact according to a paper published in 2005, South Korea and Mexico were considered in the original group but were left out because they were thought more developed and were already members of the OECD.

Then along came the BRICS, the "S" denoting South Africa. Again, nothing to do with Jim O'Neill.

As some more cynical economists have noted it was more to do with a political move, pushed forward by China to include a resource-rich region that China is anxious to develop ties with.

Others say that South Africa should denote the region - Africa as a whole - which would tick many BRIC boxes.

And so it goes. As the emerging world forges ahead and western economies hesitatingly recover from the financial crisis the call for inclusion in the BRIC block becomes louder.

Indonesia is now pressing its claim. BRIIC anyone?

Judging by the response from senior business leaders and opinion-makers at the World Economic Forum in Jakarta it has a strong case.

The head of McKinsey Worldwide, and the head of Standard Chartered Bank in Asia, senior members of the World Economic Forum itself and even the CEO of Unilever gave the thumbs up to Indonesia.

Even WEF founder Klaus Schwab was heard to utter the word I-BRIC.

Indonesia's investment minister, and a former Goldman man himself, says he's keen to get Mr O'Neill down to Indonesia to take a look for himself.

But here's the question. Can the term now be picked up and used by any politician or pundit, or does it make sense for the people who invented it, to keep it updated and relevant?

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June 13th, 2011
07:28 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Another new week, another high profile cyber attack.

The International Monetary Fund suffered a “very major breach,” as first reported Saturday by the New York Times.

Details are sketchy on the attack, which was revealed to IMF employees last week but not made public. The incident reportedly happened before Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s May 14 arrest and his departure as head of the IMF, which assists in global financial crisis and is a repository for highly confidential financial information on its member states – nearly every country in the world.

According to the New York Times, the World Bank cut off its computer link with the IMF out of “an abundance of caution.”

“I can confirm that we are investigating an incident,” IMF spokesperson David Hawley told CNN by e-mail. “I am not in a position to elaborate further on the extent of the cyber-security incident.”

The attack appears to have used “spear phishing” – tricking the end user to click on a link, reveal password information or download a malicious program from a source that appears to be legitimate. The IMF hasn’t revealed any suspicions on who launched the attack.


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