Can a global financial crisis really have winners and losers? Sure, say Ignacio Munyo and Ernesto Talvi of the Center for the Study of Economic and Social Affairs. Even as Europe and the United States keep limping along, a number of countries are now doing better than they were in 2007, before the crash. The two economists compiled an “economic exuberance index,” based on factors such as output and unemployment, to see who benefited and who lost out after the crisis:


CERES Global Index of Economic Exuberance, by country

The United States, Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia are all faring poorly. At the same time, Munyo and Talvi note, that’s freed up capital and financial resources to flow into a number of emerging markets around the world. “This sharp contrast is not a mere coincidence,” they argue, “it is causally connected.” Sputtering performance in the United States and Europe, they write, seems to be helping countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Angola, India and China, which have an abundance of investment opportunities.

In any case, the developing countries that have fared well since the financial crisis seem to fall into a few main categories. Commodity exporters — countries that deal in oil or gas or raw materials — have benefited from high prices since 2007. And countries that export goods to places such as China and India have done very well. By contrast, nations that depend on remittances from migrants in the United States and Europe have done relatively poorly — note that Mexico and El Salvador have taken a hit lately.

So how long will this new, post-crisis order hold up? Munyo and Talvi note that, ironically, many of these freshly “exuberant” countries are becoming more dependent on global capital markets, and hence are especially vulnerable to another financial crisis. That’s particularly true in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Which means it might still be too early to see how things shake out.