Ask anyone you meet on the street whether political risk has risen in the last few years, and you'd likely get a convincing "yes." Crisis has fed our appetite for media sensation, and on the global political front there has been no lack of material. What appeared to be rock-solid regimes fell in mere days, triggering copycat events elsewhere with very similar results, and sending tremors across the planet's political landscape.
How the mighty are falling. Resilience was a word used liberally to boast of the BRICS countries' staying power in the post-crisis period. Many even ascribed global-growth-engine status to these rising powerhouses. But 2013 has been a second tough year for the August group, even as OECD nations are steadily returning to growth.