意料之中的是，人们给出的答案林林总总。在《财富》杂志（Fortune）举办的最具影响力女性峰会（副主题为“盛宴落幕了--该怎么办？”)上，摩根大通（JPMorgan）董事总经理李晶 （Jing Ulrich）罗列出了以下内容：难以承受的债务负担造成货币贬值等结构性问题、中国经济增长放缓的涓滴效应、以及发达世界刺激政策龙头可能最终关紧的威胁。数据已清晰地显示出了这些影响。李晶表示，“中国经济两位数增长的黄金时代已离我们远去，”未来5年，中国的经济增速可能低至5%，而印度4%的经济增速也可能减半，巴西和俄罗斯将以2%的增速艰难前行。
有一种回答则是着眼于长期。“想在新兴市场开展业务，必须成为中长期的参与者，”Arison Investments投资公司CEO弗拉特•佩雷德说。“经济指标正在放缓，但这需要结合世界其他地区的情况。”曾任美国国务卿希拉里•克林顿头号顾问的安妮-玛丽•斯劳特目前是新美国基金会（New America Foundation）的总裁，她警告称，企业需要警惕突发政治事件可能“取代理性经济行为”。她在美国国务院供职时最艰难的一夜是：日本海岸警卫队抓捕了一艘中国渔船——此类偶然事件很可能引发一系列的报复升级，需要美国军方予以回应。
There's no debating this: Buzzy emerging markets have lost some of their zip. The question for both American government and business is why -- and what to do about it.
The explanations unsurprisingly are manifold. In a panel discussion at Fortune's Most Powerful Women's summit (subtitled "The Hype is Over -- Now What?"), JPMorgan (JPM) managing director Jing Ulrich ticked them off: structural problems like crushing debt loads that are devaluing currency, a trickle-down effect from China's lagging growth, and, from the developed world, the threat of the stimulus spigot finally wrenching off. The evidence of the impact is clear in the numbers. "The golden era of double-digit growth in China is behind us," and could fall as low as 5% in the next five years, Ulrich said, while India faces a halved rate of 4% and Brazil and Russia will plod forward at 2%.
One response simply takes the long view. "If you're playing in emerging markets, you need to be a medium- to long-term player," Arison Investments CEO Efrat Peled said. "The indicators are slowing down, but it's all relative to what's happening in the rest of the world." But Anne-Marie Slaughter, a top advisor to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now serving as president of the New America Foundation, warned companies need to be mindful that sudden political conflagrations can "take over from the economic rationality." Her worst night at the State Department came when the Japanese coast guard captured a Chinese fishing vessel -- the sort of random event packed with potential for an escalating series of reprisals that would require a U.S. military response.
Along those lines, Ulrich sounded a hopeful note that the new Chinese leadership team will embark this fall on market reforms designed to ease foreign investment -- while Slaughter was less sanguine. "Another way to look at this is you've got a new government in place with a lot of rising social demands, a lot of dissatisfaction with things like the food safety, drug safety, and the environment, and it is easier to point the finger at a multinational company than a local company," Slaughter said. "I see a huge pressure to scapegoat foreign companies over domestic companies, and I think that will be hard to resist."
Meanwhile, as we look to compete with the Chinese in the developing world, we should borrow a page from their book, Slaughter said. Paraphrasing an insight she heard from an African official, she said, "When Americans see a picture of African kids without shoes, they think, 'How do we organize a charity drive?' When Chinese see pictures of Africans without shoes, they immediately think, What's the income level and how can we price the shoes to sell?' The point is an important one for business: Africans prefer to be treated as a market than a charity."