This new article from Hernán F. Gómez Bruera, professor and postdoctoral fellow at the Public Policy Division of the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica in Mexico City, offers an assessment of Mexico's missed steps and missed opportunities to become an influential middle power nation. 

The BRICS emerging economies will launch a development bank at a summit this week which President Vladimir Putin hopes will help reduce Western dominance of world financial institutions and show Moscow is not isolated.

Recent diplomatic rows with countries like Brazil are no secret and President Obama is working to repair bilateral relations with the strategically important countries before he leaves the oval office for good.

So, where does the power of the NDB lie? Precisely in its limited, yet politically powerful, BRICS membership. Its lessened economic power is compensated for by its vast soft power, merely by the fact of limiting its membership to the founding BRICS members.

BRICS leaders in Brazil

The New Development Bank may signal a shift in global financial power.

There’s a vintage example of American exceptionalism in the Financial Times this week, by the paper’s US editor Gary Silverman. The article is about the appointment of Trevor Noah to the vacant Jon Stewart berth on The Daily Show. But Noah’s controversial Twitter history isn’t what concerns Silverman. Instead, he sees Noah’s career arc – growing up bi-racial in Soweto, where “my existence itself was a crime”, emigrating to America, working his way up in short order to the most prestigious satire gig in the country – as a classic tale of “American soft power”.