The BRICs matter because of their economic weight. They are the four largest economies outside the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the rich man’s club). They are the only developing economies with annual GDPs of over $1 trillion (Indonesia’s is only half that). With the exception of Russia, they sustained better growth than most during the great recession and, but for them, world output would have fallen by even more than it did. […] As for Russia, association with some of the most dynamic economies in the world may perhaps divert some attention away from its own decline. More important for Russia, as for all the others, the BRICs are a way of telling America that the largest developing countries have their own options and that not all roads lead to Washington.