Depends how long it lasts for, & how long before various goods & raw materials start returning to a higher level...
Most analysts are picking a world recession for the next year, with things improving towards the end. Prices rise back to higher levels by the start of 2010, with oil moving towards the $90 per barrel mark.
Who comes out better in this scenario?
Basically the country's that have not got into serious debt, & have used that tough times to crack down in inefficencies, as well as concentrating on keeping spending focused on infrastructure projects.
Another major factor will be respective costs in dealing with the fallout of the downturn, ie. unemployment, restructuring, keeping wages & manufacturing going, etc.
China, Russia & Brazil could look pretty good in this scenario, probably India as well, depending on political instabilities.
China is reasonably well insulated from the market, so what is most effecting it is major downturns in foreign investment & manufacturing for export.
To combat that it has focused on massive infrastructure projects, & promoting domestic markets.
How well it comes out it depends on how efficient management is on this, which is more than a little problematic considering the major scandals that have been coming to light in production/construction/mining etc..
However, they are still in one of the best positions around due to their massive reserves & very large production capabilities. Even a moderate increase in efficiency puts them in a very good position.
They're the most likely to increase their position in a major way by the time the crisis is over in my opinion.
Russia also has the reserves to see them through downturns for a few years, & while not as insulated as the Chinese, the major hits to the economy is in falling materials prices, especially oil, & downturns in foreign investment.
Pluses are that they can reign in a lot of the oligarch's;
have the political mandate now to force through already ongoing reforms against corruption & inefficiencies;
push through more consistently in market & law reforms;
develop financing not so dependant on foreign speculative capital;
push through further with needed infrastructure projects.
How well they come out depends on how well all these reforms are handled, but are likely to be in a good position if the downturn doesn't last too long & don't totally screw things up. Raw materials wise, they're in about the best position on the planet, & are a very attractive market expansion for many major firms, especially European ones
- many major investment projects are still continueing despite the downturn...
Brazil - still got some reserves, & are pretty widely diversified, as well as rapidly expanding. As the largest economy in South America, rapidly expanding & relatively stable, they are likely to come out pretty well.
Like the rest of the BRIC, the better they use the tough times to push through reforms in efficiency & against corruption, the better they come out of it.
India - pretty much the same as the rest of the BRIC. Maybe a little more exposed to the market, but with solid banking fundamentals, & a pretty widely diversified, rapidly expanding market.
Problems are possible major political instability/faction fighting complicating reforms & investment, but are still likely to come out pretty well.
Worst hit - countries that were already in debt, & don't have the political stability to push needed survival measures through.
Ukraine & Pakistan maybe the worst off.
Many Eastern European countries, that got all the bad parts of EU membership without the reserves or depth to see through major bad patches. Welcome to free market capitalism, hope you're enjoying your stay...
The major market economies of the US & the UK will be interesting.
While they'll undoubtedly be hit hard, especially in debts, they are so intertwined in world markets they have the leverage to borrow, deal, print money, etc. to get themselves out of things in a pretty good position.
How well they handle reforms in the tough times will determine how long they can stay in such a high position regarding world markets...