There has been some talk lately about Emerging Markets, mainly China, saving the world through growth. I do not think that is possible. The size of developed markets is simply too large for emerging market growth to register any meaningful impact.
US, Western Europe and Japan together account for almost $40 trillion of world GDP of ~$55 trillion. US is about ~$14 trillion, Europe is ~ $17 trillion, Japan is ~ 5 trillion. BRIC countries account for $8 trillion. A meaningful part of BRIC's domestic GDP is dependent on growth in developed world. A slowdown in these countries will impact this part of GDP. BRIC countries may be able to cannibalize domestic GDP from developed world but overall we will be net losers.
An analogy I like is that of Titanic. The developed world economies are like titanic while emerging markets are like small yachts.Yachts cannot save all the passengers from the Titanic. So we should work to keep titanic afloat.
Co-dependent growth is the best way out. But such growth is not possible unless we put our houses in order.