Who’s a tiger economy these days? A goat

Tiger vs. goat

Tiger and goats exist at the opposite end of the food chain — but sometimes the humbler animal can win out.

That's proved to be the case at a remote Russian safari park, where a goat designated as dinner for a Siberian tiger has instead turfed it out of its own shelter.

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Timur the goat now sleeps in Amur the tiger's sleeping place, while the big cat beds down on top of his snow-covered shelter.

The fearless goat also chases Amur around his enclosure and was named Timur after a courageous kid in a popular Communist-era children's book.

Is there an economic parable in this?

Well, in macroeconomics, China is sometimes grouped with South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan as a "tiger economy" — a term used in reference to the fast economic growth of these countries

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But in the opinion of Bhanu Baweja, head of emerging market cross-asset strategy at UBS, today's tiger economy is actually the U.S.

Apparently, it's a shy tiger, a bit like Amur.

"I think it is the U.S. — in the developed market. It may be a similar tiger to that one — it may not be the boldest tiger," Baweja told CNBC on Friday.

"But in relative terms, I supposed it is the economy that is coming back. The economy, that mind you, has delevered, as against to a lot of EMs, (emerging markets) which have relevered quite a lot, so I think the U.S. is looking relatively better."

So who's a "goat" economy then? Baweja agreed with CNBC that it could be that classic "tiger" of… China.

Despite the much-hyped slowdown in China since 2010, its economy is seen growing 6.8 percent this year by the International Monetary Fund, as opposed to forecast expansion of 2.6 percent in the U.S.

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The U.S. remains the world's biggest economy, but China is chasing its heels — a little like Timur the goat.

The relationship between the two nations can be tense, as China vies to compete with U.S. for clout on the international stage. Amur and Timur are getting along though, so could this bode well for future Chinese-U.S. diplomatic relations?

In Chinese astrology, a relationship between a person born in the year of the tiger and one born in the year of the goat at first appears impossible due to their stark differences of personality and priorities.

"While the Goat is a shy and retiring creature, the Tiger is known to have a large circle of friends and admirers," says.

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But should the goat and the tiger work to build a relationship, there is a good chance they can resolve their differences apparently.

"The Tiger and Goat may come together is in their common helpful natures. While the Tiger has a marked altruistic nature, which is devoted to working out solutions and systems for the betterment of humanity, the Goat too has a strong nurturing instinct," says.

— By CNBC's Katy Barnato. Follow her on Twitter @KatyBarnato.