Trade and Development Report 2009

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The Trade and Development Report 2009, subtitled Responding to the Global Crisis - Climate Change Mitigation and Development” addresses the main issues of global economic outlook and short-term policy response to the financial and economic crisis, international monetary reform to complement stricter financial regulation and climate change mitigation as a process of structural change. The report analyzes global economic prospects within the framework of the current economic and financial crisis. It also heeds the short-term fiscal, financial and monetary policies that were adopted in response to the impacts of the 2008-2009 crisis. It also looks at the question of how increased efforts aimed at climate change mitigation can be combined with forward-looking development strategies and rapid growth in developing countries.

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The financialization of commodity markets

The build-up and eruption of the current global financial crisis was paralleled by an unusually sharp increase and subsequent strong reversal in the prices of internationally traded primary commodities. Recent developments in commodity prices have been exceptional in many ways. The price boom between 2002 and mid-2008 was the most pronounced in several decades – in magnitude, duration and breadth. It placed a heavy burden on many developing countries that rely on food and energy imports, and contributed to food crises in a number of countries in 2007–2008 (TDR 2008, chap. II, section C). The price decline since mid-2008 stands out both for its sharpness and for the number of commodity groups affected. It was one of the main channels through which the dramatic slowdown of economic and financial activity in the major industrialized countries was transmitted to the developing world.

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