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Trade and Development Report 2011

Post-crisis Policy Challenges in the World Economy

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Reforms of financial regulations are progressing slowly and only at the national level, monetary system reform is limited. After an interlude that some considered as a return to Keynesianism, the orientation of macroeconomic policy, especially fiscal policy, is back to business as usual. This will hinder a sustained recovery of the world economy and open the door for new financial crises. Thus, the rethinking of policies and reshaping the financial and monetary system remain an urgent task. This publication makes concrete proposals on how, and in which priority areas, to advance with strengthening regulation of the financial sector and commodity markets, reform of the international monetary system, and the reorientation of fiscal policy.

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Financialized commodity markets: Recent developments and policy issues

Recent developments in primary 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. The price decline following the eruption of the current global crisis in mid-2008 stands out both for its sharpness and for the number of commodities affected. Since mid-2009, and especially since the summer of 2010, global commodity prices have been rising again. While the oil price increases up to April 2011 were modest compared with the spike in 2007–2008, food prices reached an all-time high in February 2011.

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