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Food, Financial Crises, and Complex Derivatives: A Tale of High Stakes Innovation and Diversification


  • Songwe, Vera

    () (World Bank)


The 2008 food price crisis was an integral part of the financial crisis. In fact, the food price crisis was the second crisis in a chain of events that began in 2007 with the mortgage crisis, and culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Contrary to what was generally believed in 2008, developing countries, particularly food-importing countries, were part of the early wave of the financial crisis via food price increases, and later suffered another wave via the real sector. The events leading up to the food crisis were global and complex in nature. As a result, as the G-20 discusses solutions to the financial crisis, any new framework must include developing countries, especially low-income countries. In addition, developing countries, especially in Africa, must pay close attention to the work of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and its recommendations on financial market reform, and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives in particular, because these reforms will have important consequences for their housing, food, fuel, financial markets, and ultimately their growth and poverty reduction objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Songwe, Vera, 2011. "Food, Financial Crises, and Complex Derivatives: A Tale of High Stakes Innovation and Diversification," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 69, pages 1-9, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:prmecp:ep69

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rajdeep Sengupta & William R. Emmons, 2007. "What is subprime lending?," Monetary Trends, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jun.
    2. Salant, Stephen W & Henderson, Dale W, 1978. "Market Anticipations of Government Policies and the Price of Gold," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 627-648, August.
    3. Mitchell, Donald, 2008. "A note on rising food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4682, The World Bank.
    4. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Maxim Pinkovskiy, 2010. "African Poverty is Falling...Much Faster than You Think!," NBER Working Papers 15775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. von Braun, Joachim & Ahmed, Akhter & Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo & Fan, Shenggen & Gulati, Ashok & Hoddinott, John & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Ruel, Marie & Torero, Maximo & van Rheenen, Te, 2008. "High food prices: The what, who, and how of proposed policy actions," Policy briefs 1A, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Minot, Nicholas, 2010. "Transmission of World Food Price Changes to African Markets and its Effect on Household Welfare," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 58563, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    More about this item


    food prices; food price crisis; financial crisis; derivatives; G-20; OTC; Africa; Financial Stability Board; developing countires; poverty reduction;

    JEL classification:

    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage


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