The World’s Poorest Nations and the Global Financial Crisis

Nicholas Imparato & Shalendra D. Sharma

Published: December 2009

Unlike many earlier financial crises, the current sub-prime-induced crisis originated in advanced economies (in the US housing sector) in the summer of 2007, and rapidly mushroomed into a global financial crisis by September 2008. Developing nations, especially the ‘least developed countries’ (LDCs), have been hit particularly hard with a sharp drop in export demand and in net capital inflows. The current turmoil threatens to undo the impressive gains in economic growth and convergence many developing nations have achieved over the past decade – a reversal of fortune that includes casting millions back into poverty. What explains the vulnerability of the LDCs, and how have the G8, the G20, the IMF and the World Bank responded to help mitigate the economic and social costs of the crisis? How can developing nations, especially the poorest, better insulate their economies from the vagaries of the global financial markets? This paper addresses these issues.

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