The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Africa and the global economic crisis

- Jorge Maia is head of Research and Information for Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, established in 1940 to promote economic growth and industrial development. The opinions expressed are his own -

Serious shockwaves are hitting Africa's shores as the global economic crisis unfolds.

The extent and depth of the damage is extremely difficult to assess or project, but it is clear that the pattern of financial flows associated with investment, lending and trading activity has been dramatically altered, with detrimental economic and social implications for the continent at large. The adverse impact has been gradually spreading from a regional perspective - a serious setback to Africa's recent growth performance, which had averaged 6 percent a year from 2003 to 2008.

The effects will vary widely, depending on each country's integration within the global financial system, its dependency on exports and tourism receipts, official development assistance and remittances from African citizens working overseas, among other factors.

from The Great Debate:

Should there be limits on commodity investment?

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

The commodity boom and bust in the last 5 years suggests there is a natural limit on how much investment money these markets can absorb before price-setting mechanisms become distorted and prices unmoored from supply and demand fundamentals.

Exchange operators and dealers have a strong interest in increasing turnover and volume, since it boosts income from fees and commissions. But most also argue that increased turnover makes markets more efficient because it sharpens price discovery and makes them more liquid.

from The Great Debate:

Commodities send coded clues on inflation

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

After an 8-year period of remarkable stability, the ratio between gold and oil prices has broken down spectacularly.

The relative rise in gold is consistent with other indications that the market is bracing for a delayed upturn in inflation between 2010 and 2012.

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