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July 2010

Placing the 2006/08 Commodity Price Boom into Perspective

John Baffes's picture

The 2006-08 commodity price boom was one of the longest and broadest of the post-WWII period. The price boom emerged in the mid-2000s after nearly three decades of low and declining commodity prices (see figure). The long-term decline in real prices had been especially marked in food and agriculture. Between 1975-76 and 2000-01, world food prices declined by 53 percent in real US-dollar terms. Such price declines raised concerns, especially with regard to the welfare of poor agricultural producers.

Will We See Even More Capital Flows to Emerging Markets?

Jamus Lim's picture

One upshot of the recent increase in volatility in financial markets has been a generalized return (again) into the relative safety of U.S. Treasuries: The 10-year is down 30 percent for the year (to 296 bps), and the 30-year down about half that, standing at 398 bps (see figure). A common refrain heard among market commentators is that with Europe in the throes of a sovereign debt (and now possibly full-blown financial) crisis, this is a flight to quality, and that the U.S. is remains the best of the bunch of bad options.