Journal Article


Policy Responses to the Global Financial Crisis

Published on 1 January 2009

In September 2008, the world’s economy stalled. The world realised the extent of the potential damage caused by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis and bank lending collapsed, ushering in the sharpest and deepest global recession for over 70 years.

Since then, there has been an outpouring of analysis and debate, initially focusing on US and EU economies and rescuing the banking sectors from total collapse. Governments and Central Banks took unprecedented steps to provide emergency relief to banks, effectively socialising potential liabilities of the banking sector. Attention then turned to numerous initiatives to reform both regulatory systems.

Developing countries were almost totally absent from this debate. It was suggested that the impact of the crisis might be limited on low-income countries since their banking systems are small and had no involvement with the sophisticated financial instruments that wreaked such havoc in the USA. However, during the spectacular crashes of stock markets and exchange rates in major emerging markets it became clear that this would be a global crisis with important spillover effects for all developing countries.

How then will the global financial crisis affect developing countries and what should policy responses be? To address the development dimensions of the current crisis, IDS undertook a set of rapid research projects between December 2008 and April 2009 exploring specific channels through which the crisis is affecting developing countries and the characteristics of potential policy responses. This IDS Bulletin presents the results of these research projects – among the first to provide detailed field-based evidence on the impacts of the crisis.

Buy a copy of this Bulletin

Subscribe to this Bulletin or view abstracts

Table of contents

Foreword Lord Meghnad Desai

Introduction: The Global Financial Crisis, Developing Countries and Policy Responses Neil McCulloch and Andy Sumner

The OECD Recession and Developing Country Trade: A Global Simulation Analysis Sherman Robinson and Dirk Willenbockel

Are Exporters in Africa Facing Reduced Availability of Trade Finance? John Humphrey

The Global Financial Crisis: Implications for China’s South–South Cooperation Sara Cook and Jing Gu

What is the Likely Poverty Impact of the Global Financial Crisis? Andy Sumner and Sara Wolcott

Crime and Social Cohesion in the Time of Crisis: Early Evidence of Wider Impacts of Food, Fuel and Financial Shocks Naomi Hossain

Social Protection: Responding to a Global Crisis Mark Davies and J. Allister McGregor

Macroeconomic Policy, Stimuli, Aid and Budgeting: What Options? Ricardo Gottschalk and Laura Bolton

Geopolitics, Global Governance and Crisis Narratives Anna Schmidt with Paz Arancibia, Rakhil Kahlon, Kim Yeojeong, Nobuhiro Komoto, John Myers, Mary Muthoni Munyi, Tonaina Ngororano, George Omondi, Prabal Sepaha

Will the Global Financial Crisis Change the Development Paradigm? Neil McCulloch and Andy Sumner


Neil McCulloch

Honorary Associate

Publication details

published by
Sumner, A. and McCulloch, N.
Sumner, A and McCulloch, N
IDS Bulletin, volume 40, issue 5


About this publication

Crisis Watch

Related content