Vital Signs: World Trade Keeps Shrinking

As world leaders talk back and forth over how best to address the global economic and financial meltdown, the volume of world trade continues to collapse. The Group of 20 nations appear to agree on key regulatory issues, such as tighter reins on risk-taking by banks and hedge fund operations, stricter limits on executive pay, and closer supervision of credit rating agencies. But while the policymakers stand ready to offer $1 trillion to bolster the International Monetary Fund’s resources to help nations deal with the economic fallout, there remains little agreement over how to boost demand in their own economies.

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