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Oil and Energy


International Trade




The Future



The definitive site for information about world trade is the World Trade Organization's homepage http://www.wto.org. They do, however, have a point of view, so you should not rely entirely on their papers and presentation. Virtually every country in the world has a government site associated with international trade. When you want to know about a specific country's trade interests, it is best to go to their site and look around. I did that for China, India and Brazil. For example, I used the Ministry of Trade in India for information.

I also needed information about foreign holdings of US bonds. Here you need to look at the central bank of each country, and again virtually all countries have a site for their central bank. They will often list their chief foreign currency holdings (most hold US dollars in large quantities) and their holdings of foreign bonds. The place to find all of this information is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is at http://www.imf.org/ and can provide you with both research and data on international financial issues.

Any discussion about trade, free trade or globalization is rife with politics. If you want a top economist's view of the topic, you should take a look at In Defense of Globalization by Jagdish Bhagwati from the Oxford University Press in 2004.

Both the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The World Bank publish annual reports with many of the themes I've discussed here. The United Nations annual report is called the Human Development Report, and The World Bank annual report is called the World Development Report. Both provide extensive analysis and data. Since the focus of the reports varies from year to year, you'll want to look at many of them to find topics of interest to you.

Near the end of this chapter I also introduced you to US economic growth. A very good resource for information about the US economy can be found in the annual Economic Report to the President. A long term data series on the US business cycle can always be found there. The report is generated by the Council of Economic Advisors, who also do quite a bit more than US economic analysis.