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Commodities: A Cautionary Tale

Economies that rely too heavily on commodities are hostages to the marketplace. When prices are high, the governments that manage these economies can afford the costs of political stability. When prices are low, however, their people get restless. Opposition mounts. Policy choices dwindle. Prolonged periods of low revenue sow the seeds of political crisis — something countries like Nigeria, Angola, Ecuador and Venezuela know all too well.

Economies that rely too heavily on commodities are hostages to the marketplace.
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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