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Issue Guide: The Middle East and the Global Financial Crisis

May 2009


The financial crisis had a varied effect on Middle Eastern countries. During 2007 and the early part of 2008, rising oil prices lined the coffers of major exporters like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, and Iraq. This buffered them from financial problems suffered by industrialized economies, and in some cases allowed them to make investments in multinational financial firms and other corporations as their stock prices fell. The fall of oil prices in late 2008 reversed this trend, leaving many oil exporters struggling under the weight of debt they had assumed during oil's run-up. In Middle Eastern countries without major crude supplies, the crisis posed a threat more humanitarian in nature: It challenged their abilities to pay off international debts and strained international aid institutions.

The following is a list of resources providing background and analysis on Middle Eastern economies.

Economic Reverberations

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)


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