RAW MATERIALS: Smoothing Out the Wild Swings

In a world that is short of raw materials, the most incendiary global confrontation of the future may not be East v. West but South v. North. That is, the raw-materials-producing nations clustered in the world's southern hemisphere will try to align and squeeze higher prices out of the relatively rich industrial nations of the northern hemisphere. Already the two sides are squabbling over what to do about the wild swings in prices of such basic materials as copper, rubber and cocoa.

During the global boom from 1972 through early 1974, prices doubled...

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