Despite initial market optimism, Australia was ultimately unable to inoculate itself from the global financial turmoil that followed the collapse of the subprime mortgage market in the US. The cost of credit protection against Australian company debt widened dramatically, as global markets and interbank liquidity frequently dried up. Domestic equity prices, meanwhile, tumbled at the start of 2008, and even commodity prices, which had risen steadily for most of the first half of the year, have

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