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September 23, 2004

United States
The currency strategist at Morgan Stanley might want to talk to the chief economist at Morgan Stanley

Steve Johnson’s market insight column in Thursday’s Financial Times keys off Morgan Stanley’s currency strategist Stephen Jen’s argument that "As long as Asia insists on staying inside this dollar ar…

September 16, 2004

United States
U.S. dependence on Asian central banks

One country’s external debt is another country’s asset. The U.S. capital account data leaves little doubt that foreign central banks have been a huge source of financing for the U.S. current account…

October 20, 2004

Capital Flows
The IMF staff report on Iraq is a goldmine

I don’t expect many journalists will delve into it, but the IMF staff report on Iraq is a fountain of information. My favorite number: in 2004, the amount Iraq will spend importing (yes, importing) …

November 13, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Will partial privatization of social security pass the global test?

This post is primarily about the implications of partial privatization of social security on the budget, not about its overall merits. For what it is worth, I personally think good old pay-as-you-go …

November 7, 2004

United States
Updated paper on the sustainablility of US trade and current account deficits

Nouriel and I have just posted our updated analysis of US external sustainability, i.e. the United States capacity to continue to run large trade and current account deficits.The paper is certainly l…

November 6, 2004

Will Japan be able to stay on the sidelines for long?

Some facts: 1) In 2003, Japan increased its reserves by $200 billion, emerging Asia by $245 billion. The world as whole increased its reserves by $500 billion, so Asia accounted for most of the worl…

October 19, 2004

United States
The FT has a good article on how the US is funding its trade deficit

The Treasury provides monthly data on foreign purchases of US long-term securities. It is not a complete look at how the US is funding its trade and current account deficit, but it is the best snap …

November 18, 2004

Taking away the punch bowl when the party is really getting going?

That is the classic view of the role of the central bank. It extends beyond using monetary policy to prevent "overheating" and price inflation. Most central bank regulate the banking system, and si…

December 6, 2004

Financial Markets
Surprise, Surprise: the Treasury waited til December to clear China of currency manipulation

It looks like John Snow did Andy Card one last favor before stepping aside: late on Friday, the Treasury quietly issued the annual foreign currency report. To no one’s surprise, the report declared …

December 19, 2004

Plaza, or Louvre?

The 1985 Plaza accord sought to drive the dollar down; the 1987 Louvre sought to keep the dollar from falling further. There is growing talk of a new Plaza in the US -- though not in the circles tha…