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February 25, 2005

Capital Flows
Oil, and a bit of geopolitics

On Thursday, the Financial Times, the New York Times and Tom Friedman all weighed in on Asian reserve diversification. Paul Blustein of the Washington Post has an A1 story today on another of my comm…

May 12, 2005

United States
The sustainability of the current account deficit, once again

The market seems to have concluded that there is no need to put any pressure on the US to reduce its large external deficits. The dollar is up, at least against the euro. So is the renminbi for th…

April 13, 2005

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Economy strong (for now), fiscal deficit not falling (by much)

I have always thought the argument that attributed the widening trade deficit to the absence of growth abroad was a bit deceptive, for the simple reason that in aggregate, growth abroad has been quit…

April 17, 2005

Economics
A few things Europe does (relatively) well

Some Europeans enjoy taking a few rhetorical pot shots at America every now and then. More and more Americans enjoy reciprocating.I suspect that US criticism of Europe will step up a gear in the nea…

May 27, 2005

Economics
Housing bubbles, the great plains and the coast

Not all parts of America are enjoying a housing bubble. $65,000 will buy a brick home with three bedrooms and a two car garage in Stafford Kansas, though maybe not ten acres of prairie as well. Low…

June 8, 2005

Economics
Should the world finance the World Bank rather than the United States

Note: Title credit goes to Jeff Frankel, who moderated a panel I participated on.Paul Wolfowitz just took over at the World Bank. He already seems to have indicated that is not going to follow Desmo…

June 29, 2005

Capital Flows
Selling off little pieces of yourself

If the US wanted to fund its current account deficit by selling equity, it would need to sell off the equivalent of 40 Unocal’s a year -- whether Chinese state firms, European firms, Japanese insurer…

October 25, 2004

Economics
In the second Presidential debate …

President Bush was asked to name three mistakes he had made. He declined, other than to hint that perhaps he had hired a couple of people he should not have (Paul O’Neill, I suspect he meant you). …

June 30, 2005

Capital Flows
CNOOC (once again)

The CNOOC bid presumably is motivated by two things. One, Beijing has plenty of cash, and already holds more Treasuries than it wants, so it wants to diversify its portfolio. As I argued earlier, C…

March 22, 2005

Economics
What did I miss?

Let’s see.Paul Wolfowitz looks set to take over the World Bank. Oil is a bit over $56. That is not low, by any measure. I remember how much concern there was last summer when oil broke $40.The cur…