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November 21, 2004

Capital Flows
The Times is overselling the impact of the Iraq debt deal

Getting agreement from the Paris Club creditors to write off 80% (in stages) of the $40 billion or so that Iraq owes them is no doubt a good thing -- not the least because it lets the US (and Iraq) p…

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…

February 22, 2006

Capital Flows
The (strange) politics of globalization

Maybe the US would be better off if China owned Unocal's Asian oil fields Not economically.  Unocal's oil and gas fields are presumably worth a bit more now than they were last summer.  But s…

April 24, 2006

RGE pays my salary, not the IIE — and I am not exactly a true believer in dark matter

Patrick Smith seems to be based in Hong Kong, so I guess I can forgive him for thinking I work for the IIE (the Institute for International Economics).  The IIE is a great place, but they , alas, don…

April 30, 2007

United States
Dani Rodrik, Steve Waldman, China’s impact on US export prices and the risk of “financial” Dutch disease …

Dani Rodrik didn’t take long to stir up the blogosphere (see Steve Waldman, among others).   Rodrik makes an interesting point:   Trade doesn’t cut inflation.   Sure, it lowers prices for impor…

August 20, 2007

Financial Markets
Reverse engineering financial engineering

The process that turned subprime mortgages into triple AAA rated securities is, by now, pretty well known.   Rich Bookstaber (his blog is here) describes the process nicely.Here's the recipe for …

August 17, 2007

Financial Markets
Conduits, SIVs, cash-hoarding, commercial paper restructuring and such

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism is right – If Gillian Tett of the FT disappeared, we would be in a whole lot of trouble. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of central bankers rely on her reporting to…

August 6, 2007

Monetary Policy
The housing market shouldn’t bank on a PBoC put …

Yes, Virginia, seeking higher dollar returns to offset the dollar’s depreciation does mean taking on more risk.  And Steve Schwarzman wasn’t going to underprice his IPO just because China underpriced…

August 30, 2007

Financial Markets
Turning lemons into lemonade

Or perhaps – with a bit of reverse financial engineering – into “apples, pears, strawberries and all the rest.” Martin Wolf is the latest observer to note that the US has created a lot of financial l…

September 7, 2007

China
Is China selling its Treasuries?

Combine two data points The August fall in Treasury holdings in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s custodial accounts (the data is released weekly here); andThe very modest increase in China’s re…