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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 20, 2004

United States
Large Players in Large Markets

One of the world’s ironies is that even as John Snow putters on about how currency values should be set by market forces, the market -- or at least the private market -- is now playing a comparativel…

November 12, 2004

Capital Flows
Geopolitics of a new G-7

There is a growing sense that the G-7 no longer is the right grouping for discussing today’s major international macroeconomic issues. It is hard to see, for example, how you can discuss "global reb…

November 19, 2004

Greenspan, part II

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan was careful to frame the risk created by rising US external debt for foreigners investing in the US (and in the process financing the US current account …

December 22, 2004

One more point on Martin Wolf

It is a simple point, but an important one. Wolf says the United States would be fine if it reduced its current account deficit from 6% of GDP to 3% of GDP. External debt to GDP then stabilizes at …

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 …

February 17, 2005

The Achilles Heel of Cowboyeconomics

The Wall Street Journal says everyone in the world would benefit from a dose of Cowboyeconomics. You know, exporting tons of debt, to support consumption growth well in excess of income growth ... …

January 12, 2005

United States
Two stunnings numbers

Both start with six. China’s end 2004 reserves: $609.9 billion . And the United States’ $60.3 billion November trade deficit.The surge in China’s reserves should not have been that much of a surpri…

January 13, 2005

Emerging Markets
The Paris Club and Indonesia

An extremely esoteric topic: Paris Club comparability.When the Paris Club grants debt relief to a country like Iraq, it typically requires that the country seek "comparable" debt relief from its othe…

March 4, 2005

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Undisputed Unaffordability

That is a phrase from the Washington Post’s oped on Social Security.I think it goes a bit too far, so I want to dispute the "undisputed unaffordability" of Social Security.I do not dispute that there…