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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) …

October 6, 2004

United States
Why is China running a current account surplus in the middle of an investment boom?

I spent most of the past week in Washington for the IMF’s annual meetings, trying to sell a few books. The focus of the meetings though, was not on emerging markets, but rather on oil, China and the…

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 …

October 14, 2004

United States
Another month, another bad trade number

The latest monthly trade data came out today, and was worse than expected -- though in my view that indicates expectations have yet to catch up with reality. Exports have been stuck in the $95-96 bi…

September 16, 2004

United States
Growing out of the trade deficit

The U.S. government’s spin on the widening trade deficit is that it reflects a growth deficit in the rest of the world. This spin does not hold up well. All parts of the world other than Europe are…

October 22, 2004

United States
How Bush budget deficits ended up hurting Ohio

Ronald McKinnon has an interesting argument in yesterday’s Financial Times (based on this policy brief), namely that manufacturing workers are paying for low US private savings and large US budget de…

December 18, 2004

2004 and 2005 current account deficits

Now that we have three of the four data points for 2004, it is worth trying to make a (well) informed guess about the end of the year current account deficit -- and to peer into 2005. This post of c…

January 2, 2005

United States
Bretton Woods Two Lives

The Fed has started to tighten, Greenspan said anyone who has not hedged their interest rate risk desires to lose money. Yet higher short-term rates have not led to higher long-term rates. In the j…

January 8, 2005

Has the broad dollar fallen enough

A standard rule of thumb, mentioned by Paul Blustein in his excellent look at the impact of a falling dollar on US trade last week, is that a 10% fall in the broad dollar leads to a $100 billion fall…

November 29, 2004

Financial Markets
Where is China keeping its reserves …

It is not too hard to figure out what Japan is doing with its reserves. From the beginning of 2003 to September 2004, Japan’s official reserves increased by $360 billion. Over that time frame, Japan…