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September 20, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Who is in more financial trouble: social security or the rest of the government?

There is a common sense that social security is bankrupt and people now in their 20s and 30s won’t get anything from it. That is false. Social security can fund all projected benefits until someti…

November 1, 2004

United States
Richard Cooper on the current account deficit

Richard Cooper has an oped in today’s FT (avaible here, subscription needed) arguing that the US current account deficit is "not only sustainable, it is perfectly logical". Cooper argues that a $500 …

September 26, 2004

Capital Flows
Confronting Iran would be a lot easier if the Saudis had more spare capacity

David Sanger looks at Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in today’s New York Times. Sanger suggests it will be hard to stop Iran’s quest for nukes, no matter what the nature of Iran’s regime -…

October 27, 2004

Financial Markets
Morgan Stanley: China does not rely much on export led growth

Sometimes you read something and it makes you stop, because it is at odds with your existing sense of how the world economy is working. Drossos and Kinbrough’s argument that China does not rely on a…

October 28, 2004

Exports of Treasuries, and other fun statistics

2004 US exports of goods (based on year to date trade data): roughly $800 billion.2004 US exports of dollar denominated debt (based on the q1 and q2 balance of payments data): $800 billion.It is not …

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…

November 30, 2004

Emerging Markets
Just because one dollar currently buys something like a million and half Turkish lira …

That does not necessarily mean the Turkish lira is cheap. Right now, given Turkey’s almost US scale current account deficit (close to 5% of GDP), the lira probably is a bit overvalued. Turkey is go…

December 10, 2004

Emerging Markets
Why Argentina should do its bond exchange, ASAP

Yields on Latin American bonds have not been this low for a long time. It is hard to believe that Brazil’s 20 year dollar bond trades at a yield of only 8%, and most long-term Brazilian bonds are in …

November 11, 2004

China

That alone ought to catch your attention. Whether talking about the US (needs Chinese financing), Latin America (needs Chinese demand for its commodities) or Europe (needs China to lets its exchange…

November 20, 2004

Politics and Government
Optimist or Ostrich?

For those who want dispassionate economic analysis devoid of politics, read no further. Wait for my next dollar post. This is a center-left response to the Lexington column in this week’s Economist…