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September 14, 2004

United States
The US current account

Q2 current and capital account data came out today. At 166 billion, the Q2 current account deficit was $10 billion or so more than expected. Since the goods and service trade deficit for q2 was alrea…

September 16, 2004

United States
U.S. dependence on Asian central banks

One country’s external debt is another country’s asset. The U.S. capital account data leaves little doubt that foreign central banks have been a huge source of financing for the U.S. current account…

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…

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…

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 8, 2004

Economics
No jobs, No WMD, No Osama

By the criteria the Bush Administration set for itself in 2002 (and perhaps early 2003), the past two years can hardly be judged a success. Osama is still wanted, dead or alive. It turns out that S…

October 19, 2004

United States
The FT has a good article on how the US is funding its trade deficit

The Treasury provides monthly data on foreign purchases of US long-term securities. It is not a complete look at how the US is funding its trade and current account deficit, but it is the best snap …

October 20, 2004

Financial Markets
The Washington Post is also sounding the alarm …

A friend brought this Washington Post article to my attention, as it takes on the topic of my last post. Like the FT article it draws on the the new Treasury data on foreign purchases of US securiti…

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 …