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February 20, 2005

Capital Flows
Banker? Strategic competitor? Both?

The US borrows about 1/5 of all the money the federal government spends, and most of the borrowed money comes from abroad: foreign purchases of Treasuries in 2004 exceeded the (net) issuance of Treas…

February 25, 2005

Capital Flows
Oil, and a bit of geopolitics

On Thursday, the Financial Times, the New York Times and Tom Friedman all weighed in on Asian reserve diversification. Paul Blustein of the Washington Post has an A1 story today on another of my comm…

May 18, 2005

China
Containing China with money borrowed from China

I sometimes find grand geostrategic commentary a bit amusing, in part because there is so little overlap between geostratists and economists. I think Tom Barnett gets some aspects of the global flo…

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…

September 12, 2005

China
Show me the money (really, show me China’s reserves)

China's Alan Greenspan (Zhou Xiaochuan) has indicated China won't roil financial markets with "active composition adjustments of the foreign reserves."  fine.   But any central bank adding ab…

October 28, 2005

China
A new Chinese oil strategy? Buy into BP and other oil majors

I think this is potentially very good news.   It is not quite Tom Barnett's scenario - that would imply BP and Exxon buying up Chinese oil firms or building infrastructure to supply the Chinese m…

August 11, 2006

United States
Despite what Lex says, the euro/ dollar does matter

Dean Baker’s critique of Monday’s Lex column on the dollar was on the mark.  Lex made rather selective use of the facts to argue that dollar depreciation (and renminbi appreciation) has little impact…

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October 4, 2006

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Why is 2045 more important than 2007?

Like Dean Baker, I am growing tired of reading editorials complaining about a failure to take “Social Security’s long-term problem” seriously.True, projections show a deficit of something like 1.5% o…

January 16, 2007

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
The Washington Post really doesn’t like Social Security …

Best I can tell, Social Security is in the best financial shape of any federal program.  It is in far better future shape than Medicare.   And it is in way better shape than the portion of the govern…

September 16, 2007

Financial Markets
Strong oil, weak dollar -

The negative correlation between the dollar and the price of oil was much in evidence  last week – The dollar hit a record low against the euro, and is quite weak against most of the major currencies…