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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…

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…

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 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 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 …

October 18, 2004

Financial Markets
Guess why Treasury did not issue the foreign exchange report?

The Treasury did not issue the foreign exchange report on Friday. Presumably, this is because it would have made the same set of arguments that last year’s report made, namely that China is not mani…

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 …

October 13, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
The next president can duck Social Security reform

Schlesinger and Murray have a pre-debate overview of economic issues in today’s Wall Street Journal. All in all, it is not bad.But I do object to their characterization of Social Security. They not…

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 …

November 21, 2004

Capital Flows
The Times is overselling the impact of the Iraq debt deal

Getting agreement from the Paris Club creditors to write off 80% (in stages) of the $40 billion or so that Iraq owes them is no doubt a good thing -- not the least because it lets the US (and Iraq) p…