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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
US Treasury was for a global growth deficit before it was against it

The U.S. Treasury needs to get its talking points straight. It is hard for the Treasury to argue that the world economy is doing very, very well (the IMF forecasts global growth to be at a 30 year h…

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 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 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…

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 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 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 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 …

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 …