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November 13, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Will partial privatization of social security pass the global test?

This post is primarily about the implications of partial privatization of social security on the budget, not about its overall merits. For what it is worth, I personally think good old pay-as-you-go …

November 18, 2004

Taking away the punch bowl when the party is really getting going?

That is the classic view of the role of the central bank. It extends beyond using monetary policy to prevent "overheating" and price inflation. Most central bank regulate the banking system, and si…

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…

November 23, 2004

The budget deficit before all the bad stuff

Isn’t that what leaving any increase in deficit associated with partial privatization of social security off the books implies?Bush’s formula on the dollar in Santiago emphasized the need to control …

December 8, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
The central bank bid

It seems like America’s biggest creditors stepped up to the plate today. China’s rapidly growing reserves have to go somewhere ... From Bloomberg:"So-called indirect bidders, which include the forei…

December 9, 2004

Retired Wall Street Titans (and the renminbi-dollar)

Henry Kaufman’s name sits on the building where I work. If nothing else, that means you tend to take notice of his opinion.He nicely summarizes why many believe the dollar won’t fall much further, o…

January 5, 2005

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Unraveling the mysteries of the Treasury yield curve

If you cannot tell from the title, this is going to be a rather wonky post. Nouriel and I are working on a paper on "Bretton Woods Two," so I have been delving into some data on the Treasury market. …

November 30, 2004

United States
Their savings, our problem?

It seems like American households are now saving about a penny of every dollar they earn, and recently even less. Foreigners exporting to the US, in contrast, save roughly 35 cents of every dollar …

January 2, 2005

United States
Bretton Woods Two Lives

The Fed has started to tighten, Greenspan said anyone who has not hedged their interest rate risk desires to lose money. Yet higher short-term rates have not led to higher long-term rates. In the j…

December 27, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Beware of a 12 division budget and a 10 division tax base …

General Sinseki famously -- and it seems accurately -- warned of the risks of a "12 division strategy and a 10 division army." To paraphase the US Defense Secretary: You fight a war with the army y…