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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 6, 2004

Will Japan be able to stay on the sidelines for long?

Some facts: 1) In 2003, Japan increased its reserves by $200 billion, emerging Asia by $245 billion. The world as whole increased its reserves by $500 billion, so Asia accounted for most of the worl…

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…

November 30, 2004

Emerging Markets
Just because one dollar currently buys something like a million and half Turkish lira …

That does not necessarily mean the Turkish lira is cheap. Right now, given Turkey’s almost US scale current account deficit (close to 5% of GDP), the lira probably is a bit overvalued. Turkey is go…

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…

January 26, 2005

Financial Markets
China reads the Economist. Is the Renminbi undervalued?

While China’s delegation to Davos seems a bit less than enamored with the dollar, the People’s Bank of China seems have read last week’s Economist, and concluded that there is no need to change the …

December 18, 2004

The world’s two most distorted prices …

My nominations.The renminbi-dollar at 8.28 renminbi per dollar -- a price that puts China’s per capita income at around, only a bit above Iraq’s per capita income. The ten year US government treasury…

January 8, 2005

Has the broad dollar fallen enough

A standard rule of thumb, mentioned by Paul Blustein in his excellent look at the impact of a falling dollar on US trade last week, is that a 10% fall in the broad dollar leads to a $100 billion fall…

February 8, 2005

Chairman Greenspan: Do Not Worry, Be Happy

The Chairman gave policy makers a green light not to worry about the US current account deficit: the dollar’s existing fall will lead the deficit to turn around. The Chairman’s remarks also seem to …

December 18, 2004

The October trade data was really bad …

I missed the actual release, but it is worth noting that the "guts" of the October trade data are rather discouraging. Forget the headline number: we knew it would be bad because of oil. Look at wh…