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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 22, 2004

Politics and Government
A modest proposal of my own

My modest proposal: anyone writing about Social Security should have to pass a test demonstrating that they have read the Social Securities trustees report, and understand the basic dynamics of a sys…

November 6, 2004

Politics and Government
Bush considering to a tax hike for most Americans?

Isn’t that what a revenue neutral flat tax or a national sales tax implies, particularly one that exempts investment income from any taxation? (as Cheney reportedly is pushing). In all honesty, it …

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…

December 26, 2004

Emerging Markets
Argentina in the boxing day New York Times

The IMF’s typical diagnosis of an emerging economies problem is "its mostly fiscal", or so the wonky saying goes. Larry Rohter of the New York Times makes the argument that Argentina’s post 2001 suc…

November 24, 2004

Financial Markets
Chinese yuan hits new low against euro, swiss franc, pound …

Just a reminder of what falling dollar currently means. Dollar depreciation is clearly part of what is needed to bring the US trade deficit down to a more sustainable level. But what is the case fo…

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…

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…

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…

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…