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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…

November 28, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Where are the bond market vigilantes?

The typical price of irresponsible fiscal policy is higher long-term interest rates.U.S. fiscal policy has been, in my view, somewhat irresponsible, particularly given the lack of private savings in …

November 7, 2004

United States
Updated paper on the sustainablility of US trade and current account deficits

Nouriel and I have just posted our updated analysis of US external sustainability, i.e. the United States capacity to continue to run large trade and current account deficits.The paper is certainly l…

September 14, 2004

United States
The US current account

Q2 current and capital account data came out today. At 166 billion, the Q2 current account deficit was $10 billion or so more than expected. Since the goods and service trade deficit for q2 was alrea…

September 16, 2004

United States
Growing out of the trade deficit

The U.S. government’s spin on the widening trade deficit is that it reflects a growth deficit in the rest of the world. This spin does not hold up well. All parts of the world other than Europe are…

December 10, 2004

Emerging Markets
Why Argentina should do its bond exchange, ASAP

Yields on Latin American bonds have not been this low for a long time. It is hard to believe that Brazil’s 20 year dollar bond trades at a yield of only 8%, and most long-term Brazilian bonds are in …

December 18, 2004

2004 and 2005 current account deficits

Now that we have three of the four data points for 2004, it is worth trying to make a (well) informed guess about the end of the year current account deficit -- and to peer into 2005. This post of c…

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…

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. …

October 13, 2004

United States
Oil and the US current account deficit

Oil above $50 a barrel is not good for the U.S. trade balance. Higher oil prices are a tax on US consumers, with the proceeds pocketed by oil exporters. If oil stays above $50 in November and Decem…