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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…

September 21, 2004

Emerging Markets
The IMF has refused to bailout bond holders before Argentina!

Adam Thomson of the FT has an interesting article arguing that Argentina’s bond restructuring could succeed if Argentina is willing to offer bondholders 30 cents on the dollar, only a bit more than t…

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…

September 26, 2004

Capital Flows
Confronting Iran would be a lot easier if the Saudis had more spare capacity

David Sanger looks at Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in today’s New York Times. Sanger suggests it will be hard to stop Iran’s quest for nukes, no matter what the nature of Iran’s regime -…

October 6, 2004

United States
Why is China running a current account surplus in the middle of an investment boom?

I spent most of the past week in Washington for the IMF’s annual meetings, trying to sell a few books. The focus of the meetings though, was not on emerging markets, but rather on oil, China and the…

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…

October 14, 2004

United States
Another month, another bad trade number

The latest monthly trade data came out today, and was worse than expected -- though in my view that indicates expectations have yet to catch up with reality. Exports have been stuck in the $95-96 bi…

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

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) …