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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) …

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…

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 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 27, 2004

Financial Markets
Morgan Stanley: China does not rely much on export led growth

Sometimes you read something and it makes you stop, because it is at odds with your existing sense of how the world economy is working. Drossos and Kinbrough’s argument that China does not rely on a…

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 19, 2004

United States
The FT has a good article on how the US is funding its trade deficit

The Treasury provides monthly data on foreign purchases of US long-term securities. It is not a complete look at how the US is funding its trade and current account deficit, but it is the best snap …

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 1, 2004

United States
Richard Cooper on the current account deficit

Richard Cooper has an oped in today’s FT (avaible here, subscription needed) arguing that the US current account deficit is "not only sustainable, it is perfectly logical". Cooper argues that a $500 …

December 2, 2004

Financial Markets
Renminbi tests multi-year lows against euro, pound, yen …

The renminbi seems to have reached a new low against the euro today, breaking through the low set yesterday before a very brief little rally. Every time the renminbi-dollar tumbles, I am reminded wh…