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January 2, 2005

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Social Security Crisis in 2018? Ridiculous

Take a look at this Washington Post article by Jonathan Weisman, which the big blogs have justly pounced on. The initial framing of Weisman’s article is just way, way off. Social security in no way…

February 21, 2005

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
The confused conservatives on the Washington Post oped page …

The Washington Post put out an oped on the partial privatization of Social Security over the weekend, which Kevin Drum appropriately jumped on.One item in the oped jumped out at me:The second risk i…

February 17, 2005

The Achilles Heel of Cowboyeconomics

The Wall Street Journal says everyone in the world would benefit from a dose of Cowboyeconomics. You know, exporting tons of debt, to support consumption growth well in excess of income growth ... …

March 23, 2005

Capital Flows
Wolfowitz and the World Bank

Paul Wolfowitz looks to be heading toward the Presidency of the World Bank. He probably was not the first choice of anyone outside the US, not even the UK. But no one seems to see much of an upside…

May 12, 2005

United States
The sustainability of the current account deficit, once again

The market seems to have concluded that there is no need to put any pressure on the US to reduce its large external deficits. The dollar is up, at least against the euro. So is the renminbi for th…

April 11, 2005

United States
Skating on incredibly thin ice

Altogether, the circumstances seem to be as dangerous and intractable as any I can remember, and I can remember quite a lot. What really concerns me is that there seems to be so little willingness o…

April 17, 2005

Economics
A few things Europe does (relatively) well

Some Europeans enjoy taking a few rhetorical pot shots at America every now and then. More and more Americans enjoy reciprocating.I suspect that US criticism of Europe will step up a gear in the nea…

April 13, 2005

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Economy strong (for now), fiscal deficit not falling (by much)

I have always thought the argument that attributed the widening trade deficit to the absence of growth abroad was a bit deceptive, for the simple reason that in aggregate, growth abroad has been quit…

May 27, 2005

Economics
Housing bubbles, the great plains and the coast

Not all parts of America are enjoying a housing bubble. $65,000 will buy a brick home with three bedrooms and a two car garage in Stafford Kansas, though maybe not ten acres of prairie as well. Low…

June 30, 2005

Capital Flows
CNOOC (once again)

The CNOOC bid presumably is motivated by two things. One, Beijing has plenty of cash, and already holds more Treasuries than it wants, so it wants to diversify its portfolio. As I argued earlier, C…