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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…

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 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…

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…

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…

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 8, 2005

Economics
Should the world finance the World Bank rather than the United States

Note: Title credit goes to Jeff Frankel, who moderated a panel I participated on.Paul Wolfowitz just took over at the World Bank. He already seems to have indicated that is not going to follow Desmo…

June 29, 2005

Capital Flows
Selling off little pieces of yourself

If the US wanted to fund its current account deficit by selling equity, it would need to sell off the equivalent of 40 Unocal’s a year -- whether Chinese state firms, European firms, Japanese insurer…

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…

July 6, 2005

China
Worrying about debt to China

Jesse Eisinger has a nice Long and Short column exploring CNOOC’s bid for Unocal in the Wall Street Journal. I liked this quote from Lehman’s Ethan Harris:The Cnooc bid "strikes people that we really…