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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…

November 19, 2004

Greenspan in the news

Alan Greenspan’s comments on the US twin deficits are getting lots of play. Just saying that at some point foreign appetite for US assets is likely to diminish and won’t stay at its current strong p…

November 20, 2004

United States
Large Players in Large Markets

One of the world’s ironies is that even as John Snow putters on about how currency values should be set by market forces, the market -- or at least the private market -- is now playing a comparativel…

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 …

December 5, 2004

The borrower industrial complex

Sunday’s New York Times article on US consumer culture -- and its financial enablers -- has a domestic focus. But doesn’t the term "borrower-industrial complex" describe American’s relationship with…

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 …

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…

January 8, 2005

Has the broad dollar fallen enough

A standard rule of thumb, mentioned by Paul Blustein in his excellent look at the impact of a falling dollar on US trade last week, is that a 10% fall in the broad dollar leads to a $100 billion fall…

January 9, 2005

Financial Markets
The price of a European vacation

As readers of this blog no doubt know, the dollar rallied v. the euro last week. Not that most of America noticed. In much of America’s heartland, the dollar’s value does not make the financial new…