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September 14, 2004

United States
The US current account

Q2 current and capital account data came out today. At 166 billion, the Q2 current account deficit was $10 billion or so more than expected. Since the goods and service trade deficit for q2 was alrea…

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…

October 8, 2004

Capital Flows
Find a way to spend the $18 billion in Iraq!

I have a certain interest in the topic, since in my first and so far only foray into oped writing, I supported the Bush Administration’s call for $20 billion in US grant aid for Iraq (in the end, con…

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 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 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 …

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) …

November 7, 2004

United States
Updated paper on the sustainablility of US trade and current account deficits

Nouriel and I have just posted our updated analysis of US external sustainability, i.e. the United States capacity to continue to run large trade and current account deficits.The paper is certainly l…

November 22, 2004

US economic policy does not pass the Chinese test

You could sort of see this headline coming: China tells the US to put its house in order. Lenders never like receiving lectures on sound economic policy from their borrowers. John Snow might have …

December 4, 2004

United States
China is backing the US mortgage market

This New York Times article delves into the management of both China and Japan’s reserves.One interesting tidbit -- the article suggests China’s reserves are now close to $600 billion. The last repo…