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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 16, 2004

United States
Growing out of the trade deficit

The U.S. government’s spin on the widening trade deficit is that it reflects a growth deficit in the rest of the world. This spin does not hold up well. All parts of the world other than Europe are…

September 16, 2004

United States
U.S. dependence on Asian central banks

One country’s external debt is another country’s asset. The U.S. capital account data leaves little doubt that foreign central banks have been a huge source of financing for the U.S. current account…

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…

September 20, 2004

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Who is in more financial trouble: social security or the rest of the government?

There is a common sense that social security is bankrupt and people now in their 20s and 30s won’t get anything from it. That is false. Social security can fund all projected benefits until someti…

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…

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 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 25, 2004

DeLong on the global economy

DeLong’s powerpoint notes are certainly worth checking out. The side by side graphs showing real GDP growth and then employment growth (or the lack thereof) elegantly tell the story of the 2002-2004…

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…