Richard A. Iley - Untangling the US Deficit: Evaluating Causes, Cures and Global Imbalances
Edward Elgar Publishing | 2007 | ISBN: 1845429206 | Pages: 272 | PDF | 5.10 MB
Writing a book on the US current account deficit was a challenge that
neither of us could resist. With the United States absorbing four-fifths of
the world’s cross-border savings, this imbalance is perhaps the biggest issue
in the international economy. In addition, with the funds flowing from
some of the poorest countries to the richest, the global imbalances take on
an extra dimension, as summed up by the view of another author that the
flow is ‘fundamentally perverse’. Subject matter of such significance and
portent could hardly be ignored.
Both of us have been involved with the question of current account
deficits for some time. One of us – a market economist immersed in the
daily ebb and flow of financial markets reacting to and affected by the US
deficit – welcomed the opportunity that the book offered, to sit back and
take a longer-term perspective. The other, an academic, who was involved
in the debates on current account deficits in the Australian context some
fifteen years ago, was glad of the opportunity to see how the literature had
changed over the intervening years and to examine matters from the very
different vantage point of the US economy.
As it turned out, one major difference from the past comes from the sheer
variety of views that US academics and others have put forward to account
for the phenomenon of the US external deficit. One inspiration for the
volume came from the observation of ex-Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman
Roger Ferguson that there had been few attempts to evaluate the full range
of explanations advanced for the US deficit. The first task we had was to
develop an organizing framework to deal with the different hypotheses,
with the aim of producing the most comprehensive account to date of the
various views and how they contribute to the story of the evolution of the
US current account deficit.
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