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Imbalances: Blame Germany, or Frankfurt?
Started:November 4th, 2013 (12:10 AM) by Quick Summary Views / Replies:78 / 0
Last Reply:November 4th, 2013 (12:10 AM) Attachments:0

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Imbalances: Blame Germany, or Frankfurt?

Old November 4th, 2013, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
Quick Summary
Imbalances: Blame Germany, or Frankfurt?

IN ITS most recent semi-annual report to Congress, America's Treasury mentioned that:Within the euro area, countries with large and persistent surpluses need to take action to boost domestic demand growth and shrink their surpluses. Germany has maintained a large current account surplus throughout the euro area financial crisis, and in 2012, Germany’s nominal current account surplus was larger than that of China. Germany’s anemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports have hampered rebalancing at a time when many other euro-area countries have been under severe pressure to curb demand and compress imports in order to promote adjustment. The net result has been a deflationary bias for the euro area, as well as for the world economy.Berlin was not amused; its officials snapped back that the rest of the world should not begrudge Germany success built on high-quality export products. But as Paul Krugman notes, this is no defence. Current-account surpluses are not determined by how wonderful an economy's exports are but by its balance of saving and investment. Both America and Germany produce lots of quality exports, but America saves much less than it invests and so it runs a current-account deficit (the flip-side of which is a capital-account surplus: lots of money flowing into America from abroad).But why should any of this matter? Well, it does at the ...

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