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Where Did All The Borrowing Go? A Forensic Analysis of the U.S. External Position

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  • Lane, Philip R.
  • Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria

Abstract

The deterioration in the U.S. net external position in recent years has been much smaller than the extensive net borrowing associated with large current account deficits would have suggested. This paper examines the sources of discrepancies between net borrowing and accumulation of net liabilities for the U.S. economy over the past 25 years. In particular, it highlights and quantifies the role played by net capital gains on the U.S. external portfolio and ‘residual adjustments’ in explaining this discrepancy. It discusses whether these ‘residual adjustments’ are likely to be originating from measurement errors in external assets and liabilities, financial flows, or capital gains, and explores the implications of these conjectures for the U.S. financial account and external position.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6655.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6655

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Keywords: capital flows; current account; external adjustment; external assets and liabilities; Financial integration; net foreign asset position;

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References

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  1. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "THE EXTERNAL WEALTH OF NATIONS: Measures of Foreign Assets and Liabilities For Industrial and Developing Countries," CEG Working Papers 20012, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  2. Patrick McGuire, 2004. "A shift in London's eurodollar market," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
  3. Philip R. Lane & G Milesi-Feretti, 2004. "Financial Globalization and Exchange Rates," CEP Discussion Papers dp0662, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Jane Ihrig & Jaime Marquez, 2006. "Modeling direct investment valuation adjustments and estimating quarterly positions," International Finance Discussion Papers 857, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Robert Kollmann & Philippe Martin, 2007. "International Portfolios with Supply, Demand and Redistributive Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 11155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alexandra Heath, 2007. "What explains the US net income balance?," BIS Working Papers 223, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Guy Meredith, 2007. "Debt Dynamics and Global Imbalances: Some Conventional Views Reconsidered," IMF Working Papers 07/4, International Monetary Fund.
  9. William L. Griever & Gary A. Lee & Francis E. Warnock, 2001. "The U.S. system for measuring cross-border investment in securities: a primer with a discussion of recent developments," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Oct, pages 634-650.
  10. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Philip R. Lane, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," IMF Working Papers 05/161, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2007. "The Stability of Large External Imbalances: The Role of Returns Differentials," NBER Working Papers 13074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eric Van Wincoop & Cedric Tille, 2007. "International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 12856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld, 2004. "External Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 10843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2007. "The stability of large external imbalances: the role of returns differentials," International Finance Discussion Papers 894, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Devereux, Michael B & Sutherland, Alan, 2006. "Solving for Country Portfolios in Open Economy Macro Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 5966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Patrick McGuire & Nikola Tarashev, 2006. "Tracking international bank flows," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  17. Matthew Higgins & Thomas Klitgaard & Cédric Tille, 2006. "Borrowing without debt? Understanding the U.S. international investment position," Staff Reports 271, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Richard H. Clarida & Manuela Goretti & Mark P. Taylor, 2007. "Are There Thresholds of Current Account Adjustment in the G7?," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 169-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Working Papers 11563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Hausmann, Ricardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2006. "Global Imbalances or Bad Accounting? The Missing Dark Matter in the Wealth of Nations," Working Paper Series rwp06-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  21. Michele Cavallo & Cédric Tille, 2006. "Could capital gains smooth a current account rebalancing?," Working Paper Series 2006-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  22. Matthew Higgins & Thomas Klitgaard & C�dric Tille, 2007. "Borrowing Without Debt? Understanding the U.S. International Investment Position," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 17-27, January.
  23. Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock & Jon Wongswan, 2004. "The performance of international portfolios," International Finance Discussion Papers 817, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. John Kitchen, 2007. "Sharecroppers or Shrewd Capitalists? Projections of the US Current Account, International Income Flows, and Net International Debt," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 1036-1061, November.
  25. Cedric Tille, 2003. "The impact of exchange rate movements on U.S. foreign debt," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Jan).
  26. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Working Papers 14295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maurice Obstfeld, 2012. "Does the Current Account Still Matter?," NBER Working Papers 17877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey & Nicolas Govillot, 2010. "Exorbitant Privilege and Exorbitant Duty," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-20, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  3. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas, 2014. "The Return on U.S. Direct Investment at Home and Abroad," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Wealth and Financial Intermediation and Their Links to the Real Economy National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Valeria Pellegrini & Enrico Tosti, 2012. "In search of lost capital: an estimation of undeclared portfolio assets," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 131, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Habib, Maurizio Michael, 2010. "Excess returns on net foreign assets: the exorbitant privilege from a global perspective," Working Paper Series 1158, European Central Bank.
  6. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2013. "On Returns Differentials," NBER Working Papers 18866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim & Jaewoo Lee, 2009. "Accounting for Global Dispersion of Current Accounts," RCER Working Papers 548, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas, 2012. "The return on U.S. direct investment at home and abroad," International Finance Discussion Papers 1057, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Current account sustainability and relative reliability," International Finance Discussion Papers 947, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Curcuru, Stephanie E. & Thomas, Charles P. & Warnock, Francis E., 2013. "On returns differentials," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-25.
  11. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis Warnock, 2007. "Cross-border returns differentials," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 04, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  12. Thierry Bracke & Martin Schmitz, 2011. "Channels of international risk-sharing: capital gains versus income flows," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 45-78, April.
  13. Horag Choi & Nelson C. Mark, 2009. "Trending Current Accounts," NBER Working Papers 15244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Working Papers 14295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "The US as the "Demander of Last Resort" and its Implications on China's Current Account," NBER Working Papers 14453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Matteo Maggiori, 2013. "The U.S. Dollar Safety Premium," 2013 Meeting Papers 75, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2008. "The US as the “demander of last resort†and its implications on China’s current account," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt986646mz, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  18. Philip R. Lane, 2012. "Financial Globalisation and the Crisis," BIS Working Papers 397, Bank for International Settlements.

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