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

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  • Philip R. Lane and Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

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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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp239.

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Date of creation: 11 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp239

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References

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  1. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2010. "International capital flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 157-175, March.
  2. Maurico Obstfeld, 2004. "External adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(4), pages 541-568, December.
  3. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," NBER Working Papers 11589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt124628cx, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Michele Cavallo & Cédric Tille, 2006. "Could capital gains smooth a current account rebalancing?," Working Paper Series 2006-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Michael B. Devereux & Alan Sutherland, 2007. "Solving for Country Portfolios in Open Economy Macro Models," IMF Working Papers 07/284, International Monetary Fund.
  7. 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.
  8. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0606, CEPREMAP.
  9. Alexandra Heath, 2007. "What explains the US net income balance?," BIS Working Papers 223, Bank for International Settlements.
  10. 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.
  11. Richard H. Clarida & Manuela Goretti & Mark P. Taylor, 2006. "Are There Thresholds of Current Account Adjustment in the G7?," NBER Working Papers 12193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Patrick McGuire, 2004. "A shift in London's eurodollar market," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
  18. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Philip R. Lane, 2005. "Financial Globalization and Exchange Rates," IMF Working Papers 05/3, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Patrick McGuire & Nikola Tarashev, 2006. "Tracking international bank flows," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
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  21. 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.
  22. 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.).
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Guy Meredith, 2007. "Debt Dynamics and Global Imbalances: Some Conventional Views Reconsidered," IMF Working Papers 07/4, International Monetary Fund.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2012. "Does the Current Account Still Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Matteo Maggiori, 2013. "The U.S. Dollar Safety Premium," 2013 Meeting Papers 75, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Horag Choi & Nelson C. Mark, 2009. "Trending Current Accounts," NBER Working Papers 15244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Philip R. Lane, 2012. "Financial Globalisation and the Crisis," BIS Working Papers 397, Bank for International Settlements.
  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. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.).
  17. Habib, Maurizio Michael, 2010. "Excess returns on net foreign assets: the exorbitant privilege from a global perspective," Working Paper Series 1158, European Central Bank.

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