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How Might a Disorderly Resolution of Global Imbalances Affect Global Wealth?


  • Francis E. Warnock


Partly reflecting structural advantages such a liquidity and strong investor protection, foreigners have built up extremely large positions in U.S. (as well as other dollar-denominated) financial assets. This paper describes the impact on global wealth of an unanticipated shock to U.S. financial markets. For every 10 percent decline in the dollar, U.S. equity markets, and U.S. bond markets, total wealth losses to foreigners could amount to about 5 percentage points of foreign GDP. Four stylized facts emerge: (i) foreign countries, particularly emerging markets, are more exposed to U.S. bonds than U.S. equities; (ii) U.S. exposure has increased for most countries; (iii) on average, U.S. asset holdings of developed countries and emerging markets (scaled by GDP) are very similar; and (iv) based on their reserve positions, wealth losses of emerging market governments could, on average, amount to about 2¾ percentage points of their GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis E. Warnock, 2006. "How Might a Disorderly Resolution of Global Imbalances Affect Global Wealth?," IMF Working Papers 06/170, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/170

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bong-Chan Kho & René M. Stulz & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Financial Globalization, Governance, and the Evolution of the Home Bias," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 597-635, May.
    2. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-2, January.
    3. Gagnon, Joseph E., 2009. "Currency crashes and bond yields in industrial countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 161-181, February.
    4. William N. Goetzmann & Lingfeng Li & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2005. "Long-Term Global Market Correlations," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-38, January.
    5. Francis E. Warnock & Veronica C. Warnock, 2005. "International Capital Flows and U.S. Interest Rates," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp103, IIIS.
    6. Tesar, Linda L. & Werner, Ingrid M., 1995. "Home bias and high turnover," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 467-492, August.
    7. Philip R. Lane, 2006. "Global Bond Portfolios and EMU," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(2), May.
    8. Burger, John D. & Warnock, Francis E., 2007. "Foreign participation in local currency bond markets," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 291-304.
    9. 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).
    10. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "The International Equity Holdings of Euro Area Investors," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp104, IIIS.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip R. Lane & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2010. "Financial Exchange Rates and International Currency Exposures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 518-540, March.
    2. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "Europe and global imbalances," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 519-573, July.
    3. repec:wsi:gjexxx:v:02:y:2013:i:02:n:s2251361213500067 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Marcel Fratzscher, 2008. "US shocks and global exchange rate configurations," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 363-409, April.
    5. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2009. "What explains global exchange rate movements during the financial crisis?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1390-1407, December.
    6. 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.


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