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Global Imbalances, Bretton Woods II, and Euroland's Role in All This

  • Jorg Bibow
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    Approaching the issue of mounting global imbalances from the perspective of the "Bretton Woods II hypothesis," this paper argues that the popular preoccupation with China's supposed export-led development strategy is misplaced. It also suggests, similar to Japan's depression, subdued growth in Euroland for most of the time since the Maastricht Treaty has been of first-order importance in these developments. Germany is identified as being at the heart of the European trouble. Globally, there is an ongoing clash between two approches to macroeconomic policy making: a highly dogmatic German approach, and a very pragmatic Anglo-Saxon one. The low levels of interest at which global demand imbalances have been smoothed out financially reflect deficient global demand in an environment of vast supply-side opportunities. After contributing greatly to the build-up of imbalances, Euroland is unlikely to play any constructive part in their unwinding. Hampered by an exchange-rate policy vacuum, a small-country mindset, and soaring intra-area imbalances, Euroland is also illpositioned to cope with fading external growth stimuli.

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    Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_486.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_486
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    1. Steven B. Kamin, 2005. "The revived Bretton Woods system: does it explain developments in non-China developing Asia?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    2. Jorg Bibow, 2005. "Bad for Euroland, Worse for Germany-The ECB's Record," Macroeconomics 0511018, EconWPA.
    3. 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.
    4. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    5. Alan Greenspan & James E. Kennedy, 2005. "Estimates of home mortgage originations, repayments, and debt on one-to-four-family residences," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Morris Goldstein & Nicholas R. Lardy, 2005. "China's Role in the Revived Bretton Woods System: A Case of Mistaken Identity," Working Paper Series WP05-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Alan Ahearne & Jürgen von Hagen, 2005. "Global current account imbalances: how to manage the risk for Europe," Policy Briefs 231, Bruegel.
    8. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & Gennaro Zezza & Greg Hannsgen, 2006. "Can Global Imbalances Continue?: Policies for the U.S. Economy," Economics Strategic Analysis Archive sa_nov_06, Levy Economics Institute.
    9. Jorg Bibow, 2005. "Bad for Euroland, Worse for Germany: The ECB's Record," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_429, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. Matthew Higgins & Thomas Klitgaard, 2004. "Reserve accumulation: implications for global capital flows and financial markets," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 10(Sep).
    11. Michele Cavallo & Cédric Tille, 2006. "Could capital gains smooth a current account rebalancing?," Working Paper Series 2006-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    12. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & Edward Chilcote & Gennaro Zezza, 2006. "Are Housing Prices, Household Debt, and Growth Sustainable?," Economics Strategic Analysis Archive sa_jan_06, Levy Economics Institute.
    13. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2005. "Basar-Ökonomie Deutschland - Exportweltmeister oder Schusslicht?," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(06), pages 03-42, 03.
    14. Felipe, Jesus & Lim, Joseph Anthony, 2005. "Export or Domestic-led Growth in Asia?," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 22(2), pages 35-75.
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