Benn Steil


A graphical take on geoeconomic issues, with links to the news and expert commentary.

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June 25, 2009


The early 1990s witnessed trade tensions between the United States and Japan, even though the U.S. current account deficit stood at about 1% of GDP and Japan is a democracy.  As our chart shows, the world is now trying to manage much larger imbalances, and two of the major surplus countries are not democracies.  Resolving these imbalances may be more difficult because of the dependence on exports in China and Germany, the two leading surplus economies.

CFR Crisis Guide: The Global Economy
Dunaway: Global Imbalances and the Financial Crisis
Setser: China’s Difficult Choices
Wolf: It is in Beijing’s Interest to Lend Geithner a Hand
Economist: Global Economic Imbalances

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  • Posted by KGarrison

    Nice graphic. Would be helpful to have all the dots labelled and know what the total of them represented as a percent of the global/total GDP.

    Why are there only considered to be 3 forms of government and why is Russia considered to be different than China or all the others and why is that relevant?

  • Posted by the Center for Geoeconomic Studies

    If you want you can use the motion chart to see this image across time with labels for all the points.

    The government coloring is done based on the Polity ranking (an autocracy to democracy continuous ranking).

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