Brad Setser

Follow the Money

Cross border flows, with a bit of macroeconomics

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A new open thread

by Brad Setser
May 25, 2005

Thanks to the generousity of Carnegie (who donated the building), Gates (who donated the computer) and the public library of Stafford, Kansas.

I’ll try to chime in with some thoughts on Bretton Woods two late tomorrow — [UPDATE — MAKE THAT FRIDAY]

For the moment, though, I’ll just note that it is strange, at least to me, that the current account surpluses (savings surpluses) of the world’s resource exporting countries and many of the world’s biggest resource importing countries are both rising right now. An oil exporter might save the windfall from an unexpected price surge, but I would normally expect an oil importer — including an oil importer like China — to save a bit less. The net effect on the global savings surplus is a bit ambiguous.

Afterall, Asia’s economies are very dependent on imported raw materials, and those raw materials cost more today than in say 2002. That makes the current surge in Chinese savings all the more surprising …

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