Thoughts From the Frontline, February 2005

The Dollar as the Old Maid

February 25, 2005

This week we continue to look at the imbalance in global trade and the US trade deficit. What are the ramifications for the dollar? I am going to weave together several different lines of thoughts from analysts all over the world and see if we can see a pattern emerge. While I give a brief synopsis of last week's letter below, for those interested you can read the full letter at

As I wrote last week, the first Bretton Woods system came about when...

Bretton Woods, Part Two

February 18, 2005

"Another G-7 meeting has come and gone. And what has been accomplished? Next to nothing, in my view. The club of the world's wealthiest nations has punted on the big issues facing the global economy - namely, unprecedented current-account imbalances, currency misalignments, mounting trade tensions, and the liquidity- prone biases of central banks. The G-7's latest communique is emblematic of the increasingly vacuous rhetoric of globalization. This is a perilous course of inaction for a...

Blame it on Demographics

February 11, 2005

Last week we talked briefly about some of the problems surrounding Social Security, and especially the possibility that the deficit problems may be worse than we thought because of the trend towards (on average) living longer.

But a large part of the current debate misses what I think should be the real point, and that point is the focus of this week's letter. Everyone assumes that if they work hard and save they will be able to retire. While a sad number of people do not plan for...

Social Security’s Flawed Assumption

February 4, 2005

Social Security in the US (and the equivalent in Europe and Japan), as well as some pension plans, might be in far worse shape than you think. And the reason may be very good news for you, and almost certainly will be for your kids. Potentially very good indeed. Today we take a look at one potential pitfall in the future of Social Security that no politician is talking about.

I had told myself that with so many people writing about Social Security that I should just go on to another...