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can be explained in this graph from Wolf's article:

The eurozone has had a stable and balanced capital account throughout the past 20 years - no excessive reliance on foreign capital, and no excess lending.

As Wolf notes:


Last year, the aggregate surpluses of the world's surplus countries reached $1,680bn, according to the IMF. The top 10 (China, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Switzerland, Norway, Kuwait, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates) generated more than 70 per cent of this total. The surpluses of the top 10 countries represented at least 8 per cent of their aggregate GDP and about one-quarter of their aggregate gross savings.

Meanwhile, the huge US deficit absorbed 44 per cent of this total. The US, UK, Spain and Australia - four countries with housing bubbles - absorbed 63 per cent of the world's current account surpluses.

The bubbles created that.

The positions of Germany and the Netherlands on one side, and Spain on the other, raise the question of whether intra-eurozone imbalances change the picture, but frankly, I think not, as this reflects different economic specialisations within the wider region (export to the wider world or within Europe, different stages of development) - but others may disagree.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 9th, 2008 at 04:11:56 AM EST

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