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Do individual US states have a balance of payments, too, and should they?

Most, if not all, US states are forbidden in their constitutions from running a deficit.  They are forbidden by the U.S. Constitution from imposing import or export duties.  Capital markets and most large banks are, at minimum, national in scope.  They can charter banks that are confined to their states.  States do not issue currency, though I do not know if they are specifically precluded from doing so. They can issue bonds. They can charter corporations that are inherently of national or international scope, depending on the desire of the corporation. I have never heard discussion of a state's "balance of payments."  I do hear continually about budget deficits.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 11:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nationally chartered banks were able to issue their own currency up to 1935.  In order to do so they had to purchase bonds from the Federal Government covering the amount they issued.  The bonds were called in '35 and none have been sold since then.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 12:58:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most, if not all, US states are forbidden in their constitutions from running a deficit.

The Eurozone's Growth and Stability Pact commits Member States to running no more than a 3% GDP budget deficit.

They are forbidden by the U.S. Constitution from imposing import or export duties.

European Union Member States cannot restrict the flow of goods, services, people or capital among themselves, and import or export duties with third-party states are probably harmonized via the EU which negotiates before the WTO on behalf of the Member States.

Capital markets and most large banks are, at minimum, national in scope. They can charter banks that are confined to their states.

The scope of retail banks in the EU is still only a member state (even when a bank owns a subsidiary in a neighbouring state, it operates as a different bank - examples I am familiar with include NatWest operating in Spain and Raiffeisen in the Czech Republic, but I don't know what the situation is between two Eurozone countries). Capital markets are still at most regional. Euronext integrated Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, and there were talks of a merger between Deusche Börse and the London Stock Excange, but that's about it, other than that the markets cover single member states.

States do not issue currency, though I do not know if they are specifically precluded from doing so. They can issue bonds.

It is unclear to me how the issuing of currency works within the Eurozone, but each Eurozone member state can issue its own bonds. The Member States' central banks still exist and retain a certain set of competences, and only some of the powers have been transferred to the European Central Bank. There is a "European System of Central Banks" which gathers the ECB and all the Eurozone member states' central banks.

It seems to me the Eurozone is almost there if we aren't there already.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 04:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most, if not all, US states are forbidden in their constitutions from running a deficit.
But sometimes they do or not? What for is the ability to issue bonds, if you are not allowed to run a deficit?

I'm asking because there were reports of budget shortfalls in several US states. If they can't run deficits, in case of a surprising drop in tax revenue, they have to cut immensely in their spending?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 02:05:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They can either:

  1.  Cut spending to met income
  2.  Raise taxes to met expenditures
  3.  Engage in 'Creative Accounting' - pretend income/expenditures balance


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 02:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That provision routinely, in times of downturns, produces economic crises. These crises are often borne on the backs of those least able to afford it.  Cuts to welfare, medicade, education, mental health programs and other programs that aid the poor.  This is especially evident during Republican administrations.  They see these downturns as opportunities to roll back social programs.  If you don't want to do something, it is always handy if it is impossible.  If you want to do something, it is nice if you have no other choice.  We like to make things like that easy in the good ole USA.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 10:04:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... accounting ... not a deficit on the primitive "pile of money" accounting of the USG.

IOW, where capital spending is funded by bonds, the interest payments and bond repayments to retire the bonds must be fully funded by revenues ... no rolling over debt, and no borrowing to meet current expenditure.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 01:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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