Eduardo Cavallo, Barry Eichengreen, Ugo Panizza, 08 August 2016

In theory, a poor country with a low saving rate but good growth prospects can build up its capital stock by running a large and sustained current account deficit. This column asks whether this is feasible and productive in practice. A substantial number of countries in recent decades have been able to run large current account deficits for as long as ten years, but such episodes typically do not end happily. Foreign finance does not appear to be the cure for countries with low domestic savings.

Ashoka Mody, 21 January 2010

Virtually no country was untouched by the crisis. But which countries saw the sharpest declines in GDP – and why? This column shows that those with higher growth rates before the crisis fell harder while relatively closed economies were somewhat insulated. In contrast, the relationship between current account deficits and the decline in growth rates is fuzzier.

Andreas Freytag, Peter Draper, 27 September 2008

The South African current account deficit has grown to large proportions in recent years, triggering strong reactions generally driven by a mercantilist bias. But this column says that wise policies will improve the competitiveness of South African firms in the long run, while possibly exacerbating the current account deficit in the short run.

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