Emmanuel Farhi, Matteo Maggiori, 20 December 2017

The US has been leveraging itself in recent decades, piling up public and external debt – a trend that could jeopardise the special position the dollar occupies in the international monetary system. This column argues that the US is risking another ‘Triffin’ event, in the form of a confidence crisis and a run on the dollar. The current situation echoes that of the UK in the 1920s and the US in the 1960s. The crises that ended both episodes marked dramatic turning points in the history of the international monetary system.

Thomas Sargent, George Hall, 17 February 2010

Net interest payments on the federal debt are widely reported, yet this column argues that this misreports government borrowing costs and leaves open the possibility of manipulation. Computed correctly, the return on Treasury debt is lower on average and considerably more volatile than the official reported interest costs.

Events

CEPR Policy Research