Global Financial Imbalances

Event offered by:
Chatham House
Foreign Policy Association

Event Details

Monday, April 24, 2006
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 
300 Madison Avenue
New York, NY
Event type

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Read/Download Remarks by Karen Johnson

Read/Download Karen Johnson PowerPoint

Read/Download William White PowerPoint


A Chatham House conference in association with the Foreign Policy Association.

Conference update: Thierry Breton, French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry will address the conference.

View the conference agenda

The most noticeable feature of today's world economy is that the United States, the world's richest country, is by far its biggest capital importer and net debtor. This is an unprecedented situation, and is ringing alarm bells.

Such levels of indebtedness in the past have occurred in emerging market economies, and the subsequent adjustments, and resulting financial crises – in East Asia, Russia and Argentina – have exposed the vulnerability of the global economy to such financial volatility.

Questions are now being asked as to how long this disequilibrium will hold. The risk of a hard landing is looming large, and with it the potentially disastrous impact on the world's economies. This conference will look at the causes of these imbalances and examine what the possible responses might be. Issues to be discussed include:

  • What is driving these global imbalances?
  • Are US policy makers likely to try and engineer a soft landing? If so, how?
  • How, if at all, should other developed countries respond to these imbalances?
  • How vulnerable is the US economy to a drop in the real estate markets? And what, if anything will trigger it?
  • What is driving Asia's build-up of foreign currency reserves? Will Asian governments move to redress the balance?
  • What are the consequences of China's currency valuation policies?
  • What is the impact of the inflow of petrodollars into the financial markets? How big is it, and where is it going?
  • Are market players correct in their seeming indifference to the perils of the current situation? Or are they in for a rude shock?

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Supported by:

[MEDIA SPONSOR: Financial Times]


[Merrill Lynch]


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