Perspectives on “Dark Matter”

Interesting paper-Statistical Issues Related to Global Economic Imbalances: Perspectives on “Dark Matter”;

“There has been a large amount of recent interest in how the U.S. can be the so-called world's largest debtor nation and at the same time have a persistent surplus on income in its balance of payments accounts. Based on BEA's published data, two factors explain the incongruence -- a difference in the composition of U.S.-owned assets abroad compared to foreign-owned assets in the U.S., and a higher rate of return earned by U.S. investors on their overseas assets, particularly on direct investment, than the rate of return that foreign investors earn on similar classes of assets invested in the U.S. In contrast, some others have recently argued that the explanation for the incongruence is that U.S.-owned assets abroad are undervalued, mainly because large exports of intangible assets by U.S. direct investors to their foreign affiliates have gone undetected. This paper reviews the main points of this argument and discusses some of its implications.”

For more on the issue see Econbrowser


On the origins of dark matter

You can not put dark matter in a container …

"Global Imbalances or Bad Accounting? The Missing Dark Matter in the Wealth of Nations", Ricardo Hausmann and Frederico Sturzenegger

America's dark materials-The United States' current-account deficit is a figment of bad accounting. If only;

“Most economists conclude that America earns a higher return on its overseas assets (eg, EuroDisney) than foreigners earn on investments in America (eg, Rockefeller Centre). They don their anoraks, immerse themselves in the data and try to work out why this might be so. Messrs Hausmann and Sturzenegger turn the question on its head. It is not the $36.2 billion of income that is the mystery, they say. The anomaly lies in the $2.5 trillion of debt. If America is still coming out ahead of foreigners, then, contrary to popular belief, it must still be a net creditor. America must have more foreign wealth than we can see.

The two authors have borrowed a name for this invisible wealth: dark matter. In theoretical physics, dark matter is the stuff in the universe that we can identify only by its gravitational pull. For the Harvard economists, dark matter is foreign wealth, the existence of which we can infer from the income it provides.”


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on November 12, 2006 12:04 PM.

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