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Olivier Blanchard

The good, the bad, and the ugly imbalances

Hans Timmer's picture

In a recent IMF Staff position note Olivier Blanchard and Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti provide a useful classification of current account imbalances. They argue that deficits and surpluses on current accounts are "good" if they reflect optimal allocation of capital across time and space. That is the case, for example, when savings ratios differ across countries because of different ageing profiles or when investment ratios differ because of different productivity trends.