Professor Menzie Chinn of the La Follette School of Public Affairs and UW–Madison’s Department of Economics on Saturday presented a paper about global current account imbalances during the influential Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
The 2017 symposium – Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy – also included presentations by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. Central bankers, policy experts, and academics discuss global economic issues during the highly watched annual event.
Chinn discussed the recurrence of global current account imbalances and what it means for understanding the origin and nature of the imbalances. “Looking forward, it’s clear that policy can influence global imbalances, although some component of the U.S. deficit will likely remain given the U.S. role in generating safe assets,” he said in his paper The Once and Future Global Imbalances? Interpreting the Post-Crisis Record.
Following Chinn’s presentation, Maurice Obstfeld, economic counsellor and director of research for the International Monetary Fund, provided remarks. “Accurate analysis of current account imbalances is inherently nuanced and subject to big analytical uncertainties,” Obstfeld said, adding that Chinn “is a leader of the intrepid band of international economics who have nonetheless taken on the challenge of explaining global account imbalances.”