G20 dilemmas amongst the golf balls

November 5, 2009

Interesting dilemmas facing G20 countries as their finance ministers and central bankers get together on the golf ball strewn Scottish coast ( a meeting in St Andrews we will be Live Blogging on MacroScope, by the way).

First, you have the Brazilians who are worried about hot money and have already slapped a tax on foreign investments in domestic bonds and stocks in order to cool down capital inflows.  They want the G20 to take action against what their central bank chief calls “imbalance- and bubble-building”.

Next you have the Americans and other big economies who know that the huge amounts of stimulus they have put into the world economy have to be removed eventually. They are not ready to do it yet, but expect the G20 countries to discuss how they are going to “sequence” the great unwinding.

And then there is Argentina, which is not alone in noticing that talk of unwinding tends to put investors on edge.  Its central bank governor wants the big countries to be careful, fearing a rapid reversal of stimulus policies could mean big outflows in emerging market countries such as, er, Argentina.

So a tricky balance, a super-sensitive investor audience, and plenty of domestic politics. Fore!

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