Can Global Imbalances Continue? The State of the United States Economy

Kalim Siddiqui


Objective: This study investigates the issue of global imbalances by exploring, in a historical context, the interconnections between the United States current account imbalances and the processes underlying allocative inefficiency, financialisation and austerity politics.

Research Design & Methods: A comprehensive review of published studies is the research methodology used in this article. Published secondary data from both governments and international institutions are presented and discussed.

Findings: The study find that the deep nature of the current imbalances and economic crisis in the United States could adversely affect the rest of the world. Although the IMF and other institutions of global governance have now questioned the effectiveness of neoliberal policies, the severe measures the IMF advocates in response to current account deficits could presage yet another era of anti-growth austerity measures in the United States.

Implications/Recommendations: There are features of the current account US imbalances situation that have the potential to exacerbate negative trends and to further fuel adverse economic and political outcomes. The study suggests that a coordinated, US-led international response to a future global recession could be even more deficient than the current response to climate change.

Contribution: The paper makes a contribution to the literature on the failures of global governance and critically examines the economic risks of the current situation that are being compounded by the political approach of the Trump Administration, which characterises US trade partners as adversaries in need of coercion through tariffs and strident rhetoric.


current account imbalances, neoliberalism, financialisation, The United States

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