The balance of payments

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The balance of payments

  1. 1. The Balance of PaymentsChandan Singh
  2. 2. 2Talk Agenda• How nations measure int’l economic activity?• Define Current Account, Capital/Financial Account?• How can one use the BOP sub-accounts to makefinancial decisions?• What leads to capital flight? Some History.• Some Q & A (I ask the Q, you give the A)
  3. 3. 3The Balance of Payments Balance of Payments (BOP):measures all international economic transactions b/nresidents & foreign residents.• Monetary and fiscal policy must take the BOP intoaccount at the national level• BOP data may be important– Indicates pressure on exchange rate– May signal imposition/ removal of controls overpayments, dividends, interest.– Helps forecast country’s market potential
  4. 4. 4For example… BOP transactions (US side)• Daimler-Chrysler purchases manufacturer in Chicago.• GM China pays dividends to parent in US.• An American tourist purchases a necklace in India.• A Mexican lawyer purchases US bond via investmentbroker in Cleveland. Rule of thumb: “follow the cash flow”
  5. 5. 5B of PA. Current AccountA. Net exports/imports goods&services (Balance of Trade)B. Net Income (investment income from direct portfolio investment plus employeecompensationC. Net transfers (sums sent home by migrant abroad)B. Capital AccountCapital transfers related to purchase and sale of fixed assets such as real estateC. Financial AccountA. Net foreign direct investmentB. Net portfolio investmentC. Other financial itemsD. Net Errors and OmissionsMissing data such as illegal transfersE. Reserves and Related ItemsChanges in official monetary reserves including gold and foreign exchange reservesΣ (A:E) = Overall BalanceBasic Balance = A+B+COverall Balance = A+B+C+D
  6. 6. 6BOP Accounting The BOP must balance How to measure international economic activity?• Is it an international economic transaction?• How do flow of goods/services/assets/money translatein debits & credits?• Bookkeeping procedures for BOP? Mistakes are common… BOP is a flow statement, not a stock statement.• Main transactions in BOP:– Exchange of real assets.– Exchange of financial assets.
  7. 7. 7The Current Account Goods Trade or Balance of Trade (BOT) – export/import ofgoods. Services Trade – export/import of services (financial,construction, and tourism). Income – predominately current income associated withinvestments made in previous periods, + wages & salaries paidto non-resident workers. Current Transfers – financial settlements due to change inownership of real resources or financial items. Any transferb/n countries which is one-way, a gift or a grant. CA typically dominated by export/import of goods, for thisreason Balance of Trade (BOT) is widely quoted.
  8. 8. 8For example…•Trade balance•Debit: Sun Microsystems buys LCDs from Hong Kong.•Credit: Singapore Airlines buys Boeing jet.•Trade in services•Debit: American rents an apartment in Singapore.•Credit: TUI - Germany places an ad in the NYT.•Income payments•Debit: Honda US pays dividend to Honda Japan.•Credit: Bank Austria pays salary to rep in NY office.•Unilateral Current Transactions•Debit: Peace Corps pays US volunteer teachers in Bosnia.•Credit: TotalFina pays tuition of employee for Stern MBA.
  9. 9. 9The Current Account2010 2011 2012Goods exports 682 672 687Goods imports (876) (917) (1030)Goods trade balance (BOT) (194) (245) (343)Services exports 255 261 270Services imports (167) (183) (191)Services trade balance 88 78 79Income receipts 257 258 276Income payments (251) (265) (295)Income balance 6 (7) (19)Current transfers, credits 8 9 9Current transfers, debits (49) (53) (57)Net transfers (41) (44) (48)US Current Account, 1997-1999 (US$ bn)
  10. 10. 10The Capital/Financial Account Capital account: transfers of fixed assets, real estate,acquisitions/disposal of non-produced/non-financialassets Financial account: three components; classified bydegree of control,• Direct Investment – Net balance of capital which isdispersed from and into US for the purpose of exertingcontrol over assets.– E.g. US company acquires foreign company stake (-)– Foreign company acquires US company stake (+)– foreign direct investment (FDI): 10%+ of voting sharesacquired.
  11. 11. 11The Capital/Financial Account• Portfolio Investment – Net balance of capital whichflows in/out of US but does not reach 10% ownership.– No voting or control rights over the asset.– Purchase/sale of equity securities.– Purchase/sale of debt securities.– E.g. T-bill purchases by foreigners (net portfolio investment)– E.g. US$ debt issues by foreign companies/ governments.– Risk/Return motivated.– Far more volatile than FDI.• Other Investment Assets/Liabilities –Short & long-term trade credits, cross-border loans, currency & bankdeposits, & other accounts receivable and payable incross-border trade.
  12. 12. 12Direct Investment Concerns• How much shall the country control the directinvestments?– What can foreigners buy?– Land, real estate sale to foreigners limited (Eastern Europe)– Certain stock can not be purchased (China, Russia)– How shall profit be distributed?– Profit drain?– Many foreign firms in US reinvest most of their profits.
  13. 13. 13The Capital/Financial AccountDirect investment abroad (105) (146) (151)Direct investment in the US 106 186 276Net direct investment 1 40 125Portfolio InvestmentAssets purchased by US residents, net (119) (136) (129)Assets purchased by foreign residents, net 386 269 342Net portfolio investment 267 133 213Other InvestmentOther investment assets (264) (47) (159)Other investment liabilities 265 27 136Net other investment 1 (20) (23)Financial Account Balance 269 153 315US Capital/Financial Account, 2010-2012 (billions of US$)
  14. 14. 14For example…•Direct Investment•Debit: Ford builds factory in Australia.•Credit: Ford sells its factory in UK.•Portfolio Investment•Debit: US investor buys BASF stock @ Frankfurt StockExchange•Credit: Korean gov’t buys US T-bills to hold as forexreserves.•Other investment•Debit: HP deposits $10m in a bank account in London.•Credit: HP generates accounts receivable in Canada.
  15. 15. 15The Other Accounts Net Errors and Omissions – Account is used toaccount for statistical errors and/or untraceablemonies within a country Official Reserves (ORA) – total reserves held byofficial monetary authorities within a country.• Comprised of major currencies used in internationaltrade and financial transactions, & reserve accounts(SDR) held @ IMF.– Important indicator for countries w/ fixed exchange rateregimes– Need to maintain parity rate w/ official reserves.
  16. 16. 16What if…? BOP shows surplus:• D > S for that currency.• Allow currency value to increase,• Or accumulate foreign reserves. BOP shows deficit:• S > D for that currency.• Devalue currency,• Or use official reserves to support currency.
  17. 17. 17Capital Mobility Very important for BoP these days… Some history on it• 1860-1914 –increasing capital openness, countriesadopted gold standard• 1914-1945 – couple of wars & depression• 1945-1971 –”Annees des miracles” of internationaltrade• 1971-2003 – floating exchange rates, financialvolatility, rapidly expanding capital flows
  18. 18. 18LowHighCapital Mobility18801860 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000••••1880190019141860Gold Standard1880-1914Capital Mobility••19601971Bretton Woods1945-1971••19802000Float1971-2000•1918•Interwar, 1914-194519291925•1945•
  19. 19. 19Capital Flight How to move capital across borders:• International payments, regular bank transfers.• Transfer by bearer (smuggling).• Transfer of collectibles/ precious metals.• Money laundering– Off-shore zones & tax heavens.• Invoicing international trade transactions.– Transfer pricing
  20. 20. 20Where can I find this in … BOP?– Calpers (the Cal mutual fund) buys shares of stock onthe Tokyo & London stock exchanges?– American tourist pays hotel in Paris w/ AMEX creditcard (US issued)?

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