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thinkahol on 2010-11-04The debate on “global imbalances” has gone back to the future. The proposal from Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, to target the current account takes us back to the preoccupations of John Maynard Keynes at the Bretton Woods conference of July 1944. Keynes, representing Britain, was obsessed with the dangers of asymmetric adjustment between surplus and deficit countries. The US, then the world’s dominant surplus country, rebuffed calls for a mechanism that would impose pressure on both sides. Now the US is in the other camp.