Once upon a time, until 1997, America's current account deficit was relatively small--just 1% of GDP. Since then, the deficit has widened dramatically, to 2.7% of GDP in 1999, 3.5% in 2001, and an estimated 4.7% this year. Expect more of the same in 2004, when the current account deficit should reach 5.1% of GDP, despite forecasts that the US economy will grow significantly faster than most of its trading partners.
How long will the rest of the world continue to finance America's external deficit? What will happen when it stops doing so?