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The private saving glut and the developed countries' government financial balance

Leon Podkaminer

Keywords: aggregate financial balances; excess private saving; secular stagnation; fiscal policy

The ‘global saving glut’ à la Bernanke is not a serious problem for a large group of high-income countries considered collectively. More importantly, taken together these countries exhibit a tendency for a growing GDP share of private-sector saving and a falling GDP share of private investment. Given prevailing tendencies regarding income distribution and gross capital formation, the private sector of developed countries considered collectively is prone to accumulating ‘saving gluts’ which is reflected in persistent public-sector financial deficits. Fiscal policy may need to support growth with the debt-financed income injections more or less permanently, and not just in response to ‘cyclical’ growth slow-downs or occasional recessions.

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