Interesting report at Bloomberg pointing out that the IMF's sum of the global current account balances are not summing to zero; tongue-in-cheek positing that:
In principle, the deficits and surpluses of all the countries in the world should add up to zero. In practice, they never do. For 2011, the leftover suggests the existence of an unknown sovereign with a current-account surplus of $374 billion, up from $315 billion in 2010 -- an increase of 18 percent. So either the Earth is trading with aliens, or the numbers aren’t quite right.Pretty funny, not too bad for Bloomberg! These Bloomberg people seem to have enough insight to know that the global current accounts should sum to zero... now if they could only have a lightbulb go off for them and realize that this same principle can be applied to a single nation's national accounts and what those components imply...hmmmm I wonder if they will get this?
To to take their "alien" analogy further, if a bunch of aliens actually showed up in space ships one day, and offered to do all of the work for humans in exchange for computer generated balances, I would bet our disgraced morons who are running things would take them up on it and throw the entire world's human population out of their jobs....AND THEN WONDER WHY UNEMPLOYMENT WAS SO HIGH! Succeeding at making Earth the laughing stock of the entire universe.
I reached out to Ramanan and Ramanan's opinion to paraphrase was the data the IMF was using has exhibited margins of error in the sums (so no aliens involved).
Even so this is a pretty significant number as it totals a bit over what the actual CA deficit is between the US and China. This perhaps should call into question the IMF data in general.