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Quotation of the Day…

is the opening line from the late Herbert Stein’s splendid contribution – “Balance of Payments” – to the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (edited by David Henderson):

20021219_Stein2Few subjects in economics have caused so much confusion – and so much groundless fear – in the past four hundred years as the thought that a country might have a deficit in its balance of payments.  This fear is groundless for two reasons: (1) there never is a deficit, and (2) it would not necessarily hurt anything if there was one.