Money: When Plus Is Minus

Can any enterprise show a deficit and a surplus at the same time? The U.S. Government seems to think it can. Reporting on the balance of payments last week, the Department of Commerce announced that on a "liquidity" basis (which includes the amount of dollars owed to all foreigners), the U.S. lost $7 billion in 1969. By the "official reserve transactions" yardstick (which includes only the amount owed to foreign central banks and world financial organizations) the nation gained $2.8 billion. Both deficit and surplus were records.

About $7 billion of the gap between the two measures represented dollars repatriated...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!