07/09/2010 09:55 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Global Imbalances Fuel Recovery

The catastrophic economic downturn that began two years ago was supposed to shake up the global economy, ending an era in which Americans consumed too much and saved and exported too little.

But the recovery is being driven by a return to the very global imbalances that were a major cause of the crisis. Americans' savings rates have fallen over the past year, imports are rising faster than exports, and countries around the world are again turning to Americans to be the consumers of last resort.