Here’s Krugman’s op-ed on capital flows today:
But the truth, hard as it may be for ideologues to accept, is that unrestricted movement of capital is looking more and more like a failed experiment.
And here is Bernanke on capital flows in a speech today:
Regarding capital flows: It is true that interest rate differentials associated with differences in national monetary policies can promote cross-border capital flows as investors seek higher returns. But my reading of recent research makes me skeptical that these policy differences are the dominant force behind capital flows to emerging market economies; differences in growth prospects across countries and swings in investor risk sentiment seem to have played a larger role.9 Moreover, the fact that some emerging market economies have policies that depress the values of their currencies may create an expectation of future appreciation that in and of itself induces speculative inflows.
Of course, heavy capital inflows and their volatility pose challenges to emerging market policymakers, whatever their source. Policymakers do have some tools to address these concerns. In recent years, emerging market nations have implemented macroprudential measures aimed at strengthening their financial systems and reducing overheating in specific sectors, such as property markets. Policymakers have also experimented with various forms of capital controls. Such controls raise concerns about effectiveness, cost of implementation, and possible microeconomic distortions. Nevertheless, the International Monetary Fund has suggested that, in carefully circumscribed circumstances, capital controls may be a useful tool.10