A few nuggets from the July 2007 Levy Economics Institute conference:
Dimitri Papadimitriou foresees an improving current account deficit over the next three years. Private sector debt should level off as a proportion of GDP. The Congressional Budget Office's forecast and targets for 2010 assume continuing home borrowing, but if this doesn't happen, the model suggests that budget deficit needs to increase to 4.6% of GDP. The alternative is a depreciation of the dollar, which is unlikely because (a) this would increase inflation and (b) China does not wish the renminbi to rise significantly against the dollar. A propos the last, Robert Barbera explained that a renminbi appreciation would raise the price of China's farm products and hit the living standard of its large rural population.
Robert Parenteau looked at US private borrowing: "the prospect of a hard landing should be taken seriously".
Wolfgang Muenchau of the Financial Times thinks that despite having stronger fundamentals than America, Europe is likely to be affected by a US downturn, because European stocks, property prices and interest rates tend to follow America's lead, and a strengthening of the Euro against the dollar would hit European exports and economic growth.
Torsten Slok considered longer-term inflationary pressures in the US: demands for pay raises, an increasing proportion of retirees overstraining the budget, and the possibility of an overheating Chinese economy that would up US import prices.
James Paulsen thought that the US could regain some of its consumer market share through "a long-term sustained contraction of its trade deficit to revive domestic manufacturing".
Frederic Mishkin of the Federal Reserve was relatively relaxed about subprime borrowing, saying that such loans represented less than 10% of all mortgages.