This paper investigates the interactions between three key macroeconomic imbalances, namely current-account discrepancies (external imbalances), output gaps (internal imbalances), and exchange-rate misalignments. We estimate a panel VAR model for a sample of 22 industrialized countries over the period 1980–2011. Our findings show that macroeconomic imbalances strongly interact through a causal relationship. If current-account disequilibria threaten the stability of the global economy, their origin can be found in internal imbalances and exchange-rate misalignments: positive output-gap shocks as well as currency overvaluation deepen current-account deficits. In addition, although variations in external imbalances mainly result from exchange-rate misalignments in the euro area, they are mostly explained by output gaps for non-eurozone members.