Category Archives: Japan

The Island Dispute Between China and Japan: The Other Side of the Story

By Robert H. Wade, professor of political economy at the London School of Economics. Cross posted from Triple Crisis

The current dispute between China and Japan over a few barren islands inhabited by goats – called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese – looks at first sight to be a mere territorial spat. But it has escalated to a very dangerous level in recent months — first words, then actions of police forces, now actions of air forces, and, behind all these, both sides have mobilised all their military, political, economic, diplomatic, and cultural energies to engage in the dispute. It is more fundamental than normal territorial disputes, because the very identities of the two countries are at stake.

Read more...

Philip Pilkington: The Japanese Stimulus – Will It Work?

By Philip Pilkington, a writer and research assistant at Kingston University in London. You can follow him on Twitter @pilkingtonphil

There’s a lot of talk flying around about the Japanese stimulus. Some appears to be misguided, some appears to be sensible.

Read more...

Wolf Richter: How Americans Stack Up In Dying From Violence, War, Suicide, And Accidents

Now some new fodder for the gun-control debate that the horrid events in Connecticut suddenly stirred into a frenzy, though it had been snoozing through the daily drumbeat of murders in Oakland, CA, a few miles across the Bay from me, or in Richmond to the north, or really in any other city. The fodder is inconvenient, however. For both sides of the debate.

Read more...

Hugh Hendry: ‘We’re in the death spiral of mercantilism’

You have to give a fund manager points for admitting to having a “history of contentious posturing.” Hugh You have to give a fund manager points for admitting to having a “history of contentious posturing.” Hugh Hendry’s also a reformed gold bug, which shows an unusual flexibility of thinking (once people join the gold cult, they seldom leave). Even if you don’t necessarily agree, his talk will serve as a useful grist for thought (hat tip Ian Fraser). Hendry discusses the end of an broadly adopted national strategy, mercantilism, and what he sees as the implications.

Read more...

China Will Get Old Before It Gets Rich

By Leith van Onselen, Chief Economist of Macro Investor, Australia’s independent investment newsletter covering trades, stocks, property and yield. You can follow him on Twitter at @leithvo. Cross posted from MacroBusiness

Yesterday, Houses & Holes stated that he was a long-term China bull, largely because of its status as an industrial powerhouse. Today I want to outline the reason why I am a long-term China bear: China’s rapidly ageing population.

Read more...

Philip Pilkington: Inflation-Targeting Experiment May Start in Japan… But at What Cost?

By Philip Pilkington, a writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. You can follow him on Twitter at @pilkingtonphil

Rumors abound that a deal is fomenting in Japan that might lead to the inflation targeting proposal that so many progressives champion on their blogs being put in place.

Read more...

Daniel Alpert: Earth to Paul Krugman

By Daniel Alpert, the founding Managing Partner of Westwood Capital. Cross posted from EconoMonitor

This past Sunday, Paul Krugman penned a screed in the New York Times Magazine (entitled, somewhat unflatteringly in my opinion, “Earth to Ben Bernanke”) that expanded on the content of an ongoing debate in the economics blogosphere over the contents of the mind of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Professor Krugman has posited for months now that Bernanke has come up short…..

Read more...

Philip Pilkington: Is QE/ZIRP Killing Demand?

em>By Philip Pilkington, a journalist and writer living in Dublin, Ireland

Warren Mosler recently ran a very succinct account of why the Fed/Bank of England’s easy monetary policies – that is, the combination of Quantitative Easing and their Zero Interest Rate Programs – might actually be killing demand in the economy.

Warren Mosler recently ran a very succinct account of why the Fed/Bank of England’s easy monetary policies – that is, the combination of Quantitative Easing and their Zero Interest Rate Programs – might actually be killing demand in the economy.

Read more...

Yes, Virginia, Servicers Lie to Investors Too: $175 Billion in Loan Losses Not Allocated to Mortgage Backed Securities (and Another $300 Billion on the Way)

he structured credit analytics/research firm R&R Consulting released a bombshell today, and it strongly suggests that prevailing prices on non-GSE (non Freddie and Fannie) residential mortgage backed securities, which are typically referred to as “private label” are considerably overvalued.

Read more...

What if We Focus on Boosting Employment Rather Than Growth?

Although it is remarkably difficult to come up with decent data, from what I can tell, the Japanese bubble was considerably bigger relative to the size of its economy than the US debt binge was. Yet even though the Japanese aftermath has been remarkably protracted, and arguably worsened by a slow and cautious initial response, visitors to Japan find the country wearing its malaise remarkably well.

One of the reasons may be the Japanese preoccupation with employment. Entrepreneurs are revered not for making money but for creating jobs. Japanese companies went to great lengths to keep workers, cutting senior pay to preserve manning. That was done largely for cultural reasons, since companies are seen as being like families.

But was this preoccupation also good economic policy, and might it have played a more direct role in buffering the worse effects of the bubble aftermath?

Read more...