Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Let’s cut the crap about Japan’s lost decade

Marshall Auerback, a Director of Institutional Partnerships at the Institute for New Economic Thinking ( Let’s cut the crap about Japan’s Lost Decade. As Hill notes, we tend to use very narrow metrics to determine a nation’s economic success: “Americans are the only ones who seem to think they need three refrigerators, four televisions and a […]

Japan’s Lopsided Financial Balances

by Rebecca Wilder Japan’s Lopsided Financial Balances Tim Duy and Paul Krugman discuss the merits and failures of Japanese policy. The sectoral snapshot of the economic financial balances shows that Japanese policy was indeed a success but also a failure. First, policy was a success, given the private sector was recuperating from the bursting of […]

Lost Decade, Redux

By general consensus, Japan’s “Lost Decade” (now in its Third Decade) begins in 1989. The biggest growth difference appears to come from the U.S. period from the Second (1996) Clinton Tax Reform to the 2001 recession—a big if, I grant you, but one that the Gingrich/DeLay-led Republican Party predicted would produce mayhem, and the alternative-history […]

The Most Important Set of Graphics You’ll Find in a BIS Speech

I’m still in catch-up mode, but I keep coming back to this presentation (PDF)—four times now. It’s a speech by BoJ member Masaaki Shirakawa in Tokyo on the 22nd of December last year to the Board of Councillors of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), entitled “Globalization and population aging – challenges facing Japan.” Go through […]

Japanese style economics…lifted from comments

Lifted from comments from Spencer’s post on Productivity and the stock market Dan Becker: Mike Panzer at Financial Armageddon has been on the issue that the “street” is missing all that is going on around them. From his blog: However, I wonder if a new paper, From Keeping Up with the Joneses to Keeping […]

It’s lonely at the top: now it’s up to the Bank of Japan to hold the yen down

Wow, FX space is totally rattled this week: the yen hit 76.25 against the dollar at the end of the day on March 16 and has since rebounded to current levels 80.90 (1:50pm in NY on 3/18). What happened over this time span? Mass speculation on yen appreciation due to earthquake-related repatriation, followed by technical […]

Japan: The Post-WW2 Rise, the 1980s Peak, and the Decline – A Simple Theory

by Mike Kimel Japan: The Post-WW2 Rise, the 1980s Peak, and the Decline – A Simple TheoryCross-posted at the Presimetrics blog. A lot has been written about the disaster in Japan. I don’t have much I can add to that, except that like everyone else (or at least everyone civilized), I am so very sorry […]

Japan May Have Reached Point 7

I give up. It was perfectly obvious what was happening at Fukushima on Saturday afternoon, when I posted bullet points at Skippy: there was going to be a major cleanup cost and the live reactors were not salvageable, but nothing fatal to many was loose in the atmosphere yet. Which is why I followed up […]

Japanese Q3 2010 GDP growth hit it out of the ballpark but set to fall flat next quarter

The Japanese economy grew 3.9% at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate in Q3 2010 and over 2X the pace in Q2 2010 (data here). According to Bloomberg, the headwinds to Q4 growth are household consumption and the yen: Consumption, accounting for about 60 percent of GDP, led the gain as households stepped up purchases of fuel-efficient […]