Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Whadya mean, "may be"

I hope to be resuming regular/semi-regular posts (and life) from now. Below is a post written a few days ago:

The economic outlook in Japan is very grim... Right now, Japan has the worst growth outlook in Asia. That is a surprising fact, if one recalls that this is a country presumably dusting itself off from the collapse of its own bubble nearly two decades ago. After such a long period of economic crisis, Japan should be renovated and ready to thrive. But instead, it may be in worse shape than even the US...Andrew Dewit in Japan Focus.

The US has the ability, we hope, to change direction; to pull itself up in a reasonable amount of time. One needs to chug a lot of sake to believe that Japan, especially as currently governed, has any such ability.

In the same issue of Japan Focus, K. Takahashi writes on the US using and abusing seignorage (the benefits accrued by the issuer of a currency) as "a savior". The article is most interesting for R. Taggart Murphy's response to that argument:

What Takahashi doesn't say is that this privilege has as much to do with Japan's willingness to hold dollars over the past generation as it does with policy in Washington...

...are right that American politicians and central bankers have been unable to resist the temptation to abuse what amounts to seignorage covering the whole planet...

But...does not discuss is the degree of Japanese complicity in the danger Japan now faces...


...the domestic political and economic ramifications of a restructuring of the Japanese economy around domestic demand were too frightening to contemplate
...Full article at Japan Focus.

Could it be the time to face those fears and actually do something other than whine?

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