Friday, January 15, 2010

Is Kan conning us?

RetroMan aka ConMan Kan, the new finance minister, has clarified and strengthened his recently discovered pro-market stance. Earlier this week, Kan had hinted at the possibility of Japan intervening in the currency market to weaken the yen until he discovered that such remarks were not in his new job description.

Today he reportedly said:

"Currencies should basically be set* by the markets, and this principle has been agreed internationally," ..."Unless a rapid move occurs, I will act on this principle." Reuters

Kan has thus distanced himself further from the Old Schoolers who up until about 2004 would intervene in the currency market when they didn't like the rate set by the market. Under ConMan's radical new policy, should the US dollar strengthen "too fast" against the Japanese yen (perhaps from the apx ¥92 now to ¥96 or more to $1?) thus making imports more expensive resulting in weaker consumer demand, the government will take aggressive action to strengthen the yen against the dollar.

This clever new strategy will assist the DPJ in achieving its stated goal of reducing Japan's reliance on exports and allow the consumer market to expand as soon as consumers gain confidence enough to consume. Not only will this help the DPJ and Japan, it will benefit Obama and the US, since Obama is on record as stating that the world cannot return to the pre-subprime system of the US serving as mere consumers (and borrowers) of the products of Japan and others in the region.

*..should be basically set... ?

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