Friday, January 08, 2010

Y slaps down Kan

PM Hatoyama virtually slapped the new Finance Minister Natto "RetroMan" Kan upside the head for hinting that he was going to imitate China and start rigging the yen vs the dollar in order to sell more products overseas:

Japan’s Finance Minister Naoto Kan said markets should set currencies, while underscoring the ability to intervene in extreme circumstances and taking account of the yen’s impact on the economy...Hatoyama* attributed Kan’s comments yesterday as reflective of “what the business community thinks.” [Sniff, sniff. Is that foul odour not reminiscent of the LDP?] BusinessWeek

RetroMan, despite his expertise in such matters, had been confused about PM Hatoyama's desire to decrease Japan's dangerous reliance on exports and to stimulate the consumer market. Apparently, Natto had thought that Hatoyama and the DPJ in general was just funnin' around and had actually meant to stimulate foreign consumer markets.

Being no fool, he has now seen the light and will rely on the markets to set rates unless confusion results, in which case he will jump in and save the day.

*925 clarification: Hatoyama said that the government had no need to comment on currencies.


  1. It'll be great if Japan does ever wake up to the fact that it's one of the world's most powerful and mature economies, and that it behoove her to rely less on exports and more on domestic demand.

    I'm not holding my breath though: old habits die hard and enertia is not easily overcome, especially in a conservative and cautious country like Japan.

  2. I avoid any breath holding too. After so many years, I only believe things after they happen and even then I ain't very confident.