The only thing anybody will learn from this article if they read past the "worrying signal of back-pedaling on fiscal consolidation" line is how clueless the so-called economics experts are. There is no such thing as "fiscal consolidation", and there will be no primary surplus as the Japanese government does not have the means to make that happen. It can only happen if there is a private sector deficit, which is the private sector's decision to make not the government's. And it will not cost 1 trillion yen in lost revenue. Most if not all money saved by the taxpayer will be spent elsewhere, where it will be TAXED. That last one should be obvious to a kindergarten student, but apparently over the head of the "experts".
0 ( +2 / -2 )
Ummm....Japan does not have an external "debt" of 250% of GDP, it has net foreign assets of over $3 trillion and has been the world's largest creditor nation 24 years in a row. Information easily confirmed with a google.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
I suggest JAL to suspend their flights to all countries to avoid risk of terror attack.
Hmmm, I have read the article three times now and still can't find where it says JAL is suspending the flights "to avoid risk of terror attacks". Seems more like they are reducing the number of flights in response to a drop in demand, which is what you'd expect any competently run airline in any country to do. But hey, there's no whining, complaining or running off on irrelevant straw man tangents fun to be had if you stick to the facts I guess.
4 ( +8 / -4 )
To those complaining about the two Japan environment articles appearing together, one is about Japan in 2015, the other Japan in the 60's and 70's. Irony and contradiction levels are zero, they are about different subjects.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
That downturn spurred the Bank of Japan to sharply increase its already massive bond-buying program—a cornerstone of Abenomics—effectively printing money to spur lending.
But the moves, and Abe’s lurch to overhaul Japan’s highly regulated economy, have been slow going as the conservative premier marks his third year in office later this month.
The usual standard cliches about A) "printing money to spur lending" and B) the need to "overhaul Japan's highly regulated economy". The first is not what is happening, although it is the common Alice in Wonderland fantasy land economist's view of what is happening. The second is an unsubstantiated assertion presented as an established fact, with no evidence ever given as to any causative link between this supposed "over-regulation" and economic growth or lack of it. Evidence-free statements about the failure of non-evidence based policies. Brilliant.
0 ( +5 / -5 )
However, a lack of childcare facilities, poor career support and deeply entrenched sexism are blamed for keeping women at home.
The rate of female participation in the workforce in Japan is now higher than in the USA. I guess that means the USA has even fewer childcare facilities, poorer career support and even more deeply entrenched sexism. That USA place must be a real "basketcase" then.
-1 ( +5 / -6 )
Don't forget constructing nuclear power plants, mining for uranium, plutonium and cobalt for fuel rod assembly etc. The nuclear industry is wearing big big blinders with this 0.00% emissions nonsense.
Nobody in the nuclear industry has ever made such a claim of 0.00% emissions.
2 ( +5 / -3 )
Japan's government spending scarce tax payer yen...
The old "taxpayers' money" line being trotted out again, at which point you know you can safely stop reading and you won't miss anything.
Japan's government does not spend "tax payer yen", scarce or otherwise. It issues yen by spending and then takes some back through taxes. Believing that taxes come first and spending second, or that in the immortal words of Maggie Thatcher "sooner or later you will run out of other peoples' money" is the modern day equivalent of witch burning or draining the blood of the patient to cure him. How such levels of idiocy can still exist in the 21st century is one the mysteries of our time. Although decades long propaganda campaigns and manipulation of public opinion by those who want to feed at the trough and keep all the money for themselves explain a lot of it.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
@jerseyboy LOL that is not remotely how Japan or any other country operates. Gdp is determined in part by the government's budgetary decisions, not the other way around. And debt is not "piled on", it is the just the sum of all previous deficits that was not taken back through taxes. If it grows due to another deficit that is due to the tax policies of the government, not because Gdp is not rising. But keep sharing your zombie Dark Ages economic views with us all, they are very "informative".
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
Nominal GDP is an aggregate measurement and pretty much meaningless in a country with a declining population. Without giving GDP per capita the numbers don't tell you anything. I now look forward to getting thumbs downs from the enemies of basic arithmetic.
-2 ( +3 / -5 )
Some excellent points in Slater's article about the limitations and flaws of the GDP measurement, but all this was already known long ago too.
"The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income". Simon Kuznets on GDP and well-being in 1934.
Kuznets being in fact one of the main developers of the GDP measurement, for which he later won a Nobel prize in Economics. But hey why listen to him, what does he know???
4 ( +4 / -0 )
@garyraynor Feel free at any time to attach to this thread any quote by myself, Jeff Lee or Nigelboy where we said Abenomics was going to work. There are however many you can find on the other hand saying it won't. There are also many quotes that can be dragged up from GaryRaynor, jerseyboy, fxgai, sangetsu etc making idiotic predictions that have never come true and never will. Seriously, stop wasting peoples' time with the BS
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
@garyraynor I believe that if you go back and check the threads, Jeff Lee and Nigelboy (and me) were not saying Abenomics was going to work, we were saying that you and others on this thread don't have clue what you're talking about and that your endless Doomer babble predictions of collapsing yen exchange rates and collapsing bond markets were gibberish. But you can believe you read whatever you want to believe you read.
-3 ( +2 / -5 )
Posted in: The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition Komeito Paty are locked in a debate over applying a reduced sales tax rate for fresh foods when the tax rate rises to 10% in April 2017. Komeito w See in context
Translation: "Because we don't understand how the economic and monetary system actually work, our solution to the big, scary number problem is to have another self-inflicted recession and permanent loss of economic activity in Japan, like we have done three times before. But we are hoping for different results this time. However, we are also working hard to ensure we find the FAIREST way to inflict this act of economic sabotage."....Clowns!
1 ( +4 / -3 )
Corporations want larger markets, that's basically behind this push. LIving standards of the common people are not a factor.
Corporations, especially those in exporting businesses also want a large pool of labor. And banks want a large pool of both young people and immigrants to go into debt for housing, education, and for immigrants, getting set up in their new country. All boost GDP, but have no effect on the living standards and prosperity of everybody else. And the people who developed GDP never claimed it did have such an effect. In fact they explicitly said it was not a measure of prosperity.
As for the birth rate itself, a low birth rate is a function of a malfunctioning economy, not the other way around. The Japanese government is basically treating the sickness by trying to make the symptoms go away. They will have zero success.
7 ( +7 / -0 )
Abe needs to enact policies that will a) nurture such raging demand from those taking the risks of operating or having a stake in a business, as well as b) incentivize workers to switch jobs away from zombie companies to successful ones.
LOL!!! The way to fix the Japanese economy is to "nuture" demand for more investment spending so that companies will produce more products that they can't sell because there is not enough demand. Yeah, that'll work! And "incentivize" workers to move to more successful companies. Like it has never occurred to anybody to do that before and they need "incentives". Yeah, that'll work too.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Posted in: The meaning of the Japan Post privatization is linked to the real revival of Japan after lost decades. Japan is under even more pressure than it was 10 years ago to increase its international competit See in context
There is zero relationship between whether Japan Post has been, or is, under private or public ownership and the actual casual factors of the so-called "lost decades". Neither is there any relationship between the "lost decades" and the supposed "international competitiveness" of Japan. The lost decades are due solely to the failure (whether through incompetence or corruption) of Japan to operate its monetary policy and fiscal policy in a sane and coherent way. And it is the same now in every advanced country, post-1970s voodoo bubble economics just burst here first.
The guy is just making stuff up, which pretty much describes what economists do for a living anyways. So not a surprise.
3 ( +5 / -2 )
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies are aimed at getting consumers and businesses to spent more, both by keeping interest rates at record low levels and by fostering expectations that inflation will erode future purchasing power.
For how many more years are these bogus lines going to be trotted out in every article about the Japanese economy? One, trying to get people to spend more by keeping interest rates low is just code for trying to get the private sector to go deeper in debt. Which kinds of means you don't understand that the reason your economy has stopped growing is that the private sector can not take on any more debt. Like saying "We think the problem can be solved if it will just somehow magically go away". Two, of all the ridiculous "theories" in economics, "inflationary expectations" might be at the top of the list for ridiculousness. Virtually all spending decisions are based on either necessity or affordability, and of the very few spending decisions that people might delay because they think prices are coming down, they don't wait forever. Nobody would have bought a computer in the last 20 years if they based their decision on "inflationary expectations". As for rushing out to buy now cause you think prices are going up, big deal, you buy now instead of later. Only possible effect of either case is to shuffle spending between accounting periods, overall effect on economy is zero.
Central bank asset purchases are injecting tens of billions of dollars of cash into the economy each month.
Another piece of nonsense that gets parroted over and over. Asset purchases inject a total of zero yen into the economy. They inject money into bank reserves, and bank reserves do not circulate in the economy. Any money that gets injected into the economy is only injected indirectly, if somebody spends more money because their assets have gone up in value due to the central bank boosting asset prices. It's questionable how big this "wealth effect" actually is (likely not very) but in any case it is not a case of "the central bank injecting the money into the economy" as claimed over and over.
But as always, the government has to say something and the media has to write something, so expect the gibberish to continue for a long time.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
BOJ is prohibited to do direct purchasing from Treasury department of Japan, but once these bonds are sold to banks, BOJ can purchase them back (printing money) from banks. Once US bond is offering higher interests, then these banks will shift money to US. If you do not understand, please ask. I am willing to explain this to you.
Oh please, do explain. And while you're at it perhaps you can explain where the banks get the Japanese yen from to buy the bonds in the first place, and exactly how they are going to buy US treasury bonds with Japanese yen.
The bottom line is still the same, Japan's economy is stuck in neutral, and occasionally slipping into reverse, like it has been for well over two decades. And, two years from now, you folks will still be critisizing the folks like S&P for pointing that out, because you know it is true, and that there is not a thing you can do about it, and not a thing the Japanese government, or people, have the will to do anything about it either.
What a surprise, a straw man argument on the internet. Nobody is criticizing S&P for "pointing out" that Japan's economy is "stuck in neutral" (a situation that has now been duplicated in all other countries, a fact that seems to consistently go over the heads of the Japan Doomer crowd), they are criticizing them because their constant fear mongering statements and their recommendations of supposed "solutions" are, in a word, moronic. It really takes a lot of ability to fit so many economic myths, fallacies, and plain factual errors into such a short article, but Mr. Tan and Mr. White somehow manage it. For starters even the headline is nonsensical. Sales tax hikes do not raise revenue, they just speed up the collection of revenue that would be collected anyways. They also don't result in a reduced Debt / GDP ratio, they increase it and lead to recessions, as has happened every previous time the tax has been raised. And the article goes downhill from there. Whether Mr. Tan makes his ridiculous statements because he is an unqualified empty suit (hardly unusual in the financial industry) or because he is cynically making statements he knows are untrue in order to push the political agenda of the ratings agencies operators, well you'll have to ask him.
-4 ( +1 / -5 )
Let's me get this straight. One person out of 45000 has been diagnosed with "radiation-linked" leukemia. This we are confidently (and I'd say a little gleefully) told represents "the tip of the iceberg". No information is give as to what the rate of leukemia is in the general population. Then we are told three others are awaiting confirmation that their cancers are "radiation linked". No information is given as to how this determination of "radiation linked" is reached. No wonder I stopped considering the corporate media a credible source of "information" on nuclear issues years ago.
1 ( +7 / -6 )
No surprises here, Japan suffers from insufficient aggregate demand and an unbalanced income distribution. The solutions to these problems are very simple and have been well understood (by people who actually understand economics that is) since the 1930's. But they are off the table in Japan (and everywhere else) due to the GroupThink of right-wing political ideology, the need of those at the top to protect the current fraudulent economic system, and wacko beliefs in zombie economic theories. Until all that changes, "Abenomics" will continue to be just a giant waste of everybody's time, and no improvements of any significance will be coming.
11 ( +13 / -1 )
he hoped to win over more Japanese to his view that childrearing is rewarding
The usual delusional nonsense that Japan has some unique, country specific problems causing a mysterious drop off in peoples' desire to have kids. Like there has been some weird mass genetic mutation in the Japanese population causing them to behave differently than they have for centuries, and now suddenly Japanese adults have to be educated that having kids is "rewarding". The reality is that these same demographic trends are happening in every industrialized country, and are the predictable result of a broken, dysfunctional global economic system that makes having kids and raising a family much more difficult for the majority of the people than it was in the past. Some countries may cover that up with the band-aid solution of immigration, and people can claim Japan should do the same, but any quick look at the news coming out of various countries (Canadian election campaign for starters) shows immigration brings a whole new set of problems. Basically, until the Japanese government starts dealing with the underlying macroeconomic causes of the population drop (and good luck with that!) stuff like this new minister business are just a load of hot air and a waste of everybody's time.
1 ( +8 / -7 )
Guy, another foolish comment uttered from someone who clearly has no real concept of economics, just theory
As expected, jerseyboy has turned up right on cue to prove my point. All the usual dog whistle talking points about "restrictive labor markets", "massive government spending", and "inefficient domestic economy". The usual unsubstantiated claims that Japan's economic problems are country specific and not what they actually are, the effects of the breakdown of the global economic "system" (which simply showed up in Japan first). Never been demonstrated how these any of these "problems" (which existed long before stagnation ever set in) have caused stagnation, or how fixing these "problems" will magically bring economic growth. But who needs to actually understand how the world really works when you've looked at some nice straight lines in some economic textbooks and can spout the mantras and cliches.
It was understandable for people to pump out such nonsense 15 years ago, before the same issues caused by bubble economics and fake debt-expansion "economic growth" showed up everywhere, but it is a joke to still be pumping it out now.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
economic growth in Japan is directly tied to the shrinking and aging population
Exactly. On a per capita basis the Japanese GDP numbers are better than those of European countries and pretty close to the US. Doesn't mean there aren't serious economic problems in Japan, or that those problems are not the cause of the demographic issues (now being duplicated in pretty much every other country by the way). Just means that whenever you see the usual "Japan is a basket case / needs reform" line trotted out, the writer / commentator is a clueless quack with no idea what he is talking about.
1 ( +4 / -3 )
He said his new “three arrows” would be a strong economy, support for child rearing and providing stronger social services to lighten the burden of child and elder care for struggling families.
There are no "3 new arrows" here. A strong economy is not even an arrow, it is the objective. It's like saying "we are going to achieve our objective by attempting to achieve our objective". The second one was already part of the so-called third arrow (a grab bag of pet projects that in a few cases could bring minor incremental improvements, but in most cases will have zero or negative effects), and the third one is just another addition to the grab bag.
The only thing significant going on is that this "unveiling" comes right after the passing of the security bills, and that is not a coincidence. There is nothing in "Abenomics" that will improve the Japanese economy, but that is not and never was the point. Just a (very successful) PR exercise to buy time and cover for the political agenda and nothing else, and now is time to get back on message.
6 ( +6 / -0 )
Having fewer rich people never results in there being fewer poor people. The opposite is always true, and there has never been an exception.
A statement that can be easily disproven by the use of second grade elementary school arithmetic. I also believe Adam Smith wrote something along the lines that having one rich person creates 250 poor people. But what would Adam Smith know compared to all the 21st century Kool-Aid drinkers posting their wisdom, deep understanding, and knowledge of how capitalism works on Japan Today.
1 ( +4 / -3 )
You might write to him and ask him for some pointers.
No, the invitation was for you to write to him and explain to him why he is wrong, as you and jerseyboy so graciously did for me when I said the exact same things. But as I expected, you're not going to for obvious reasons.
Just a garden variety sovereign default in the third biggest economy on the planet, but wake up tomorrow morning and everything will be fine!
You just keep "thinking for yourself" then and lecturing everybody on how your fantasy is inevitable and we must all worry about that ONE DAY when it happens. Eventually even Kyle Bass might be back for another try, and you can invest all your money with him.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
@nigelboy Yes, a mystery indeed. Especially as we have been learning from the media for all those 21 years that Japan is a "basket case". But as always with economics, if something is happening in the real world doesn't fit with your theory or story, just ignore it. "I don't care if that's how things works in the real world, that's not how things work in my theory!!!"
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
Posted in: The dark side of ramen