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LDTM comments

Posted in: New law takes effect, banning smoking in gov't buildings, schools See in context

Day three of giving up. So far so good.

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Posted in: Urban jungle See in context

Were I looking for something to push me over the edge, a trip to Tokyo just might do the trick.

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Posted in: 13 teen boys caught peeping into girls’ hot spring bath during class trip See in context

@since1981: they need a damn good bollocking, yes. Prosecution is probably a step too far given their age though.

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Posted in: Teacher says he trespassed into apartment to see women’s underwear See in context

Cheeky sod.

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Posted in: Nagano tries to preserve traditional insect dishes See in context

Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.

Just the one, ma’am?

Food like that makes my skin crawl.

One thing that bugs me about food in Nagano...

”Come get you mandibles around our lunch specials”

OK, sorry, I’m done now.

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Posted in: Parents referred to prosecutors over death of baby left in bathtub See in context

Some people should never have children.

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Posted in: Porsche shows off new edition of mainstay 911 sports car See in context

Pretty car, but if Porsche were a construction company they would sell you a foundation: the house is an optional extra.

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Posted in: Inflation in Japan unchanged at 1% in October See in context

As bad as you might think inflation is, the same percentage (in absolute values) of deflation is arguably worse. Inflation at least implies increased demand for currency - which is itself an indicator of a growing economy. The other, less known, implication of deflation is the rising real value of debt.

For example, if you borrow a nominal $100 today and assume that deflation is 10%, that same $100 in the future has greater purchasing ability than today. Ultimately, this means anyone who holds debt has to work harder to pay it off. Conversely, in an ‘inflating’ economy, the real value of debt falls.

Once you remember how much debt the GoJ holds, small wonder they want to inflate the yen. Go on, enjoy that bit of schadenfreude (I know I am)

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Posted in: 11-hour waiting time at Mickey Mouse attraction at Tokyo Disneyland See in context

If people want to spend their time waiting in line, then that is their own prerogative. I find it daft, as I’m sure many of you do, but its their decision how to spend what (little) leisure time they have.

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Posted in: High court rejects bid to shut down Shikoku Electric reactor See in context

Democracy and the rule of law are not the same thing. Nice generalization too.

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Posted in: Action movie stuntman arrested for cutting high school girl’s skirt See in context

For his next stunt, maybe he could collaborate with the SDF and arrange a wider diameter mortar tube...

What could possibly go wrong?

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Posted in: 86-year-old man pleads not guilty to reckless driving causing death and injury See in context

Poor girls. It makes a strong case for autonomous vehicles.

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Posted in: SDF mortar round lands outside training area, nearly hitting civilian car See in context

*passed. Blast it.

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Posted in: SDF mortar round lands outside training area, nearly hitting civilian car See in context

Think of the details on the insurance claim - that one’s going to be passes around the office.

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Posted in: BOJ's total assets exceed country's GDP for first time See in context

JeffLee: my post should have read "...getting close to saturation point". It's not necessarily doom-saying, just the acknowledgement that the effectiveness of using government bonds for stimulatory purposes vis-a-vis the underlying risk of being the asset's major buyer is not as not as it once was. That's one of the reasons why the BOJ is trying other methods, aiming to reduce bond purchases, and diversify further into other assets. Incidentally, Japan Post - another big buyer of government debt - is also trying to diversify its portfolio away from government bonds.

In any case, the arguments I'm putting forward are highly reduced - so there's always the risk of oversimplifying.


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Posted in: BOJ's total assets exceed country's GDP for first time See in context

Bintaro: The ultra-short, super generalising version is this (with back-story):

1: Japan’s ‘bubble’ burst in the mid 1990s; lots of people had borrowed a ton of money against asset _____, thinking its value would rise. The subsequent drop in asset prices left a LOT of people/firms/banks with big debts and assets worth a fraction of their earlier value - and loans much greater.

2: To balance their collective books, a common response was to spend less, save more, and try to pay back the debts. Problem here is that when people, as a whole, spend less, the economy of the day suffers. Less spending - companies reduce prices to encourage consumption - deflation. People see that prices are falling, postpone consumption decisions - negative feedback loop.

3: To pick up the slack/stimulate prices, JP governemt steps in and tries to ‘spend its way out of the problem’, but needs someone to bankroll the whole thing.

4: Bank of Japan buys government bonds - injects money into economy. More money floating around also causes interest rates to fall - usually encourages people to spend too.

5: People don’t respond as much as we expected (demand side response not responsive to supply side stimuli). Rinse and repeat process of Gov. spending & BOJ bankrolling.

6*: BOJ becomes bigger fish in a given pond (Government Bond market) - pushes out private businesses who would otherwise conduct operations here. Problem is this: BOJ is responsible for printing currency, and also is a major buyer of government debt. This is like holding an inflating balloon in one hand, needle in the other. If it gets to the point where you have to raise interest rates because the risks of the underlying asset are increasing (read, the government has borrowed so much money the risk of default starts to play on your nerves), and you yourself happen to have a gigantic pile of those assets, that then causes the market value of the asset to fall greatly. Alternatively, if you decide that holding on to such a massive balloon of assets isn’t in your best interest (bad pun, sorry), even the matter of getting rid of them makes other people think, ‘wait a minute, what’s wrong with these bonds...’. Short versions: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Conclusion: BOJ getting saturation point vis-a-vis government bonds and their stimulating effect on the economy. I’m leaving out a lot of nuance and detail, however.

Source: Muh PhD. In economics.

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