Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Indeed!  In the 80s it looked like Japan WAS the island that would own the world, or at least large parts of the USA.  I suspect it is hardly an accident that "globalization" and "The New World Order", originating from the US and orchestrated by Wall Street, worked to the advantage of the US financial corporations and to the disadvantage of Japan.  Would it not be logical that once the USA's chief military and ideological rival, the USSR, dissolved and began to adopt capitalist modes that somehow things would turn to the disadvantage of the world's high riding 2nd largest economy?  That was the time when the total valuation of Tokyo real estate exceeded the value of all of the real estate in California.

Our Wall Street elites and their D.C. political agents certainly are not going to have more concern for the welfare of Japan than they have for the welfare of the USA.  For fifteen years General Electric and others rolled in profits from "the Japan Carry Trade."  Those were the years during which Japan had a Zero Rate Interest Policy.  Borrowing money was free and provision of very low interest rate money was one of the services Japan provided to the US financial sector.  Unfortunately, Japan was undergoing the unwind of their own massive real estate bubble, so the average Japanese citizen did not benefit. The Bank of Japan pioneered this policy of "all money to the banks" that the USA has now adopted.  Both are capitalist societies, so the institutions of capital are "protected" at all costs, costs which are borne by all but the banks.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 29th, 2009 at 10:48:41 PM EST
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At the time Japan looked like it would own the world it was in fact a huge bubble, so those accounts were a bit like the pre-dotcom bust CW on internet firms.

(all the same the globalisation phase in the '90s and 2000s mainly benefited consumer countries, banks and traders, and not Japan)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Aug 30th, 2009 at 05:17:23 AM EST
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The Bank of Japan pioneered this policy of "all money to the banks" that the USA has now adopted.

From the monetary-libertarian frame of view, what else they can do?

Japanese banks charge still a lot for their services. For example, I moved recently to a new apartment and wanted to arrange automatic monthly payments - but the bank is ripping 735 yen for each monthly transaction (i.e., moving a bunch of electrons) between two private accounts!

by das monde on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 12:10:22 AM EST
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