New Mystery For Controversial Japanese Group

New Mystery For Controversial Japanese GroupThe Japanese conglomerate J Trust Group, which has come under the spotlight for a series of financial inconsistencies in Indonesia, Thailand and Cyprus, has added another. On April 14, an apparently frustrated J Trust put out a press release accusing the South Korean Financial Services Commission of refusing to act on a J Trust request…

Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?

Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?The year 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for commercial airplane makers. Boeing and Airbus, makers of the “big jets,” will introduce new models this year, as will the two big makers of “regional” airliners Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier. Into this busy mix come two Asian aircraft manufacturers, one in China…

A New Asian Great Game Gets Underway

A New Asian Great Game Gets UnderwayNot one but two new Silk Roads are being born from the ashes of the ancient trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent. In effect, a new Great Game – a term used to describe the 19th-century contest for political and diplomatic primacy between Britain and…

Negative Interest Rates: Insidious Killers

Negative Interest Rates: Insidious KillersPlagued by a persistent lack of demand for loans in economies that refuse to respond to more conventional stimulus attempts, several of Europe’s central bankers have cut key interest rates below zero for more than a year. Japan now has caught the disease in an economy that has not responded to any of Abe’s arrows,…

Japan: Business Cycle Disappears

Japan: Business Cycle DisappearsJapan's politicians and the Bank of Japan appear unable or unwilling to get a grip on their economic problems despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s vaunted quiver of economic arrows, the most potent of which – restructuring – remains sheathed. In effect, the country has broken its Economic Clock®, with crazy investment implications. A broken clock…

Bonn Climate Protesters Take After Japan

Bonn Climate Protesters Take After JapanThe fourth day of negotiations on climate talks in Bonn, Germany, have got underway with protesters chanting "Sekitan, Yamato, stop coal finance," criticizing Japan as the world's largest provider of coal finance. The Bonn talks are the prelude to negotiate the final details of an agreement before the major United Nations-sponsored climate conference in Paris…

Some Japanese Manufacturers Exit China

Some Japanese Manufacturers Exit ChinaIn early 2015, Panasonic and Toshiba announced that they would stop producing television sets in China. As Japan continues to decrease its investment in China, the two multinational corporations’ partial exit seemed to underscore an overall trend of Japanese firms withdrawing from China. On Feb. 23, Nikkei News reported that Citizen Watch Company had suddenly closed…

Japan’s Abe Tries Painful Structural Reform

Japan’s Abe Tries Painful Structural ReformIn his 29 April speech to US Congress, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proudly referred to his administration’s “sweeping reforms to our agricultural cooperatives that have not changed in 60 long years.”  Those reforms ae a part of Abe’s crucial “third arrow” of structural reform, which has been stalled since he took office. But the draft bill presented to…

Grading Abenomics: It’s a C-

Grading Abenomics: It’s a C-Two years have passed since Shinzo Abe returned as prime minister of Japan and implemented a new economic policy that was quickly dubbed “Abenomics.” Enough time has passed to give a preliminary assessment of what Abenomics has accomplished. The answer? Not much. Abenomics consists of three parts, or “arrows:” a monetary policy of aggressive quantitative…

Oil Prices not Delivering Asia Boom

Oil Prices not Delivering Asia BoomThe best efforts of central bankers in the West and Japan to re-ignite inflation have thus far failed. The rest of Asia, which once seemed partly immune to the problems of aging and indebted societies, is now looking far more vulnerable to deflationary forces. Low and still-falling interest rates should in principle benefit these countries…
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