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Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

The Japan Syndrome Comes to China

Posted by hkarner - 16. Oktober 2015

Photo of Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, and, most recently, The Age of Sustainable Development.

OCT 16, 2015, Project Syndicate

NEW YORK – China is now experiencing what Japan went through a generation ago: a marked slowdown in economic growth after demands by the United States that it restrict its exports. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan was criticized by the US as an “unfair trader” by virtue of its soaring manufacturing exports. The US issued stern, and apparently credible, threats to restrict Japanese imports, and succeeded in pushing Japan to overvalue the yen, which helped to bring Japanese growth to a screeching halt.

That may be happening again, with China’s growth slowing markedly under the weight of an overvalued currency urged by the US. Figure 1 shows the yen’s real (inflation-adjusted) exchange rate from 1964 (when the yen became convertible on the current account) until today. A rise in the index signifies real appreciation, meaning that the yen became more expensive relative to other currencies after correcting for relative price-level changes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Debt Déjà Vu

Posted by hkarner - 6. Oktober 2015

Photo of Adair Turner

Adair Turner

Adair Turner, a former chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority and former member of the UK’s Financial Policy Committee, is Chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. His latest book is Between Debt and the Devil.

OCT 6, 2015, Project Syndicate

NEW YORK – For two years, financial markets have repeated the same error – predicting that US interest rates will rise within about six months, only to see the horizon recede. This serial misjudgment is the result not of unforeseeable events, but of a failure to grasp the strength and global nature of the deflationary forces now shaping the economy.

We are caught in a trap where debt burdens do not fall, but simply shift among sectors and countries, and where monetary policies alone are inadequate to stimulate global demand, rather than merely redistribute it. The origin of this malaise lies in the creation of excessive debt to fund real-estate investment and construction. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Short Asian Century?

Posted by hkarner - 25. September 2015

Photo of Yuriko Koike

Yuriko Koike

Yuriko Koike, Japan’s former defense minister and national security adviser, was Chairwoman of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s General Council and currently is a member of the National Diet.

SEP 24, 2015, Project Syndicate

TOKYO – The British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm once called the epoch stretching from the French Revolution of 1789 to World War I’s outbreak in 1914 as the “long nineteenth century.” A little over a decade ago, people began to speculate about an emerging “Asian century,” driven by an unstoppable China and enabled by America’s supposed inevitable decline. But with China’s economy in turmoil, key East Asian “tiger” economies like Malaysia and Thailand floundering, and even Singapore facing questions about the vitality of its economic model, is this “Asian century” coming to a premature end?

Political and economic troubles plague the region from east to west. In India and Indonesia, hopes that the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo, respectively, would spark a new wave of economic reform now seem to be running into the sand. Similarly, in South Korea, two successive presidents have failed to follow through on their bold promises to rein in the chaebol, the country’s massive family-owned conglomerates, in order to unleash the animal spirits of entrepreneurship. And in Japan, although Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has implemented far-reaching reforms, they have yet to reignite economic dynamism, and efforts to address the demographic threat posed by a rapidly aging population have not even begun. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Central Banks Policy Asynchronous-ity – A Source of New Risk

Posted by hkarner - 23. September 2015

Author: Satyajit Das  ·  September 21st, 2015  ·  RGE EconoMonitordas

Since 2009, the key driver of financial markets has been low rates and abundant liquidity which has boosted all asset prices. The total amount of money pumped into global money markets is around US$10-12 trillion, enough to buy each person on earth a widescreen flat TV.

In the great reflation, according to one estimate, over 80 percent of equity prices are supported in some way by quantitative easing (“QE”). In Australian both real estate prices and share markets have been underpinned by the global flow of money. Today, as much as US$200-250 billion in new liquidity each quarter may be needed globally to simply maintain asset prices. However, the world is entering a period of asynchronous monetary policy, with divergences between individual central banks which has the potential to destabilise asset markets

The discussion around the possible first increase in US interest rates, beginning the process of reversing the emergency zero interest rate policies implemented to combat the 2008 crisis kisses an essential point. The US Federal Reserve is scaling back, terminating purchases of government bonds and mortgage backed securities (“MBS”), which at their peak provided over US$1 trillion a year in new funds to markets. While new purchases have ceased, the Fed does not plan to sell its portfolio of around US$4 trillion of securities. It will continue to reinvest principal payments from its holdings of MBS and roll over maturing Treasury bonds.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wenn China sich auf einen Währungs-Krieg einlässt, verliert Europa

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2015

,  |  |Bernegger

Ein globaler Währungs-Krieg würde in Europa vor allem Frankreich und Italien treffen. China könnte mit billigen Exporten vor allem die abgemagerte Industrie in diesen Ländern schwer treffen – und damit die Stabilität der Euro-Zone gefährden. Die USA dagegen könnten profitieren.

Der Aufstieg Chinas zur Werkstatt der Welt hat umgekehrt die Industrie in den USA, in Japan und in Europa massiv zurückgeworfen.

Chinas Exporte haben sehr große Bedeutung, nicht nur für China selbst, sondern für den Rest der Welt. Die Exporte haben in den letzten 15 Jahren die Wirtschaftsentwicklung in anderen großen Wirtschaftsräumen mit geprägt. China ist innerhalb von 15 Jahren zum größten Exporteur der Welt geworden, mit einem scheinbar unaufhaltsamen Anstieg seines Anteils an den Exporten der ganzen Welt (siehe blaue Linie in der Grafik). Der Aufstieg Chinas zur Werkstatt der Welt hat umgekehrt die Industrie in den USA, in Japan und in Europa massiv zurückgeworfen. Teilweise hat es zu einer regelrechten De-Industrialisierung dieser Wirtschaftsräume geführt. Der Anteil ihrer Exporte an den gesamten Weltexporten hat sich erheblich, aber in unterschiedlichem Ausmaß, zurückgebildet.

Anteil an den Welt-Güterexporten in Prozent. (Grafik: DWN; Quelle UNCTADSTAT)

Am schlimmsten hat es die ehemalige Export-Großmacht Japan erwischt. Ihr Anteil ist seit den frühen 1990er Jahren im kontinuierlichen freien Fall und wird auch 2015/2016 drastisch weiter schrumpfen – allein schon währungsbedingt. Etwas besser haben sich die USA gehalten. Unmittelbar in den Jahren nach dem Beitritt Chinas zur WTO im Jahr 2001 ist ihr Anteil an den Weltexporten in den Folgejahren um rund einen Drittel gefallen. Dieser Anteil hat sich seit ungefähr zehn Jahren aber stabilisiert.

Grund dafür dürfte die auf Drängen Washingtons von 2005 bis 2008 gegenüber dem US-Dollar aufgewertete Währung Chinas sein. Auch Europa, hier ausgedrückt durch die Eurozone, hat ganz erheblich Federn lassen müssen. Bis ungefähr 2003 hatte der Anteil der Eurozone-Länder an den Weltexporten rund einen Drittel betragen und ist jetzt auf gut 24% gefallen. Diese Verluste innerhalb der Eurozone sind unterschiedlich verteilt. Von den großen Ländern sind vor allem Frankreich und Italien die großen Verlierer, während sich Spanien gut und Deutschland leidlich gehalten haben. Diese Trends werden sich 2015 fortsetzen. Währungsbedingt werden vor allem die Eurozone und Japan nochmals Einbussen erleiden. China und die USA dagegen werden weitere Gewinne einfahren.

Warum diese Entwicklung? Hier sind zwei Phasen zu unterscheiden. Nach der Hinwendung Chinas zu einem exportorientierten Wachstumsmodell Ende der 1970er Jahren dominierten zwei Faktoren das chinesische Exportwachstum bis Ende der 1990er Jahre. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Real Demographic Challenge

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2015

Date: 22-08-2015Turner CC
Source: Project Syndicate


Adair Turner, a former chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority and former member of the UK’s Financial Policy Committee, is Chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. His book Between Debt and the Devil will be published by Princeton University Press in fall 2015.

LONDON – The United Nations’ latest population projections suggest that Japan’s population could fall from 127 million today to 83 million by 2100, with 35% of the population then over 65 years old. Europe and other developed economies are aging as well, owing to low fertility rates and increasing longevity.

But those who warn that huge economic problems lie ahead for aging rich countries are focused on the wrong issue. Population aging in advanced economies is the manageable consequence of positive developments. By contrast, rapid population growth in many poorer countries still poses a severe threat to human welfare. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Risk taking and firm growth

Posted by hkarner - 4. August 2015

Peng Xu 03 August 2015, voxeu

Professor and Director, Institute of Comparative Economic Studies, Hosei University

According to Hofstede’s analysis, Japan is one of the most uncertainty-avoiding countries. Indeed, Japanese firms exhibit the lowest level of risk taking in the cross-country analysis of John et al. (2008). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How the Eurozone Should Deal With Pushback

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juni 2015

Date: 11-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

A bold solution is needed to persuade unruly member states to undertake economic overhauls

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has objected to measures that the country’s creditors have insisted upon in exchange for fresh aid.

Whatever the outcome of the interminable Greek crisis, it has highlighted a major challenge for the eurozone: How does it induce a member state to pursue policies vital not only to its own economic fortunes, but also to those of every other country to which it is yoked? How can sovereign governments—including those not facing the prospect of imminent default if they refuse to accept the conditions attached to a bailout program—be persuaded to undertake reforms that will make their economies more flexible and therefore better able to withstand shocks? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Stefan Kooths: „Am Ende steht ökonomisches Chaos“

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juni 2015

04.06.2015 | 18:28 | von Jakob Zirm (Die Presse)

Kooths ccDer deutsche Ökonom Stefan Kooths sieht durch die expansive Geldpolitik ein „Konservieren von Zombie-Strukturen“. Die Chancen auf eine sanfte Landung seien sehr gering.

Die Presse: Die Zeichen stehen auf Aufschwung, aber im ersten Quartal schwächelte ausgerechnet die Konjunkturlokomotive Deutschland. Macht Ihnen das Sorgen?

Stefan Kooths: Die deutsche Konjunktur wird vor allem durch das extrem expansive monetäre Umfeld unter Dampf gesetzt. Und dabei sehe ich weniger die Gefahr, dass es zu einem Stottern kommt, als jene, dass man nichts gegen die Überhitzung unternimmt.


Die USA sind deutlich schwächer als die Erwartungen. Wie passt das ins Bild?

Auch hier haben manche erwartet, dass es einen konjunkturellen Durchmarsch geben wird. Dass der nicht gekommen ist, führt nun aber auch hier eher zu den Befürchtungen, dass der expansive Kurs in der Geldpolitik – der unserer Meinung nach ohnehin schon viel zu lange anhält – nun weitergeht und sich die verschiedenen Länder oder Währungsräume sogar gegenseitig hochschaukeln.

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Are the Good Times Over?

Posted by hkarner - 28. April 2015

Date: 27-04-2015
Source: Project Syndicate


Michael J. Boskin is Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was Chairman of George H. W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1993, and headed the so-called Boskin Commission, a congressional advisory body that highlighted errors in official US inflation estimates.

STANFORD – In the 25 years before the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the United States experienced two brief, mild recessions and two strong, long expansions. Globally, incomes grew briskly; inflation abated; and stock markets boomed. Moreover, the recovery from the last major slump, in the early 1980s, brought about a quarter-century of unprecedentedly strong and stable macroeconomic performance. This time, however, the return to growth has been much more difficult.

America’s recovery since the Great Recession, has been inconsistent, with growth repeatedly picking up and then sputtering out. In fact, the US has not experienced three consecutive quarters of 3% growth in a decade. Though lower oil prices are helping consumers, this gain is partly offset by less energy investment, and the effects of the stronger dollar will be even larger. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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