The accounting reaper cometh (Noah Smith)

A specter is haunting East Asia. Consumption is falling in the world's "deficit" countries, as American and British consumers rebuild their balance sheets. The global current-account and capital-account imbalances are thus coming under immense strain. An accounting identity states that for the imbalances to vanish, one of two things must happen in the "surplus" countries: …

Continue reading The accounting reaper cometh (Noah Smith)

Aso calls for a new Japan

Prime Minister Aso Taro, having had his second stimulus package pass the Diet Tuesday, appeared before the Diet on Wednesday to deliver his latest policy address.Rhetorically, the address contains few surprises. In the opening sections, in which Mr. Aso addressed the principles behind his policies. He spoke of the "once in a century economic crisis" …

Continue reading Aso calls for a new Japan

Slouching towards irrelevance?

Prime Minister Aso Taro, faced with dismal poll numbers, a potential rebellion within the LDP, and an economy galloping into recession, sought to stem the tide against him by announcing a second stimulus package at a press conference on Friday.The government's purpose is to ease the insecurities of the Japanese people, but also to make …

Continue reading Slouching towards irrelevance?