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Geoffrey WalkerDec. 23, 2012 - 07:00PM JST
Abe is like a doctor standing at the bedside of a terminal patient saying that an hour of jogging a day is what is required to return you to good health. I give Abe at most 12 months.
Posted in: Is Japan set to lead after 20 years of torpor?
Geoffrey WalkerJul. 06, 2012 - 02:12PM JST
Nuclear waste disposal and de-commissioning costs are the elephant in the room. As alluded to these costs will consume the balance sheet of all Japanese utilities and much more....and then guess who gets stuck with the bill....again?
Posted in: Oi No. 3 reactor restarts, but Japan's energy policy in flux
Geoffrey WalkerJul. 01, 2012 - 05:08PM JST
The day of reckoning isreached when the total amount of government debt comes within earshot of the sum of all the private sector financial assets. Foreign investors have already shied away from the JGB market, as 95% of JGBs are held domestically. When all of the domestic private sector financial assets become Japanese government debts, it is the absolute dead end.
If the dead end is close enough to be visible, even Japanese investors will try avoiding accumulating more JGBs.
As the Japanese economy has been stagnating, household income has not risen for more than a decade. With rapid ageing in Japan, households in aggregate will start spending down financial assets rather than further accumulating them.
The total household financial assets peaked at 1,566 trillion yen in March 2007, and have already declined to 1,476 trillion yen by March 2011. (Net financial assets, after deducting mortgages and other liabilities, are about 1,110 trillion yen.) If this pace of decline continues, household financial assets will be about 1,340 trillion by 2016.
The outstanding amount of Japanese government bonds (JGB) in March 2011 was 943 trillion yen, up from 674 trillion yen in 2007. If the pace of increase continues in the future, the JGB outstanding will be 1,350 trillion yen, for the first time exceeding the household assets, in 2016.
So, according to this simple calculation, Japan would be insolvent as a nation in 2016.
Of course, this is too simplistic a calculation. Other factors can absorb debt: The public sector of Japan owns financial assets, including JGBs, so that the net liabilities, rather than gross JGBs should be considered in such a calculation.
The four years from 2008 to 2011 have been exceptional in running large fiscal deficits in response to the global financial crisis, so that the debt may not increase so rapidly in the future.
On the other hand, there are factors that may move Japan to the saturation point even faster. In addition to JGBs, there are other public sector liabilities, such as the bonds issued by local governments as well as future liabilities in the national pension, healthcare and long-term care systems. Reconstruction after the earthquake/tsunami disaster of March 2011 will cost the government. The decreasing working-age population may continue to depress the economic growth. The increasing retired population will raise the social security benefit payments.
If borrowing from abroad for already high government liabilities is unlikely (without paying a prohibitively high interest rate), the amount of private sector financial assets will represent the end game.
Posted in: Japan economy 'faces same risks as Europe'
May. 21, 2013 - 04:26PM JST
Pity the crash didn't finish him off... evil bar-steward.
Posted in: Man stabs ex-wife, then crashes car during getaway
May. 21, 2013 - 04:25PM JST
Send him on a homestay with a female Israeli soldier, and see if she can educate…
Posted in: Hashimoto says S Korean troops guilty of wartime sex abuse
May. 21, 2013 - 04:24PM JST
Well, people fail to see that this guy is only saying aloud what the government also…
ou're right of course, but the difference is that fringe group nuts don't usually become the…
May. 21, 2013 - 04:20PM JST
75% of the people in the Asahi shinbun just said it was "problematic", that doesnt mean…
Posted in: Hashimoto hits back at polls showing majority disagree with his comments