JeffLee's past comments

  • 1

    JeffLee

    "They all do that. Foreign aid is always linked to buy our stuff, not theirs."

    No it isn't. The OECD has many times criticized Japan for its "tied aid" practices. With that rail project, I don't see any mention of open tenders. Rather, it's in terms of "Japanese companies will do it. Period." So when the Thais later need parts, upgrades, services, they will have to phone Tokyo...and pay monopolistic prices.

    Other countries arent nearly as manipulative like the Japanese. For instance, when the United States provided Syrian rebels vehicles as assistance, they gave them Toyota Land Cruisers (which the ISIS terrorists have since acquired. LOL,), because they were the best for the job, not because they were the best for corporate America.

    Posted in: Japan welcomes Mekong leaders in jostle for influence

  • 1

    JeffLee

    "While the number of elderly, overcrowding hospital waiting rooms, will correspondingly increase"

    The last couple of times I went to a Japanese hospital, there were only a handful of people waiting, with lots of empty seats. Used to be way more overcrowded in the past.

    "retires getting taxpayer funded pensions/health care"

    pensions don't have to be "taxpayer funded." The government can simply issue yen. it needs to get its yen in circulation anyway, so it may as give it to the people who have been paying their pension contributions all their lives and will spend nearly all the money on the domestic economy -- as opposed to hoarding it or giving it to rich people who then hoard, which is what the big corporations (who enjoy lavish corporate welfare) are doing. And which is Japan's core economic problem; insufficient demand.

    Posted in: Japan's population marks steepest decline ever

  • 0

    JeffLee

    "The Japanese government plans to offer loans to cover part of the cost,"

    So the only way the Japanese can sell products and services in SE Asia is if the Japanese govt steps in and subsidizes them?

    Posted in: Japan welcomes Mekong leaders in jostle for influence

  • 0

    JeffLee

    Once the effects of Japan's consumption-tax horror fade for good, the economy should be able to recover. That is, barring external factors, like 2008, or another round of dumb domestic political moves, like another tax hike or any other misguided attempt to take money out of the private sector.

    Posted in: Economies of China, Japan show hints of recovering; rest of Asia still struggling

  • -5

    JeffLee

    Another dimension to the "Japan is doomed" scenario. I've been hearing all the warnings incessantly for the past 20 years. Yawn.

    I mean, come on. Eventually something -- anything -- has to happen to justify all the abstract theories. Debt default, mass unemployment, pension default, hospitals and care homes bursting at the seams, crime waves, mass emigration.

    Sorry, folks, none of that is coming close to actually happening. In fact those scenarios are less likely to happen in Japan than in most other countries. Low birthrates are associated with affluence and comfort. Get used to it.

    Posted in: Japan's population marks steepest decline ever

  • 0

    JeffLee

    I hope it works. I have about a 50% success rate at their self-service check-in booths. And when it does work, usually one of their staff still has to come and straighten out some procedure the machine struggles with, like scanning or romaji spelling.

    My wife has 0% success, thanks to her exotic passport. It was faster for us before all this "self-service" malarkey, given the lineups in front of the baggage drop counter.

    Posted in: ANA offers Japan’s first self-service baggage drop system

  • 0

    JeffLee

    "even after the yen has collapsed from 76 to 125,"

    The yen didn't "collapse" at 125. The 76 rate was the extraordinary one.... an all-time record high and utterly unsustainable, and the result of rampant action by speculators. 125 is more in line with historical norms.

    "a very uncompetitive and inefficient market."

    Our grocery shopping bill at Seiyu is considerably lower now than at our previous local market, 15 years ago. That would be a sign of market becoming more competitive and efficient, a trend that I, at least, expect to continue.

    "There is alot if extraordinary profit baked into the price of many Japanese goods that needs to disappear before you actually see the inflation show up in prices."

    A trend that would lower prices...and hence cause inflation?! Well, I'm certainly having trouble with that one.

    Posted in: For Japan, lesson from Greek crisis is to keep on spending

  • -1

    JeffLee

    "To date, my actual "bets" have served me relatively well these past few years of Abenomics, "

    Really? Because for nearly 15 years, legions of investors have been burned by shorting Japan. It's the "widow trade". YOu know what that is, right? Shorting Japanese bonds in the belief that Japan's fiscal situation is unsustainable. Sadly for them, none of the predictions about Japan's debt crisis have come close to coming true...and they've lost their collective shirt.

    "certainly better than had I been following your doctrine instead."

    Really? So I take it the Japanese stock market rising 100% over the past 2 years -- despite all that debt and lack of reform -- has completely escaped your notice? If you'Re making money then you would have to be taking a position starkly at odds with your opinions as expressed on this forum.

    Posted in: For Japan, lesson from Greek crisis is to keep on spending

  • 0

    JeffLee

    A lot of rancor here. Let's revisit this topic in the near future and see who is right.

    If Japan defaults (after running out of its own money), or suffers some kind of internal monetary or fiscal crisis, jersey, fx and all the others will be right.

    If it doesn't, and continues on its low-growth, but also low-inflation way, barring an external shock, then me, guy, etc. will be right. I sure wish we could place bets on this forum.

    Posted in: For Japan, lesson from Greek crisis is to keep on spending

  • -3

    JeffLee

    "The question is how much you will be able to buy with that 100,000."

    I can buy more with that amount now than I could 15 years ago, before Japan started its loose monetary policy (ie "money printing").

    A coffee on the Ginza used to be 800 yen. Now it's 400. That's called "deflation." And it, as opposed to "inflation," is Japan's leading economic problem.

    Posted in: For Japan, lesson from Greek crisis is to keep on spending

  • 3

    JeffLee

    "However, government officials say the introduction of daylight saving is not currently on the table because of the huge latitude differences of the Japanese archipelago"

    Those officials need to do a modicum of research before they jump to their conclusions. Today in Naha, the sun rises at 5:40 a.m, sets at 19:18. In Sapporo, it's 4am, and 19:18.

    Moving the clock forward would be ideal in both places, and all places in between.

    Posted in: Gov't employees to start work early, finish early in July, August

  • 0

    JeffLee

    " Don't European hotels charge per person? Yes they do, and only Americans seem to complain"

    Not really. I recall the British B&Bs charge around 30 to 40 percent for extra person, mainly coz you got a big cooked breakfast that kept you going well past lunch.

    In Japan, it's 100 percent. And too often in my experience, the Japan breakfast in volume weight terms is mostly boiled white rice and then a few meager servings like a boiled egg, miso soup, and a slender filet of salty fish, green tea. No coffee, of course.

    Posted in: Why do so many Japanese hotels and ryokan charge by the person instead of the room?

  • 0

    JeffLee

    Right on. Austerity doesn't work when you're not having strong steady growth. In fact, it can trash your economy, as Greece shows. And also as Japan showed, when the consumption tax was hiked. Hello, recession!

    "the need for fiscal discipline."

    Please, Reuters writers, explain what specifically this "need" is for Japan, given that all its debts are in a currency it controls. The entire underlying of your fairly lengthy articles is left a mystery. Surreal.

    Posted in: For Japan, lesson from Greek crisis is to keep on spending

  • 0

    JeffLee

    "That the financial press refers to the yen as "traditionally" being a safe haven doesn't mean that it actually still is."

    It surged in the morning yesterday on overseas buyers looking for a haven. Or is yesterday morning a part of a distant "tradition," as opposed to something current? LOL. Or maybe you believe the world's financial wires just dreamt all this up?

    YOu may not like the idea of the yen as a safe haven, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

    My impression is that you and the other debt doomsayers have an ideology you're doggedly committed to, regardless of the truth and evidence (like yesterday's yen buying surge). A rational person would have ditched it ages ago.

    Posted in: Nikkei drops to more than 1-week low as Greek crisis batters global markets

  • -3

    JeffLee

    "I can't see how Japan would be affected....."

    The yen is a safe haven currency, which tends to rise during crises. A higher yen makes Japanese exports less competitive and shrinks the amount of profits earned overseas after conversion to yen.

    Also, markets simply don't like chaos and confusion.

    Posted in: Japan disappointed Greece unable to reach debt deal

  • 6

    JeffLee

    NHK said they're going to ask for "donations" from the private sector. How pathetic is that?

    Posted in: Olympic stadium to cost Y252 bil, sports minister says

  • 0

    JeffLee

    "America is cutting funding to infrastructure nationwide,"

    It has never required much "funding." It is mainly a product of the private sector with very little govt support, and yes, it has long been profitable.

    "so this "sophisticated and efficient" rail exists only in your imagination."

    Err, no, it actually exists, even if reality is not your strong suit. Read the article in the link I provided.

    Posted in: Popular elsewhere, high-speed rail remains elusive in U.S.

  • 0

    JeffLee

    "Internal debt can be more destabilizing than external debt."

    Indeed, Greece and Argentina are proof of that. Oh...hang on.

    Posted in: Japan factory production down 2.2% in May

  • -7

    JeffLee

    @Britlover

    Good points. You are hereby invited to join the "Correct Understanding of Economics Club."

    If you decide to remain on this forum, you will find yourself battling ignorance at every turn by the debt hawks/doomsayers. Every prediction about economic trends in Japan they have every made has been wrong and wrong and even beyond wrong...when the trends go in the stark opposite of where they say they will go. Check the archive to confirm this.

    And yet their blunders only strengthen their absurd worldview that has no basis we at the club like to call "economics" and "reality." Be forewarned. Be strong.

    Posted in: Japan factory production down 2.2% in May

  • -4

    JeffLee

    "Anyone know anyone who sold their foreign currency for the "safety" of the yen today because of the Greek drama?"

    Errr, masses of global investors and speculators? It seems you didn't see the financial press today.

    "TOKYO (Bloomberg) - Asian stocks sank with US index futures, while the euro and crude oil tumbled as Greece shut down its banks amid mounting concern the indebted nation is on track to exit the currency union. The anxiety triggered demand for** haven assets**, sending Treasuries soaring with **the YEN **and gold. "

    Interestingly, the Swiss franc took over by the afternoon.

    "LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) - The Swiss franc has emerged as a big winner from Greece's debt problems, overtaking the Japanese yen as investors' favourite safe-haven currency despite Switzerland offering the world's lowest interest rates."

    "**The franc and the yen are traditionally favoured during times of market stress **or economic uncertainty. **Usually the yen is the more sought-after, **since it is more liquid. However, data from Swiss bank UBS shows that in the past three weeks the franc has emerged as the best-bid major currency."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/09/markets-forex-swiss-franc-idUSL5N0YU3LG20150609

    Posted in: Nikkei drops to more than 1-week low as Greek crisis batters global markets

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