sangetsu03's past comments

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    What do insurance companies have to say about their projections for premiums next year or 10 years from now? How much more is the reinsurance they buy to protect them from over-the-top disasters expected to cost?

    Except that the 2013 IPCC report on climate change specifically says it expects no increase in extreme weather events, so if we believe that the IPCC says that global warming is occurring, we must also accept that there will be no extreme weather, or associated costs, right? And if there are no extreme events, there should be no increase in insurance to pay for damage the which will not occur. We have seen a remarkable decrease in extreme weather, particularly in America, where there seems to be a record lack of hurricanes for the past decade, and far fewer tornado-related deaths than usual.

    The way to help make sure that both countries keep to those commitments is to keep driving home the cost of not doing so with tangible, dollars-and-cents journalism.

    A good thing he said "dollars and cents" instead of "sense".

    As we head into 14 years, 2 months with no increase in temperatures, while the fact that C02 has increased steadily, despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent to reduce CO2, I wonder exactly which cost has been higher. Had we done nothing, it seems it would have made no difference, and we would be hundreds of billions of dollars better off.

    Ice appeared on Lake Superior on November 15th this year, two weeks earlier than it did last year. And last year's early ice formation was a record, and the extent of the ice in the great lakes last year was also a record. It looks as though that record will be smashed this year, as cold weather is off to an unusually early start. Last year also saw the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded by man on earth. Funny how global warming causes such cold weather.

    Posted in: Bottom line on climate change: It's costing you money

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    As for Japan's rising profits, read this:

    You are making me to read an article for the third quarter of last year? What does anything which happened a year ago have to do with right now? A decrease in GDP is caused by a decrease in economic activity, which does not happen when companies are earning good profits, right?

    You have a yen creation machine???

    Luckily, I get paid in dollars. I exchange these dollars for yen, and as I am getting more and more yen for my dollars, apparently people are seeing less value in the yen. If you are paid in yen, you have seen a great deal of the value of your savings evaporate into thin air over the past three years.

    If everyone took responsibility for their own wealth, there would be no employees anywhere, and society wouldn't be able to function.

    Why not? I am not an employee, and I make enough money to get by. There is such a thing as working for yourself. Another term for "employee" is "wage slave". At least when i work for myself, I don't have to grovel for a raise or promotion. If I want more money, I find new ways to make it. It isn't especially easy, but on the other hand, I am my own man. There is a lot to be said for personal and economic freedom. If you let other people take responsibility for your wealth, don't be surprised if you never have any wealth.

    The problem we have in Japan is that too few people have the courage to work for themselves. It is people who create businesses, and businesses which create work for employees or other businesses.

    Posted in: BOJ keeps economic outlook despite recession

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    As a result, the favorable economic conditions of 2013 are likely to be restored in Japan next year. Investor pessimism caused by April’s tax hike has vanished - and rightly so. When the facts change, people should change their minds.

    But then Japan released it's third-quarter economic figures, and instead of the 2.4% growth they had predicted, they ended up with a 1.6% drop. This means that the favorable economic conditions of 2013 are likley not to be seen again. Invester pessimism never vanished, investers have profited as they can from the situation, like a doctor who collects fees for treating a terminally-ill patient.

    Posted in: Time for a 'melt-up': The coming global boom

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    And is also why people don't want to have kids. Kids are expensive (and Abenomics is just adding to that expense), while companies try to cut costs, and whine about the shortage of human resources while refusing to give proper jobs to younger employees.

    Your first point is correct. But according to government figures, last year 70% of Japanese companies reported a loss. It is hard to give proper pay or proper jobs when your company is not earning a profit. And let's not forget that bankruptcy is akin to a crime in Japan, bankrupts lose their right to vote, can never obtain credit, and cannot be given full-time jobs. Company presidents and business owners will avoid such a risk at all costs, so they are not going to invest, hire, or pay more unless they are certain of a positive result. Right now they aren't.

    Posted in: Japan can't print people

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    If Abe, Amari, Aso, and Kuroda were like the samurai of old, they would be contemplating seppuku by now.

    What is amazing is not that Japan's monetary easing, asset purchases, and stimulus spending failed to generate GDP growth, but that the Japanese government and economists (including economists outside Japan) believed that it would.

    Is modern economics that far detached from basic common sense? Economics is simple cause and effect, and involves repatively simple math. But like in other sciences, economists are financially or politically motivated to produce results which comply with the desires of those who pay them, or which fit their own ideological outlook.

    Japan's basic problem is demographics, namely the rapidly falling population. The cause of the falling population is absurdly simple, it is simply too expensive to raise children in Japan. Your average Japanese (politicians not included) has a pretty good understanding of math. He can look at his present and future salary, and the cost of raising and educating a child. When he subtracts the latter number from the former, he will likely determine the cost to be too high.

    The deflationary cycle Japan has found itself mired in is a natural reaction to the current situation. The combination of an uncompetitive business environment, an overly-protected domestic economy, heavy regulation, and heavy taxation have pushed the cost of living higher than people find acceptable. So the people consume less, and have less children. Left alone, prices would eventually find a floor to settle on, consumption would resume, and growth would return.

    But the current policy of increasing inflation while simultaneously raising taxes only bumps up an already overly-high cost of living. The result is even less consumption, even fewer children being born, and economic collapse.

    Our politicians and central bankers are like the doctors of the middle ages, whose main remedy for all illnesses was to bleed their patients. This always hurt, and never helped, but it took doctors centuries to learn that their treatment was useless. How long will it take our politicians and central bankers to learn the same thing?

    Posted in: BOJ keeps economic outlook despite recession

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    That's a real stretch (of the truth). The govt floats the bonds and it is currently actively DISCOURAGING institutions and individuals from buying JGBs and to buy other higher yielding instruments instead.

    The only thing discouraging institutions and individuals from buying JGB's is the financial credibility of government which issues the bonds. The same government which missed it's GDP predictions by 400%, and which earned $45 billion in revenue at a cost to the taxpayers and economy of $120 billion, for a net loss of what? $75 billion? No wonder people are discouraged from buying JGB's, playing pachinko will give them a better return.

    You want to blame the consumption tax for this mess? Try again. In case you don't remember, one of the primary reasons Abe embarked on monetary easing and asset purchases was to increase inflation. How is inflation different from a tax increase? Don't both take money from the pockets and savings of the people? Isn't the end purpose of the tax and increased inflation to help manage the national debt?

    Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    You're suffering? Maybe you aren't playing your cards right? You analyse stocks, I recall, and the stock market has been going up. Did you pick a bunch of losers? I'd have thought stock market folks would have been making a killing in recent years, despite the evil banks and corporations.

    He said a few months ago that his portfolio had doubled since 2008, but then he wouldn't have had to do anything special, as the market itself has doubled over the same period. My portfolio doubled between 2008 and 2009, and has continued to do well. I am not doing as well as I would like, but I am not suffering, mainly because I depend on myself to make ends meet, rather than a bank, company, or government handout.

    Posted in: BOJ keeps economic outlook despite recession

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    Commercial banks have actually been selling down their holdings, as will the GPIF. No one wants to buy MORE of such trash, at least. It appears that this is a big reason why the BOJ boosted their own purchases to 80 trillion a year, enough to cover the amount to be sold by the GPIF, as well as the new issuance.

    True enough, but I wonder who the banks are selling their holdings to? The main buyer of JGB's is the now the government itself, which is even worse than the previous situation. When the general market buys bonds, the bond rate is dependent on the perceived responsibility of the issuer, and his ability to repay. In the past, people thought Japan was wise not to sell their bonds on the general market. But if they had, the would have had to manage their economy much more responsibly in order to find buyers for their bonds, and we would not be in the situation we find ourselves in now.

    Those who believe that the exchange rate has nothing to do with them are rather mistaken, I would suggest, but so long as they only eat rocks and dirt then they should be just fine.

    I am paid in dollars, and three years ago people laughed at me for not being paid in yen. I guess I am doing the laughing now.

    Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    The banks and corporations kicked the legs out from under the economies of the developing nations, and are today sitting on record profits and cash while the rest of us suffer.

    Let me see here, last year 70% of Japanese companies reported a loss. I would guess these companies aren't sitting on any record profits, are they? Panasonic, Sharp, and Hitachi have posted profits this year, but these profits are a scant fraction of the losses they have incurred over the past few years, so I would guess they aren't sitting on much cash either.

    Next, the big automakers had a pretty good year, but not in Japan. None of them earned a yen in profit on their Japanese sales, all their profit was made overseas. This profit was taxed overseas, and it will probably be reinvested overseas, right?

    The banks have had a great run up in stocks. Companies have seen about $1 trillion in stock-value increases. But why? Most of these companies were profit-neutral, some earned a profit, many made a loss, yet their stock prices went up significantly?

    Your government and central banks decided to implement easy money policies, which allowed these companies to issue debt to buy back their own stock, and thus drive up it's price, even while their companies were earning little or no profit. Executive pay is based on stock performance, not profit, so these executives have found a way to bump up their pay without having to make their companies perform.

    You can bet the families of Kuroda, Aso, Amari, and Abe will be able to find good jobs in these companies in return for the good work they have done to bump up executive pay. But that's how politics works in the real world. You make a big mistake when you believe that the government exists for the good of the people, and that the policies they create benefit you and I. The banks and corporations do not own politicians, the politicians own the banks and corporations, and that has always been the case.

    There are no "record profits" in Japan. There are no piles of cash, there is only a yen value assigned to a piece of paper which is a share in a company which was inflated in value because money borrowed from the central bank caused a demand increase when it was used to buy such shares.

    GDP fell by 1.6% in the Q3. If there are record profits, and companies and banks are doing so well, why did GDP decrease?

    Posted in: BOJ keeps economic outlook despite recession

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Well, that's wrong, at the most basic level, and that's why this debt-hawk school of thought that over the years predicted skyrocketing int rates and debt defaults has been consistently wrong.

    The actual rate is 26%. Officially, 26% of all tax revenue collected in Japan is paid on debt-servicing costs. And as Japan creates and buys more assets, this number increases, doesn't it?

    The only reason the rates have not gone up is because the BOJ has twisted the arms of the commercial banks to buy bonds at low rates. Bonds are bought mainly by domestic investors because no one else will buy them at the rates they pay.

    Skyrocketing rates would be occurring if Japan were not manipulating it's bond market. But this manipulation can only go on for so long. What is going to happen if the yen continues it's slide? Already the Wall Street Journal is predicted a rate of 140 yen to the dollar, or higher. If this happens, rates will go up, and if they do, Japan will be paying much more than 26% on debt-servicing costs, right?

    Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    “Creating a political vacuum at a time when we are still in need of economic stimulus should never happen,” he told the mass-selling Yomuiri Shimbun.

    Yeah right, this politician wants stimulus money so he can award contracts to his cousins, nieces, and nephews, who will of course return the favour to him further down the road.

    The one thing which should never have happened was all of the wasteful and kick-back driven stimulus projects. The big conglomerates and stock market got all the money, and our current crop of politicians will all benefit from amakudari positions with these places when they retire. Most Japanese got nothing out of the deal, and they will get nothing out of future stimulus spending either.

    Posted in: Gov't defends election over 'waste of money' criticism

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    It increased.

    Last year Japan's tax revenue was about $450 billion. If revenue increased 10%, that makes this year's revenue about $495 billion. But a 1.6% decrease in GDP equals about $74 billion lost to the economy, right? This significantly outweighs the gain of $45 million. And then we can add the further $50 billion spent to stimulate the economy after the tax increase. So the government managed to net an increase of $45 billion, at a cost to the the taxpayers and economy of about $125 billion? Are we supposed to be happy about this?

    Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    And yet the overall population of polar bears has increased, hasn't it? There has been no study which has concluded that the oversll population of polar bears is declining, is this not so? In fact, there are more polar bears now than there have been in more than a century and an half, right? And, according to scientists, polar bears had no trouble surviving the last interglacial period when there no sea ice whatsover, correct?

    In every population of every species, you will find parts which are growing or declining, because nature is not static, and never has been. Never, at any period in the long history of the world has there been no climate change, or other forms of change. Seas rise and fall, as do mountains, continents move. The world is in constant, neverending change, which benefits some populations, while at the same time hurting others.

    Posted in: Polar bear numbers down 40% in parts of Arctic

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    It's not a prediction. It's government's official data and not the "private" ones predicting the 'growth'.

    Funny, it seems "the government's officlal data" has generally been wrong, hasn't it? As Simon said, if unemployment is down, and wages are up, why isn't the economy growing? If more people are working, and getting better pay, shouldn't things be getting better instead of worse?

    I work in economics myself, in the private sector, and sometimes in the government. I made my own predictions last year, and guess what, they were correct.

    According to the government, someone who is working one or two days a week for minimum wage is "employed", even if they are not making enough money to make ends meet. In such cases, these "employed" people are adding less to the economy than they are taking out of it, which is certainly no help.

    Having worked for more than one government myself, I have learned the hard way that the figures and information they publish is generally less trustworthy than that which is published by the private sector. If I am a company, and I publish false or misleading figures, I can be sued, or charged with a crime. But if I am a politician or bureaucrat, I can pretty much publish whatever I like, and face the consequences (unlikely) in the next election. People only listen to what they want to hear, and if you tell them what they want to hear, they are happy, even if what you tell them is completely wrong. Your "official government figures" are a good example.

    America's "official" unemployment rate is at a 5 year low, but the labor participation rate (the percentage of the population which has a job) is at a near 30 year low, so there are fewer people actually working than at anytime since 1977. This figure shows that 37.2% of Americans are not working, while at the same time the governement reports that unemployment is only 5.9%? Japan and Europe use the same convoluted math as America, you cannot believe what these reports state, they are simply not true.

    Posted in: Abe adviser calls for stimulus after 'shocking' GDP

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Wages are up. Overall employment for 7 consecutive years. Private consumption is also up.

    Are these figures to be taken as seriously as all of the other published figures? like those which predicted GDP growth of 2.4% for Q3? Or 2% annualized inflation? Or the tax increase generating 5 trillion yen in additional revenue? Have any of these numbers, which were predicted by the best minds which the finance ministry and their Todai and Harvard-edcuated economists panned out?

    How much have your wages gone up? How many people here have seen they wages go up? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

    How many people here have increased their consumption? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

    Posted in: Abe adviser calls for stimulus after 'shocking' GDP

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Abe, whom I consider a smart politician,

    God save us, the only thing worse than a stupid politician is a smart one.

    Our democratic systems were intended for us to elect our peers to public office, not create a permanent ruling political class in which our "leaders" are the sons and grandsons of politicians. Funny how some actions have a result opposite from the one which was intended, kind of like tax increases causing reductions in revenue.

    But as Hitler himself said, "What a wonderful thing for rulers that people are stupid!"

    Posted in: What Japan's recession means for the country

  • 14

    sangetsu03

    Really Aso-san? Are you living in Colorado too? Did you smoke something before giving this enlightened speech?

    As finance minister, I am sure you are aware that you previous tax increase which was designed to increase revenue by 3% has ended up causing a decrease in revenue of twice that amount, or is basic math not a prerequisite for becoming finance minister? And since the first tax hike has reduced revenue rather than increased it, what do you think further increasing the tax will do? Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing twice but expecting a different result?

    Japan and other developed countries do not have a tax problem, all of us pay plenty of tax. What Japan and other developed countries have is a spending problem, and that is the problem which must be addressed. If Japan and other countries were responsible managers of the tax money they collect, we would not be in the situation we now find ourselves in. And it is the likes of Aso which has helped to make the problem so bad.

    Does anyone know what the "Golden Rule" of tax increases is? Tax is not, and has never been raised to reduce deficits or debts, regardless of what politicians say. Tax is increased only for the purpose of further increasing spending.

    Exactly how much has the public debt been reduced since the first tax was implemented back in 1997? Wait, it has not been reduced at all? How much was the public debt reduced since the latest increase was passed earlier this year? Wait, none at all?

    The basic rule of tax increases demands that for every 10% of increase, spending must be increased 15% or more. Tax increases have a way of increasing spending, not reducing debts. Since Aso, Abe, and Amari never once discuss the obvious solution, cutting spending to reduce debt, I cannot take anything they say seriously.

    Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Sangatsu, the population is decreasing at a rate of 0.2%. You call that decreasing sharply?

    Really? The population is predicted to fall from 127 million to 87 million by 2050. I helped with the making of the official report. That is a drop of nearly one-third, correct? The population decreased by 244,000 last year, but as the average age in Japan increases, and fewer people are being born, the rate of decline will steepen quickly. The situation is less a problem with the number of people dying as the lack of people being born. Abe said he has plans to stabilize the population at 100 million, but if he is as good at maintaining population numbers as he is at meeting his goals for inflation and GDP growth, we aren't likely to see the decline stopped, or even slowed down.

    Posted in: Time for a 'melt-up': The coming global boom

  • 3

    sangetsu03

    TINKERING WITH TAXES: After many years of deficit spending, Japan needs tax increases to get its battered government finances into better shape and cut its total public debt, which is more than twice the size of the economy and the largest among developed nations. A delay in the tax hike will slow that process.

    What kind of Marxist fool is the author of this article?

    Here is how it works. If you raise taxes, this increase is passed on to all income classes. Companies who pay more tax compensate by hiring fewer workers, lowering pay, laying off staff, moving overseas, or simply shutting down. People who pay more taxes compensate by buying fewer goods. When they buy fewer goods, companies produce fewer goods, and thus compensate by not hiring, reducing wages, laying off staff, moving overseas, or simply shutting down This drives down wages further, which further decreases economic activity. As economic activity decreases, taxable profits and income decrease, and the government ends up collecting less revenue.

    How exactly did the last tax increase help to pay down Japan's public debt? The increase in the tax was the direct cause of the decrease in GDP, and the decrease in GDP was more than enough to wipe out all of the extra revenue collected, right? Is the author unable to do this very simple math? Does the author think that raising the tax yet another 2% will increase revenue 2%? Does the author live in Colorado? Is he smoking something as he writes?

    Does the author realize that Japan's population is decreasing by 6 figures each and every year? Does the author realize why the population is decreasing? Doesn't the author realize that the population is decreasing because the cost of living is too high? And does the author somehow think that further increasing the cost of living will do anything other than push the population down even more quickly? Is the whole world stupid?

    Posted in: What Japan's recession means for the country

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Hogwash.

    The current trend monetary easing and stimulus spending is like like a drop of clove oil on a toothache, it eases the pain, but the effect is temporary, and does nothing to cure the cavity.

    Current economic policies are all short-sighted schemes, designed to profit policy makers, at the expense of the rest of us.

    Here is how it works. First, you lower the interest rates to nearly zero, which allows your country to borrow at a lower rate. You issue bonds, and then buy them back yourself, which gives you more of the taxpayer's money to spend. Then you dilute the money supply by adding to it, in order to further increase the money available to spend, and also create phony inflation, which helps relieve the some of the weight of your debt servicing costs.

    Once your country has borrowed or printed enough money, it then spends the money on projects which generate jobs for the politically connected, and kickbacks for the politicians who write the checks. The extra money which is pumped out by the central banks is loaned out out to companies who then use the funds to buy back their own stock, thus inflating it's value, and creating the bull market which we currently see.

    Over the course of only a couple years, we have seen the Nikkei double in value, while the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 grow tremendously. But where is the underlying growth? We have seen growth of less than 2% in most developed countries, and negative growth in Japan, so why have the stock markets risen so dramatically? Because of what I said in the previous paragraph.

    Perhaps you know that executive pay is tied to stock performance, and not sales. As such, executives have found a way to bump up their salaries without having to actually make their companies more successful. This is wrong, but the government is doing the exact same thing, borrowing money to create phony growth by which it profits directly. The only trouble with this practice is that it's effect is temporary.

    The world's third largest economy is in recession, despite the fact that it's stock market is at the highest level in recent memory. There has been no real economic reform, the population continues to decrease sharply, most companies are still reporting an annual loss. The current stock market prices defy logic, but they can't defy it for long.

    Posted in: Time for a 'melt-up': The coming global boom

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