sangetsu03's past comments

  • -4

    sangetsu03

    That's because my job requires it. I get paid to write about business and economics in Japan. What's your profession?

    Are you kidding?

    Do you know what a ponzi scheme is? It goes like this. You put in a certain amount of money, and after a short time, you are repaid your investment, plus a percentage. Your investment and the extra percentage is paid when two or three other people put in some money. Their money goes to you. A few more people join and put in their money, and this goes to pay the two or three people whose funds went to you. The scheme works so long as ever greater numbers of people put money into the scheme. In the 70's, the ponzi scheme was called a "pyramid club". as the base of the pyramid widens, those at the top of the pyramid get more money. But eventually, the number of participants declines, and those late players who are on the bottom of the pyramid and were the last to put in their money end up losing it all.

    Japan's entire social welfare system (and those of other developed nations) is a ponzi scheme. Back in the 70's and 80's when the economy was growing, the system was workable. But now with the population declining rapidly, there are fewer and fewer people putting in their money. In order to keep the system going, the government is borrowing heavily, and putting the money into the system. But this compounds the problem. It is bad enough when shrinking tax base is no longer sufficient to pay the current bills, but then the government begins borrowing and spending. This money which the government is borrowing must be repaid. How can it be repaid when their already isn't enough revenue to fund entitlement spending, and the population is decreasing by 100,000 or more each year?

    It's always "yet," isn't it. Well, keep moving your goal posts back further and further and further. Whatever you do, don't give up your flawed and outdated ideology, which has yet to get any of its predictions right.

    "Yet" has already occurred. The decline of the population is the definitive sign. This decline is occurring rapidly, and each year the future population decline is revised downward. This is not a small problem, this is a catastrophe.

    The BOJ (which I can see out my window right now), and the government are struggling heroically (or diabolically) to keep things going. Without the prospect of growth, there is little more that they can do. Abe and his friends are borrowing, scraping, printing, and promising to keep the national ponzi scheme going, but all things must come to an end eventually.

    Posted in: Quiet critic of Kuroda's 'monetary shamanism' turns up the volume

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    I do give Abe credit for having a plan, and things did seem perky early last year, but after two years I can only give Abe a C+ for actual execution. The expectations were there in the early days but he's not lived up to them. In the news today yet another of his newly minted ministers appears to be involved in a funding issue. Of course I hope he can get it together but I won't take personal actions based on hope alone.

    I give Abe no credit, because he lied. There is no "third arrow", and it appears there was never any intention to deregulate or reform the econmy. Had there been meaningful reform, the easing and stimulus policies would have been less necessary, or nit necessary at all. But continued economic problems give Abe and his party an excuse to loot the Japanese economy through awarding "stimulus projects" with money which the government is printing and borrowing from itself.

    Yawn. The same old warnings about high inflation, "unmanagable" debt, bond sell-offs, rocketing interest rates, etc. Only one problem, folks: none of these scenarios have ever materialized.

    Yet.

    The situation is a lot like the sinking of the Titanic. It went down slowly, and the band played on. Because the people were not aware of the urgency of the sitiation, many did not escape, many of the lifeboats were empty. Abe, Amari, and Aso are telling the band to play on, but don't imagine for a moment that they will go down with the ship.

    Posted in: Quiet critic of Kuroda's 'monetary shamanism' turns up the volume

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Calling the QQE stimulus policy “monetary shamanism” does not get to the heart of what is going on here, which is class warfare. This is about shifting public wealth and political capital to the elite 1 or 0.1%. The sham is reducing the discussion to one of macro economics when it should be a political economic discussion.

    Nonsense, as Solomon said, "there is nothing new under the sun". There is no such thing as class warfare. People, like animals, have a territorial instinct, and the natural desire to acquire and possess. People are not created equal, just as no other living is created equal. Some people are taller than others, just as some trees of the same species are taller than others. People who have an advantage in skill, strength, intelligence, or motivation will move to the top of the ladder. Darwin proved evolution, and the principle of natural selection, it is funny that people don't seem tp realize that this principle applies to all living things, including themselves. A top 1% exists because it is naturally ordained to exist. It has always existed, and it always will. In the past the people have risen up to get rid of the top 1%, but they were simply being used by others who aspired to be at the top.. When the existing ruling class was shot, guillotined, or exiled, it was immediately replaced by another ruling class, which was often worse than it's predecessor.

    Class-warfare rhetoric is nothing but a phony issue used by those at the top to mollify or fool the lower classes into thinking they care. Politics is not about giving ordinary people a voice, it is a method of keeping people under control. We don't need more politics, we need less. Economics is based on black-and-white truths, cause-and-effect, not the empty promises and outright lies which the stupid are foolish enough to believe.

    Posted in: Quiet critic of Kuroda's 'monetary shamanism' turns up the volume

  • -3

    sangetsu03

    "Open markets" don't work for developed countries, anyway. They work in theory, but not in practice.

    How can we know for sure? There has never modern history been a free and open market, has there? We can't know if they work in practice, because they have never been tried. The only thing we had which was close to an open market was Hong Kong in the pre-China days. Arguably, Hong Kong was the most economically successful countries of it's size, wasn't it?

    While the assumption that the Japanese food bills are two to three times higher I still feel rather safe in the quality of the food we are able to buy compared to GMO in other countries that want to force that to the Japanese public and foreigners residing in Japan.

    Did you know that Japan Agriculture is pretty much the sole supplier of of seeds, fertiliser, and insecticides in Japan? Did you know that Japan Agriculture buys nearly all of these from America? You may already be eating food in Japan which is linked to GMO crops.

    Posted in: U.S. urges Japan to be bolder in opening markets

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Even Keynesian economic practices are practicable if there is an underlying foundation for growth. When Keynes developed his economic theories, populations around the world were growing rapidly, technology and manufacturing were advancing at a pace never before seen in the world. Such rapid changes resulted in large economic fluctuations which could be mitigated by central bank intervention. In addition, in Keynes' time, government spending as a percentage of GDP was one-third what it is now. "Pump priming" was a workable option to get the economy going whenever there was a stall.

    But now the situation is much different, particularly in Japan. In Japan, there is no underlying foundation for growth, period. With the population shrinking by more than 6 figures every year, and due to decrease by 40% by the middle of the century, there is absolutely no possibility of domestic economic growth. With other parts of Asia providing services and products at lower prices than Japan, there is little possibility of non-domestic growth.

    Monetary easing and deficit spending are only feasible when there is demand-pull inflation. The increase in the money supply diminishes as the population and economy grows, and inflation caused by increased demand reduces the weight of debts and debt servicing costs. But when the population is not growing, and the economy is shrinking, monetary easing simply doesn't help. Increasing the money supply when the population and economy is shrinking simply devalues the currency, and robs people of the value of their labor and savings. The decreasing population can only cause deflation, as demand for goods decreases when there are fewer and fewer people around to buy goods. In this environment, companies cannot increase wages to keep up with inflation because their sales and profits are decreasing.

    Abe, and Kuroda are sinking in the quicksand, and grasping as whatever straws they can to slow down their slide. But monetary easing is not the answer, it only makes matters worse.

    Posted in: Quiet critic of Kuroda's 'monetary shamanism' turns up the volume

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    The English teacher economists are not in touch with the real business world, do they trade, have contact on a daily basis with other companies who produce, manufacture , distribute or supply ?

    I own a trading company, my office is in Nihonbashi, across from the BOJ. My father owns five Japanese companies, and this week I had lunch with the chairman of one of Japan's largest conglomerates. I am not positive about the Japanese economy, my father is not positive, and my friend the chairman looked this week like he had eaten a raw porcupine for lunch.

    If things are so rosy, and the economy is recovering, then why is the population falling through the floor? Why has the government had to borrow 1000 trillion yen to keep the country moving? Why are 10% of all buildings in Tokyo vacant? Why did 70% of Japanese companies report a loss last year (which was a good year compared to the previous four years)?

    I am quite familiar with the business world, and it helps that I have a degree in economics. I am certainly not an "Englsh teacher economist". I struggle each week to make deals to keep things going, to keep dollars coming into my company, with which I pay my suppliers and overhead. The economy isn't as bad as most people think, it is twice that bad.

    Posted in: Abe's troubles may not end despite resignations of two ministers

  • -2

    sangetsu03

    Amazing how stupid people are. The charter for TPP states clearly that the goal is "zero tariffs on all goods by 2015". This was what Japan read when it decided to join the treaty. And no, Japan was not invited, in fact several of the participating countries did not want Japan involved, as they knew that Japan would never agree to open it's markets. It was only due to America's insistance that Japan was let in. It is nice to see how Japan expresses it's appreciation.

    But it is all moot, Japan will not be in the treaty, much to the loss of Japanese consumers who will continue to be stuck with food bills which are two to three times higher than other developed countries.

    Posted in: U.S. urges Japan to be bolder in opening markets

  • 3

    sangetsu03

    Abe's troubles have yet to even begin. His "reforms" of the past two years have not halted Japan's downwards slide. What's worse, once the full effects begin to be felt, this slide will be accellerated. "Abenomics" appears to have been nothing but a fleecing of the taxpayers for the benefit of politicians and their cronies.

    GDP growth was supposed to hit 2% this year, but is currently at -7%. Government economists expect a "rebound" in the second half of the year, how much you want to bet that this rebound doesn't occur? If there is megatove growth for FY 2014, we probably won't see Abe again after 2015.

    Posted in: Abe's troubles may not end despite resignations of two ministers

  • -2

    sangetsu03

    What a steaming pile this article is. It mentions the issues Japan is reluctant to compromise on, but makes no mention of the issues the US hasn't compromised on, creating the impression that Japan is the only problem.

    But Japan is the only problem.

    Let's remember who invited Japan to be a part of TPP... Oh, wait a second, Nobody invited Japan to be part of TPP did they? Japan invited itself to the treaty, fully knowing the intentions and goals already contained in the treaty. But not being happy with what all of the other members had already decided, Japan decided to change the treaty to suit itself, right? Give me one reason why the other parties should negotiate with Japan?

    Japan has no right whatsover to try to negotiate any points in TPP, beggars can't be choosers. If Japan didn't like the way the treaty the way it was, they should have stayed out. Japan knows where the door is, it can leave anytime.

    Posted in: U.S. urges Japan to be bolder in opening markets

  • -4

    sangetsu03

    A trade agreement doesn't increase demand for a commodity, product or service. The same demand exists, it's just that the US companies want money from Japan while they browbeat the US public to "buy American" and stick flags on everything, saying "Proudly made in the USA!"

    Nonsense. Demand for a commodity is strongly based on the price of that commodity. When the price of a commodity is lifted by either restricting the supply, or fixing the minimum price, demand falls. The "Buy American" campaign is funded mainly by labor unions, and is not unique to America. You can find many "日本製" or "Made in Japan" stickers and signs in Japanese electronics and department stores.

    America and the other countries are not asking for special favors from Japan, they merely want the same access to the Japanese market that they haven given to Japan for decades.

    Posted in: U.S. urges Japan to be bolder in opening markets

  • -3

    sangetsu03

    As an exporter who is paid in dollars, the weakening of the yen has happily erased some of the pain of the tax increase. As the population decreases, and domestic consumption decreases, emphasis will have to be placed on exports and tourism, both of which benefit from the weaker yen.

    Posted in: The impact from the yen's decline has been more severe than the increased consumption tax. Combine the two and that will make for a considerable burden on consumers.

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Microsoft... Aren't they working out of Elbonia now? Will I have to buy antivirus software to prevent my smart watch from being hacked, or infected?

    Posted in: Microsoft plans to launch smartwatch within weeks: Forbes

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    How can I agree or disagree? The word "could" means nothing. It could rain mext week, couldn't it? But there is no way of knowing until next week. In the last decade we have had many deadly disasters which have killed tens of thousands of people, yet none of them have been called "definitive humanitarian disasters." Oxfam is obviously looking for funding, which is fine by me, but their strategy in this case is a little disingenuous.

    Posted in: Aid agency Oxfam says Ebola could become the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation." Do you agree?

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    I like the post office bank and Shinsei bank. When I first arrived in Japan I opened an account at the post office, and applied for a credit card. I was approved for the credit card despite having only a one-year visa, and having lived in Japan for only 2 months. I like Shinsei because opening an account takes only a few minutes, and they have a good English website.

    Posted in: Which do you think is the most foreigner-friendly bank in Japan?

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    I went to visit my hometown, and found that my old schools now had walls around them, and security gates had been installed. When I was a child, the school grounds were open, and we could play on the school playgrounds after school or on the weekends.

    The funny thing is that things in my old neighborhood are not more dangerous than when I was young, if anything, it is a safer place now.

    The amount of violent crime in America has decreased steadily over the decades. When I was young, children were abducted all the time. We were all taught never to talk to strangers, or get into a stranger's car. We all heard stories about children who vanished, and were never seen again. There were posters at the post office and bulletin boards with a photo of a child, and "missing" written about the photo.

    Things are much safer nowadays then they used to be. Back in the 70's it was dangerous to walk across Manhattan after dark, going into Central Park at night was almost suicidal. 42nd street was nothing but porno theaters, adult bookstores, and peep shows. New York City nowadays is very tame and safe.

    The only thing that has increased since I was young are the number of news stories about violence and crime. It's quite ironic that as the homicide rate declined 30% over the decades, the number of murder stories in the news increased by more than 100%. This increased coverage of murders is one of the causes of violent school shootings. Sick people want people to seen and heard, and by going on a killing rampage, they can get the attention they feel they never got. After the Columbine shootings, some news outlets refused to report the story, saying that doing so glorified the crimes, but other news outlets don't care about such things. If it bleeds, it leads, the more violent and bloody, the better. They send trucks, helicopters, and entire teams of reporters to catch every bloodstain and tear. It's awful. And when people see this news, they belive that things are worse than they used to be. This is simply not true.

    Posted in: Nowadays, for fear of child predators, it is no longer considered safe to let young children go by themselves to and from school, to a friend's house, play in parks or at the beach, go to shops and so on. Was it like this when you were young?

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    When will Japanese voters learn they can do better?

    They will never learn, just as the voters in other countries will never learn. There is nothing unique about the Japanese political system, how many American presidents or senators are the sons or relatives of other presidents or senators? The political classes of the world are similar in every country, that people think that people in developed countres believe they live in democracies is quite funny.

    Posted in: Obuchi apologizes after political funds misuse reports

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Obama, Bernanke and Yellen have been conducting their form of Abenomics. But unlike Japan, they've been doing it properly, without a sales-tax hike, which is why the US is recovering more strongly than anyone else.

    There has been no "strong" growth in America. At best, American growth is stagnant. Workforce participation, which is the true measure of employment, is now at 62.8%, the lowest since 1978. I remember 1978, when companies were putting signs outside which said "Not Hiring". Next, net wages have decreased since 2009, and poverty has increased.

    The only growth has been that seen by the stock market, which has been pumped up by the 4 trillion dollars added to the banking system. This extra 4 trillion has been loaned at low interest to companies, which have issued debt to buy up their own stocks, driving up their prices. In any case, compared to 2009, we have fewer people working, and those who are working are making less money, at a cost of $4 trillion to the taxpayers. If this is a recovery, I hate to see what the next recession will look like. Once the economy begins paying for the "Affordable Care Act", we will probably get to see first hand.

    Posted in: Top finance officials grapple with weak growth

  • 4

    sangetsu03

    A 20,000 yen bonus? good grief that is a massive slap in the face! for being instrumental in developing tech that will make that company millions. I'm glad he sued and won and now has a Nobel prize as the cherry on top.

    And after suing the company, he became a persona non grata in Japan. There was no way he would ever get a job in a Japanese university, or at another Japanese company, so he really had no choice but to go to America. Of all these stories we are seeing on Japanese television about the prize, they are focusing on the two who remain in Japan, no mention has been made of what happened to Shuji Nakamura, and why he had to leave Japan.

    Shuji Nakaumura was the inventor of the blue LED, he drew on research published by the other two researchers, but he alone figured out how to make it work. What was especially galling about the case was that Nichia refused to support Nakamura's research for the blue LED, claiming it was an expensive waste of time, so he did it on his own time, and and his own expense. Then, once it was perfected, the company claimed the invention as their own.

    Japan has less reason to feel proud about this particular Nobel prize than it does for others which Japanese have won.

    Posted in: Failing was fun: Japan Nobel winner

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Aso-san "Can you check my math? Five plus five equals four, right?"

    Madame LaGarde "Only if you are trying to come up with unemplyment figures."

    Aso-san "Does minus two plus minus two equal two?"

    Madame Lagarde "Only of you are trying to calculate growth."

    Aso-san "so desune..."

    Posted in: Comparing notes

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    After two days of discussions, finance officials from the Group of 20 nations unveiled plans for a global initiative to build roads and other infrastructure projects to help boost world growth by $2 trillion over the next five years and create millions of jobs.

    Nonsense. They are creating a massive international pork project full of the usual graft and contractor kickbacks, and labeling as necessary for the public good. The two trillion dollars will have to be borrowed at interest, and the economic impact of putting the world further in debt will further skew natural economic cycles, and any jobs created will be offset by losses in other sectors. The main beneficiaries of these "public works" projects will be public officials.

    We need to take our checkbooks away from thse thieves.

    Posted in: Top finance officials grapple with weak growth

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