Sunday, April 7, 2013

Can BOJ Print Its Way Out Of Japan's Debt Trap?

Haruhiko Kuroda followed in the footsteps of Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi as he swung the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to unprecedented stimulus in his first policy meeting as governor.

He has promised to to unleash a massive programme of quantitative easing – worth $1.4 TRILLION to double the monetary base by the end of 2014 through buying government bonds.  This is even more aggressive than what Ben Bernanke is doing because Japan's economy is only one-third the size of US. This is truly a race to the bottom in the on-going currency wars.

The idea and motivation behind this move is to encourage companies to raise wages with the hope that consumers will in turn respond by increasing spending, and thus cause prices to rise. They believed that persistent deflation tends to encourage households to hoard their cash, as they wait for prices to fall further.

Japan's debt is already 24 times its GDP.  Here is a video to explain how serious their debt trap is today.  They cannot keep kicking the can down the road without any consequence.  If you are holding or earning Japanese Yen, you might want to quickly convert them into hard assets (eg. real estate, gold, silver, commodities) because they start to lose more purchasing value.  

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