The Complete Overview Of The Setting Economy Of The Land Of The Setting Sun

Tyler Durden's picture

Increasingly we have come to believe that the real marginal economy over the next several quarters will be neither that of the contracting US, nor that of the rapidly tightening, yet still very much inflationary China, but the (arguably) third largest one: that of Japan. Over the past month we have suggested that in addition to already latent deflationary tendencies, the recent post-earthquake collapse will require a dramatic, and very political intervention in BOJ monetary policies (here and here), in order to avoid a global contraction. Yet as David Koo proposed yesterday, the (infra)structural changes will demand an overhaul so profound that the contraction will be not only severe but likely very extended due to spillover effects into energy commodity demand, thus creating a non-virtuous feedback loop. So for those who are still new to the Japan story, below we present an extended presentation compiled by The Tail Chaser blog which compiles the relevant bits and pieces on the Japanese economy to scare even the most optimistic fan of the land of the setting sun (which certainly is not Dylan Grice who recently suggested that a very possible outcome is a Weimar repeat as the BOJ takes the von Havenstein route to excess debt resolution).

As the Intrigued Trader over at Tail Chaser says:

The data presented was sourced from a variety of entities and might not be 100% accurate/on the spot, but it sure gives you a very good idea about where Japan now stands in terms of growth potential, debt sustainability and risk-reward. It hasn't been updated to include after-earthquake/tsunami economic data and governtment/central bank response, however these tragic facts only make the case even more interesting. In my opinion they only increased the probability of my desired outcomes.

At the end I presented trade ideas that, together, from what I call the pillars for the bet against Japan.
Pricing has, of course, changed since then, but not a lot. As others have mentioned, the asymmetry is huge.

The final word on this trade is simple: confidence. If the music stops for JGBs, Japan could be gone quickly.

And for those who enjoy chasing black swan trades, nobody proposes better risk/return scenarios than Dylan Grice (here). In the meantime, here is all you need to know about Japan.

Japan Tail Chaser

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ElvisDog's picture

My question is: is nominal economic growth required in a society with a declining population? It seems to me that the answer is "no".

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The young people will have to work 16 hours a day to pay for the elders pensions then.

billwilson's picture

OR more likely women will have to enter the work force in percentages closer to Europe and the US. Many Japanese women still leave the workforce once married. This is an untapped source of new labor and tax revenue.

malek's picture

Required for what?

For the society to survive (on a island with no natural resources) probably no, if the decline is gradual and the remaining economic strength is allocated wisely.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I left a comment over there Mr Lennon.  Nicely written, I recommend his short article to anyone interested in Japan.

The one thing I did not mention is how much our bearing import company needs to worry about getting Japanese product...

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Thank you DoChen.

So you are not currently getting product?  Where else can you get your product if not from there?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

We are getting product from Japan.  There are still inventories of Japanese bearings in their warehouses in Panama and Miami.

Most Japanese bearings are produced in SW Japan, and so not too affected.  Yet.  One of Japan's very small bearing manufacturers told us that they are good to go for a few months, but that components like rubber seals could be a problem in coming months.

Most of what we buy is actually from Korea.  Too much competition in Peru re Japanese bearings.  So, we are moving to supply the Korean fleets (Daewoo and lately mighty Hyundai).  We have been the distributors for the two Korean manufacturers for a couple of years now.

Why don't we buy American?  Because Timken treated us like stinky garbage.  OK, fine, we'll look elsewhere.

velobabe's picture

nice epitaph jimi. so true, left in a tear† grown woman crying over spilled whitewash.

jkruffin's picture

Proof that 2008-2011, is repeating 1929-1932, then 2 years of straight declines and depression

Read this article and look at all the exact similarities today. Bernanke is a student of the depression, and he is taking the exact steps now that were taken back then and caused a complete collapse of the system. Bernanke's studies taught him how to repeat the demise of America, not what not to do.  Bankers tried to save the economy in 1929-1932 and it led to horror for the people. 

Time for another round.....

gianakt's picture

I would hate to be long oil with this Japanese story on going and Obama announcing in his Saturday morning radio address that he is going to allow drilling in Alaska. Plus extend oil leases for the gulf of Mexico by one year.

Atomizer's picture

We must expand the theater of war to Iran and North Korea. Time is ticking, inbound revenues are low. We have silent partners funding the current wars. Just like a JP6 crackhead, they need to receive their monthly paycheck.

Sarcasm off

Sudden Debt's picture

And a default would really cause some social unrest over there.

Most of their bonds are bought by Japanese citizens who where told that it looks cool with the ladies to own bonds.

So when they default, their citizens will be smoked bigtime!

The Japanese emperor will appear on the TV, and cry and say he is sorry.

And than some more guys will cry, expecting it all to be dealth with.


I sure like to watch these domino championchips where the build these landscapes and statues which represents countries. I always starts with 1 domino that falls and makes all the other once go.


Atomizer's picture

It's all about taking out 195 countries with one stone. Long ago, I posted that it will take one event to consolidate a new global currency. The more crisis's they manufacture, the easier it will be sold to sheepville.

Sudden Debt's picture

A global currency is just impossible. It would be a crazy thing to do.

But now that almost every nation is going to implode, chances went up exponential from 0% to 1% in my eyes.

We'll see how it develops.

suldog's picture

Why do you say that SD?

It appears to be working swimmingly for the Euro.

anvILL's picture

Most of their bonds are bought by Japanese citizens who where told that it looks cool with the ladies to own bonds.

Nobody bought into that rediculous AD.
Its mostly banks and old people that own the bonds.
Although it is true that all citizens will be smoked bigtime anyways.

Vlad Tepid's picture

Right.  Old people through government or corporate pensions.I don't know a single Japanese (old) person who said "Gee, bonds look good.  Let's support our government."  So I second you anvILL.  Anybody that COULD, sold long ago...most people are stuck hoping their macro-sugar daddy sells at the right time.

anvILL's picture

Thanks for pointing out that they are buying through pensions. Very true.
However, I still see some old people holding long maturity bonds bought long time ago, in which my grandfather happens to be one of them.
Afterall, households account for 5.1% of JGB ownership which I think is a huge number if we consider the huge debt Japan has.

Assuming that you can read Japanese, here is an interesting chart to look at, although its a little bit outdated.

(Numbers on the bottom of the chart shows age group: 20's, 30's, etc....)
(The line that looks like -----X-----shows JGB ownership)

No wonder the BoJ is trying too hard to make young people buy JGBs.

VyseLegendaire's picture

Everyone keeps talking about neo-fascist America becoming the WW3 Germany, but look no further than Japan to see the perfect setup for a gaijin-holocaust and remilitarization leading to an epic confrontation over the 'future of the homeland.' 


Shits gettin real. 

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

everybody's talking...that the savior will be coming.....and he will end all our suffering.....

You better ask youself how the richest continent got the poorest people!

Vlad Tepid's picture


Sir, put down the mushrooms and walk this way towards the fresh air. I'm not even going to ask you to qualify "gaijin holocaust."  Remilitarization leading to epic confrontation seems something that it more suited to your avatar, not a sovereign (and broke) nation of 99% apolitical pacifists.  Let's be clear: as long as the US gov't still pimping the US Navy and Air Force for mercenary duty, Japan will keep paying the users fee and save themselves the trouble.

BigDuke6's picture


thats not the noble 'schrooms.

thats crack, skunk and meth all sucked down with JD chasers.

'gaijin holocaust', classic....

falak pema's picture

Japan will use Fukushima to black mail the world...that's their last card.

i-dog's picture

WTF! ... the crack pipe is certainly being handed around today.

apberusdisvet's picture

Going forward the Japanese will not have enough energy; just like the US under Barry.  If younger, I would move to Brazil.  The Southern Hemsiphere will be the only place to be once the nukes start flying.

High Plains Drifter's picture

chile here i even has a flag just like mine so i will feel right at home..

Vlad Tepid's picture

A bunch of Japanese already tried going to Brazil, both before and after the war.  Turns out they didn't like the home-invasion/home ratio and have been trying to get back to a land where they might have to pay a few extra bucks for gas or (*gasp* ride a bike) as the trade off for not being kidnapped for ransom.

falak pema's picture

they are already flying from fuku you just haven't been told officially.

velobabe's picture

people wake the fuck up. not that it is very easy to be awake. it hurts quite frankly. it frikkin hurts so bad to realize the deceit, carried out hourly against this wonderful and awe struck surface of beauty earth. beautiful hillsides, birds, flowers and people of the orient. murderers, these TEPCO people are. mass murderers of nature.

Vlad Tepid's picture

I hear ya!  I keep looking out my window waiting for the bus to pull up that says "Goldman Sachs/TEPCO Lynch Mob or Bust."  Mass murderers of the economy/Mass murderers of nature.  Contemptible bastards to a man.

High Plains Drifter's picture

radioactive fallout from the ongoing meltdown at fukushima is being carried by prevailing winds , that are spreading it daily over and over again, across the island of is totally unsafe to be in japan for the foreseeable future, no? is it not true that various countries have detected radioactive isotopes in japanese cargo shipments? that country my dear friends is dead in the water.......and nothing will ever bring it back , nothing....unless, unless they can by some miracle stop what is happening at fukushima. and we all know, by now, the problems inherent in such a task as this.........

when this black swan event first started i asked two questions? is this worse than chernobyl and many laughed then.

also i asked, is this the end of japan and would it be necessary to evacuate the entire island.....

as i look at this situation now, one can see, that when the rich and the elites started bailing on japan back in march, they were doing the right thing.....

the bad part about it is that nobody is telling anyone anything in japan. news is hard to come by on this event...

Vlad Tepid's picture

OK Drifter.  First of all, I've been paying close attention and I see no evidence that Japan's elites bailed out of the country. A few foreign traders anf gov't officials left Tokyo, period.  I appreciate your take on the uniquely "screwed" position you seem to think all of Japan is in.  I'll let you know how it is when I get there.  I'll be posting real-time from *gasp* Osaka starting next month, and I'll let you know how many glowing cabbages I find in the supermarket.  This is the most real and dangerous crisis Japan has faced since the fire-bombings of 44-45, so there is no need to blow it out of proportion.  Prevailing winds are the key.  Get back to me when the US military starts evacuating it's fighter pilots, general, and their kids from Tokyo (to the south) and Misawa (to the north).  Until then, don't go within 50 klicks of Dai-Ichi.

Fiat2Zero's picture

Not sure if that's blowing it out of proportion. Perhaps you mean "don't panic."

The situation is far more dire than most realize. Reactor 1 has a reading of 2 sieverts. 4 causes a very quick death, whereas prolonged exposure to 1 means nausea and perhaps a 7-10 year life span.

Reactor 1 measured 10-50 millis, just a week ago (considered dangerously high).

At this point it is hard to make any progress, so things will run their course. There are multiple holes in the reactors. Soon, molten fuel will heat up and melt like butter through the concrete.

Check your normalcy bias. Where are the scientists telling us what might happen? A little intellectual curiosity is enough to find the answers, but no one wants to know.

Not a doom and gloomer, just concerned that chicken little got it right this time...

Fiat2Zero's picture

Sorry, should have done the math to make it plain. In one week radioactivity increased between 40-200 times into the range where only robots could work there (soon it will be too high for robots).

Japanese diet is "studying" moving the capital...

silver140's picture

The prevailing winds go from Japan, east to us brother.  Fukushima sits at the northeast coast of Japan, we are getting most of the shit here.  This info. has been successfully hidden.  We are now breathing, drinking, and eating radioactive nucleotides. We are sheeple, but radioactive ones, now.

misitu's picture

The typhoon season is (almost) upon us (them) which as far as I can figure out means that the winds, or rather the typhoon paths (as the actual winds have circular paths within a typhoon system), will track south west over Japan and then curve south and east, bringing whatever is in the air over Fukushima to eastern China, The Philippines, and northern Indonesia.

Wind mashups from Lucas Whitefield Hixson

show local wind circulations ALREADY drawing contaminated air to the south and west of the site.


This may be helpful information.

dark pools of soros's picture

Within a week or so I remember getting a real nasty feeling in my gut about Japan.. like mourning the dead.  They were still talking about how those early explosions were designed that way and everything was fine but it hit me hard since Japan has made living on this world a lot cooler and geekier and funer than many other blowhard nations

topcallingtroll's picture

Yeah i used to like the japanese until they started raining radioactive shit on us with no solution in sight.

We need a russian solution. They knew how to put out a reactor.

anvILL's picture

Sorry, but I had to junk this one.
The U.S. caused a massive financial collapse causing pretty much everyone in the world to suffer, with no decent economic recovery in sight.
Does that justify everyone in the world to dislike the Americans including the average Joe?
Of course not. They too are the victims.
I now hate the American banks, S.E.C, Obama and the rest but that does not make me dislike Americans at all. 

Hate the Japanese government and TEPCO all you want.
But disliking the Japanese for the raining radioactive shit is unjustified.

BigDuke6's picture

Dont be so sensitive.

TCT doesn't like anybody.

Wops, degos, honkeys, japs....  etc,etc.

raised_by_wolves's picture

Right on, anvILL. Right on.

michigan independant's picture

No solution other than world support.

poydras's picture

I seem to remember posts advocating a Yen short at over 90.  No one ever seems to come back to apologize for their bad calls.

Japan has two wonderful characteritics - A significant, large, chronic trade surplus and a large, positive NIIP.  The US is the mirror image.

You Japan bashers are almost as deluded as the US cheerleaders.