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Guest Post: Land Of The Setting Sun

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Land Of The Setting Sun

The linear thinkers that dominate the mainstream media and the halls
of power in Washington D.C. are assessing the series of disasters in
Japan without connecting the dots of history. Their ideological desire
to convince people that things will go back to normal in short order
flies in the face of the facts. It makes me wonder whether these
supposed thought leaders lack true intelligence or whether their
ideological biases convince them to lie. At the end of the day it comes
down to wealth, power and control. If those in power were to tell the
truth about the true consequences of demographics, debt, disasters, and
devaluation, their subjects would revolt and toss them out. Before the
multiple disasters struck Japan last week, the sun was already setting
on this empire. The recent tragic events will accelerate that descent.  


Japanese Beetle Meet Windshield


Smart financial minds have been expecting a Japanese economic tsunami
for the last few years. John Mauldin described Japan’s predicament in
early 2010:

“I refer to Japan as a bug in search
of a windshield. I am not so sure about the timing, however, as the
economic and fiscal insanity that is Japan may be able to go on for
longer than many think possible. But to me it is not a question of
whether there will be a crisis, but when there will be one. This year?
2011? 2012? I doubt Japan makes it to the middle of the decade with a
very serious and sad day of reckoning.

The downside to the continuation of
running massive deficits is that when the break does come, it will be
all the more painful and difficult to deal with as the debt mounts. If
there is an upside, it is for the rest of the world to see what can
happen to a developed country like Japan when massive deficits are
allowed to pile up one after another. It will be a morality play writ
large upon the walls, which cannot be dismissed.”

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard expected a 9.0 debt earthquake to strike Japan in 2010:

“Weak sovereigns will buckle. The
shocker will be Japan, our Weimar-in-waiting. This is the year when
Tokyo finds it can no longer borrow at 1% from a captive bond market,
and when it must foot the bill for all those fiscal packages that seemed
such a good idea at the time. Every auction of JGBs will be a news
event as the public debt punches above 225% of GDP. Finance Minister
Hirohisa Fujii will become as familiar as a rock star.

Once the dam breaks, debt service
costs will tear the budget to pieces. The Bank of Japan will pull the
emergency lever on QE. The country will flip from deflation to incipient
hyperinflation. The yen will fall out of bed, outdoing China’s yuan in
the beggar-thy-neighbor race to the bottom.”

Mr. Pritchard was either wrong or early, depending upon your point of view.  

                                       JAPAN INTEREST RATES

Japan can still borrow for 10 years at 1%. Despite the highest
government debt as a percentage of GDP on the planet at 225%, Japan has
not felt the wrath of the bond vigilantes. Not only did the Yen not fall
out of bed, but it soared to a post-war high against the USD last week
after the earthquake/tsunami. Investors drove the value of the yen
higher, anticipating a huge rebuilding program in Japan. Japanese
financial institutions would need to convert foreign assets into yen to
pay for damage claims and construction expenses, a process that would
strengthen the currency. In anticipation, investors piled into yen,
helping drive up its value. Central banks across the globe intervened
and weakened the currency, for the time being. When the world comes to
its senses, the Yen will weaken on its own.

Japanese Yen (JPY) to 1 US Dollar (USD)

Debt & Demographics


Japan is a one trick pony that just broke two legs and is waiting to
be put down. They have experienced a two decade long recession. Their
stock market is still 70% below its 1990 peak. They have no natural
resources. They allow virtually no immigration. And their population is
in a death spiral. The one and only thing they have going for them is
their phenomenal ability to manufacture high quality products and export
them to the rest of the world. The earthquake and tsunami that struck
Japan severely damaged their just in time manufacturing machine. A
surging yen would destroy their export machine by making their products
more expensive. Hundreds of high tech Toyota, Honda, and Sony factories
are shut. Four hundred miles of ports and harbors have been wiped out.
There are rolling blackouts, with one million households without
electricity. Over 500,000 people are still homeless.

The short-term impact of this disaster will push Japan into
recession. The rebuilding efforts over the coming years will create a
positive GDP figure, but will not do anything to benefit Japan over the
long haul. The billions designated to rebuild will be money not invested
in a more beneficial manner. The linear thinkers conclude that over the
long-term Japan will be OK. These people are ignoring the double D’s –
Debt and Demographics. When Japan entered its two decades of recession
and experienced the Kobe earthquake in 1995, its government debt stood
at 52% of GDP. Today it stands at 225% of GDP. Twenty one years ago, the
Japanese population was still relatively young, with only 12% of the
population over 65 years old. The population of Japan peaked in 2004 and
now is in relentless decline. Over 23% of the population is over 65 and
the median age is 45 years old. For comparison, the median age in the
U.S. is 37 years old, with only 13% over 65. The projection portion of
the chart below paints a picture of death. The population of Japan is
aging rapidly and will decline by 4.4 million, or 3.5% in the next ten

Table 2.2 Trends in Population

The question I pose to the mainstream thinkers is, “How can a country
with a rapidly aging population and nearly one quarter of its
population over 65 years old generate the necessary dynamic enthusiasm
for rebuilding a shattered country?” Youthful enthusiasm and hope for a
brighter future is essential to any enormous rebuilding effort. Japan
does not have it in them. News reports already indicate a lethargic and
seemingly insufficient response by emergency workers. The devastation
seems to have overwhelmed this aging country. The psychological impact
of this type of natural disaster will likely have two phases. Psychology
professor Magda Osman describes the expected human response:

“After a disaster, typically small
communities become incredibly co-operative and pull together to help
each other and start the rebuilding process. There’s an immediate
response where people start to take control of the situation, begin to
deal with it and assess and respond to the devastation around them. The
problem is that we aren’t very good at calculating the long-term effects
of disasters. After about two months of re-building and cleaning up we
tend to experience a second major slump when we realize the full
severity of the situation in the longer term. This is what we need to be
wary of because this triggers severe depression.”

This would be the normal response of a traumatized populace. An aged
populace is likely to experience worse depression and not bounce back
from this tragedy. Japan is still the 10th most populated country on
earth, with the 3rd largest economy. China just passed Japan to become
the 2nd biggest economy in the world. India will pass Japan by 2012.

Table 2.1 Countries with a Large Population (2009)

Youthful countries across the world are gaining on Japan. The wisdom
of the elderly doesn’t cut it in a global economy. Global competition is
cutthroat. China, India and the other emerging Asian countries will
take advantage of Japan’s misfortune by filling the hole left by
Japanese manufacturers. The short-term issues of power, supply lines,
and reconstruction are minor when compared to a mass die off of the
Japanese population that will result in a population that is 25% smaller
in 2050 than it is today. Demographics are a bitch. 

Figure 2.4 Proportion of Elderly Population by Country (Aged 65 years and over)

With the amount of debt hanging over the Japanese empire, it might be
a good strategy to commit hari-kari. The non-thinking pundits on CNBC
contend that since Japan hasn’t had any detrimental effects from running
their debt to 225% of GDP, running it to 300% won’t be a problem.
Reinhart and Rogoff studies concluded that once a country breaches the
90% level, growth slows and a debt crisis is likely to ensue. Japan has
been stuck in a 20 year recession, as they chose Keynesian shovel ready
projects, quantitative easing, currency manipulation, and covering up
the true financial condition of its banks over accepting the
consequences of a debt bubble. Remind you of anyone? The result is their
real GDP is lower today than it was in 1995. The Paul Krugmans of the
world would contend that they just didn’t spend enough.


The only reason Japan has not collapsed is due to its homogeneous
population willing to buy virtually all of the debt issued by its
government for the last twenty years and its prodigious ability to
produce high quality products that the rest of the world wants. Japan
has maintained a consistent trade surplus, and its government debt has
been held mainly by its own people, with 95% of Japanese government
bonds in the possession of Japanese, meaning the country was able to
finance itself without depending upon fickle foreign investors who might
prefer a return greater than 1%. This ain’t 1990. The savings rate of
the Japanese population had already declined from 14% in 1990 to 2% by
2008. In a recent article, Mike Shedlock explained the situation prior
to the recent devastation:

“The Government Pension Investment
Fund, which oversees 117.6 trillion yen ($1.4 trillion), in September
forecast that it would sell 4 trillion yen in assets in the business
year ending March 31 to fund payouts. Sales by the fund, which helps
oversee public pension funds for Japan’s 37 million retirees, come as
the first of Japan’s baby boomers is set to turn 65 in 2012, making them
eligible for pension payments. Japan choices are to default on its
debt, print money to fund interest on the debt, raise taxes effectively
robbing savers of their money, or undertake huge spending cuts. The
dilemma stems from years of Keynesian and Monetarist stupidity.”

The new tragedy will just accelerate the conversion of Japanese
savers into forced spenders. Millions of Japanese savers will be forced
to spend their savings on survival, as many have lost their jobs and
businesses due to the monumental damage to northern Japan.

Setting Sun – Race to the Bottom


Traders figured out what must happen over the coming years. A large
swath of Japanese insurers and companies will begin repatriating assets
held in other currencies to begin the rebuilding effort at home, driving
the value of the Yen higher. At a time of crisis a stronger Yen would
severely damage Japan’s export based economy even further. Therefore,
Central Banks around the world jointly intervened. The Bank of Japan
spent Y2 trillion ($25 billion), while central banks across Europe
contributed $5 billion and the Federal Reserve spent $600 million to
push down the yen on Friday. The Bank of Japan is doing what they do
best - printing money. Quantitative easing is an art form perfected by
all Central Banks across the globe. Every disaster over the last twenty
years, whether man made (wars, internet collapse, housing collapse, debt
meltdown) or caused by nature, are met with the exact same solution – PRINT MONEY.

This method works until it doesn’t work. Japan’s central bank cannot
reverse the demographics. From this point forward the population of
Japan will be net sellers of government debt. Japanese insurance
companies will be on the hook for $33 billion in claims. They will need
to sell government bonds in order to make those payments. The World Bank
has estimated the cost of rebuilding to be $235 billion. The government
will need to borrow this money. At least 30% of its energy needs are
off-line. It already imports 95% of its oil and coal. They will need to
increase energy imports to make up for the nuclear energy shortage. Its
positive trade balance was already in decline.  The clueless CNBC
pundits can drone on about how this natural disaster will be good for
the Japanese economy because of the substantial rebuilding program, but
they are dead wrong. Japan is trapped, with no way out. They will need
to issue hundreds of billions in new debt, which cannot be bought by its
citizens, pension funds, or insurance companies. How many foreign
investors will buy a 10 Year Japanese government bond paying 1%, knowing
that Japan wants to weaken its currency? NONE. The
only choices are to raise interest rates to attract buyers or print more
money. With an already suffocating level of debt, they can’t allow
interest rates to rise. They would choke on the interest.

The Bank of Japan will follow the same script as Ben Bernanke. They
will print new Yen and buy the newly issued debt. What an original idea.
Japan is caught in a debt stranglehold and demographic nightmare. Their
currency will ultimately collapse like a nuclear reactor after a
tsunami. When Japan defaults on their debt, the pain will be intense, as
they will be throwing their own aged population under the bus. America,
on the other hand, will throw the whole world under the bus when we

The Japanese own $886 billion of US Treasuries and have bought $256
billion of our debt since October 2008. Timmy Geithner will need to
issue $1.5 trillion of new bonds per year. Japan will no longer be a
buyer. They will be a seller. This will put upward pressure on U.S.
interest rates. Japan’s reconstruction needs will put pressure on
commodity and energy prices. Production and supply problems for Japanese
parts and goods are already creating problems for GM and other car
companies in the U.S. Lack of supply leads to higher prices. The great
earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown of 2011 will result in more
quantitative easing in Japan and the U.S. This will result in even more
inflation than we are experiencing today. Once the inflation genie is
out of the bottle, the race to the bottom will accelerate. Gold will
decide who wins the race. It has been a neck and neck race
since 2001. I’m not sure it is a race anyone wants to win. But the
destination is certain.


“The endeavors to expand the quantity of money in circulation
either in order to increase the government’s capacity to spend or in
order to bring about a temporary lowering of the rate of interest
disintegrate all currency matters and derange economic calculation.”
Ludwig von Mises


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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:04 | 1085669 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture

The end of the Great Keynesian Experiment is upon us. Prepare accordingly.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:14 | 1085700 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

They will need a lot of lipstick for this pig.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:50 | 1086308 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The MSM will most certainly help with this little project.

Call Revlon stat. We're completely out of bright cherry red Kool-Aid.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:10 | 1087204 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

That's so perjorative and insensitive. ;-)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:32 | 1085769 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

The cycle is much longer, so only the beginning of the end.

They are still suffering from their 90's housing bubble. It has a half life of at least a decade, and will linger in the states, for that  long also.

With their recent disaster, still unfolding, there is absolutely no way to predict what direction down they will end up going.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:17 | 1086404 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The cycles are long. Slow steady death by a hundred cuts. My guess is this disaster will accelerate the process though. When small companies are forced into bankruptcy it will work its way up the food chain. My guess is we will see the effects in a few months after the initial shock is over and people regain their senses realizing there is nothing left that is economically sound in their dying Japan.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:25 | 1086432 DR
DR's picture

Where does Keynes advocate bailing out a bloated banking system? His main ideas were for the US governments to encourage fiscal public works projects to smooth out the volatility of private business cycles. If the US had followed Keynes advice we would have put people back to work by rebuilding our decrepit public infrastructure and could have had a new highway system to show for all our debt.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:06 | 1085678 ivana
ivana's picture

The experiment was conducted first in Japan. Japanese are like lighthouse showing way to disaster.
+ mentality and tradition used/manipulated to sacrifice whole nation for bankster interests.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:09 | 1085684 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

The ENTIRE WORLD is a sacrificial lamb to the genocidal banksters!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:21 | 1085735 falak pema
falak pema's picture

You are like out of the Godfather...which of the five families hires you as hit woman?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:38 | 1085793 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

haha, I love the Godfather!

At least the Mafia had some honor and humility, even if it was sometimes tinted in red bloodstains.

The bankers serve no master nor a purpose other than plight, devastation, usury, famine and war for nothing more than self-gratification at the expense of the many.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:44 | 1086100 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

well, I don't know about the humility but compliments are accepted.  As we like to say "party in the front, business in the back."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:27 | 1087825 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

They serve Lucifer and want to rule the world with him.  The whole devastation thing isn't just for shits and giggles, it is a convenient excuse to increase state power.  Even in war profiteering, the profit motive is secondary.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:16 | 1085704 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Sad, very sad, but true.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:40 | 1086266 Michael
Michael's picture

Excellent article.

The world needs to shift it's focus from growth of the balance sheet to maintenance of hard assets. The world has grown enough already in terms of physical assets. The new goal should be getting as close to 0% growth as possible and maintaining the the things we've already built. Dismantling the Federal Reserve Corporation and International Banking Cartel operations needs to be our immediate #1 goal. Seizing their assets for financial terrorism and crimes against humanity need to be dealt with harshly and swiftly. Liquidation of debt must be a priority. Debt must be declared the #1 enemy of the state.

Financial services employees can be re-purposed to cleaning streets and painting dilapidated structures.

The "Set of a New Night', or "New Dusk", or something like that can replace the current Sun Cult  imagery they're using on us today.

Moon Rise images can be used to counter the Sun Cult, bring the world back into balance, and make the cultists heads explode.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tljp1300811323156012&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=S86ITcy-HcTJgQfX9vS_DQ&sqi=2&ved=0CCIQsAQ&biw=1570&bih=671

They call the operation in Libya "Odyssey Dawn".  Did you know they renamed the operation in Iraq back in September operation "New Dawn"?

That "Dawn" word is explained by Jordan Maxwell, very intriguing.

Jordan Maxwell - The Dawn of a New Day (2009) 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:26 | 1085747 George Huxley
George Huxley's picture

They have been sacrificing for U.S. interests, with no choice in the matter. We have had them by the balls for a long time.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:29 | 1085707 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

A) Wrong. And since u dont know why, I wont tell you.

B) You understand nothing about Asian culture & more specifically Japanese culture

C) The primary objective of all these reports is to focus on other nations' problems as a way to obfuscate US's problems. The Japanese & EU dog is allegedly uglier than yours. 200% debt to GDP & all that. Not arguing with data, but you miss what's right in front of you. Moreover, compare with the US: Japan & EU debt-to-GDP figures are ACCURATE, whereas US's do NOT include all kinds of shit that are kept off-balance sheet, under various excuses & guises. Do *THAT* math and *TRY* to get an comparitive accounting US debt-to-GDP *under* 1000%.



ps: I wonder when I'll see an analysis of US demographics, specifically Latino/Mexican [and to some extent black], the logical conclusions for US politics [at least in short term] of said demographics [vs white population]--to wit: Democrats may dominate the next 20yrs if not through power, but by pulling country & white attitudes left--and whether the result is going to be the same strong US that's simply more latino & multi-colored, or a US that just turns into Mexico [the real outcome]. But this very pertinent US demographic analysis, we'll never see--that'd be racist. Only other nations' demographics are relevant. This whole Japanese disaster has revealed to me a layer of US anti-Japanese racism that still exists, & so I'm super-sensitive about it right now.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:35 | 1085779 Fisherman7
Fisherman7's picture

I could not agree with Themosmitsos more - the author of this post is completely wrong.  The Japanese citizens hold their own debt, unlike the U.S. who has borrowed largely from other nations.  The Japanese build the best products in the world.  There is no comparison between a Government Motors piece of crap and a Lexus, or a Honda, Toyota, etc.  No Comparison!!  They will move their money from their bonds to capital investments in rebuilding their country - better than before.  Look at the way they have handled this crisis  -  They have handled this crisis, the people of the country I'm talking about, they have handled this crisis FAR far better than the people of this country, the U.S. handled Katrina!  Which was not 1/30th the magnitude in terms of damage and cost.  No luting, No greed, No fraud...just people doing what they can to help others.  I'll leave it with this - there are no law suits in Japan.  Their culture doesn't consider it an honorable way to conduct oneself.  They don't have lawsuits.  Think about that.  They will build their country back and within 5 years their economy will be growing like it hasn't grown in the last 20 years.  An investment in Japan today will pay off handsomely in 5 to 10 years, and I'd wager, pay more than double the return of one in the U.S. over the same period.  My humble opinion!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:48 | 1085816 4shzl
4shzl's picture

Maybe just a little looting, eh?

$500,000 vanishes from tsunami-ravaged bank 'Somebody stole the money in the midst of the chaos,' Japanese police official says

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:49 | 1086305 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Most likely an ex-pat American.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:00 | 1086153 samsara
samsara's picture

They will build their country back and within 5 years their economy will be growing like it hasn't grown in the last 20 years


NOBODY is gonna grow like that ever again. 


Peak Oil

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:51 | 1087387 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

They will probably handle it much better than the U.S. would, but the U.S. economy is sputtering to a stop and that will screw Japan and the rest of the world.  Without the U.S. to buy all those Honda's who else will?  China will just copy the design and build their own.  India is also building their own cars--and cheap too.  Not just peak oil, peak well paying jobs to buy the well built Japanese exports.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:02 | 1086616 holmes
holmes's picture

Uh, you might want to re-check that "luting" remark.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 05:22 | 1089055 euclidean
euclidean's picture

'ey holmes, that's not looting

I call that encouraging participation in early cleanup. kirin would have had to do it themselves otherwise, and probably told all the locals to help themselves.

kirin would have legally had to dispose of the product on the grounds of safety. nice try though ...


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:39 | 1085796 sschu
sschu's picture

Japan & EU debt-to-GDP figures are ACCURATE

You may be correct, but I do not know much for sure anymore when it comes to the scale of the world-wide debt issue.

Unfortunately I draw little solace from the idea that we are more screwed than them when the problem is we are all screwed.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:38 | 1085799 Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

You'll get no argument from me re: US hatred of Japanese people.  I can't figure it out, either....I find no fault with the culture, even though my knowledge is minimal at best.

However, one minor quibble about US politics.  There's no "left" or "right" shift in the US - both parties support the State.  If by pulling the country leftward you mean increased statist control, I think you're right on.  The state only expands, it does not contract....until it implodes.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:45 | 1085813 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Bluntly, it's become ... unspeakable to use this word [wellfare], it's racist now. But *bluntly* all of Obama's policies, and Democratic policies by extension over the last 20+yrs, are STRAIGHT-UP wellfare policies. This is more the direction I'd expect from Democratic initiatives, to which even Republicans are acquiescing recently [Bush too for ex]. So the US will turn into Mexico. I mean in Economic terms. First black president. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat a coincidence.

I said it Bitchez.

Good for the goose, good for the gander is the phrase. And yes, US more screwed is not solace LOOL!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:19 | 1086215 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Re: this--

>>>But *bluntly* all of Obama's policies, and Democratic policies by extension over the last 20+yrs, are STRAIGHT-UP wellfare policies.<<<

>>>I said it Bitchez.<<<

You've said nothing...and conveniently ignored decades of Republican sponsored "Welfare for the Wealthy."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:22 | 1086225 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

The Bushes put their signature to the most costly welfare programs since the New Society.

The Bushes had good PR, but betrayed the conservatives on nearly all things.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:49 | 1086311 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yes, the Bushes betrayed those of us who were conservative.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:51 | 1086539 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Dont mistake, we're talking about the current president. Not the previous, semi-functionally retarded one :)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:53 | 1086322 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

It's these old farts who still harbor ill will over that incident at the naval base in Hawaii.  Of course, they're too indoctrinated to blame FDR for knowing they were coming yet allowing the attack so that the US population would be primed to enter WWII.


I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:49 | 1085819 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Yeah, I'd say you are hypersensitive. Everyone I speak with feels horrible about the quake disaster. I am going to ascribe your bad attitude to personal issues, because if you knew anything about Quinn, you would realize he isn't one to garner enjoyment from kicking fellow humans when they are down. 

As to your emphatic statement about the US fiscal situation vs EU/Japan, trust me on this. When Kyle Bass says "you first' and puts his money where his mouth is, you better know it isn't personal - it's math. Even if everything you say about hidden debt is true, as long as the USD is still the reserve currency then they can game the outcomes re: pecking order.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:59 | 1085876 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

I admitted a personal senstitivity, and I dont know Quinn, I'm commenting about the post, not the man. But this post DOES seem to be a kick'em when they're down variety, and trust me, it's NOT the only one out there, though to be fair, it's certainly not the worst one ==> hence the personal sensitivity. 

Do me a favor, tell me which FX, PM/Metals or Commodities chart to look at to confirm your reserve currency *HYPOTHESIS* please? :P

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:09 | 1085920 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

I apologize - I don't have charts to offer at the moment. Please give this a look from last August. You will see that Bass isn't someone who invests emotionally. He is merely saying Japan will restructure, and my point is, if it was etched in stone before (I believe him), then how much more so now in light of the trillions of Yen just printed.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:30 | 1086759 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

It was ironic :) ... Looked at your link. Thanks for suggestion. No offense, but ... it's idiotic. Suggest you do very basic research & put the US equivalent figures adjacent, line by line. Wear a diaper when you do this, imHo.

Anyone who comes into a situation with set position approaches like K.Bass is doing is clueless. Shorts maybe, but balls only longs, especially looking to only long US ... that's just ... beyond moronic imo. No offense, just blunt. When they have to actually work[think] for themselves, they'll be out of business. :)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:57 | 1088282 Great Dane
Great Dane's picture

Now, the printing of 100 trillion in yen seems hyper-inflationary to me considering that Mugabe in Zimebawae printed only 60 trillion and we saw what happened there.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:54 | 1085840 svendthrift
svendthrift's picture

It isn't racism you see. It is an attempt to undermine Japan in the minds of the rest of the world.

Japan is an example of how the neo-liberal/con paradigm is junk. It must be attacked and undermined.


Japan can issue money and wipe off the debt.


The debt is meaningful only as long as a state is willing to pretend it is meaningful.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:57 | 1085864 zaknick
zaknick's picture

Oh! She's super sensitive right now!


it's true that the 666 bankster elites never secured the southern border on purpose for lots of reasons most of them harmful to the USA but since your cheerleading of the empire that destroys these other countries is strong, WTF you bitches deserve it!


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:02 | 1085885 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

You're a moronic troglodyte if you've walked away with a pro-US feeling from my post. In words *you'll* understand, you're a dumbass too

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:17 | 1085958 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

Pointing out that Japan's population is aging rapidly and will lead to a 25% reduction in their population by 2050 is racist?

You need to take a pill dude.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:45 | 1086490 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

That's not what I said. Excluding demographics breakdowns from *any and all* US analyses whilst continually including them when discussing the EU & Japan however, *IS* racist [not necessarily by you-nor here, but the pattern, of which you’re a part of] ... especially since the impact of said demographics will arguably be more significant in the US:

Show me that analyis of yours, the one that's as blunt about US demographics' impact. Where you talk about the first Black president handing out trillions in welfare to his  black & latino constituent base—that’s demographics too, and of a MUCH larger size than ¥55T. Show me them balls to discuss those demographics.

Also, I notice you didnt argue my numbers, or my main point about the US’s fiscal position, comparatively. And that’s precisely the point, let’s talk about Japan or the EU. This is all just about the disaster [or the PIIGS], it’s got nothing to do with the fact Japan’s about to dump USTs. Meanwhile, in reality, aaaaall the Japanese slush *PLUS* all the EU/ECB slush is *still* not equal to TARP+bazooka.

Moreover, I didn’t see anybody talking up the demise of the US when they printed an additional $950B ~Christmastime, and that’s just ONE US program recently, ALSO bigger than either Japan’s ¥55T [whatever it is now] or the ECB’s recent €500B. You didnt ring alarm bells about that, perhaps the Japanese & Europeans should’ve been smarter & called’em tax cuts huh?

This is all Japan-bashing, because they’re about to crush the US by not only not buying USTs but dumping them—this at a moment when China’s participation is questionable at best. And instead I’m reading a long post about how Japan’s economy will be destroyed, nothing about US IR or the fact that Gold is already >$1,400 going into this situation. One little sentence in the end. Endless rambling about where Japan will find the money, ONE little sentence at the END, which is the answer, and negates … most of your previous argument. EVERYTHING you said about the economic state of Japan can be said about the US[except demographics(partly)], except that it’s WORSE for the US *especially* with regard to the sickly American now-retiring baby-boomer; Japanese aren’t an ill people, they just need pensions. Americans need pills to pee, and pills to stop peeing. In the US the demographics problem is reversed PLUS a retirement savings problem of GREATER magnitude and the aforementioned strain on Medicare/Aid. Instead, it’s Japan that’s doomed. Closed immigration policies and demographics and all that ….

I’ll tell you what, I’ll calm down when I’m dead. When you talk about “waiting to be put down” and “harakiri” and “death spirals” at a moment when >10,000 Japanese arent even found let alone buried, those arent calm words. Those are night-of-the-long-knives words. So, let’s have at it: Your great American experiment of demographics, is only NOW coming into play. You got your immigrant, black president. The other side has Vladimir Fucking Putin. I know who I’ve got my money on. Talk to me when you’re ON FIRE in NYC, or at BEST when your affirmative action, pro-immigration & positive demographics multicultural, mutliethnic, mutlireligioius, multicolored, piece of shit "American stew" policies black president bankrupts the country with handouts to all the blacks & illegal immigrants with US college “degrees” [LOOOL! x2] & turns the US into the pussfilled asscrack of GuadalajarEnya [that means Guadalajara + Kenya—I’m guessing you’re US educated]. 

Instead, we talk about Japan, or how Ireland’s gonna crack the EU—the other AngloAmerican wet dream. Nothing about how California, world’s 6th largest economy is B.A.N.K.R.U.P.T.-er than any PIIGS or Japan, mostly due to illegal immigration, and how the fact that Mexicans are about to become a voting majority in California in the near future, and turn California into Baja Norte, or how Tejas will soon go California’s route & turn into Tejasihuaha. Those are demographics too, and I’ll bet I’ll *NEVER* find *that* analysis of yours, especially using cute little words like beans, & cocaine & weed to reference Mexican stereotypes, you fucking ASSHOLE.

Another American telling me to take a pill is a big, deep, compliment. Perhaps if I was medicated, like the rest of Americans, and needed a pill to sleep, or wake, or stay calm, or make my dick work, and vote for morons like Bush & Obozo like the rest of Americans; perhaps I could see things like you & other great American analysts or the celebrated UK crowd like A.E. Pritchard who all always convenienetly forget little fun tibits like … *annual* US Defense budget [in deficit] > Japan’s ¥55T or ECBs recent slush; or that US has run a cumulative deficit JUST THE PAST THREE YEARS that exceeds the total funding needs for Japanese retirement. Let alone the next three which’ll each be >$2T/yr; or how many Americans are on “pills” like you want me to take, and a comparative analysis of it’s impact on Medicare vs it’s Japanese or EU counterparts. That’s demographics. Never seen that. Never seen an analysis by you or other Americans of the impact of illegal immigration on US Education prices. That’s demographics too. I could go on, but I’m done thinking FOR you.

The point is, you bring a type of viciousness here to this analysis which, people who put these out, never analyze the US in the same harsh terms. I wouldn’t respond this way to Gonzalo Lira for ex, he brings it, best he can, fair & square across the board. And Tyler is so prodigious, so I apologize beforehand if you have/do put that kind of thing out—I’ve missed it. But I just find myself disagreeing with you often, and what you’ve done here

IS THE ANALYSIS EQUIVALENT OF THOSE PEOPLE CHEERING IN THE MIDDLE EAST WHEN THE TOWERS WENT DOWN. Get it? And you DID say “pony needing to be put down.” FYI. You’re not the only one.

Ever since that cocksucking assfarmer Keith McCollough went on CNBC and said he was happy about the disaster because he was short the NIKKEI and Kudlow responded by talking about how the economic cost outweighed the human cost, my tolerance for this kind of bullshit is ZERO, I admit.

There’s still some people that can reason around here, and if you didn’t want to be challenged, especially when you’re wrong, go post where you can talk to yourself & the rest of the fauxgnoscenti. The problem isn’t that I need a pill, it’s that all of you are on one.

Ps: a guy like you oughtta know what an arb is. For Christ’s sake.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:08 | 1086648 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

"The problem isn’t that I need a pill, it’s that all of you are on one."

Instead of calling them people (beit ones in control of the planet, their minions and/or the willfully ignorant portion of the soon to be culled rest of the herd) I prefer pyschic vampire soul sucking maggot.

Good show of emotion, shows you are still in fact human. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:23 | 1086994 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Psychic vampire soul sucking maggot LOOL! And thanks, but I'm not shooting for human. I'm shooting more for ....

;) Come find me

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:26 | 1087009 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

I think you picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:38 | 1087037 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

You don't know shit about me. I've written 150 articles over the last 2 years and 140 of them talk about how fucked the US is. So don't give me your racist bullshit about me picking on the Japanese. You are a long winded bullshit artist.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:57 | 1087103 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Please link me to a demographics & debt article of yours about the US, in similar vein to this one then

And the only bullshit here, is your "analysis" which I'd need to glue to go along with.

Also, since you're too DENSE to get it, demographics INCLUDES race dummy. I didnt start this, YOU did, dont call me the racist. So, 140 articles. SHOW ME


that discusses & analyzes the US in a similar vein, as you've done here, re: Japan.

ONE. Idiot. Prove it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:04 | 1087181 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

Take your pick you fucking douchebag.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:30 | 1087253 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

As a product of US education, I know you're a little slow. Link me to ONE similar analysis of the US, that includes demographics. Because I'm sure you always do re: Europe, and Japan. JUST ONE. Shouldn't be that hard. ONE that discusses for ex, JUST FOR EX., the immigration policies of the US instituted by the pied-piper of Republicans, the Gipper, allowing ~1m Mexican immigrants/yr into the US since ~1980, and the current unemployment rate. But that's MY example. Since you analyze the US on equal terms, show me ONE US analysis of yours with the same hard-hitting style that includes demographics. JUST ONE.

Then make it during 9/11

TIMES TEN. Get it? Dummy?

Link me YOUR choice, so you dont say I looked at the wrong one, like you're doing here

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:30 | 1087287 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

I'm not your fucking nurse maid. Read em all and learn something you long winded dickhead.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:29 | 1087289 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

I'm not your fucking nurse maid. Read em all and learn something you long winded dickhead.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:54 | 1087403 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Jim, you're saying I've misunderstood your tone, and that you analyze the US in similar manner. I'm not asking you to be a nurse maid, it would've been MUCH easier to link ONE article, ONCE, than to reply 2-3-4 times. You know your material. PICK YOUR CHOICE that's representative of this point, since I've misunderstood. Of course, the issue is, you dont have one, you intellectual midget

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:08 | 1087452 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

I replied twice because I was pretty sure you wouldn't be able to comprehend the first response due to your mongoloidism. You may have noticed the 14 junks you got on your original incomprehensible tirade. I've taken dumps with more substance than your posts. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:53 | 1087496 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Yet *another* reply without a link. These dumps you speak of, that's where you found this analysis, here, right?.

JUST ONE LINK ....Or shut the fuck up.

GO AHEAD. Shut me up.

I DARE YOU. ONE FUCKING LINK: DEBT + *DEMOGRAPHICS* in same kind of fun language u've used here = US explodes.

ONE. LINK. Moron

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:45 | 1087353 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

And now... for some racist shit that SmokeyQuinn loves to post on his obscene little blog.


When I nailed him on it, here on ZH months ago, he went back and deleted it off his site... but I copied and kept the history of his sick mind for all to see.  And there is more... oh so much more.  I'm sure SmokeyQuinn would just love to openly debate the truth here today.

What do you say MORON?  You ready to be open and honest for a change, with no delete buttons to push when people see you for who you truly are.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:52 | 1087393 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Look, I dont know about all that, his name's not attached to that. It's just the *general* tone of commentary on Japan [not just his, not even his mostly] ... has just REALLY REALLY grated on me.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:09 | 1087457 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture


Done fucking your sheep?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:04 | 1087605 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

O youth or young man, who fancy that you are neglected by the gods, know that if you become worse, you shall go to worse souls, or if better to the better…  In every succession of life and death, you will do and suffer what like may fitly suffer at the hands of like.  This is the justice of heaven.  ~Plato (on karma)

The Greeks used to "call a fig a fig and a trough a trough"

wise people these ancients...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:29 | 1087657 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Oh I *LIKE* you. Come & find me ;)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:10 | 1087450 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

Quinn encourages some very sick shit and he should be pitied ... not encouraged. 

His previous webmaster kicked him off of a free blog he provided for Racism and Obscene posts. 

The man has some serious underlying mental health issues under his carefully constructed facade of economic journalism.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:12 | 1087460 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture


Your being paged in the barn.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:52 | 1087525 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

Aw... come on SmokeyQuinn ... you can do better than that.

What with your long term obsession with bestiality, your addiction to porn and your deep Carnal Knowledge of that pet ewe, you lovingly call 'Avalon'.

Tell the nice folks, here on ZH, why you deleted your long running Racist rant,"30 Blocks of Squalor" thread off your blog after I outed you here. 

Maybe recycle that masterpiece onto ZH so people can get to know the real SmokeyQuinn.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:27 | 1086021 Broomer
Broomer's picture

No one is saying that America doesn't have problems. The point here is that Japan also isn't in good shape.

Disclaimer: I'm saying this from Brazil, the worst shithole on Earth.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:52 | 1086127 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

I thought Obama left for Chile already...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:41 | 1086500 dugorama
dugorama's picture

no whey,

1) prez obama seems to like it

2) you have created a middle class out of thin air in less than one generation - truly remarkable

3) I watched donetsk beat up on roma in the champions league... half of the donetsk side (the Ukraine - eastern european soccer fans when together in a crowd are the most racist sports fans in the world) or more is brazilian.  and not blond brazilians.  made me feel pro-brazilian ... of course when your leading export is footballers it probably means opp'y for many people is limited to sport - not a bullish marker.  still, a review of maslow's hierarchy of needs puts soccer somewhere after food and water.  and brazil obviously has enough surplus to organize youth academies.  puts you miles ahead of most of your neighbors.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:54 | 1086130 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Japan does not have all of its debt out in the open any more than the US does.  The national savings (Yucho) and national insurance (Kampo) schemes are woefully underfunded, partly due to the nature of Japanese accounting* (see below) and partly a result of the fact that these have been the government's primary vehicles for propping up the stock market.

Regarding self-funding of debt, I don't know this is the advantage many claim, as one indebted to outsiders---especially in one's own currency---sort of serves as a "nuclear option", i.e., one time default.  Of course it also allows one to print money to cover debt service and repayment, which more or less puts it on the same footing as domestically funded debt.

I am of the view that Japan has massive problems, fiscal and demographic.  Maybe the US is in worse shape, maybe not.  It seems immaterial, or rather it seems like having a choice between being executed by the gas chamber or the electric chair.  At the same time, I have enormous respect for their work ethic and commitment to quality, and believe if any people can recover from the recent calamity, it is the Japanese.  Gaman!  I would love to see them come back stronger than ever, but I cannot see how, any more than I can see how the US can escape its debt burden.  Here's hoping they prove me dead wrong.

One minor point is that some of their strengths can just as easily be viewed as weaknesses.  For example, they can stick to a plan and follow rules, almost to a pathological degree.  That aids them in quality control and social order, but it has unintended and odd consequences.  I'll provide a recent example:  in Japan dogs entering the country must be quarantined to at least a month.  So, when US rescue teams entered Japan just after the tsunami, they had trouble satisfying the bureaucracy and getting their rescue dogs released in a timely manner.  The logic of letting the dogs out immediately makes perfect sense, but because it went against the "rules", it caused a holdup.  Perhaps some "survivors" died in the interim until the rules were relaxed.  Sad, if true.

*Accounting:  for Kampo and Yucho, as well as private pensions, a benchmark return is mandated for each year's contribution.  Fund managers handling these monies must make "payments" equal to the contractual rate, but only from realized positions.  Any realized gain must be offset by any realized loss.  Unrealized gains and losses do not factor into the payout.  What has happened since 1989 is that gains have been "realized" (which many times just means crossed), and losses were held rather than realized.  Over time, even in a bull market (like JGB's), the cost on the books is very close to market, since the cost represents the new end of a crossed trade.  The losses, unrealized, become dead money.  That dead money is still required to generate the contractual return established at the date it entered the fund managers' hands.  Thus Yucho, Kampo and private pensions are deeply underwater. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:55 | 1086333 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

chindit13, I always find your comments very usefil about Asia.  Never leave us!

I too hope for the best for Japan, I hope they can dig their way out of these disasters and their structural problems.

And I do have a dog in this hunt: we buy bearings from Japan (more from Korea though).  I just sent an email off to one our suppliers in southern Japan asking about whether we can expect any problems in buying bearings in the months ahead.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:55 | 1086560 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Excellent points, every last one of them. I never meant to imply Japan's situation is fine, especially now, nor that they're fully funded. But hidden obligations in the US are literally orders of magnitute greater than hidden liabilites in Japan, and that's on US scale too! Good Day sir :)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:45 | 1086814 malek
malek's picture

Well Dumbo, I can't see any anti-Japanese racism in the article posted by Jim.

But I also don't believe things will go down so quickly there. Nobody for example gives any information about the level of entitlement feelings the elders have over there. It might be a lot lower. And demographic prognosis, while usually on target for 1- to 20 years into the future, should be taken with a grain of salt looking at 2050. Birthrates can make a turnaround somewhere inbetween.

(T: And I am really waiting how our dems will pull that one off in 2012. But sure, nothing is impossible.)

Oh, I can tell the German government also has huge off-balance debts. Off-balance reunification costs are the only ones I can put a number on: 30% GDP, I believe. But the uncovered pension liabilities (like US SS) are for sure >100% GDP too.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:12 | 1087221 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

we'll start to see some of the demographic drift as the census data come out. - Ned

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:01 | 1087596 VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

You're a troll of high proportions.  

1). Where in the post does Jim Quinn say anything about US/EU being in a better position?  Have you read his previous posts? They include numerous derisions of the mismanagement of the debt structures in the US/EU.  

2.) Japanese racism does exist but its clearly a trait of the stupid, not of Americans/EU citizens in general.

3.) How does one's 'culture' justify a blatantly immoral, wealth- and happiness -eviscerating system that all the world's people are currently stuck beneath the boot of? Whether or not Japan's issue is terminal, its still completely immoral that the government has the power to create the distortions it has. 


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:16 | 1085709 props2009
props2009's picture

guess the american company that has lobbied the most and paid the most in lobbying charges

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:49 | 1086114 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

just so they could overspend some more!  i like my lobbying..."free."  Take Time/Warner for example....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:21 | 1085723 Tsunami Effect
Tsunami Effect's picture

Who are you (do you want to be) on the Titanic?  Think about it.  That one event crystallizes how the elite, TPTB, the public, the working class, and the uninformed or naive from all of these groups behave in a crisis/catastrophe that ends in catastrophic failure. 

I think this site is extremely valuable for many reasons.  Often extreme, but always insightful. 

Come on people, look at the size of the "iceberg(s)" this economy has hit this year!!!  This is not going to end well no matter what Bernanke, Obama or anybody else tells you.

A Buddist saying comes to mind:

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:28 | 1085750 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:57 | 1086345 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Tsunami, indeed very good saying.

Hi, Village Idiot!  Maybe we ought to organize a ¨Buy Gold Day¨!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:22 | 1085726 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Its more the end of the oligarchic, conglomerate (Zaibatsu), incestuous, Yakuza influenced period. And in-spite of bottom-up management culture, it stays rather secretive and opaque, as per current trauma. Along with demographic reversal, this had made country hide bound and un-reactive. Good place to go and have godly good sex...Have to stop copying Bangkok and start getting Samourai again... Have faith in Nippon... in spite of tragic destiny. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:23 | 1085731 Tail Dogging The Wag
Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

$500 and $1000 notes... coming soon to a bank near you.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:58 | 1086349 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

When I hear that coming down the pike, all of my $100s are going straight to gold.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:21 | 1085734 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

Ah yes, the defacto day of the new dawn sun worshippers are giving everyone a shot at spinning the 'wheel of culling'.  Coming to a country near you.  Good luck fellow peasants.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:21 | 1085738 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Japan was a hollowed out, mechanized nation, living off of free energy, kindly provided by uncle sam. Nothing else. The degree of mechanization is visible in their response to the quake. What everyone sees as civility, I know as total mind-controlled docility, nothign else.

Why, otherwise, would it have the highest suicide rate in the world?

Japan was a disaster waiting to happen. JIT takes one six sigma even to go tits-up. I'm sure it was never imagined that the six-sigma event would kick the ultimate JIT inndustry (power) with such a death blow.

If Japan recovers, it will hopefully be the old Japan. Tokyao, as financial center (well big theiving financial center) is gone. Forever. It's Hong Kong, again. All the banker rats fled.

Japan was a chimera, a neon-lit pretense of success. Tragic as it's present condition is and not to be wished upon anyone (though we are all to be Japanese soon), this was in-evitable.

Reality always wins. On a long enough time-line etc.....


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:23 | 1085741 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Besides, they have the 33rd parallel syndrome! right Ori? ))

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:37 | 1085787 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Indeed Falak. That pesky 33rd. See.... Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan....round the world you can go.

It's real, hmmm?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:34 | 1085782 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

That chimera was a tech pioneer which made (makes) some of the best high quality/high tech products on the planet.  Lets see how things go without it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:41 | 1085802 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

True Bastiat, but anything taken too far ultimately snaps back or fails/falls. There is an inevitability to that, just like the tag line here. To imagine infinite growth in high-tech was the chimera and it's people had lost their soul (or had it stripped away, by it's occupier, since 1945).


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:03 | 1085882 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

I agree with the first two sentences.  "infinite growth" is kind of straw man though -- long term trending growth in high tech, as long as you can stay on the cutting edge of key technologies, is no chimera. The last state, I'm not so sure of--have been both an "occupier" for a time and later a Zen student for a much longer time.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:12 | 1085935 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Then like me you have lived and worked amongst them. I was in kyoto and also a student of Zen. Quite missing in the larger societal fabric, wouldn't you say? The visible part is/was hide-bound shinto and exquisitely restored Zen monastaries. To find a true master is also hard.

Like in India, Yoga teachers abound, but it's essence and masters are lost/deeply hidden.

And your statement about staying on the curve still implies infinite growth, which I cannot buy.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:52 | 1086129 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

this isn't the usual tripe.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:03 | 1086609 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

You talk alot, and to the fool, it sounds like you're saying something. And the whole, "neon-lit pretense of success" is so flabergastingly idiotic, that's why I'm not talking to you

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:51 | 1088104 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

And yet you are.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:11 | 1086656 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Quite missing in the larger societal fabric, wouldn't you say?

For the most part yes.  Very few lay practitioners, Zen roshis largely reduced to ritual specialists for weddings and especially funerals.  Most temples a family business.

Infinite change. Infinite growth is cancer. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:03 | 1086362 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Well, ORI, I hear you and the above repliers.

I hope that Japan gets back on its feet because they make bearings of great value that we sell here in Peru.

Fortunately for us (for now anyway), we but more from Korea...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:03 | 1087602 VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

"Japan was a hollowed out, mechanized nation, living off of free energy, kindly provided by uncle sam. Nothing else. The degree of mechanization is visible in their response to the quake. What everyone sees as civility, I know as total mind-controlled docility, nothign else."

Couldn't have put it better myself.  All these defenders of "glorious Nippon', as if it even exists, are hilarious. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:28 | 1085754 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Pretty solid argument, providing anyone really needed one. This is obvious to all paying attention. 

The willingness of people to see their currency devalued through CB purchase programs will determine the lifetime of this experiment. People hate this kind of disruption and will accept any excuse to ignore it and carry on. 

At what price is the illusion shattered?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:29 | 1085755 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

2 lost decades trying to avoid the collapse they should have taken in the late 80's, and it STILL is going to come crashing down, only it will be much much worse than it would have been. We see Ben doing the same thing here.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:30 | 1085766 Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

I wonder to what extent Japanese citizens continue to buy government debt because of national pride? 

Considering the US is facing the same situation, I can't imagine its citizens buying liberty bonds in support of same. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:53 | 1085841 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

In a crisis, the Thrift Savings Plan will buy bonds on behalf of Fed employees. That will be the beginning. See Argentina for steps 2) through (banana).

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:04 | 1086613 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:33 | 1085771 Eagle1
Eagle1's picture

 "Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn  The Gulag Archipelago


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:54 | 1086137 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

that's a tough one.  I'm not sure the Great A.S. is talking about human beings here.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:35 | 1085781 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Well it sure seems like the Fucking Pig-Dog Manipulators are sure"manageing" gold,well these days.

Fuck off and Die Manipulators.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:34 | 1085783 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

When examining the costs of nuclear power generation, did anyone consider that an accident could result in the rapid demise of an entire sovereign nation? World's 3rd largest economy and a culture, 1000's of years old? I sure as hell didn't. So, when will young couples getting pregnant feel safe anywhere near that Ce137 fountain?

The western status quo is in total shock and denial at this point. Reality bites and leaves a mark this time.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:00 | 1085884 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Young couples should not even be asking that question.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:36 | 1085786 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Everything works until it doesn't, then it's oopsie.  Actual wealth can ameliorate the oopsies, what's in your wallet?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:37 | 1085790 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

Well done Jim but one of the premier benefits of the Japanese is that unlike us they hold the majority of their own debt.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:39 | 1085800 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

They are injecting money I didn't know they had into that economy and it's staggering, but it appears they are fighting for their very existence - will be an interesting summer to see if they throw their Emperor under the bus or go after the banksters that suckered them in the 80's and 90's

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:45 | 1085810 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

'Central banks from across the globe intervened and weakened the currency"

If the market/currency did not make these moves NATURALLY,than the word"intervened" should be MANIPULATED.

Words ,aren't they cute.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:51 | 1085826 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The author thinks today's youth are the key to a nation's wealth.  He's wrong on many fronts.  Show me someone under the age of forty who's worth a crap. Everywhere you go it's the 60 year olds who are doing the bulk of the work.  Today's youth shirks production and focuses on government jobs, idleness, and getting along.  The huge surge in immigrant babies in the United States fills schools, prisons, and welfare roles.  Where's the advantage in that?

In addition, it only takes 1% of the population to produce all the food required, 5% for all manufactures, and 20% for all the necessary services.  The remaining 25% are just junk jobs for the government.  Automation is key 1 and quality of worker is key 2.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:07 | 1085860 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

you are correct about us youngsters... that is why I am so sacred.

I see the future through my own generation, It does not look pretty in the least!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:11 | 1087213 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ baby_BLYTHE,

Our daughter would perhaps be about your age.  She has only a little clue, but some.

My advice to you would be the same as I tell everyone (who will listen):

-- save your money, pay off debt, live more cheaply

-- gold is good

It is SMART to be prepared or get started ASAP.  The sooner the better.  You do have mentality that looks like will motivate you to save and prepare.

You do not have to be scared so much as to be determined to chart your own future.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:29 | 1085899 Incubus
Incubus's picture

I welcome a breakdown of the system; hopefully there's less of you old people when it's over with.  You old types fucked up the world enough and are pushing the mess onto us to clean up, now? 


Screw that.  Burn it all to the ground. I'm not the one who spread my legs for easy credit while mouthing some capitalistic prayer.

What should I do?  Go get some production job that no longer exists in this country?  Take out a loan on some house and pretend like I ever belonged to some shitty ass society? Bury my head in the sand and vote for whatever the hell maintains my illusion of success?  My crappy life that I'll sell the next few generations away to maintain? 


I'm prepared to live much more humbly, and I couldn't care less about any nationalistic flag-sucking conditioning, because I was never considered part of it, anyway.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:01 | 1086158 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

listen..."i gotta job that needs doin'" and "you seem like the type"--if you get a call and it sounds like a go...well, we'll just keep it between you and me, K?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:05 | 1086172 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

+ 100.  Thanks Baby Boomers, for yanking the upward-mobility ladder behind you... not too smart to have the most educated/productive strata of U.S. society paying the monthly cash-flow equivalent of a sizable mortgage for their educations.  Instead of buying your cardboard house for 10-20 times what you paid for it in '75, so that you can relocate to the Snakehandler Belt and enjoy "lifestyle amenities," I will be plugging away at my student loans, and you'll have your "home" sold at a back-tax auction, with a can of dog food for your supper.  Have a nice day. P.S. retire already, I'm tired of teaching you how to use Adobe PDF.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:31 | 1086247 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Look at any revolution that's ever happened.  The force behind it is 20 year old males who want to make a life for themselves, a family, a future.  This generation would rather play World of Warcraft and Farmville than organize themselves into something meaningful.  There's not enough discomfort yet.  I have had to fight to keep four sons off Ritalin.  Now they're a force to be reckoned with in business. 

Go back to your video games unless you want to get serious.  If you want to get serious, I suggest you start by getting off your backside and getting off the internet and doing something about it.  The whole idea that this generation doesn't place any value on those who have gone before it is apparent.  That's part of the plan... divide and conquer.  You don't think I know anything because I'm fifty years old and can't "twain acquire."       

Sure you're inheriting a busted system but so does every generation.  The so-called "Greatest Generation" inherited a system nearly broken by World War.  The Kent State generation had their rebellion and pretty much "Clintonized" the globalization of economies.  Sure, it's bad, but you have the internet, Twitter, Facebook, etc., but don't be deceived that these virtual tools are the real McCoy.  They're tools, they're not the masterpiece.  Use the tools, but build a masterpiece.  Otherwise go back to ESPN and your Nintendo DS.  


As far as your student loans go.  Be smart.  Pay them off in worthless future dollars.  You know gold is going to $5,000.  Get your calculator out and figure out for yourself how to retire the debt when the reset switch hits.  You don't have cash to buy gold.  You don't need cash, what you need is a brain.  I had to deal with 1987 stock market crash when I in my twenties with two kids, a wife and a business to run.  I made bank on that by calling it.  Your opportunities are staring you in the face and they're bigger and better than any I have ever seen.  

Dave Harrison    

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:49 | 1086310 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Wow, you make it sound so fucking easy that even a Gen-Y retard could do it!  Trouble is, they can't--the part about the prosperity ladder  being pulled up behind the Boomers is pretty damn apt.

Any entrepreneur these days is going to have to be damn clever in order to make a living.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:21 | 1086421 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Indeed.  Like Ben Franklin when he used to push that wheelbarrow full of paper around Philadelphia just so that people thought he was working.



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:25 | 1086436 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Funny, I distinctly remember paying a lot of property taxes to pay for your K-12 schooling.  Boomers routinely had 35 pupils per class.  How many did you have?  Did you have a football stadium, a hockey rink, or a swimming pool at your high school?  Typically, boomers had none of these things.  Your college experience was equally as lavish in comparison.  Did you run up consumer debt in college?  Bad idea, eh?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:50 | 1086535 DR
DR's picture


The current system is unstable and will self destruct in the next decade. Be prepared to pick up the worthwhile pieces and start again. The is  how generational cycles work. Hopefully your generation has been schooled in enough history to see this.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:15 | 1086683 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Well said, Dave!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:21 | 1086712 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

I respect what you're trying to say, Dave, but there won't be too many people willing to lend money for a retail precious metals investment.  Just sayin'.  Now if I were at a trading desk, instead of a legal desk....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:24 | 1087003 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

They are selling scarcity. You are buying into their program. Read a book, rent a movie, think for yourself. It's right in front of your face grasshopper. The curtain was torn. We are no longer "under the law" if that's where you've been looking.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:52 | 1086316 aerojet
aerojet's picture

To be "worth a crap" one would have to have been brought along and taught many things and instead those same 60 year olds kept it all to themselves, so save it, okay?  We'll do fine, we're just waiting for some of the fuckers to drop dead at their desks.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:05 | 1086629 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture


Me and you, lez be best friendzbians LOOOL!


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:52 | 1085836 svendthrift
svendthrift's picture

Japan will recover. They are very smart.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:55 | 1085851 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

60 year olds did not build Zero Hedge - youth, indeed, is the key...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:36 | 1086291 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Fix it,

Perhaps you are unaware that Boomer-aged people built the internet and that's just the "public" face.

Those who built the guts were Greatest Generation-aged.

And ZH is just a better than average blog...they come and go.

Now, quit whining, wipe your nose and do your homework.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:00 | 1085873 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

"Young World Rising - How Youth, Technology, And Entrepreneurship Are Changing The World From The Bottom Up" by Rob Salkowitz.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:27 | 1086443 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture


Ah yes, the 1980s redux.  Keep beating it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:08 | 1085917 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Traders figured out what must happen over the coming years. A large swath of Japanese insurers and companies will begin repatriating assets held in other currencies to begin the rebuilding effort at home, driving the value of the Yen higher...


I'll take the other side of that bet. Japan is even more corrupt than the USA. All they care about is their "export economy". They and China will never, ever, spend their clownbux. The powers that be in Japan work for the evil alien overlords and don't care a plug nickel about the poor old people who eat dog meat to survive.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:12 | 1085939 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

It's simple.  Step 1. Go to Blockbuster, or Netflix, or Amazon.  Rent any movie that is about confidence games.  For example; The Sting, The Hustler, The Color of Money, or if you prefer to read, check Herman Meliville's Confidence-Man.  They always play out the same.  Just like this one is playing out. 

At what cost and to what lengths will the Confidence Man go to continue the game?  There's no limit.  There's no cost to him.  The confidence man's only cost is the ending of the game.  When have you ever in your life heard someone say that they are absolutely, positively certain about something in the realm of economics.  Of course, that excludes the Chairman of the Federal Reserve on 60 Minutes.  That was different.   


Dave Harrison  

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:18 | 1085962 4Kismet
4Kismet's picture

Alert: Fukushima Coverup, 40 Years of Spent Nuclear Rods Blown Sky High

by Paul Joseph Watson and Kurt Nimmo
Global Research, March 22, 2011

In addition to under reporting the fires at Fukushima, the Japanese government has not told the people about the ominous fact that the nuclear plant site is a hellish repository where a staggering number of spent fuel rods have accumulated for 40 years.

A contributor to the Occupational and Environmental Medicine list who once worked on nuclear waste issues provided additional information about Fukushima’s spent fuel rod assemblies, according to a post on the FDL website.

“NIRS has a Nov 2010 powerpoint from Tokyo Electric Power Company (in English) detailing the modes and quantities of spent fuel stored at the Fukushima Daiichi plant where containment buildings #1 and #3 have exploded,” he wrote on March 14.

The Powerpoint is entitled Integrity Inspection of Dry Storage Casks and Spent Fuels at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and can be read in full here.
The document adds a new and frightening dimension to the unfolding disaster.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant has seven pools dedicated to spent fuel rods. These are located at the top of six reactor buildings -or were until explosions and fires ravaged the plant.

On the ground level there is a common pool in a separate building that was critically damaged by the tsunami. Each reactor building pool holds 3,450 fuel rod assemblies and the common pool holds 6,291 fuel rod assemblies. Each assembly holds sixty-three fuel rods. In short, the Fukushima Daiichi plant contains over 600,000 spent fuel rods - a massive amount of radiation that will soon be released into the atmosphere.

It should be obvious by now that the authorities in Japan are lying about the effort to contain the situation in order to mollify the public. It is highly likely there are no workers on the site attempting to contain the disaster.

Earlier today, a report was issued indicating that over 70% of these spent fuel rods are now damaged - in other words, they are emitting radiation or will soon. The disclosure reveals that authorities in Japan - who have consistently played down the danger and issued conflicting information - are guilty of criminal behavior and endangering the lives of countless people.

On Tuesday, it was finally admitted that meltdowns of the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor cores are responsible for the release of a massive amount of radiation.

After reporting that a fire at the No. 4 reactor was contained, the media is reporting this evening that it has resumed. The media predictably does not bother to point out why the fire is uncontainable - the fuel rods are no longer submerged in water and are exposed to the atmosphere and that is why they are burning and cannot be extinguished.

It cannot be stressed enough that the situation at Fukushima represents the greatest environmental disaster in the history of humanity, far more dangerous that Chernobyl, and the government of that country is responsible.

Perhaps the most underreported and deadliest aspect of the three explosions and numerous fires to hit the stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor since Saturday is the fact that highly radioactive spent fuel rods which are stored outside of the active nuclear rod containment facility are likely to have been massively compromised by the blasts, an elevation in the crisis that would represent “Chernobyl on steroids,” according to nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen.

As you can see from the NPR graphic below, the spent fuel rods are stored outside of the active nuclear rod containment casing and close to the roof of the reactor complex. Video from Saturday’s explosion and subsequent images clearly indicate that the spent fuel rods at Fukushima unit number one could easily have been compromised by the blast.

According to Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer at Fairewinds Associates and a member of the public oversight panel for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which is identical to the Fukushima Daiichi unit 1, the failure to maintain pools of water that keep the 20 years worth of spent fuel rods cool could cause “catastrophic fires” and turn the crisis into “Chernobyl on steroids.”

The BBC is now reporting that “spent fuel rods in reactors five and six are also now believed to be heating up,” with a new fire at reactor 4, where more spent rods are stored, causing smoke to pour from the facility.

“Japanese news agency Kyodo reports that the storage pool in reactor four - where the spent fuel rods are kept - may be boiling. Tepco says readings are showing high levels of radiation in the building, so it is inaccessible,” adds the report.

“At the 40-year-old Fukushima Daiichi unit 1, where an explosion Saturday destroyed a building housing the reactor, the spent fuel pool, in accordance with General Electric’s design, is placed above the reactor. Tokyo Electric said it was trying to figure out how to maintain water levels in the pools, indicating that the normal safety systems there had failed, too. Failure to keep adequate water levels in a pool would lead to a catastrophic fire, said nuclear experts, some of whom think that unit 1’s pool may now be outside,” reports the Washington Post.

The rods must be kept cool because otherwise they start to burn and, in the case of reactor number 3, would release plutonium and uranium in the form of vapor into the atmosphere.

“That’s bad news, because plutonium scattered into the atmosphere is even more dangerous that the combustion products of rods without plutonium,” writes Kirk James Murphy.

“We’d be lucky if we only had to worry about the spent fuel rods from a single holding pool.

We’re not that lucky. The Fukushima Daiichi plant has seven pools for spent fuel rods. Six of these are (or were) located at the top of six reactor buildings. nulle “common pool” is at ground level in a separate building. Each “reactor top” pool holds 3450 fuel rod assemblies. The common pool holds 6291 fuel rod assemblies. [The common pool has windows on one wall which were almost certainly destroyed by the tsunami.] Each assembly holds sixty-three fuel rods. This means the Fukushima Daiichi plant may contain over 600,000 spent fuel rods.”

There have been massive design issues with the Mark 1 nuclear reactor stretching back three decades.

As ABC News reports today, “Thirty-five years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing — the Mark 1 — was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.”

The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant,” Bridenbaugh told ABC News in an interview. “The impact loads the containment would receive by this very rapid release of energy could tear the containment apart and create an uncontrolled release.”


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:39 | 1086265 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Just f'ing staggering.

So, when do we get point of recognition?

Markets should be tanking...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:30 | 1086029 bbaez
bbaez's picture

There appears to be an opportunity for the USA to take back some "Might" from Japanese and others that will be struggling with Radiation for the foreseeable future no doubt.

The question is will the USA seize the day or can we?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:09 | 1086186 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Japan SHOULD collapse.  It does not.  Here endeth the lesson.  The Founding Fathers called it Providence--although when talking Japan "they are net savers" and "their largest bank" (indeed the largest bank in the world) is their Postal Service.  At one time that was true in the USA believe it or not--but that's going back a quite a few.  I must say I did not see a "nuclear catatrophe in Japan" leading to "the greenback collapsing"--it should say something to the likes of Chairman Bernanke and Secretary Geithner.  We shall see.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:33 | 1086248 Colonel Sun
Colonel Sun's picture

Japan has a continuous history going back to 300 BC.

Tokyo [Edo] was the first city with a population of over 1 million.

Kyoto celebrated it 1,200th year as a city several years ago.

Japan has had a very turbulent history, civil wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear attack and occupation. However, it has not only survived but thrived.

There is more to a country than balance sheet accounting.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:49 | 1086534 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

"There is more to a country than balance sheet accounting."



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:16 | 1086676 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

+10^QE3 ;)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:46 | 1086529 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Went to crummy, underfunded grade/middle schools, then a private high school on scholarship.  The private high school did indeed have a pool/rink, but you didn't pay for it.  Paid my own way through college and graduate school through work/scholarships/loans.  (Sorry Kemosabe, but no F'n way a 18-yr old college freshman could make $33,000 part-time to make the tuition nut... and this was in 1998).  No "consumer debt" via college.  Went to top schools all the way, working at a high level.  Fact is, there's $2K a month I could be paying to Friendly Mortgage Bank instead of Friendly Student Loan Socialized Monopoly, but won't.  And housing spins down the drain.... who's going to buy Formica Acres from you?  A Chinese factory worker?  Another flabby, broke Boomer?  An illiterate Guatemalan gardener?  Who, if not the educated middle class 20-30 something?  The pooch is limping around, and the commie douchebag academics and "administrators" in the colleges have pulled the trigger on the not-so-slow unwinding of Circus Circus America. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:17 | 1086687 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Even top schools in the US these days are worthless. Watch yourself cocky. Bush ==> Yale. Obama ==> Harvard.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:49 | 1086541 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

The Japanese are about to become the world's leading experts in Safe Nuclear Energy.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:22 | 1086709 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

I like you, come & find me ;)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:09 | 1087197 dugorama
dugorama's picture

Are there any modern day (post WWII) examples of an "advanced" society defaulting on its sovereign debt?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:43 | 1087559 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:42 | 1088627 Itsalie
Itsalie's picture

Amazing, so everyone forgot the buffoon's fumbling of Sep 11, or the excellent and effecient response to Katrina, or the little oil sheen off the Gulf by BP? Oh, and Germany's debt to GDP is not 70%, if one includes those "off balance sheet" EFSF guarantees, its close to 200%. Maybe Tyler can work on that piece one day when the floodlight shifts to Europe.

And that population aging issue, well Japan's problem has been around for a decade, but Europe faces even more daunting problem: its youth are immigrants who find upward mobility literally inexistent, its not for nothing the last 5 years you have banlieus riots in french cities. As for the germans, well, as the CEO of Bosch said recently, without China's growth, where would cherman companies' growth come from? Certainly not from peripeheral europe. The europeans are sitting on china's shoulders, which are themselves built on unsustainable model of economic growth based on money printing. Ten years ago (for those withmemory longer than 3 months back that chart up), the euro was trading below parity with ben's funny money; and germany? well  it was the dog of europe and land of the lazy 30 hour-week workers. Predictions that it would become the next sickman of the world economy were all over the MSM if only ZH was around Tyler would be doing pieces on Germany not Japan. Germany's (and the euro's) economic recovery coincided with China's trade surplus with the US - so go figure where germans would be when china starts to slow. McKinsey would want us all to believe Germans have successfully restructured their economies and everyone is so efficient they are a danger to peripheral europe. Well German expats working in Asia will tell you a different story. But Germany and Europe's turn to despair won't be far off (the investment banks will see to it they need to make money you know) and the author of the above article would be writing about Europe's demise by just using the "search and replace" function of the word "Japan" with "Germany" or "France" or "Europe" or "US" and everyone here would still be in agreement.

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