Yesterday's speculation that a bank holiday was suggested and may be imposed in Japan due to unprecedented market swings and tens of trillions in support from the BOJ has just been confirmed. From Dow Jones: "The head of Japan's Upper House on Thursday suggested closing financial markets due to turmoil over the country's disasters, Kyodo News Service reported, in a stark example of how the crises have rattled some of Japan's prominent figures. "Markets are volatile--is such a situation acceptable?" Takeo Nishioka was quoted as telling a news conference. "Closing markets would be an option."" An option which alas would do nothing to mitigate fear, and courtesy of electronic futures markets around the world which can not be stopped save a global bank holiday, which would promptly be needed to "enforce" stability, not to mention FX or bond markets. Which is why expect to see ongoing swings of 10% in the Nikkei as everything is done to prevent further routs, up to an including the injection of further tens of trillion in taxpayer capital by the BOJ.
From Dow Jones:
Nishioka said it was necessary to close the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the currency markets for a week, Kyodo said.
The TSE has remained open and functioning during the punishing days immediately after Friday's earthquake and tsunami, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunging 6% Monday, 11% Tuesday, roaring back 4% Wednesday and then ending 1.4% lower Thursday after trimming an initial 4% drop.
It's difficult to imagine trying to halt global currency trading, a $4 trillion-a-day market of trades among banks that don't go through an exchange.
Nishioka is a member of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party although, as head of the Upper House, he is by custom supposed to be nonpartisan.