The TEPCO Bail Out Begins: Japanese Government To Foot "A Portion" Of Compensation Costs

Tyler Durden's picture

As predicted when we outlined the imminent surge in TEPCO CDS nearly two weeks ago, when the utility was trading still in the double digits, we speculated that the Japanese government will have no choice but to step in and rescue the pre-collapse utility. Indeed, that is now reality, with Reuters reporting that "the Japanese government is looking at paying off a portion of the compensation Tokyo Electric Power Co will owe to evacuated residents, local farmers and others directly hit by the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant." The question we have is how much did Japan bulls such as Buffett purchase in TEPCO stock in advance of this latest pseudo-socialization in which taxpayers once again bail out private shareholders, and just how much of his decision to acquire said stock would have been predicated on the knowledge another taxpayer-to-right pocket transfer was imminent.

More from Reuters:

Tokyo Electric, also known as Tepco, could be facing a compensation bill totaling several trillion yen given that roughly 80,000 residents have been evacuated, the business daily said, quoting government estimates.   

The company is also likely forgo its year-end dividend - a first in the last 59 years - because of the crisis, which has forced local companies to suspend operations and farmers to stop shipping produce, the Nikkei reported.   

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference that if Tepco could not provide adequate compensation, the government will guarantee it, according to the Nikkei.    

A 1999 accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant in Tokaimura, resulted in a compensation of about 14.6 billion yen ($180 million) for about 7,000 cases, the Nikkei report said.

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Flore's picture

Nobody can have such an investment career without a gubment hotline.... but hey.. uncle warren is the role model for all the amateurs gaming the money away in the stockmarket... so the gubment keeps him informed.. and he is legendary...

It isn't that hard.. when you know alot of thing before average joe does

avonaltendorf's picture

predicated on the knowledge another taxpayer-to-right pocket transfer was imminent


dark pools of soros's picture

you thread jumped for that?? what next?  gonna blow up a telephone pole for more attention?

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Recipe for Wealth

Self regulated;

Private gains;

Socialized losses;

All the rest is just garnish.

tmosley's picture

PROTIP: The nuclear industry in Japan is not self regulated.

Lest we rush to blame the free market once again for the failures of mixed markets, please remember that nuclear power is the most heavily regulated industry on the face of the Earth.  Indeed, it is so overregulated that new plants can't even be built in the US, forcing us to rely on outdated, unsafe designs just like that at Fukushima.

Hitachi has designs for nuclear power plants that are so safe they don't even need workers.  They just produce power for about 50 years, and then you replace the fuel.  Of course, we can't get these, because of the utter terror the government has us living in so they can save us from it.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Don't fool yourself.  The nuclear industry in Japan and the USA, Big Oil, the American legal system, American medicine, and clearly the global banking industry are all self-regulated. It is just that the Wall Street to K-Street revolving door gets all the publicity.

Thomas's picture

During the Gulf Oil Crisis, closed door meetings at the CFR included BP executives. The entire topic: the cost.

sangell's picture

Nonsense! There is an FDIC in Japan too that covers these things.

The Fukushima Daiichi Insurance Corp.

NotApplicable's picture

Don't worry, the G7 is gonna start the Yen carry-trade back up!

In more Bizzaro World news, Chavez speculates about capitalism ending life on Mars.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled abnormal normality.

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

The Chavez quote made my day.  You just can't make this $%^@ up.  A colleague I shared this with commented that it is amazing that people that daft can become leaders of a nation.  I asked him if he'd taken a look at the US' leaders recently.......he left my office looking very depressed.

Michael's picture

Can't wait till the silver bears do a cartoon on this story.

Will JPMorgan Now Make and Take 'Delivery' of Its Own Silver Shorts?

"There is nothing inherently wrong and certainly nothing "illegal" about J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) gaining a vault license for storing and taking delivery of gold/silver/platinum/palladium from the futures markets known as NYMEX/COMEX. However, the speed, timing and manner in which the exchanges just granted it troubles us."

SparkyvonBellagio's picture



Robot Traders Mom's picture

Tyler coined the nickname "Octogenarian of Omaha"---classic! Just like Robotgaylord is the "Troll of Trading"

Sancho Ponzi's picture

Totally off thread, and totally amazing, via

ZackAttack's picture

Holy shit! Impractical, but what a display piece.

malikai's picture

I get the feeling Tokyo still needs electricity, so this is absolutely no surprise.

economessed's picture

The insolvent government provides financial backing to the insolvent public utility.  Makes perfect sense.  Perhaps they can make a children's video out of it and show how the shareholders avoid the poo.

A Man without Qualities's picture

Exactly - it's only money, you can easily print more.  I suspect this is a requirement for the bank loans, but shareholders will be wiped out.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

"but shareholders will be wiped out."

Why should anyone lose anything?

thedrickster's picture

EWJ 643K block AH....WTF...

Ruffcut's picture

The checks are in the mail, right to your address of record. Destroyed or contaminated residents, do not qualify.

johnQpublic's picture

never saw it coming





sarc off

Lapri's picture

That's been known. It's in the law that governs nuclear industry.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

When nuclear power plants are born, I thought it was common practice to leave the umbilical attached anyway.

Dr. No's picture

Warren is the Wall street poster boy.  Squeaky clean, role model, "hey, everyone can make it", kind of guy.  Lets the moths (small investors) fly into the flames.  Propaganda.

Commander Cody's picture

Never to early to start the taxpayer-funded spigots flowing.  Next up, the car companies, electronics firms, farmers, fishermen, etc., etc., etc.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I want my red-headed step-child bailout please.  Gingers have to qualify for something right?

Bicycle Repairman's picture

It will all be bailed out.  And who bails out Japan?  Hmmmm....

Shameful's picture

Good because clearly the Japanese government can issue an infinite amount of debt.  200% is for wusses, show us the way Japan.  Show us the way.  Just for God's sake don't sell US Treasuries.  Don't need to give Zimbabwe Ben an excuse to shoot another cool trillion off the presses.

bingaling's picture

I am sure the US is now the biggest buyer of japanese debt and the EU is second , shit it wouldnt surprise me if China was buying too . The worlds biggest circle jerk must go on .

disabledvet's picture

there does indeed seem to be a problem with the "buyer of last resort" now, yes, yes?  from where i sit (and again I AM SITTING DOWN FOR THIS ONE) a "hyperinflation is preferable to nuclear meltdown."  What say all of you?

RobotTrader's picture

Why not?

Everyone is now using the Ben Bernank model.

He's successfully skied the S & P 500 by 90% or so in 2 years, with no improvement in the economy whatsoever.

Virtually everyone is now going to bail out, nationalize, monetize, and POMO their way out of all problems.

So far, it is working.

Why stop now?

equity_momo's picture

Deleted my rant.

Robo , add some value for once.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

There are nuggets of truth in Robo's statements.  For instance the one you are responding to. Point out where he is wrong.  So far, he is 100% on his assessment as it relates to this post. 

He never did say it would last forever, but so far it is working to delay the inevitable.

Then disregard my remark here.  I almost locked you in to your rant. Haaa

equity_momo's picture

Nuggets of truth? Its all factual - but i dont believe there is any value pointing out the blindingly obvious in the comments section.  The point i have a problem with is the question - its posed in a way to affirm the medicine prescribed. As if pumping up NOMINAL asset prices is the be all and end all. How perverse!

Those of us with an above moderate intelligence realise printing money is no panacea and that in itself is reason enough to stop the madness that has resulted in an ever decreasing living standards of the post-nuclear American family.


Now , feel free to encourage more bandwidth white noise unless you care to point out how extend and pretend doesnt result in ever decreasing living standards for more and more people , eventually even yourself and Robotrader will be sucked into that mire.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Agree with you Robo. No central banker is gonna want to be different (nor will they be allowed to)

disabledvet's picture

having been someone who helped create Robo I cannot stress enough how wrong all of us can be.  Sometimes "the evil" is right underneath our feat and not at all "standing right in front of us."  "intelligence" to the extent it exists at all is always a "collective" enterprise.  the most important voices are those the we disagree with since it is impossible for any mere indvidual to rise above his/her inherent prejudices.

SheepDog-One's picture

Skied the S&P (which was recently sold to the Germans) by 90%, still around 1999 levels. Oh well, maybe next year there will be an actual gain of some sort, but highly unlikely.

metastar's picture

Like I said, ... TBTF.

equity_momo's picture

I just want to hear about Buffets insurance losses in Japan. 

This guy is the devil in sheeps clothing. Next time the "dinner with buffet" is auctioned off , can we get serious and whip up enough fiat to put the head Tyler in front of him for a night of Q and As?

thedrickster's picture

Thanks to whomever planted a vision of Quick's skirt in my head yesterday.

Hey Warren, will you pass the thigh?

Caviar Emptor's picture

If he incurs losses he'll be quietly bailed through the back door (Fed money channeled through Japan)

taraxias's picture

Why not foot the ENTIRE bill? Seriously, they can print it in a few seconds, so why not?

Folks, we're not in Kansas anymore, stop trying to find rational solutions.

This game will continue UNTIL those with real commodities to sell say ENOUGH.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

This game will continue UNTIL those with real commodities to sell say ENOUGH.

Like KSA, Libya, etc?  All the "leaders" of those countries are either bought and paid for or hiding in a spider hole. 

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Yeah.  How about that?  Did you include military action in your model?  What does armageddon look like if the US controls all of the mideast oil directly, and all of the US debt owed to the mideast?

Piranhanoia's picture

Max Keiser makes more sense every day. You can't make food from shit directly, and that we are being fed the latter and expected to make do.

thedrickster's picture

I used to love Keiser, that was until he decided to jump upon the Gabby "rhetoric" vomit comet.

Forgive and forget I suppose.

RobotTrader's picture

I guess Buffett doesn't care that when you peel off Becky's blouse, all you see is a flat, pasty, white surface that looks like the bathtub from a 1928-built 1-bedroom apartment on Melrose Ave.

Hence, the name "Bathtub Becky"...

Heck, he could sell 1 share of Berkshire Hathaway and pay for a world class "makeover", including a boob job....

thedrickster's picture

Don't fuck with nature, haven't you learned anything from TEPCO?