Update: make that JPY15 trillion:
The BOJ offered a combined 15 trillion yen ($183 billion)
into the banking system on Monday in its first same-day market
operation since the Greek debt crisis in May last year, to
soothe market jitters in the wake of a devastating earthquake
and tsunami that struck northeast Japan on Friday. The central bank's policy board will likely discuss whether
the sharp fall in Tokyo stock prices and the potential damage
from the quake to corporate profits warrant an immediate policy
response, the sources said.
We have since learned that the extra 3 trillion will be use to buy government bonds. Hello QE, my old friend.
Total reactionary panic everywhere now as the BOJ hikes the liquidity injection from 2 to 7 to 12 trillion yen. And this is likely hardly the end: "BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa told reporters late yesterday he’s
ready to unleash “massive” liquidity starting this morning in Tokyo." From BusinessWeek:
"The Bank of Japan said it will pump a record 12 trillion yen ($146 billion) into the financial system to help stabilize the market after the nation’s biggest earthquake on record last week threatened an economic recovery.
The emergency measure represents the bank’s first same-day repurchase operations since May, when the central bank added funds to help stabilize the market after the Greek debt crisis set off a plunge in stocks worldwide. BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa told reporters late yesterday he’s ready to unleash “massive” liquidity starting this morning in Tokyo.
“The Bank of Japan will provide plenty of liquidity and there are no disruptions in the interbank market,” said Toshiaki Terada, a researcher at Totan Research Co. in Tokyo. “The bank will probably add more funds if needed."
It is possible that following the latest reactor explosion this amount will be raised once more before the US night is over. We are somewhat skeptical that throwing infinite capital at a clusterflock of black swans will do much, but are happy to be proven wrong.