Why I still Hate Japan

madhedgefundtrader's picture

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three chord sloth's picture

Japan is an object lesson for all who believe in the planned economy.

To put it simply, a planned economy can work, but only if your nation is far behind the leaders and playing "catch-up". Once you've caught up, however, all that centralized economic machinery destroys any chance you have of pulling ahead.

A planned economy is built on three things:

1. Study the economic leaders to figure out what worked...

2. Honesty study yourself so you can correctly apply the lessons from step 1...

3. Create a centralized command-and-control mechanism to apply the lessons from steps 1 & 2.

Of course, that means once you've caught up to the world leaders in any particular industrial/service sector you are lost. The map you built in step 1 no longer helps... you've  entered uncharted territory.

The way forward is now guess work... and since all of your businesses in a particular sector are designed to move in lock step, a single wrong guess doesn't take down a single business, it destroys a whole sector! For example look at the Japanese computer chip industry. A couple of bad guesses about the future direction of the chip market, made back in the late 80's - early 90's by MITI, has left Japanese chip makers in a hole they still haven't crawled out from.

A planned economy may sometimes be workable when you're following the well-trodden path from agricultural society to industrial, but once you've gotten there all of that machinery is more likely to drive you over a cliff than take you to the promised land.

Gimp's picture

"I have made such a massive personal investment in Japan, living there ten years, learning their impossible language, and publishing several books on the topic" - MHFT

Is MHFT a "secret agent". He has lived everywhere and knows people in high places. Impressive.

If next week he says he lived in China or Thailand  for ten years I will get suspicious.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

This includes about 5 other careers he has claimed in posts like airline pilot and etc.

mephisto's picture

Worked for Nomura. Briefly.

Gimp's picture

Worked for a Japanese Company in the 1990's. I can tell you their management -lets be kind- is very, "strange". They will plan ad nausea and still make the wrong decisions. Customers needs and wants barely addressed. Bureaucratic model to the extreme. The six major Japanese industrial firms which control every other Japanese company, were funded by  the government/public money in the 1940's, 50's and 60's. Without public support their success and industrial achievement would have been limited.

Best things from Japan - Ninja Warrior Challenge and Sushi!

Kobe Beef's picture

Yup. The Bureaucracy has strangled the Japanese people. They asked for it.

The Bureaucracy is ruled by those who followed all the rules & jumped through all the hoops of the rigorously inane exam system to graduate from the Imperial Universities. They then spent their adult lives squirming up through the ministerial ranks by avoiding responsibility (think, blame) & deferring to their superiors.

By the time one rises to anything like decision-making power within the Japanese hierarchy, one is too old, too out of touch & too complacent to even conceive of change. Thus the continuation of all these failed policies. Since these dinosaurs are incapable of leadership or original thinking, the Bureaucrats merely focus on maintaining/centralizing control or dogfighting with other Ministries.

The Japanese people are somewhat aware their country has become one large Institutional Failure-- but being Japanese, are unable to conceive of doing anything differently, and are unwilling to take any action unsanctioned by their peers.

In short, Japan does not have a future. They will bury their heads in the sand until the power goes out. And then they will be devoured whole. as in raw. like sushi.

DR's picture

 

http://english.caing.com/2010-03-15/100126807.html

Our Next Economic Plague: Japan Disease
Growing old is hard, but watching formerly vibrant economies choke on debt and wither away is downright ugly

Grand Supercycle's picture

 

As warned about for some time, EURUSD daily chart is bullish . . .

http://stockmarket618.wordpress.com/about

Oh regional Indian's picture

Japan's "success" has to be the most stage-managed, crony-capitalist, mis-managed sham perpetrated on the world (and the poor Japanese whose world is going to come crashing down around them).

Besides awesome manufacturing and a national obsession with detail, the Japanese are not very good with "business". Their mind-set is still on the waybackmachine.

Will it's collapse lead or lag the US will be interesting.

I should know by the way, I was the CEO of a Japanese company in India for 3 years.

ORI

http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com

Oh regional Indian's picture

Japan's "success" has to be the most stage-managed, crony-capitalist, mis-managed sham perpetrated on the world (and the poor Japanese whose world is going to come crashing down around them).

Besides awesome manufacturing and a national obsession with detail, the Japanese are not very good with "business". Their mind-set is still on the waybackmachine.

Will it's collapse lead or lag the US will be interesting.

I should know by the way, I was the CEO of a Japanese company in India for 3 years.

ORI

http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com

Chartist's picture

Let's see, Japan is land locked and built up, has no natural resources and cannot build a military....I'd say they're screwed.

mephisto's picture

landlocked? no military?

I think you're confused with Switzerland.