Japan

Japan's Economic Disaster: Real Wages Lowest Since 1990, Record Numbers Describe "Hard" Living Conditions

With so much attention rightly focused on China at the moment, people aren’t paying enough attention to the budding economic calamity unfolding in Japan. While “Abenomics” has succeeded in boosting the stock market and food prices, it has utterly failed to raise wages. In fact, wages adjusted for inflation have plunged to the lowest since 1990. As such, a record number of households now describe their living conditions as “somewhat hard” or “very hard.”

"The Stock Market Is Too Important To Leave To The Vagaries Of An Actual Market"

The stock market is just too important to leave to the vagaries of an actual market now. Too much depends on good-looking numbers now. It must be guided and controlled, or else the stilts on which our global financial system balances become shakier and more visible. The market must be rendered increasingly meaningless simply because it's too meaningful to our current economic system.

Chinese Stock Plunge Resumes With 1200 Stocks Halted Limit Down; Yellen, Greek Elections On Deck

Just when the Chinese plunge protection team (and "arrest shortie" task force) seemed to be finally getting "malicious selling" under control, first we saw a crack yesterday when the composite broke the surge of the past three days as a result of yet another spike in margin debt funded purchases, but it was last night's reminder that "good news is bad news" that really confused the stock trading farmers and grandmas, which goalseeked Chinese economic "data" beat across the board, with Q2 GDP coming solidly above expectations at 7.0%, and retail sales and industrial production both beating, but in the process raising doubts that the PBOC will continue supporting stocks.

Are Central Bankers Poised To Break The World Again?

In his Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Lords of Finance, the economist Liaquat Ahamad tells the story of how four central bankers, driven by staunch adherence to the gold standard, “broke the world” and triggered the Great Depression. Today’s central bankers largely share a new conventional wisdom – about the benefits of loose monetary policy. Are monetary policymakers poised to break the world again?

Iran Deal Done - "Stunning, Historic Mistake" Or "Profoundly Positive Change"

While slightly later than expected, a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program has now been reached. As Reuters reports, the agreement will be greeted with alarm in several quarters, both in Washington and Tehran and internationally too, and could yet unravel. Internationally, the deal will accelerate unease in some Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, but it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who remains the fiercest public critic and has issued a warning that the accord will "inevitably lead to a nuclear war." The deal profoundly changes the balance of power in the region, but averts the conflict that was likely otherwise, but as ECStrat notes, Iran offers exceptional investment opportunities, but the near term impact will be to continue oil’s decline back to its lows, potentially taking energy stocks with it.

Stocks Get Second Thoughts About Greek Deal: Turn Red From China To Europe

One day after the Greek "pre-deal" was announced and the world breathed a sigh of relief, sending US stocks soaring and Greek halted stocks, well, tumbling (via ETFs and ADRs), things are oddly quiet and in fact quite red in Europe, with futures in the US modestly lower, following both China's first red close in several days (SHCOMP -1.2%), and a Europe which is hardly looking very euphoric at this moment: it is almost as if the algos finally got to read the fine print of the Greek deal after trading all day on just the headlines.

David Einhorn Says Varoufakis "Must Not Be Familiar With The Tyler Durden School Of Negotiation"

"Mr. Varoufakis, who kept reminding everyone that he is a professor of game theory, believed that the European leaders would prefer to make concessions now rather than manage the disruption of a Greek default. He must not be familiar with the Tyler Durden school of negotiation: the first rule of using game theory is you do not talk about using game theory. What’s more obvious is that Syriza didn’t understand what the game is."

'Greek' Finance In America: Pensions, Medicaid, & Entitlements Will Bankrupt State And Local Governments

If you can't print money or slash expenses, you have to borrow more money. That's the template not just for Greece, but for many state and local governments in the U.S who share key characteristics with Greece: they have soaring pension, Medicaid and employee healthcare obligations, but their tax revenues are either stagnant or prone to boom and bust cycles--and the current boom cycle is now entering the inevitable bust phase, when tax revenues plummet but the obligations just keep piling up. The template of over-indebtedness as a response to soaring obligations is scale-invariant, and it always ends the same way: default, more financial tricks to mask the default, and eventually, insolvency, bankruptcy and massive losses being distributed to everyone foolish enough to choose financial trickery over dealing with reality back when the pain would have been bearable.

Germany's Most Noted Euroskeptic Is Now In Control

This weekend's events in Europe have clarified who is really running the show across the 'union'. Hans-Werner Sinn, Chairman of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, vehemnt euroskeptic, and head of the so-called 'five wise men' advising the German government and specifically Angela Merkel, confirmed his call from 2012 for a "temporary grexit from the euro." The right wing economist previously explained "Greece and Portugal have to become 30-40% less expensive to be competitive again. This is being attempted through excessive austerity measures within the euro zone, but it won't work. It will drive these countries to the brink of civil war before it succeeds. Temporary exits would very quickly stabilize these countries, create new jobs and free the population from the yoke of the euro." Anyone positioning for more centrist union-supporting rhetoric, hope is no longer a strategy as the hardest conservatives are now in charge.

Why The NYSE Debacle Mattered

On Thursday this past week there were a few attempts at crisis management that should go into textbooks (as well as history books) everywhere in years to come as: Crisis Management 101.a – Lessons in Ineptitude. The responses as to settle the angst in an ever-more-skeptical, as well as frightened investing class was not only inane as demonstrated by the responses (or better yet; lack there of) given at the NYSE by way of “answering” as to why it halted its operation for nearly 4 hours. Was only outdone by what many view as the near insane when one views the steps taken in China to “calm” their markets. Is that how one instills confidence? It instills something – however the term isn’t anything resembling “confidence.”

EconMatters's picture

What is a Market?

What happened in the China stock market is the latest culmination of the slippery slope of governmental and central bank intervention in financial markets.....

Economic Sanctions Cause War, Not Peace: Some Lessons From FDR's Embargo Against Japan

Ask a typical American how the United States got into World War II, and he will almost certainly tell you that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Americans fought back. Ask him why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and he will probably need some time to gather his thoughts. Ask him what the United States did to provoke the Japanese, and he will probably say that the Americans did nothing: we were just minding our own business when the crazy Japanese, completely without justification, mounted a sneak attack on us, catching us totally by surprise in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Unfortunately, this orthodox view is a tissue of misconceptions.

Pentagon Concludes America Not Safe Unless It Conquers The World

The Pentagon has released its “National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015,” June 2015. This report tells us that war with Russia is our future unless Russia agrees to become a vassal state like every country in Europe, and Canada, Australia, Ukraine, and Japan. Otherwise, the neoconservatives have decided that it is impossible for Americans to tolerate living with a country that makes decisions independently of Washington. If America cannot be The Uni-Power dictating to the world, better that we are all dead. At least that will show the Russians.