The damage control comes earlier. In an Op-Ed just posted at the FT, Pimco executive Mohamed El-Erian has presented his thoughts on why the Japanese devastation, while disrputive, will eventually lead to another GDP surge: "Japan’s economic growth rate will fall in the immediate aftermath of the natural disasters before rising sharply due to reconstruction activities." Yet even by Pimco standards it is not all good news and the immediate effect will likely be a jump in inflation per the former Harvdardite: "Disruptions to supply chains and the loss of inventories will cause shortages and inflation to spike temporarily from very low levels. The fiscal deficit and public debt will rise meaningfully due to lost revenues and, more importantly, emergency spending. The central bank will ease monetary policy which, given policy interest rates floored at the zero bound, will involve the provision of extraordinary credit and liquidity facilities. Last, the country will receive transfers from abroad, including the repatriation of funds held outside the country by Japanese residents." What however received no mention is Pimco's lamentation that the firm will no longer be able to frontrun Japanese buying of Spanish (and Eurozone in general) bonds: a plan that is certainly put on indefinite hold.
More from the FT:
Japan is a rich country that is also able to borrow at relatively low interest rates. As such, it definitely has the ability to rebound economically from these horrible natural disasters. Moreover, in a really good recovery scenario, Friday’s dreadful shock could even be a catalyst for internal political unity and for overcoming what has been two disappointing decades of economic performance. Indeed, a prolonged period of high and sustained growth is key to Japan’s handling of its domestic public dynamics.
The world has a shared interest in the economic recovery of this systemically important country. The good health of Japan is central to a robust global economy that generates lots of jobs and enhances productivity. And, at the most basic human level, we wish for the well-being of all those in Japan who have been affected by a truly horrible tragedy.
The hope culminates as follows:
May the heartbreaking human tragedies soon give way to many stories of miraculous rescues and the full recovery of a society that, today, is being subjected to enormous pain and disrupting uncertainties.
We hope in this case El-Erian is correct. In the meantime, the question of where the yet more demand for sovereign debt will come from as Japan is now forced to issue billions more in paper will certainly be answered in Bill Gross' next, and certainly far more dour, upcoming missive.