Today's Nikkei Plunge Protection Invoice: ¥5 Trillion (For Now)

It appears the earlier speculation by PTI that the BOJ would inject ¥13.8 Trillion in the market to preserve asset prices was a little premature. The BOJ just released the official number and it is a measly ¥5 trillion. And by measly we mean US$63 billion. Add this to the ¥28 trillion already deployed by the BOJ and get an even more modest ¥33 billion, or roughly $420 billion, which is the cost to preserve the Nikkei from plunging for a 4th consecutive day. Yet even with this latest injection, the Nikkei is down almost 4% as of this writing. Should headline newsflow from Fukushima deteriorate, we anticipate that the full PTI number will be not only reach by surpassed very promptly as no amount of taxpayer capital will be deemed too great to preserve the wealth of those invested in Japanese stocks.

From Reuters:

Mizuho Bank said on Thursday that all of its automatic teller machines (ATM) throughout Japan and its Internet transaction system have stopped working.

A spokesman for Japan's second-largest bank said the reason for the outage was not known, although he doubted its was due to this week's power outages in the Tokyo area and eastern Japan or last week's massive earthquake.

Shares of Mizuho Financial dropped more than 4 percent to 130 yen, although they pared losses to trade down 2.2 percent at 134 yen, in line with the benchmark Nikkei 225 average which lost 2.5 percent.