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Posts Tagged ‘Japanese economy’

Things You May Have Missed

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 7th, 2009 10:08 AM |

The stream of data and market moving news is non-stop. I found these items of interest and look to share them with you as I believe they provide interesting insights and perspectives from around the world. I beg your indulgence if some of these items are not news to you, but if they are I hope they help you “navigate the economic landscape.”

1. Australia’s central bank cut its overnight lending rate to 3%, the lowest level in 49 years. While that rate is one of the highest rates in the developed world, it was widely expected to be left unchanged.  Australia has had one of the strongest economies in the world. This cut is an indication the Australian central bank believes their economy is slipping into a recession.

2. Japan’s exports are reported to be down 40% versus a year ago. Additionally, Japan’s industrial production is reported to be down 30+% during the same time period. These economic figures are significantly weaker than most other developed economies. As a frame of reference, most other developed economies’ industrial production is down 10-15%. Clearly, Japan is so dependent on exports and it is now paying the price of not having more fully diversified its economic foundation.

3. Gold is now trading near $880/oz. A month ago this precious metal was trading slightly above $1000/oz. Why is gold down recently? Coming out of the G-20, there are expectations that the IMF may sell some gold reserves to raise funds for low-income countries. I commented the other day that gold is not perfectly correlated with inflation due to changing fundamentals and technical variables in the gold market. This development with the IMF is a perfect case in point of my assertion. (more…)

Are We Turning Japanese?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 21st, 2009 4:08 PM |

Many market participants and economists are very concerned that the United States has made many of the same economic blunders experienced by Japan during the 1990s. Japan experienced a period known as “The Lost Decade.”

Are decisions now being made in Washington a precursor to a similar scenario here in the United States? Many people think so. A friend shared a piece which highlights some of the major social and economic problems in Japan. Obviously the United States has a far different culture, society, and economic base than Japan, but will our fiscal deficits and our current policies lead us in the same direction as Japan? This piece, written by Tom Dyson, touches upon some of the social and economic dynamics at work in Japan. I think it will cause you to pause and reflect on our situation here in the United States. Are we making decisions and enacting policies which will cause a similar outcome? (more…)

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