Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

A Big Story Getting No Attention

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Well, except in Japan, where it’s clear that there’s still no control over the radioactive leaks from Fukushima.

Gorilla says, “No, let’s not hear again how safe nuclear power can be, when this says it cannot be!”

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Half-Hearted Irresponsibility

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Japan keeps sending mixed messages:

1) The Bank of Japan promises quantitative easing until the inflation rate hits 2%.

2) The government of Japan promises extensive fiscal stimulus in line with QE.

3) The government then announces a very large sales tax hike, threatening economic growth.

Japan’s at least trying, whereas Europe and the US seemed paralyzed.

Unemployment is a disaster in the US (at the current rate of “job creation” it will only take another 7 years! to get back to full employment), and the Fed’s pronouncements lack clarity (are you or are you not committed to higher inflation until unemployment falls sufficiently? Then please say so, particularly when you’re missing the inflation target badly on the wrong side!) and in Europe they continue to await the arrival of the confidence fairy.

Gorilla says: “We need more irresponsibility and we need it now!!!”

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Bigger In Japan

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Guess what?

Fiscal and monetary stimulus actually work!

Japan’s proving it, as household spending surges and the 2% (still way too low) inflation target is talked up at every opportunity.

It’s Economics 101, something completely forgotten among the elites of Europe and America.

Gorilla says: “If only the austerians would get off the stupidity, their economies would get high on growth!”

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Doing The Right Thing

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The Japanese Central Bank is doing exactly the right thing, undertaking a large scale monetary stimulus coupled with a determination to get inflation going!

The big question is whether monetary stimulus alone can do the job. The problem, in Japan and elsewhere, is lack of demand. Whether the stimulus the BOJ provides gets into the actual economy, or is merely stashed on the sidelines by the private sector, is an open question. But it is far better than the lame brained approach of the ECB.

Fiscal stimulus in the form of jobs programs and helicopter money drops would be far more effective. Here in the US, this has proven impossible because of the deeply divided political structure. Elsewhere the Chinese are trying to stimulate domestic demand, and the Europeans are engaged in long-term national suicide.

Gorilla says: “The Tokyo story may have a happy ending! Wish our stupid leaders would try the same thing!!!”

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A Few Global Loose Ends Not On Romney’s Tour

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Russia: the KGB kleptocracy intends to keep a firm lid on dissent.

India: all the growth in the world can’t yet make up for a terrible infrastructure and an uneducated, impoverished, and overpopulated polity.

Iraq and Afghanistan: the pointless wars continue, the theft by contractors continues, the complete lack of success continues.

Japan: once again making clear that covering up and not losing face are far more important than exposing millions of people to dangerous levels of radiation.

Congo: does anyone care that this decades old civil war never ends?

Sudan: ditto, slightly more people care because it has oil.

Kosovo: seriously, did you think it would ever go away? Another triumphant NATO failure disguised as a permanent peacekeeping mission.

Gorilla says: “There are plenty more of these Romneyesque gaffes to come!”

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Still Way Behind The Curve

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The Japanese government, which is at last admitting what everyone else has known for some time: the Fukushima nuclear disaster will render large parts of that Japanese region uninhabitable for decades…

Throughout this crisis, the Japanese government has seemed unprepared and disorganized. It’s not helped by a regulatory framework that’s very friendly to nuclear power or a refusal to admit that nuclear power is probably finished for good in Japan.

Gorilla says: “Not ready for a tsunami and not able to overcome it!”

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Still Evading The Truth

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Japan, whose government clearly covered up the scope of the Fukushima disaster

The latest version is that radiation leakage was double the previous claim and that meltdowns occurred in 3 plants within the first week.

And of course their nuclear regulators, like our airline regulators, are part of an agency whose job is to promote the industry.

Gorilla says: “It’s terabecquerel!”

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An Ongoing Disaster

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Everyone’s forgotten about Japan, but the nuclear disaster there shows no signs of ending…

The exclusion zone’s been extended and damaged plants are still leaking radiation.

The government seems unable to find a solution that won’t take months or years to reduce the fallout.

Gorilla says: “We might learn something about building nuclear plants in earthquake zones, or we might not!”

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The Cover Up Goes On

Friday, May 13th, 2011

In Japan, where they just can’t seem to figure out either what’s going on or why the story keeps changing.

It appears that the nuclear plant disaster was far worse than Japan admitted, and is still not under control.

The rest of the world has moved on, of course: bin Laden is still dead!

What’s troubling is that governments who are in hock to corporate interests always seem to put those interests ahead of the truth.

Gorilla says: “Americans have heard this song over and over again!”

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Japan Melts Down

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

As has been apparent for at least 3 weeks, the Japanese don’t have a clue about the nuclear meltdowns occurring at their aging nuclear plants.

So far, it’s been a case of “don’t worry, under control” followed by “panic stations, now!”.

Is there anything good to come out of this disaster, now as bad as Chernobyl?

Yes, three things:

1) Nuclear power is dead for at least another generation. Regardless of the relatively tiny number of casualties (in comparison to those in oil, gas, and coal mining), the fear factor is both staggering and decisive.

2) Japan will at last begin to spend real money on infrastructure that matters. Rebuilding should get the economy moving, although it may take a few years.

3) Japan will at last recognize that it cannot keep its domestic market essentially closed. With fishing and farming pretty much dead in the water for the next decade, Japanese consumers will at last have some competition and deflation may, after 20 years, be conquered.

Gorilla says: “The silver lining isotope may outlast the rest!”

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