Monday, January 27, 2014

Maybe The Solution Is To Print More Yen

... and do it faster, too!

Money is leaving Japan and not just as companies and investors flee the sinking ship. Japan has almost nothing in the way of raw materials, particularly oil, so they import it all. As they've purposefully devalued their currency, they've driven the price of their imports up, resulting in this.
TOKYO—Japan logged a record trade deficit for all of 2013, the third straight year of red ink, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to lift exports and reverse a long-standing trend toward greater overseas production have so far failed to make much headway...

"Contrary to expectations held by many, exports are unlikely to lead the economy higher," said Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance chief economist Yuichi Kodama. "This trade structure will likely remain unchanged for a while," he said.
The plan was to make Japanese goods cheaper and sell those cheap goods for more money than they were spending on increasingly expensive imports. Meanwhile, they've been borrowing, printing and spending like mad to stimulate their economy. So on the one hand, the government is stimulating the economy, driving demand for imported goods and on the other, it's devaluing the currency making those goods more expensive.

Eventually, someone's going to run out of Yen.

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