Thursday, June 12, 2014

Is Iraq Japan's Black Swan?

Foundational concepts:
  • A "Black Swan" is an unforseen event that cause significant disruptions in an economy
  • Iraq is falling apart as al-Qaeda militants are taking over key cities and moving towards the capital, Baghdad
  • Iraq produces a lot of oil
  • So do Libya, Venezuela and Nigeria - all of whom are in dire straits
  • So does Iran whose oil-producing infrastructure is rickety
  • Japan is living on the knife's edge with a debt surpassing 200% GDP
  • Japan imports all of its oil
If the price of oil jumps because Iraqi production facilities are disrupted, Japan is going to be hurt worse than most nations. Japan already has a negative balance of payments and this would exacerbate that. Enough to cause a loss of faith in their ability to cover their debt payments? Maybe.

It's certainly not happening yet.
A shift by investors into haven assets boosted the yen Wednesday after the World Bank cut its forecast for global economic growth.

No comments: