Keith Fitz-Gerald- Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.
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Global Markets 7 Friday, November 2, 2012What Hope Means in Japan These Days
[Kyoto] – Frustrated by a system that has trapped them in decades of low to no growth, an entirely new generation of Japanese may be working with the most precious of all resources – hope.
They're taking matters into their own hands and going around the traditional Japanese way of doing things.
The so-called "Lost Decade" is now entering its 3rd lost decade following 8-10 separate bailout failures, depending on how you count the various initiatives over the years.
Growth remains a paralyzed version of its former self with the nation's GDP roughly the size it was in 1990.
Worse, many Japanese companies like Panasonic and Sony, once at the vanguard of innovation, now find themselves scrambling to keep up with clever rivals who have taken the lead and who now threaten to push them out of the global industries they once dominated for good.
Combined public, private and corporate debt now approaches 500% of GDP.
Roughly 35% of the working population here remains trapped in arubaito, or part- time work. T hat's a far cry from the vision of lifetime employment that once dominated the corporate landscape.
Some, like Tadashi Yanai, who founded and heads the Japanese brand Uniqlo (pronounced yu-ni-klo), are deemed "young thinkers" bent on change through the sheer force of will and the economic means to bring it about. Yanai is actually 63 years old.
Speaking Truth to Power
Others are truly young, like Osaka's controversial mayor, Toru Hashimoto. At 43, he's as frank as they come in the staid world of Japanese politics where change is nearly impossible to come by.
To give you an example of what I am talking about, consider Hashimoto's recent observation that the Japanese political system is "crap." Not "difficult," not "worth consideration," not deserving of "careful thought," as would be the traditional ways the hyper- polite Japanese have expressed their opinions — but "crap" as in the four- letter variety.
U.S. Economy 9 Wednesday, October 31, 2012The Fiscal Cliff's Biggest Surprise Could Be a Rising U.S. Dollar
Keith Fitz-Gerald 3 Tuesday, October 30, 2012Investors Who Own Japanese Stocks are About to Get a Nasty Surprise
Article 23 Thursday, October 25, 2012How to Play Q4 Defense: Hedge Your Bets, Up Your Stops and Sell Your Gold
Stocks 23 Thursday, October 18, 2012QE Infinity Won't Work, But Here's What Will
International Investments 1 Wednesday, October 17, 2012This Buying Spree Dwarfs The One That Shook the World in the 80s
Stocks 24 Friday, October 12, 2012Is Wal-Mart's Bluebird Brilliant or an Invitation to the Slippery Slope?
Housing Market 16 Thursday, October 4, 2012Ben Bernanke's Misguided Focus on Housing is Like a Bad Joke
Banking 15 Monday, September 17, 2012Banks Are Setting Us Up Again, This Time The Fall Could Be $2.6 Trillion or More
Government 5 Friday, September 7, 2012Enjoy the Rally While it Lasts, Super Mario Draghi’s Bazooka is a Dud