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Japan: The beginning of the end of the BoJ’s Yield Curve Control

Alicia García Herrero (Natixis) | Financial markets were caught off guard when the Bank of Japan (BoJ) adjusted its monetary policy on December 20th, 2022. The Bank decided to lift the ceiling on the 10-year JGB yield to 0.5% from 0.25% under the yield control (YCC). One interesting point to make is that the BoJ did not take the decision against the wall. In fact, the upward pressure on the…

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Shinzo Abe’s Economic Legacy: A Glass Half Full

Alicia García Herrero (Natixis) | The assassination on 8 July 2022 of Japan’s longest-serving prime minister Shinzo Abe was one of the most shocking and saddest events in contemporary Japanese history. Abe had surprised Japanese citizens with his sudden health-related resignation in 2020. His resignation opened the way for Japan’s then foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, to win Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) support and the November 2021 general election, to become…

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Japan’s GDP Shrinks By 1% In Q1 2022 Vs Previous Quarter

Link Securities | Japan’s GDP contracted by 1% in Q1 2022 from the previous quarter on an annualised basis, a smaller decline than the 1.8% drop expected by analysts. In addition, in the previous quarter Japan recorded GDP growth of 3.8%, revised downwards from an initial estimate of 4.6% growth. The main surprise was a marginal 0.1% annualised fall in private consumption, which is explained as the main drag on…

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BoJ: Sharp Yen Depreciation Adding Pressure To Revise Self-Defeating Policy

Alicia García Herrero (Natixis) | As the Yen rapidly depreciates above USDJPY=120, the unintended consequences of the Bank of Japan (BoJ)’s Yield Curve Control (YCC) has become increasingly apparent. Last month, the BoJ announced it would intervene in the JGB market to protect the 0.25% ceiling on the 10-year JGB yields as they were being pushed up by higher US Treasury yields. Furthermore, after the Fed began to tighten last…

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“Same Wine, Different Bottle” – What Next For Japan?

Today’s official resignation of Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe ended weeks of speculation following a number of hospital visits over the past month (…) The two front runners for Prime Minister are probably Shigeru Ishiba (photo) and Fumio Kishida. While neither would be likely be politically revolutionary, Ishiba has been more critical of Abe in the past and was recently quoted saying: “We need to rethink everything about Japan… Stocks are not the whole economy. We need to change the system where all wealth accumulates with stockholders and people who manage companies.” Given his more populist stance it is unsurprising that he is popular, regularly topping public polls for the preferred next PM. Kishida by contrast has been moulded and promoted by Abe himself, and never will the cliché above be more true than if he is chosen to take over from his political mentor.


G-20 Should Address Income Gap, Fragility of Financial Systems

Guntram B. Wolff via Caixin | G-20 ministers in Shanghai appeared to be aware of the importance of structural work. In particular, there was agreement in our panel discussions that the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of the OECD was an essential element to deal with tax avoidance and ensure that profits are taxed where economic activity generating it takes place.

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Japan enacts new stimulus plan by €24 bn

MADRID | The Corner | The Japanese government approved last Saturday a new stimulus program to inject up to ¥3.5 billion (€23.8 billion or $29.1 billion), which will help the less developed regions of Japan and the households with subsidies, vouchers for goods and other similar measures. The government of Japan expect this new stimuli plan to boost the GDP by 0.7%. Despite the many critics to the so-called Abenomics program, the measures are still on-going as the advisor to the new government William H. Saito explained in an interview for The Corner.

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Abenomics: “Third arrow” as a necessary condition for trickle-down effects

LONDON | Barclays analysts | The post-election challenge for Abenomics will be how to promote a transition from a favourable turn in expectations to the real economy (real GDP). For example, JPY depreciation has boosted earnings and led to an improvement in business sentiment (expectations), but export volume remains sluggish, suggesting it has not given a boost to the real economy (real GDP).