Geography Archives: Japan

  • What Does Wage-led Growth Mean in Developing Countries with Large Informal Employment?

    The past decade has been one in which export-led economic strategies have come to be seen as the most successful, driven by the apparent success of two countries in particular — China and Germany.  In fact, the export-driven model of growth has much wider prevalence as it was adopted by almost all developing countries. This […]

  • Beijing’s Europe

    The European tour of Wen Jiabao is taking place while the conflict between the US and China over the yuan/dollar exchange rate is getting worse.  At the same time, a similar if less noisy clash exists between China and the Eurozone countries.  Last but not least, tensions have also arisen in the Sino-Japanese relations following […]

  • Mr. Ahmadinejad Comes to New York

    As he has every year since becoming President of the Islamic Republic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is coming to New York this week to attend the United Nations General Assembly.  Several important U.S. media outlets have either already conducted (MSNBC, ABC) or will conduct (PBS’ Charlie Rose and CNN’s Larry King) interviews with Ahmadinejad in connection with […]

  • Banks’ Monopoly Capital and Basel 3

    The new regulations on banks’ capital requirements known as Basel 3, made known to the public in mid-September, are a major institutional boost to the monopolistic position of the largest banks.1  In the new framework the capital that banks must hold against lending activities has been raised from a ratio of 2%, established by Basel […]

  • Germany: The Shadows of the Recovery

    We are being told that Germany is successfully recovering from the crisis.  However, despite the recovery, the German economy is below most other countries’ in relation to the pre-crisis levels of output.  When the crisis began the German economy’s dependence on exports caused a sharp fall in industrial production.  The initial liquidation and the subsequent […]

  • How Does the World Bank Function?

    The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was established at Bretton Woods in July 1944, at the initiative of forty-five countries that had come together for the first monetary and financial conference of the United Nations.  In 2010, it had 186 member countries, with Kosovo its latest addition (it joined in June 2009). The […]

  • Sanctions and Iran’s Regional and “Eastern” Options

    We noticed a small news item, reported from Tehran, which we think deserves more media attention and reflection in the West than it received.  According to the story, Chinese Transport Minister Liu Zhijun is expected to visit Iran Sunday to sign a $2 billion contract to build a 360-mile-long railway linking key Iranian destinations that […]

  • Nonsense from Deficit Hawks Threatens to Keep Tens of Millions Needlessly Unemployed

    The New York Times told readers that the Fed’s ability to take steps to boost the economy are limited because: The dramatic expansion of the national debt — which began in the Bush administration, via hefty tax cuts and two wars — has ratcheted up fears that, one day, creditors like China and Japan might […]

  • Will Chinese Workers Challenge Global Capitalism?

      Paul Jay: In China in June, leaders of the Chinese Communist Party said that it’s time for workers’ wages to go up.  And there’s been a lot of discussion about whether China’s actually restructuring its economy to try to boost domestic demand.  Certainly in what leaders say in other parts of the world they […]

  • Bolivia: Social Tensions Erupt

    Recent scenes of roadblocks, strikes, and even the dynamiting of a vice-minister’s home in the Bolivian department (administrative district) of Potosi, reminiscent of the days of previous neoliberal governments, have left many asking themselves what is really going on in the “new” Bolivia of indigenous President Evo Morales. Since July 29, the city of Potosi, […]

  • Can You Recruit Your Republican Friend to Oppose the Permanent War?

    Campaigning for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008, Senator Barack Obama said: “I don’t want to just end the war, but I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.” But as Andrew Bacevich notes in his new book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, as President, Barack […]

  • Debt and GDP Growth: Reinhart and Rogoff, One More Time

    Our friends at the Economic Policy Institute have already done a pretty good job burying the claim from Reinhart-Rogoff that high ratios of debt to GDP will lead to lower growth, but in DC, no bad theory stays dead for long.  With that in mind, let’s throw a little more dirt on the grave. The […]

  • Economic Recovery for the Few

    Where is this elusive recovery?  The banks, some say, have “recovered.”  Yet they remain dependent on Washington, they do not make the loans needed for a general recovery, and many medium and small banks keep collapsing.  The stock market shows no recovery.  The Dow index was 14,000 in late 2007 when capitalism hit the fan, […]

  • Export Dependence and Sustainability of Growth in China and the East Asian Production Network

      Excerpt: [T]he conventional growth accounting based on the national income identity does not provide an adequate framework for assessing the contribution of components of demand to growth.  The standard exports/GDP ratio overestimates the income (value-added) generated by exports because it ignores the foreign (import) contents of exports, which tend to be particularly high in […]

  • Greece and the IMF: Who Exactly Is Being Saved?

      Excerpt: Importantly, the initial collapse and following standstill in economic activity and nominal levels of GDP is also extremely bad news for the strategy of fiscal consolidation itself.  On the one hand, to keep on servicing interest payments (see above), nominal debt will continue to go up.  On the other hand, nominal GDP goes […]

  • Kenneth Rogoff Is Wrong on Debt and Deficits

    In much of the world, including the United States and Europe, a debate is taking place about whether the government’s first responsibility should be to reduce unemployment — which is at elevated levels — or to reduce government deficits and debt.  Many of the arguments for deficit reduction are simplistic, based on ignorance, or ideologically-based. […]

  • Alternatives to Fiscal Austerity in Spain

    Executive Summary: This paper looks at the planned austerity measures in Spain, the rationale for the spending cuts and tax increases, likely outcomes for future debt-to-GDP ratios, and the probable results of alternative policies. It is widely believed that Spain got into trouble because of the over-expansion of government spending.  However, during the economic expansion […]

  • The Fed Can Just Hold Mortgage-Backed Securities, Reducing Interest Burdens

    The NYT portrayed the Fed as facing a serious dilemma in dealing with its portfolio of mortgage-backed securities (MBS).  It argued that it can either start selling them now and risk slowing the economy or wait until the economy has recovered more and risk losing money by selling them in a higher inflation environment. There […]

  • The Myth of Conflict-Free Diamonds

    The issue of “blood diamonds” has once again made the news: Farai Maguwu, Director of Zimbabwe’s Mutare-based Centre for Research and Development (CRD), languishes under the long arm of Zimbabwe’s laws on alleged charges related to his research on Zimbabwe’s Marange mines.  According to a confidential 44-page report produced by investigators mandated by the Kimberley […]

  • The Merkel Model Spreads to Japan

    The European public debt crisis, artificially created by the puritan obtuseness of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has spread to even Japan.  In fact, Naoto Kan, the new prime minister, mentioned Greece in a speech in which he claimed to fear the collapse of the Japanese economy under a heavy public debt equal to 230 percent […]