by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
It has often been said (and rightly so) that Japan is in many ways the canary in the coal mine of the global economic collapse.
A rush to prop up the “too big to fail” banks by papering over their credit defaults with government promises (at taxpayers’ expense, of course)? Old hat to the Japanese.
An extended period of zero interest rates failing to ever deliver the perpetually promised “liftoff” from a stultifying, decades-long deflationary spiral? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
And a dying, shrinking, aging population facing a demographic winter of discontent from which there is no escape? It’s now official!
In every way that matters Japan has been “leading the way” for decades. “Leading the way” by showing others what a post-bubble nightmare of zombie companies and endless deflation and deleveraging looks like, anyway.
And now, the canary in the global economic coal mine is squawking about something else that is about to be felt around the world: negative interest rates. You may not have noticed it unless you were paying attention to Japanese markets over the last few weeks, but it looks like the Japanese economy is rejecting NIRP. Violently. Just some of the signs we have entered topsy-turvy world in the land of the setting yen:
Recent reports of safes selling out at major retailers in Japan are just a sign that an old Japanese custom of stashing cash at home (tansu yokin, or literally “wardrobe savings”) is now expanding thanks to Kuroda’s negative interest.
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