I am sure when the word “Lost” is mentioned we will have a wealth of people that will tear up at the mere mention of the now defunct TV show……thanks to say this is NOT about a bunch of fictional people lost on the island of Manhattan…..but rather…..
Back in the 1990’s I was a frequent player on the stock exchange…made some money…lost even more….but I recall the days of my adventurism……Japan was a shining light of capitalism especially in the later 80’s….but that was about to change…..
The economic miracle ended abruptly at the very start of the 1990s. In the late 1980s, abnormalities within the Japanese economic system had fueled a massive wave of speculation by Japanese companies, banks and securities companies. Briefly, a combination of incredibly high land values and incredibly low interest rates led to a position in which credit was both easily available and extremely cheap. This led to massive borrowing, the proceeds of which were invested mostly in domestic and foreign stocks and securities.
This popped the bubble in spectacular fashion, leading to a massive crash in the stock market. It also led to a debt crisis; a large proportion of the huge debts that had been run up turned bad, which in turn led to a crisis in the banking sector, with many banks having to be bailed out by the government.
Overall, this has led to the phenomenon known as the “lost decade”; economic expansion came to a total halt in Japan during the 1990s. The impact on everyday life has been rather muted, however. Unemployment runs reasonably high, but not at crisis levels (the official figure is a little under 5%, but this is a considerable underestimate – the real level is probably around twice that).
I will bet you wonder why I mention this……does it sound familiar? It should or you are not paying attention to your life.
I gave you a little economic history because I see this happening in the US and I am not alone….Paul Krugman writes:
It’s not that nobody understands the risk. I strongly suspect that some officials at the Fed see the Japan parallels all too clearly and wish they could do more to support the economy. But in practice it’s all they can do to contain the tightening impulses of their colleagues, who (like central bankers in the 1930s) remain desperately afraid of inflation despite the absence of any evidence of rising prices. I also suspect that Obama administration economists would very much like to see another stimulus plan. But they know that such a plan would have no chance of getting through a Congress that has been spooked by the deficit hawks.
We hear daily that the US could become the next Greece because of the growing deficit….which seems to be the call of most conservatives these days,,,,,,,but I see it differently….I see the possibility of the US becoming another Japan with a “Lost Decade” and many years of suffering for the working majority of the country. Slow growth, high unemployment and a rise in the inflation rate.