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Friday, September 17, 2010

When Does Japan Give Up the Ghost?

This graph says it all. Japan will be shrinking this century. It will be going from a current population of 127,420,000 (10th in the world) to 90 million by 2055, and 45 million in 2105. Amazing.

Jim Quinn / Minyanville:
When Japan Collapses, Part 2 -- The more you analyze Japan's predicament the more you realize there's no way out. It's trapped in a boundless morass of uncertainty. If it successfully weakens the yen, why would foreign investors invest in its debt, paying 1%? As the following chart clearly shows, Japan has a bit of an aging problem. By 2050, 40% of the Japanese population is predicted to be over 65 years old. Its population will be in a relentless death spiral for decades...

Part 1
Bloomberg:  Japan Intervenes in FX Markets
MarketWatch:  USD Up as Japan Halts Yen's Rise
RealClearMarkets:  Intervention Won't Work Long
ZDian L. Chu / Economic Forecasts Opinions:
Japan’s Problem Is Bigger Than Yen -- Sadly but truely, as dismal as Japan’s economic outlook seems, yen (along with Swiss Franc) is replacing the US dollar as the safe haven currency with the continuing unwind of risk trades. Investors see yen as “safe” due to the fact that Japan has a current account surplus and its government debt is mostly domestic instead of foreign.

Moreover, prospect of a slowing growth in the U.S. and talk of the Fed's continuing quantitative easing--driving interest rates even lower--further discourage dollar holding.

Generally, a country’s currency value rises with a healthy GDP growth, but in the case of Japan, it is quite the opposite. Despite Japan's ongoing current account surplus, a currency out of line with fundamentals could pose risks to its stability...

Calculated Risk

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