It’s important to remember that no matter how nutty things have gotten during this credit bust, even nuttier solutions are waiting in the wings.
The Japanese Minister of Finance has proven that in spades by proposing a debt moratorium to individuals as well as firms. The moratorium would postpone repayment of principal and interest on loans, in an effort to spur more bank lending.
Please consider Kamei Says Moratorium Won’t Increase Japan Bad Loans.
Japanese banks’ bad loans won’t be driven higher by a proposed moratorium on debt payments by struggling small companies, said Financial Services Minister Shizuka Kamei.
Lenders won’t have to classify loans encompassed by the plan as non-performing, Kamei, 72, said in an interview yesterday at his office in Tokyo. That means they won’t be forced to boost provisions when borrowers postpone repayments of interest or principal, he said. At the same time, Kamei vowed to push banks to extend more credit to small businesses after bankruptcies hit a six-year high in Japan.
“We’re going to get financial institutions to provide these firms with more loans,” said Kamei. “Banks won’t have to treat debt on which they provide a moratorium as bad.”
The moratorium, postponing repayment of principal and interest, will be extended to individuals as well as firms Kamei said. It will aim at giving relief to companies with about 100 million yen ($1.1 million) or less in capital.
“As long as I’m financial services minister, I’m not going to leave small companies in the lurch unable to get loans,” Kamei said. “If a bank takes that approach, I’ll hit them with a business improvement order.”
Japan Lending Statistics
- Japan’s three largest banks, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., posted combined losses of almost $14 billion last fiscal year as bad-debt charges surged.
- Corporate bankruptcies increased 12 percent to 16,146 in the year ended March 31, the highest in six years.
In spite of the above Kamei states: “We’re going to get financial institutions to provide these firms with more loans,”
Unbridled Greed and Stupidity
Kamei blames “unbridled capitalism” for the global credit crisis.
The reality is this crisis was caused by the Fed (central banks in general) and Fractional Reserve Lending policies that fostered an environment of unbridled greed and stupidity. Ridiculous proposals such as offered by Kamei are guaranteed to make matters worse.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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