If you are in need of a good laugh today, please note Japan’s economy minister bitterly complains “Japan is falling behind on monetary stimulus” while simultaneously pointing out the “risk of another credit-rating downgrade” as if more stimulus would make matters better.
Where do they find they guys?
Japan’s Exports Drop 10.3 Percent
In related news, Japan Exports Tumble 10%, BOJ to Conduct “Seamless” Easing.
Japan’s exports fell the most since the aftermath of last year’s earthquake as a global slowdown, the yen’s strength and a dispute with China increase the odds of a contraction in the world’s third-largest economy.
Shipments slid 10.3 percent in September from a year earlier, leaving a trade deficit of 558.6 billion yen ($7 billion), the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today.
Economy Minister Seiji Maehara pressed the Bank of Japan for more action yesterday, saying the nation is “falling behind” in monetary stimulus and is at risk of another credit-rating downgrade.
“There’s a high chance that Japan’s economy will have two consecutive quarters of contraction through December,” said Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief economist at Itochu Corp. in Tokyo. “The slump in advanced nations is spreading to emerging economies.”
The decline in shipments, exacerbated by a spat with China over islands in the East China Sea, was the biggest since May last year, when the country was rebuilding supply chains wrecked in the March earthquake and tsunami.
Shipments to China, the nation’s largest export market, slid 14.1 percent from a year earlier. Exports to the European Union fell 21.1 percent, while those to the U.S. rose 0.9 percent. Auto shipments to all markets dropped 14.6 percent.
In a speech in Tokyo today, BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa vowed to conduct “seamless” monetary easing as the Japanese economy is “leveling off.”
Inquiring minds might be wondering “What the hell is seamless easing?” (as opposed to good old-fashioned QE).
It’s a good question, and one I cannot answer for sure, but I very much suspect Governor Shirakawa is simply adding superfluous words to make it sound important, so as to appear as if the BOJ is not impotent (which of course it is).
I can however, point out the sheer madness of global competitive currency debasement. In that regard, it’s actually a good thing to be “falling behind”.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock