The Japanese economy shrank -7,8 percent in Q2 and that is the steepest decline ever. This was the third straight quarter of contraction which means Japan is in a deep recession amid the severe impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Private consumption fell -8,2 percent vs -0,8 percent in Q1. Exports plummet -18,5 percent which is the most since Q1 2009. The economy collapsed 27,8 percent in the June quarter, and that is the deepest on record.
Japan was the tech darling in the 80`s. Their consumer electronics industry was once considered the strongest in the world. But now the tech giant is in a state of decline as consumption arises in countries like China, the United States, and South Korea.
However, video gaming in Japan remains a major industry. Japan became a major exporter of video games during the golden age of arcade video games, an era that began with the release of Taito`s Space Invaders in 1978 and ended around the mid-1980s.
Japan dominated the industry until Microsoft`s Xbox consoles began challenging Sony and Nintendo in the 2000s. That being said; Japan is now the world`s largest market for mobile games.
Japan`s strong economic growth ended with a big crash in the late ’80s and early ’90s. In the late 1980s, abnormalities within the Japanese economic system had fueled a speculative asset price bubble of a massive scale.
The bubble was caused by the excessive loan growth mechanism known as the «window guidance». As economist Paul Krugman explained; «Japan`s banks lent more, with less regard for quality of the borrower, than anyonw else`s. In doing so they helped inflate the bubble economy to grotesque proportions.»
Trying to deflate speculation and keep inflation in check, the Bank of Japan sharply raised inter-bank lending rates in late 1989. This sharp policy caused the bursting of the bubble and the Japanese stock market crashed.
Equity and asset prices fell, leaving overly leveraged Japanese banks and insurance companies with books full of bad debt. The financial institutions were bailed out through capital infusions from the government, loans and cheap credit from the central bank, and the ability to postpone the recognition of losses, ultimately turning them into zombie banks.
The Japanese asset price bubble was an economic bubble in Japan from 1986 to 1991 in which real estate and stock market prices were greatly inflated. In early 1992, this price bubble burst and Japan`s economy stagnated.
The bubble was characterized by the rapid acceleration of asset prices and overheated economic activity, as well as uncontrolled money supply and credit expansion. More specifically, over-confidence and speculation regarding asset and stock prices were closely associated with excessive monetary easing policy at the time.
As a result of all this mess, Japan started to «print money» like never before, and now Japan recorded a government debt equivalent to 236,60 percent of the country`s GDP in 2019. Someone has to pay for this, but who? The people of course.
The Personal Income Tax Rate in Japan stands at 55,95 percent, which means more than half of the people`s hard-earned money goes to the Government in Japan. On top of that; their interest rate is negative at -0,1 percent which means people have to pay money to the bank and not otherwise if they have money stored in the bank account.
Policymakers noted that the outlook for economic activity and prices are extremely unclear, depending on the consequences of the virus and the magnitude of their impacts on domestic and overseas economics.
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