Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mr Fukui Ups the Ante

Poor Toshihiko Fukui. Fresh from losing the ZIRP tug-o'-war for the hearts and minds of Japanese people with Chief MoFo Tanigaki, he found himself under intense scrutiny for his investment in MAC, the investment fund of now-disgraced pseudo-activist and admitted insider-trader Yoshiaki Murakami. No doubt this was egged on by the MoF & Tanigaki, and while people like former intervention hot-hand Eisuke Sakikibara said there was no malice involved, he admitted it was rather careless and dumb of Mr Fukui. Clumsy indeed, but if Mr Fukui desired to enrich himself, just imagine how much he could peddle his material non-public information to someone like Mr Tudor, Mr Kovner or Mr Moore. No! He is an honest, loyal, if a bit naive, public servant.

And Mr Fukui has done Japan Inc. well. For he has steered a true course in comparison to that Mr Hayami, and achieved the objectives set out by the boffins. But now he has a problem. He has become distinctly uncomfortable with the policy and its longer-term impacts, both upon Japan and the US and he wants, shall we say, tack. Unfortuntely , Mr Tanigaki is minding the mainsheet, and in so doing is doing his best to prevent any change of direction.

And so today, Mr Fukui seems to have had enough and in upping the ante in teh BoJs battle with the MoF, has declared, according to Bloomberg news, that there should be no delay in implementing the change in policy. It doesn't get any more explicit than that. Now, I wonder if the MoF will produce some incriminating photos of Mr Fukui or send some tattooed types to loiter around the foyer of the BoJs fine edifice.

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