Monday, November 05, 2007

MOF Exclusive - "I Am Afraif Of My Shadow"

Vice-MoFFin, Naoyuki Shinohara was reported by Reuters to have said today that "Foreigners should pity us at the MoF for we are weak, and nearly everyone at the Ministry is afraid of their shadow." Quite an admission from those in Japan considered by themselves (and generally acknowledged by their compatriots) to be both omniscient and omnipotent. My paraphrasing of course took some liberty though the essence of Mr Shinohara's statement was "We are helpless."

Perhaps not coincidentally this statement from the MoF came as BoJ Governor Fukui, in a rare admission (perhaps "admission" is too strong....let's call it a rare "suggestion", or better yet, an "un-denial") that BoJ policy might, or could possibly have an impact upon the real world, or the world at large or even the rest of the world(outside Japan) insofar as keeping rates low could be risky and lead ultimately to policy errors.

Well thanks for the insight Gov! Where YOU'VE been for the last decade? And yet, even this laughably late admission (termed a "gaffe" by MoF) was deemed sufficiently seditious and dangerous to wheel-out a Vice-MofFFin in order to immediately innoculate the public or anyone who would listen, with counter-spin. IF if we are to believe them, then, "the State" (both Mof & BoJ) are hapless and helpless bystanders, capable of doing nothing to alter the natural course of events whereby capital leaves a feckless and entirely innocent Japan for wholly deterministic causes that have everything to do with the markets diminishing home bias and adventuresome spirit to explore abroad, and nothing to do with either MoF or BoJ policy, and a decade of ZIRP and near ZIRP. Forgive me a moment while I hurl chunks.

While not at all unsurpising or out of character for either actor in relation to prior scripts, roles, and cameos, I wish - oh how I wish - that Japan (lead by MoF & BoJ) might (like Korea and India) accept their global responsibilities within the international monetary system, and approach international culpability with the same generally high sense honor that they approach it as individuals.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fukui'll say anything to justify a rate hike. He's anxious to hike again (and again if possible) before he steps down next March. The BOJ's most recent Outlook Report had some similar verbiage but I read it as pointing the finger at other CBs rather than as a mea culpa.