“The Japanese economy has lessons for the West… and China as well”

Heute Morgen habe ich bereits Japan diskutiert. Es ist wohl ein „Vorbild“ für die Entwicklung bei uns und auch China meint zumindest Roger Bootle, Direktor von Capital Economics, der bereits vor Jahren aufgezeigt hat, wie eine Auflösung des Euro organisiert werden könnte. Hier seine Bestandsaufnahme:

  • “Over the past 30 years or so, Japan has been a testing ground for many of the economic issues that have come to beset the West. This Japanese experience was widely discounted on the grounds that it was the result of uniquely Japanese conditions. We should not make that mistake again.” bto: Ich denke auch, wir sollten ganz genau nach Japan blicken.
  • Zum Boom in den 1980ern in Japan: “Rapid economic growth in Japan had been made possible by its initially low GDP per capita, and by favourable demographics. Meanwhile, the level of asset prices could only be justified if this rate of growth continued until the crack of doom.” bto: Da wären für mich schon zwei Parallelen. Bis zur Finanzkrise war das auch bei uns so. Jetzt ist es die Folge der Politik der Notenbanken.
  • The sheer scale of the subsequent destruction of financial wealth is remarkable. At its peak on New Year’s Eve 1989, the Nikkei stock market index stood at just under 39,000. Today it stands at less than 22,000.” bto: Und er war noch viel tiefer!
  • Since 1990, its GDP has grown by an average of only 1pc per annum. There are two fundamental reasons. First, as an advanced economy, Japan now finds it difficult to register decent growth in output per capita. Second, over the last 20 years the workforce has started to fall. Furthermore, over the next 50 years the workforce will probably contract by about a third.” bto: Parallele!!! Und was für eine.
  • One key feature of this period has been a ballooning public debt. As a percentage of GDP, Japanese net public debt is about 120pc. That puts Japan well into danger territory and, indeed, not far off the Italian level. The second major feature has been a persistent lack of inflation, periodically giving way to grumbling deflation. Over the past 20 years, consumer prices and wages have been broadly flat. Correspondingly, it was also in Japan that the world first encountered the regime of ultra-low interest rates that now seems normal. Japanese interest rates have now been below 1pc for 22 years.” bto: was natürlich weiterhin für langlaufende Anleihen spricht, wenn wir uns auf demselben Pfad befinden.
  • It seems as though the Japanese establishment has decided to live with these enormous levels of public indebtedness. After all, the overwhelming bulk of this debt is owned by Japanese people and institutions and Japan remains a substantial net holder of international assets.” bto: weshalb die Schulden keine Rolle spielen, vor allem, weil sie ohnehin monetarisiert werden.
  • Economic history is littered with examples of governments that have set out to raise the productivity growth of their countries only to find they can make next to no difference. The Japanese case is just another example.” bto: er verweist auf den Umstand, dass Japan in den letzten fünf Jahren nur ein sehr geringes Produktivitätswachstum vorzuweisen hat.
  • Strikingly, Japan’s reaction to the shrinkage of its workforce has not been to embrace large-scale immigration. (…). The country just seems to accept that if you have fewer workers, the overall level of your GDP will be lower than if you imported hordes of people from elsewhere. But this does not necessarily mean that the incomes of individual Japanese are any lower – and they might even be higher.” bto: Natürlich sind die Nettoeinkommen höher wegen geringerer Sozialleistungen für die Zuwanderer. Hinzu kommt, dass die Löhne – These von bto – in Zukunft steigen werden.
  • “China needs to look to Japan for signs of what may be about to happen to it. Not so long ago. it enjoyed a stellar rate of economic growth that has recently slowed down considerably. Moreover, China is about to undergo just the adverse demographic forces that have been so influential for Japan’s recent economic history.” bto: Hatte ich auch hier schon diskutiert. China droht alt zu werden, bevor es reich wird.
  • Closer to home, you can see the eurozone falling into a similar pattern: low rates of productivity growth combining with a declining workforce to produce extremely low rates of growth of GDP, accompanied by continuing low inflation, with the result that interest rates need to be set close to zero for an extended period. Could the eurozone be about to turn Japanese?” bto: Ja, nur halten wir es politisch nicht durch.

→ The Telegraph: “The Japanese economy has lessons for the West… and China as well”, 22. Oktober 2017