As I write this, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has just announced that it will stand pat on its monetary policy. In the initial reaction, the yen/$ dropped three points to 131.2. The ten-year JGB dropped from 0.506% yesterday to 0.380%, but it remains to be seen whether that is due to BOJ intervention in the bond market. I will wait to see more of the the market reaction before commenting.
“October Inflation At A 40-Year High” read the headlines. If this really were representative of overall inflation trends, it would put additional pressure on the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to raise interest rates in order to slow an overheating economy. But it reminds me of the line from the movie Absence of Malice: accurate but not true.
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You are invited to a panel discussion on Japan's outlier monetary policy with economists John Greenwood and Richard Katz, moderated by Lyric Hughes Hale.
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How will Japan fare if rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine send the US and Europe into a new recession? Not well, if history is any guide. It all depends on the length and depth of any recession—that is, if one even occurs. But the record shows that Japan’s economy is very susceptible to outsized reactions to economic shocks, including downturns originating elsewhere.