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Ian R. Campbell  -  Mar 15 11:19 AM 60 Posts 1 Follower 0 Following
Japan Update - 03/15

The situation continues to unfold in Japan with further bad news on the nuclear power plant problems this morning.  As I have said in my two prior e-mails, I believe the Japanese earthquake and all the consequences that will result from it could prove to be a macro-economic game-changer, and am increasingly thinking this will prove to be the case.  I have found the following articles written over the past 24 hours that I think worthwhile to bring to your attention:


·        ‘Don’t Look for Fed to Flag Japan Worries Directly’ – reading time 2 minutes.  This article suggests that at its monetary-policy meeting today, the Fed may acknowledge the developing Japan story and the ongoing Middle East unrest, but is not likely to go beyond that for what in each case could be ‘big negatives’ to the U.S.  It seems to me that if this is how the Fed meeting plays out, that is not entirely unreasonable in the case of what might be the outcome of the ongoing Japanese tragedy – given that story is still in its early days.  The North Africa/Middle East story is old enough I would have thought the U.S. Government and the Fed both by now would have developed views as to possible scenarios as to how it might play out, to the point where the Fed might comment on that today;


·        ‘Japan’s Lesson to U.S.: Get Your Fiscal House in Order’ – reading time 2 minutes.  This article basically says that it is in the best interest of the U.S. to ‘get its fiscal house in order’ in order to be able to withstand “the next dose of rotten luck”.  This seems to me to be obvious, and hardly ‘deep thought’ advice.  As you know from reading these e-mails, I am concerned the U.S. Federal Congressmen and Senators viewed as a group (I am sure some individual members ‘get it’) seem to continue to think the U.S. is omnipotent and has all the time in the world to deal with its fiscal problems.  I am now developing a further concern that U.S. Politicians at all levels are going to spend near-term time responding to concerns raised by the American populace already arising out of the Japanese nuclear plant issues that have arisen in the aftermath of Friday’s earthquake.  Last night the U.S. news channels were carrying stories centered on ‘what should America do to ensure its approximate 37 existing active nuclear reactors (and perhaps some 17 that have been closed or are not actively producing electric power) are protected against the problems being experienced in Japan.  I have no idea what expenditures such a program would entail.  Intuitively I think those expenditures would be very large and if they come, are coming at a time when the U.S. Government can ill afford too spend time or resources on nuclear power plant remediation;


·        ‘Chaos erupts as rolling power outages begin’ – reading time 1 minute.  This article principally discusses the Japanese commuter problems that have arisen since ‘rolling electricity blackouts’ that began Monday evening.  While this is no doubt adding to the turmoil being faced by those in Japan (for which one has to have empathy), it strikes me the 10,000 foot lesson to be taken from this is how dependent the population of any country is on its infrastructure, and how things can change from normal, to very abnormal, in the blink of an eye;


·        ‘Can Contagion Be Avoided Considering The Magnitude of Japan’s Woes?’ – reading time 5 minutes, longer if you watch some of the embedded videos.  I suggest you read this article by Reggie Middleton (BoomBustBlog).  It states emphatically the “The Potential for Spillover Effects Simply Cannot Be Ignored If You Look At This From An Empirical Perspective”.  I suggest you read Middleton’s article and think carefully about what he says in the context of equity/money market investments, and indirect and direct precious metals holdings;


·        ‘14 Reasons Why The Economic Collapse Of Japan Has Begun’ – reading time 5 minutes.  An auspicious title, but I think the article is nonetheless worth reading and thinking about.  In particular, it raises the issue that Japan has been a continuing buyer of U.S. Treasuries, and will no longer be able to do that.  Something that had not occurred to me, but does makes sense to me.  I think this is but one example of multiple effects the Japanese earthquake will have on individual countries that comprise our now globalized economy.


To date I have seen very little written on how the ongoing events in Japan will impact, if they do, on the price of physical gold.  I am surprised at this.  I have set my views on this out in the commentary following this one.
Topics:   Japan, Japanese Earthquake, Federal Reserve Board, Congressmen, Senators, Nuclear Plants, U.S. Government, Economic Collapse
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Christian Jean  - Mar 15 12:42 PM4 Posts0 Followers0 Following
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I read the last article "14 Reasons why the Economic Collapse of Japan has Begun" because the notion that Japan would liquidate its current U.S. treasuries or would stop buying intrigued me.

If they do in fact stop buying treasuries, you can bet on QE3 being announced by big Ben.  But if they actually do start to sell their U.S. treasuries, I think this would be absolutely catastrophic for the U.S. economy (and world economy in general).

It was ironic to read "it is also going to set Japan on a highly inflationary course"... considering the last two decades of deflation.  Inflation and Japan don't sound right?

I normally don't pay too much attention to any GDP ratio statistics (debt/deficit to GDP) cause I think they are irrelevant (history has proven this).  But in general the article has some great points.

I would note that I'm not too sure how big the Japanese agriculture industry is, but with nuclear radiation on the horizon, you can bet that many nations will ban anything and everything "grown in Japan".  This may impact food prices further in the future.







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