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No.1
Economy, No.1  Jun. 3, 2010

GAUGING JAPAN'S "SOVERRIGN RISK"

In September 2008 the world economy, hit by the financial crisis symbolized by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, went into a tailspin, but in the second half of 2009 it pulled out of the dive and began to regain altitude. Then in March and April 2010, just when optimistic views were becoming widespread, yields on Greek government bonds suddenly rose, and a crisis of sovereign risk came into view. Confidence in the euro was badly shaken, and worries about European economies and the global economy spread. Once again the future of the world became shrouded in uncertainty. Stock markets tumbled, and many countries in Europe and other parts of the world experienced a mushrooming of fiscal deficits, since tax revenues had declined following the Lehman shock, while government spending had been stepped up to apply stimulus. With Greek government bonds sustaining a crippling blow, ... ... [Read more]

No.1
Economy, No.1  Jun. 1, 2010

CAN JAPAN EXPORT ITS WATER BUSINESS?

Late last year the news that a Korean-led consortium had won a major order for a nuclear power project in Abu Dhabi brought further gloom to an already downbeat Japan. The Japanese media noted that South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak had visited Abu Dhabi repeatedly in support of the Korean bid and suggested that the Japanese government did not have an adequate setup to back Japan’s bid. A senior official at the Ministry for Economy, Trade, and Industry offered this postmortem: “This is a defeat for the Japanese business model. Japan was trying to sell Abu Dhabi nuclear power plants. But Korea was offering to provide a steady supply of electricity for sixty years. The Koreans were selling electricity.” The South Korean government and the company leading the bid shared the same objective and conducted repeated top-level sales in order to achieve it. They ... ... [Read more]