Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Obama pays a visit to his country's banker

I think Saturday Night Live captures the worst fears of many Japanese elites in this sketch.

But, then again, as John Maynard Keynes is supposed to have said, "If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has."


Anonymous said...

Not that I want to insist too much, but are you going to upload some ex post account of "Obama in Japan" on top of your ex ante 13 November blog entry? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Was it my imagination or was the laughter somewhat controlled in the audience? Yes, they laughed but not with the gusto when GW was the butt of the joke. Personally? I thought it was painfully funny.

The laughter was PC laughter as in “Well it is SNL, so we are supposed to get it.” But it was uncomfortable laughter as they are not really on top of it yet. If it had been a Bush joke even now, they’d have been gleeful.

It’s beginning to sink in. The continuous spin and campaign mode cannot save this Administration. Obama has one more year to pull this off. After that he’s absolute toast. The Liberal press as a whole is beginning to sense it.

If this year is a prelude of things to come? Hasta la vista, baby. Although there’s still no thrill for me in being right...

Anonymous said...

In past comments I criticized Koizumi Junichiro's mistaken economic priorities. In particular, I argued that postal privitization, Koizumi's biggest economic priority, would jeopardize the financial system because of the size of postal savings and the fragile banking system. As you know the postal savings fund has been used in the past by the government to fund government projects on infrastructure, etc. When privatized this will no longer be exclusively available for government discretionary uses. American economists have been fretting over the record size of government debt in Japan which is approaching 200% of GDP. Without the security provided by the large savings pool from thrifty individual savers, the entire economy could be put in jeopardy by the unavailability of the postal savings fund. Financial analyst, Mish Shedlock, has recently speculated on whether the continuing problems of the Japanese economy puts it in greater jeopardy than the more recent financial/economic crisis in the US. He thinks the Japanese economy will tank before the US economy, not least because of demographics changes as the aging population starts to draw down its savings. He may be wrong but his arguments seem compelling enough to me.