> Dennis, do you have any info on the internal
> politics behind Japanese policy-making? Why the long delay (since the
> popping of the bubble economy) before reflation? (an irrational aversion to
> fiscal stimulus, perhaps?)
I have no idea. Not a clue. Ezra Vogel (of "Japan as Number One" fame) was here at the U of O giving a talk on things Asian, and gave the cultural explanation, i.e. the postwar consensus society, the value of face, powerful state bureaucracies, and a general lack of leadership, whatever the heck that means (he's a Harvard good 'ol boy, is Ezra, and retailed the standard "I-know-a-fine-upstanding-intern-who's-next- in-line-to-become-the-Prime-Minister-of-Japan" spiel, truly a walking advertisement for Bourdieu's concept of the capitalist habitus). Cynical bastard that I am, I think it has more to do with the fact that Japan is a $1 trillion global creditor and can afford to pay other people (like US Treasury Secretaries) to orchestrate policy for them.