Underreported news

by admin on March 24, 2013

Underreported news:

1. Abe is forming a 100-man team of “aces” from across different bureaucracy departments to deal with the TPP

This is (a) an indication of his power vis a vis the bureaucrats – this would never happen with an unpopular politician, and (b) a good sign that the Japanese side will get their house in order in participating in TPP talks, which it might join as early as July. This would be a big positive for Japan, I think, though no one seems to be in agreement on how positive it might be.

2. The government has got the MoF to look into easing restrictions on funding for small ventures

They are planning to set up a crowdfunding system for small companies in Japan. Until now, access to the capital markets has been basically non-existent for small ventures, but if they can push this through, it has the potential to do a lot for sentiment and get people taking risk. Participation will be limited to one’s annual salary, so it will not look anything like a market for companies as we know it, but more like a very large village fair. If the MoF can get this done it has to be through this kind of top-down measure. Capital allocation and organization in Japan has traditionally been a centralized communist-style affair, diametrically opposite to the risk-taking ventures that led to the canal boom, railway boom, and other milestones in the industrial revolution in the UK. Ironically, the functioning of the central planners is actually recognizing that mobilizing the masses has some value.


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