Monday, January 21, 2008

Never believe anything until it's been officially denied

"Declines in Tokyo stock prices do not mirror Japan's economic health, senior government officials said Monday after the key Nikkei stock index lost more than 3% from late last week.

'Current stock prices are mainly due to speculative moves by foreign investors,' Takao Kitabata, vice minister of economy, trade and industry, told reporters. 'I do not believe the prices are reflecting the Japanese economy's actual strength.'"
So what else could it be? Here's his explanation:
Kitabata, the top bureaucrat at the ministry, said he believes the slump is running in tandem with a recent rise in the value of the Japanese currency, which has created an environment encouraging foreign investors to take profits on the Japanese stocks they hold.
Yeah right. Strong yen. When we came here, there were about ¥170 to the UK pound. Now it's about ¥210. I suppose you could try to call the yen strong if you were a USAian in deep denial about the complete and utter collapse of the dollar :-)

Maybe I've been watching too much "Yes Minister". But maybe I'm right to be suspicious.

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