JEAN PIERRE VERSTER: What’s big in Japan
Central bankers are grappling with the negative consequences of the ‘Japanification’ of the world economy. But Japan also offers a glimmer of hope for investors
The Tokyo Olympics will kick off later this month with an opening ceremony that is scheduled for July 23. Due to Covid, the games will be decidedly less celebratory than usual. No cheering, no foreign spectators, no alcohol sales at venues and no fraternising between athletes will be allowed. It will be an indication of the future of major sporting events if humanity can’t get this pandemic under control.
After the bursting of its asset price bubble 30 years ago, Japan also gave us a glimpse of what may be a strange economic future — one of deflation, ultra-loose monetary policy and negative population growth. Central bankers are grappling with the negative consequences of the "Japanification" of the world economy. But Japan also offers a glimmer of hope for investors. While the Nikkei 225 index is still below its peak of 1989, many astute stock pickers in Japanese equities have been richly rewarded since then...