Tag Archives: japan

Japan’s Gold-for-Bonds Offer Could Boost Return By 5.9 Times

Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi will be rewarding investors who buy reconstruction bonds with half an ounce of gold, an added incentive that could boost the return by nearly six times.

Individual investors who purchase more than 10 million yen ($129,000) in the debt with a 0.05 percent return and keep it for three years will receive a gold commemorative coin weighing 15.6 grams (0.55 ounces), the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today, worth about $948 based on current prices for the precious metal. …

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Rich Nations That Went Broke By Spending Too Much

Government spending drives taxes, deficits, debt and inflation, so it’s at the core of our economic problems. What to do about runaway spending? The tendency is to imagine that it might be controlled by electing the right politicians, enacting a law like a balanced budget amendment, passing a spending limitation ballot initiative, establishing a super committee or coming up with some kind of “grand bargain.”

These and other well-intended strategies have failed, primarily because they were attempts to have politicians act against their self-interest. Politicians generally want more power which means more money, more laws, regulations and bureaucrats. Historical experience suggests that rulers – whether kings, dictators or elected politicians — have a visceral urge to spend money they don’t have. They can’t control themselves. They’ll weasel their way around any efforts to put a lid on the cookie jar. This is why rich nations like Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United States are spending money they don’t have and incurring chronic budget deficits.

All of this has been has been going on for a very long time, a reminder that we’re dealing with one of the most potent forces in politics. Runaway spending repeatedly has contributed to the downfall of the high and mighty.

For example, spending problems began to be evident in the early years of the Roman Empire, and they became huge in the third century C.E. Perhaps as early as the third century B.C.E., Rome began minting a gold coin that came to be known as the aureus. Originally the face value of the coin equaled the market value of gold in it. ……

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How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor

Ask a typical American how the United States got into World War II, and he will almost certainly tell you that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Americans fought back. Ask him why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and he will probably need some time to gather his thoughts. He might say that the Japanese were aggressive militarists who wanted to take over the world, or at least the Asia-Pacific part of it. Ask him what the United States did to provoke the Japanese, and he will probably say that the Americans did nothing: we were just minding our own business when the crazy Japanese, completely without justification, mounted a sneak attack on us, catching us totally by surprise in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

You can’t blame him much. For more than 60 years such beliefs have constituted the generally accepted view among Americans, the one taught in schools and depicted in movies—what “every schoolboy knows.” Unfortunately, this orthodox view is a tissue of misconceptions. Don’t bother to ask the typical American what U.S. economic warfare had to do with provoking the Japanese to mount their attack, because he won’t know. Indeed, he will have no idea what you are talking about. ………

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