In the annals of modern central (bank) planning, today is a tragic day, or as DB’s Jim Reid puts it, “it is a bit of a landmark anniversary of sorts for financial markets” – it’s the 20-year anniversary of the Bank of Japan cutting rates to 0% and the start of two decades of extreme monetary policy which neither Japan, nor any other country, has ever been able to escape from.
For economic historians Japan is really a fascinating case. If you took a snapshot of the nation’s finances and demographics today with no previous knowledge of the country’s journey over the last 30 years since its asset bubble burst, you would wonder how the country isn’t in a constant crisis. Debt to GDP is the highest in the developed world at 236%. The BoJ holds around 43% of all JGBs