Japan virtually absent

From Robert Alan Feldman of Morgan Stanley:
Museum Piece: Japan at Macro Vision

During client visits in the US last week and at the formal session of Macro Vision (Morgan Stanley’s annual conference in New York on the global macroeconomic outlook), the word ‘Japan’ was virtually absent. When discussed at all, Japan was mentioned as a museum piece , i.e., an example from history, relevant to the current world only as a lesson about what happens when there are severe and prolonged policy failures. Indeed, the most common question was whether the US is repeating Japan’s errors that led to the lost decade.

The similarities between the US subprime problem and Japan’s financial meltdown are eerie, but there are many differences too. In both cases, there were imprudent borrowers, imprudent lenders and unprepared regulators. Disclosure was inadequate, and financial innovations worsened the problems – since neither markets nor regulators fully understood the implications of the new instruments. The differences are important as well. In the US (and in Europe), institutions have been relatively quick to admit problems and to raise new capital. Broad and deep capital markets, clear standards on capital adequacy and regulator scrutiny have been contributors to this swifter response. Hence, most investors concluded that it will not take the US a decade to correct the subprime/credit problem.


Follow the link for the whole comment from Feldman. It’s depressing.
Also my comments are still broken. That’s (relatively less) depressing, but still an annoyance.