Global Politics

Japan tries to spark economy

KB says Japan has gone through many of the things we're now seeing in the U.S. and Japan has tried stimulus packages like this before: Japan has often come out with a supplementary budget in tough times. What happened is the economy got sort of burned out on these. (Are these things becoming more and more common there?) Yes they are, but the difference is America is involved in this one. The financial crisis in the 1990s was kept to just Japan, but America is involved in this one too. (Is this stimulus package bigger than past one?) Yes, it's about 5 trillion yen which is bigger. If people are scared though, they're not going to spend regardless. So at one point instead of giving people tax credits, they actually issued rebates that you had to go and spend at a store if you wanted to use them. (But it was not cash?) No, so from that perspective, they needed to restructure their stimulus packages. (So has Japan been learning from its experiences?) I think they're being more proactive but the problem this time, it's a much larger problem. Japan has always relied on American consumption to buy their goods but they can't this time. Japan also has a social imperative that we don't have here. We think if we take the pain up front we'll recover more quickly, whereas in Japan it's a much more slower decline, and as a consequence a more gradual recovery.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.