Japan 2001: Decisive Action or Financial Panic
Japan's economic tumult during March 2001 has prompted renewed fear of an impending crisis. Mixed macroeconomic data of the past months indicate that at least a brief recession is likely. To add to the panic, Japanese Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa announced on 8 March that Japanese government finances are "very close to collapsing." The Bush-Mori summit of 19 March, and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) rate cut earlier that day, raised both hopes and skepticism that Japanese officials were preparing to address their fragile banking system. Transpacific pundits have once again begun to chant, "Ah! At last true crisis will come to Japan and force change."
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