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Now it’s Japan Red Inc

ACCORDING to a recent survey, only 3.5 per cent of Japanese people trust their politicians. Good Grief ! That’s getting down towards Australian levels.

All over the world, brassed off electorates are voting out political windbags in the vain hope of finding someone better. Japan is an extreme case.

With corporations in crisis and economic management a joke, septuagenarian Japanese pols can find nothing better to do than bicker over who will replace Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, when his fingers are finally prised off the levers of power.

Last week the crippled Daiwa Bank switched off the life support system for the brain-dead Tokyo Mutual Life Insurance group, the fifth big insurer to go to the wall in a year. A lot more of the same is needed to make a dent in the 32 trillion yen bad loans nightmare.

Debt riddled corporates have been repatriating overseas assets to pay the piper.

Up to now, they have been happier selling Australian bonds than US Treasuries, which is one of the factors behind our crumpled currency. Ultimately, however, they will have to liquidate large chunks of greenback denominated assets.

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