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This year the Bank of Japan has decided to invest directly into Japanese listed companies.
They are in the top 10 shareholdings for the majority of listed stocks on the Nikkei index. This is supposedly going to help the economy because they will provide a floor in prices.
Unfortunately for the BoJ, this act will attract a lot of criticism in the future and it does seem like an act of desperation.
The money used to buy shares has to come from taxpayers, except that Japan has the largest government debt to GDP in the known world.
There is now talk that China needs to provide more stimulus to the economy as it is inexorably slowing to a point of contraction.
There is a belief that the Chinese government will provide similar packages as their Japanese counterparts.
The level of debt in the world is enormous, with over $14 trillion of government bonds on a negative yield.
Yesterday one of the Big 4 banks, I’ll let you guess which one, released a report into the economic performance of each State in Australia.
Predictably the report highlighted the fact that the mining boom has finished. They also argued that the States that were not part of the mining boom have taken the lead and are “powering ahead”.
By powering ahead, there has been a slight increase in housing activity in NSW and Victoria.
The report also argues that personal spending is rising, however they probably didn’t look at the spending increase being based on people maxing out their credit cards even further.
International Monetary Fund cuts its forecast for global growth.
Overnight the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for global growth for the 4th time this year. Interestingly they cited the Brexit vote as a cause of the lowered forecast, with out really understanding how the process works.
Forecasting is given a lot of credence in the financial world and a quick check on how accurate they are would disappoint. The IMF have lowered their forecast 4 times and each time they think it has to do with a particular event.
If they looked at the measures of confidence around the world they could see that the population in general are feeling less confident as the year goes on. This means that the social mood is collapsing and as a result, economic indicators fall as well.