Friday, January 28, 2011

Japan's Debt Bomb Explosion! Fuse is Getting VERY Short!

I warned you about this in a post just a few weeks ago and now it has happened! Read here, here, here and here. Actually, even I didn't expect this to happen so son, but here we are! Japan's Credit Rating has been cut for the first time in 9 years! 


As Bloomberg reports:


Japan’s credit rating was cut for the first time in nine years by Standard & Poor’s as persistent deflation and political gridlock undermine efforts to reduce a 943 trillion yen ($11 trillion) debt burden.

The world’s most indebted nation is now ranked at AA-, the fourth-highest level, putting the country on a par with China, which likely passed Japan last year to become the second-largest economy. The government lacks a “coherent strategy” to address the nation’s debt, the rating company said in a statement. The outlook for the rating is stable, S&P said.

The yen and bond futures fell on concern the downgrade will push up the cost of borrowing for Japan, where public debt is about twice the size of gross domestic product. Vice Finance Minister Fumihiko Igarashi this week said the government must fix its finances to avoid a debt crisis that could trigger a “global depression.”

“I hope this serves as a warning for the government, they have absolutely no sense of crisis,” said Azusa Kato, an economist at BNP Paribas in Tokyo. “Once bond yields spike and the fire is lit, the amount needed to finance Japan’s borrowing needs is going to jump and it’s going to be too late.”

It is possible for companies to have higher ratings than the local or foreign currency ratings of their home country, S&P said in a May 2009 report. The best candidates have a robust export base, little reliance on the public sector and sell products with “relatively inelastic” demand. The S&P report said businesses with sales mainly in local currency, subject to regulation and heavily dependent on imports probably won’t pass stress tests without “heavy overcollateralization or reserves.”

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Jan. 24 the debt burden has risen to a point where Japan can’t rely on bond sales to cover revenue shortfalls. Economy Minister Yosano warned the same day that such a reliance on such sales could lead to a jump in borrowing costs.

“If we continue relying on bond sales to make up for spending that exceeds revenue, we could see long-term interest rates increase or a deterioration in our debt ratio, causing Japan to lose credibility globally,” Yosano told parliament.

Japan’s borrowing costs are among the lowest in the industrialized world, helping it fund its debt load. The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond slipped 1 basis point to 1.23 percent as of 10:47 p.m. in Tokyo. It touched 1.26 percent in Jan. 19, the highest since Dec. 16.



With this news, interest rates on Japanese debt start creeping up again. 2011 ~ 2012 the year's Japan finally goes bankrupt? We've been avoiding the bullet for so long. But, it is well known that things that cannot continue will stop. 


Gold and silver has been dropping a bit recently, now is the time to start protecting yourselves and your families finances. 


Thanks to Mish Shedlock

1 comment:

Ira Hata said...

Hope this helps devalue the yen.

Otherwise, this country is in BIG trouble...

"i"