Is Abenomics going to work? [Abenomics refers to the policy of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to weaken the yen and promote inflation.]
Abe has a good guy in there, his new central bank head, [Haruhiko] Kuroda. But fiscal and monetary stimulus aren’t enough. They’ve had 14 of those plans in the last 15 years. They need deregulation and structural reforms.
This is about changing Japanese culture, isn’t it?
Exactly. And if Abe doesn’t have that third leg of the stool, it ain’t going to work. I think they’re off to a good start, though.
Switching to China, I notice the first foreign trip for Xi Jinping was to Russia.
They did a bunch of oil and gas deals and said they wanted to work more closely together on exterior political issues like Syria. So you’re seeing this alliance form.
In this messy world, how does America best protect its interests?
One of the things we have to do is, when we make announcements, we have to live up to them. We have a tendency to say we’re going to do things, then not do them. We spent all these lives and treasure in Iraq, and then we pull out. And so in the Middle East people—including our friends the Turks—wonder, are we still there or not?