How The Nikkei Was Rescued

With Japan's Nikkei stock average climbing again, you might think that Mario Takeno would be basking in glory. As deputy director of the Finance Ministry's Securities Market Div., he's one of the key figures behind a remarkable effort that has lifted stocks 39% since their nadir last year (chart). But Takeno won't concede that the "price-keeping operation"--generally called the PKO--even exists. "There is no such thing," he insists. "It is an illusion."

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