Does Japan's Fiscal Tonic Have Any Kick?

The article "Tokyo is finally grabbing the economy by the horns" (International Business, Sept. 25) overestimates the effect of recent government moves to revive the Japanese economy. The yen's current lower value is entirely artificial, and its maintenance depends in part on a quick revival in consumer spending (which would increase imports and reduce the trade deficit) in order to become permanent. The rise in the Nikkei index since its June low has had almost nothing to do with the Sept. 8 rate cut and a lot to do with foreign investment in the market. Foreigners are in effect propping up Japan's financial system.

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