I made no attempt to contact any of the people who had been so important to me in the past. I had already let important connections unravel through inattention, and that carelessness has been a bane to me all my life

August 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

 

Debate is heating up in Tokyo about the advisability of hiking Japan’s consumption tax. Which should come first- economic growth or fiscal reconstruction? The prime minister must decide in a matter of weeks.

It’s after midnight and I’m sitting in a Roppongi bar discussing the subject with a knowledgeable Japanese bureaucrat.

“It’s essential to raise taxes,” he says, cradling a well-aged Islay malt. “If we don’t, investors will lose confidence and our bond market will collapse.”

“Aren’t you risking a serious recession?”

“A temporary blip, maybe. But the strengthening of public finances will be good for future growth.”

The year was 1997.  read more

FILM: Longplayer

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