2011/03/16

Global financial aftershock

In 1923, when a strong earthquake destroyed most of Tokyo, Japan suffered a crippling economic downturn that may have hastened the onset of military rule. Yet financial markets around the world barely shrugged.

Ninety years on, Japanese cash plays a crucial role in global bond and stock markets. Despite two decades of stagnant growth on home turf, Japan is the second largest foreign owner of US government securities, with nearly $900bn of America's public debt. This time it could be the rest of the world that takes a financial hit while the Japanese economy booms. guardian

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