Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gaffe-prone Nakayama quits Cabinet

The Aso administration started off with a bang, as one of the members of his cabinet called the teacher’s union a cancer, claimed that the citizens of Japan did not like foreigners, angered ethnic minorities by claiming that Japan was ethnically homogenous, and lashed out at the locals near Narita Airport, blaming them for the problems with the expansion of the airport. He had to resign only four days into the Aso administration. From there, things only went downhill for Taro Aso. The media hounded him right from the start. They made fun of him for going to expensive bars after work, claiming Aso was out of touch with the average Japanese worker. With the economy in trouble, and the media attacking him, Aso decided to delay the election and instead focus on the economy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Don't Keep Talking Happy Talk

At the start of the financial crisis, the American media made things worse by doing whatever they could to scare people.

“Calling this a meltdown is like crying ‘fire’ in an inferno,” said Daniel Gross.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Taro Aso Takes Over

On September 24, 2008, Taro Aso became 59th Prime Minister of Japan, replacing Yasuo Fukuda. During his term, the press gave him a nickname – Manga Brain, due to his life long love of comic books. Japanese comic book characters often act silly and ridiculous. Of course, Japanese politicians also like to act silly and ridiculous, and when it comes to that sort of behavior, no one could outdo Taro Aso. If Japan wanted a politician who could humiliate himself in public and thus avoid having the political capital to do the things that America wanted, it could find no better candidate than Taro Aso. With his life long commitment to reading comic books, you could say that Taro Aso had been studying all his life for his upcoming role. He did not disappoint.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy

On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection after the government refused to bail out the company. The collapse of Lehman Brothers left its creditors with significant losses. One of its creditors, the Reserve Primary Fund, a huge money market fund, said it would break the buck, meaning that the fund had lost money and could not fully pay back its investors. This set off a panic. Investors started withdrawing money from all money market funds. The credit markets collapsed. Both investors and financial institutions knew that Lehman wasn’t the only Wall Street firm with solvency issues. The entire American financial system faced a crisis of confidence. No one wanted to lend to anyone else. Loan yields soared through the stratosphere. Businesses and consumers could no longer afford to get loans. The global economy started to collapse.

Our government wanted this to happen. It wanted to use the crisis to put pressure on other governments. However, I don’t think events unfolded in the way they imagined.


Bow down. Bow down.