We now have much in common with this country

There is no proof the Fed’s new “policy” will keep inflation steady at 2%. Of all the different approaches tried in the last 4o years, none have worked to halt the overall downward inflation trend. The only thing the Fed can do is try to talk up and beat the drum that they “are doing everything possible” to increase inflation. It will not make any difference.

Inflation has been on a 40 yr downward trajectory without pause

In October 2010, the NYT article “Japan Goes From Dynamic to Disheartened” painted a picture of “Japanification” in “which was the nation has been trapped in low growth and a corrosive downward spiral of prices, known as deflation, in the process shriveling from an economic Godzilla to little more than an afterthought in the global economy.”

THE US IS NOW STRIKINGLY SIMILIAR to Japan in many important ways.

Population Growth: Japan vs US


GDP: Japan vs US


Debt: Japan vs US


Exports: Japan vs US


Industrial Production: Japan vs US


The lynchpin to Japan, and the U.S., remains socioeconomics, interest rates, and debt. As the maturing populace develops the “social government assistance net” will keep on extending. The “benefits issue” is just a hint of something larger. 

Starting in 1990, Japan has run a massive “monetary easing” approach and GDP is thriving less than what it was pre 1990.

Their “quantitative easing” program is three times larger than the US and it’s economy faltered even before the pandemic

Japan has been tormented by recessions, deflation, and low financing costs. Japan’s 10-year Treasury rate fell into a negative territory for the second time recently.

As inflation creeps toward deflation (again), their economy faltered and monetary easing failed

While money related easing can prop up asset prices such as stocks it has not been able to combat disinflation/deflation. It basically has failed to help it’s economy and keep inflation steady to promote economic growth and rising wages.

AND in the US, Money Velocity (M2V) which runs 16-18 months ahead of PCE, projects a significant decline in prices.

Japanification of the US could be on target.

Source: Dr. Robert J. Shiller (https://www.multpl.com/sitemap), FRED

By Terry Grennon

Asset Allocation Strategist