A year ago, had you asked is Japan ever going to be more than a moribund economy and rudderless nation, a lengthening shadow of its former glory, I would have answered I don't see it.
Had you asked next so put some odds on your view I would have answered something like 10% odds Japan rises out of its Great National Slump, 90% it doesn't. A year ago.
Then late last fall, my view began changing. By New Year's 2013 it had really shifted. We found ourselves in the unaccustomed position of investing in Japan! And looking for more. For me, the odds were now greater than 50% that Japan would rise out of its Great National Slump.
Stand-up Mr. Chairman!
On June 19th, did the real Ben Bernanke stand up? At his now-famous press conference.
Where he said: the Fed's asset buying will begin winding down - probably starting this year; likely ending by mid-next year?
Where he forecast unemployment hitting the Fed's 6 ½-7% threshold by the end of 2014 - hedged with the usual qualifications.
Where he posited inflation turning up from about 1 ½% (currently) to a more-likely 2%.
Did the real Ben Bernanke says this?
There is meaning to what just happened to Cyprus. But… it's not the meaning you're reading about in the press.
Cyprus is a symptom — that's its longer-term meaning.
It's a symptom of how Europe is likely to function over the next decade.
Is there any meaning to what just happened in Cyprus?