Will Japan collapse soon and cause a severe global depression?

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This Saturday at work I saw the current issue of FORTUNE magazine, and in it was a very interesting article entitled "Outlook for Japan: Thud". Here are the first several sentences:

"Western investors, like some Japanese themselves, have started succumbing to the Japanese establishment's three-month-old good-news offensive. A lot of people think that Japan really has hit bottom, as various government officials have encouragingly been saying. The optimists are wrong. Economic and financial conditions are getting worse in Japan, and a triple crash-- of stocks, bonds, and the yen-- is far likelier than a recovery this year. And if a crash it is, the repercussions will shake America and Europe badly."

The rest of the article expounds upon the three crash scenarios. I did not want to be reminded of this bad news again since I learned that Japan is now the world's greatest debtor nation. The Japanese economy is continually sliding downward, and they are unwilling to take the necessary corrective measures. But most of the media emphasis upon Japan's poor economic condition has neglected to mention one of the most horrendous scenarios probable.

Tokyo is situated near three continental plates, and it is extremely likely that the Japanese will suffer a heinous EARTHQUAKE! The stress has been building for years, and the seismologists know the potential for calamity. If Japan gets hit with a major earthquake near Tokyo causing many deaths and incredibly expensive infrastructure damages, then their entire population will panic and pull out invested monies from the US in order to refinance their economy. This would remove one of America's last firewalls, and a global economic collapse would happen immediately! Wall Street will develop the biggest financial pothole in history! :(

No one knows precisely when Tokyo will get the BIG seismic hit, but I perceive Japan may get a rude awakening before Y2K. Let us pray it won't happen, but Japan doesn't exactly have the best Y2K compliancy, either. :(

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), March 20, 1999


One small but important correction...Japan is the world's largest creditor nation. America is the world's largest debtor nation.

The perception in the western media that the Japan financial crisis is "in check" due to the recent infusion of public funds into the banking system is extremely naive. The "Time" article of the three muskateers saving the U.S. and world helped fuel the misconception. Things are not better...the patient (Japan and the global economy) was put on a morphine drip, but the malignancy is still growing.

I'll explain my reasoning this weekend.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), March 20, 1999.

I read in the Boston Globe a couple of weeks ago that all the happy talk about some growth in the last quarter of 98 did not happen. In fact Japan continues to slide and it's going to get worse. I don't know about earthquakes,but they are on the brink of going under.Let's hope they come out of this spin!

-- (najandel@aol.com), March 20, 1999.

Crashes are the result of excesses and they are here.

The Dow got to 18 times the price of gold in 1929.

Last week it got an all time level of 35 times.

Could that become double the consequences?

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 20, 1999.

And the tension keeps mounting. I remember back about 15 years ago (maybe longer) when wealthy Japanese businessmen were buying up real estate here in the United States. The bought high rises, golf courses, ski resorts, and were heavily invested in stocks and bonds. Investors were worried that if Japan pulled out of the market the US would go down. Well that never happened, but there certainly is something lurking that will send shock waves worldwide. I just wish I were an insider....

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 20, 1999.


What do you think about the potential earthquake scenario? Most the of the Y2K discussion focuses upon the economic problems, but I'm not seeing any discussion regarding the seismological catastrophe waiting to happen. Do you recall that last earthquake in Japan in which many people were left homeless? That was not near Tokyo. Tokyo is a BIG target bobbing on the seismic balance, and all natural laws evince the probability that the continental plates will collide upon each other very soon. This may be a major trigger for a global collapse.

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), March 20, 1999.

Dinosaur: I live in earthquake country and I have lived with the "experts," saying that any day California will suffer a 7+ magnitude on the San Andreas or Hayward fault. I lived through the Alaskan earthquake, the Loma Prieta earthquake and other minor quakes. No one predicted those and they came as a big surprise. No one was prepared for them but every year there is a city or some federal agency warning people here in California to be prepared. The potential risk for Japan to have an earthquake is at the same level as California, South America, etc. I recall vividly the destruction of the Japanese earthquake and the loss of lives and infrastructure. Is what was so astounding, was that the Japenese claimed that their buildings, freeways and railways were earthquake proof. They couldn't figure out what went wrong, why did their fool-proof structures fail? My sister was on her way home from San Francisco, coming off the Bay Bridge when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. She saw the collapsing freeways, the fires and was terrified. I was at home when it hit and I thought we were gonners. Of course, the news media told everyone to go outside and shut their gas off and to conserve water. Needless to say, my husband who works for the power company was gone a month getting people's gas turned back on. The biggest concern I have now is not an earthquake (because I am prepared for that and it can quickly be remedied), but the potential disasters that Y2K will bring. If the Y2K scenario plays out it will be global whereas, an earthquake is centralized and aid will come from other parts of the state or surrounding countries. The potential for an earthquake is there, but we know with Y2K we have a date and time.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 20, 1999.


I'm sorry I neglected to include the possibility of earthquakes on America's western coast. Will LA be toast?

I was focusing upon Japan, which I perceive as a wild card in the forthcoming economic collpse. I KNOW you KNOW that bad things will happen soon. You are knowledgeable and have posted your insights, which is why I like you.

However, I've missed many postings since I'm still getting ready for the great depression. This is no joke. I'm very sad when I realize my coworkers and family are not taking Y2K seriously. It's extremely difficult to get any DGI to understand the forthcoming disasters, especially when the US enconomy is humming along.

The last option is to pray that the Living God will open their eyes since they're too blind to perceive the warning signs.

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), March 20, 1999.

Dinosaur: That's what's so difficult about predicting earthquakes, it's an unknown where the next one will be. But can't you see the correlation between an unknown, maybe, could be, perhaps, somewhere down the road, prediction, assumption, data and nondata information about a "potential," earthquake and the hard-core information we have that Y2K is on the road to being a potential disaster and we have people in the know that are keeping vital life-saving information from citizens of the United States? We do have dates and times, and when those dates and times pass without a hitch, we can say I am thankful. However, if it becomes a progessive nighimare, I can still say that I am thankful that I happened upon this BB and one other one where I have really learned the meaning of true survival, friendship, knowledge, wisdom, and the patience to tolerate other people who do not think like me. Even Ed Yourdon does not know what the future holds, he writes what he is knowledgeable about, his thoughts and insights of what could be. We just have to hang tight, prepare, and be thankful that someone told us so.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 20, 1999.


If we're going to lok at earthquake liabilities, lets look at the CENTRAL US. New Madrid to be exact. This fault system, including the Laurentians running into Quebec has been considered overdue for a large quake by teh paleogeologists who study these things. the last one, in 1811 or 1816, I forget, rang church bells in BOSTON, from ST. LOUIS!! For reference see the bibliography in "On Shaky Ground" written by, um, drats, lost the name but he wrote "Ghost of Flight 401" I believe. I'll get the name and ISBN tomorrow.


-- Chuck, a night driver (reinzoo@en.com), March 20, 1999.

While in Las Vegas a few months ago I asked a casino worker if the number of Japanese visitors had declined at all because of their economic problems. He said the decline was barely noticable. They're still going to Vegas & they're still gambling. Apparently only the middle class is affected, while the wealthy are just as wealthy as ever. What's going on?

-- oh crap (roll@the.dice), March 20, 1999.

Chuck: That's a good point, Quebec is overdue for an earthquake. I've been living with overdues all my life. We're overdue for a nuclear war (duck and cover), we're overdue for a severe drought, the solar flares will burn us up, biological warfare, the glaciers are melting, a meteorite is denstined to hit us and feel free to add to all of this, but you know what I mean. Well I'll tell you what, there's no hard evidence that will convince me that on such a such a day, month, year and time that any natural disaster will happen. Y2K is not a natural disaster, it is an event that has acccumlated over 40 years with speculation that new technology will eliminate future problems. Forty years later technology has progressed and even exceeded our wildest dreams. But no one paid attention to the future nor cared about it because we were smart, fast, and intellectual. Technology has moved at a faster rate than what the general population could keep up with. We lusted for faster, better, bigger with no thought about the consequences of what the end result would be. And so we are in the situation we are in because we divulged in the technology with no thought about tomorrow until now. I enjoy it just as much as the next person, but because of that enjoyment I now have to prepare for the unknown and the unexpected. I have to pay for what I think the actions and reactions of other people will be. And if I am right in what I perceive the end result will be, I am a winner. And if I am wrong, I have lost nothing except a few months of aggravation and stress. I will look at myself differently and know what my strengths and weaknesses are and know that whatever comes my way and if it's within my own power, I will be prepared. Do you understand this, do I makes sense to you?

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 21, 1999.

You know guys, I'm beginning to think a lot of you just want to worry yourselves sick.

You can't really prepare for the imminent meteor strike, the impending Martian invasion, the soon-on-CNN Loch Ness Monster attacks, or 100 meter long squids attacking New Orleans on May 4th.

But I bet you want to worry about that now that I've mentioned it!

Jolly has enough to worry about already.

-- Jollyprez (jolly@prez.com), March 21, 1999.

Dinosaur said:

"Most the of the Y2K discussion focuses upon the economic problems, but I'm not seeing any discussion regarding the seismological catastrophe waiting to happen."

Me say....This would be because y2k has many obvious economic repercussions, but no obvious seismic repercussions. While it is true that Tokyo is situated on a remarkably silly site, and that when (not if) the Big One hits it will thoroughly shtumphff the global economy, it's not immediately apparent that this is so relevent to y2k. If the big one were to hit during y2k-time then it would certainly add to the chaos...do we have any reason to believe it's coming sooner rather than later?? L.A. is similarly poised to splatter the economy when it finally falls into Arizona Bay.

-- humptydumpty (no.6@thevillage.com), March 21, 1999.

Humpty and Jolly: Precisely my point! If I knew anything about when and where I guess they would put me on Larry King Live!

-- Bardou (Bardou@baloney.com), March 21, 1999.


Several days ago I visited www.iib-report.com/ and read an article mentioning that Japan has now surpassed the US as the world's largest debtor nation. For years I've heard it was the US, but the economics have shifted, and Japan is now worse off.

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), March 21, 1999.

What prompted my question tied in with an earthquake was that I remembered having read Peter Hadfield's book entitled SIXTY SECONDS THAT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD: The Coming Tokyo Earthquake [ISBN 0-8048- 1790-1]. This book was copyrighted in 1991, and I did not read it until OCT94. Here are two inner cover blurbs:

"Some time in the next few years Tokyo will experience a severe earthquake which many geologists believe will herald decades of seismic upheaval beneath Japan's capital. It will probably culminate in a massive earthquake on the scale of the 1923 tremor that killed 140,000 people. This time the effects of a major earthquake in Tokyo will be world-wide. The collapse of Japan's industrial production will lead to a major world recession together with a dramatic fall in currrency values and world gross national products." "Japan's massive trade surpluses are a drug on which most countries round the world -- especially the United States and Great Britain -- are now hooked. With few exceptions, the world is dangerously dependent on Japanese money. In the event of the earthquake much of this cash will be diverted for the reconstruction of the Japanese economy."

Since the publication time of that book, Japan's economy is much worse; that with the added Y2K factor indicate some big danger signs for the Japanese people. I feel safer in America, at least until the nuclear missiles are launched upon us.

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), March 21, 1999.


If the article said that, it is incorrect. The internal debt to GDP ratio is higher in Japan.

Japan is owed the most money by the world for outstanding loans and America owes the world the most money for money borrowed. No economist would dispute that fact.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), March 21, 1999.

PNG, dinosaur,

Here is the portion of www.iib-report.com's February 18 transcript about Japan having passed the US as the world's ... [uhmmm ... well, whoever wrote this seems to have been a bit confused about the meaning of creditor nation and other economic phrases, so I'll just quote]:

After holding the title for years, the United States is no longer the world's most indebted nation. The honor has passed to what was, until recently, the world's largest creditor nation, Japan. The Japanese issued some two hundred and thirty five billion of debt last year. That is more than twice the amount issued by all other rich countries combined. According to JP Morgan bank, new instruments of Japanese debt will eventually reach three hundred and fifty billion dollars. Japanese debt will account for nearly nine-tenths of all new global government-bond issuances this year.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), March 21, 1999.

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