Okumura Jun remarked several weeks ago that Kuroda Haruhiko, the new Bank of Japan governor, would have to make "a quick kill" following his confirmation. (Link)
Okumura's post was prescient but it looks as though the timetable has been accelerated. Weak Tankan numbers, softening of the labor demand for labor, unexpected dips in prices and industrial production have made the target of 2% inflation and economic growth look less achievable, leading to some ominous backtracking. (Link)
Kuroda is in a bind. The markets have already priced in the most obvious changes in policy direction, making, for example, a stronger commitment to purchases of longer maturity securities a far more expensive proposition (Link). Coming out of this peculiar "last-meeting-of-the-Shirakawa-term-with-Shirakawa-gone" with no new proposals, just a big dose of anti-deflationary attitude is a possibility -- but who wants to start off the first big public event at one's dream job with "nothing important to say now, please wait until next time"?
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