Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fun with Graphs 2: Lies, Damned Lies and Reports from Japan

In reporting on euphoria, Hans Gremiel of the Associated Press suffers from something remarkably reminiscent of amnesia.
Japan's next leader faces economic juggle

by Hans Gremiel - September 20, 2006 - TOKYO

Koizumi has been one of Japan's most popular and longest-serving prime ministers for good reason.

Under his watch, unemployment has dropped, the stock market has rocketed, the government has been streamlined and bad debt has been mopped up at the nation's banks. The public corporations running the nation's highways have been privatized, and he passed a plan to do the same to the post office. Corporate profits have climbed and Japan's economy has now expanded for six straight quarters.

Uh, Hans? Rocketed?

Pulled out of a steep nose dive, maybe.

Seriously, how has the stock market performed under Koizumi's premiership?

Let's look at a snapshot of Nikkei's performance from April 21, 2001, when Koizumi was elected LDP party president, until today.

The graph comes courtesy of Yahoo Japan's Quants service. I have added a red line to show the zero line.

Yowsa, up almost...13%...over 5 1/2 years.

After being underwater for 4 1/2 of those 5 1/2 years.

Yep, looks like we're in hagi, boys and girls.

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