Watching Wall Street implode from Japan last September, it was easy to hope that after a couple of bailouts life would quickly return to normal.
Clearly, that’s not the case. As I prepare to return to Tokyo next week, I wonder how the people and the city are holding up under the strain of a seemingly intractable global recession.
During the discussion, it became clear the outlooks for both the U.S. and Japanese economies were none-too sanguine.
Panelist David Resler, Managing Director & Chief Economist at Nomura Securities International, Inc., correctly predicted that U.S. GDP numbers for the fourth quarter coming out today would show a strong contraction.
That number, released this morning, showed the economy shrinking 3.8 pct, the biggest drop in 27 years.
And what of Japan’s fourth quarter GDP?
Resler suggested a drop of 9 pct or more. Indeed, the decline of 9.6 pct in Japan’s December preliminary industrial production, announced on Friday, doesn’t bode well.
The darkest hour before the dawn?