Japanese people will just buy more gold and park their speculative yen back in the carry trade pachinko parlor (this may already be happening). Why wouldn’t they? If holding cash means a guaranteed loss of 4% a year, that’s a pretty good incentive to gamble.
Bonus points to the state for the totalitarian surveillance grid side benefit of this.
Via: Times Online:
With recovery elusive, a population doddering into old age and perhaps a decade of deflation in prospect, Japan may start mulling the most radical monetary policy of all — the abolition of cash.
Unorthodox, untried and, said one Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi strategist, “in the realms of economic science fiction”, the recommendation has nevertheless begun floating around Tokyo’s corridors of power and economists have described Japan as particularly suitable as a testing ground.
The search for more outré economic policies continues, despite the recent surge in the Nikkei 225 index.The market may be reflecting soaring Chinese investment, rising consumer confidence and other cheerful data but economists see few long-term beacons of hope for Japan.
Other extreme ideas mooted by the financial authorities include a tax on physical currency or introducing one to operate alongside the yen.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
All three ideas are based on a theory concerning interest rates and the concept that a nominal rate of zero — as Japan has now lived with for much of the past decade — may be too high. In Japan’s case, the theory would suggest that nominal rates of -4 per cent might be closer to what is required to rescue the economy from another deflationary spiral. Having agreed that this might be necessary, the next question is how it could be imposed.
Several MPs in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party believe the abolition of cash, though politically radioactive, might be technically feasible. Richard Jerram, a senior economist with Macquarie bank, told investors that “the proposal has become practical with the broad penetration of electronic money and credit cards in Japan”.
Full article here