It is party and sake time at The Tokyo Whale as the Nikkei 225 hits highs

This week has brought a succession of news which will be welcomed by supporters of what has become called Abenomics and the Bank of Japan in particular. In fact the Bank of Japan will be pleased in two ways, one as an ordinary central bank and the other in its hedge fund style role as the Tokyo Whale. From The Japan Times.

The benchmark Nikkei average rose further and marked another 21-year closing high on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, boosted by Wall Street’s overnight advance. The Nikkei 225 average gained 73.45 points, or 0.35 percent, to end at 20,954.72 — the best finish since Nov. 29, 1996.

Today this has gone one step further or for Madness fans one step beyond,

Let us start with the most recent period from when Abenomics was first likely to be applied to now. In that time the Nikkei 225 equity index has risen from around 8000 to 21000. As this was one of the policy objectives as according to the mantra it leads to positive wealth effects for the economy it will be regarded as a success. It may also help oil the wheels in the ongoing Japanese election. But you see there is another reason for the Bank of Japan to be happy about this because since a trial effort back in 2010 it has been buying Japanese shares via Exchange Traded Funds. A more regular programme started in 2012 and this was boosted in size and scale over time and here is the current position from the September monetary policy statement.

The Bank will purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) so that their amounts outstanding will increase at annual paces of about 6 trillion yen and about 90 billion yen, respectively.

So the Bank of Japan will have some considerable paper profits right now especially in the light of a clear behavioural pattern which I looked at on the 6th of June.

The bank apparently buys frequently on days when the stock market dips in the morning, serving to stabilize share prices.

The Nikkei Asian Review analysed this development like this.

“The BOJ’s ETF purchases help provide resistance to selling pressure against Japanese stocks,” says Rieko Otsuka of the Mizuho Research Institute.

There have been various rumours over the years about central banks providing something of a “put option” for equity markets leading to talk of a “plunge protection team”, well here is one literally in action. The Japanese taxpayer may reasonably wonder why it is supporting equity investors in yet another example of a policy which the 0.01% will welcome in particular. But for now let is move on with the Governor of the Bank of Japan enjoying a celebratory glass of sake as he looks at the wealth effects of the equity market high and the paper profits in the Bank’s coffers.

The “Put Option” in practice

A paper had been written by Toby Nangle and Tony Yates on this. You may well recall Tony Yates as the person I had a debate with on BBC Radio 4’s Moneybox programme and that events since have not been kind to his views. Anyway they tell us this.

 the cumulative purchases by the Bank of Japanese equities are becoming substantial. We estimate the market value to have been just below ¥20 trillion at the end of July 2017, or around 3.2% of the total Japanese stock market, making the central bank the second largest owner of Japanese stocks after the Government Pension Investment Fund.

Indeed they find themselves producing analysis along the lines of my “To Infinity! And Beyond!” theme.

Without further adjusting the pace of ETF purchases, we project that the central bank will own 10% of the market sometime between 2022-2026, depending on the interim market performance.

First they look for an announcement effect.

We control for this by examining the excess returns of Japanese stocks versus global stocks two business days post-announcement in common currency (last column in Table 1). The relationship between the scale of purchases and the price change is positive in each episode, although the confidence we have in the relationship is not strong given such few data points.

Personally I would also be looking at the days ahead of the announcement as many of these type of events are anticipated and if you like “front-run” these days. Next we see they look for an execution effect and they struggle to find one as the Japanese market underperformed in the period they looked at compared to other equity markets. However we do get a confirmation of the put option in operation.

 we find that the Bank of Japan has timed the execution of its ETF purchase programme to coincide with episodes of market weakness, potentially with the aim of dampening price volatility.

Oh and “dampening price volatility” is the new reduce and/or stop market falls as otherwise it would also sell on days of market strength.

Will it spread?

This is slightly dubious depending on how you regard the actions of the Swiss National Bank which of course buys equities abroad which I presume they regard as the difference.

Japan has been alone in purchasing equities as part of its monetary easing programme, and the question of whether the purchase of equity securities is the next step along this path is of wider interest.

But I agree with the conclusion.

 Even if central banks in the US/Eurozone/UK achieve a lasting lift-off from the zero bound, and are able to shed asset purchases from their balance sheet, low central bank rates are discounted by markets to be a fact of life for the next decade or two, and the chance of needing to have recourse to unconventional measures appears very large.

Comment

Thank you to Tony and Toby for their paper but they use very neutral language and avoid any opinion on whether this is a good idea which tends to suggest a form of approval. Yet there are a myriad of problems.

The ordinary Japanese taxpayer is very unlikely to be aware of this and what is being done both in their name and with their backing. This is especially important if we consider the exit door as in how does this end?

There is a moral hazard problem in both backing and financing a market which disproportionately benefits the already well off. This gets added to by the latest scandal in Japan as the company below has been ( indirectly) backed by the Bank of Japan.

DJ KOBE STEEL SAYS FOUND MORE INSTANCES OF SHIPPED PRODUCTS WITH QUALITY PROBLEMS ( h/t @DeltaOne )

There are real problems here and is one of the arguments against central banks buying risky assets of this form and the clue of course is in the use of the word risky.

Next we have the issue of what good does it do? Yes some get an increase in their paper wealth and some will take profits. In a sense good luck to them, but as we note that this will be disproportionately in favour of the wealthy this is in my opinion a perversion of the role of a central bank.

On the other side of the coin is the current media cheerleading for equity markets of which this from Bloomberg this morning is an especially disturbing example.

To put this year’s gains in perspective, the value of global equities is now 3 1/2 times that at the financial crisis bottom in March 2009. Aided by an 8 percent drop in the U.S. currency, the dollar-denominated capitalization of worldwide shares appreciated in 2017 by an amount — $20 trillion — that is comparable to the total value of all equities nine years ago……… And yet skeptics still abound, pointing to stretched valuations or policy uncertainty from Washington to Brussels. Those concerns are nothing new, but heeding to them is proving an especially costly mistake.

You see congratulating people on doing well out of equity investments is very different to saying you should buy now at what are higher prices. Unless of course Bloomberg thinks they are more attractive at higher prices in which case perhaps it should be buying Bitcoin. Let me leave you with this which feels like something out of a dystopian science fiction piece.

Big companies are becoming huge, from Apple Inc. to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

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In the future will equities be allowed to fall?

The credit crunch era has seen an enormous expansion of monetary policy activity which has manifested itself in two main ways. We have seen interest-rates cut not only to zero but below it into negative territory. Then we saw enormous expansion of central bank balance sheets as well as Quantitative Easing style policies were added to the play book. Indeed this is continuing apace in both the Euro area and Japan and the latter of course has moved into newer areas as well. Japan Macro Advisers have updated us on the current state of play.

At the end of May 31 2017, the Bank of Japan held a total of 500.8 trillion yen in assets, of which Japanese government securities accounted for 427.2 trillion yen.

I think we have a new candidate for the largest number we have used on here! That sends out its own message but also there is the issue that some 14.7% of the total is not purchases of Japanese government bonds or JGBs. So what might be regarded as conventional QE is already out of date as we note that the Bank of Japan calls its operations Quantitative and Qualitative Easing or QQE.

What is it buying?

You might expect this as after all both the Bank of England has recently and the ECB currently, have ventured into this area.

As for CP and corporate bonds, the Bank will maintain their amounts outstanding at about 2.2 trillion yen and about 3.2 trillion yen, respectively. ( CP is Commercial Paper ).

Whether it does much good is of course another matter as it ossifies economic structures but subsidising larger companies who are able to issue such debt whereas smaller ones cannot. But the main game here is shown below.

The Bank will purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) so that their amounts outstanding will increase at annual
paces of about 6 trillion yen and about 90 billion yen, respectively.

Here we see intervention in a different sphere as both property and equities are being bought here. The property purchases are relatively small, if you can say that about 90 billion! But the main game in town is the equity purchases.

For comparison here is the plan for what is conventional QE.

With regard to the amount of JGBs to be purchased, the Bank will conduct purchases more or less in line with the current pace — an annual pace of increase in the amount outstanding of its JGB holdings at about 80 trillion yen — aiming to achieve the target level of a long-term interest rate specified by the guideline.

The target level of JGB yields is around 0% for the ten-year.

The Tokyo Whale

Just over a year ago on the 25th of April I alerted readers to what was taking place.

They may not realize it yet, but Japan Inc.’s executives are increasingly working for a shareholder unlike any other: the nation’s money-printing central bank……….It’s now a major owner of more Japanese blue-chips than both BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, and Vanguard Group, which oversees more than $3 trillion.

That begged more than a few questions as for example shareholders are supposed to hold company directors to account and sometimes provide direction to the business. How can a central bank possibly do that? There is of course the issue of potential losses as well before we get to the creation of a false market.

Let us bring this up to date with thanks to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Japan’s central bank nearly doubles ETF holdings in one year.

With the rate of purchases we looked at above I suppose that is no great surprise but there are genuine questions as to where this is taking us?

The Bank of Japan has stepped up purchases of exchange-traded funds as part of its monetary easing policy, with the balance surging to 15.93 trillion yen ($144 billion) as of March 31.

The total marks an 80% rise from a year earlier and more than a sevenfold increase since the central bank kicked off its quantitative and qualitative easing — adding riskier assets to its balance sheet — in April 2013.

Will stock markets be allowed to fall?

I do not mean on a day to day basis as for example the Nikkei 225 equity index dipped below 20,000 earlier today. But I am starting to wonder about this in terms of sustained corrections. Why? Well take a look at this from the Nikkei Asian Review.

The bank apparently buys frequently on days when the stock market dips in the morning, serving to stabilize share prices.

At what point did central bankers become experts in where share prices should be at? If anybody else did this they would be facing accusations of creating a false market. The point gets reinforced later.

“The BOJ’s ETF purchases help provide resistance to selling pressure against Japanese stocks,” says Rieko Otsuka of the Mizuho Research Institute.

This is quite different to central banks responding to a market collapse and panic in terms of timing,size,scale and indeed intention. There is also the danger of a Buzz Lightyear “To Infinity! And Beyond!” reality as we mull the consequences of this.

The bank’s growing market presence has raised concerns about the repercussions when the easing policy eventually winds down. When speculation of a BOJ exit grows, the anticipated cutbacks on ETF purchases would accelerate selling of Japanese stocks. As a precaution against a sharp market decline, “the BOJ many need to set aside provisions,” Otsuka says.

So that poor battered can has been kicked into the future one more time! If we cannot allow equity market falls now how will we be able to in say 5 years time? This leaves the Bank of Japan sounding rather like Elvis Presley.

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap?
I can’t walk out

As time goes by the situation will go from bad to worse in terms of market manipulation.

Should the current pace of buying continue, the BOJ’s ETF holdings would reach about 30 trillion yen in about two years. The market capitalization of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first-section companies comes to 550 trillion yen.

Also all the jokes and humour about a “Plunge Protection Team” stopping equity market falls move from satire to reality.

Comment

There is much for us to consider here. So far the expansion of central bank activity has not been put into reverse. Even the US Federal Reserve which has nudged interest-rates higher has only talked about reducing its balance sheet as opposed to actually doing it. Others are still chomping away like Pac-Men and Women but the scale of their purchases is increasingly posing problems for government bond markets.

Should the next recession or slow down hit before we see any form of exit strategy then there will be much less scope to buy government bonds. Now that the Bank of Japan has broken the moral barrier around buying equities and indeed property such a scenario would see others follow. If we look at the UK then as the current Bank of England Governor is a “dedicated follower of fashion” he would be likely to join the party.

There are a lot of catches here as we look forwards to a potential future. Equities are supposed to provide a form of price discovery as individuals buy and sell and hopefully there is investing in what are good ideas and people. Central banking bureaucrats are unlikely to add any value here.There attempts so far have fallen on stony ground.

Despite the initial excitement among major financial institutions, the Bank of Japan’s push for exchange-traded funds tracking companies that actively raise employee pay or invest in new equipment has run aground. ( Nikkei Asian Review)

But their loudspeakers should have Yazz on repeat in terms of equity indices..

The only way is up, baby
For you and me now
The only way is up, baby
For you and me now

 

The Tokyo Whale is suffering from indigestion today

Today is certainly a day when I am reminded of the opening of the cartoon series Stingray “Stand by for action!”. The irony is that it is what the apocryphal civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby would call “masterly inaction” which has caused it. The last 24 hours have seen several of our current masters of the universe issue policy statements. The US Federal Reserve and Janet Yellen  was singing along to “land of confusion” by Genesis yesterday evening but the real action has come in response to the Bank of Japan.

The Bank will purchase Japanese government bonds (JGBs) so that their amount outstanding will increase at an annual pace of about 80 trillion yen…..The Bank decided, by a 7-2 majority vote, to continue applying a negative interest rate of minus 0.1 percent to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the Bank.

Let me just mark the point that in a culture of “face” then any dissent is significant and that one of the individuals dissented ( Mr. T. Kiuchi.) on three other points as well.

Abenomics meets the currency wars

The response in the currency markets was both immediate and strong as the Japanese Yen surged yet again. This is the polar opposite of what is supposed to happen under both conventional economics and the version of it being applied in Japan called Abenomics where the 80 trillion Yen a year of QE ( called QQE in Japan because QE has such a track record of failure it got rebadged ) is supposed to lead to a falling currency. It did for a time but no longer.

The Yen which had been strengthening anyway roared higher and higher like a living thing as it pushed through 104 versus the US Dollar to 103.8 as I type this. So the Yen is now some 15% stronger than it was a year ago in spite of all the QQE and rhetoric as we note again that something big is happening here. Putting it another way it has gone back to a level last seen in August 2014 so undoing nearly two years of effort under Abenomics.

However this does not fully reflect things because we are comparing with another strong currency. Our own domestic currency the UK Pound £ can help with this. The Yen fall against the £ driven by Abenomics saw it fall from just below 130 to 195 just over a year ago whereas now it is at 147. So some 73% of the move has been retraced.

Recently I mentioned the economic problems of South Korea due to the far eastern currency wars with both Japan and China looking to devalue. Well there will be some smiling in Seoul today with it taking 11.25 Won to buy a Yen as opposed to the 9.3 of last November.

Equity markets and bond yields

The bad news for Abenomics continues with a 3% drop in the Nikkei 225 to 15434 today. This means that it has fallen by around 24% over the past year meaning that the trumpeted “wealth effect” which we heard about in the 52% rally in 2013 is now negative.

Happier news for Abenomics is the surge in Japanese Government Bonds because of cause the Bank of Japan has so many of them. Sake all around! Oh hang on! Who can it  ever sell them to for profit-taking? 373,846,107,781,000 Yen and rising fast is a mere bagatelle or something like that.

In terms of market detail Reuters gives us the price highs and yield lows including yet more negativity.

The 10-year JGB yield fell to minus 0.205 percent , after plumbing a record low of minus 0.210 before the BOJ’s announcement…….with the 20-year yield down 4.5 basis points at a record low 0.095 percent and the 30-year yield down 5.5 basis point at record low 0.150 percent.

The Tokyo Whale

Back on April 25 th I covered this issue which is the way that the Bank of Japan is building up holdings of equities as well as bonds.

Indeed the Bloomberg analysis went further.

At an estimated 8.6 trillion yen as of March, the BOJ’s holdings amount to about 1.6 percent of the total capitalization of all companies listed in Japan. That compares with about 5 percent held by the nation’s Government Pension Investment Fund.

So three months on we know that the whale will have been gorging itself as it tells us here.

The Bank will purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) so that their amounts outstanding will increase at annual paces of about 3.3 trillion yen and about 90 billion yen, respectively.

So if the buyers of the Bank of Japan are on pace they will have purchased an extra 0.8 trillion Yen or so since March making the total an estimated 9.4 trillion Yen. I have looked at the accounts as of June 10th  but they are opaque as the holdings are spread over several categories with no break-down. But if the Tokyo Whale held 55% of Japanese equity ETFs in March then it holds around 60% now. What could go wrong?

One minor hiccup at the moment is that all of the latest purchases are loss making and indeed with the market down 23% on a year ago the outlook seems to be rather like this from Madness for Japanese taxpayers.

No committment, you’re an embarrassment,
Yes, an embarrassment, a living endorsement,
The intention that you have booked,
Was an intention that was overlooked.

Oh and never believe anything until it is officially denied

BOJ Exec Dir Amamiya: Do not think that BoJ’s presence in ETF market is too big ( @moved_average )

Interest-Rate Negativity

Back on the 29th of January the Bank of Japan played what it thought was its master stroke which was the announcement of a negative interest-rate of 0.1%. How is that going in terms of wealth-effects and Abenomics?

Back then the Nikkei 225 closed at 17,635 and the Yen fell to a low of 121.68 versus the US Dollar.

I suppose that it what you get when you listen to the “experts” and make it complicated to the nth degree.

Mr. T. Sato and Mr. T. Kiuchi dissented considering that an interest rate of 0.1 percent should be applied to current account balances excluding the amount outstanding of the required reserves held by financial institutions at the Bank, because negative interest rates would impair the functioning of financial markets and financial intermediation as well as the stability of the JGB market.

Stability now goes into my financial lexicon for these times perhaps next to “price stability” which of course means anything but price stability.

Comment

There is much to consider here as the leader of the pack in the central banking universe finds itself subject to my critique that it has implemented a type of junkie culture with the more,more, more approach of Abenomics. A consequence of this is that financial markets mostly spend their time front-running central banks which means that no further action leads to nothing to front-run and reversals. The current action which is purchases of Japanese Government Bonds on such a scale the market has frozen up is very passe now and old news in this respect.

So for the Tokyo Whale it is time to sing along to Iron Maiden.

Don’t want to be here
Somewhere I’d rather be
But when I get there
I might find it’s not for me

Don’t know what I want
Or where I want to be
I’m feeling more confused
The more the days go by.

Of course Iron Maiden taught some European heads some humility earlier this month.

 

I think another convention of these times that there is no money in music needs a bit of a rethink……..

 

The Bank of Japan becomes The Tokyo Whale

Today has already seen some eye-catching and thought-provoking news from the land of the rising sun or Nihon. Fortunately its new stealth fighter has not been seen taking off from its aircraft carriers excuse me helicopter destroyers merely from a runway. But we have seen news on a subject I analysed on the 19th of this month with this question.

How many central banks will turn into hedge funds?

As you will see there have been many other questions posed by what has now taken place in Japan so let’s crack on.

The Tokyo Whale

Those of you who recall what happened when The London Whale scandal emerged you may already be troubled by that name. Here is a Bloomberg reminder.

The trader known as the London Whale lost at least $6.2 billion for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2012……..More importantly, it raised two worrisome questions: What if the banks are still addicted to risk? And what if regulators haven’t gotten better at spotting that?

For me there was a familiar issue.

In a sense, what Iksil and his colleagues did was the same old story — doubling down after a loss with bigger and bigger bets.

The doubling down issue is a clear theme for us to consider as we peruse the announcement from Bloomberg.

The Tokyo Whale Is Quietly Buying Up Huge Stakes in Japan Inc.

JP Morgan again or another bank considered too big to fail?

They may not realize it yet, but Japan Inc.’s executives are increasingly working for a shareholder unlike any other: the nation’s money-printing central bank.

Regular readers will have been aware of the reality of this but as we go on the scale of it comes home to roost.

It’s now a major owner of more Japanese blue-chips than both BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, and Vanguard Group, which oversees more than $3 trillion

Here it is in another form.

I am not so sure about his order of importance but that relates mostly to the time zone he is broadcasting too. As we look into the detail we see this.

The BOJ ranks as a top 10 holder in more than 200 of the Nikkei gauge’s 225 companies, effectively controlling about 9 percent of Fast Retailing Co., the operator of Uniqlo stores, and nearly 5 percent of soy sauce maker Kikkoman Corp. It has an estimated shareholder rank of No. 3 in both Yamaha Corp., one of the world’s largest makers of musical instruments, and Daiwa House Industry Co., Japan’s biggest homebuilder.

Something for shoppers at Uniqlo to consider as well as musicians and even me when I buy some more soy sauce! Another way of looking at the scale is shown below.

At an estimated 8.6 trillion yen as of March, the BOJ’s holdings amount to about 1.6 percent of the total capitalization of all companies listed in Japan. That compares with about 5 percent held by the nation’s Government Pension Investment Fund.

So it is a trillion Yen larger than the Bank of Japan numbers I posted last week and nearly a third of the size of what is considered an enormous player in Japanese markets the state pension fund. At the current rate of purchases it will not be long before it passes that benchmark as I pointed out on the 19th.

Second, it would purchase ETFs and J-REITs so that their amounts outstanding would increase at annual paces of about 3 trillion yen and about 90 billion yen, respectively.

The companies shown below by Francine will be increasingly influenced by this.

I will come to the waiting point later.

Stealth

This is normally an issue for the military world and as I hinted at earlier there has been news on this front in an increasingly militarised Japan. From The Japan Times.

Japan on Friday became the fourth country to test-fly its own stealth jet….According to the Defense Ministry, the Advanced Technology Demonstrator, called X2, took off from Nagoya airport in Aichi Prefecture at 8:47 a.m. Friday morning.

I am not sure this bit of tub-thumping is entirely reassuring.

During World War II, Japan’s aerospace industry led the global competition with its Zero fighter.

The stealth theme does come into The Tokyo Whale story too.

While the Bank of Japan’s name is nowhere to be found in regulatory filings on major stock investors…….estimates can be gleaned from publicly available central bank records, regulatory filings by companies and ETF managers, and statistics from the Investment Trusts Association of Japan. The BOJ declined to comment on Bloomberg’s findings.

More stealthy than the jet? Anyway in terms of individual holdings it would appear that the Bank of Japan is none to keen on us knowing. Mind you it might be one way of ensuring that Japanese firms raise wages! Buy all the shares and send a nominee to the public meetings to vote.

Consequences

There are quite a few here so lets us run through them.

1. Shareholders are supposed to have a role in the strategy of a company so how will the Bank of Japan deal with this?

2. How does price discovery in the Nikkei 225 and Topix indices work when the Bank of Japan buys and presumably pushes prices higher? This creates a danger of the sort of false market central banks are supposed to be guardian against.

3. On that road how will the Bank of Japan regulate itself as an equity investor? Also what about other Japanese regulatory authorities.

4. Abenomics was supposed to be a break from “pork barrel” politics as we consider the now pretty much mythical thrid arrow. As the quote below shows it is buying what might be regarded as big industry’s shares or the sort of favouring reminiscent of Abe’s previous government.

The central bank’s use of large-cap ETFs means its positions are concentrated

5. The elephant in the room is of course the issue of how much all this buying has driven the stock market and in particular Japan’s big businesses higher? Whilst acolytes may argue it is only 1.6% of the market remember that there has been substantial net buying which is continuing. Where would the Nikkei 225 equity index be without this.

6. The rises in the Japanese equity indices are likely therefore to be affected by the principles of Goodhart’s Law and indeed the Lucas Critique.

7. Should losses be made will the Bank of Japan just print the money required and who will explain the consequences to the Japanese taxpayer?

Comment

It was only on Friday that news leaked about the Bank of Japan considering offering negative interest-rates on loans. This had an immediate impact on the Yen which at 111.3 versus the US Dollar is much weaker than before the news. Indeed speculation about Bank of Japan moves at its policy meeting are apposite to today’s article. From Bloomberg.

If the BOJ accelerates its ETF purchases this week to an annual rate of 7 trillion yen — the pace predicted by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — the central bank could become the No. 1 shareholder in about 40 of the Nikkei 225’s companies by the end of 2017, according to Bloomberg calculations that assume other major stakeholders keep their positions unchanged. It could hold the top ranking in about 90 firms using HSBC Holdings Plc’s estimate of 13 trillion yen.

Care is needed with any forecast from the Vampire Squid which is usually for its benefit but I note that HSBC’s effort exceeds it considerably. At such a pace the Bank of Japan would soon become large even for a whale. The risk of unintended consequences gets larger as it grows along the lines of this consequence of the UK National Living Wage.

Salami slicing? Zizzi responds to living wage by cutting free staff food to margherita pizza or a plate of spaghetti ( @sarahoconnor_ )

There is also the issue of what I call the exit strategy from this or how you ever reverse it? I have argued many times that central banks have charged into QE style efforts with no plan for either retreat or even the consequences of victory.

Also will we in a few years time be saying the same about the property market in Japan as it seems likely to seem more central banking buying?

I will leave you with Alphaville who back in 1984 were rather prescient about the Bank of Japan.

When you’re big in Japan, tonight
Big in Japan, be tight
Big in Japan, oo the Eastern sea’s so blue
Big in Japan, alright
Pay, then I’ll sleep by your side
Things are easy when you’re big in Japan
When you’re big in Japan