Sailer's Contrarian View on Japan

A frequent topic in these pages is the disparity between press accounts of Japan and daily life. Steve Sailer opines that the real reason we hear so much doom and gloom in the press is because Japan offers no absurd profits for financiers.

For 20 years, you've always heard about how horrible Japan's economy is. In 2008 you heard over and over about how the worst thing that could happen to America is a Japanese-style Lost Decade. It always sounds like Godzilla, or maybe the B-29s, have come back.

...

I guess I'm just obtuse. It finally dawned on me that the reason you hear about how horrible Japan is all the time is that it has been horrible for financiers since 1990. The Nikkei index is now only one-third what it was in 1990 at the end of a ridiculous real estate bubble in which the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo were theoretically worth more than all the real estate in California.

The Japanese, like the Germans, rejected the conventional business wisdom in favor of stability and broad if not spectacular prosperity.