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Japan's Christmas bombshell risks setting off another European credit crunch
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Friday, December 23, 2022
Japan is the world’s top creditor with $3.6 trillion (L3 trillion) of net assets overseas. It is the marginal buyer of British, eurozone, and American debt, and a central pillar of the international bond market.
In good times the constant flow of investment via the yen "carry trade" is like a global ATM machine for needy debtors. When the flows reverse and the Japanese repatriate their money -- as they did in late 2007 and 2008 -- it can lead very quickly to a systemic credit crunch and a financial chain-reaction.
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"Ultra-easy monetary policy in Japan has been holding down yields in the rest of the world, but the tectonic plates are now moving," said Mark Dowding from BlueBay Asset Management.
Western bonds markets suffered instant contagion this week after the Bank of Japan lifted its cap on 10-year yields from 25 to 50 basis points, setting off convulsions in the country's domestic bond market. This may be the first taste of what may become a wholesale Japanese retreat from the world markets. ...
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