Monday, September 22, 2008

A Japanese point about the Paulson plan

While we're on the subject of the Paulson scheme, I have another two cents to contribute: A journalist writing in the mass circulation Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun explains to his readers today that there is another dimension to the plan, beyond just buying shaky securities from shaky financial institutions and then re-selling them. He says the aim includes actually having the Treasury Dept and/or its agents get right into the management and accounting/reporting of the financial institutions in question. Commenting on the section that says the financial institutions named to act as agents of the Secretary of the Treasury shall "perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them", he writes:
This establishes their [the Secretary and his agents] having a say in management [of the selling institutions] in the areas of financial reform and restructuring.
And in his concluding remarks, the journalist adds:
It appears that the authorities will go about their buying and selling while at the same time doing fine-tuning* so as to avoid any sudden increase in loss-reporting [by these institutions].

* Saji-kagen, from the words for spoon, and for increase/diminution. Literally used in connection with seasoning to taste in cooking, and mixing medicines in prescriptions. The expression isn't an unusual one in describing traditional market manipulation by the Japanese authorities, so it is interesting to see it used here in connection with the Paulson plan.


Blogger Helena Cobban said...

Badger, you do translations from the Japanese, too?? This is awesome!

Ok, so how about Chinese or Russian while we're about it? (My pathetic Russian is awfully rusty.)

"CJR" is the body that some people are saying will be replacing the IMF as the economic policymaker of last resort.

* China-Japan-Russia.

12:22 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Why not perfect one of those before it becomes mandatory ! (only kidding)

Blogging however is a treadmill (not kidding)

2:05 PM  
Blogger badger said...

for me I mean, not for others. The way I've been doing it is a treadmill

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please check out the May 23 report by Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress (he links to a fuller report) that quotes Maliki as saying that he put in a date of 2011, a date later than he wanted, to end the occupation at the request of the Bush administration so as not to hew too closely to Obama's deadline and to help McCain look better.

I'd be curious about your thoughts. It could be a convenient excuse for Maliki to justify a later date, but it certainly sounds like something the Bush administration could have done.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's Septyember 23, today, Sorry.

10:35 AM  
Blogger badger said...

That was a Maliki interview with al-Iraqiya TV Sept 17. Reading from the government's transcript (linked to by Sam Parker), I think he said there was an original text that said after withdrawal from the cities, there would be withdrawal from all the rest of Iraq, and this would be from end-2010 to end-2011, but then "for political reasons" the other side wanted to change that so it just read final withdrawal date 2011, and that was agreed to. Ambiguous, like most things connected with this process. And there isn't any elaboration of "for political reasons". So I think somewhere between the actual interview and the MY/Ackerman product, there was a fair bit of processing going on, if you catch my drift.

2:45 PM  

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