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Japanese spirituality and how the French left misunderstands the 1930s

By John Plender   January 1998

You have to hand it to the Japanese-it takes genius for the world’s biggest creditor nation and largest capital exporter to plunge itself into a liquidity crisis. Yet after the collapse of Hokkaido Takushoku, Japan’s 10th largest bank, and the closure of Yamaichi Securities, depositors have been out in force demanding their money back. Taken together with the rash of competitive devaluations in southeast Asia, it looks suspiciously like a regional re-run of the 1930s, with the markets scenting a spillover into global deflation.

It is untrue that people learn nothing from history. The collective memory of central bankers has…

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