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Nomura Research Institute
09 мая, 14:16

Business Services' Earnings on May 10: BR, EXPGY & More

Let's have a sneak peek at five major Business Services stocks expected to report earnings around May 10 to see how things are shaping up for the upcoming results.

02 апреля, 21:00

Bitcoin Tops $1100 As Japanese Payments Law Goes Into Effect

After a virtual rollercoaster over the last few weeks, Bitcoin is back above $1100 today as traders anticipate demand with Japan recognizing bitcoin as a legal method of payment starting yesterday. A weak dollar has helped the bounce back from SEC's ETF decision and fears about the fork but demand from Japanese consumers has sparked the most recent push back up to $1100... As Coindesk reports, the country's legislature passed a law, following months of debate, that brought bitcoin exchanges under anti-money laundering/know-your-customer rules, while also categorizing bitcoin as a kind of prepaid payment instrument. It's a debate that began in the wake of the collapse of Mt Gox, the now-defunct bitcoin exchange that shuttered after months of growing complications and, in the end, revelations of insolvency and alleged fraud. According to Japan’s Financial Services Agency, that law went into effect on 1st April, putting in place capital requirements for exchanges as well as cybersecurity and operational stipulations. In addition, those exchanges will also be required to conduct employee training programs and submit to annual audits. Yet there may be more work to come in this area. For example, Nomura Research Institute's Yasutake Okano indicated in a May 2016 report that other Japanese laws may need to change to account for the tech, including the Banking Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Reports indicate that other groups in Japan are moving to plug some of those gaps as well. According to a report from Nikkei, the Accounting Standards Board of Japan decided earlier this week to begin developing standards for digital currencies like bitcoin. Its work mirrors other efforts being undertaken elsewhere, including Australia, which began pushing for such standards late last year.

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26 декабря 2016, 05:59

BRIEF-Nomura Research Institute completes acquisition of ASG Group

* Says it completes full acquisition of 100 percent stake in ASG Group Ltd for totaling 27.43 billion yen on Dec. 23

12 декабря 2016, 12:48

BRIEF-Asg Group says court approved scheme of arrangement

* court approved scheme of arrangement under which nomura research institute will acquire 100% of issued capital of asg (scheme) Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

08 декабря 2016, 21:48

Власть денег: главные вызовы для мировой экономики в 2017 году

Результаты президентских выборов в США, брексит, девальвация юаня и усиление роли России на международной арене окажут ключевое влияние на мировую экономику в 2017 году. Это утверждают аналитики одного из самых влиятельных консалтинговых агентств Nomura Research Institute в ежегодном рейтинге «10 серых лебедей: Главные вызовы для мировой экономики». RT рассказывает о значимых событиях в экономике, которые должны понять, принять и переосмыслить как аналитики, так и участники рынка.Читать далее

08 декабря 2016, 21:15

Власть денег: главные вызовы для мировой экономики в 2017 году

Результаты президентских выборов в США, брексит, девальвация юаня и усиление роли России на международной арене окажут ключевое влияние на мировую экономику в 2017 году. Это утверждают аналитики одного из самых влиятельных консалтинговых агентств Nomura Research Institute в ежегодном рейтинге «10 серых лебедей: Главные вызовы для мировой экономики». RT рассказывает о значимых событиях в экономике, которые должны понять, принять и переосмыслить как аналитики, так и участники рынка. Читать далее

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08 декабря 2016, 09:45

BRIEF-ASG says shareholders voted in favour of Nomura Research Institute's acquisition proposal

* Eligible ASG shareholders voted in favour of proposal by Nomura Research Institute to acquire all of ordinary shares in ASG Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

19 сентября 2016, 23:46

The World’s Most Important Central Bank (It’s Not The Fed)

Ever since the Great Recession, the world economy has been suffering from a malaise that has come to be known as the “New Normal”; one where real activity is weaker

22 июля 2016, 01:05

Текст: Стереотип о всемогущем центральном банке поддерживать все сложнее ( Тим Прайс )

Первой была Япония. Пятнадцать лет назад мы встречались с японским управляющим акциями, который сделал поразительное предсказание: «В Японии была генеральная репетиция. Основное представление развернется в остальном мире». Сегодня это предположение уже не кажется чем-то из ряда вон выходящим. После того как в Японии лопнул надувшийся в конце 1980-х гг. гигантский пузырь на рынках недвижимости и акций, а затем разразился банковский кризис, страна стала гигантской лабораторией для невиданного ранее эксперимента с денежной политикой. Процентные ставки были снижены почти до нуля. А в 2001 г. Банк Японии попробовал денежное стимулирование, или количественное смягчение (QE). Ричард Ку из Nomura Research Institute назвал это «самым бессмысленным меропр...

19 июля 2016, 11:52

Sovereignman.com: Вся финансовая система подвергается риску со стороны этого рынка “мусорных” облигаций

Автор Tim Price. Япония была пионером. Пятнадцать лет назад мы встречались с японским управляющим активами, и он сделал шокирующий прогноз: “Япония – это генеральная репетиция. Главным спектаклем станет остальной мир.” Тогда это заявление казалось преувеличением. Сегодня так больше не кажется.…читать далее →

06 декабря 2015, 21:15

Половину рабочих мест в Японии к 2035 году могут занять роботы

Дата-анализ крупнейшей японской консалтинговой IT-компании Nomura Research Institute (NRI) под руководством Юми Вакао показал, что в течение следующих ближайших 20 лет почти половина рабочих мест в Японии могут быть заняты роботами. Проведя совместную работу с […]

06 декабря 2015, 16:56

ПОЧТИ ПОЛОВИНУ РАБОЧИХ МЕСТ В ЯПОНИИ К 2035 ГОДУ МОГУТ ЗАНЯТЬ РОБОТЫ

Дата-анализ крупнейшей японской консалтинговой IT-компании Nomura Research Institute (NRI) под руководством Юми Вакао показал, что в течение следующих ближайших 20 лет почти половина рабочих мест в Японии могут быть заняты роботами. Проведя совместную работу с профессором Оксфордского университета Майклом Осборном, проводившим аналогичное исследование в США и Великобритании, команда исследователей из NRI изучила более 600 различных профессий. «Мы обнаружили, что до 49 процентов рабочих задач, которые в настоящий момент выполняются человеком, можно будет переложить на компьютерные системы», — говорит Вакао. Команда изучила то, каким образом, в зависимости от требуемой креативности, та или иная профессия может быть автоматизирована. Ученые выяснили, что задачи по обеспечению клиентской поддержки, доставке товаров и продовольствий, а также ведение сельскохозяйственного производства наиболее предрасположены к компьютеризации. Менее всего предрасположены к полной автоматизации, в свою очередь, оказались сфера обучения, литературное творчество, а также медицина. Вероятнее всего, людям с профессиями в этих сферах меньше всего стоит беспокоится о том, что в ближайшем будущем их смогут заменить роботы. Как бы там ни было, результаты анализа NRI оказались выше, чем показали цифры, связанные с рабочими сферами в США (47 процентов рабочих мест можно заменить роботами) и Великобритании (35 процентов рабочих можно заменить на роботов). «Не стоит принимать слишком серьезно этот анализ. Это лишь гипотетические вычисления. В них не учитываются социальные аспекты», — говорит Вакао. Что же касается самих японцев, то, как показывает статистика, люди более-менее спокойно относятся к приближающейся компьютерной и роботехнической революции, считая, что она позволит снизить экономическое давление на быстро стареющее население и в то же время освободит многих людей от неинтересной работы, позволив заниматься более креативными (и более прибыльными) занятиями.

05 июля 2015, 00:17

Quote of the Day › The quality of buildings is high while investment opportunities are abundant, unlike Singapore or Hong Kong where the number of available properties is limited. In that sense, Tokyo is one of the best destinations for investment.

Tomohiko Taniyama, a senior researcher at Nomura Research Institute Ltd. Realty agencies in Beijing are organizing twice-monthly tours to Tokyo and Osaka, where 40 Chinese at a time come for three-day property-shopping trips, seeking safe places to invest their cash abroad. (Bloomberg)

02 января 2015, 22:06

If Quantitative Easing Works, Why Has It Failed to Kick-Start Inflation?

Illustration by William Banzai QE Has Failed to Spark Inflation Quantitative easing (QE) was supposed to stimulate the economy and pull us out of deflation. But the third round of quantitative easing (“QE3″) in the U.S. failed to raise inflation expectations. And QE hasn’t worked in Japan, either. The Wall Street Journal noted in 2010: Nearly a decade after Japan’s central bank first experimented with the policy, the country remains mired in deflation, a general decline in wages and prices that has crippled its economy. *** The BOJ began doing quantitative easing in 2001. It had become clear that pushing interest rates down near zero for an extended period had failed to get the economy moving. After five years of gradually expanding its bond purchases, the bank dropped the effort in 2006. At first, it appeared the program had succeeded in stabilizing the economy and halting the slide in prices. But deflation returned with a vengeance over the past two years, putting the Bank of Japan back on the spot. So why didn’t quantitative easing work in Japan? Critics say the Japanese central bank wasn’t aggressive enough in launching and expanding its bond-buying program—then dropped it too soon. *** Others say Japan simply waited too long to resort to the policy. But Japan has since gone “all in” on staggering levels of quantitative easing … and yet is still mired in deflation. The UK engaged in substantial QE. But inflation rates are falling there as well. And China engaged in massive amounts of QE. But it’s also falling into deflation. Indeed, despite massive QE by the U.S., Japan and China, there is now a worldwide risk of deflation. So why hasn’t it worked? Traders Weigh In Financial commentator, trader, and inventor of high-frequency trading Max Keiser has argued for months that QE’s failure can be explained by the following 4 steps: (1) QE throws easy cash at the zombie banks (2) The big banks use the easy cash to speculate instead of becoming more stable … or lending out to Main Street (3) The speculation and lack of lending decreases the vitality of the real (Main Street) economy (4) This leads to deflation, rather than inflation There’s some evidence that Keiser’s right. Forecaster and trader Martin Armstrong writes today: The evolution of the monetary system of Rome illustrates how empires rise. It also reflects that the dominant economy’s currency is ALWAYS used by surrounding nations. Consequently, history demonstrates WHY in fact QE1-3 failed to produce inflation for the dollars created were absorbed globally. Theories that only view the dollar from a domestic isolated perspective are incorrect and will always fail for that is not what history teaches us if we take the time to listen. In other words, Armstrong argues that QE falsely assumes that printed money will stay in the national economy ... but printed dollars end up abroad. He explained earlier this week: The expansion of the money supply of dollar has FAILED to produce any inflation BECAUSE the old theories have failed to take into consideration the global nature of the world economy and its demand for the currency of the current Financial Capital of the World. *** The US cannot print enough money to meet the world demands. There's some evidence that Armstrong is right. Economists Weigh In Neither Keiser nor Armstrong are trained economists.  But several high-powered economists have weighed in on the question. Ed Yardeni – a former Federal Reserve economist who held positions at the Fed’s Board of Governors and the Treasury Department, who served as Chief Investment Strategist for Deutsche Bank, and was Chief Economist for C.J. Lawrence, Prudential Securities, and E.F. Hutton – notes that economists including Ben Bernanke have known for 20 years that there is no transmission mechanism by which QE stimulates the real economy. The Telegraph noted in June: The question is why the world economy cannot seem to shake off this “lowflation” malaise, even after QE on unprecedented scale by the US, Britain, Japan and in its own way Switzerland. *** Narayana Kocherlakota, the Minneapolis Fed chief, suggested as far back as 2011 that zero rates and QE may perversely be the cause of deflation, not the cure that everybody thought. This caused consternation, and he quickly retreated. Stephen Williamson, from the St Louis Fed, picked up the refrain last November in a paper entitled “Liquidity Premia and the Monetary Policy Trap”, arguing that that the Fed’s actions are pulling down the “liquidity premium” on government bonds (by buying so many). This in turn is pulling down inflation. The more the policy fails – he argues – the more the Fed doubles down, thinking it must do more. That too caused a storm. The theme refuses to go away. India’s central bank chief, Raghuram Rajan, says QE is a beggar-thy-neighbour devaluation policy in thin disguise. The West’s QE caused a flood of hot capital into emerging markets hunting for yield, stoking destructive booms that these countries could not easily control. The result was an interest rate regime that was too lax for the world as a whole, leaving even more economies in a mess than before as they too have to cope with post-bubble hangovers. The West ignored pleas for restraint at the time, then left these countries to fend for themselves. The lesson they have drawn is to tighten policy, hoard demand, hold down their currencies and keep building up foreign reserves as a safety buffer. The net effect is to perpetuate the “global savings glut” that has starved the world of demand, and that some say is the underlying of the cause of the long slump. “I fear that in a world with weak aggregate demand, we may be engaged in a futile competition for a greater share of it,” he said. The Bank for International Settlements [the “central banks’ central bank”] says the world is suffering from addiction to stimulus. “The result is expansionary in the short run but contractionary over the longer term. As policy-makers respond asymmetrically over successive financial cycles, hardly tightening or even easing during booms and easing aggressively and persistently during busts, they run out of ammunition and entrench instability. Low rates, paradoxically, validate themselves,” it said. Claudio Borio, the BIS’s chief economist, says this refusal to let the business cycle run its course and to purge bad debts is corrosive. The habit of turning on the liquidity spigot at the first hint of trouble leads to “time inconsistency”. It steals growth and prosperity from the future, and pulls the interest rate structure far below its (Wicksellian) natural rate. “The risk is that the global economy may be in a deceptively stable disequilibrium,” he said. Mr Borio worries what will happen when the next downturn hits. “So far, institutional set-ups have proved remarkably resilient to the huge shock of the Great Financial Crisis and its tumultuous aftermath. But could (they) withstand yet another shock?” he said. “There are troubling signs that globalisation may be in retreat. There is a risk of yet another epoch-defining and disruptive seismic shift in the underlying economic regimes. This would usher in an era of financial and trade protectionism. It has happened before, and it could happen again,” he said. The Economist reported last year: Is QE deflationary? Yes, quite obviously so. Consider: A central bank that is deploying QE is almost certainly at the zero lower bound. QE will only help get an economy off the zero lower bound if paired with a commitment to higher future inflation. If a central bank is deploying QE over a long period of time, that means it has not paired QE with a commitment to higher future inflation. Prolonged QE is effectively a signal that the central bank is unwilling commit to higher inflation. QE therefore reinforces expectations that economic activity will run below potential and demand shocks will not be completely offset. QE will be associated with a general disinflationary trend. Don’t believe me? Here is a chart of 5-year breakevens since September of 2012, when the Fed began QE3, the first asset-purchase plan with no set end date:  (The article then goes onto say that QE can be deflationary or inflationary depending on what else the central bank is doing.) Michala Marcussen – global head of economics at Société Générale – believes that QE may be deflationary in the long run because: Excess capacity is deflationary and the means to deal with it is to shut it down. Indeed, we expect China [which also engaged in massive QE] for now to exert deflationary pressure on the global economy. *** Unproductive investment is by nature ultimately deflationary. This is a point also worth recalling when investing in paper assets fuelled by QE liquidity and not underpinned by sustainable economic growth. Prominent economist John Cochrane thinks he knows why. As he explained last year: Here I graphed an interest rate rise from 0 to 5% (blue dash) and the possible equilibrium values for inflation (red). (I used ?=1 ?=1 ). As you can see, it’s perfectly possible, despite the price-stickiness of the new-Keynesian Phillips curve, to see the super-neutral result, inflation rises instantly. *** Obviously this is not the last word. But, it’s interesting how easy it is to get positive inflation out of an interest rate rise in this simple new-Keynesian model with price stickiness. So, to sum up, the world is different. Lessons learned in the past do not necessarily apply to the interest on ample excess reserves world to which we are (I hope!) headed. The mechanisms that prescribe a negative response of inflation to interest rate increases are a lot more tenuous than you might have thought. Given the downward drift in inflation, it’s an idea that’s worth playing with. Bloomberg noted in November: Now, the Neo-Fisherites [including Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota] have been joined by a very heavy hitter — University of Chicago economist John Cochrane. In a new paper called “Monetary Policy with Interest on Reserves,” he explains a mechanism by which higher interest rates raise inflation. Unlike Williamson’s model, Cochrane’s model obtains a Neo-Fisherian result without appealing to fiscal policy. In fact, he finds that in some cases, raising interest rates can even stimulate the economy in the short term! He concludes succinctly: The basic logic is pretty simple: raising nominal interest rates either raises inflation or raises real interest rates. If it raises real interest rates, it must raise consumption growth. The prediction is only counterintuitive because for so long we have persuaded ourselves of the opposite[.] Cochrane has a simple explanation of the model’s key predictions on his blog. He hypothesizes that now that the Fed pays interest on the reserves that banks hold with the Fed, monetary policy will be even more Neo-Fisherian — i.e., even more perverse. *** Cochrane’s arguments are based on simple equations that are at the heart of most modern macroeconomic models. If the Neo-Fisherites are right, then everything the Fed has been doing to try to stimulate the economy isn’t just useless — it’s backward. Now, the overwhelming majority of empirical studies tell us that QE, and Fed easing in general, tends to raise inflation in the short term. But what if that’s at the cost of lower inflation in the long term? Japan has been holding interest rates at zero for many years, and its economy has been in and out of deflation. Massive QE has noticeably failed to make the U.S. hit its 2 percent inflation target. What if mainstream macroeconomics has it all upside down, and prolonged periods of low interest rates trap us in a kind of secular stagnation that is totally different from the kind Harvard economist Larry Summers talks about? It’s a disquieting thought. One of the main architects of Japan’s QE program – Richard Koo – Chief Economist at the Nomura Research Institute – explains that QE helps in the short-run … but hurts the economy in the long run (via Business Insider): Initially, long-term interest rates fall much more than they would in a country without such a policy, which means the subsequent economic recovery comes sooner (t1). But as the economy picks up, long-term rates rise sharply as local bond market participants fear the central bank will have to mop up all the excess reserves by unloading its holdings of long-term bonds.  Demand then falls in interest rate sensitive sectors such as automobiles and housing, causing the economy to slow and forcing the central bank to relax its policy stance. The economy heads towards recovery again, but as market participants refocus on the possibility of the central bank absorbing excess reserves, long-term rates surge in a repetitive cycle I have dubbed the QE “trap.” In countries that do not engage in quantitative easing, meanwhile, the decline in long-term rates is more gradual, which delays the start of the recovery (t2). But since there is no need for the central bank to mop up large quantities of funds, everybody is no more relaxed once the recovery starts, and the rise in long-term rates is far more gradual. Once the economy starts to turn around, the pace of recovery is actually faster because interest rates are lower. This is illustrated in Figure 2. Indeed, things which temporarily goose the economy in the short-run often kill it in the long-run … such as suppressing volatility. Postscript: Quantitative easing fails in many other ways, as well … The original inventor of QE – and the former long-term head of the Federal Reserve– say that QE has failed to help the economy. Numerous academic studies confirm this. And see this. Economists also note that QE helps the rich … but hurts the little guy. QE is one of the main causes of inequality (and see this and this). And economists now admit that runaway inequality cripples the economy. So QE indirectly hurts the economy by fueling runaway inequality. A high-level Federal Reserve official says QE is “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time”. And the “Godfather” of Japan’s monetary policy admits that it “is a Ponzi game”. Note: Financial experts have been debating since the start of the 2008 financial crisis whether inflation or deflation is the bigger risk. That debate is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it might not be either/or. We might instead have “MixedFlation” … inflation is some asset classes and deflation in others.    

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16 ноября 2013, 02:04

Asset Managers in Japan Shift to E-Trading: Survey

Asset management institutions in Japan are shifting to electronic trading, as 50% of respondents are using electronic trading and more than 75% of those firms have increased their use since 2010, according to a survey by Nomura Research Institute, Ltd....

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07 ноября 2013, 12:51

Японцы заинтересовались технопарком «Точмаша»

Генеральный директор ВПО «Точмаш» Владимир Ахмадышев встретился с главой московского представительства Исследовательского института Номура (Nomura Research Institute - NRI) Ивао Охаси. Речь шла о развитии промышленного парка на территории ВПО «Точмаш»  и возможности организации во Владимире сборочных производств японских предприятий. Институт Номура называют «мозговым центром» японского бизнеса, который оказывает помощь японским предприятиям при вхождении на российский рынок и оценивает крупные инфраструктурные проекты. Генеральный директор Владимир Ахмадышев и глава представительства NRI Ивао Охаси обсудили возможные варианты сотрудничества. В частности, аналитики NRI предложили руководству ВПО «Точмаш» свой проект развития индустриального парка, который предполагает строительство дополнительных корпусов и привлечение резидентов. читать далее

01 июня 2013, 20:27

Stephen Roach: "The American Consumer Is Not Okay"

Authored by Stephen Roach, originally posted at Project Syndicate, The spin-doctors are hard at work talking up America’s subpar economic recovery. All eyes are on households. Thanks to falling unemployment, rising home values, and record stock prices, an emerging consensus of forecasters, market participants, and policymakers has now concluded that the American consumer is finally back. Don’t believe it. First, consider the facts: Over the 21 quarters since the beginning of 2008, real (inflation-adjusted) personal consumption has risen at an average annual rate of just 0.9%. That is by far the most protracted period of weakness in real US consumer demand since the end of World War II – and a massive slowdown from the pre-crisis pace of 3.6% annual real consumption growth from 1996 to 2007. With household consumption accounting for about 70% of the US economy, that 2.7-percentage-point gap between pre-crisis and post-crisis trends has been enough to knock 1.9 percentage points off the post-crisis trend in real GDP growth. Look no further for the cause of unacceptably high US unemployment. To appreciate fully the unique character of this consumer-demand shortfall, trends over the past 21 quarters need to be broken down into two distinct sub-periods. First, there was a 2.2% annualized decline from the first quarter of 2008 through the second quarter of 2009. This was crisis-driven carnage, highlighted by a 4.5% annualized collapse in the final two quarters of 2008. Second, this six-quarter plunge was followed, from mid-2009 through early 2013, by 15 quarters of annualized consumption growth averaging just 2% – an upturn that pales in comparison with what would have been expected based on past consumer-spending cycles. That key point appears all but lost on the consumer-recovery crowd. In recent speeches and discussions with current and former central bankers, I have been criticized for focusing too much on the 0.9% trend of the past 21 quarters and paying too little attention to the 2% recovery phase of the post-crisis period. At least it’s a recovery, they claim, and a sign of healing that can be attributed mainly to the heroic, unconventional efforts of the US Federal Reserve. This brings us to the second part of the argument against optimism: analytics. One of the first concepts to which an economics student is exposed in a basic macro course is “pent-up” consumer demand. Discretionary consumption is typically deferred during recessions, especially for long-lasting durable goods such as motor vehicles, furniture, and appliances. Once the recession ends and recovery begins, a “stock-adjustment” response takes hold, as households compensate for foregone replacement and update their aging durable goods. Over most of the postwar period, this post-recession release of pent-up consumer demand has been a powerful source of support for economic recovery. In the eight recoveries since the early 1950’s (excluding the brief pop following the credit-controls-induced slump in the 1980’s), the stock-adjustment response lifted real consumption growth by 6.1%, on average, for five quarters following business-cycle downturns; spurts of 7-8% growth were not uncommon for a quarter or two. By contrast, the release of pent-up demand in the current cycle amounted to just 3% annualized growth in the five quarters from early 2010 to early 2011. Moreover, the strongest quarterly gain was a 4.1% increase in the fourth quarter of 2010. This is a stunning result. The worst consumer recession in modern history, featuring a record collapse in durable-goods expenditures in 2008-2009, should have triggered an outsize surge of pent-up demand. Yet it did anything but that. Instead, the release of pent-up consumer demand was literally half that of previous business cycles. The third point is more diagnostic: The shockingly anemic pattern of post-crisis US consumer demand has resulted from a deep Japan-like balance-sheet recession. With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that the 12-year pre-crisis US consumer-spending binge was built on a precarious foundation of asset and credit bubbles. When those bubbles burst, consumers were left with a massive overhang of excess debt and subpar saving. The post-bubble aversion to spending, and the related focus on balance-sheet repair, reflects what Nomura Research Institute economist Richard Koo has called a powerful “debt rejection” syndrome. While Koo applied this framework to Japanese firms in Japan’s first lost decade of the 1990’s, it rings true for America’s crisis-battered consumers, who are still struggling with the lingering pressures of excessive debt loads, underwater mortgages, and woefully inadequate personal saving. Through its unconventional monetary easing, the Fed is attempting to create a shortcut around the imperative of household sector balance-sheet repair. This is where the wealth effects of now-rebounding housing prices and a surging stock market come into play. But are these newfound wealth effects really all that they are made out to be? Yes, the stock market is now at an all-time high – but only in current dollars. In real terms, the S&P 500 is still 20% below its January 2000 peak. Similarly, while the Case-Shiller index of US home prices is now up 10.2% over the year ending March 2013, it remains 28% below its 2006 peak. Wealth creation matters, but not until it recoups the wealth destruction that preceded it. Sadly, most American households are still far from recovery on the asset side of their balance sheets. Moreover, though the US unemployment rate has fallen, this largely reflects an alarming decline in labor-force participation, with more than 6.5 million Americans since 2006 having given up looking for work. At the same time, while consumer confidence is on the mend, it remains well below pre-crisis readings. In short, the American consumer’s nightmare is far from over. Spin and frothy markets aside, the healing has only just begun.