Japan, again, better than ever

by on May 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm in Current Affairs, Economics, Music | Permalink

Kanon Mori, Yuki Sakura, Hinako Kuroki and Jun Amaki have been following the Nikkei 225 stock average obsessively since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December. The oldest of the foursome is Mori, but she is still only 23. The youngest is Kuroki, 16 and still in high school.

None of them are studying for a degree in economics, let alone playing the stock market. Instead, the four are members of a new idol group, Machikado Keiki Japan, and stocks play an important part in their performances.

“We base our costumes on the price of the Nikkei average of the day. For example, when the index falls below 10,000 points, we go on stage with really long skirts,” Mori explained.

The higher stocks rise, the shorter their dresses get. With the Nikkei index ending above 13,000, the four went without skirts altogether on the day of their interview with The Japan Times, instead wearing only lacy shorts.

While some have raised eyebrows over the group’s daring concept, Mori explained that they are merely letting the economy take charge of how they dress — mimicking economic trends of the past.

…Machikado Keiki Japan (roughly translated as Economic Conditions on the Streets of Japan) released their debut single, “Abeno Mix,” on April 7. It pays homage to Abe’s ultraloose economic policies that have been dubbed “Abenomics” by the media.

“Fix the yen’s appreciation. Quantitative easing. Don’t forget public investment,” a line in the dance-pop tune goes. “Monetary easing. Construction bonds. Let’s just revise the Bank of Japan Law.”

The group’s fans — who not surprisingly are 95 percent male, from high school to their 50s — have special chants that they perform during the song’s interlude.

The article is here, and for the pointer I thank @ElRob.

JVM May 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm

It’s always mindblowing for me to see a 2% inflation target called “ultraloose”… I guess that would make 3% “beyond ultraloose,” but if that’s the case then how could you even describe Volker’s 4% inflation policy?

Rahul May 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

So the hardcore fans just short the Nikkei?

Win Win strategy. Some days you enjoy money. Other days you enjoy the sight.

Barker May 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Even better if the group members themselves are shorting, as it makes up for lost revenue on long-skirt days.

Ashok Rao May 6, 2013 at 2:06 am

Yep, exactly how American football fans bet against their favorite Superbowl team.

jorod May 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm

The Good Old Days..when we could sell all our real estate to the Japanese…

TGGP May 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I never thought I’d have reason to say this, but I approve of this J-Pop. I don’t even have to listen to it.

Ray Lopez May 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Hay-Zeus, nobody in Comments gets it, all thinking with their little heads: these girls should be censored for not understanding, post the RR controversy, that correlation is not causation . Students of stock market predictors should know what I’m talking about.

Saturos May 6, 2013 at 1:23 am

I agree, it could well be the shorter skirts that are stimulating the economy, after all.

Saturos May 6, 2013 at 1:24 am

Yuki Sakura appears to be a Keynesian: ““Economics are often just about the mood of the people, which is something intangible,” Sakura, 20, pointed out.”

Frederic Mari May 7, 2013 at 3:40 am

Burn the bitch? :)

More seriously, I wonder how much of a problem Japan really does have. I will need to research this far more seriously.

My overall point is that, yes, of course, they went through a very serious crisis 23 years ago. It did take a decade out of them, at least. But, again, their GDP per capita isn’t that awful, their unemployment numbers aren’t bad (sure, by marginalizing women) and, basically, I’d like to know what’s their issues beyond an exploding governmental debt….

Frederick Harrison May 6, 2013 at 7:20 am

There are so many people with huge economic problems that it’s impossible to think that the economic crisis is over in Japan. People are jobless with no hopes of finding work, public debt is soaring. Politicians have to come to terms with the fact that they need help, they need specialists in the economic crisis who have what is takes to face and more importantly fix the problems linked to the economic crisis. They need specialists like those from the Orlando Bisegna Index in New York, who have come up with made to measure anticrisis solutions over small territories, solving problems like unemployment, low income, and economic relief for families.

Gabe May 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm

The problems will be easy to fix. Just have the central banks buy more bonds with newly created money. The solution is so simple that John Law figured it out 300 years ago!

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