The new leadership of Japan, headed by Shinzo Abe, has promised huge changes to the economic picture in the country.
First, it was a threat to the country's central bank if they didn't go along with unlimited QE, then it was doubling the inflation target to 2%, leaving many to wonder what could be next. Seemingly, it appears as though outright asset price targets are now in the works for the country, at least if you take recent comments by the country's economic minister to heart.
In a recent speech, Akira Amari said that the government wanted to see the benchmark Nikkei 225 index hit 13,000 by the end of March. This represents a nearly 17% jump in less than two months, and is on top of a big run-up in Japanese shares heading into 2013.
“It will be important to show our mettle and see the Nikkei reach the 13,000 mark by the end of the fiscal year (March 31),” Amari said in a speech. "We want to continue taking (new) steps to help stock prices rise”.
This shows just how committed the new government in Japan is to moving the country out of its malaise, and that it isn’t afraid to take extraordinary measures. However, it remains to be seen how they will go about this, beyond a further weakening in the yen.
But the bigger question is, are polices like this even a good idea?
I mean, could you imagine the outcry in some circles if U.S. government officials made such a bold claim about the DJIA?
Personally, I find the very idea of government officials 'juicing' returns to be rather unsettling, but Japan has been in quite the slump for over two decades now. Perhaps these kind of drastic measures are what Japan needs to get out of the slump once and for all…
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments below!
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