For The First Time Ever, Bank of Japan Says It Wants Inflation

A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 15 2012 8:55 AM

For The First Time Ever, Bank of Japan Says It Wants Inflation

Ever since its economic funk of the 1990s, American economists have been urging the Bank of Japan to set an explicit target for a higher rate of inflation as a way to boost its depressed economy. The issue then took on new urgency when the United States and the European Union fell into a somewhat Japan-esque funk. The situation here in the United States has been especially frustrating since Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke used to be among those urging the Bank of Japan to act more forcefully, but Bernanke hasn't taken his own advice. Now comes the news that the BOJ is finally going to listen to professor Bernanke and set a 1 percent inflation target. That's an extremely low target, but it's a higher target than the 0 percent inflation they have been targeting and to the best of my knowledge it's the first time a modern central bank has actually raised its inflation target as a stimulative measure. Good for them.

Dean Baker is right that this is huge news and should be treated as such. The neglect of monetary matters in political and media discourse (outside of Paulite cranks) is very bad; this stuff is incredibly important. Hopefully the BOJ's actions will have some impact and hopefully people in Frankfurt and in the Eccles Building will take note.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 1:52 PM Julian Casablancas’ New Album Sounds Like the Furthest Thing From the Strokes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.