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.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

The Ludicrous Claims You’ll Hear at This Company’s “Egg Freezing Parties”

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
The Vault
Oct. 1 2014 10:49 AM James Meredith, Determined to Enroll at Ole Miss, Declares His Purpose in a 1961 Letter
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 10:54 AM “I Need a Pair of Pants That Won’t Bore Me to Death” Troy Patterson talks about looking sharp, flat-top fades, and being Slate’s Gentleman Scholar.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 10:44 AM Everyone’s Favorite Bob’s Burgers Character Gets a Remix You Can Dance to
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 10:27 AM 3,000 French Scientists Are Marching to Demand More Research Funding
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.