Last Friday marked the one-year anniversary of QQE – the aggressive monetary easing regime launched by Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda. Under the new policy, dubbed “quantitative and qualitative easing,” the BoJ hoovers up just about every long-term bond the market is offering, with the aim of keeping interest rates low and stable enough to drive investors into riskier assets.
So far it has mostly done the job, with the currency down, stock markets up, and signs of a pick-up in lending. Meanwhile the drop in the yen has pushed core inflation to 1.3 per cent – apparently on course to hit the 2 per cent target within the original time-frame outlined last April.
But over the weekend Twitter seemed more interested in a long speech by Masaaki Shirakawa, Mr Kuroda’s predecessor, delivered last September but published (with footnotes) last week on the Bank for International Settlements website.