Tokyo has nothing to fear from Big Bang: Comment
Wednesday 13 November 1996
What Mr Mitsuzuka appears to have been saying, loosely translated, is that the proposals are likely to run into sustained opposition from powerful vested interests. As a result the plans are at this stage notably thin on detail and suitably long term (2001). In truth, however, political opponents would be well advised to forget their reservations and back the reforms wholeheartedly, for unless Tokyo changes soon and fast, it will slip so far behind New York and London that it will never catch up.
Tokyo is still one of the top three financial centres in the world, but only by virtue of the size of the domestic economy behind it and the vast capital flows that need to be recycled. Otherwise Tokyo as a financial centre is pretty much still living in the stone age. As a self-standing, internationally competitive organism, it is now so far behind London that the two barely stand comparison.
Fixed commissions reign supreme in securities trading and strictly enforced barriers still exist between securities operations and banks. There are even still some controls on foreign exchange transactions. Like so much else in Japan, Tokyo as a financial centre is a largely protected market place. The big US proprietary trading operations, like parasites on the pig's belly, thrive there, but they remain essentially barred from the inner sanctum.
The lesson of the City is that Tokyo has nothing to fear from deregulation and everything to gain. Weaker institutions will go to the wall, but stronger ones will prosper and grow larger still. Nomura will undoubtedly emerge even more omnipotent than it is already. The foreigners will invade in their hordes, but bring capital and expertise with them. Ultimately Tokyo will be the better. All this assumes Mr Mitsuzuka is serious, that this is more than hot air to appease foreign critics. But when the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sushi might be thrown into the sea, as Cantona might have said.
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 5 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...