Toshio Masuda


Toshio Masuda, Writer, Commentator, and International Economist

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gStraight from the shoulder g by Toshio Masuda June 26, 2006
( Free of charge to the people I met)

Common Sense in Japan is not the Common Sense of the World

Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor Toshihiko Fukui invested \10.0M in the Murakami Fund, whose owner, Yoshiaki Murakami, has since been arrested on suspicion of insider trading. On June 15, Mr. Fukui apologized in Japanfs parliament for causing a commotion over his investment in the Murakami Fund. When pressed by the opposing party to resign over the matter, Mr. Fukui said instead that he would donate any profits earned by his investments to a charitable organization.

While not a violation of Japanese law, Mr. Fukui kept his investments in the Murakami Fund after Prime Minister Koizumi appointed him governor of BOJ, Japanfs central bank. Mr. Fukui said gI will not quit, but I will do my best to fulfill my task. And this is the only way to make up for what I didh.

On June 13, 2006, the very day that the news media was reporting on the BOJ governorfs involvement in the Murakami Fund, the NIKKEI average plunged over 600 points to its lowest level since 9/11. This huge loss of 170 billion Yen from the market forced many investors into bankruptcy.

Mr. Koizumi did not ask Mr. Fukui to resign; the Prime Minister said he believes that the governor is the best person for the job.

What a nice country Japan is with no sense of a conflict of interest! (Believe me, I am still Japanese).

I know that former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Greenspan had no investments in equity shares of any companies during his tenure at the Federal Reserve Board. Such a decision is common sense in any country, except Japan.

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Written by Toshio Masuda