Hail Bernanke: A Modern Day Caesar (Reuters)
At this point, about the only difference between Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and ancient Roman leader Julius Ceasar is the toga. If you think this comparison is a stretch, consider this… In the Coliseum, a gladiator’s life would literally hang in the balance, awaiting Caesar’s thumb. Today, the global economy lives out a similar fate. If Bernanke issues a thumbs-up after a Fed meeting, indicating growth in the U.S. economy, then we see a selloff in markets worldwide as investors fear an end to QE. On the other hand, if we see a thumbs-down, indicating a lack of growth, then investors rejoice and continue buying, confident that free money won’t end soon. However, investors would do well to remember Caesar’s abrupt removal from office. Should history repeat itself and Bernanke be removed from office quickly, will you know the best, safest place to wait out the ensuing chaos?
Japan’s 15-Year Price Swoon a Thing of the Past (CNNMoney)
As the United States continues to wrestle with its $85 billion a month debt habit, Japan remains resolute concerning its own stimulus program. But that’s an easy attitude to adopt when the country’s stimulus program seems to be firing on all cylinders. For the first time in 15 years, prices are pushing higher in the world’s third largest economy. In addition, the yen has fallen dramatically against the U.S. dollar, while the Nikkei 225 is approaching a five-year high. With all of these positives coming down the Japanese pike, it would seem that Abenomics — the name given to the economic strategy currently in play — is enticing investors to return to the world’s third largest economy. Now it’s up to you to decide when to personally dive back into Japanese investments.
Pearl Harbor 2.0, But with a Twist (Bloomberg)
Last month, Japan completed a military mission that began almost 75 years ago. The land of the rising sun finally invaded mainland America. However, the message sent by this military exercise was not one aimed at the United States. Instead, operation “Dawn Blitz” was intended to inform China that future island ownership disputes may be dealt with in a more “active” manner than anything to date. And it certainly doesn’t hurt Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s position heading into next month’s elections. Combining a renewed sense of military potential with a growing consumer confidence in the country’s economy could provide the foundation for a strong rally in the Japanese market — which would certainly stimulate Far East economics and make Japanese investments the go-to vehicle for profits in the second half of 2013. And that’s an exercise the entire world can get behind.