Yen to the Rescue: Japanese Cash is Good For U.S. Economy

November 4, 2008 at 11:50 am

Given how dire the economy seems to be in the U.S. right now, I was curious if the situation was the same in Japan. Apparently we’re not on the same doom and gloom schedule; although Japan’s banks were in trouble about five years ago (partially as a result of the Internet bubble bursting), today there are several bright spots in the Tokyo banking world, and they appear to be helping some American businesses.

Japan had its own bailout of sorts in 2003, when several large banks collapsed. The government loan was paid back relatively swiftly by 2006, and many Japanese banks began to expand their global reach.

According to Barron’s, Mitsubishi UFJ bank handed over $9 billion to Morgan Stanley on October 13th, and now owns 21 percent of the company in preferred stock. With this new capital and confidence, Morgan Stanley shares soared as much as 97 percent. Woo-hoo!

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Mitsubishi UFJ also earned a seat at the Morgan Stanley Board of Directors’ table. Together, the two companies have greater investment and purchasing options, as well as global opportunities that may benefit both east and west.

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Also this month, Japan’s largest brokerage group, Nomura, bought out the Asian/European branch of infamously bankrupt Lehman Brothers, saving the jobs of thousands of people.

Sarah S.

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