It’s rare for a national leader to be able to claim that an economic system is named after him, but Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan, can. Abenomics, introduced eight years ago, has been an ambitious economic agenda seeking to bring the country out of its doldrums, characterized by deflation and debt. Has Abenomics met its goals? Not entirely, but it has realized some gains and staved off disaster.
Societies face a stark reality: their 65-plus members are claiming a rapidly increasing population share. Japan may be the guinea pig in this predicament; in the Land of the Rising Sun, the death rate already eclipses the birthrate. How the innovation-savvy Japanese respond will be a model for other countries that will follow in their footsteps. Will Japan’s empathy for its elders be duplicated elsewhere, especially in financial industries?
The East Asian nation of Japan is renowned for making the list of top three economies, and putting into play technological advancements that have stunned the world. It is also steeped in rich culture, history and tradition, all within the environment of an enchanting island setting. A luxury vacation on the Pearl of the Orient is a guaranteed way to experience two fascinating worlds simultaneously: ancient and modern.
Much has been made of Europe’s struggling banking sector since the turn of the decade. In October, for instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that across the world, banks that were in charge of approximately $12 trillion of assets will continue to remain vulnerable, even if a global economic recovery takes hold.
The developed world’s economy has decelerated since the great financial crisis (GFC) of 2008, and despite the efforts of governments and central banks, growth rates have stagnated while inflation remains well below target.
Japan boasts the world’s third-largest economy, and yet it has been stalled by deflation, low wage growth and slowing GDP. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-arrow Abenomics policy, introduced four years ago, was meant to counter years of economic stagnation, but despite some success, it may be time to re-evaluate the plan.
Just a few years ago, the idea of negative interest rates was considered by many to be no more than an academic curiosity. After all, why would anyone pay for the privilege of lending money?
Over the past few years, it has seemed that there are very few growth opportunities for the banking sector. Islamic finance is an exciting new prospect for a number of geographic regions and their respective banking sectors—with banks in the UK and