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Auto parts suppliers price fixing and Japan

Japan and Economics

The conspiracy of Japanese wiring and electronics suppliers to put the screws to Toyota and other customers has now led to the largest antitrust action in history. What we know appears stupendous in scope. To date 20 suppliers have paid fines totaling $1.6 billion in the US (an additional $347 million in fines in Europe and Japan brings the total to $1.95 billion). Some 21 executives have pleaded guilty to felony antitrust charges including jail time and financial penalties. Wired participants, secret locations, coded communication and an expanding list of auto parts and firms, spanning 10 or more years and at least 4 continents. Wild!

…once customers have been screwed for a while, it starts to feel normal

Then there’s what we don’t know. To date all of those charged have pleaded guilty. As a result, the Department of Justice (and their counterparts in Japan, the EU, Canada, Mexico, Korea…

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Where oh where can I put my savings?

Post by Mike Smitka

I’ve played with the latest yearbook of system of national accounts data for Japan, adding the 2011 data to an existing spreadsheet. Unfortunately the detailed System of National Accounts data aren’t published until roughly a year after then end of the fiscal year, so CY2011 are the latest.

…companies would rather sit on cash than invest…

For various reasons (particularly when data are chain-linked), past data are adjusted retroactively. [Pardon the oxymoron: all data are for the past!] All I did was plug in the latest, not go back to adjust for shifts in 2008-10. In any case, we don’t have a continuous time series, so it’s arbitrary how to link old series and new series – though we should be thankful that the statistical authorities continue to improve their data collection and accordingly the details of GDP calculations.
Savings-Investment Balances Through 2011

So the graph here is for now the best we can do, until the next data are released, probably in summer 2014. (more…)