Japan’s Nikkei dives; Bank of Japan pumps liquidity into financial system; TEPCO pumps seawater into Fukushima

There is a lot of dumping and pumping today.

I was thinking that the last 20 years have made many feel that Japan was going to hell in a handbasket. Certainly the last couple, which were no picnic for anyone who was underemployed–as many Japanese and people with time on the visa are.

The politics of the country, which just basically are a lot of games in which no one is even pretending they aren’t seen that way, haven’t helped matters.

Now, the headlines make it feel like Japan is literally going to hell in a handbasket. The worst situation since World War II and the Occupation. No joke.

The people around these parts of Pennsylvania remember the Three Mile Island incident over in Middletown; and even us in New Jersey as kids remember the threatening news that a meltdown could irradiate a good part of Pennsylvania and send radioactivity into New Jersey. So now nuclear again doesn’t seem like such a good idea anymore.

I don’t know why the Nikkei stock market is selling off unless they think Friday earthquake was just the start. Tohoku, I read, accounts for 8% of Japan’s GDP. It will still be able to produce most of that this year, despite all the dislocations.

The Bank of Japan pumped something like $175 billion dollars into the banking system. I don’t know if you can consider this “quantitative easing” (yes, right?), but they’d probably have been better off it they deposited right into the checking accounts of the people who lost their homes, or the banks that held the mortgages.

It seems central banks, anymore, pump out the easy money. But then it sits in banks and seems to help no one.

Do they really know if the seawater is cooling the nuke cores? This is a place where the people get upset about whether the box is filled out on the form; or if you make a modification right on the text of a contract instead of printing it new. Today, they have radiation leaking out of those plants, and nobody really knows what is going to happen with them.

As I am re-integrating into American life, I’ve been trying not to think about day-to-day Japan. But it’s going to hell in handbasket, isn’t it?