Take it to the Bank

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The closure of Yamaichi, one of Japanís oldest and largest brokerage firms has been causing major turmoil in the Asian markets, but analysts told Money Dailythat its demise had actually been predicted in Japan's markets for months.

While disruptive in the short term, the firm's closure may ultimately pave the way for economic recovery in that country, which tends to prop up financial institutions that are saddled with debt. It was billions of dollars in illegal debt that ultimately sank Yamaichi Securities. If the Japanese government is willing to let it go under, it may signal a positive policy shift. And although the Tokyo stock exchange dropped 5 percent on the news, followed closely by drops in Hong Kong and South Korea, it seems Japan's economic woes are unlikely to spread worldwide. The National Association of Business Economists on Monday said the Asian crisis "will probably not have a signficant impact" on U.S. expansion in the next five years. And all was quiet in England, France and Germany today as traders entered their afternoon sessions.

  • TIME's Daniel Kadlec believes the market woes signal that Japan might be worth an investment.

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