Japan's Destroyer

If you were Junichiro Koizumi, about now you might be wishing you weren't so damned prophetic. During campaigning for parliamentary elections in July, the Japanese Prime Minister won over voters by giving them bad news, straight-up: the country's ailing economy would get a lot worse before it got better. Well, last week lived up to Koizumi's predictions, in spades. The benchmark stock market index sank to its lowest level in 17 years, new numbers showed that industrial output and retail sales are slowing more dramatically than expected and, in the unkindest cut of all, credit rating agency Moody's said it might...

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