October 17, 2013

Asian economics illustrated


Classify this Heritage Foundation report in the "24 pictures worth a thousand data points" category. Worth a scroll through.

A few things stand out. Its bouts of temporarily insanity notwithstanding, the U.S. is still the world's economic powerhouse, requiring a whole separate graph.


And though Japan's economic obituary gets written about once a week, it remains a huge player, its $308 billion in direct investments in the U.S. far outstripping the rest of Asia.

In the face of a shrinking population, the simplest solution is probably the best: expand your economy where the population isn't shrinking.

And despite its own gargantuan debt, Japan continues to hold $1.36 trillion in U.S. Treasuries. The safest place you can store your hard-earned yen is, well, in U.S. dollars.

That's why the bond markets didn't freak out when faced by a possible "default." When world traders get jittery, a little delay cashing in your bonds doesn't justify abandoning the greenback.

And speaking of possible defaults, money must be flowing once again through the arteries of the federal government because Astronomy Picture of the Day and NASA TV are back!

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