#4 China’s crackdown (April 16th, 2011 Full edition)
April 24, 2011 (SUN) 10:00~12:00
At SHINJUKU Nomura building
Articles we discussed:
[US] [The deficit] Rival visions
[Business][Retailing in India] Send for supermarketers
[Finance & Economics][Colombia] Inflows, outperforming
[Science & Tech] [The science of justice] I think it’s time we broke for lunch…
[Leaders] China’s crackdown
[EU] [Italy and north Africa] Take my migrants, please
This weekend we changed the place from the east to the west side of Shinjuku. Mr. Yamagata was absent because of overslept. So we two discussed about 4 articles and commented two articles that Mr. Yamagata presented beforehand.
The First article “Rival visions” is about conflict between two parties on US deficit. Even though this topic is unfamiliar for both of us, we could talk about the issue because Mr. Ono prepared summary in Japanese. Obama said that the US planed to decrease 4 trillion dollars of their budget by 2020. We focused on details of the account and discussed about the possibility. 4 trillion deficits is planned to decrease by increasing tax from rich citizen (about 1 trillion), decreasing budget (about 2 trillion) and decreasing interest payment as a result (about 1 trillion). The big difference between two parties is a viewpoint at a medical insurance system. Obama said it’s possible to hold down the medical cost continuing his reform but Republicans do not think so. We concluded (1) a medical system and a national budget are two sides of the same coin and (2) lessons of the US can apply to Japan’s case.
Secondly, we moved to “Send for supermarketers” from business. The opinion of this article is clear: India should open up their undeveloped retailing industry to foreign supermarket. This is so typical opinion of the Economist. The article presents the current retailing situation in India and insists why should they open up their industry by showing various merits of free market. We mainly discussed about dark side of open up domestic market to foreign capital. We both agreed the merit but Ogawa stood to the side of small stores (called Kirana shops) and Ono was on the side of economist and debated for a while. Ogawa showed a photo of an Indian guy with a big smile on his face in a typical Kirana shop and insisted that even if they can gain much money from big supermarket, they will be unhappy because supermarket will make their job change from the owner of Kirana shop to a floor cleaner. Ono opposed by showing his opinion that there are a lot of consumers who can gain benefits of open up such as the people who want cheaper and better products of foreign makers. This kind of debate is so interesting because the point at issue becomes clear.
The third interesting article “I think it’s time we broke for lunch” is from Science and Technology section. This is the first time we focused on this section. The article shows a good example that illustrates human imperfectability related to decision-making. We talked about other examples like this and the idea of putting decision-making process into the hand of supercomputer calculation. Possible problem would be that the person who has a responsibility becomes ambiguous when a computer holds all decision. We discussed the problem by using example of automatic car driving.
Lastly, we followed Colombia’s financial policy. The article “Inflows, outperforming” is one of a series of “Petri-dish ecomomies” Petri dish is a dish used for the culture of microorganism. From world economy they cut down one country and analyze it as a science experiment. Colombia is one of rising economies such as Brazil and China. These emerging countries confront the same kind of issue: how to control boosting economy. This article shows Colombia’s case. Colombia manages their rising economy by using capital-inflows controls with more weight on fiscal reforms and less control. We picked up ”The Reformation” which is about current inflows of capitals to the emerging countries last week so this time is more focused on the same issue focusing on the case of one country.
The café we gathered this week was so stylish and comfortable but from 11 o’clock the Italian restaurant that shares the tables with the café opens so we had to move to another place to sit. We ate lunch at the top of the building. The view from there is so nice and the menu is reasonable.