Recession in Japan is fabricated for the country’s brighter future, say economists in a US conference

Japan Economy

BY JON LINDLEY CELESTIAL-AGUSTIN

NEW YORK CITY, U.S.A – In a press conference held earlier with finance experts and analysts around the world, economists bravely pointed out that the recession earlier reported in Japan is “only a fabrication for the country’s brighter future.”

“The reported recession few days ago is merely a fabrication, it’s unreal,” one economist said. “Japan is a country known for having it’s own language and closing its doors from foreigners since time immemorial. Remember the Dutch colonists?”

Early in Japan’s history, the country, under “shogunates” and powerful empires, shut down its doors from foreigners in preparation for a long-term prosperity and wealth.

“Prosperity did happen,” the economist added. “Get back on your history books.”

The 2014 Japanese recession and decade-long debt, the economist further said, are “tests for many wonderful things to come.”

The press conference also noted that Japan has enjoyed economic prosperity, with minor setbacks and depressions, since then. It enjoys its third spot as one of the world’s largest economies, overtaken by the China and United States currently in the highest place.

“A recession in a wealthy Asian nation like Japan is crazy,” he said. “When I heard about it, I giggled. For a nation that has hosted many sporting events such as the Olympics, it’s impossible.”

He strongly said that the Japanese recession reported days back is “just a strategy aimed at controlling demand for Japan’s major plans for the future.”

The country’s major plans include automobiles, technology, food, and hosting various sporting events once again.

“If PM Shinzo Abe will only be honest. Many people are tired of surprises but Japan always loves to create many of these. I suddenly remembered the surprise one gets in a bento box,” he bemused, followed by short laughter from the crowd.

All because of China

The press conference also further said that Japan, along with other nations such as the United States, are working towards chasing the “undeniable prosperity” experienced by China now.

“While China may have outrun other countries in terms of purchasing power,” he said, “it is an economic impulse for other nations to create something out of these demands. That’s what many are doing — trying to keep up with China’s pace.”

Few years ago, analysts have predicted the growing economy of China, and how it could be the world’s largest economy, while journalists have created a negative interpretation of this phenomenon.

“We can’t let this happen, who wants to?” the economist quipped. “We know how China has run their nation and has created social policies that are people-oppressive, for their economic growth. It has to fix its political and social system.”

Russia, Brazil’s meltdown are also unreal

“Like Japan, Brazil and Russia are confident and poised enough to create something out of the growing demand,” he said. “The recession and meltdowns felt in these countries are clearly just masks to hide their beautiful future plans.”

According to many reports, Russia is currently on the verge of an economic meltdown because of the lowering oil prices, that also affects Germany and other European Union nations, having their leaders declare economic slow down, if not recessions.

“Think about this, why do cars slow down? A trip along a higher altitude is one reason,” he said.

He further added that Brazil is nearly impossible to spiral down the line, having hosted billion-dollar-worth of football games and having to host the 2016 Olympics.

“They’ve been unveiling venues, mascots and more,” the economist said. “If they are indeed in a meltdown, why bother to spend more on teasers. And they’re just teasers.”

The press conference, nonetheless, assured the rest of the globe that recessions and lowering of interest rates in banks as “economic boosting strategies” in preparation for the coming years are “impact-less techniques.”

“Others may start thinking of the best stimulus and strategies to further boost economies and create more emerging markets,” the economist said. “But these unreal recessions are just the genius ways.”

China’s debt set to spiral down the line, says Bloomberg.com

Call it another false alarm in the China-overtaking-the-U.S. saga. Notwithstanding the latest estimates from the International Monetary Fund, the U.S., the world’s largest economy is still, well, numero uno.

China’s gross domestic product will climb to $17.6 trillion this year, while the U.S. grows to $17.4 trillion, IMF projections showed yesterday. One major caveat: the comparison is based on purchasing power parity, which uses exchange rates that adjust for price differences of the same goods between nations.

“The U.S. remains the biggest by the more common, more widely accepted and in our view, more useful measure,” said David Hensley, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s director of global economic coordination in New York. As for PPP, “it’s not quite the real thing.”

IMF projections show China will overtake the U.S. in 2014, when GDP is calculated by purchasing power parity. The measure may not be the best one to use.

IMF projections show China will overtake the U.S. in 2014, when GDP is calculated by purchasing power parity. The measure may not be the best one to use.

The PPP, used to differentiate how far money goes in each country, hardly reflects where the two nations currently stand vis-à-vis each other. Consider this: in 2013, U.S. GDP was at $16.8 trillion, way ahead of China’s $9.24 trillion before adjusting for inflation, which is the more commonly known measure of an economy’s size, World Bank figures show.


By looking at a PPP comparison, especially for developing nations, “you really exaggerate the importance of these economies,” because it misses the command that each has over the world’s resources and its influence over global activity, Hensley said. A preoccupation with this “competition or foot-race” captures little of the reversal in fortunes under way, he said.

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Reversal of Fortune

“Emerging market economies had their day in the sun in the 2000s, and China was the epitome of those go-go days,” he said, as growth forecasts were often revised up, policies were aimed at boosting their economies and their markets offered a lot of potential. “Developed economies by comparison looked pretty stodgy,” said Hensley.

“The view we encounter now is a more sobering reassessment,” he said, adding that he prefers projections based on market exchange rates. “The U.S. has cleaned up its act. China still has a lot of work to do.”

Adjusted for population, China falls way behind even using the PPP data, and the U.S. is also no longer the king of the world. China ranks 86th in PPP GDP per capita, up 29 spots from a decade ago, while the U.S. slips one notch to 10th, according to Bloomberg calculations based on IMF data. The top three by this metric are Qatar, Luxembourg and Singapore.

“I don’t see why the U.S. can’t make everyday breakthroughs,” says a billionaire, “They’re better at sports.”

In love from the first bite: When mochi cakes reached Manila

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From afar, they look like cute little hedgehogs stored inside a glass fridge. Passing through the shops, these delicacies are usually caged inside glasses and presented to customers as is — light-colored, small circular cakes lined together in rows.

They are increasingly becoming quite popular nowadays in shopping malls. But unaware passersby, with their presentation, would normally ignore them and get on with their lives. For one, who would spend around PHP 75.00 per small piece of the cakes seeing it so plain on the outside?

But one night, I tried to buy a couple of the cakes that the native Japanese call “mochi cakes.” I have to admit I loved the pastry from the first bite.

Mochi cakes are Japanese rice cakes made from glutinous rice, the same ingredient that makes up a round of tikoy, for the Chinese.

They are among those delicacies that look innocent on the outside, but are unwittingly much tastier on the inside. Mochis are filled with unexpected tastes, that many first-timers would think they are served hot but from the first bite, they are cold heaven.

MOCHI GRAPHIC

Mochi cakes are made of rice on the outside but are filled with different flavors inside. They come in different flavors such as pumpkin, butter, mango, strawberry, and chocolate. There are also other recipes that fill them with apricot, maple and soy beans.

I visited the store called Mochi Cream Cafe in Quezon City to try out how they taste like. This shop and other similar stores have opened branches in many cities around the world including Shanghai, New York, Kuala Lumpur and in Manila.

Like the Chinese tradition of eating rice cakes, mochi cakes are consumed during New Year rituals and ceremonies in Japan. They are also used as toppings for soups during celebrations, as well as ice creams that children enjoy around Japanese villages.

I tried three pieces of mochi cakes on my first visit and ordered a ceremonial matcha tea. The tea went well with the mochis and I got the prepare the ceremonial tea by myself as well.

The ceremonial matcha tea served to me was complete with a ceremonial bowl, not a cup; a bamboo whisk; a bamboo stirrer; and a black heavy tea kettle that is far from the traditional looks of Chinese tea materials.

Matcha, on the other hand, is a tea powder, not leaves, that are often used in rituals and ceremonies performed by Japanese monks.

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The tea became a perfect pair for my mochi cakes that night, with a few spaces between drinking the tea and taking a bite, because of the contrasting temperatures of the hot tea and the cold cakes.

I might have been a little earlier for the Japanese new year but with these mochi cafes hanging just around the corner, we can celebrate the goodness of New Year, all-year round.

In The Kitchen with California’s one stop burger shop, CaliBurger

CaliBurgerA paradise. Land of dreams. The Golden State. California has been called many things in countless ways—most of them true. Now, CaliBurger brings that all-out California spirit and lifestyle to you in a setting that says, “This is me. This is who I am.” Sit down. Take out. However you enjoy it is alright by us.

CaliBurger believes that fresh tastes best, that selection matters, that service still counts. When it comes to quality, no detail is too small. Our made-to-order meals are always prepared in open kitchens by experienced chefs who carefully monitor quality and adhere to strict standards for processing, cooking, and sanitation. It all adds up to a difference you can taste.

Say goodbye to old ways, introducing Pennsylvania USA’s favorite brand American Eagle Outfitters

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American Eagle’s beginning was with the Silverman family, which owned and operated Silvermans Menswear. By the mid-1970s two of the Silverman brothers—from the third generation of Silvermans in the family business—were running the family business. Jerry Silverman, was the president and CEO, while his brother Mark Silverman, served as executive vice-president and COO. The Silverman brothers were convinced they needed to diversify their product offerings in order to continue growing their company. They also recognized that the addition of new family owned chains would then enable them to operate more than one store in the same mall. Their first attempt was to open American Eagle Outfitters in 1977, positioning it as a proprietor of brand-name leisure apparel, footwear, as well as accessories for men and women, emphasizing merchandise suited for outdoor sports, such as hiking, mountain climbing, and camping. Stores were set up in shopping malls and a catalog was established. The chain grew for much of the 1980s. In 1989, the owners decided to refocus their business on American Eagle Outfitters, selling their other retail chains. At that time, there were 137 American Eagle Outfitters stores including 37 in the United States.

Now available in your favorite local shopping malls.

Minnesota’s favorite brand Penguin breaks the winter ice and snow

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If a 100-year-old underwear factory in Minnesota seems an unconventional starting point for a fashion icon that has represented Americana since 1955 and is still worn all over the world today, blame Pete the Penguin. And perhaps a whiskey or two.

Abbot Pederson was an ambitious salesman who worked for the Munsingwear undergarment factory in Minneapolis. On a sales trip to NYC in 1955, finding himself with some time to kill before a flight home, he decided to wait out his time in a local bar. Stumbling out to find a taxi stand, he took a wrong turn down a Manhattan street and found himself in front of a display of stuffed penguins in a taxidermist’s window. Before he knew it, he had bought one of the penguins, named him Pete, and was soon enjoying cocktails with him on the flight back to Minneapolis.

At some point during the flight, Pederson’s enthusiasm got the better of him — and Pete the Penguin’s head was knocked off. A seductive stewardess whose attention Pederson had been enjoying throughout the flight gently helped him remove his tie, then wrapped it around the penguin’s neck. As she did so, she joked that such a lucky, dapper bird surely deserved to be immortalized — maybe even embroidered on a shirt similar to the one Pederson was wearing. Little did she know…

On his return to Minneapolis, Pederson, a keen golfer, wasted no time tallying his interests. And so the Munsingwear golf shirt was born. Even in 1955 it was ahead of its time. Casual, comfortable, equally at home on the 18th hole or the 19th hole. From the moment it hit the shelves it was a must-have, popular with suburbanites and sports legends alike. Known today as “the 55,” it represented not only a relaxed and sophisticated lifestyle but was to become the cornerstone of an entire fashion movement.

From this point on, the penguin’s flight was onward and upward. (And you thought penguins didn’t fly…) Pete’s profile became instantly synonymous with the era’s most iconic — and talked about — celebrities: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood and Richard Nixon, to name a few. Original Penguin had become a true American classic.

As a testament to the timeless appeal of the Original Penguin clothing company’s classic designs, the shirts catapulted back into fashion starting in 2000, when young trendsetters started scouring yard sales and demanding their favorite vintage stores restock the cult classics. In 2003, this overwhelming new audience led to the rebirth of an Original Penguin by Munsingwear, and an alliance with an international fashion house. Penguin’s archive of mid-century classics was reworked to reflect today’s lifestyle without compromising the heritage or craftsmanship that had made Penguin’s name.

Today, with Original Penguin stores dotting the globe and sold at exclusive luxury retailers, Pete is back — bigger and better than ever, presiding over a full lifestyle brand that now includes suits, watches, bags, belts, hats, shoes, and women’s and kids’ collections.

See for yourself. Original Penguin men’s clothing continues to exude a blend of confidence and relaxation. Penguin golf shirtsand men’s polo shirts are just as iconic as they were when Pederson designed the first one. They easily pair with Original Penguin pants and jeans to create a look worthy of the great ones.

Original Penguin continues to develop landmark clothing for women and kids, too. Our collection of Original Penguin women’s clothing is chic, cozy, sassy and nonchalant all at once. Peruse the tops, skirts, jackets and dresses that define an Original Penguin gal. And don’t forget the kids. Keep your boys looking hip and clean in designer children’s clothing.

But Original Penguin is more than just clothes today. We have a complete accessories shop to help you round out your look. Pete is now the proud purveyor of bags, hats, wallets, shoes, belts, ties and watches. All in all, not bad for a stuffed penguin.

Schwinn Bicycles from Uniqlo USA

Cycling2 Established in 1895, Schwinn has brought commitment and passion to cycling. Their process of building bikes created a higher standard of excellence that inspired their renowned quality seal. They’ve built bikes for all ages and abilities, for all types of riding, for riders around the world with a simple credo:

Make it fun. Make it easy.