Yuki-Onna, The Snow Ghost of Japan

In Japanese folklore, supernatural entities and phenomena are known as yōkai, and they come in many different shapes and sizes, good and bad. Some are monsters, some are demons. Others are shapeshifters, ghosts, or various inexplicable manifestations. You know, the sorts of things we often cover here. They’re all unique in their own strange ways, but given that we’re approaching winter, I thought we’d take a brief look at one of the coolest of these yōkai: Yuki-onna. The Snow Woman   Image: Sawaki Suushi /Wikimedia/Public Domain Often portrayed as a vengeful spirit who appears during terrible snowstorms, Yuki-onna, the Snow Woman, is also sometimes known as the Snow Hag, though this clashes with her usual description – that of a beautiful, ethereal woman with pale skin and haunting eyes. According to Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, an online collection of translated Japanese legends and ghost stories curated by Zack Davisson, the first documented Yuki-onna tale […] Read More

When Even Varoufakis Mocks The QE “Wizard”, The Game Is Almost Up

Last Wednesday, Mario Draghi and ECB chief economist Peter Praet had a clear message for critics of PSPP: we’ll keep printing money forever if we have to, but in the end, this is going to work. As skepticism grows regarding not only the soundness of the philosophy that underpins QE, but about whether the structure of the ECB’s asset purchase program is even viable, the central bank remains defiant to the end and indeed Praet doubled down on the rhetoric last week, noting that the ECB would “use all tools available” to ensure that “monetary dominance prevails.”  That kind of language may be good for morale in some circles, but a growing number of critics are suggesting that perhaps the world would be better off in terms of financial stability if the powers behind “monetary dominance” would let the market prevail for once so that some semblance of price […] Read More

Eight Points on the Investment Climate and the Dollar

1.  The swing in the pendulum of expectations back toward a mid-year Fed rate hike is one of the key developments that will shape the investment climate.  The data in the week ahead, including the broader measures of the labor market, like the Fed’s new index (Labor Market Activity Index) and JOLTS (Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey), and core retail sales will strengthen the view.   The rise in US interest rates will lend the dollar support and allow the appreciating trend to continue after a consolidating over the last few weeks.   Equity investors need to adjust to the rise in interest rates.  High dividend payers and utilities are vulnerable.  US companies have expanded overseas more by direct investment than exporting.  That means that while they earn revenues in foreign currencies they also incur local costs.  In addition, many producers price and invoice in dollars.  In any […] Read More

If Quantitative Easing Works, Why Has It Failed to Kick-Start Inflation?

Illustration by William Banzai QE Has Failed to Spark Inflation Quantitative easing (QE) was supposed to stimulate the economy and pull us out of deflation. But the third round of quantitative easing (“QE3″) in the U.S. failed to raise inflation expectations. And QE hasn’t worked in Japan, either. The Wall Street Journal noted in 2010: Nearly a decade after Japan’s central bank first experimented with the policy, the country remains mired in deflation, a general decline in wages and prices that has crippled its economy. The BOJ began doing quantitative easing in 2001. It had become clear that pushing interest rates down near zero for an extended period had failed to get the economy moving. After five years of gradually expanding its bond purchases, the bank dropped the effort in 2006. At first, it appeared the program had succeeded in stabilizing the economy and halting the slide in prices. […] Read More

The End Of Exuberance?

Submitted by Sean Corrigan via True Sinews blog, Back in the halcyon days of summer, it seemed nothing could go wrong. Commodities were still things it was not utterly disreputable to own. Base metals had shaken off a springtime swoon to hit 18 month highs. Though still suffering from that enervating, post-bubble flatness, precious metals had just enjoyed a neat little 10% rally. Energy was threatening to print new 2 ½ year highs as WTI sold for more than $107 at the front and $86 at the back of the curve. Nor were people much interested in paying for downside protection: across the complex, options premia were as low as ever they had been in recent years. Volatility – and risk measures in general – were drifting ever southwards, everywhere you looked. The US equity market’s VXO index was being quoted in single figures, the lowest in its 29-year […] Read More

The Only Way To Stop The Empire

Submitted by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog, The final days of US empire are fast approaching. Perhaps its end will pass slowly and gradually, or perhaps the event will unfold rapidly and catastrophically. Maybe chaos will break loose, or maybe its demise will be organized well and proceed smoothly. This nobody knows, but the end of empire is coming as surely as day follows night and sun follows rain. Overexpansion, overreach and over-indebtedness will take their toll—as all past empires have discovered. Empires are like bacteria in a Petrie dish; unthinking, unseeing, unfeeling, they expand until they run out of food or contaminate their environment with their waste, and then they die. They are automatons, and they just can’t help it: they are programmed to expand or die, expand or die, and, in the end, expand and die. What does the empire feed on? It feeds on money […] Read More

Japan Releases Plans For Futuristic Underwater Cities By 2030

Do you think it’s possible for people to live in underwater cities? Although it may sound like an idea for a sequel to Christopher Nolan’s hit sci-fi film Interstellar, a Japanese construction firm says it could be a reality by 2030. The Japanese construction company Shimizu Corp announced a $25-$26 billion underwater eco-city plan called “Ocean Spiral” of 5,000 people that draws its energy from the seabed thousands of metres below. Shimizu Corp revealed a blueprint for the city of the future in Tokyo last week, claiming that Ocean Spiral will “capitalise on the infinite possibilities of the deep sea” to accommodate human life, as rising sea levels endanger the survival of island communities. The blueprint shows a vast research and residential station some 10 miles in length that begins just below the sea’s surface and burrows beneath the ocean floor. The Shimizu spokesman Hideo Imamura told the Guardian: “This is a real goal, […] Read More

2014: The Mystery of Jesus in Japan

No matter what one’s religious affiliation, there is no denying that one of the most readily recognizable figures in all of the world’s  religions is none other than Jesus Christ. There is a rich history of stories and adventures attributed to this iconic figure, but did one of these adventures involve Jesus traveling to ancient Japan? According to the folklore of one remote mountain village in the northern corner of Japan, Jesus Christ not only journeyed to Japan, but also found his final resting place here rather than dying on the cross in Golgotha. For all of you scratching your heads right now, let’s take a look into the weird story of Jesus Christ’s alleged life in Japan. Tucked away within the mountainous terrain of Aomori prefecture, in the northern region of Japan, is a village by the name of Shingō. It is a modest village of only 2,632 people, […] Read More

Yonaguni Pyramid: Nature, Aliens or Lost Civilization?

Waking Times Video – Off the southern coast of Yonaguni, Japan, about 70 feet underwater lies a massive pyramid, often called the “Japanese Atlantis.” The site is dated to be at least 5,000 years old, and many experts believe that the site consists of remnants of an old city that existed above ground when the sea levels were much lower than they are today. Some scientists think that the Yonaguni Pyramid is a natural structure resulting from tectonic activity, some believe it is man-made considering the various man and animal-like carvings, and some think that, similar to other monolithic sites, the pyramid was constructed by aliens. No one really knows the true history of this amazing structure. Check out this footage and share with us what you think. The post Yonaguni Pyramid: Nature, Aliens or Lost Civilization? appeared first on Waking Times. Related articles 15 Signs That We Live […] Read More

Keynesian Shangri-La From Myth To Reality

Authored by Mark St.Cyr, In less than the time it takes for a chrysalis to release one of life’s remarkable transformations, many once called “capitalists” woke to find the world they once new changed into something only dreamed or told in folklore. Where business models resembling unicorns abounded along with rainbows in their resembling equivalent of over-arching ETF’s. All available in a multitude of hues and proportions so plentiful: It was hard for one not to well up when contemplating. For in this new fairytale land there must certainly be a pot of gold at the end of every “rainbow.” However, one would be mistaken. For one must remember this is a “Keynesian Shangri-la” and gold here is useless. (insert choir music here) Today, at the end of these self propagated rainbows lies a Central Bank ready and willing to print as much money as one needs to see […] Read More

The Experiment that Will Blow Up the World

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting-Man blog, The BoJ Goes Even Crazier It has been clear for a while now that the lunatics are running the asylum in Japan, so perhaps one shouldn’t be too surprised by what happened overnight. Bloomberg informs us that “Kuroda Jolts Markets With Assault on Deflation Mindset”. The policy hasn’t worked so far, in fact, it demonstrably hasn’t worked in Japan in a quarter of a century. Therefore, according to the Keynesian mindset, we need more of it. Mr. Kuroda therefore delivered a surprise spiking of the punchbowl that immediately impoverished Japan’s consumers further by causing a sharp decline in the yen: “Today’s decision to expand Japan’s monetary stimulus may be regarded as shock treatment in the central bank’s effort to affect confidence levels. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s remedy to reflate the world’s third-largest economy through influencing expectations saw the yen sliding and […] Read More

The Fed Has A Big Surprise Waiting For You

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog, Risdon Tillery Greenwich House day care, New York May 1944 The topic of potential interest rate hikes by central banks is no longer ever far from any serious mind interested in finance. Still, the consensus remains that it will take a while longer, it will take place in a very gradual fashion, and it will all be telegraphed through forward guidance to anyone who feels they have a need or a right to know. Sounds like complacency, doesn’t it? Now, it seems obvious that the Bank of Japan and the ECB are not about to hike rates tomorrow morning. In Europe, dozens of national politicians wouldn’t accept it, and in Japan, it would mean an early end to many things including Shinzo Abe. But the Bank of England and the Fed are another story. Though if the Yes side […] Read More

Meet Pepper – Adorable Robot Face of Our Demise

Created as a joint effort between SoftBank and French robotics company Aldebaran, Pepper a preciously adorable robot, was unveiled recently in stores throughout Tokyo. The humans behind Pepper are hoping that everyone will want him to join their family in the very near future. Pepper laughs, tells jokes, dances and probably quietly mocks us behind his adorable little face as he and his ilk develop their future plans. Like a toddler or a pupper looking for a handout, Pepper constantly keeps eye contact with any human that he comes in contact with, can hold discussions about the weather and…stuff…and can do so in about 17 languages. Determining the emotional status of humans via facial recognition and tone of our voices is another feature of the almost child-like metal man. Using algorithms and collected data from facial recognition studies, Pepper will seek to interact with humans in a way that […] Read More