Japan's financial institutions and policy underwent remarkable change in the past decade. The country began the 1990s with a heavily regulated financial system managed by an unchallenged Ministry of Finance and ended the decade with a Big Bang financial market reform, a complete restructuring of its regulatory financial institutions, and an independent central bank.
In The Political Economy of Japanese Monetary Policy, Cargill, Hutchison, and Takatoshi investigate the formulation and execution of monetary and financial policies in Japan within a broad technical, political, and institutional context. Their emphasis is on the period since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, and on the effects of policies and institutions in shaping the modern Japanese economy. The authors present basic themes and recent developments, as well as their own research findings.
Japan, the world's second largest economy, has suffered from a prolonged period of stagnation and malaise since 1991. Subpar growth, failing banks, plummeting real estate and stock prices, deflation, unprecedented unemployment, and huge government liabilities have persisted, despite extraordinary fiscal and monetary policy fixes.