The country’s stubbornly low birth rate is not a new issue, but the stark message delivered this week by Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, hammered home just how high the stakes are. In a country where adult incontinence pads outsell babies’ nappies, it’s “now or never”, he added, to fix Japan’s demographic crisis. Japan is recording fewer births than ever before, with an estimated 800,000 last year, compared to two million in the 1970s. About 3% of Japan’s population is foreign-born, compared to 15% in the UK. Rather than conceptualising improving the birth rate as a way to fix Japan’s economic woes, perhaps policymakers should approach it the other way round: tackle Japan’s sluggish economy and the birth rate may well start to fix itself.
The Fifa men’s World Cup 2022 in Qatar is arguably the most political in history. One notably successful ambush was perpetrated by Bavaria Beer’s provocative campaigns at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and again in 2010 in South Africa. The rival emirate will also be staging its own football tournament at the same time as the World Cup, featuring the likes of Liverpool, AC Milan and Arsenal. Whenever the national team takes to the field, it will be in shirts that directly challenge the World Cup hosts. In 2022 it seems that football sponsorship is no longer just for kicks, or even customers.2 months ago Reaction.Life
In this way inventories magnified, and indeed drove, the ups and downs of the economic cycle. Books and academic papers were written on the inventory cycle, economists built careers analysing it. The inventory cycle mattered again. Despite making progress in reducing excess stocks last year, Walmart revealed in November that its US operation was holding $1bn in excess inventory. Yet outside these areas the inventory cycle is back, and with a vengeance.5 days ago Reaction.Life