For years, perhaps even decades, Japan’s economy has struggled with low growth and low inflation. A year ago, new policies were put into place to turn around the economy. Although there are similarities between Japan’s experience and that of other developed countries (including the U.S.), there are also many differences.
U.S. corporations are holding record-high amounts of cash. One reason has to do with taxes—both the uncertainty about future taxes and the reality of today’s tax rules. The second reason has to do with the rise of research and development; because of its uncertain nature, this sort of work requires access to high levels of cash.