Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Belief

I want to believe in the formula that I name the "success expectation". This is made by me. I'm not in success yet, but I'm trying for it now. This formula makes up two inputs: my own effort and luck.

(Success expectation) =F(effort, luck)


where (effort) > 0, (luck) > 0, or (luck) < 0 and these are real numbers.

In my belief, the expectation of success will be higher if I make more effort. It is shown by the coefficient of effort being positive number, 0.8. Here it is an effort that affects success positively. However, the realization of success needs not only effort but luck itself. Luck would increase or decrease the expectation of success. The luck that affects success positively is called a good luck, while the luck that doesn't is a bad one.We need a good luck for success, of course.

By the way, where do these coefficients come from? Of course, these are not backed firmly by any theoretical reason, but by my belief. If only this formula would be true!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Spring Is the Dawn (春は曙)

March is coming just in two days later. It's a spring. The spring in Japan is both good and not good to us.

What is good is that we can enjoy cherry blossoms and pleasant and warm breeze. In spring, Japan turns elegantly pink. Japanese spring is beautiful. And what is not good is that we can suffer pollinosis. Once we suffer it, our eyes and noses come to itch very much. It's terrible.

A few years ago, a boy from London asked me why many women walking along the street were wearing masks. I replied, "it is because of pollen". Pollen causes pollinosis. So we Japanese dislike pollen. However, in a sense, it is a symbol of spring season. And it means the dawn of life. Spring is the dawn.

It's a Pity...

Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi missed out on the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award today. It's a pity.

Mainichi Shimbun(Feb.26.2007)
Sumire Kunieda

LOS ANGELES -- Japan's Rinko Kikuchi missed out on the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award as favorite Jennifer Hudson took out the prize for her role in "Dreamgirls."

Hudson received the award at the 79th Academy Award ceremony at Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, leaving 26-year-old Kikuchi empty handed.

.....Kikuchi was nominated for her performance in "Babel," a story about communication that links Morocco, Tokyo, the United States and Mexico. Movies released in the United States in 2006 are eligible for this year's awards. Winners are selected by about 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Other winners already decided so far are Alan Arkin as Best Supporting Actor for "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Happy Feet" for best animated feature. (Picture from Reuters)
By the way, she was born on 6th January 1981. To my surprise, it is just when I was born. I am also born on 6th January 1981. I think it a big honor! She is as old as I, but she is much greater than I. She is an international actress. In contrast, I am a very small international blogger.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'm Waiting For...

I'm now waiting for the replies of the graduate schools which I have applied to. I'm a little restless...

And tomorrow is the day when my younger brother will take the entrance examination of public high school. All I can do is to pray for his and, of course, my successes.

Is This Decision Right?

Yesterday Bank of Japan (BOJ) decided to raise the interest rate which has been harshly discussed among economists in Japan.

What we have to concern most about this policy decision is what effect it has on the economy. This is a very important question which remains to be unsolved, but there is a big disagreement among economists.

Economics has many unsolved problems which some people may think as fundamental economic questions that should have been solved by economists. This is one of them.

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 22, 2007)
The Bank of Japan's Policy Board decided Wednesday to raise the key interest rate by a quarter point, to 0.5 percent per annum, marking the first rate hike in about seven months since the central bank discontinued its zero-rate policy in July last year.

The Policy Board approved 8 to 1 Gov. Toshihiko Fukui's proposal to raise the unsecured overnight call rate, which is a primary target for the central bank's guiding of short-term interest rates, in a majority vote at its meeting. Among the board members, only Deputy Gov. Kazumasa Iwata voted against raising the rate. It is rare to see a split vote among the three central bank executives on the board.

The key rate is now 0.5 percent per annum for the first time in 8-1/2 years, since September 1998.

.....They judged that consumer spending and price levels--which had been seen as detracting from the likelihood of a rate hike--would basically improve in the mid-to long terms. At the previous meeting in January, the central bank's policy-setting board did not raise the key rate. Fukui said at the time: "There are various economic indicators, some are positive and others are negative. Thus we need to closely watch the trend for the time being."

A number of economic indicators released since the January meeting were seen as making a rate hike less likely, including the slowing in the rate of increase of the consumer price index and a slowdown in the pace of wage increases. Many financial market players believed the economic data would not be enough to persuade the central bank to raise rates at this time.

We have mainly two macroeconomic views on the effects of high rates on the economy:

(1) Keynesian macroeconomic theory tells that high rates will generally put a downward pressure on consumer spending and investment expenditure. So high rates would be bad news to us because it imposes the interest burdens on our social life.

(2) Real-Business-Cycle theory,in contrast, tells that high rates will do nothing to us. The interest rates we are now taking up here are not real but nominal rates, that is, those unadjusted for inflation rate in the economy. According to this theory, only real interest rate influences our economic activities; High real rate decreases our today's consumption expenditure because it now becomes more costly relative to our future's consumption. And it makes us work harder because what we earn now has higher value in the future, that is, we can get the higher rate of return on saving. In sum high rates would be good news to us because we can enjoy more goods and services later. However, in this case, "nominal" high rates wouldn't do any effect on the economy.

Which view do you support? I feel Keynesian is natural, but I'm not sure for the reason. Later I'll talk to you about it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Is Japanese Economy Strong Yet?

Japanese economy is being said to be strongly recovered. However, many people living in Japan, of course, including me, don't think that they are in such a rising economic situation.

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Feb. 16, 2007)
......According to the report, the increase in real GDP for the last quarter was the highest since the January-March period in 2004, when the annualized growth rate rose 5.1%, compared to that in the previous quarter, and exceeded the average rate of 3.8 percent forecast by seven private research institutions.

Hiroko Ota, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, said at a press conference the same day, "The recovery trend continues to look solid." However, she added, "Consumption is still weak, and I expect the Bank of Japan will continue supporting the economy from the monetary side."

The nominal GDP, which reflects price changes, increased 1.2 percent for the last quarter compared with the previous quarter, and 5 percent at an annualized rate. The quarterly rise was the first increase in the last two quarters. The figures also indicated that the situation in which real growth rates exceed nominal growth rates, resulting from a drop in price levels, had ended after eight successive quarters since the October-December period in 2004.

The GDP increase in the October-December period was pushed up by a 1.1 percent increase in personal consumption, which accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP. It was a significant rise, following a 1.1 percent plunge in the preceding July-September period and an increase for the first time in two quarterly periods. Spending on electrical appliances, such as flat-screen TVs, as well as on accommodation and other leisure-related services was strong, according to the report.

Reading such an article reporting an economic recovery, I don't think that the economy is really recovering, but that the statisticians working for the government see it recovering.

There is a big difference between the views on economy of them and us. Statisticians generally watch an economy through the data and judge it whether it is recovering or stagnant by analyzing many manipulated data set. In contrast, we are generally watching an economy directly with our eyes, or feeling how it works in our everyday life because we can see it only by doing that.

The economy seen by the data might not be the same as that seen in our everyday life. It is because the statisticians usually see it as a whole while we see it as part. It is impossible to see it as a whole without any other statistical measures. And therefore it is sometimes hard for general people to understand what economists say about the situation of the economy. This is not a problem of which view is right, but of our feeling.

In this sense the business cycle we normally say means how we are feeling everyday economic life.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What Is It?

An old adage says to me: Ask, and it shall be given you.

What is it to me?

A good job? Yes, it is.

A good life? Yes.

A good wife? Of course, yes.

And some good children? Absolutely, yes.

Such a happiness never comes to me; It should be caught by my efforts.