Abenomics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-part economics program, was implemented with the intention of reversing decades of stagnation.
As soon as Abe got back to office in 2012, he launched the program’s three “arrows,” including monetary stimulus, fiscal stimulus, and structural economic reform.
However, Japan still hasn’t quite managed to bounce back.
In light of that, Morgan Stanley economist Robert Alan Feldman argued that the Abenomics “story” has changed over the last several years – going from “Beauty and the Beast” to “Anna Karenina.”
Hold on – we’ll explain.
He writes that the Abenomics of 2013-15 was analogous to the “heroines” in fairy tales like “Beauty and the Beast,” who “emerge, and rescue the economy [aka the hero] from stagnation.”
But now, he says, it looks like the Abenomics story more resembles tragedies like “Anna Karenina” or “Othello,” where the hero/economy has a “fatal flaw” – in this case, vested interests that overcome the reform initiatives – that is “too powerful, and leads to destruction.”
“Abenomics is in trouble. Many investors have lost confidence in the ‘Rebirth’ story of 2013-2015. Rather, the dominant story has now reverted to ‘Tragedy,'” he wrote in a note.
It’s quite a loaded metaphor. But if you’re interested, check out the neat chart he included to explain his thought process.
- Morgan Stanley