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On Tuesday, March 20, 2001, Tokyo share prices rallied due to rumors that the Bank of Japan may try to boost the economy by buying stocks. By Wednesday morning, the Nikkei 225 index surged 7.5 percent after the Japanese yen had hit a 22-month low of 123.5 yen per dollar earlier this week. The national banks have been saddled with massive debts, estimated at 64 trillion yen or $521 billion and have been researching ways to revive their economy. According to Japanese economic ministers, the Japanese government will have a plan for dealing with the national banks' debt within the next six months. The Japanese government's new plan of investing into its banking system worries some US government officials who fear that the falling price of the yen will make Japanese imports cheaper and, therefore, more competitive with products made in the US.
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