Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hatoyama’s Money Woes

I’ve been telling people who’ll listen for some time that there’s a small but non-negligible chance of Hatoyama leaving office before the next Upper House election in September 2010. It’s unlikely that he’ll be indicted, but there is a fairly good chance that the media will conclude that he knew of the arrangements that had funneled personal and family money to his political operations in violation of the political financing law, likely from the very beginning of his political career. He has a fairly good chance of riding it out, though, because he’s not being accused of taking money—essentially, he’s a miniature Bloomberg/Corzine. Still, his past statements regarding LDP politicians who have run afoul of the political financing laws—he has consistently called for their heads regardless of their personal complicity—are coming back to haunt him. His problems are compounded by his consistent fumbling, rambling and bumbling on the issues. He’s definitely undershooting the high hopes and low expectations of the public that swept the DPJ into office. But, as veteran economist AS said, it still beats no hopes, no expectations. (Now what could he have been referring to, hmm?) So he can still win by default.


matt at anarchyjapan said...

Reading your headline I thought you were going to write about the record budget ...

By the way, nice to see you posting again!

Jun Okumura said...

Thanks for looking in, Matt. I’ll get around to talking about the DPJ money woes, but here’s the trailer, sort of:

I doubt that anyone is taking Hatoyama’s pledge in the Lower House to keep g-bond issues under (post-supplementary-budget) FY2009 levels seriously. My most conservative guesstimate has the Hatoyama administration overshooting that target by at least 6 trillion yen, assuming that it manages to lop 5 trillion yen off budget requests from its Ministers and not factoring in this FY’s revenue shortfall (certain) or FY2010 supplementary budget expenditures (in the case of a double dip).

So I guess my question is: Why does Hatoyama keep making these spur-of-the-moment, please-the-audience statements? He reminds me of the shapeshifting Martian who tried to be all things to all the Terran immigrants. And if anyone wants to know how the Martian ended up, read The Martian, in The Martian Chronicles.