Having decided to actively increase its risk exposure over the past few years, including venturing into high beta stocks and junk bonds – a gamble that has lead to a big jump in quarterly volatility not to mention significant downside risk should global markets suffer a crash – Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, or GPIF, the world’s largest pension fund, has decided to invest in US infrastructure projects next.
According to Japan’s Nikkei, infrastructure investments in the U. S. by Japan’s GPIF will feature heavily in the economic cooperation package to be discussed at next week’s summit in Washington between the two countries’ leaders. The stated goal is to create “hundreds of thousands of American jobs”, in keeping with U. S. President Donald Trump’s agenda, and deepen ties between the two countries. The unstated goal is to avoid Trump lashing out at Japan as a currency manipulator, and putting in peril Japan’s QQE “with curve control” experiment, which is the bedrock of all Abenomics (as further expained in the following Nikkei piece).
Japan has grown nervous that after Mexico, China and Germany, it may be next nation to find itself in Trump’s spotlight, something Trump hinted at yesterday during his meeting with pharma CEOs when he said that “other countries take advantage of America by devaluation,” and then directly named China and Japan as “planning money markets,” presumably implying manipulation.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 1, 2017.