The Japanese balance sheet recession 20 years on : Abenomics – solution or corporate financialisation?
We conduct an analysis of Japanese firms’ income sources (a la Krippner, 2005) and their balance sheets, using flow of funds data. Given our results, we argue then that Abenomics has neither led to a sustainable recovery in firms’ spending nor to their financialisation. It is important to acknowledge instances where households, firms or entire economies do not show signs of financialisation instead of labelling their deviating characteristics as signs of ‘variegated financialisation’. Overstretching the financialisation concept – as some critics argue has already happened (Toporowski & Michell, 2011; Christophers, 2012) – will render it vague and devoid of meaning. Our original contribution is, thereforel, twofold: On the one hand, we provide an assessment of the effectiveness of Abenomics in stimulating corporate investment. On the other hand, we assess whether Japan can comprehended as a financialised economy.