In my mailbox this evening from one of Japan's biggest banks, a special offer called their "Winter Gift Campaign": government bonds for the ordinary consumer!
...and at a compelling 0.68% for 10 years (actually 0.544% when tax is deducted) and an irresistable 0.94% (0.752% after tax) for 5 years.
Well, with Japan's total borrowing standing at the end of September this year at (get ready for it) 833,698,200,000,000 (eight hundred thirty-three trillion, six hundred ninety-eight billion, two hundred million) yen, or, in US dollars, 7,499,210,647,971 (seven trillion, four hundred ninety-nine billion, two hundred ten million, six hundred forty-seven thousand, nine hundred seventy-one) - which is well over 150% of the nation's GDP - you can imagine them not wanting to pay a lot for the privilege of yet adding to it further!
Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japan finance government bonds national debt bank
Wednesday, December 12, 2007