Over the past twenty years, Japan has shown a deepening (and somewhat puzzling) commitment to stagnation. There has been no significant immigration, no significant productivity improvement, no significant GDP growth, and deflationary monetary policy. But despite its commitment to what would normally be a deeply immiserating economic policy, Japan has also committed to making stagnation as livable for as many people as possible.

In that context, Japan's lack of private equity makes a certain amount of sense: corporate restructuring which redistributes money to shareholders, in combination with a committed policy of stagnation, would result in intense economic misery for the average Japanese worker. Private equity plus inflationary monetary policy plus deregulation to permit more 'churn' among small businesses might actually work.
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