Banker to the World: Managing oceans of cash, stocks, and bonds
Japan is the world’s financial superpower, and its financial clout is mind-boggling. In 1989, Japan had the world’s eight largest banks, sixteen of the top twenty-five, and twenty-three of the top fifty. Japanese financial institutions held 36% of the total international bank assets at the end of June 1988, compared with 14% for American institutions. Leader of the bank gang, Dai-ichi Kangyo, sits on $384 billion in assets and $69 billion in shares. But Dai-ichi in turn is dwarfed by Japan’s postal savings system which has four times the assets of Japan’s thirteen commercial banks combined. Led by Nomura, Japan also has the world’s four largest securities firms, while Japan’s Nippon Life is the world’s largest life insurance corporation. Tokyo is second only to London as the world’s largest lending center, and if current growth rates hold will be number-one by the early 1990s. Tokyo and Osaka are the world’s first and third largest stock exchanges, respectively.1
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