Comment on blogs about the Economist article (March 16, 2011) “How Will Japan Pay for Reconstruction?”
To szegneg…. The Marshall Plan in Europe post WW2 was one of the most visionary policies of the twentieth century. Not only did it buy permanent peace in Europe but provided the platform for unprecedented prosperity which along with the US economy has been driving growth now for 60 years.
Who has been the beneficiary of this? Undoubtably the US. The US has been paid back many many times by the Marshall Plan through this prosperity – there is no justification at all for them to demand payment from Europe (or Japan for that matter).
It is true Japan is probably in the best position to finance its own reconstruction due to its very high level of foreign reserves and individual household savings rates. If they are able to unlock household savings, it will produce over the next ten years, a third engine room for world growth along with China and India. Whilst this will put further pressure on scarce resources, and no doubt drive up world commodity prices further, overall it will push the world into another decade of substantial growth and prosperity.