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Nikkei’s stock surge proves world has gone mad

TOKYO – In June 2015, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda turned heads everywhere by suggesting investors start thinking of the Bank of Japan as the Bank of Peter Pan.

“I trust that many of you are familiar with the story of Peter Pan, in which it says, ‘the moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it’,” he said of the BOJ’s effort to lift the economy and asset prices. “Yes, what we need is a positive attitude and conviction.”

Five-plus years on, it’s clear punters took Kuroda’s rhetorical leap a bit too literally for comfort as the Nikkei 225 Stock Average achieves altitudes not seen in 30 years – and during an attitude-wrecking pandemic, too.

Monetary authorities have been venturing into uncharted territory for a number of years now. In the BOJs case, that meant buying so many stocks over the last five years that it has effectively nationalized the Tokyo exchange.