Richard Werner is a German economist who specialised in the Japanese economy, and eventually wrote a very well-received book called Princes of the Yen: Japan’s Central Bankers and the Transformation of the Economy which traced the development of the economy in Japan in the post-war years, and showed how the Central Bank of Japan created a crisis in what was a well-functioning economy in order to institute structural change leading to the independence of the Central Bank itself.
This film is basically readings from that book retracing the story, with occasional recordings of Werner on contemporary TV and talk shows, and shows how this model of crisis creation was duplicated in other economies around the world in order to produce outcomes that were basically political in scope. Countries such as South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia all had similar pressures placed on them.
A main mover in these structural reforms has been the American model of a so-called ‘free market’, and world bodies like the International Monetary Fund which has been implementing US policy around the world. The film also warns about the Central Bank of Europe, which has similar powers and has been undermining local economies in Europe.
The documentary therefore is definitely worth watching, and provides a great insight into the hidden workings of the banking sector, but is somewhat let down by the visual material, which mainly consists of film of life in Japan, much of which is totally irrelevant to the story being told, and seems to be there just to fill what would be an otherwise blank screen.
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