BoJ's Halloween Surprise?
Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto of Reuters report, Japan's central bank shocks markets with more easing as inflation slows : The Bank of Japan shocked global financial markets on Friday by expanding its massive stimulus spending in a stark admission that economic growth and inflation have not picked up as much as expected after a sales tax hike in April. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda portrayed the board's tightly-split decision to buy more assets as a preemptive strike to keep policy on track, rather than an admission that his plan to reflate the long moribund-economy had derailed. But some economists wondered if pushing even more money into the financial system would be effective as long as consumer confidence continues to worsen and demand remains weak. "It's clearly a big surprise given Kuroda's repeated insistence that policy was on track and assorted politicians have been warning about the negative side of a weak yen currency," said Sean Ca