The Public Interest

The “Japanization” of America?

Steven Kelman

Winter 1990

ONE NIGHT during the week of the October 1987 stock-market crash, I turned on a late-night local newscast and saw an astounding lead story. It was a live report from a correspondent in Tokyo about the level of the Tokyo stock exchange (which because of the time difference had already opened for the following day’s trading); the report illustrated a profound change in the American national consciousness. Ten years ago, it is fair to assume, few viewers of the local news would have known that Tokyo even had a stock market, let alone that its price movements affected Americans.

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