One case of their financial stability is that of Chief Executive Kenichi Watanabe, head of Japan’s biggest brokerage Nomura Holdings. He has bought the ailing Lehman Brothers for a reported $200 million. Also, happily, 8,000 of the former Lehman workers are being integrated into the Nomura workforce. An article I read in my last issue of Forbes magazine (January 12th, pages 94 & 96, “Is Wall Street Going To Teach Nomura A Lesson?”) said Mr. Watanabe is giving himself three years to stabilize things.
Stockholders, of course, want a quicker return. My fingers are crossed that it can happen at a much faster pace.
There’s also the case of Eizo Kobayashi, President and CEO of ITOCHU Corporation (page S-16 “On The Record“). ITOCHU Corporation is celebrating its 150th anniversary. They are Japan’s sogo shosha (general trading company), diverse conglomerates of business around the globe. I agree with what Mr. Kobayashi is quoted as saying in the article, “[Our] job is to develop the very best people - regardless of age, gender, race or nationality.” American companies could learn a lot from this gentleman. It’s the work that needs to be done and your work ethic that matters, not anything else. That’s the way it should be.
Part of the problem with trying to run a successful business in modern America is there is way too much government interference. If the government would just get out of the way, our economy would be more stable. The US government (both parties) by definition is anti-business, especially concerning small business. But that's another post.
And there are other financially healthy Japanese corporations profiled in this weeks magazine.
Well, if anyone can survive the next economically volatile years, it will be the Japanese. As one who watches the Stock Market daily, I find this as very encouraging news.
Maybe we should all be learning to speak Japanese?
Knowledge is power and now you know.