Nikkei Protests Yomiuri's Win, Again

Japan celebrates a Yomiuri win.

Japan celebrates a Yomiuri win.

Every baseball fan knows the usual reasons a Central League Pennant win by the Yomiuri Giants is a bad end to a season.  There’s the predictable and dull victory of money, power, and league-stifling near-monopoly, and the glib glee of bandwagon-riding orange muppets.

Everyone who’s listened to John McCain knows that Barack Obama is personally responsible for the entire financial crisis facing the world.

What fewer people know is that a Giants victory sucks for more than the usual reasons and that it is those Yomiuri Giants, not Senator Obama, at whom we need to point the finger for spreading economic woes; at least in Japan.

Nor is this the first time “Japan’s Team” has attempted to destroy Japan’s economy.  No, it’s merely one of the more successful of 32 times the dastardly brutes have done their barbarous deeds.

On October 8th, after overcoming a 13-game deficit to catch up with those reliable chokesters, the Hanshin Tigers, the Kyojin clinched the Central League title, thus potentially jeopardizing your pecuniary future and that of your family and loved ones.

As we all should have expected, the Nikkei average fell 11.4% on October 16th – the second-largest decrease in the indicator’s history, the largest since the 14.9% plunge of “Black Monday,” October 19, 1987 (also right after baseball season.)

The CL winner in 1987?  You guessed it; Yomiuri.

The walking disasters in blaze orange also won the league in 1953.  What happened then?  The third-biggest Nikkei drop in history, also right after the end of the season.

The sixth and seventh-largest decreases in Nikkei history occurred in 1970 and ’71, respectively – both years in which Yomiuri won the CL crown.  Going on down, the eighth-biggest drop was in 2000, a Giants’ pennant year, and the ninth was in 1949, when the Giants won the Japanese championship in the pre-NPB era.

In the past few weeks, a number of commentators have speculated on the reasons behind the tendency of stock market crashes to occur in the Fall – 1929, 1987, now. . . There are numerous “Black Mondays,” nearly all of them around the end of baseball season.  Economic reporters need to pay more attention to Japanese baseball.

Oh, and those choking Tigers?  It’s not quite as well established, or as venerable as the Giants’ horrid record, but they tend to be good for the economy.  When they won the league for the first time in 18 years in 2003, the Nikkei climbed by 25%.  In 2005, it soared by 40%.

This time around, one Hanshin fan/broker joked that he and his fellow thugs Tiger fans apparently should have cheered a bit harder, gone to more games, and saved the economy.