The Retreat from Japan

Goldman Sachs reverses course and exits the Japanese market:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is exiting transaction banking in Japan, less than a year after announcing plans to enter the business of managing cash flows for big companies in the country.

“We are stepping back from building out this business here in Japan,” Tokyo-based spokesperson Hiroko Matsumoto said in an emailed statement. “Consequently we are closing Goldman Sachs Bank USA Tokyo Branch whose sole function was to support transaction banking in this market.”

The bank will remain focused on growing its transaction banking operations in the US, UK and European Union, Matsumoto said.

I don’t know what this might signify, but I assume it is something important, perhaps even on the level of China’s 2015 decision to spurn Clown World’s invitation to become the new headquarters of The Empire That Never Ended.

What we know is that a decision by the Japanese government, or its replacement, to change sides and support China instead of the United States would be a global shift of tectonic proportions.