Monday, January 07, 2008

Japan new rich... a performance!

"They customize the headrests of their Rolls-Royces with "Harry Potter writing," sip martinis poured over diamonds and buy $130,000 watches on a whim....

... The spending habits reflect a deepening economic divide. Japan, long known for its safe and stable corporate culture, introduced performance-based wages and stock options and made it easier to hire and fire temporary workers to boost competitiveness after the 1990s economic slump. This has produced a new business elite as well as a growing number of poor and unskilled temporary workers. For luxury goods makers, the new rich are an appetizing prospect. The number of people in Japan holding more than $1 million in financial assets grew 5.1 percent... to some 1.5 million, about three times as many as in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong put together, according to the Capgemini/Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report." (To read the report, click the title)

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