Nomura Securities and Lehman: Eyes to See Japan from ‘Outside’, Senses to Feel ‘Self’


Since the ‘Lehman shock’ of September, 2008 (though this is now a hackneyed phrase), the world economy is struggling.  How terrible the ‘Greed of Elites’ flocking at the Wall Street could have done to the global world, but now, I think positively of the movements of past one year in which people started to discuss the essence of ‘Capitalism’.

It was around this timing, I trust that you all remember, that the news of Nomura Securities having succeeded in buying the Asia & European division of Lehman was reported.  The media basically said that Nomura made a daring move and it was a good decision for Nomura in the context of expanding its business to the world.  I agree.

However, a question that quickly came in my mind was how well Nomura could handle its new ‘non-Japanese employees’?.  Do the managements of Nomura have such expertise and ability?  Financial market is a bit different from manufacturing industries and this has to be taken into account, too.  In financial sector, your value rests mainly on brain-power and judgements, and your ‘pay’ is determined principally based on this kind of overall performance.

Here is an article that made me convinced that I was right.  A piece from last Summer’s ‘Wall Street Journal’ .

I was of course concerned about how Nomura will cope with the difference of staff management and compensation, but what is described in this article in addition, is nothing but gender discrimination.  I suspect that Japanese do not see anything ‘wrong’ in things like these ? many people would say that such policy is a part of standards in Japanese companies…, or judging from how western media reported this, if the media treat Nomura like this, then Japanese banks are more conservative, not to mention mega-companies.  ‘You call yourself a ‘global enterprise’, but in reality… far from it….’  I would say that this is Japan as seen from ‘outside’.

Such tiny things of daily actions in the management, each one so small that you might think of them as problems within the company norm, is in reality something that can become a big problem of credibility of the enterprise.  When these questions on the credibility of the enterprise spread, it will eventually lead to the decline of the power of nation.  It is a serious problem.

Do you dislike global world, then?  Do you want to close our country, then?  Do you really believe that you can do such things?  Don’t you care that our lifelines; energy, food… depend largely on import from overseas?  Are you suggesting Japan to be a ‘closed nation, Sakoku’?