Japan: The Japanese economy is perpetually anemic, always on the borderline between growth and recession, between inflation and deflation. A deep . recession will likely tip Japan over the edge, and into a recession of its own. Most of Japans economic growth in the last few years has been driven by external demand for its goods (such as consumer electronics, cars, etc.), net exports with a weak yen. Domestic private consumption has been weak, as incomes and wage growth have remained flat. And, as one of the worlds largest energy importers, oil hovering at $100 a barrel will make it hard for Tokyo to shake off its economic malaise any time soon.
I advise students to read plenty of examples of strong essays in advance of beginning any brainstorming or writing. There are a number of books on the market and websites to help. Then I like to choose a couple of those sample essays and have the student identify three things or traits that were revealed about the writer/applicant. For example, family is important as revealed by the catchy beginning that showed the writer/applicant having a deep discussion with an older sibling. Or the writer is profoundly interested in studying French and is willing to take on challenges outside her comfort zone as revealed by the reference to studying abroad in a full-immersion exchange program. Or the writer values community as revealed by the eloquent description of her role within the corps d’ ballet, and how she provides support to and draws on the strength of her fellow dancers. Then I ask, “what do you want to reveal about yourself that’s important to you?”
In addition to considering higher-risk borrowers, lenders offered increasingly risky loan options and borrowing incentives. Mortgage underwriting standards declined gradually during the boom period, particularly from 2004 to 2007.  The use of automated loan approvals let loans be made without appropriate review and documentation.  In 2007, 40% of all subprime loans resulted from automated underwriting.   The chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association claimed that mortgage brokers, while profiting from the home loan boom, did not do enough to examine whether borrowers could repay.  Mortgage fraud by lenders and borrowers increased enormously.