TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan has had a rocky year. It introduced its negative interest rate policy in January, drawing criticism from many corners. It doubled its purchases of exchange-traded funds in July. And in September, it announced it would try to control long-term interest rates, an impossibility according to the conventional wisdom.
All this was an effort to fight the pessimism overshadowing the global and domestic economies. One could argue it was all for naught: It was Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. election in November, and hopes for his stimulus plans, that seemed to finally blow away the gloom.