A window into the stalled economy of Japan through the extraordinary story of Shinsei, a Japanese bank that collapsed in the country's economic bubble of the 1980s, this is a character-driven tale of two economic systems - Japan's and America's - at war with each other.
Why does anyone care about the fate of a Japanese bank? Because Japan is one of the main engines of the world economy and, without a revived Japan, Americans will suffer. That's why the Clinton administration made Japan's economic recovery a priority.
But Japan will not escape its decade of economic doldrums until it reforms its antiquated banking system. That's why a group of American investors bought one of Japan's largest banks after it collapsed under the weight of its bad real estate loans. By some estimates, the amount of bad loans is as high as $1 trillion.