Japan Takes Action

In a move that might help reassure U.S. investors, Japan's lower house on Friday finally took a positive step toward turning around its economy. It passed a bill to spend billions to bail out bankrupt banks. Still unresolved, however, is how to prop up weak banks that still could be saved?

But analysts doubt Friday's action is enough to completely rescue an economy deep in recession, reports CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen.

John Neuffer of the Mitsui Marine Research Institute said, "My kind of nightmare scenario for Japan is that we continue with these Band-Aid remedies and we continue with this muddling along, this stumbling. And then at some point the whole game is up because there's no money left and Japan ends up at the bottom of the heap."

And the mighty keep falling. Nissan, one of the world's largest carmakers, was forced into selling its glitzy Tokyo headquarters. It invested in Japanese bank stocks and lost half a billion dollars.

And unemployment, the government said Friday, is now at a post-war high. Tadao Matshushita is one of the white-collar workers who lost his job. At 57 years old, he's retraining as a bartender.

"I was managing director at a textile factory," says Matchushita, "but for me, the door to that kind of job is now closed."

The new economic initiative by the United States will be welcome in Japan. It might ease the sense of gloom. But if it doesn't work, and soon, Japan will stay on its current path and that only leads down.