Japan's Ripple Effect

More

Commenter Wiredog asks a very good question:


How many automakers and others have JIT systems dependent on parts from Japan, especially the part that got hit? How soon will factories outside Japan start shutting down due to the loss of those parts? Or is there enough redundancy for this not to matter?
We often tend to think of just-in-time as a method of production that was waiting for the clever Japanese to think of it.  But in fact, just-in-time was also waiting for the speedy, reliable transportation links and the reliable infrastructure that made it possible.  99% of the time, it's a great system.  Now we see how resiliant it can be when the black swans appear.

Update:  A reader points me to this Reuters Factbox on Japan's effect on US businesses.  The auto industry looks to be affected, with supplies potentially disrupted for several months. Memory chip prices may rise as the quake seems to have damaged some production runs. And while the damage to foreign insurers seems to be limited, it turns out that none other than AIG's Chartis has 8% of the property and casualty business in Japan.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In