Thursday, March 17, 2011
This crisis is just moving the inevitable collapse a little faster...
Global financial markets are in turmoil as the situation in Japan continues to deteriorate. Stock markets are plunging all over the world as investors flock to investments that are considered to be safer. The 9.0 earthquake and the unprecedented tsunami in Japan would have been more than enough to spook investors and unleash chaos on world financial markets, but now the unfolding nightmare at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility is really starting to cause panic. Right now there is a mass exodus out of the city of Tokyo. But not everyone can leave the city. There are over 30 million people living in and around Tokyo. So where in the world could you possibly put 30 million refugees? Sadly, the truth is that millions of Japanese are going to stay in Tokyo no matter how high the radiation gets. Let us hope that Japanese authorities can get the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility under control, but the fact that they have resorted to dropping water from helicopters and shooting water cannons at these nuclear reactors is not comforting.
World financial markets are certainly not expressing a lot of confidence right now. This week alone, $300 billion in U.S. stock values have been wiped out. The Dow Jones industrial average lost about 2 percent of its total value on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 stock index has lost about 10 percent of its total value since the beginning of this crisis. At one point it was down more than 16 percent, but a gigantic monetary injection from the Bank of Japan has helped to stabilize things at least for now. There are also some that believe that the Japanese government is now directly buying up stocks to keep them from falling even further.