The Dow Jones took a nosedive today as Japan was rocked by fresh aftershocks and a worsening nuclear crisis. As this natural disaster continues to unfold, it may quickly become the most expensive in history. Japan’s children will have a huge bill to pay, one that will shape the economic future of their country for many years to come. Long after the last of the rubble is cleared from the quake itself, Japan will still be footing the bills for cleanup and rebuilding.
NPR reported yesterday that while some economic growth may come internally from the public works projects needed to rebuild in the face of a disaster on this scale, in real terms Japan is facing a huge loss of wealth.
American kids won’t get off scott free either.
Japan has the world’s 3rd largest economy. The Dow Jones tanked today because, according to the Washington Post:
Investors are selling because of uncertainty about the impact the nuclear crisis might have not only on Japan, but also on companies in this country.
We won’t know the full scale of the disaster for some time yet. Last time Japan had a major quake, it was a year before its financial markets hit bottom.
Obviously, with aftershocks and nuclear explosions still happening, the people of Japan have bigger things to worry about right now than how their financial markets are doing. As the recovery begins, though, they’ll be depending on those financial markets to recover and thrive. So will we. Japan accounts for 10% of U.S. exports, and we rely on Japanese factories to produce many of our computer components.