This weekly is dedicated to the disaster unfolding in Japan. Human tragedy of epic proportions and an unknown future cloud the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Of primary import is the people lost, people affected and people trying to get back on their feet following this tragedy. I fear it may be some time until things get back to normal, if ever following something this catastrophic. On the topic of the Japan events from the prior week, a few observations:
Lots of misinformation and everyone’s an expert: People are questioning nuclear plants everywhere. US, China, etc. Thus, Nuclear Stocks Slammed. Is this more political appeasement or taking true scientifically rigorous precautions? Kinda like obama stopping drilling in the gulf following BP. See, this was a combination of an earthquake and then a tsunami washing away the generators that were needed to power down the reactor. For a nuclear facility in the US that’s not next to an ocean, this same scenario isn’t going to play out. Additionally, halting new reactor builds is comparing apples to oranges. This was a 40 year old reactor in Japan, which given the circumstances even, is holding up quite well. Something designed today would have even more safeguards and be more resilient.
People hoarding iodine in the US. As usual, Americans react to an unlikely crisis by hoarding – kind of like when we have 3 inches of snow forecast near us and the grocery store shelves are cleared in hours. Not only are they hoarding iodine, but they’re even buying Geiger Counters. Seriously. The thing is, there will be no real danger 5000 miles away in California and the benefits of iodine are misunderstood anyway. Yes, it can help prevent thyroid cancers from immediate exposure – for the likes of someone living next to the plant. But what killed so many people near Chernobyl wasn’t just immediate exposure, but from years of living off the land – drinking cow’s milk especially in children, that caused so many cancers. Taking iodine immediately following the meltdown wouldn’t have prevented the exposure from years of drinking contaminated milk. Regardless, it demonstrated the lack of supply in the US for Iodine and also begs the question, is price gouging good? Perhaps by prices skyrocketing, it would preserve what little supply is left for those that really need it.
People say dumb things for attention. I’m not going to drop a link or mention a name to lend further publicity to idiots, but resorting to either racist rants or claiming that “God” is punishing Japan is so juvenile and misguided that these people should be shamed for life. Tweeting it, Facebooking it, whatever. You’re subhuman.
Everyone’s an expert – Part 2. I had a few classes in particle physics and studied subatomic particles in my undergrad but by no means do I consider myself knowledgeable in these matters. Even some of the “experts” the cable news networks bring on have completely differing points of view these matters. So, when following the Twitter stream or reading blogs, it’s tough to not notice how many sudden experts there are in radiation exposure. Kind of like the experts opining on various factions in the Middle East during the Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya rebellions. I’m not an expert and I admit it. I wish everyone else would as well.
Japan’s handling of the situation – There’s been a fair amount of criticism of late about Japan perhaps understating the severity of the situation to their own people. Perhaps this is intentional in order to maintain calm and prevent panic. But once a government loses credibility, it’s tough to get it back. Look at the US following, well, every time they lie to us. But the people of Japan? A stoic, proud and collective group. I saw no looting and a lot of helping. People were taking care of each other instead of stealing electronics. It just struck me as different than what was portrayed in the news following Katrina, right? Real or perceived, Japan seems different.
With that, here are some top articles from around the blogosphere as long as some of my stuff since the last weekly (which ironically, I don’t get around to publishing weekly):
Random Good Reads:
- Burning Platform – INFLATION IS WELL CONTAINED – MY FAT ASS
- Oblivious Investor – Roth 401(k) vs. Traditional 401(k)
- Political Calculations – Rising and Fading World Powers
- Gonzolo Lira – Likely Economic Effects of the Japanese Earthquake
- Get Rich Slowly – Affirm Your Way To Wealth
- The Simple Dollar – Thoughts on Choosing Guardians for Your Children
- Financial Highway – Your Future Depends on Investing Now
- Monevator – What The Big Short teaches the little guy
- Financial Samurai – Love or Career
- Invest it Wisely – The Most Important Lesson I Learned from My First Love
- Retire by 40 – Unexpected Baby Expenses #1
- Consumerism Commentary – How Much Money Do You Need to Feel Wealthy?
- Sustainable Personal Finance – A $12.43 Electric Bill for a 2600 Square Foot Home??
- Squirrelers – Are Target-Date Funds a Good Choice?
- Little Known Service Offers Hassle-Free Immediate Cash for Your Electronics
- Why The Union Backlash? Actually, what was the US Waiting For?
- Price to Earnings Ratios Show US Headed Off a Cliff: MBA Monday
- I’m SAVING 7% at LOWES & 12% at STARBUCKS for Life – So Can You!
- How Bad Would It Have to Get For You to Strategic Default?
- Understanding Correlation of Various Asset Classes – MBA Monday
- Uranium ETFs Slammed While Solar ETFs Rally in Wake of Japan Nuclear Blasts
- Hottest ETFs of the Week – Commodities Ruling 2011
- 5 Ways to Profit from Revolution in the Middle East
WiseBread, American Express Currency
- 8 Ways to Save Big on Appliances
- How to File Your First Tax Return
- 8 Steps for Planning Your Retirement in 30 Minutes
- Target Date Funds – Better Off Doing It Yourself?
- Outsourcing is Good. It’s Here to Stay. Accept It
- Should Obama Tap Strategic Oil Reserve For Political Gain?
- Timing is Everything – Investors Who Sold at the Bottom Piling Into Stocks Now?
Guest Post Financial Samuari