It looks increasingly plausible, even likely, that coronavirus will tank the global economy. Let’s take a gander at some recent headlines:
- Asia Times: Virus hammers global sea freight
- Bloomberg: The Virus Is Interrupting Supply Chains From Watches to Lobsters
- CNBC: Coronavirus could impact 5 million companies worldwide, new research shows
- Fortune: 94% of the Fortune 1000 are seeing coronavirus supply chain disruptions: Report
- The Pharma Letter: Coronavirus may lead to medical supply shortages in USA
- Quartz: Amazon is scrambling to prevent a coronavirus hit to Prime Day
From the Fortune article:
Now, as coronavirus continues to spread, the region of China most heavily affected by the outbreak is a hub of global supply chains. A new Dun & Bradstreet study estimates that 163 of the Fortune 1000 have tier 1 suppliers—those they do direct business with—in the area. And 938 have tier 2 suppliers, which feed the first tier.
“That’s where it becomes troubling,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be that [item] where only one plant is qualified to make that and it’s going to interrupt a whole production line.”
Allow me to reference a blog post I wrote on the long-ago date of Feb 4. How many other people were writing about this at the time?
[Your humble author:] Mark Kern’s thinking about the global economic shocks being set in motion by the coronavirus outbreak is likely to prove prophetic, even if the virus itself doesn’t morph into a devastating pandemic:
On a related note, Asia’s gigantic work-from-home experiment continues in Japan:
From Sony to Takeda Pharmaceutical, top Japanese companies across industry lines are telling employees to work from home as the country continues to see a rise in coronavirus cases.
The outbreak has spread to nations across Asia in the weeks since it started in the Chinese city of Wuhan. With 66 cases [Ed: 132 now], Japan is among the countries with the most cases outside China, and the growing number of infections with no traceable links to the original epicenter have alarmed experts and government officials alike.
To keep employees out of large crowds, Sony urged staffers Tuesday to telework and avoid commuting during rush hour. It is suspending its usual 10-day monthly cap for working from home.
John Robb asks a pertinent question:
City scale quarantines are being instituted around the world for COVID-19. How long before we see them in the US?
— John Robb (@johnrobb) February 22, 2020
This thing is going to hit the US like a freight train and we won’t be ready for it.
Preparations have begun but they will almost certainly be inadequate.