A huge tragedy is currently unfolding in the island nation of Japan. The massive earthquake and tsunami to follow has left thousands dead, many more injured and homeless, and Japan’s infrastructure damaged and dangerous. The nuclear meltdown scenario is the scariest for most, and doubly bad for a country that has had so much tragedy related to radiation exposure.
I have been fairly optimistic in recent months. The Middle East “revolts” I have shrugged off. My opinion is that the region there is volatile and protests and problems in that area of the world should not affect world markets that much.
But an unexpected natural disaster of this magnitude can cause disruption in the markets. It disrupts business, agriculture, education, fishing, manufacturing just to name a few. There is a big issue with the nuclear situation that can cause long-term ramifications (not just health, but long-term energy issues). I feel if anything is going to affect the market, it will be something like this.
Because the global markets are so interdependent and connected, we might be seeing the pain from the earthquake in Japan for some time. While it has still not affected my overall optimism, it does give me a little pause and makes me think a little. And a little caution never hurt anyone.