Sunday, January 16, 2022

We need to rethink the economic rules surrounding supply chains

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TThe stark images of empty supermarket shelves and queues at gas stations this year have been unsettling. But we can’t say we haven’t been warned about the threat of a supply chain crisis.

As Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, told MPs earlier in October, business now expects the current crisis to last “until 2023 and into 2024”. He added, “It’s a very long-term thing.”

The last decade and a little has shown how vulnerable global supply chains are. The root cause of the 2008 global financial crisis was a credit crunch, when banks, realizing they had no idea whether their trading partners were financially sound, stopped lending. World trade experienced a sudden, severe and synchronous collapse.

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