Links: Japan's tragedy and some of its implications

1. A lot of videos of the horrific damage from the tsunami are going around. This one shows how the wave wipes out villages (Warning: Graphic) as it approaches the shore, while this video shows just how destructive a large amount of water can be to a city even when it isn't moving at huge speeds.

2. Some people are wondering how Japan will be able to finance its reconstruction.  Peter Westaway of Nomura expects rating agencies will "cut Japan some slack" for humanitarian/public relations reasons. While this will reduce the need for some institutions with strict rules to keep their money out of Japan it also means that the market could move well before the ratings agencies do.

3.  The Bank of Japan is flooding the market with yen. Weighed against this move and the government's new fiscal position is the repatriation of Japanese household's foreign investments combined with expected insurance payments that will flow into the country. These inflows help explain why the yen hasn't moved very much and has actually slightly strengthened against the dollar despite the huge economic shock that has sent its stock market tumbling more than any other two day period since 1987.

4. There appears to be less looting in Japan than in other recent natural disasters. One politically incorrect explanation is that groups of people with high IQ's are more likely to cooperate in prisoner's dilemmas. (HT: Garrett Jones

5. The biggest impact of this tragedy on America's future might in how it seems to be scaring people away from nuclear power.  If the situation at Japan's power plants gets any worse the future of nuclear power in America will be very dim.