(Bugout.news) Few Americans have ever heard of a major container shipping company called Hanjin, but they’re going to learn more about it in the days and weeks to come, as many get laid off and can’t find what they’re looking for while Christmas shopping.
In recent days the company – one of the world’s largest seafaring shipping container companies – filed for bankruptcy in South Korea courts. The filing has triggered a series of events – a domino effect, if you will – that will disrupt economies all over the world.
As reported by Zero Hedge, the filing led several nations to deny Hanjin ships access to ports so they could offload the cargo they are carrying. The denials came from port authorities who were skittish that the company would be able to pay required port and harbor offloading fees.
Unable to offload cargo means that wholesalers and retailers, auto dealerships, factories and just about anyone who has a product to sell is not going to be getting those items anytime soon. Manufacturers who don’t have the necessary materials cannot make their products; businesses that don’t have products to sell cannot generate income; employees who work for companies that don’t make things or sell things won’t have jobs for long; economies that shed jobs and don’t generate gross domestic product suffer recessions and depressions. And so on.
Will one shipping company really make that much difference? The Retail Industry Leaders Association seems to think so. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the trade group is already appealing to the U.S. government for help. As in, a bail-out.
“While the situation is still developing, the prospect of harm is significant and apparent,” Sandra Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, wrote in a letter to the Department of Commerce and the Federal Maritime Commission. Hanjin’s bankruptcy filing “presents an enormous challenge to U.S. shippers,” she said, and “could have a substantial impact on consumers and the economy at large.”
So in addition to losing jobs and a slowed economy, this trade group essentially wants to punish Americans further by forcing them to pony up for the bad business decisions of a South Korean shipping company. A better solution would be for the South Korean government (and people) to pony up, if in fact they feel like it.
But either way Hanjin’s ships are likely to be idled for days and weeks – possibly even months, according to Zero Hedge, if no other companies step forward to purchase and operate Hanjin shipping assets. As far as that goes, those assets could be tied up in court for who knows how long, meaning even companies and governments that wanted to seize and operate them couldn’t.
Meantime, store shelves don’t get stocked with merchandise during the busiest shopping season all year. Factories don’t receive vital materials so they can make things and keep employees employed (during the busiest spending season all year). And the global economy takes yet another hit that could spell the end of the old economic order as we know it.
Americans have already had enough of the “economy as usual” and “politics as usual,” as evidenced by the rise of Donald J. Trump and the loss of incumbent politicians during recent primaries. This latest costly disruption of their lives could very well prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
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