Japan quake hammers U.S. companies

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Jeremy Hobson: Well the rising yen is just part of the story when it comes to the economic consequences of the disaster in Japan.

Marketplace's Stacey Vanek Smith tells us about the effect on American companies.


Stacey Vanek Smith: Damage from earthquake in Japan is expected to top $100 billion. Natural disasters, even huge ones usually don't have global economic consequences, says Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff. But he thinks this one could be different.

Kenneth Rogoff: Particularly because of the implications for the nuclear power industry. It's very important in cars, electronics, high-end capital equipment. This is a huge, huge economy.

Bank of America released a list of the top 10 U.S. companies likely to be affected. Insurance giant Aflac headed the list -- it does three-quarters of its business in Japan, and its stock has fallen 10 percent since the earthquake.

Aflac CEO Dan Amos:

Dan Amos: We've set up reserves for these types of events, and we should be in good shape. Now, it could change, but right now, we feel comfortable with our position.

High-end retailers like Coach and Tiffany have also seen share prices fall. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of sales for the two companies.

I'm Stacey Vanek Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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