Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism points us to exploring how the pursuit of “efficiency”, for example in supply chains, without assessing what other risks are involved and planning ahead can result in major problems:
It isn’t all that hard to understand that stressing efficiency at all cost comes at the expense of safety. Engineers will tell you that efforts that are pro-safety involve various forms of buffers and redundancy and are thus costly.
During the early days of the crisis, commentators often discussed the implications of Richard Bookstaber’s book A Demon of Our Own Design, in which he argued that systems that lacked breaks between various processes were tightly coupled, which meant that a failure at one point in the process would propagate through the entire system, as if one transformer failing would bring down an entire electrical grid.
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