It's been on a lot of minds lately, no doubt, but how does it directly affect what we do?
The terrible occurrences in Japan have some obvious, immediate results. The tech industry in general took a hit, with semiconductors and software companies being among the most notable businesses suffering from shortages and interruptions. Many power plays and mergers within Japan and Asia are now in a holding pattern, if not dropped altogether.
Traditionally, economists refer to a V-shaped recovery after a disaster, with an immediate drop and a startling, steep recovery. Considering that Japan's economy was sluggish, especially in comparison to the explosive growth in China, this could mean that a year from now Japan is even more of a player than it has been in the past few years.
The main factor that will affect international M&A is the trickle-down effect. While China may jump at an opportunity to fill gaps, a lot of companies like HTC, Motorola and Apple will have their product lines hurt by lack of supply for a while. That will knock their financial footing and make them less likely to invest in other companies, and that in turn can lead to some sluggish tech M&A activity, especially in affected market segments like Internet and Mobile.