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The world has awakened to the danger of production bottlenecks in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only are there shortages of personal protective equipment, but governments in Japan and the West fear over-reliance on Chinese nodes in the global supply chain. Those concerns overshadow another growing danger: the prospect of systemic failure that results from deep interconnections among key economic actors.

The phrase “too big to fail” (TBTF) penetrated popular consciousness in 2008 as the collapse of financial institutions in the United States sloshed through the global financial system like a tidal wave in a bath tub.

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