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“Forty-five-hundred employees, 10 countries, five time zones. ”

This article explains how globalization works by showing us how a simple electric toothbrush is made.

38 components, 12 factories

Philips and its suppliers produce the electronic toothbrush “Sonicare Elite 7000” and its sister models at 12 locations and in five time zones.

Once or twice a week, some 100,000 fully-functioning circuit boards leave the Manila factory where Mary Ann works. From Manila’s cargo airport they are flown via Tokyo to Seattle. A half day’s delay can wreak havoc in the entire system, which operates with a minimum of inventory and extremely tight timelines.

While the article does not deal directly with trading currencies, a solid understanding of the effects of globalization is necessary if you really want to learn about trade deficits and surpluses.

And it’s an excellent read. Good stuff. I highly recommend that you share the article with your friends and family.