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Rare earth supply chain hits mainstream media.
Japan, US, EU mull ways to improve security of rare earth supply chain, sidestep use -- Officials from the United States, the European Union and Japan are pledging to work closer together on ways to ensure secure supplies of strategically vital rare earths and other critical materials. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a conference Wednesday in Tokyo that improving processing and recycling of the materials, used in many high-tech products, is vital in the medium term. He said that in the near term, they must be "used as sparingly you can."

"Social media" as a supply chain risk??
Lesson from Pink Slime Incident: Social Media is a Supply Chain Risk -- Supply chain risk management is often synonymous with natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, and as we witnessed last year, those types of events can significantly disrupt supply chain operations. Economic conditions, political unrest, oil and commodity prices, quality issues, capacity constraints, and the financial stability of suppliers are also on the "risk radar" for most supply chain executives. But what about social media? Can what people say on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs bring your supply chain operations to a halt -- or even put your company out of business?

What's up with Airbus and Boeing?
Boeing and Airbus Promise Production Booms: Can Supply Chains Keep Up? – Part One -- Sure, airplane jet orders are booming -- but can airlines pay for it? MetalMiner covered the aerospace market and its impact on metals demand last summer, when major OEM Boeing forecast booming airplane demand in the next several decades. Now, it looks as though the state of the economy and its effect on airlines' orders may be at odds with Boeing and Airbus' lofty outlooks and production goals.

Is fury over gas prices "economically rational"?
The Real Oil Shock -- But amid the recent mania over prices hitting $4 a gallon, I decided to figure out whether this fury is economically rational. So I took a look at data from the Census Bureau, which conducts a quarterly survey of American spending habits. During these last few years of historically high oil prices, Americans spent about $40 a week, or $2,000 a year, on gas. That's around 5 percent of our overall spending. It's less than half of what we spend on restaurants and entertainment.

- Sheena Moore

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