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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

March 8, 2011 at 1:00 AM

T-Mobile talks raise danger of another headquarters loss

So much for the complaints I received from T-Mobile after I wrote a blog post last October saying it was ripe for a merger. As the Seattle Times’ Brier Dudley reports, the Bellevue-based company’s parent, Deutsche Telekom is in talks to merge it with Sprint.

The stakes for the regional economy are the future of T-Mobile’s headquarters and its 3,000 employees. Mergers always result in the loss of one headquarters and most of its jobs: This is one way the deal “pays for itself.” T-Mobile is one of the critical providers of high-paid jobs found among the Puget Sound’s headquarters companies. Sprint is headquartered in suburban Kansas City.

The loss of Washington Mutual was an extreme case, but it makes the point emphatically: Thousands of good jobs vaporized, along with the vendors, brain power and attraction of talent and capital that go with the power center. Meanwhile, Amazon’s amazing growth in central Seattle shows the emphatic need to grow and retain headquarters.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

The Dow banks on banks

Too bad systemic risk lies

Locked inside their vaults

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