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Jon Talton

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

April 12, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Vote: North Korea, bluster or danger?

North Korea has been the crazy aunt in the attic of southeast Asia for so long that it’s easy to ignore its latest string of threats, which are now backed by nuclear weapons. After the Iraq debacle, a war sold on phony intel, it’s also easy to be skeptical of intelligence that shows the north further ahead on its weapons program than analysts had thought.

I’ve written about the geopolitical consequences of complacency elsewhere. There, my question was: What if the smart people are wrong, and North Korea, whether driven by recklessness, ideology or fear that it will never be stronger than at this moment, when China might be drawn in on its side, actually starts a war? What if North Korea is the Serbia of 1914? From the economic perspective, the danger from the north is not merely a wider war, but one happening in the middle of the world’s workshop.

It will all blow over, right?

Read on for the best links of the week and the haiku:

This Week’s Links:

He who makes the rules | Washington Monthly

China: The superpower that is polluting the world | Foreign Affairs

What’s behind Wal-Mart accounting | Naked Capitalism

JPMorgan analysts say big investment banks are ‘uninvestable‘ | Bloomberg

Employer health coverage in U.S. on 10-year decline | Bloomberg

We love Amazon, but going to the store matters most | Wired

Climate change: The moral choices | MIT Technology Review

How to save the European Union | George Soros

Trade vs. technology on job losses | Slate

Who makes up the working poor in America? | WSJ Real Time Economics

The real reason corporate tax reform is going nowhere fast | Washington Post

Tech firms push to hire more workers from abroad | NY Times

Is the Federal Reserve breeding the next financial crisis? | Vox

Today’s Econ Haiku:

PC sales plummet

Microsoft’s the next GM?

Won’t be OK here

Comments | More in China economy and business, Defense, Korea

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