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
Climate change: The moral choices | MIT Technology Review
How to save the European Union | George Soros
Who makes up the working poor in America? | WSJ Real Time Economics
The real reason corporate tax reform is going nowhere fast | Washington Post
Today’s Econ Haiku:
PC sales plummet
Microsoft’s the next GM?
Won’t be OK here