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Jon Talton

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

December 26, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Were we punked with ‘The Interview’?

I’ll admit up front that I am no fan of the “bro” comedy where grown men act like clueless adolescents. The infantalization of our society is one of America’s biggest scourges. And I barely know who Seth Rogan Rogen is.

That all changed when Sony Pictures Entertainment was allegedly hacked by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace, denouncing the comedy that was punctuated by the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The group leaked embarrassing Sony emails and implied violence would follow. Major theater chains refused to run the movie and Sony pulled it.

The FBI said it traced the hacks to North Korea. President Obama said he wished Sony had talked to him before canceling the film. A few voices questioned whether the North Korean connection was real. Still, corporate vulnerability to cyber attacks is real and we live in a nation where “American exceptionalism” includes mass shootings, including one at a multiplex in suburban Denver.

And suddenly Sony switched course and released “The Interview” on Christmas. If anything, the causes of the Great Recession showed us that big businesses would never lie, cheat or steal. Still…


This Week’s Links:

The rise of the machines — coming for your job | Nouriel Roubini

Why speculators are stashing vast quantities of crude oil on tankers | Vox

Don’t believe the happy chatter about the oil crash | Wall Street on Parade

How much economic potential does Cuba have? | Marginal Revolution

Stephen Roach takes the Fed to the woodshed | Naked Capitalism

Underinvesting in the public good | Understanding Society

Property rights in space | Tim Taylor

The profit on TARP and Bernie Madoff | Dean Baker


Today’s Econ Haiku:

Day to return gifts

So take back the next Congress

They’ll give it to us


 

Please follow me on Twitter @jontalton


 

Comments | More in Entertainment business | Topics: Cybersecurity, North Korea, Seth Rogen

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