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War in Korea
King Lodos
Posted: 18 October 2017 17:34:52(UTC)

Joined: 05/01/2016(UTC)
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Well I've been invested in S.Korea for a while, and keeping track of valuations I'd say the risk's been priced in for a while (great global brands still on PE ratios of 10), and nothing's really changed.

Risk's still there, but N.Korea's been firing missiles and sinking ships for years – I think part of the reason we're getting this story now is because the Russian hacking narrative ran out of steam, and media needed something else Trump-relatated to shift the focus onto (what better than nuclear war?).

European growth has been a surprise, but I'd say it's looking pretty fully priced now .. Bridgewater's just made a huge bet against Italian banks, which worries me, as Italy's been one of my strongest European investments for a while
Posted: 31 October 2017 06:30:14(UTC)

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Interesting news snippet in NYT.
Posted: 31 October 2017 10:29:13(UTC)

Joined: 02/12/2014(UTC)
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@Micawber, interesting news item, showing the way negotiations are often done in Asia, where "saving face" is a top priority.

For the wider peninsular situation, normally I'd stick with the Ferengi (the ultra-capitalist guys from Star Trek with the huge ears) Rules of Acquisition:

34: War is good for business
35: Peace is good for business

However, there are risks here far greater than your average regional conflict, the main one of which is Kim Jong Un ordering an EMP blast over America. On the assumption that this would probably take out most of the country's electrical grid and computer systems, one American commentator gave the US three days before it descended into lawless chaos. And while that might sound bad enough, given the interconnectedness of global financial systems, a lot of the Western world would probably follow as liquidity all but vanished in an instant and the banks shut down indefinitely.

If I were Donald Trump (and thank God I'm not), I would be very seriously considering launching a massive nuclear strike at this point. Except of course I'd have to negotiate with the Chinese first because they have a mutual defence treaty with North Korea that binds them into retaliating against any first-strike aggressor. So please, Donald, read Micawber's article and learn how to negotiate with the Chinese first!
Tim D
Posted: 31 October 2017 12:17:59(UTC)

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Hmmm... this EMP threat seems to go in and out of fashion as the hawks' favourite bogeyman every few years. Very interesting read at & puts some of the exaggerated claims in perspective. I'd rate natural CME-induced EMP disruption a greater risk than some NK EMP weapon.
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