Until the Great Recession, the Intermountain West appeared impervious to national declines over the past three decades. Fellow Mark Muro, an author of the MountainMonitor, explains how the region’s very strengths have become its greatest weaknesses, as the housing sector became ground zero for the housing bubble burst and constructions companies were shut down. Nonetheless, this edition of the MountainMonitor shows that two metros—Ogden and Albuquerque—have fully achieved their pre-recession output peaks.
[Kim Jong Un] did not engage diplomatically at all in those first seven years [as the leader of North Korea], probably because he didn’t want to hear the Chinese nagging him about advancing these weapons. And also he wasn’t going to start bargaining or negotiating them away. ... Kim has done a pivot where he’s doing a maximum engagement.