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Bank nationalization, restructuring and reprivatization: The case of Korea since the Asian financial crisis

Title
Bank nationalization, restructuring and reprivatization: The case of Korea since the Asian financial crisis
Authors
Cho H.Kalinowski T.
Ewha Authors
Thomas Kalinowski
SCOPUS Author ID
Thomas Kalinowskiscopus
Issue Date
2010
Journal Title
Korea Observer
ISSN
0023-3919JCR Link
Citation
Korea Observer vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 1 - 30
Indexed
SSCI; SCOPUS; KCI WOS scopus
Document Type
Article
Abstract
This article is a case study of the political economy of bank restructuring, privatization and market liberalization in the South Korean banking sector since the 1997/1998 financial crisis. We show that the most crucial factor in that post-crisis bank restructuring was the quick and massive state intervention that involved nationalization or closure of failed banks and a "clean-up" of banks' bad assets through an injection of a huge amount of public funds. This strategy was feasible because the government successfully managed to suppress the vested interests of domestic market participants, including shareholders, employees, and borrowers. We argue that the process of bank restructuring and (re-) privatization in Korea cannot be explained just by market dynamics. On the contrary, we stress that a political economic approach offers a more consistent explanation of the government's rush to sell nationalized banks to foreign investors and international banks. Foreign ownership of domestic banks was a politically motivated agenda of the government designed to create an independent and profit-oriented banking sector that could curb the seemingly omnipotent power of the chaebol conglomerates within the Korean economy. © 2010 by The Institute of Korean Studies.
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국제대학원 > 국제학과 > Journal papers
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