Immigrants, Sports, and the American Dream

If You Want to See the Best of America…
An immigrant, chasing a dream, adopts his new home, and uses his fame to deliver a message to a shaken city, and a shaken nation. This was a week after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, earlier this year.

For those of you that cannot understand what he said,
“This jersey that we wear today. It doesn’t say Red Sox. It says Boston….”
“…This is our fucking city and nobody gonna dictate our freedom.”

Months Later same year, the same person lifts the city again…

Anyone want to take the Cardinals? Red Sox are a lock.

Read more

Did Korean Chaebol Follow This Advice Given 2.5 YEARS AGO?

Somehow, I Doubt It

Academics Are Now On Board
In Korea, the Samsung Economic Research Institute is probably the most well-know economic think tank. This guest post recently appear on FT’s blog, which suggests that the Yen’s decline has not yet hit Korea. I would totally disagree with this. The disruption is here, the result is global volatility, equity markets are higher than at any point over the past year, the KOSPI is flat at best. On the flip side, there are those that would have borrowed in JPY from Korea, and they will benefit (like plastic surgeons), or real estate investors. To what extent they have benefited is unknown, but it is there.

Read more

The Lost Seoul to Detractors: The Yen Taketh Away

S&P is way up, but the JPY is keeping the KOSPI flat at best

Popular Press Has Caught Onto What Readers of this Blog Already Know

I receive a fair amount of ridicule from readers that have said that my observations regarding the JPY/KRW rate was a gift to Korea.  it was a gift that certain chaebol have used to build their competitiveness on the global stage.  However, that advantage is now gone: the KRW/JPY rate has returned to its pre-financial crisis levels.

Bank of Korea Had No Other Choice

Read more

Tale of Three Pictures: Nikkei, KOSPI, and JPY/KRW


This blog has taken some grief for its analysis regarding the Korean Won, the Japanese Yen, and the fact that Korean chaebol have done well in no small part due to the incredible Yen strength.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

The KOSPI hasn’t moved over this last two years.

Chart forKOSPI Composite Index (^KS11)

Now, this is the Nikkei (Japanese stock market), which is now at a 5-year high.

Chart forNIKKEI 225 (^N225)

And now, the punchline:  this is the KRW/JPY exchange rate.  The lower the number, the stronger the Korean Won, compared to the Japanese Yen.

Read more

SK Global: Is the Tide Turning on Corporate Governance in Korea?

Do Not Pass Go.  Do Not Collect $200.
SK Group now-ex-chairman Chey Tay-Won was convicted of embezzlement and ordered directly to jail for 4 yours.  Just wow.  This blog has reported and comment on this issue, many times, in the past.  This isn’t the first time that this has happened in Korea, nor is it the first time that Mr. Chey and SK has become familiar with the Korean penal system.  In fact, the amount of money embezzled is small in scale compared to the past infraction of huge accounting abnormalities at SK Energy, for which  Mr Chey has served a 1 year jail sentence.  It is a little-known fact that the Korean government chose to not prosecute Mr Chey to the fullest extent possible at that time; the most -likely reason is that the government believed that the Korean economy was too weak to take such a massive blow.

Read more

Did Anything Happen Whilst I Was On Break

Back and Better Than Ever….
Ya take a little time off, and a few things have occurred, right up the Seoul Gyopo Guide’s alley….
1. Some bird got elected to be the President of Korea, and in the most ironic of twists, she probably represents the greatest juxtaposition of recent Korean history, economics, and gender that someone could possibly imagine. WOW WOW WOW (Settle down if you a woman over the use the word “bird,” which means female in Britain.)
2. Some dude totally failed logic in the U.S., and it lost him a win-able election. Oh, he also failed math. Oh, he has a Harvard MBA. The winner just did what he was supposed to do, despite himself. And the mayor of Chicago sat there, saying to himself, “I would never have let it come to this. It would’ve been over MONTHS ago.”

Read more

Think Korean Education is Competitive? Try India

There are 1,200,000,000 Indians
This is an almost inconceivable number. OMG. Average age? According to Wikipedia (take that with a small grain of salt), 50% are under 25 years old. OMG OMG. Average income? $1,527 USD. That is something like 1,650,000KRW a year. Do you get the picture? Enormous country, enormous poverty, all young. When you think about your stress going from Anyang to Seoul, and the pain of the endless traffic, you should think again about the fact that Korea’s standard of living was about the same after the Korean War. If you take a taxi in Mumbai for an hour, you will see what I mean. People on foot for as long as you can see. You know those areas near Namsan (which are being “renovated”)? It is like that for miles and miles. Literally.

Read more