A little “democracy” in Seoul. Government police guard the National Assembly to keep out members of the leading opposition party. Recently the President, who came into office with a good majority, has made a habit of stubbing his political toes. He was elected as a prominent successful businessman who asserted he’d wave his magic wand and the Korean economy would fly. Instead he tangled with importing US “crazy” beef, and a demonstration over that led to a larger beef about his authoritarian style, leading to long generalized demonstrations against him. More recently he appointed a new police chief for Seoul, who promptly went from frying pan to fire when his troops, aiming to oust some squatters camped out on the top of a downtown building, instead ended up setting blaze to the place, killing a handful of people, and bringing the police chief under pressure for heavy-handed and unnecessary tactics. He hung on a while and then resigned. President Lee’s support figures are headed to th 10% and Korea dithers, its economy caught fully in the global slide.
On a personal note my won savings have diminished by 40% or so, going from 980 won a buck when I arrived to 1540 won a buck by yesterday’s exchange rates. Financial wizards though predict in another 6-9 months it should be back to 1000 won a buck as it is expected that the dollar will at some juncture swoon and then shrivel up and die. So much for my “retirement” savings…. I didn’t have a 401(k), or any debts, and now my earnings get sliced almost in half. Thanks AIG and Citicorp et al. And thanks to Mr Bush for the no-regulations free-for-all of the last 8 years….. As we all know, the Mystical Magic Market Economy solves all problems all by itself. Just let it be free!
And in New York’s Central Park.