1993-10-18 - ANON: The Economist on South Korea

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From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 4e3112b6ea2dfe2b736442be500c5c48c84bfda816fc681390b6d6d3a918d4aa
Message ID: <9310181820.AA02600@ah.com>
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UTC Datetime: 1993-10-18 18:22:15 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 18 Oct 93 11:22:15 PDT

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From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 93 11:22:15 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: ANON: _The Economist_ on South Korea
Message-ID: <9310181820.AA02600@ah.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

The 11 Sep 93 Economist had an article on South Korea called "Too
clean for comfort" about their president Kim Young Sam and his
political housecleaning.  I excerpt a relevant passage.

      [...] One of Mr Kim;s first presidential acts was to bare his
   assets.  Then ministers, MPs and top civil servants were all
   required to disclose their net worth.  To no one's surprise, while
   the president's people were mostly clean, many of the old guard
   turned out to be rolling in wealth whose origins they could not
   readily explain. Many resigned.

      The "real names" reform, announced on August 12th, was Mr Kim's
   most radical step yet.  The issue had been hotly debated for over a
   decade.  Hitherto South Koreans had been able to keep bank accounts
   in any name they cared to invent; convenient for tax evasion, and
   for recycling the cash-stuffed white envelopes that for decades
   have routinely oiled the country's wheels of business and
   politics alike.

      Mr Kim struck out of the blue.  Only the secret task force
   drawing up the plan knew about it; they had told their families
   that they were on a course in America.  Even Mr Kim's cabinet was
   informed only an hour before the public announcement.  Not a word
   leaked out.


      Anyone who upsets so many applecarts risks making himself a lot
   of enemies.  But Mr Kim's positioning is good.  Anyone who speaks
   out against real names or asset-baring must surely have something
   to hide.  Conversely, the whole campaign is widely popular with the
   public, chiming as it does with the widespread perception (even in
   a country with one fo the world's most even distributions of
   income) that fat cats are licking off the cream.

A new target market?