More on Lone Star / KEB and the US Kaesong visit

I’m guessing that Douglas Anderson from the US House of Representatives has now reported back to base following his visit to Kaesong. Jay Lefkowitz, the US envoy for NK human rights has condemned the low wages and poor conditions there, to the understandable irritation of the South. I’m also guessing that the messages taken back to base were precisely the ones that the hosts wanted: no harm in getting the Americans to lecture the South on human rights for a change.

Meanwhile, more news on the Lone Star investigation. A story in today’s Chosun Ilbo is that LS bought its Korea Exchange Bank investment at a knock-down priced based on a memo which said that KEB could fall below international capital standards — to a capital ratio of 6% vs the minimum 8%. The same story then reports that credit card losses subsequently drove the bank’s capital down to that 6% number and potentially lower. So it wasn’t a knock-down price after all. So what’s the story? Comforting to know financial journalists are no better in Korea than they are in the UK.

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