Dear Korean Police: The Chaebol Are Laughing At You, LOUDLY

Charged With Embezzlement? Meh, Move Along…
You have to laugh, or else you will cry. The mK Business Daily reported that SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won has been appointed to the Hynix board of directors. HUH? Now, as the largest shareholder of Hynix, there is no doubt that someone from SK Group deserves a place on the board. Zero doubt. However, does it need to be SK Group Chairman Chey, the same one that is being charged with embezzling almost USD 90,000,000 from SK, and its shareholders? By the way, those shareholders? Koreans, and most likely also Korea’s National Pension Fund. Just to get this straight: a person being prosecuted by the police, which is supposed to protect the inhabitants of Korea, are being laughed at by a company owned by the citizens of Korea. Looks contorted right? That is because it is.

Dear Hyundai Heavy, That Giant Sucking Sound Is…

Hyundai Heavy Bidding for Hynix Semiconductor. Huh?
When I first saw the headline, I thought that it was a misprint. Hyundai Heavy is certainly one of Korea’s most admired and successful companies. It is the largest shipbuilding corporation in the world. This is not about the fact that it survived a great amount of difficulty when the Hyundai Group faced extinction during the Asian financial crisis during the late 1990s. However, the question was raised when it was clear that Hyundai Heavy was a potential bidder for the bankrupt Hynix Semiconductor: what does Hyundai Heavy know about semiconductors? Shareholders agreed with me, and sold their shares, en masse. Hyundai Heavy stock dropped by 6.3% since the revelation. The monetary loss? A cool $2.4 billion. That giant sucking sound? Money flying out the window.

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