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Korea's Kim CS named among worst central bankers

Publication Date : 03-09-2012


Bank of Korea governor Kim Choong-soo was named one of the world’s 13 worst central bankers in an evaluation of 50 key countries, business news channel CNBC said last Friday, adding global disgrace to his already compromised reputation at home.

Denounced for his lack of communication with the market and flawed economic forecasts, Kim retained the grade “C” he received in 2011 in the annual “Central Banker Report Card” published by Global Finance magazine.

Korea, Japan and India were the only countries among the world’s 15 largest economies to receive Cs and Ds.

“The South Korean central bank has garnered a reputation for repeatedly wrong-footing markets and responding to political interests rather than making a decision based on the economy’s performance,” CNBC said, referring to the assessment by Global Finance.

CNBC noted that the BOK drew criticism for “inconsistency” because prior to cutting its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than three years in July, the bank had stressed rate normalization or increases to combat inflation.

The BOK lowered its gross domestic product growth outlook for 2012 by 0.5 points to 3 per cent the very next day.

“Kim was forced to deny that he had cut rates in response to political pressure from South Korea’s president, as the decision came two days after he attended a meeting with government officials,” the US broadcaster said.

The dishonorable mention came as the BOK was trying to improve Kim’s image after lawmakers grilled him in July over allegations that the central bank hunted down an employee for criticising Kim on its online message board.

Kim told investment bank chiefs last month that he was disappointed at the lack of market and media response to the BOK’s decision to advance the disclosure of the monthly monetary policy meetings, which he had expected would draw applause.


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