[FOUNTAIN]Remember the Lone StarIn the days when bigger was better, the state of Texas symbolized that spirit. Here is a joke popular a few years ago:
A blind man was flying to Texas, and he found the plane seat very big. He said, “Wow, this seat is as big as a bed.” The passenger sitting next to him said, “In Texas, everything is big.” At a restaurant, he ordered a glass of beer, and the glass was humongous. “This glass is huge,” he said. The drinker next to him said, “In Texas, everything is big.”
The blind man had to go to the toilet, but he entered the wrong door and fell into a swimming pool. The man shouted, “Please don’t flush! Please!”
The nickname “Lone Star state” became popular following the Battle of the Alamo.
Texas was originally a territory of Mexico, but Americans began to move south and build houses there. In November 1835, the state declared independence. Mexico immediately sent some 7,000 forces to punish the American settlers. The 183 members of the Texan militia who stood against the Mexican army were killed at the Alamo. America had encouraged the declaration, but did not send backup in time. The Battle of the Alamo is an emotional part of U.S. history, and the Alamo and the lone star have become favorite symbols of American patriotism. More than 20 television series and films have been made, from the movie “Alamo” starring John Wayne in 1960 to the 2004 movie “Alamo.” The slogan “Remember the Alamo” was reinvented during World War II as “Remember Pearl Harbor.”
Lone Star Funds was founded in Dallas in 1991. The company made several trillion won from selling Star Tower, Kukdong Engineering and Construction, and most recently, Korea Exchange Bank. Among the foreign funds that invested in Korea after the financial crisis, Lone Star Funds enjoyed the biggest return. In terms of scale, its performance is becoming of its Texan origin.
Yet, Lone Star Funds openly has declared that it will not pay the tax. Irritated, the National Tax Service is determined to collect taxes, and the prosecutors have launched an investigation. The National Assembly has said it will completely reveal “Lone Star Gate.”
The companies sold to Lone Star Funds had been denounced as corrupt and insolvent before the deal. Those memories are too vivid just to regret the deal. “Remember the Lone Star” might become a mindless slogan appealing to the emotional patriotism among Koreans.
by Yi Jung-jae
The writer is a deputy business news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.