Bigger bills: It’s about time

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Bigger bills: It’s about time

The Bank of Korea Governor Lee Seong-tae said the central bank decided to issue large-value money bills in early 2009, putting an end to the decade-long debate over the issuance of large-value money bills.
Better late than never.
Lee also expressed an intention not to push forward currency redenomination, which is a big relief.
Issuing large-value money notes is enough at the moment.
There actually has been a high level of public consensus on the need to issue large-value bills, as a 2005 survey conducted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce showed 81.3 percent of the respondents supported the idea of issuing large-value bills.
There has been abundant evidence about the colossal inconvenience and waste caused by the lack of large-value money notes.
“The 10,000-won bill, which is the biggest monetary unit at the moment, is too small compared to our income, price level and the scale of the national economy, creating a big cost and inconvenience among the public,” Lee said today.
“We will issue 50,000 won and 100,000 won bills at the same time.”
Now he has admitted the need for large-value bills, which have long been desired by ordinary Koreans.
The introduction of large-value bills has been constantly delayed because of concerns that they would further fan bribery, corruption and tax evasion, an idea we find absurd.
Corruption and tax evasion should be tackled by making a more transparent society and more rigid punishments, not by sticking to the old and inconvenient currency system.
It is unheard of that countries with larger-value bills than Korea suffer from corruption and tax evasion because of their bank notes.
The National Assembly, setting aside such concerns, passed new legislation aimed at issuing new large-value bills.
The government also gave the green light, reversing its decade-long opposition stemming from the concern of possible strife among politicians.
What’s left to do now is confirm the designs for the new bills through regulatory procedures.
We urge the government and the Bank of Korea to issue the new currency as soon as possible.
There is no need to continue the inconvenience and waste caused by the lack of large-value money bills.
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