Stabilizing a crisisPeople’s thoughts on reviving the economy have suddenly turned into prayers for survival. During the two-month national distraction over beef, the economy has become a mess. Oil prices have soared to over $140 a barrel and the Kospi fell below the 1,700 mark this week. Korea’s consumer confidence fell to its lowest point in eight years, and the rise in prices is expected to exceed growth this month.
Korea’s economy is in crisis. Merrill Lynch diagnosed that Korea’s high reliance on foreign energy resources makes it more vulnerable to record-high oil prices.
But we have no team to handle this crisis. Due to public anger over U.S. beef imports, the administration’s economic team can be replaced any time. But just because lawmakers failed to open the session, we cannot let the economy drift forever. We must form a strong economic team and restore leadership.
The priority has to be making prices stable. Many countries have collapsed because they haven’t been able to control inflation. Few have collapsed because they cannot grow. Outside factors are beyond our control, but we have to maintain our awareness and understanding of the gravity of the situation if we are to overcome this economic crisis.
We must rebuild the economic team and calm public frustration over the economy.