Time to stop dolyeomakgi
The author is an industry 1 team of the JoongAng Ilbo.
“There are signs of Korea’s credit crisis resurfacing as a plastic bubble,” British weekly The Economist summarized Korea’s credit card crisis in April 2002. After the financial crisis in 1997, the government stimulated the credit card economy. Card companies issued credit cards without thorough reviews. Stalls appeared in busy streets offering gifts for credit card applications. College students with no income would be issued a card simply by signing the application form.
The price was high. Card companies’ debt amounted to nearly 90 trillion won ($77 billion). It was more than the 60-trillion-won debt that Daewoo Group had when it collapsed in August 1999. Excessive card issuance led to a sharp increase in household debts and people with bad credit. Some people paid their credit card debt with other credit cards. The small plastic card warned that taking a stone from the bottom and putting it on top would inevitably fail.
But such a revolving practice of paying debt with other debt, called dolyeomakgi in Korean, did not leave a lesson. The Lime Asset Management Fund case and the Optimus Asset Management Fund case are on trial now, and they deceived investors in a similar pattern.
Dolyeomakgi became a commonly used term, and it was registered in an open dictionary. The National Institute of the Korean Language’s open dictionary defines it as a practice of borrowing or obtaining insufficient money or goods from other sources repeatedly to prevent problems. The practice of paying debt by borrowing from another is likely to be included in the standard dictionary as personal bankruptcies are on the rise during the pandemic.
In the Moon Jae-in administration, the revolving practice expanded its meaning. After revolving-door promotion and budget, vaccines are revolving. As the Moderna vaccine shipments volume decreased by half, the government extended the period between the first and second jabs to six weeks. The usage and dosage registered with the Ministry of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety was ignored.
Intervals for the first and second shots of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are three and four weeks. Some media reports that the interval can be extended to six weeks based on the WHO recommendation. But it was before the Delta variant became the predominant form. Research shows that the second dose is essential to prevent infection by the Delta variant. The interval was adjusted to six weeks because the second dose vaccines were used to increase the first-dose vaccination rate. The revolving-based disease control should stop now.