Gold-collecting campaign

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Gold-collecting campaign
금 모으기 운동 1.jpg
Korean citizens participating in the gold-collecting campaign
Hangul
Hanja
모으기 運動
Revised RomanizationGeum Mo-eu-gi Undong
McCune–ReischauerKŭm moŭgi undong
The gold collecting campaign, from January to April 1998

In South Korea, the gold-collecting campaign was a national sacrificial movement in early 1998 to repay its debt to the International Monetary Fund. At the time, South Korea had about $304 billion in foreign-exchange debt. The campaign, involving about 3.51 million people nationwide, collected about 227 tons of gold[1] worth about $2.13 billion.[2]

Background[edit]

On July 2, 1997, Thailand changed its 13-year-old fixed exchange-rate system. As the exchange rate changed, the price of Thai baht in the foreign-exchange market fell. This was a cause of the East Asian financial crisis.[3] On May 21 of that year, the IMF was asked to provide liquidity-adjustment funds.[3] At the time, the real cause of the foreign-exchange-liquidity problem was controversial.[3] The domestic foreign-exchange market lacked dollars, the South Korean won exchange rate increased, and some financial institutions were unable to repay their foreign debts.[3] Foreign borrowing by financial institutions was blocked, making it difficult to repay a short-term external debt of $30 billion and a long-term external debt of $45 billion.[3] A "one-dollar collection campaign" received little attention. The Korean Broadcasting System proposed a "gold-gathering movement" beginning on January 6, 1998, which received nationwide attention.[3]

Campaign[edit]

The nationwide gold-collecting campaign was announced on December 25, 1997, when KBS1 first reported the proposal.[4] On January 5, 1998, KBS1 began the campaign with the Housing Bank.[4] The campaign was developed by a number of media organizations following the KBS report. Gold was received by six banks: Housing Bank, Nonghyup, Kookmin Bank, Korea Exchange Bank, Saemaeul Bank, and Industrial Bank. The campaign had two facets: KBS's "love of nation" and the MBC TV and civic-organization "foreign-debt repayment".[4]

The campaign was conducted from January 5 to April 30, 1998. On January 5, 1998, 3,314 kilograms (7,306 lb) of gold was received in 44,748 consignments. On January 5 the number of participants exceeded 500,000, doubling (to one million) by January 15.[5] The first KBS campaign ended on January 31, with 1,669,555 participants, and the second campaign was held from February 5 to February 21.[5] A total of 314,515 people participated in the second campaign, contributing 19,326 kilograms (42,607 lb). The foreign-debt-repayment campaign led by MBC and consumer and civic groups ran from January 12 to March 14. It had 884,000 participants, and collected 49,603 kilograms (109,356 lb).[5]

The gold-collecting campaign was most active in January, with participation slowing in February.[6] The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy estimated the total number of participants at 3.51 million, with 30 percent of the gold collected during the campaign's first 10 days.[6] Participation continued during February, and MBC and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation led their campaign until March 14. Although the foreign-debt-repayment was extended until April 30, participation decreased significantly after March 14.[6]

Campaign participants were expected to receive a confirmation letter from a professional appraiser for 24-karat gold. After export, its dollar value was determined at the exchange rate and the international gold price and the value later returned in won.[7]

About 225 tons were raised: 165t in January 1998, 53t in February, 5t in March, and 0.8t in April.[8] An equivalent of $2.17 billion was collected, increasing the amount of gold held by the Bank of Korea by 10 to 20 times.[8]

The press disseminated news about the gold-collecting campaign to all social groups, encouraging them to participate. After March, news reports indicated that the campaign hoped to overcome the foreign-exchange crisis and encouraged conformity.[8] The media reported on the participation of companies such as Samsung and Daewoo and individuals such as Lee Jong-bum, President Kim Dae-jung and Lee Kun-hee. They also encouraged participation in the campaign by the general public; Chung Sung-hwan donated the equivalent of 500,000.[9]

After March 1998, when the campaign was completed, its performance was reported. The report noted the fact that country could overcome its economic crisis primarily by collecting gold.[10] The campaign emphasized voluntarism and patriotism, and was developed for convenient participation.[11]

Results[edit]

At the end of February 1998 five financial institutions (including the Housing Bank and Kookmin Bank) stopped collecting gold, and the NACF ceased its involvement at the end of April.[12] The amount of gold totaled about $1.82 billion in foreign currency.[13] An average of 65 grams (2.3 oz) per household was collected.[12] Twenty-one thousand people contributed 177 kilograms (390 lb) of gold, and 1,735 people consigned 131 kilograms (289 lb) in the form of government bonds.[13] The Housing Bank (KBS-Daewoo) collected the most gold (364t), followed by Nonghyup (MBC-Samsung, 48.23t), Kookmin Bank and Saemaeul Bank (SBS-LG, 33.68t), Korea Exchange Bank (4.25t) and Industrial Bank of Korea (1.98t).[13] The campaign repaid the $19.5 billion in IMF-backed debt in August 2001, three years ahead of schedule.[14]

Evaluation[edit]

The gold-collecting campaign is regarded as a driving force for a people to overcome a foreign-exchange crisis.[15] According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Korea Development Institute to assess the impact of the 1997 financial crisis, 54.4 percent of respondents cited national unity as the driving force behind recovery; 42.4 percent noted the IMF crisis, and 15.2 percent cited restructuring and reform efforts.[15]

Contemporary news articles emphasized voluntary participation to overcome a national crisis and shame associated with not self-sacrificing for the country.[16] Emphasizing the patriotism of the Korean people, it blurred the real reasons for the economic crisis with emotional appeals.[16] After the campaign ended, restructuring became an issue.[16] The collective memory of the campaign was used to justify neoliberalism, chaebols, labor flexibility, over-consumption, and nostalgia for the Park Chung-hee regime; critical reflection on the event was ignored.[16]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 조, 문호 (2008-10-18). "'전국민 달러 모으기' 애국인가 망국인가". 매일신문.
  2. ^ 헤럴드경제 (2013-05-03). "[위크엔드] 換亂극복 '눈물의 금모으기'…한국은 울고, 세계는 감동했다" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gun, Park (2007). "A Study on the Social Construction of Collective Memory: Focusing on NRC and CGC". Culture & Society (in Korean). 2. ISSN 1975-7239.
  4. ^ a b c 이순영 (2004). 국가위기시 상징적 통합에 대한 연구 : 금모으기 운동 (1998) 과 국채보상운동 (1907-1908) 의 담론분석 (A Study on the Symbolic Integration at the Time of State Crisis – Discourse Analysis on the Collecting Golds Campaign (1998) and the Compensation Movement for National Debt (1907-1908)) (Thesis) (in Korean). 서울대학교 대학원.
  5. ^ a b c 이순영 (2004). 국가위기시 상징적 통합에 대한 연구 : 금모으기 운동 (1998) 과 국채보상운동 (1907-1908) 의 담론분석 (A Study on the Symbolic Integration at the Time of State Crisis – Discourse Analysis on the Collecting Golds Campaign (1998) and the Compensation Movement for National Debt (1907-1908)) (Thesis) (in Korean). 서울대학교 대학원. p. 24.
  6. ^ a b c 이순영 (2004). 국가위기시 상징적 통합에 대한 연구 : 금모으기 운동 (1998)과 국채보상운동 (1907-1908)의 담론분석 (A Study on the Symbolic Integration at the Time of State Crisis – Discourse Analysis on the Collecting Golds Campaign (1998) and the Compensation Movement for National Debt (1907-1908) (Thesis) (in Korean). 서울대학교 대학원. p. 25.
  7. ^ "㈜대우.주택은행.고려아연, 장롱속 金 수집운동 (Daewoo Corporation, A housing bank, Goryeo zinc. A campaign to collect gold in a wardrobe)". 연합뉴스(Yonhap News). 1997-12-30.
  8. ^ a b c 천 (Cheon), 혜정 (Hyejung) (Fall 2017). "IMF 외환위기 기억의 사회적 구성 - 조선일보의 '금 모으기 운동' 기사를 중심으로 (Social Memory of IMF's Bailout in 1997 : Recollection of 'gold-collection campaign')". 사회과학연구논총(Ewha Journal of Social Sciences). 33(2): 371–372.
  9. ^ 천 (Cheon), 혜정 (Hyejung) (Fall 2017). "IMF 외환위기 기억의 사회적 구성: 조선일보의 '금 모으기 운동' 기사를 중심으로 (Social Memory of IMF's Bailout in 1997: Recollection of 'Gold-Collection Campaign')". 사회과학연구논총 (Ewha Journal of Social Sciences). 33 (2): 372.
  10. ^ 천 (Cheon), 혜정 (Hyejung) (Fall 2017). "IMF 외환위기 기억의 사회적 구성: 조선일보의 '금 모으기 운동' 기사를 중심으로 (Social Memory of IMF's Bailout in 1997: Recollection of 'Gold-Collection Campaign')". 사회과학연구논총(Ewha Journal of Social Sciences). 33(2): 373.
  11. ^ 천(Cheon), 혜정(Hyejung) (Fall 2017). "IMF 외환위기 기억의 사회적 구성: 조선일보의 '금 모으기 운동' 기사를 중심으로 (Social Memory of IMF's Bailout in 1997: Recollection of 'Gold-Collection Campaign')". 사회과학연구논총(Ewha Journal of Social Sciences). 33(2): 374.
  12. ^ a b 조 (Cho), 준상 (Junsang) (1998-05-21). "본전도 못건진 금모으기운동 (The gold collecting campaign that can not find the principal)". 한겨례21 (Hankyoreh 21).
  13. ^ a b c "금모으기 운동 2백25t 수집...외화가득 18억달러 (Collecting gold 225 tons through gold collecting campaign ... Foreign exchange is worth $ 1.8 billion)". 연합뉴스 (Yunhap News). 1998-03-14.
  14. ^ "EBS '인터뷰 대한민국'- IMF 20년, 98년생 청춘에게 대한민국의 현재는? (EBS 'Interview Korea' - IMF 20 years, How is the present situation of Korea to youth born 1998?)". 미디어스 (Mediaus). 2018-01-28.
  15. ^ a b 조(Cho), 영주(Young-ju) (2017-11-14). "국민 10명중 6명 "외환위기, 삶에 부정적 영향"…비정규직 등 심화 (6 out of 10 Koreans "Foreign Currency Crisis, Negative Impact on Life" ... Deepening of irregular employment)". 아시아경제(Asian Economy).
  16. ^ a b c d Cheon, Hyejung (2017-10-31). "Imf 외환위기 기억의 사회적 구성: 조선일보의 '금 모으기 운동' 기사를 중심으로 (Social Memory of IMF's Bailout in 1997: Recollection of 'Gold-Collection Campaign')". Rochester, NY.