22 Jan 2009

Remind Me Not to Move to South Korea

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Jeff Tucker passed along this story:

South Korean prosecutors indicted a blogger on Thursday who had warned of financial doom for the country with critics saying he was targeted because his gloomy forecasts upset the government battling an economic downturn.

The blogger, writing under the pseudonym Minerva, became a household name for his predictions of sharp falls in the won and the local stock market and the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers. Prosecutors said he hurt the local currency by posting incorrect information online.

“The suspect in this case was indicted on charges of false information on two occasions,” an official at the prosecutors’ office said by telephone.

As South Korean markets tumbled late last year amid the global downturn, the main financial regulator warned it would crack down on what it considered malicious rumors and some economic analysts say they have come under pressure from authorities not to voice negative views on the economy.

At this point, I think the governments of the world should stop playing softball, and just order everyone at gunpoint to go buy something. Boom, recession solved.

…unless of course, there is some actual reason for the recession, besides fidgety consumers.

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