At the intersection of technology, finance and the Pacific Rim.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What's the Beef?

As most of you know, the above means what's the argument about? Why the friction?

Well you may remember that I discussed the importance of investor perceptions--and how the current US beef issue would affect investor perceptions toward Korea negatively. Lo and behold, Philip Bowring who writes for the International Herald Tribune wrote a critical commentary on the US beef protests and had this to say:

"The Korea which wants to buy up manufacturers in the United States - currently it has its eyes on GE's household appliance industry - as well as banks in Indonesia and golf courses in the Philippines continues to put huge bureaucratic obstacles in the way of foreign acquisitions of, for example, Korea Exchange Bank."

Of course there may be no tie between US beef protests and what is happening at KEB or the desire to buy up golf courses. Is his article an exaggeration? Yes. Nevertheless, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. To be simplistic, there is what is, what will be, and what should be. The difference between "What is" and "What should be" provides the underlying force for so many of our actions--but such actions if not properly thought through can have unintended consequences with the result that "what will be" and "what should be" do not come together.

Philip Bowring is a respected journalist from the UK on Asian affairs. His bio is here.


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