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Developmental MindsetThe Revival of Financial Activism in South Korea$
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Elizabeth Thurbon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702525

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702525.001.0001

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Return of Development Bankers

Return of Development Bankers

(p.111) 8 Return of Development Bankers
Developmental Mindset

Elizabeth Thurbon

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes the return of development bankers and financial activism in Korea under President Lee Myung-bak. It pays particular attention to the snowballing domestic and international pressures that led Lee to intensify the balanced growth strategy of his predecessor and relatedly to pursue an ambitious financial activism agenda. The most significant pressures involved intensifying competitive challenges, which were amplified in 2008 by a hike in global oil prices, growing climate change concerns, and the onset of the global financial crisis. A key aim of Lee was to create an army of globally competitive midsized firms, labeled “Korean Hidden Champions,” which were viewed as the key to Korea's future techno-industrial success.

Keywords:   development bankers, financial activism, Korea, Lee Myung-bak, global oil prices, climate change, global financial crisis, Korean Hidden Champions

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