Regulatory policy

(profile) BOK chief candidate known for his expertise in economic theory and financial policy

SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) — President Moon Jae-in’s nominee for the new central bank chief is known for his deep understanding of financial markets and policymaking that he has accumulated at academic, governmental and international organizations.

Rhee Chang-yong, director of the Asia and Pacific department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been named the new head of the Bank of Korea (BOK) to replace Lee Ju-yeol, who is due to step down later this month. .

Born in 1960, Rhee majored in economics at Seoul National University, South Korea’s most prestigious school, and earned a doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1989.

Rhee also worked at the Word Bank in 1992 as a researcher before teaching students at home and abroad for years. He became an economics professor at his alma mater in 2003.

He worked as a member of a committee of the presidential economic council in 2004, then joined President Lee Myung-bak’s transition team in 2007, helping to shape the economic policy of the conservative government.

From 2008 to 2009, he experienced government policy making as deputy head of the Financial Services Commission, the nation’s highest financial regulator.

He also spent three years from 2011 as chief economist at the Asian Development Bank before joining the IMF in 2014 as director of its Asia and Pacific department, the highest post a South -Korean accessed the Washington-based lender.

He is known to have a keen interest in macroeconomics, finance, and capital markets based on his experiences in previous positions in academia, global institutions, and government.

His appointment comes as the central bank grapples with growing inflationary pressure driven by global supply disruptions and rising demand from the post-pandemic consumption recovery.

The BOK has raised its key rate three times, including the last hike of 0.25 percentage points in January, after borrowing costs were kept at record highs for about two years to support the economy affected by the crisis. the pandemic.

Incumbent Governor Lee has called for more hikes to contain inflation, but concerns remain that large rate hikes could add to the financial burden of those in debt and slow the economic recovery.