It's Not Just The Chaebol That Are Squeezed

Sky-high interest rates could crush the whole economy

Oh Bok Taik has given up all hope of making a profit anytime soon. Since last November, when South Korea sought a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Oh's Kyung Il Enterprise has been in the red. Interest rates, which have doubled from 13% three months ago, make it impossible for him to pay off his loans and also cover the manufacturing costs of his audio-systems business. "I'm just enduring," says the 48-year-old Oh. "If this situation continues beyond June, I'll have to decide when to shutter my company."

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