Learning English through Daily News of South Korea


2020.01.06 The ghost of Lone Star The International Center for Settlement of
Investment Disputes (Icsid) is an international arbitration body under the World Bank. Usually
called the ISD, it is used to settle disputes between investors and states. nternational arbitration establishments tend
to get most high-profile disputes and those where the most is at stake. Judges to the panel are selectively picked. Only a few of the unquestionably reputable
in the field are invited to the panel of arbitrators and conciliators. They are usually grayed — mostly in their
70s, 80s and even 90s. “One must be at least 70 to become eligible
for the committees on Icsid,” one industry source said. The number of arbitrators cannot keep up with
the load of ISD cases. Ruling on the cases takes three to four years. Many complain of the lengthy process, but
the aged judges cannot make haste. A senior official at the Financial Services
Commission warned about the ISD suit involving Lone Star Funds and the Korean government. The ruling on the Lone Star Funds suit filed
against the Korean government, regarding allegations of intentionally delaying the sale of Korea
Exchange Bank in November 2012, was scheduled for the end of 2019. The case involved a claim of $4.7 billion
and took longer than other cases. The fire sale of Korea Exchange Bank to Lone
Star was portrayed in the Korean film “Black Money,” released in November last year,
which told of a finance scandal in Korea during the time of 1997-1998 financial and a bailout
crisis. The progressive front, including the People’s
Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, held a press conference timed with the movie release
to demand a prosecutorial probe into the Lone Star case. It was designed to trigger a social uproar
before the ISD ruling. But the controversy died down after the movie
was defeated by “Frozen 2” at the box office. The Lone Star ruling has spilled over into
2020, and some are raising concerns about the health of tribunal chair V. V. Veeder,
who is in his 70s. Will the Lone Star bomb explode in 2020? The government frets over the multibillion-dollar
claim and renewed criticism aimed at the impotent bureaucracy if it loses the case. Lone Star has left the country eight years
after selling Korea Exchange Bank. But it still haunts the country.

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