1997 Asian financial crisis
The Hanbo scandal
The banking sector was burdened with non-performing loans as its large corporations were funding aggressive expansions. During that time, there was a haste to build great conglomerates to compete on the world stage. Many businesses ultimately failed to ensure returns and profitability. The chaebol, South Korean conglomerates, simply absorbed more and more capital investment. Eventually, excess debt led to major failures and takeovers. The Hanbo scandal of early 1997 exposed South Koreas economic weaknesses and corruption problems to the international financial community.