Analyst – Northeast Asia
Jeremy Lee is an analyst in the Country Analysis Unit within the Division of Financial Institution Supervision and Credit (FISC) at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In that capacity, he serves as the country analyst for Northeast Asia. He also manages the Strength of Support Assessments (SOSA) for Asian FBOs, participates in the interim review of SOSA rankings, and examines FBO branches operating in the United States. His research interests include asset quality, household debt, and liquidity. He is a Federal Reserve commissioned examiner. Mr. Lee majored in Economics at the University of Chicago.
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Persistent overcapacity, high inventories, a strong U.S. dollar, and global economic uncertainties have had a substantial impact on oil prices. In response, oil companies have slashed capital expenditures, leading to significant losses at South Korean shipbuilders exposed to oil rig construction. In anticipation of further losses on their shipbuilder exposure, Korean banks have been increasing their loan loss provisions to shore up their allowances and are reporting a considerable impact on earnings.
Similar to many countries in Asia, Korea’s household debt increased considerably after the global financial crisis. As of year-end 2014, household debt as a percentage of GDP was 76% and increased 15 percentage points since 2008. Concerns have risen as the growth rate of household debt has exceeded that of income and the broader economy for a prolonged period.