[Economic Vew] Financial Crime Targeting the Underside of Innovation

[Source] https://www.paxnet.co.kr/news/allView?vNewsSetId=4593&articleId=2024021306151200056

Sangjin Cha, lawyer at Alchemic Investment

Anyone interested in the financial market will be familiar with words such as equity-linked securities (ELS), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, and hedges. These products are based on financial engineering and are all related to the ‘Black-Scholes equation’. The Black-Scholes equation allowed the correlation between stock and option prices to be calculated using an equation, which led to the explosion of various financial products. Black and Merton, who established the Black-Scholes equation, established a company called Long Term Capital Management in 1993 and achieved excellent results, including achieving a profit rate of 28%. He also won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1997. However, when the financial crisis occurred in 1998, it suffered a blow and collapsed. I don't know in theory, but they failed to reflect the history of the real financial world with its irrational chaos in their model.

Even recently, there are cases where accidents occur in the process of innovation. Token securities are also expected to bring about significant changes in the domestic capital market by enabling ‘small quantity production of various types of unlisted securities.' However, concerns about financial consumer protection and solutions are a challenge. The ‘Basic Asset Guidelines for Issuance of Fractional Investment Securities’ recently announced by the Financial Services Commission also appears to be the result of concerns over the balance between institutional revitalization and financial consumer protection in order to establish a new system.

However, despite the efforts of financial authorities, there are cases where people commit crimes by hiding in the wave of innovation and only changing items. Recently, as investment and distribution of unlisted securities has become more active, damage in this field is also increasing. A common method is to approach major shareholders of a securities issuing company saying they will make an investment, acquire unlisted stocks and virtual assets through a borrowed-name account, spread rumors that the company will soon be listed, and then sell them down through the branch sales network to make profits. It's a method. When an investigation begins in the future, major players will use the fact that they traded securities under borrowed-name accounts to defend themselves by claiming, “I am not involved” or “I only received promotional materials from the company and carried out promotional activities accordingly.”

In the case of sales agents who sell stocks, not only do they operate under nicknames and use cannon phones, making it difficult to track them, but they also hide among the real victims, claiming to be victims, organizing a victim emergency response committee, and taking the lead in suing the major players. They are also trying to evade the investigative network. Even after avoiding investigation in this way, they attract victims to a new business by saying that they will recover the damage through a new business and ask them to recruit people to participate in the business. Once victims have suffered losses, out of desperation, they reinvest and participate in new businesses to recover some of the damage, but instead pass on the damage to those who later participated.

If the token securities system is implemented in earnest in the future, it may be used for such criminal activities. Considering this, financial authorities are working to overhaul the system, and investigative agencies are also pointing out fraudulent distribution of unlisted stocks and virtual assets as a type of multi-victim crime and are intensively cracking down and investigating it. However, investors must be careful not to fall prey to such tactics. There are a few clues to this method. First, they are saying that there is a special opportunity that only they know about and that there is an opportunity for price increase, such as listing, soon. Because the listing process is very strict, it does not mean that a company can be listed unconditionally even if it meets the requirements. Second, it is an act of requiring additional investment in a business to recover once a loss has been incurred. This should be avoided as much as possible. Third, there are cases where the person recommending investment says that he or she also invested and made a profit, or presents actual performance. You shouldn't be fooled by things like this. In this type of criminal method, only those who invest first receive profits, while those who invest later all suffer losses.

In the world of investing, we must accept that there is no profit without risk and that innovation still comes with imperfections. The history of the financial market is a history of innovation and thinking, and this was not avoided by Black and Scholes, who received the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Sohyun Kwon (juddie@edaily.co.kr)


Copyright © 2023 Alchemic Investments Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.