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Why would limiting the amount of old currency that could be exchanged for new currency result in the North Korean government’s having seized its citizens money and savings?

Finance Basics

In November 2009, the government of North Korea announced that it was replacing the existing currency with a new currency. The government would allow people to exchange only a limited amount of the old currency for the new currency. An article in the Wall Street Journal argued that the action amounted to seizing “most of its citizens’ money and savings.”

a. Why would limiting the amount of old currency that could be exchanged for new currency result in the North Korean government’s having seized its citizens money and savings?

b. How might people in North Korea act to reduce the impact of this government move?

 

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