Professor Hyun-Song Shin (OE 1973-78) was recently included in a list of the world’s top 50 thinkers of 2019 and published in Prospect magazine.
Hyun, as he was known at school, was an outstanding academic who won a host of top school prizes and eventually a Demyship (scholarship) to Magdalen College, Oxford, to read Modern Studies. A small selection of his awards included the Arding and Hobbs Prize for Economics, the Whitaker Prize and the Francis Ollett Memorial Prize.
Hyun was also a Lyons house prefect, a school sub-prefect and a chess expert. He was awarded the school chess cup twice and was known to be terrific at coaching and encouraging the younger boys. In the 1970s and 80s there was a fad for ‘Hexagonal chess’ in which Hyun finished fourth in a national competition.
Shin’s research ranges from big tech to the implications of inflation during the Thirty Years’ War for our crypto-currency age. Exchange-rates and the risk of contagion loom large, appropriately given his role at the Bank for International Settlements. A Korean who was thinking about the 1997 Asian crisis before the west’s meltdown in 2008, he was an early advocate of “macro-prudential” regulations that lean against the cycle—taking the punchbowl away in time to stop financial parties getting out of control. Economics is overdue a paradigm shift so that finance is treated as fundamental, rather than an afterthought. Shin is pointing the way.