Factory owner Gap-su wins a contract to supply metal bowls to a big department store, but the store pays him with a promissory note — unknowingly exposing him to the risk that his customer won’t be able to pay him. This backfires when the department store goes bankrupt, leaving Gap-su without the funds to pay his suppliers.
Meanwhile, a young financial analyst named Jung-hak hears stories on the radio about families in distress—particularly those selling their homes below market price to pay bills resulting from small business bankruptcies. Seeking to profit from this situation, Jung-hak sets up his own investment fund to bet against the Korean economy.
Finally, the governor of Korea’s central bank reads a report from his head of monetary policy, a woman named Si-hyun. Si-hyun’s report concludes that Korea will run out of foreign reserves to defend the Korean won’s artificially fixed exchange rate against the US dollar within a week. This triggers an emergency meeting of top government officials, who must defend the Korean economy from collapse.