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Is the Nordic model an asset or a liability? The global crisis has seen GDP in the region decline by between % and 7%. This column argues.
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In Sweden, legislature was changed to allow the government to take control of banks where the capital adequacy ratio had fallen below 2pc.

Nordics in Global Crisis: Vulnerability and Resilience - Google книги

Sweden also established a "bad bank" to take on all the toxic assets — something similar to what the US has done. Any question of moral hazard — the idea of encouraging institutions to take risks in the knowledge that they would be bailed out — was crushed.

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Shareholders were left with nothing, but savers had their deposits guaranteed. They thought they were safe. They had their pensions invested in them. Over the subsequent years, the banks were nursed back to health and assets that had been taken on to government books were sold when their valuations improved. Often private-sector money was brought in before banks were refloated or merged.

Statement regarding a Nordic-Baltic financial crisis simulation

Bo Lundgren, Sweden's finance minister at the time of the crisis, said: "If I go into a bank, I'd rather get equity, so that there is some upside for the taxpayer. While the UK has not opted for full nationalisation of its banks, Mr Juel believes that what London has done is "extremely wise". He said: "It is vital to take an equity stake to get control. The Nordic governments' shock tactics did not avert severe problems for the wider economy. The economies of Sweden and Finland shrank for three years in succession.

Finland's unemployment rate hit 20pc in Even so, most economists believe the turnaround was quicker thanks to the decisive action.

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When Japan faced similar problems in the late s, the government's sticking-plaster response meant that the country did not recover until around The s are known as "Japan's lost decade". And how are today's Nordic states impacted by the global crisis? They are affected by the rise in money market rates, and there is an exposure to problems in Iceland, where they have traditionally had strong ties. Also, we also now have a very efficient financial surveillance procedure.

Nordic Outlook - January 12222

The best way to transfer money overseas. Not that these small, export-led economies have not been hit by the decline in global trade. All the Scandinavian governments have had to offer bank rescue plans and stimulus packages. Some manufacturers, such as the carmaker Saab, have gone bankrupt. Unemployment is on the rise too — 9. Overall, these countries' high-tax, high-benefit welfare systems have been acting as stabilisers to their economies.


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The size of the public sector has been helpful, too. While in Britain one in five workers is employed in the public sector, the proportion is much higher in Scandinavia.

Procuritas founding partner Mikael Ahlstrom (MBA '86J) on the Nordic banking crisis of the 1990s

In Norway, for instance, it is about one in three, and they have money in their pockets. This keeps demand up. Ketels points out that Denmark, Sweden and Norway had very sound public finances to start with.


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Norway shines especially brightly: unlike Britain, it is saving its North Sea oil and gas revenues into a sovereign wealth fund, now worth 2. So when Norway needed to find money to stimulate the economy, it was able to find it without having to cut public budgets or increase taxes, as Britain is set to do.

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In the s, the Scandinavian countries underwent difficult financial crises during which they introduced tighter regulation of their banking sectors. That has protected them during the current downturn. In addition, they have very competitive economies.