Another excellent interview with Bonnie Faulkner. Topics covered: Financial and fiscal austerity policies; the appeal of economic austerity to bankers; economic depression and war; post-WWII vs. post-cold war economic policy; government to government grants vs. commercial lending; the euro and dollar; privatization in New Zealand and elsewhere; social unrest; speculation and prices; criminalization of the economy; impoverishment of the US. Listen Download via right-click Some cheeky comments on the KPFA site
Norway's Sovereign Wealth Risk Vortex
What does Norway get out of its Oil Fund, if not More Strategic Infrastructure Investment? For the past generation Norway has supplied Europe and other regions with oil, taking payment in euros or dollars. It then sends nearly all this foreign exchange abroad, sequestering its oil-export receipts – which are in foreign currency – in the Oil Fund, to invest mainly in European and U.S. stocks and bonds. The fund now exceeds $500+ billion, second in the world to that of Abu Dhabi. What do Norwegians get out of these financial savings, besides a modest interest and dividend yield? The export surplus is said to be too large to spend more than a small fraction (a Procrustean 4 percent) at home without causing inflation. As an excuse for placing its export savings ...
Norway’s Oil Fund: Is it Realizing its Full Potential?
Norway is using its savings to buy minority stock ownership abroad, without linking its purchases to its own future development – except by receiving foreign exchange returns. It also is selling off ownership of its minerals and other natural resources, bringing in more foreign exchange on top of its oil exports.