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Sweden's FinMin hits back at Paul Krugman

Reuters said Swedish policymakers have hit out at suggestions by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman that the Nordics' biggest economy was in a Japanese-style deflationary trap.

In a New York Times op-ed titled "Sweden Turns Japanese", Krugman said the Riksbank, the central bank, had killed off a promising post-crisis recovery in around 2010 and dragged the country into deflation.

"I don't think that the comparison with a stagnating Japan is all that accurate," Sweden's Finance Minister Anders Borg, one of Europe's most respected and long-serving finance ministers, told reporters on Wednesday.

Paul Krugman writes:

Three years ago Sweden was widely regarded as a role model in how to deal with a global crisis. The nation’s exports were hit hard by slumping world trade but snapped back; its well-regulated banks rode out the financial storm; its strong social insurance programs supported consumer demand; and unlike much of Europe, it still had its own currency, giving it much-needed flexibility. By mid-2010 output was surging, and unemployment was falling fast. Sweden, declared The Washington Post, was “the rock star of the recovery.”

Then the sadomonetarists moved in.

And continues:

Whatever their motives, sadomonetarists have already done a lot of damage. In Sweden they have extracted defeat from the jaws of victory, turning an economic success story into a tale of stagnation and deflation as far as the eye can see.

And they could do much more damage in the future. Financial markets have been fairly calm lately — no big banking crises, no imminent threats of euro breakup. But it would be wrong and dangerous to assume that recovery is assured: bad policies could all too easily undermine our still-sluggish economic progress. So when serious-sounding men in dark suits tell you that it’s time to stop all this easy money and raise rates, beware: Look at what such people have done to Sweden.

 

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 29 April 2014 01:18)

 

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