Hvordan vet vi at Norges Bank ikke stikker av med alle oljepengene?

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Spørsmålet er ment å sette i gang en tankerekke. Det er Karine Nyborg, professor i økonomi ved UiO som setter igang.

Norges Bank har akkurat publisert et revidert referat fra et møte forrige november. Det var Norges Bank og Det Norske Videnskabs-Akademi som inviterte til en diskusjon rundt håndteringen av oljeformuen vår. Denne gjengen var invitert til diskusjon:

Steinar Tjomsland, Supreme Court Justice
Karine Nyborg, University of Oslo
Jarle Aambø, Elite Sport Director, Norwegian Olympic Committee
Camilla Serck-Hanssen, University of Oslo
Hanne Skartveit, political editor of the Norwegian daily newspaper VG
Jarle Aarbakke, University of Tromsø
Halvor Mehlum, University of Oslo
Jørn K. Baltzersen, M. Sc.
Terje Sjeggestad, Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board

Noen er økonomer, andre ikke. Det var forfriskende lesing for en som har hodet dypt sunket i økonomikvikksanden.

Hvor var vi? Ja, Norges Bank og penger. Alle vet at hverken Øystein Olsen, eller NBIM stikker av med pengene. Det er poenget til Nyborg:

The point is that if we seem to have no fears that the managers will put the wealth in their own pockets, it is not only because theft is prohibited by law or because we believe that the managers are decent folk. I think it is also to a large extent because we live in a society where it can broadly be expected that citizens follow the rules. Hence the rules actually function.

Serck-Hanssen, professor i filosofi UiO, serverer denne:

Allow me to play devil’s advocate. Is it so obvious that future generations of Norwegians are entitled to the riches we have succeeded in amassing here today? Why should the time of birth be more irrelevant than other random factors, such as where a person was born?

Hanne Skartveit i VG angriper uttrykket «I verdens rikeste land»:

In the world’s richest country, we should be able to afford dignified care for the elderly, to put an end to hospital queues, to provide hot lunches in schools, and to fund fathers’ support groups. It is after all not fair that only new mothers are offered government funded support groups. In the world’s richest country – this must be the most destructive formulation in Norwegian political rhetoric. Carl I. Hagen3 used it first, as he has so many effective, popular slogans, and the expression has taken root, for good. People nod when they hear it. Of course, we should be able to afford everything in the world’s richest country. And viewed from the outside, we can afford everything. But what do we do when money is no longer a limited asset, for people in general or in the public sector?

A few years ago, I was sent along as part of a reporting unit from the newspaper VG to Grue municipality. We decided to turn the cameras around. We decided to focus on how those who complain most spend money themselves. The mayor of Grue was interviewed on the national news and said when the government budget was presented that they would have to close the swimming pools; he stood at the nursing home and told the old people there that there might not be room for them there next year. It was terrible. So I spent three months calculating budgets and working out accounts, and discovered that they had completely fooled us all. Expenses had been overbudgeted and lots of income had been omitted. But as journalists, we examine the figures far too seldom. And we explore structural issues far too seldom.

Halvor Meluhm fortsetter inn i finanspolitikken:

The way things have gone recently, there is no longer any clear link between interest rate changes and fiscal policy. So it was fortunate that inflation targeting was fashionable when the fiscal rule was introduced. But imple- menting the regime was not a matter of course. And it is interesting, since this conference is hosted by Norges Bank, that when inflation targeting is mentioned, the disciplinary effect on the finance minister is never emphasised. I think it is the most important aspect of the regime, not least when we discuss the management of Norway’s oil revenues, as we have done today.

Her er artikkelsamingen.

(Og hvorfor var ikke NRK2 der for å filme for oss andre som ikke var der?)

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