Opinion: If Stoltenberg gets Norges Bank's top job, expect to see some blurred division of power in Norway

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

contacted, emerging, sovereign wealth fund, antagonism

The admission by former Prime Minister and NATO head honcho, Jens Stoltenberg, that he had been contacted to apply for the role of the Governor of Norges Bank was met with derision by many. Would his nomination go against the politically independent nature of the job? Could he separate his personal relationships with many in government from his professional duties? With details emerging about his nomination shortly after last year’s election, is this just a “back door” power grab by Labor or just another example of the corrupting influence of politicians helping (ex) politicians?

Norges Bank Governor has been politically neutral and independent

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

When Øystein Olsen, current head of Norges Bank (the central bank of Norway) announced his decision, last August, to retire this February, it was seen as a minor news story. The comings and goings of the staff of Norges Bank have trouble gaining front-page coverage. The governor, as head of the central bank of Norway, is responsible for not only broad financial and price stability but also oversees the management of Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund. The governor has, in recent years, been appointed on a strict line of being politically independent and neutral, free from any governmental privilege or pressure.

On December 14, however, the lack of attention that Olsen’s departure received was replaced by a tsunami of interest as Jens Stoltenberg, former Prime Minister, announced his intention to apply for the top job. Much of the interest, and criticism, was centered on a key point: could a former Labor Prime Minister and mentor to many in government (not least the current prime minister) truly be considered politically free from any political influence or intrigue? Could a man who casts such a large shadow over the history of the Labor Party since the turn of the millennium be able to separate his past friendships, allegiances, and proteges to coldly conduct activities, and make decisions, for the good of the Norwegian economy?

Global Tech News Daily

Casting aside the debate for a moment, one thing is evident about Stoltenberg: he does indeed have a broad range of political, financial, and governmental experience to draw upon in a career spanning more than two decades.

Stoltenberg’s stratospheric rise from party star to Prime Minister

Bursting onto the scene as a wunderkind in the Brundtland government of the mid-1990s he was then promoted to head the Finance Ministry under her successor,Thorbjørn Jagaland. His rising star turned into a supernova as he then became first the leader of the Labor Party and then Norway’s youngest ever Prime Minister from 2000 to 2001. This experience was short-lived, however, as he then lead Labor to the catastrophic 2001 election. Whilst many thought this had secured everlasting infamy in the annals of the Labor Party history, he showed his political nouse and expertise by defeating his successor Jagaland for party leadership and then winning the 2005 election.

Global Tech News Daily

Serving two consecutive terms as prime minister, from 2005 to 2013, he led a “red-green coalition” governing along with the Socialist Left Party (SV) and the Center Party (SP). He led a progressive cabinet and government, seeing Norway punch above its weight in international affairs and global health. His leadership and compassion following the July 22, 2011 attacks healed a nation and was praised worldwide, from Washington to Wellington. Since 2014 he has been the Secretary-General for NATO in an era of increasing antagonism, to the West, from authoritarian regimes.

contacted, emerging, sovereign wealth fund, antagonism

Leaving now just makes cents: Outgoing Norges Bank Governor, Øystein Olsen. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

Could Stoltenberg stall Banche’s progression?

Stoltenberg can surely draw on his vast experience in governmental and international organizations and would no doubt make a capable governor. Yet just because he can, doesn’t necessarily mean he should. First and foremost, there is one huge issue that needs to be dealt with straight away: sexism. Before Stoltenberg announced that he had been contacted to apply for the job, many had assumed that when Olsen would step down there was really only one name on any list of potential successors. This was the name of his deputy, Ida Wolden Banche.

Bance has had some sort of role with the bank for almost two and a half decades and few would doubt her credentials and practical experience. She essentially has been a ‘governor in waiting’ as she has headed both the Financial Stability and Monetary Stability departments before her role as Norges Bank number two. So one would assume that those in Norges Bank, and the government more broadly, have seen her rise in the ranks yet, all of a sudden, her career path could potentially be stalled by Stoltenberg’s nomination.

What sort of message would Stoltenberg’s nomination send out to the hard-working career woman in this country? Knuckle down, study hard, work your way up an organization only for you to have your dream job blocked by a man whose friends are in positions of power? Maybe it is more who you know rather than what you know…

Stoltenberg’s nomination would keep the “glass ceiling” at Norges Bank intact

Though Stoltenberg does have some financial bona fides (he was the Minister of Finance, after all) would that necessarily be better than having, as governor, a woman who has progressed from research assistant to deputy governor of Norges Bank?

Her academic background (a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics) and career and knowledge of the inner workings of Norges Bank should make her nomination a moot point. If she was a man, however, would Stoltenberg’s nomination be taken less seriously? Is part of Stoltenberg’s nomination the fact that those in power have, once again, tried to lure a man to do a job that a woman is obviously far more qualified for?

There has never been a female governor in the 205-year history of Norges Bank and surely there has never been a better chance to have one now seeing as though the most qualified candidate is Banche. Should Stoltenberg be nominated, the glass ceiling at Norges Bank will enter its 206th year of remaining unbroken.

contacted, emerging, sovereign wealth fund, antagonism

Stoltenberg’s: Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (SP) and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP) Photo: Jonas Gahr Støre / Terje Pedersen / NTB

Stoltenberg’s friends in high places…

There will be, of course, accusations of ‘cronyism’ leveled at those in the government for seeking out Stoltenberg for the nomination. When announcing his decision in December, he did mention the small detail of the fact that the Ministry of Finance had indeed contacted him and told him to run for the job.

This was a thoroughly unprecedented move because the governor should, in theory at least, be considered apolitical and independent. Having a current government actively pursue its old mentor for this job definitely blurs the lines of division of power.

Stoltenberg was not only a mentor to the current Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, but his political philosophy is still very much at the heart of the Labor Party. Some may well argue that Støre’s election win was, in part, due to the fact that he was (and evidently still is) so closely associated with Stoltenberg, a sort of Stoltenberg 2.0., with a French-language add on.

A very civilised dinner discussion…

Fresh details have emerged about how, before the 2021 election, Støre had discussed the candidacy of Stoltenberg, at a dinner with several key political movers and shakers.

Now, Støre claims that he said if he got elected as Prime Minister, that would automatically rule out his participation in any further discussions due to a conflict of interest. However, the Ministry of Finance did actually contact Stoltenberg to throw his hat into the ring.

Surely, between this dinner party and Stoltenberg’s nomination, Støre must have had a further discussion about Stoltenberg’s candidacy? Or are we to believe, as the Prime Minister would have us believe, that apparently, his Ministry of Finance came up with Stoltenberg’s name without the consent or knowledge of the Prime Minister? Støre either knew and lied or isn’t briefed by his own Ministry of Finance. Either way – it looks bad.

Whether Stoltenberg will actually end up running the central bank of Norway remains to be seen. Yet given the numerous scandals plaguing Norway’s political class of late, this saga shows that even the once “golden boy” of the Labor Party may have lost some of his shine.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Norway Today unless specifically stated.

About the author:

Jonathan is a lover of the written word. He believes the best way to combat this polarization of news and politics, in our time, is by having a balanced view. Both sides of the story are equally important. He also enjoys traveling and live music.

Source: #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

News Related


New York Rangers get another comeback win to force Game 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH — How many times can the New York Rangers dig themselves into a hole and climb back out? At least one more, as of Friday night. The Blueshirts came ... Read more »

Wilson, balanced Aces cruise to 96-73 victory over Dream

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 15 points, Kelsey Plum had 14 points and 11 assists and the Las Vegas Aces rolled to a 96-73 victory over the ... Read more »

EXPLAINER: Why frustration lingers in Okinawa 50 years later

The Associated PressFILE – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Anglen of Turner, Ore., center, stands atop a cliff as Sgt. Bryan Wallace of Pikin, Ill., waits for his turn before ... Read more »

Astros beat Nationals 6-1 for 11th straight victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to ... Read more »

Kreider scores late, Rangers edge Pens 5-3 to force Game 7

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Kreider’s long slap shot bounced over Louis Domingue and into the net with 1:28 left and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on ... Read more »

Astros push winning streak to 11, roll past Nationals 6-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, and Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep to help the Houston Astros extend their winning ... Read more »

Moustakas, Drury power Reds to 8-2 victory over Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Moustakas homered twice and Brandon Drury drove in four runs to break out of a slump and lead the resurgent Cincinnati Reds to an 8-2 victory ... Read more »

Peterson's bases-loaded walk lifts Brewers over Marlins 2-1

MIAMI (AP) — Jace Peterson walked against Anthony Bender with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 Friday night. After starters ... Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during manager Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Ogunbowale, Gray help Wings rally past Mystics, 94-86

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 27 points, Allisha Gray had 21 and the Dallas Wings overcame a 15-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Mystics 94-86 on Friday night. ... Read more »

Resigning North Dakota senator led lawmakers in travel costs

The Associated PressFILE – North Dakota Sen. Ray Holmberg listens during a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., on Jan. 7, 2009. Holmberg, ... Read more »

Residents in picturesque California county hit with gas prices topping $7 a gallon

A California county known for its spectacular mountains and proximity to Yosemite National Park has been paying the nation’s highest gas prices. Read more »

Boudreau to return as coach of Canucks next season

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Bruce Boudreau will return as coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season after helping to turn the struggling NHL club around as a midyear replacement. ... Read more »

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID

On Location: May 13, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 ... Read more »

Today in History for May 14th

Highlights of this day in history: Colonists go ashore in Virginia to set up Jamestown; Lewis and Clark begin to explore Louisiana Territory; Israel founded; Skylab launched; Movie producer George ... Read more »

Twitter CEO expects Elon Musk acquisition to close, addresses spending cuts

Musk is awaiting details supporting calculations that spam, fake accounts represent less than 5% of Twitter's users Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Renovated NYC museum shows indigenous perspectives

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City recently finished a major renovation of its exhibition on the native peoples of the northwest coast of North America. Curators ... Read more »

Police release 911 calls in Gilgo Beach case

A woman who disappeared in a beach community on New York’s Long Island more than a decade ago, sparking an investigation into a possible serial killer, said “there’s somebody after ... Read more »

Academy Awards set 2023 Oscars for March 12

The Associated PressFILE – Oscar statue on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Next year’s Academy Awards will ... Read more »

Actor Fred Ward, of 'Tremors,' 'The Right Stuff' fame, dies

The Associated PressFILE – Fred Ward, a cast member in “30 Minutes or Less,” poses at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2011. Ward, a ... Read more »

Judge refuses to drop elections suit against Trump, media

NEW YORK — A Colorado judge on Friday denied motions to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by an election systems worker against former President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its ... Read more »

Q&A: Becky G unveils every side of herself in latest album

The Associated PressFILE – Becky G appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. Beck G’s latest album is “Esquemas.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) NEW YORK ... Read more »

North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak. Read more »

North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says 21 people died and 174,440 people were newly found with fever symptoms on Friday alone as the country scrambles to slow the spread ... Read more »

White Sox place Giolito on COVID list, activate Vaughn

The Chicago White Sox placed ace Lucas Giolito on the COVID-19 injured list and activated outfielder Andrew Vaughn following a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. Giolito began experiencing ... Read more »

Traded back and forth, Ford learns to live out of suitcase

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Ford has learned to travel light — and quickly. Since the start of the season, the 29-year-old first baseman has played for Tacoma, San Francisco ... Read more »

Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from California on Friday. (May 13) Read more »

Celtics' Robert Williams remains out for Game 6 vs. Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Boston forward/center Robert Williams missed his third straight game with an injured left knee as the Celtics tried to keep their season alive Friday night in Game ... Read more »

Padres sign Robinson Canó, plan to use him off the bench

ATLANTA (AP) — The San Diego Padres have signed veteran second baseman Robinson Canó to a major league contract and plan to use him as a left-handed bat off the ... Read more »

WNBA star's Russia detention extended by 1 month

The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner says her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month. Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press the relatively short extension indicated ... Read more »

Louisiana justices toss COVID-related charges against pastor

Hundreds of thousands of Americans fighting long-haul symptoms from COVID-19 Dr. David Putrino from Mount Sinai Health System and COVID long-hauler Joel Fram discuss the long-term effects of the disease.The ... Read more »

Sandy Hook lawsuits against Alex Jones on track to resume

The Associated PressFILE – This Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, photo shows radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at Capitol Hill in Washington. The Sandy Hook families’ lawsuits against ... Read more »

Rockies' Bryant closer to return after cortisone shot

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant took swings in the cage Friday for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore back nearly three weeks ago ... Read more »

Mariners demote Jarred Kelenic to minors after poor start

NEW YORK (AP) — Rather than make his Citi Field debut against the team that traded him, Jarred Kelenic was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma by the Seattle Mariners on Friday ... Read more »

Biden: ASEAN partnership 'critical' in this moment

Looking to strengthen ties, President Joe Biden welcomes leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Washington for the first time. “We’re launching a new era in U.S.-ASEAN relations,” ... Read more »

Phil Mickelson will not defend his title at next week's PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson caught lightning in a bottle last year at Kiawah Island, winning a major championship at 50 years of age. The fairways flooded, and the golf world stood and ... Read more »

Tennessee Titans' Malik Willis on Ryan Tannehill's mentorship comments: 'Everything is cool'

The Tennessee Titans didn’t take issue with Ryan Tannehill’s comments about mentoring third-round rookie Malik Willis. Willis and coach Mike Vrabel were asked about Tannehill’s scrutinized remarks following the first ... Read more »

Lawyers plan suit against Lufthansa over Jewish passengers

Lawyers for 26 passengers said Friday they told Lufthansa that they will sue the German airline for refusing to let members of a large group of Orthodox Jewish passengers board ... Read more »

Wild face offseason after yet another early ouster

While the Minnesota Wild were stacking up franchise records and securing the extra home game for the first round, general manager Bill Guerin carefully acknowledged a “great year” for the ... Read more »