Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Both Persson And Reinfeldt Are Wrong

Today Swedish prime minister Göran Persson said he thought there was no reason for the Swedish central bank, Riksbanken to raise interest rates, which they are expected to do later this week. I disagree with him for reasons explained here.

However, perhaps even more disturbing was the knee-jerk reaction from Fredrik Reinfeldt, the leader of main centre-right opposition party, Moderaterna, who immediately attacked Persson for "threatening the independence of Riksbanken". First of all it is nonsensical to say that the mere uttering of a opinion about Riksbank policy is threatening its independence. Had Persson threatened to act to remove certain board members or restricting its powers, then they would have had a point. But he certainly didn't do that and indeed emphasized that he believed in its independence.

Secondly, while I understand that politicians often attack each other for the childish self-end of attacking each other, I find the worship of Riksbanken from the opposition parties as disturbing. Moderaterna seem to think that Riksbanken is a institution which should never ever be criticized. No one should be exempted from criticism (whether correct or not), particularly not a government institution, which is what Riksbanken is, even though some confused Swedish libertarians seem to think otherwise.


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