The interest rate debate divides Sweden's central bank. Photo: Mats Andersson/Scanpix.
criticism of Sweden's monetary policy

Riksbanken's vice chairman slams interest rates

The vice-chairman of Sweden's central bank is criticising the bank's monetary policy. In an interview with newspaper Dagens Nyheter, vice-chairman Lars E. O. Svensson said that interest rates in Sweden have been too high in recent years, and that this has resulted in unneccessarily high unemployment.

The debate on interest rates has divided the board of the Swedish central bank recently. The bank's chairman, Stefan Ingves, and the majority of the members of the board are reluctant to lower interest rates due to concerns that it would negatively affect the property market.

Svensson, who has worked as an advisor to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and has had contact with the Federal Reserve in the US, told Dagens Nyheter that he thinks Sweden's interest rate policies deserve more discussion.

Svensson said that many of the top decision-makers at the Federal Reserve are former researchers and professors, and that he would like to see more professors on the Swedish central bank's board.

"In Sweden the members come from varied backgrounds and the discussion never reaches the same level as it does in the Fed. Monetary policy is a complicated area," Svensson said.

"That's why it's important that those people on the board have a good knowledge of macroeconomics, monetary policy and financial stability", he told Dagens Nyheter.

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