Saturday, May 21

Therefore, I react to the election of Jens Stoltenberg as the new central bank governor

  • Aram Karim (21)

    1st deputy in the Storting for Vestfold SV

Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Sp) presents Jens Stoltenberg as the new central bank governor.

The candidate you have landed on is not the worst thing in this case. It is the doubt it creates.

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In recent times, it has been increasingly said that Norwegians live in one of the world’s best countries. And rightly so.

There is reason to be proud that there are relatively small differences between people, over the welfare state and over a serious and decent working life. Not least that there is minimal corruption here compared to many other countries.

However, a strong welfare state provides a great deal of bureaucracy. And we find a large part of Norwegian jobs precisely in the public sector.

That’s why it’s happening now, maybe a little extra hair-raising.

Doubts about the «qualification principle»

We have now ended up in a situation where it is completely legitimate to be left with several question marks after the hiring process of a new central bank governor. Embarrassingly the same as we did when a new oil fund manager was hired.

I myself have a bachelor’s degree in administration and management at Oslo Met. In my first semester, I remember that we were told about the “qualification principle”. This will ensure that the public sector is always left with the best candidate.

I fear that the election of a new central bank governor will increase the contempt for politicians we already see so much of, writes Aram Karim.

At the time, I was absolutely certain that it was a principle fully practiced in the real world. Today I am a little more insecure. Is it really so that it has nothing to say if you know someone who knows someone?

Two good candidates, but …

Ida Wolden Bache and Jens Stoltenberg are both undoubtedly good candidates for the job. It is impossible for me to know what kind of concrete assessments of the candidates have been made in the recruitment process.

But that is exactly what makes the case even more complicated to deal with. Because we know something about what is required of a new central bank governor. And we know that Bache, to put it mildly, is very good professionally qualified.

One would think that if two candidates of about the same strength apply for the same position, then central forces in the «gender equality party» the Labor Party would have thought something like this: When you have two candidates of about the same strength, you choose the woman.

Sends unfortunate signals

The candidate you have landed on is not the worst thing in this case. Stoltenberg is qualified. The main problem is that this appointment sends several unfortunate signals and creates doubt. My fear is that it increases the contempt for politicians we already see so much of.

It is extremely unnecessary to create all this doubt.

Doubts about whether it pays to have personal relationships, even though the law says it should not. If it is really possible to get this position if you are not a man. And doubt if there is a kind of “boys’ club” behind the scenes, a small gang that is left with a little more power than they really should have.

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