– The clear starting point must be that the friendship between Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister and other more general matters which the Treasury Department mentioned in the question will not mean that Stoltenberg is able to deal with current issues as central bank governor.
This is the summary of the Treasury Department’s announcement on Tuesday morning.
The left reacts
Criticism from economists and politicians has been that the central bank’s independence may be weakened, but little about Stoltenberg’s impartiality.
However, the Treasury Department has not asked the Legal Department to comment on the Central Banks Act on independence. As a result, the Legal Department has not given any thought to whether the central bank’s independence can be weakened with Stoltenberg as the central bank governor.
“Our assessment concerns issues of impartiality and we do not take a position on understanding the provisions of the Central Bank Law on independence etc.” writes the legal department.
The deputy chairman of the Liberal Party, Sveinung Rotevatn, reacts to this.
– In any case, it would be much more interesting to get an assessment of what the legal department rated. Nobody thought that Stoltenberg would be incompetent for the job as central bank governor. Regardless, you are never generally incompetent – only in individual cases.
The Treasury Department informs the NRK that there is currently no comment on the delimitation they have given the Legal Department and do not want to answer the reasons for the delimitation.
Must be independent
There is a consensus in business circles that the central bank must be independent of politics. Therefore, the Treasury Department can only instruct the governor if an exceptional, special situation arises.
Storting’s job is for the central bank to ensure that Norway’s monetary value is stable and that prices in society do not run wild. The mandate provides for core inflation of 2 percent per year, as is the goal of most other central banks.
The central bank can decide for itself exactly how the goals are to be achieved. But the central bank relies on confidence in the interest rate signals so that the market can rely on kroner value and inflation over the long term.
Hence, the signals must be stable over time and the market must have confidence that the central bank is not considering other monetary policy considerations. Critics assume that the market will trust Stoltenberg as central bank governor less because he is a former Labor politician and has contact with former party colleagues.
SV: – I don’t see anything here that changes the picture
The SV’s financial policy spokeswoman, Kari Elisabeth Kaski, had previously told DN that, in her opinion, Stoltenberg should not get the job due to his previous political ties.
Kaski believes the recent impartiality assessment does not change that.
– I don’t see anything here that changes the picture. It is an excursion that a heap of central positions of power in society are divided into a small heap, as it can be when Stoltenberg gets the job, says Kaski to the NRK.
However, she stressed that it was not about the hiring process itself and stressed that this was in the hands of the Treasury.
– I don’t have any prerequisites to comment on the recruitment process. It is not about the process, but that, in my opinion, he should not become the new central bank governor as he is a former Labor Party politician and Prime Minister and it is unfortunate that the positions are divided among a small group of people.
Before the bias assessment was published, a majority of the parties in Storting expressed skepticism about Stoltenberg’s candidacy as head of Norges Bank. The main reason for the skepticism was Stoltenberg’s ties to politics and, above all, the current government.
Among other things, Stoltenberg is such a good friend of Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) that the current Prime Minister considers himself incompetent in the recruitment process.
No announcement Friday
Released last week DN an article from anonymous sources claiming a new central bank governor would likely be appointed next Friday.
In another text message Aftenposten, however, Therese Riiser at the Treasury Department denies that it will happen next Friday.
NRK is informed by the Treasury that it is not yet clear when a new central bank governor will be appointed.