Guess what country has just said a big, fat resounding “no” to industry bailouts? Sweden, that’s right, Sweden. The land of the big state, socialism, and social democracy. My colleague Charlotta Mellander writes:
It’s interesting how differently the financial crisis is being met by governmental authorities in North America and Scandinavia. With Saab on the brink of bankruptcy, GM – which owns Saab – turns to the Swedish state asking for support, approximately in the same manner in the US. And the Swedish government says – NO. No tax money will be spend on saving the car industry. The message is that if a company can’t make it on its own then tax money shouldn’t be to bail it out. I must say I’m kind of surprised – but in a positive way. I didn’t think they’d have the courage to say no to such an “institution.”
Here’s a report from Sweden’s The Local:
The Swedish government said on Wednesday it would not intervene to take over Saab. Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson slammed Saab’s US owner General Motors for “abandoning” the struggling Swedish car maker. General Motors has warned that the unit would go under without official help. “Voters picked me because they wanted nursery schools, police and nurses, and not to buy loss-making car factories,” Enterprise and Energy Minister Maud Olofsson told Swedish public radio.
Can we get her to be our new Commerce Secretary?