Chief of Sweden’s finance watchdog appointed next Riksbank governor

Stefan Ingves, the central bank governor who helped steer Sweden through the 2007 financial crisis, and then presided over years of negative interest rates, is to step at the end of the years.

Chief of Sweden's finance watchdog appointed next Riksbank governor
Erik Thedéen, the next governor of Sweden's Riksbank, holds a press conference following his appointment. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Ingves, who has spent 17 years as Governor of the Riksbank since taking up the post in 2006, will leave the bank when his term expires at the end of this year, to be replaced by Erik Thedéen, who currently leads Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority. 

“These years have been eventful and stimulating and it has been a great honour to head up the Riksbank’s work, together with… all of the knowledgeable and dedicated employees at the bank,” Ingves said in a statement.

“I have had the privilege of working with the best, both in Sweden and around the world, and I have been involved in making the Riksbank into an institution ranked as one of the best central banks in the world. This has been a source of great joy.” 

At a press conferene, Thedéen said he was “proud and humbled” to have been chosen as the bank’s next governor, and said he had accepted the offer immediately. 

“That’s because this is, I believe, and extremely exciting job, an important job, and a job that comes with great responsibility.” 

Thedéen has been given a six-year appointment to the position.

Alexandra Stråberg, chief economist at Sweden’s Länsförsäkringar insurance group, expressed her surprise that a woman had not been chosen for the first time since the Riksbank was founded in 1929. 

“Erik in an insider in the world of Swedish government agencies and has to be seen as a conservative choice,” she said.

Robert Bergqvist, chief economist at SEB, said it would be “interesting to see” if Thedéen would be a hawk or a dove in monetary policy, but said that the return of inflation as a threat was anyway changing the approaches of central bankers worldwide. 

Torbjörn Isaksson, an economist at Nordea, predicted that Thedéen might bring a tougher approach towards controlling inflation. 

Susanne Eberstein, the chair of the Riksbank’s board, and the vice chair Michael Lundholm praised Ingves for what he had done in his time. 

“Under Stefan Ingves’s leadership the Riksbank has taken big, innovative steps, among them being the development of the e-krona,” she said. “His engagement in communicating the role of the central bank, its goals and decisions has helped make the Riksbank more transparent and accessible.”  

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Sweden’s emissions to rise as budget relaxes green targets to fight inflation

Sweden's government conceded that greenhouse gas emissions would rise in the short term as a result of budget decisions, but insisted they would fall in the long term.

Sweden's emissions to rise as budget relaxes green targets to fight inflation

The conservative administration, run by the Moderates and backed by far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), announced that greenhouse gas emissions would increase by 2030, at least in part owing to heightened tax relief on fuels.

Stockholm wants to reduce fuel and diesel taxes to ease price rises, which peaked last December at 12 percent year-on-year and have hammered Swedes’ purchasing power.

“Following decisions taken between July 1st, 2022 and July 1st, 2023, emissions are expected to increase by 5.9 to 9.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2) by 2030, but decrease long term by 1.8 million tonnes by 2045,” according to the draft budget.

Transport emissions notably are set to rise by 3.6 MtCO2 to 6.5 MtCO2 by 2030.

The government said it would not be possible to achieve transport objectives as the reduction in fuel tax notably “contributes to an increase in their consumption, an increase in traffic and a delayed electrification” of on-road vehicles.


The slashing of those taxes will shrink contributions to the Swedish treasury by around 6.5 billion kronor or some $600,000.

“It will be cheaper to refuel your car,” said Oscar Sjöstedt, an SD lawmaker who helped to draft the budget. The party “will continue to work for a reduction in fuel taxes”, he added.

Sweden has fixed a target of reaching net zero by 2045, five years ahead of an EU target.

“Sweden will pursue an ambitious and effective climate policy which will make it possible to achieve climate objectives,” Climate Minister Romina Pourmokhtari told Dagens Nyheter.

But Green lawmaker Janine Alm Ericson said the budget comprised “a catastrophe for the climate”.


Greenpeace also criticised the budget as appearing to under prioritise the greening of the economy.

Anna König Jerlmyr, former Stockholm mayor for the Moderates, also criticised the budget for “falling short” in the field of climate.

“We must work to reduce emissions in Sweden, not increase them,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Totally opposite the goals of the Paris agreement.”

Sweden’s independent Climate Policy Council earlier this year criticised the government for policies which it predicted would at least in the short term raise rather than cut emissions.

Article by AFP’s Etienne Fontaine