PROFILE-Norway’s central bank governor Svein Gjedrem

Position: Norges Bank Governor

Incumbent: Svein Gjedrem, 60

Current term: 2005-2011, his second and last 6 year term.

Key facts:

— Gjedrem has refocused rate policy around
inflation-targeting from a previous currency-stability mandate;
set up an investment management arm to run Norway’s $450
billion oil fund; and presided over Norway’s oil boom era,
characterized by fast growth and low inflation. During the
financial crisis he slashed rates to record lows and helped
banks maintain liquidity.

— On his watch inflation has consistently undershot Norges
Bank’s target of 2.5 percent, a fact repeatedly pointed out by
his critics but largely accepted by market economists. Many
like his “wider” approach to rate setting based not only on
inflation trends but also capacity utilization and the labor
market.

— Gjedrem made Norges Bank into one of the globe’s most
transparent monetary policy makers by publishing the bank’s own
interest rate projections and economic forecasts three times
per year. Critics say that between these reports Norges Bank
can be slow to address developments, which led it to wrong-foot
markets on occasion during the worst of the global crisis.

— Gjedrem created Norges Bank Investment Management to
invest Norway’s oil revenues into offshore stocks and bonds. He
has vigorously defended the oil fund from politicians when they
sought to water down its financially oriented mandate or tried
to reduce its ability to take on risk in the wake of a huge
investment loss during 2008.

— Before Norges Bank, Gjedrem was the secretary general at
the finance ministry. He gained his masters in economics from
the University of Oslo in 1975. An avid soccer fan, the former
defender also played in Norway’s top division for seven
seasons.
(Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa; Editing by Jerry Norton)

PROFILE-Norway’s central bank governor Svein Gjedrem