Swedish Labor Union Seeks To Set Monetary Policy - Demands Lower Rates, Higher Wages

Tyler Durden's picture

Forget Chuck Schumer's cat-out-of-the-bag 'get back to work' comments to Bernanke, now it is union-leaders who are advising the world's central bankers. "There is a not a single reason not to lower rates" exclaims Sweden's trade union confederation to the central bank as he begins negotiations with employers on wage deals for next year. His demands (for lower rates) are "far from excessive" and he adds "should not cause inflation" as Swedish organized labor have "never called for levels that ... could not be supported economically." It seems that everyone, from NYTimes bloggers & NY politicians to Swedish Hoffas know best what the central planners must do - and furthermore, it is becoming clear to an increasing mob who is really in charge (sadly).


Via Reuters:

The head of Sweden's trade union confederation urges the central bank to cut interest rates to support the slowing economy and says union demands for wage hikes would not trigger inflation.


Sweden's economy, which had been one of the most robust in Europe, is slowing sharply. The central bank has indicated that rates are more likely to fall next year than rise but has been reluctant to lower borrowing costs because it is worried about high levels of household debt.


"There is not a single reason not to lower rates," Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, chairman of the Trade Union Confederation (LO), told Reuters on Thursday.


Unions, a powerful voice in Sweden which has one of Europe's most unionised workforces. Thorwaldsson said unions would not back down on their demands for an across-the-board wage rise next year of at least 2.8 percent with a bigger rise for those on low salaries, and improved benefits. Given a benign inflation forecast, that would mean a rise in households' real income.


"There will be increases in real incomes in Sweden in 2013 as well. Remember where you heard it first," he said.


Unions are due to begin talks with employers on a wage deal for next year in the next few months.


LO has about 1.5 million members, but a wage deal would cover about 3.5 million workers, or two thirds of the labour force.


Thorwaldsson said LO's demands were far from excessive and should not cause inflation fears for the central bank. The bank cut rates in September for the first time in seven months but has kept them at 1.25 percent since.


Employers have said such wage rises would put jobs at risk, just as thousands have had redundancy notices, including from blue-chip exporters like truck maker Volvo (VOLVb.ST), telecom giant Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and garden gear maker Husqvarna (HUSQb.ST).


Thorwaldsson said the current downturn was not as bad as the 2008/2009 recession, when unions struck an accord with employers on temporary cuts in wages and working hours.


"Swedish organised labour has never made demands that we don't believe can be accepted and would never call for levels that we believed could not be supported economically."


Thorwaldsson said he saw the likelihood of a need for such deals again, but pointed to the possibility of a German-style, state-sponsored system for temporary shorter work weeks that is currently being examined by the centre-right government.

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JeremyWS's picture

That's gonna end well. 

TruthInSunshine's picture

The Plutocracy will not tolerate this!

Skilled machinists, precision welders, master craftsmen & other fabricators of highly value-added products must not make more than 1/80th (at the most) of those who "produce" credit derivatives or "design ETFs, bitchez!

Prepare for Martial Law & Tanks in the Streets!!!


*I'm not advocating for unions or "controls" on wages or benefits of any kind, so don't mis-read my post above to interpret sympathy with any lunatics, whether from "labor" or the plutocracy that owns our politicians, bitchez.  I am and always have thought unfettered, free markets, ruled by the laws of true demand and true supply, to bring about the fairest compensation and prices.

I'm merely highlighting/emphasizing one additional hyproctrical and anti-free market glitch (that can be argued to be the flip-side nonsensical aspect of how FUBARed our economy and very society has become due to the TBTF death-grip the financial/bankster sector has now imposed) in the matrix.

alangreedspank's picture

I'm not of the plutocracy and I would not tolerate this either. Blatant conflict of interest. We have enough of those with the bankers and government ass toadies.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

I feel lethargic at the idea of being ‘entrepreneurial’ or ‘improving my skills’. All unions want are better wages, and job security, so they can buy more gadgets and holidays. I’m sick of narcissistic liberations telling workers to ‘improve’ their skills and start businesses. Workers just want money, and they don’t care where it comes from. Fundamentally, libertarians just want to deny decent, hard-working and honest people the right to have a reasonable standard of living. I can’t understand what their motivations are. It’s a mystery to me. 

Ajas's picture

Humor indeed.


Mob: "Lower interest rates so that we can borrow more money!"

Banks: "Lower your demand for money, and rates will go down."

That's why rates are where rates are.

Publicus's picture

There are two types of people, the creators of wealth, and the accumulators of weath.


CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

The creation of and accumulation of wealth are not mutually exclusive. Also you've left out the category "destroyers of wealth" among many other possibilities.

flacon's picture

""Swedish organised labour has never made demands that we don't believe can be accepted" .... ummm.. MADE DEMANDS?! Who ever is paying the salary has the leverage to MAKE DEMANDS. That is, in a FREE MARKET.... 

laozi's picture

I know a thing or two about Sweden, and you can simply ignore what the unions say and in fact this entire article.

The unions are losing power in Sweden, and the central bank does not give a damn about what the union head saiz or not.

Ingves, the central bank chairman, is worried about rising house prices. He thinks Sweden has a housing bubble (he is right). He might lower interest, but reluctantly. Bitchez!

Odd Ball's picture

Um, I think you forgot the destroyers of wealth.

A Nanny Moose's picture

No. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Get government out of the business of subsidizing labor (unions) OR plutocrats (CronyKomradeKapitalists in the Defense-Bankster/Financial-WallStreet complex), period.

1)  "Liberate" politicians of any ability to be owned or subservient to any special interest other than the voting public writ large. In fact, treat the act of showering or attempting to shower subsidies on industry, unions or any sector of the economy as one would treat sedition.

2)  Forbid government subsidization of private industry & unions, in all forms, period.

3)  Get rid of fractional reserve banking and the entities that promulgate it.


By the way, government employees are the literal last bastion of union lunacy, at least in the U.S. I don't think I'm off base to suggest that the average government employee receives from 50% to 200% overcompensation (with a premium benefit package) for the work that they do, not to mention that by any reasonable standards of efficiency/productivity, 80% of government employees could be fired, and few, if any people would see any decline in their standards of living (just the opposite, as the tax structure could then become less onerous).

There are 4 1/2 million federal employees, 15 million state and local government employees, and many millions more stealth government employees, in the U.S. 25 million total government employees, including federal, state, local and "quasi" contractors is probably a conservative number (so, 1 government employee or contractor per 12 Americans is most likely a fair estimate).

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Not bad but I'd like it better if you cut it down to this:


Forbid government

lasvegaspersona's picture

The people have spoken: they do not want liberty or rule of law or even a system that makes sense. The people want shit, lots of it and they do not want to be confused about the ramifications of getting them their shit. They want a bold leader, who is pretty and kinda tall (se he can 'lead'. He should also be able to make other politicians give them their shit....those who say otherwise are throwbacks to another era, an imaginary time when people understood the system and the law of unintended consequences, a time when .....ah crap...a time that maybe never existed. Maybe it was just something I learned about in grade school that never really was. I just do not believe there has been a change in human nature.

A Nanny Moose's picture

People want shit without having to consider the opportunity costs.

StychoKiller's picture

Free Brawndo™ to every Comacho voter...

Yen Cross's picture

You feel lethargic?( MDB) Sleeping in until the SUN sets, and riding the CHOOM WAGON all night has it's consequences...

alangreedspank's picture

ROFL as usual MDB, keep on the fine trolling.

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Whatever the job is, I'll do it for 20% less than what you want.


Competition sucks, doesn't it?

archon's picture

Hahaha... @ trade unions and Swedish Hoffas and central planners know what's best.   Who is John Galt?

Stoploss's picture

See, the unions have turned labor into a commodity, and use it as the leverage tool they need to get higher wages, when in fact, they should be taking pay cuts.

The cure for high prices, is, high prices..

They are pricing themselves out of business.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

ekm's picture

When are you guys going to believe me when I say that the the central bankers have become simply order takers?

buzzsaw99's picture

tethered dog demands longer leash

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

I would piss in that guys mouth before a toilet.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

They are in going into the wrong office.

They should really walk into the Swedish treasuary and print Kronabacks.......subtracting from the banks ability to extract wealth....although I gather they extract much wealth from the Baltics which trickle down to the local forest finns ..so better not yet.




Uber Vandal's picture

Swedish Treasury can not print, due to they went totally cashless.



And the fine print of that....

A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Looks like yee are fucked like the rest of us .


Banked to debt.


Was not a 99% or something bank credit economy enough for these bastards ?


Apperently not.


They vant it all and they want it now.

They want all your savings in their loans.

We live under or inside a quite incredible system of control.

Matt's picture

If there is a solar flare and the Internet and electric grid go down, I will be laughing to myself whenever I think of Sweden. "Why could we possibly need physical money?" 

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Here's is Sweden's austerity committee arriving

From Sweden's greatest film, and one of the greatest movies of all time

Ingmar Bergman's 'The Seventh Seal' 'Sjunde Inseglet' from 1957

The famous scene with the flagellants and the mediaeval Dies Irae 'Day of Wrath' day of judgement tune


MillionDollarBoner_'s picture


That looks like fun!

Where can I sign up?


falak pema's picture

anything the fed can do we can do!

And btW give us more labour union rights! 

Sweden is now the solar star of civilization in spread around wealth. 

Sounds very sexy! 

If the world has to drown in debt it might as well be labour union debt not oligarchy debt! 

debt meets debt on field of templar honour; may judgement by Ordeal prevail ! 

ziggy59's picture

..first cashless, then broke, classic

Sphinx_www's picture

And why not? The bernanke is leading the way.

NeedleDickTheBugFucker's picture

I assume by the union head's desire for lower rates that he and his fellow workers do not participate in any type of defined-benefit plan or they fail to understand the unintended consequences of ZIRP on the current and future funding state of their pension plan.

Umh's picture

or they spend every coin they get immediately and borrow more!

Piranhanoia's picture

Pretty good idea if you have money to spend on gold.  

It isn't like they are going to keep their money in the bank at zirp

SilverSavant's picture

Puck these clueless puckers.   Or in ZH terminolgy, these bitches need more edumacation.  I am passing out for the night.  After seeing silver rise after all this time,  I have gotten drunk.   Maybe it was overdue.

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Sleep long and well, SS.

It will be down again in the morning ;o)

Atomizer's picture

Chuck Schumer's ‘EBT White Power ‘ plantation movement to the rescue.



Yen Cross's picture

 I just sent a friend over to the local coin shop for some rolls of " platinum koalas"... It's good to be, "Metal diversified"...

surf0766's picture

Because unions have the answer for everything.. They must be the smartest in the room


roadhazard's picture

Not near as smart as Central Bankers and the Rich. Notice They take a Zero pay cut, in fact get a bonus and extra in hard times. Yes, the Unions are killing this world. JHC

zilverreiger's picture

Jealous american slaves? haha

atleast we europeans get some welfare out of the abuse, you guys get fuck all bahahaha


the abused walmart slaves are wisening up luckily

Hangfire's picture

Yes, but you will be forced to convert to Islam 100 years before we are!