Note: This is the English version of an Op-Ed published in Aftenposten, Norway\'s leading newspaper on the 21st of October entitled "Conspicous by its absence"
Norway’s economy is heavily exposed to events and policy shifts around the world, even more so than that of other small countries. The exposure mainly from trade and the investments of the oil fund. Yet, there is an absence of strategy on how best to manage this exposure.
Norway can only do so much against the daily travails of the oil and financial markets that it is so exposed to. However, it can have much greater influence on global and particularly European financial reform efforts that are changing how these markets work. Inexplicably, it has chosen to forgo such influence.
As part of the single market, from which Norway derives significant benefits, it is obliged to adopt most EU financial regulations into its domestic legislation. However, it has little formal influence on what form these take. Norway does have an ‘observer’ status in some regulatory groupings; this brings a ‘voice’ but no ‘vote’.
Ex-Lehman banker says EU should crack down on big banks
Instead of addressing fundamental issues like the role of finance, politicians seem stuck in assuaging public anger, argues Sony Kapoor, manager of the international think-tank Re-Define, in an interview with EurActiv.
Kapoor, who has testified on financial regulation at the European Parliament, says world leaders have so far shown a lack of vision in reshaping the post-crisis financial system, arguing that it will be up to the EU's competition authorities to clean up.Outside Brussels, national leaders are missing the bigger picture, says Kapoor, though some have come up with "politically palatable" proposals.