Government under fire for Carnegie links

The government's close relationship with people linked to investment bank Carnegie has come under fire from opposition politicians. The bank, which this week was fined 50 million kronor and forced to sack its CEO, is used as a consultant by the government and has supplied two close aides to Finance Markets Minister Mats Odell.

Odell two weeks ago recruited Carnegie lawyer Urban Funered to the senior position of state secretary. He also appointed former Carnegie chief Karin Forseke to head the process of selling off the state’s stake in a number of companies.

The minister is now being called for questioning by the Riksdag’s industry committee.

Thomas Östros, the Social Democrat deputy chairman of the committee, called for both the ex-Carnegie employees to be suspended. He also called for Odell to consider ending Carnegie’s role in the sale of state companies.

“That he isn’t even considering divorcing Carnegie from the current sell-off is incredible,” he added, saying that Funered and Forseke are at the centre of the discussion about what had gone wrong for Carnegie.

Following the Swedish Financial Services Authority’s (Finansinspecktionen) ruling against Carnegie earlier this week, Odell said that he would re-examine the investment bank’s role as an advisor to the state, but added that his confidence in Funered and Forseke remained undented.

Odell said he would not comment on Östros’s demands, but Karin Pilsäter, Liberal chairwoman of the industry committee, said it could be appropriate to question Odell. Pilsäter, whose party is part of the governing coalition, said she “isn’t so sure that the final decision will be in favour of [Carnegie] continuing.”