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Borg slams Gordon Brown as new IMF head

AFP/The Local · 19 May 2011, 15:01

Published: 19 May 2011 15:01 GMT+02:00

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"It would be difficult to have someone so responsible for the fiscal crisis in the UK at the helm of the IMF," Borg said of Brown in an interview with UK broadcaster Sky News.

He went on to say that "a country with a 10 percent deficit is a little bit problematic" as a place to find a successor" to Strauss-Kahn, adding that Brown was "not that strong" a candidate to head the IMF.

Later on Thursday, Borg however praised the strengths of Lagarde as a possible replacement for the disgraced Strauss-Kahn.

While he said it may be too early to take a formal position, he had been very impressed by Lagarde, seen as a key member of the current French government.

"One person whose name has come up is that of French finance minister Christine Lagarde and I must say that she has made a very good impression on me," Borg told Sveriges Radio (SR).

"She has been a real driving force in (the European Union finance ministers group) and she has been very important in the work of the Group of 20 – she has the influence and the experience," he said.

Borg also noted that the possibility of having a woman at the IMF helm was another positive point for Lagarde.

Earlier, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said that Strauss-Kahn, who resigned on Thursday as head of the IMF amid sexual assault charges, had been a great asset to the world during the global financial crisis,

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"It should be said that DSK served the world with great distinction during a most critical period," Bildt said on his official Twitter account, stressing that finding the right "successor will be important."

Borg also noted that Europe, the biggest contributor to IMF funds, should again claim the top job, as developing countries including China voiced hopes that someone from the emerging economies be considered.

Europe has traditionally supplied the head of the IMF while the United States names the World Bank chief, the two bodies set up after World War II to help guide the global economy.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:15 May 19, 2011 by Great Scott
This bloke Borg is nothing short of an idiot, who is he to criticise anybody. This clown has been lying to the Swedish public for the last five years. All he has managed to do is to line the pockets of the already well off, while persecuting the poor, elderly and unemployed.

The poor, Sweden's homeless are increasing at light speed, this is something Sweden has never experienced. Sweden is slowly becoming a nation of noodle eaters, because that's all many can afford.

What is he doing to the elderly, he has made major cuts in elderly welfare, these are the people that made Sweden a great country, what is he doing, destroying everything.

Sweden has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, what is he doing about that, his answer is to send the unemployed out to work without payment, he then tells all that he has reduced unemployment.
16:31 May 19, 2011 by Mb 65
The last person we need is Brown. this man is a total idiot. every time he was made a minister of this and that, he made a total hash of it then he moved on.
17:20 May 19, 2011 by Frank Arbach
Has Borg become a card carrying member of the British Tory Party?

He should show more respect for foreign political figures, by keeping his thoughts to himself
18:05 May 19, 2011 by Plowbridge
Brown was actually a brilliant chancellor who presided over the UK's most affluent period in quantifiable history. A Prime Minister he was not, and In the end, it all went Pete Tong, but not purely for government policy, more mass capitalism raping all available resources and equity for personal gain.

Borg, as part of the alliance, is playing short termism without any regard for the same reasons that brought the western world to it's knees in the first place. Playing catch up I suppose, like many things here.

And similar to the tories in the UK, they do not see it as governments responsibility to manage society despite the its definition. Borg may have good PR, but he is no better than a SME accountant. Stefan " Text book" Ingves runs economic policy here, and let's not forget that the onset of the "credit crunch" saw them about to put interest rates UP, but relented thanks in the main to Browns leadership of the EU's policy.

They also advised to join the Euro. If Sweden had followed them then it would be like Portugal here. They got lucky which is more than can be said about society, who will inevitably bear the brunt of such incompetence with their futures.
18:39 May 19, 2011 by jack sprat
I wouldn't trust Brown with my Piggy Bank.

Thank the Lord and those who know him well that his chances are extremely remote at best..
18:52 May 19, 2011 by Tutu
i think anders borg is doing a good job with swedish economy.
18:55 May 19, 2011 by prince T
Anders Borg have been managing our economy very well and swedish economy have gotten good recommendation in the world. On the other hand Brown kept the brithish economy afloat during his tenure as chancellor of UK.
19:05 May 19, 2011 by Nemesis
Brown was an OK chancellor, who at least won't be raping everything in sight. He was just a terrible prime minister.

Borg would do well to look in the mirror and pay of the long term debt instead of giving tax breaks to the wealthy and through then use of Praktik turning all the youth into slave labour.

Borg is an idiot. Thankfully there is not a hope in hell of him being in charge of anything outside Sweden.
21:16 May 19, 2011 by Mib
I think Borg was restrained in his comments. Ask most Brits and you would hear a lot of criticism. As a chancellor he was lucky to have enjoyed a long period of growth. He wasted the money on ideals, funding people to live in homes that ordinary workers could not afford, removed 10% tax rate from low earners to fund a 2% cut for higher earners. Allowed the housing boom to get out of control despite being told that people were falsifying their incomes to speculate on property...committed massive amounts of tax payers money to private companies who massively overcharged to build and maintain new buildings, sold lots of gold when prices were at the bottom, passed financial controls to a toothless agency called the FSA. In other words he believed in his own hype.

He is a denier of the facts and believes he saved the world. He came in as Prime Minister and promised the world and delivered only pizza. He was so fantastic, that he was voted out as PM. The British public NEVER voted for him! He exposed his angelic view of himslef when he called a concerned voter a Bigot .. not knowing his mic was still on. I believe he had good intentions, but was exposed as a slef indulgent incompetent who didn't listen. He's like Bliar..... he won't admit his failings.

So thankyou Borg fo saying what most British people think!! At least Borg has a degree in finance.
21:26 May 19, 2011 by McChatter
@Mib Thank you for being the first on this thread to put forward some facts. Don't forget it was the UK Labour Party govt. who was spending like mad right up to the election. Then they left it to the next govt. to clean up after them. Brown? Who can trust a North British person? LOL
21:39 May 19, 2011 by planet.sweden
Never in the history of Britain has one man caused so much damage to the national finances as Gordon Brown.

Borg is right to speak up and warn the world of the incompetence of this boorish bumptious bully, a man described by senior members of his own party as someone with deep "psychological flaws" as far back as 1999.

Boy and how Britain paid for those psychological flaws when Brown organized a coup against the elected Prime Minister and had himself installed in No.10 without a single vote from a member of the UK electorate.

If I had my way Gordon Brown would be on trial for crimes against the British economy with a sentence of 5 years hanging over his head. He was and remains a total disaster. Borg and other EU finance minister should deploy all means at their disposal to prevent Brown getting anywhere near the IMF's top job. God forbid.
22:17 May 19, 2011 by jack sprat
Right on the nail,planet sweden.

Personally I'd like to see the guy given a public flogging before being hung,drawn and quartered, for the chaos,loss and damage, he has caused to the UK economy and the population in general..
00:40 May 20, 2011 by jackx123
Dear Mr. Cameron,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing Britain 's economy.

Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the

following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.

Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new British car.

Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -

Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -

Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .....

and there's your money back in duty/tax etc

6) Instead of stuffing around with the carbon emissions trading scheme

that makes us pay for the major polluters, tell the greedy bastards to

reduce their pollution emissions by 75% within 5 years or we shut them


It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back

their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances
02:02 May 20, 2011 by zircon
It cannot be Christine Lagarde. That would take her slightly out of her long lasting belief in fixing the economy. The IMF seems more of a global institution of 'floating' economy.
08:57 May 20, 2011 by Plowbridge
I have to say mib, you sound like a scriptwriter for the Daily Star.
09:24 May 20, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
Does anyone care what Borg thinks or says?

Most people in the UK probably think he's a retired tennis player.
10:23 May 20, 2011 by Mib
@Plowbridge - You sound like Gordon Brown's love child :0) The proof in anyone's ability is not when things are going well, but when it's not and he FAILED big time. He is a Labour MP and he removed the 10% tax rate from the lowest earners who effectively had a 10% tax rate increase! He was warned many times that there was massive corruption within financial advisors, mortgage advisors, banks, real estate agents etc where self certification was being abused and for employees, were being lent up to 8 times their salaries up to 125% mortgages. He then at the height of the boom, reduced CGT liability, which stoked the fires even more. If he could not see the dangers from that, then he is an idiot, especially as he has access to "experts" to advise him...but common sense prevails.

During his mismangement and Bliar, the UK illegally invaded Iraq based on lies. He allowed Health & Safety rules and political correctness to get in the way of law abiding people trying to live a normal life. He invested heavily in the NHS, but most of it went on massive pay increases for Doctors without any extra performance. He allowed Civil Servants to earn massive salaries in jobs that do not demand such rewards. He allowed massive bonuses to be paid for civil servants for just doing their job. He allowed th NHS to massively increase recruitment of unnecessary management jobs...far above the rate of increase in medical staff. ALL MPs were abusing their expenses on his watch and he allowed the representatives of Parliament to go to court to hide the truth. I could go on, but I don't want you crying in your soup.....assuming you haven't inherited his DENIAL gene.

With regards to Borg.....yes he was lucky that in the 90's Sweden had its own credit crunch which meant the rules brought in then helped protect Sweden this time. But he got rid of the awful wealth tax, which forced older people to sell their homes as their income could not pay that tax. He has reduced income taxes for the average earner to help motivate unemployed people who are able to work to accept jobs that give themmore money working than on the dole. Of course, there are things that have not been perfect, but we still have fantastic parental leave benefits, subsidised dagis and more....so get back to reality. We do not live in a perfect world.....as left wing people envisage.

The conclusion is that regardless of the colour of your political flag, the people in power are their normally for their own benefit...not ours. They are normally incompetent, because they are effectively managing a company called Sweden or the UK, but do NOT have the skills to do it. At least Borg has the qualification for his job.
12:00 May 20, 2011 by edpe71
As a British banker in Sweden having been at the forefront of dealing with the financial crisis for my bank in the US and Europe there are some good comments here, some of which I agree with.

There is nothing new in what Borg has said and indeed Cameron said the same thing a few weeks ago. To be the head of the IMF you have to be recommended by your home country and there is no chance of that happening for Brown, so all can relax. I think Brown was an OK Chancellor but only because he had Blair as a counter balance. In the end Brown believed his own press and well the rest is history.

I think the real issue is who will take over at the IMF. Traditionally its been a European but all the obvious candidates have ruled themselves out. Legarde (for which I am a fan) has domestic political and legal issues to deal with but she is the obvious European choice at the moment.

Europe wont concede the position to a non European for fear of losing world political clout. But the time is coming for emerging market countries to take their responsibility on the world stage with these types of positions. Besides potential emerging market candidates being touted have better experience of the type of sovereign debt crisis that Europe is in, even if they don't have the political clout at the moment. So my view is try something new and break the status quo with the IMF job.
12:55 May 20, 2011 by cogito
Though I'm not a big fan of Borg, I have to say that the posters calling Borg idiot demonstrate bottomless idiocy themselves. Borg is arguably the most intelligent politico Sweden has had in decades.

Brown screwed over old-age pensioners in the U.K.

Christine Lagarde is a brilliant economist; she would be an excellent choice to replace the tawdry Strauss-Kahn as head of the IMF.
15:22 May 20, 2011 by mattintheuk
No offence to Swedes but, the UK contributes almost 5% to the total IMF fund and is the 4th largest contributor after the US, Japan and German respectively. Not sure what Sweden contributes but it isn't in the top 10. What exactly is the reason for Anders Borg being so vocal with his opinion on British TV ? Why should another French person take the role vacated by Strauss Khan ?

Also I wish the tory boys would get their figures straight when quoting debt figures, instead of basically lying. Public debt is not the same as external debt, and Britains external debt includes things like mortgages etc. A quick look on wikipedia will give you the details.
17:07 May 20, 2011 by edpe71
@ MattintheUK

Having seen the interview it sounds more a "rent a quote" situation for Borg to comment on Sky.

There is a strong argument for a European to take over given that is where the crisis will be for a few years and they are collectively the biggest contributors. I have no idea why it is usually a French person that runs the IMF. But of the main European candidates being speculated are the Germans who have ruled out themselves unless they have changed their mind, Brown wont get Cameron backing, Legarde and the former Irish finance minister are available and the Italian Central Bank Govenor is likely to go to the ECB. All other potential EU candidates are looking over their shoulder worrying if they will be next in the life boat at the mercy of the Germans! After that there is a Turk, an elderly Israeli and a host of emerging market possibles.

Who would you go for? I think either the French or Italian candidates would do a good job.
18:25 May 20, 2011 by Nemesis
I support Legarde as the new head of the IMF.

As long as Borg never gets control of the IMF, ECB or anything else, that is the main thing.
18:43 May 20, 2011 by motti
I don't know anythin about borg. However, Brown as Chancellor ruined the UK economy prior to the banks disgusting record. He sold off gold at giveaway prices, killed the pension schemes when it was one of the finest. I could go on. But, if you want a total cockup in the financial world, by all means Brown should be included. He and Blair are typical ex marxist socialists, enjoying the high life. Brown has only made one appearance in parliament since he lost the election, but still drwas his income.

Who is the biggest charleton blair or Brown. Blair, but no doubt, Brown will try and catch up with him.

Both are are apalling people, straight from school into university and Marxist politics, then into government. Neither could organise a pissup at the local brewery. If they have never run a business, how can they run a country?
22:04 May 20, 2011 by dibble
McChatter, I presume you consider a North British person to be a Scotsman? You may be right about Brown but not even close so far as Scotsmen are concerned.
12:17 May 21, 2011 by Iraniboy
Given that the UK policies is actually a copy of US policies, choosing Brown would means both IMF and the World Bank are from the US. So the balance is not respected.
13:21 May 21, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Personally I like Brown and think his heart has always been in the wrong place, but Labour created over a decade of unchecked ruin in Britain. Some of which is irreversible now. There is no way I would want Gordon Brown running the IMF. In fact I don't want an IMF at all. I don't mind the idea of a global fund to help countries on the skids, but they are much more than that. The IMF is re-engineering the global economy and slowly leaching real political power and sovereignty away from nation states. Global institutions run by unelected philosopher kings are calling the shots more now than ever before and it's getting worse. The elected governments of nation states have less real power each year because they continually cede it to unaccountable global institutions. We will all be living under a bureaucratic tyranny that is much worse than the one you think you live under today.
15:44 May 21, 2011 by Great Scott
I shall write in the same format as the pro borg people here but in reverse, so let's start by lowering ourselves down to their level. These pro right wing fascists have very short memories, you need to see that borg is taking the identical road as thatcher and her loony crooks took. And we all know what happen there, sell off everything the country has and put the profits in the already well offs pockets. Some call these people fat cats, some people call them bankers and some people just call them out right nasty people. If you remember the torys were know by the British public as the nasty party.

These nasty parties such as the torys and the moderates do nothing in the interest of the general public, the very reason they seek power is to only make life better for themselves.

What did thatcher do that was good for the UK nothing, so what did she do, she caused riots over poll tax, she increased VAT, she made thousands homeless, took away school milk, made major spending cuts in the NHS and made it a laughing stock, she created high unemployment (right wing parties like high unemployment, as it give them a chance to play one against the other) she created the biggest recession the UK has ever seen, yes bigger than the current one (house prices fell by 35% in some areas) she changed the electrical voting areas to give the torys a better chance of winning the next election and generally bought down the moral of the British people, Oh sorry she used the Falklands war to try and get a little bit of support. Her and her tory party were also good friends of Chilean president and fascist dictator augusto pinochet, you know the one that made tens of thousands of people disappear from Chile. How embarrassing it was for the British public to have their prime minister a friend of such a man as this.

borg is no different than thatcher, as with thatcher the corruption and mismanagement of a country will not fully show up until years later.

I think calling these right wing parties idiots, is much more polite them calling them nasty.
19:25 May 21, 2011 by Mib
@Great Scott - The Country was on the road to ruin befor Thatcher came along. 3 day weeks, massive pubic strikes, rubbish piling up everywhere and the Union leaders having tea at Downing St! Yeah...it was so lovely before Thatcher came aong.

Thatcher did alot of things wrong, but whe took the power away from the unions and for me that was her greatest achievement. Just like left wing idealists, she had her Poll tax ideal and it failed big time.

Borg is not Thatcher and if he was, his coalition would not have got the most votes, albeit not full power due to Swedish Democrat winning seats. Their idea was to sell some of the nationally owned companies to fund a reduction in employers tax on salaries to employees, which is a good idea. Not convinced about selling good national companies to do that though. Ther should be a better way.

You talk about VAT....well it's 25% here and was raised by a previous Government. My dislike of the Government is this blind attitude to unchecked immigration and asylum seekers. That is way the scum Swedish Democrats are increasing in power. This attitude seems to be shared in all European countries menaing the nasty right are gaining votes.

You talk about corruption and mismangement.....F***king hell.....where have you been the last 13 years of Labout power, where Civil servants are earning 300k + bonuses + expenses and more. Look at the Swedish politicians who break the law by not paying for their TV licence, not reveling their full income, paying workers on the black market. Don't you see.....the right-wing, left-wing and liberals all fight each other in public, while they all have a laugh at us at their subsidised bars and restaurants.

The biggest corrupt organisation is the EU parliament andpeople know it. I have never seen so many young people put themselves up here in Sweden to be voted in as an MEP. Massive salary, great expenses and the best bit...no-one knows who you are and no-one questions your work. If you think Borg is the problem.....you need to see the wood for the trees as they say.
03:31 May 22, 2011 by Great Scott

Let me remind you the 3 day week as the time when heath (tory) was in power. The strikes that you talk about were against thatcher aggression (people had seen her ways and would not stand for them). I seem to remember that this thread was about borgs attack on brown nothing to do with the EU, Swedish VAT, immigration or any other politicians. Having seen the mess that thatcher caused the UK, I can clearly see what borg is like and that he is not an honest man. I am also informed that maud olofsson made this statement when she got into power, the statement was "now I can be rich". As you say there are problems with many politicians, but when it comes to health, education and social care you can't trust the right wing.

If you want to talk about the labour government, they bought in the minimum wage, rebuilt the health system which was crippled and on its knees, reduced unemployment to its lowest ever (apart from war time) and stopped the lords right of place, just to mention a few things. It was the international banking crooks that bought down the labour government. By the way the clown that was elected to lead tory's, did a lot of shouting when he was in the opposition, where have his so called fix Britain ideas gone. He is now acting like a pathetic little lamb.
17:10 May 22, 2011 by cogito
The NHS under Gordon Brown was a scandal of non-care: just a few stories among hundreds:

-UK cancer death rates for women are among the worst in Europe

British women are more likely to die from cancer than women living elsewhere in Europe and the gap is widening, figures showed...

-A DESPERATE woman texted photos of herself slowly DYING to her mum as she lay suffering on a hospital bed - being ignored by NHS doctors.

-MAN plans to SUE the NHS - claiming they ignored his plight as he rocketed towards 70 stone...The 50-year-old said he begged his local NHS trust for help at 30stone
14:25 May 31, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
Is there a psychological test before one becomes head of the IMF? I'm not sure Mad Gordon Brown would pass....I think Wendy Alexander would make a fun choice, though, if she could be talked out of retirement :-)

PS - why not get a Swiss who both knows what they are doing and isn't pulled by the traditional France/UK/Germany loyalities which colour their decisions?
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