Borg has ‘worst’ personal finances among Swedish ministers: report

Borg has 'worst' personal finances among Swedish ministers: report
Swedish finance minister Anders Borg, known for lecturing Swedes about the dangers of borrowing too much money, has a mortgage worth more than the value of his home, according to new investigation.

In an opinion article published in January, Borg cautioned that, “we can’t live beyond our means”.

“We all have a responsibility to not be cavalier, but rather to make careful and responsible calculations when it comes to investments and consumption,” Borg wrote.

“Responsibility and prudence ought to be our guiding lights for the years ahead.”

But a few months later, Borg took out an addition 500,000 kronor ($76,000) loan on his 368 square-metre home in Katrineholm in central Sweden.

The new loan brought the finance minister’s overall mortgage up to 3.65 million kronor on a home with an assessed value of only 3.2 million kronor, according to a report in the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Moreover, the newspaper concluded that Borg had the worst personal finances of all of Sweden’s government ministers, saddled with mortgage debt totaling more than 110 percent of his home’s value.

But Borg is far from the only Swedish minister with a sizeable amount of housing debt.

Social insurance minister Ulf Kristersson, as well as children and the elderly minister Maria Larsson, also have mortgages worth more than the value of their homes.

Overall, a total of seven ministers have mortgages that exceed Sweden’s 85 percent mortgage ceiling, Aftonbladet found.

Meanwhile, foreign minister Carl Bildt was found to be the wealthiest Swedish minister, with assets totaling 23.8 million kronor, including a 170 square-metre flat in Stockholm’s posh Östermalm district valued at 10 million kronor.

Agriculture minister Eskil Erlandsson is Sweden’s next wealthiest minister, with newly appointed environment minister Lena Ek coming in third with assets totaling 11 million kronor.

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