Anders Borg has developed a reputation across the financially troubled European Union for keeping the Swedish economy on track. While he is broadly admired for his fiscal fortitude, he is also known, sometimes mockingly so, for his retro rocker ponytail.
"He thought it was time for a trim," Borg's press secretary Caroline Karlsson told the Expressen daily on Monday after images of a neatly-clipped Borg began circulating on Twitter.
The fallout from the finance crunch has left its mark on economies worldwide, with the term fiscal haircut entering into the popular lexicon. While there is no evidence to suggest that Borg's dramatic decision has a fiscal or political motive, his balding pate has not escaped the strain, a problem which is known to be exacerbated by the wearing a tight ponytail.
With an election coming up in less than a year, and the Moderates currently languishing in the opinion polls, speculation is however rife on Twitter on Monday that Borg’s haircut may indeed have an ulterior motive.
“Borg has got himself a new hairstyle that requires more maintenance and more visits to the hairdresser. This is the only way to take responsibility for the economy and employment,” Swedish journalist and political commentator Viktor Barth-Kron said.
Other Twitter users speculated that Borg was readying himself for a return to the jobs market and others speculated as to the future of his other signature fashion item, a single ear ring worn in the left ear.
And for anyone in doubt as to the veracity of the dramatic story unfolding in the corridors of power in Sweden on Monday the following tweet from the reporter who broke the news should dispel any lingering doubts.
The news swiftly spread outside of Sweden's borders on Monday with the Wall Street Journal and Reuters among the news sources to report on the story of the Swedish finance minister who has lost his tail.