Why Norway ran out of Butter

18.12.2011 Fun Misc #Economy

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Ihr habt's vielleicht letzte Woche gelesen: Norwegen ist die Butter ausgegangen. Slate erklärt, warum das möglich war. Kurz: Norwegen hält große Teile seines Erdöl-Einkommens in einem Pensionsfond, der in ausländischen Aktien angelegt ist und verteilt die Kohle nicht komplett per Subventionen an die heimische Wirtschaft. Deshalb konnte die nicht mal schnell die Importe für Butter hochfahren und so wachten die Norweger neulich morgens auf und konnten sich nix mehr auf's Brot schmieren. Warum das nicht wirklich so doof ist, steht bei Slate:

A large share of the oil revenues, rather than subsidizing current government operations, is invested via the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which is thought to own approximately 1 percent of the publicly traded stock in the world. In part, the purpose of the fund is, as its website says, “to safeguard and build financial wealth for future generations,” but this could be accomplished by directly giving the funds to Norwegians instead. The real purpose of holding the wealth in a fund that invests exclusively abroad is to limit the appreciation of the krone in international currency markets and maintain Norway’s industrial competitiveness. What it has in common with the butter tariffs, however, is that Norwegians are accepting lower living standards than they might otherwise enjoy for the sake of a long-term strategy of not becoming a Saudi-style oil monoculture.

So laugh it up this week if you see another story about Russian butter smugglers making their way to Oslo. Just remember that there are a lot of small oil-rich countries out there, and Norway is the most politically and socially functional of them all, thanks largely to the very ideas that saddled them with this amusing shortage.

The Norwegian Butter Crisis – An absurd dairy shortage and its very valuable economic lessons (via MeFi)

[update] „A Butter message to the USA!“

 Youtube Direktbutter, danke Yama!