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Leif Pagrotsky on the Riksbanken’s Intervention

Question: What led to the Riksbanken’s decision to cut interest rates?

Pagrotsky: Until a few months ago, we had a problem of rising inflation expectations among the Swedish public, and decision makers in the business community were preparing for higher inflation, wage negotiations were preparing for higher inflation, and the economy was perhaps set for a higher level of inflation, so the Central Bank reacted by raising the interest rates to demonstrate to the economic agents in the country that this was not to be tolerated, but what has happened now is that international prices have come down. The oil price is down $100 in a few months, and the raw material prices, food prices are on the way down. It’s a totally different situation. The impulses that produce inflationary expectations in my country are not longer there. The board of directors in the Central Bank took notice of this. They said now the threat of inflation is gone, the economy is in a very sharp fall, and there is instead now possibilities of very, very low inflation, so there’s no need to have a higher interest rate anymore, so they made a totally different assessment, and that has, after having cut interest rates by another 100 bases points about a month ago, another 175 today was [welcomed] and I think a well motivated step.

Sharply decreasing inflation led to the biggest interest rate cut in the Swedish central bank’s history, explains Leif Pagrotsky.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

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Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.

Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.

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These new status behaviours are what one expert calls 'inconspicuous consumption'.

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In 1899, the economist Thorstein Veblen observed that silver spoons and corsets were markers of elite social position.
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