Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Dunno about David Goldman, but the shrewd cookies over at Goldman Sachs are saying that the Norwegian Krone and Swedish Krona are way undervalued.

Bloomberg.com: Exclusive

For Goldman Sachs, the Norwegian krone is the most undervalued currency versus the euro, falling short of the bank's fair value by 42 percent, according to a Jan. 8 research report. At 25 percent, the Swedish krona is the third most undervalued.

And I agree with solveig - who has an instinct for these things (probably 'cos she's a Virgo) <hides> - that Swedish properties are astonishingly good value.

Norwegian property's not bad outside the cities either....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Jan 12th, 2009 at 07:02:33 PM EST
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Would that I had a way to return to Voss.
by rifek on Mon Jan 12th, 2009 at 07:28:34 PM EST
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I've liked the Norwegian kroner versus the euro or US dollar for some time.  They've still got some North Sea oil and the ships to transport it to market.  Against this is the rising price of foods - esp. grains.

Swedish krona ... not so much.  One way or the other the Swedes are going to have to spend to build domestic power production to offset the decline in fuel oil production.  Unfortunately that means borrowing in the international capital markets during a time when the US is sucking everything up.  I agree land prices in Sweden are getting interesting.  If I had the money I'd be seriously looking to invest in agriculturally productive lands in Skåne, somewhere near the Copenhagen/Malmo bridge.  

Investing in farmland in Norway is even more interesting.  The downside is the darn government forces you to actually farm it!  (Obnoxious, huh?  ;-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 01:53:49 PM EST
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Solveig has reminded me that if you want to buy Norwegian land you need to be prepared to live on it, and in relation to farming land, you probably have to demonstrate that you have or will acquire farming capability. If the farm is anything more than a smallholding you will have to farm it yourself.

This is because good farmland is in very short supply in Norway, and until very recently the concept of an absentee landlord in Norway simply did not exist. Even today it only tends to apply to the relatively few Yuppie flats which have become the subject of Norway's own mini sub-prime problem.

These restrictions on absentee ownership generally and by extension, on foreign ownership in particular, are one of the key reasons why Norway twice rejected EU membership, which would, I undrestand, have obliged Norway to lift them.

One of the effects has been that Norway has not seen its far-flung populations deserting rural areas for the cities.

It also suited NATO to see the far North of Norway suitably populated against the Red Threat.....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 02:15:23 PM EST
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I readily agree with your comment.  With so little arable land available the government - quite rightly - insists land that can be used for farming is used for farming.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 02:56:12 PM EST
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But that does not stop investment in Finland being worthwhile. The very low level of public debt, and a triple A national rating (real) make Finland still quite attractive. There will be increased government borrowing this year, but the fundamentals - so far - are relatively OK.

My clients in the capital intensive forestry/paper industry are shitting bricks, but the rest are more sanguine. I am hoping that an intensive support of exports will be to my benefit, because that is my core business - B2B international.

At the moment, the state R&DI investment remains at around 3.3 % GDP - i.e. relatively high.  That may change with corporate tax income dropping rapidly. But one of my clients just secured 500.000 € from Tekes "(funds innovative research and development projects in companies, universities and research institutes") for a MMO strategy game. (MMO = massively multiplayer online).

But then again the unique aspect of these funding organizations and the research and development they promote has always been at least 8 - 10 years ahead. In a quartal business environment, that has never been more valuable...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 06:33:03 PM EST
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Uh... we don't produce or comsume any fuel oil, at least outside some specialised sectors where there are no or few alternatives.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jan 14th, 2009 at 03:53:33 PM EST
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