Klas Eklund

Blog and web site of economist, teacher and author Klas Eklund

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Comments & critique

Here I have collected critique and comments that in some cases are quite amusing. Others are very much on target.

“Klas Eklund is a truly devoted admirer of the capitalistic system. So much so that he wants to offer the working class a drastic cure, according to the reactionary Bohman model, to preserve Wallenberg’s profits. From previously having been a critical admirer of capitalism, Klas Eklund has become a real ass-kisser. In Social Democracy, ass kissing has been elevated to the highest principle, and if Klas Eklund continues kissing his way up the ladder with force and energy, while at the same time knocking the working class, then he is certain to retain his expert title and Parliament will continue to discuss, with wrinkled brows, the empty, reactionary phrases Klas Eklund tosses out.”
– Proletären (newspaper for the Communist Marxist-Leninist Party KPml(R)), 17/81

“If Eklund had any feel for Social Democracy, he would stop calling himself a Social Democratic economist.”
– Dalademokraten, editorial in August 1981

“One should not pay too much attention to Eklund. He has never discussed employment in any context. He is a traditional economist who sees employment as a balancing item.”
– Bosse Ringholm former leader of the Socialist Youth League, years later Minister of Finance, in “Frihet” the Socialist Youth League newspaper, November, 1982

“Klas Eklund is Feldt’s sales manager for coming drastic cures.”
– Veckans Affärer, March 1983

“‘What will become of today’s experts? Are there any real stars, anyone with the will and backing who can assert himself in politics the way Olof, myself and others have done?’ Might Ingvar Carlsson be thinking on this very thing this evening at Bommersvik? If so, then he must certainly be thinking of young Eklund, the man whose envious co-workers call Ego Boy.”
– Anders Isaksson in Upp och Ner, 1987

“Klas Eklund: Some kind of Social Democratic puppy version of Rasputin within economic politics.”
– Mats Svegfors in the conservative daily Svenska Dagbladet, June 1987

“Klas Eklund: Finance Minister Feldt’s intellectual torpedo.”
– Mats Johansson, SAF journal 37/88

“Feldt has a nursery at the Ministry of Finance. Soon the entire country will be overrun by oak groves” [Note: Eklund literally means “oak grove.”]
– Arbetet, SDP daily, February 1989

“Klas Eklund is his generation’s brightest star: he is talented, well-read and able but often accused for his arrogance, his large throbbing ego and ambition. If he remains in politics he is certain to become Under-secretary of State and eventually even a Cabinet Minister.”
– Anders Isaksson, Månadsjournalen 5/89

“Klas Eklund has become a symbol for Social Democracy in transition: Feldt’s right-wing, right-hand man who threatens the traditional labor movement with privatization and the dismantling of the public sector.”
– Metallarbetaren (Metal Workers’ Union magazine) 16/89

“On the other hand, there is a lot of talk about his competence and capacity. A workaholic, brilliant teacher, and fearless thinker who dares to turn old, accepted concepts on their heads. One of few young Social Democrats who has created his own profile.”
– Lars Ilshammar in Örebro-Kuriren, August 1989

“At least that guy Eklund had a sexy ass.”
– From a seminar evaluation at the SDP youth league conference venue Bommersvik, according to Aftonbladet, October 1989

“Isn’t it odd that the programmatic renewal of Social Democracy is the brainchild of the Finance minister’s advisor? That man, Klas Eklund, a civil servant at the Ministry of Finance, is the Wigforss of the 1980s.”
– Lars Engqvist (later Minister of Social Affairs) in Expressen, November 1989. Wigforss was a legendary SDP Minister of Finance in 1930s and 40s.

“When Klas Eklund speaks, Socialism stands still. Old Bommersvik proverb.”
– Tvärdrag, 4/89

“The 1990’s program is Klas Eklund’s mid-life crisis.”
– Carl Bildt, 1990

“Of career politician Klas Eklund can be said that he has always been the self-assured servant of events.”
– Göran Albinsson Bruhner, Svenska Dagbladet, November 1991

“Klas Eklund is an incessant liar.”
– Jan Scherman (journalist), P3, February 1993

“After knocking down Jan Scherman, Klas Eklund, received a gift from Expressen’s Per Wendel – a badge with the text: ‘Don’t hurt my buddy’. But that’s not all. Within a few days, the hard-hitting chief economist had been venerated with 15 bouquets of flowers and 100 or so letters, postcards, faxes, or telegrams. One of the smarter texts admonished, ‘Apply immediately for a job as press ombudsman’. Several others immediately offered to form a Klas ‘Little’ Eklund defense fund. But why call him little? The pro boxer Anders ‘Little’ Eklund never actually won a match, did he?”
– Z magazine, 2/93

“In reality, Allan Larsson’s new assignment implies that he has been fired. The most likely Minister of Finance in a new (Social Democratic) government is now Göran Persson. But the most competent is Klas Eklund, chief economist at Sweden Post.”
– K G Bergström in TV news show Rapport, August 1993

“Hells bells! A better headline could hardly be found to describe what that little overgrown pubescent economist Klas Eklund has to philosophize about.”
– Proletären, 43/93

“The ancient Greeks had Pythia in Delphi who sat in his caves and mused in a narcotic cloud over the future. The Romans had their auspices. The Middle Ages had its astrologers, and late 20th century Sweden has Klas Eklund.”
– “Fimmer” in Svenska Dagbladet, May 1994

“Deep down inside, I believe Klas Eklund is a good person.”
– Johan Ehrenberg (leftist publisher), “Money, power and the rest of us,” 1994

“Klas Eklund was once Palme’s right hand. Now he is Wallenberg’s left hand.”
– Lasse Granestrand, DN, September 1994

“Klas Eklund has treaded forward as the leading ideologist of environmentally friendly economic growth… Above all else, Eklund was without a doubt the one with the solution to the party’s ideological dilemma.”
– Jonas Anshelm: “Social Democrats and the environmental issue,” Symposium 1995

“With this newly updated edition of Vår ekonomi, Klas Eklund confirms his position as a leading pedagogue within Swedish economic theory.”
Minister of Finance Göran Persson, text on back cover of KE’s textbook Vår ekonomi, 1995

“Economics is really quite elementary. When it comes to predicting the future, you could just as easily ask my mother as Klas Eklund.”
– Göran Persson, at a Social Democratic party convention in Skåne, January 1995

“We’re waiting for Jacob Wallenberg to fire Eklund and hire Göran Persson’s mother.”
– Excerpt from SEB’s employee newspaper, March 1997

“Klas Eklund – SE-bank’s smooth one-liner machine”
– Björn Elmbrant, in “Hyper Capitalism”, Atlas 2000

“It seems Klas Eklund is no longer Master of the Universe.”
Björn Elmbrant, commenting on how terror attacks and market psychology makes traditional economic forecasting less precise, Studio 1, Oct 2001

“Golden boy of the week”
– Headline in Dagens Nyheter, Nov 2001, commenting the publication of the new edition of KE’s economics text book (surpassing 500,000 printed copies)

“The most popular candidate for the Ministry of Finance is Klas Eklund. Quite rightly so – he may be more qualified than many others, including the present Chancellor”.
– Veckans Affärer (a Swedish business magazine), Dec 2001, after letting ts readers vote and name “The Dream Team Government – if business may choose”. They voted for Göran Persson as Prime Minister, Carl Bildt as Secretary of State and for KE as Chancellor.

– Amelia (women’s magazine), March 2002, explains why KE is on their Top 10 list of “Sweden’s most modern men”

“Klas Eklund: Pedagogical, folksy and always on TV. The wet dream of conference organizers”.
– Veckans Affärer, Oct 2002, lists the most popular speakers in Sweden

“Who is the most influential economist in Sweden these days? Arguably Klas Eklund, at least if we mean influencing the Swedish general public”.
– Ekonomisk Debatt, 8/2004, reviewing the new edition of KE’s best-selling text-book”

“1. Adam Smith, 2. Robert Lucas, 3. Klas Eklund”.
– Minister of Finance Anders Borg ranks his three favourite economists, Svenska Dagbladet, Nov 2007

“I despise Klas Eklund. I cannot recall a single financial forecast he has made which hasn’t gone to hell”.
Lars Norén, the greatest Swedish playwriter alive, in his published diaries, 2008

“Klas Eklund – the new green prophet of Swedish business”.
Veckans Affärer, cover headline , January 2009

“Eklund has an unerring ability to be spot on. His analytical work spans the entire economics field, and few economists are as well-read. He supremely combines his deep historical knowledge with excellent insights into modern economic theory.”
– Prof Lennart Hjalmarsson, member of the selection committee for an adjunct professorship in Lund 2009

“Eklund is an extraordinarily productive economist, author of a large number of books and articles, with a firm commitment to participate in public debate… I expect hím to share Knut Wicksell’s view on the role of a Professor, namely to ‘see as my prime task to educate the Swedish people’.”
– Prof Lars Jonung, member of the selection committee for an adjunct professorship in Lund 2009

“If you want to understand the future, read Eklund.”
– Editor Bertil Torekull reviews my book on China, Ystads Allehanda, December 2011

“With his unique capacity to interprete today and forecast tomorrow, Eklund has deserved to get more fans, both abroad and in Sweden. His new book on China is a brilliant display of his skills in explaining trends which affect the World in ways that are easy to understand but without simplification or losing in nuances. With one single well-written essay this year he kick-started the debate on the challenges of capitalism that others have tried for years to get going, which demonstrates his immense impact.”
– Veckans Affärer motivates why it ranked KE the most influential sustainability advocate in business, February 2012

“Why is Klas Eklund recruited on the cconomist quota instead of an economics Nobel laureate?”
– Expressen; an editorial questions the selection of members to Swedish Government’s “Commission for the Future”, March 2013

“Klas Eklund: the ultimate opportunistic turn-coat”
– Göran Ahlgren, Klimatupplysningen blog , January 2015

“We, Carl Gustaf, King of Sweden, hereby proclaim that We today have awarded Economist Klas Eklund with Our medal, 12th size, in Royal blue band”
– Carl XVI Gustaf, Stockholm Royal Palace, National Day, June 6 2017

“Klas Eklund should bring his gun into the woods and leave this world that he has helped destroy with his loyalist texts about global warming”
– Åke Sundström, Frihetsportalen blog , June 2017

“Eklund had worked as Under-secretary of State for FM Kjell-Olof Feldt and knew the Ministry well. No Swedish economist can compete with Eklund when it comes to pedagogy, and that is an important part of the mission of the Minister of Finance”
– Anders Borg, in his autobiography “Minister of Finance”, 2019, why he wanted me to become FM in the Alliance Government of 2006. But in the end, he took on the task himself.

“Is Eklund the Assar Lindbeck of our time?”
The editorial page of Svenska Dagbladet remembers  the Lindbeck commission during the 1990s crisis, after I was named Chairman of the Commission to restart Sweden, during the Corona crisis, May 2020

“Klas Eklund personifies the center of Swedish policy-making. The center that once existed. The executive center. Reforms presupposed coalitions and that all parties scrapped their sharpest ideological dreams. That truth seemed to be confirmed over and over again. Klas Eklund was shaped by that view, or maybe he shaped it. He is the nineties, as it were. He has often been right. But maybe not this time.
– Torbjörn Nilsson on the report of the Restart Commission, Expressen, august 2020

“Celebrity economist!”
The editorial page of Dagens Nyheter, June 2022