The Norwegian Government Pension Fund, managed by Norwegian Bank Investment Management (NBIM) sold off more than half of it’s 133 billion kroner position in Greek, Portugese, and Spanish government bonds during 2009. The funds chief executive, Yngve Slyngstad, explained that while Eurozone government bonds in 2008 were priced as if they gave risk-free returns, “we said they were more like return-free risks”. Well done, Nassim Taleb would have been proud – there are arguably no such things as risk-free returns anyway (at least not in Southern Europe).
Yngve Slyngstad, not yet fifty years old, started his career as a junior researcher at Norges Bank at the age of 31 after completing a whopping four Master’s degrees in Law (University of Oslo), Economics (UC Santa Barbara), Business Administration (NHH) and Political Science (University of Paris, Sorbonne), spending years backpacking around Asia, and living by himself in the wild and weather-torn Northern Norway reading Wittgenstein. Needless to say, we here at Evolution-Revolution think this is a pretty awesome guy.