The elderly in Finland need an active and proactive independent Ombudsman

Finns have always said that they look after their own, especially the elderly. However, it appears that the privatization of elderly care homes to large companies by municipalities is leading to some very unpleasant practices. This last weekend, I… Läs mer!

Neo-liberal Transport Minister wants Big Brother to track your car

Like all Finns, like most Nordic folk, I am in favor of keeping basic public services, healthcare, education and public transport, firmly in the public domain. It is cheaper and rather cost effective compared to the UK and the… Läs mer!

“The Greek Drama” continues – Staring Nordea and Mr. Katainen

Finland has already made loans and guarantees, directly and indirectly, of over €4,5 billion to Greece according to the Ministry of Finance. During this time, we have not received any repayments and has only received some €70 million in… Läs mer!

Political nonsense about Finnish healthcare costs

We are about to reform healthcare in Finland because, according to the present government,  we we need to reduce costs and make it more productive. Yes, we should always try to improve productivity, but should healthcare costs be cut… Läs mer!

Big national projects take years, often decades, to execute

I have acted for over 40 years and continue to act as a financial advisor on big infrastructure projects involving energy production and transmission and energy efficiency projects, tunnels, roads, airports, harbors, public transport, hospitals, waste and water projects,… Läs mer!

Finland’s Taxi Monopoly – No Competition and the world’s highest prices

We have the most expensive over-regulated taxi monopoly in the world. We have taxi prices that are so high that almost every taxi is a big Mercedes. We pay out some €400 million each year for school taxis, taxis… Läs mer!

What do Finnish Innovation Systems need? Antti Hautamäki, Prof. Emer.

International studies on Finland’s innovation system show relatively strong developments. Finland’s investments and results are on par with other OECD countries. R&D intensity is the highest in the world. This is true in particular for R&D staff numbers and… Läs mer!

iStubb2 – Losing your keys is no fun…

A few weeks ago, I lost my house keys, my bicycle lock key, the whole bunch, all hanging from a steel ring on green cotton loop. I went to the police station. They had a thousand keys in big… Läs mer!

Book Review: “What Finland Keeps Quiet About” Esko Seppänen, journalist and politician

Esko Seppänen (born 1945) is a thoughtful a left-wing politician, journalist, and writer who has been a member of the Finnish Parliament and of the European Parliament. I remember reading his two first books in the early 1970’s “Finland… Läs mer!

Wind energy equipment – Moventas, and The Switch – Safe harbors found after storm winds…

15.2.2016. Finland, like Sweden, has a really long history of mining in their own backyard. Iron ore and other metal ores have been mined throughout both countries for centuries. The mined minerals have spawned metal production and skills in… Läs mer!

The Slush Collection – VuoLearning Oy Converting documents into mobile learning

8.2.2016. I interviewed Johanna Pellinen, CEO of Vuolearning www.vuolearning.fi at SLUSH and was amazed at how a small team of smart students could produce an outstanding application that significantly improves the efficiency of teaching almost any field of science… Läs mer!

Nya Karolinska and privately funded hospitals… a fools paradise

SvD revealed in June 2015 that the New Karolinska Solna is not just SEK 8-10 billion more expensive than planned. It is also at least two years behind schedule. Nevertheless, the finance councilor,  Torbjörn Rosdahl (M), keeps on repeating that ”the… Läs mer!

Trade unions and weak government create unemployment

We are in such a crisis today with almost 500 000 potential workers NOT working. Those who are working are having to pay ever increasing amounts to support the increasing numbers of unemployed with huge losses of business opportunities…. Läs mer!

Where should exporters focus?

Exporters should take advantage of long-term foreign exchange movements. Many experts talk about how lucky Sweden is because it is not in the Euro. 10 years ago the exchange rate was SEK 9.25 and for 12 short months in… Läs mer!

True Christmas Spirit in Helsinki 2015… at last!

My wife and I normally travel to Munich or Berlin to enjoy Christmas Markets – the sort of market where you can spend a whole afternoon and evening in the company of people who want to do the same…. Läs mer!

S-Group should merge with Kesko for a Win-Win-Win for Finland.

Kesko and S-Group continue to dominate the news with their low prices and joint market share soaring above 80%. Having them merge together would be a good for Finland because it is easy to see the advantages: 1. They… Läs mer!

Comptel is smart to benefit from Slush spill-over effect

Finland has a strong market position in the global mobile IT market. Nokia and NSN created a broad eco-system of expertize even though the people have now moved on to new endeavors. Many big international telecom giants come to… Läs mer!

Here are the new mafia from Italy at Arlanda and Helsinki airports…

I was in Stockholm last week and bought a coffee and sandwich at Arlanda Airport using my Mastercard. I pressed the button giving it the right to debit my card in Euro’s for the SEK70 cost of the food…. Läs mer!

Letter from China No.8 – A day or two in Shanghai

During one of my weekends here in Hainan, China, I found myself on my way to Shanghai to meet one of my old friends from Singapore (2008) who moved to Shanghai and is now happily married with number 1… Läs mer!

Letter from China No.7

Thank your lucky stars to be born and live where? There are some strange people in the Chinese language school here in Hainan. Some are like the young Russians from Eastern Siberia who “dance” in the Chinese nightclubs. They… Läs mer!

Letter from China No:6

Why did I spend 2 hours today walking along the coastline of Hainan in hot sunny weather? Am I crazy? Am I wasting my time? The answer to these 3 questions is simple and obvious to me. I do… Läs mer!

Letter from China No: 5

Productivity does not exist without competition I was asked by a Chinese colleague about how can a company improve its productivity. She works for a government-owned company here in China and they have all been asked to improve their… Läs mer!

Letter from China – No: 4

Shops open late in the evening and during the weekend? Enjoying a big choice of restaurants on Sundays and on public holidays? Service minded owners? Smiling staff in shops and hotels? Affordable prices for ordinary folk? Finding a reasonable… Läs mer!

Letter from China – No: 3

Things seldom work out well when people stay too long in the same place. It is the same with things. They get worn out after years of use and need to be replaced. That is why we build new… Läs mer!

Letter from China – No. 2

I spent the weekend here in Haikou doing Mandarin homework, going on long walks and to the gym as well as shopping and eating. The typhoon has disappeared and I enjoyed 2 days of hot humid sunshine as well… Läs mer!

Letter from China – No: 1

I have just finished my first week here at the Mandarin language school in Haikou, the capital of the Hainan Island. I have glimpsed at the striking protesters in Helsinki and read Sipila’s speech and Liikanen’s comments that the… Läs mer!

Is more better?

When I read stories about Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, and their fan club here like Wahlroos, Berner and Ollila, I focus on the life they lead with lots of money and many little hands and other resources they can… Läs mer!

Uncle Sam, the money man…

The windows outside the Lauttasaari flat were black and it was a too wet to go for a walk. Pekka felt that it was time to make a decision about the money on their account. It was now 6… Läs mer!

Uber or not to Uber…

I oppose redundant monopolies because, like over-regulation, they increase prices, and tend to deliver poor value for money, destroy entrepreneurship, and slow innovation. Monopolies do well in smaller domestic markets like Finland where their impact is also so much… Läs mer!

Fennovoima…

I was involved in the financing of all of Finland’s existing and coming nuclear plants in my work as a banker over 45 years. Imatran Voima’s 2 plants in Loviisa were planned and built in a very different world,… Läs mer!

On Multiculture; can we agree with our PS friends?

1. I was borne in England in 1948, where Brits are comfortably at home in their castles. But I am not really a True Brit. I have been tainted if you consider that Britain is a country where Vikings,… Läs mer!

Silence is golden..?

Pekka Vataja wrote an excellent piece in HS this week about Finland blind’s support for Greece. Looking at the financial crisis regarding Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal, the main creditor banks were from Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland and the… Läs mer!

Do to others as you would have them do to you

I am back now from the Dolomites, after having seen that Northern Italy is doing very well from tourism. German and Italian Mercedes, and other big cars filled all the parking spaces, and the motorway traffic jam to Italy… Läs mer!

The 3 S’s and their colleagues need to wake up to reality…

Sitting here in one Italian Alta Pusteria valley between the towering Dolomite mountains, my wife and I have been following the Greek drama as it unfolds. I am unable to stop my pen from scribbling… Are Finnish voters fools… Läs mer!

When banks collapse

Greece is now a live experiment of what happens when an electronic banking system collapses. People cannot access their cash. They cannot make payments. Their credit cards stop working. Shops and gas service stations cannot sell unless you have… Läs mer!

Rules and regulations that destroy service sectors jobs…

When I travel I want to enjoy local events, products and culture. When I go to Vienna’s railway station or airport I can buy locally produced sandwiches that are not found anywhere else. In Munich and Berlin local beer… Läs mer!

Bank reporting is opaque

I have just spent a few days researching the annual reports of 6 Nordic banks to see how much money they have actually lent and to which customers. I have been doing this since 1970’s when I first took… Läs mer!

How many municipalities … we are doing things backwards

I spent 10 years running Kuntarahoitus Oy and learnt a great deal about the municipal sector. It is a fundamental part of Finland that manages the basic services rather well. Teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, technicians, social workers and administrators… Läs mer!

Not repaying housing loans…

A 30 year old Swedish coworker (in finance) in Stockholm bought a block of Apple shares in 2008 after selling his holdings of Nokia. Both investments enabled him to buy a nice apartment in Stockholm for SEK 6 million…. Läs mer!

The retail price war is a hoax…

Is this really a food price war between the monopolies? Of course not! They are just trying to stop Lidl’s march into their 80% market share. The announcement covers a tiny fraction of their 25 000 products on the shelves…. Läs mer!

Finland’s own Saarinen Ateneum Art Gallery

Finland has the opportunity of a lifetime to take over Saarinen’s world class Railway Station Building and turn it into a Finnish “Guggenheim” a million times better than the US model. Why build another one when you have an… Läs mer!

Do they really say what needs to be done?

I have gone through a bunch of press cuttings from this year to take a look at what leading businessmen, economics professors and politicians have been saying recently about the Finnish economy: Puttonen: Europe has not recovered from the… Läs mer!

Some Finnish insurance companies show weaknesses in stress tests

The European Insurance Supervisory Authority (EIOPA) that has recently published stress test results on the main European insurance companies. EIOPA is an independent advisory body to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission…. Läs mer!

Orwellian thoughts about Pohjola Bank

I have mentioned before that 2 banks, Nordea and OP-banks control over 60% of the banking market here. This is oligopoly by any reasonable standard, and should be challenged. There is no banking group in Europe with such a… Läs mer!

The 2nd day at SLUSH

I met with Forum’s other columnist Kaj Arnö there today. He was hunting for companies to invest in and I was there to report on the exceptional. We both saw a lot of people wanting to succeed and wanting… Läs mer!