On Friday, a bomb exploded at the prime minister’s office in Oslo, Norway. It was very similar to Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahoma City bombing. The only difference was that, thankfully, many of their workers were on vacation.
However, sadly, seven people were killed and many others wounded in that blast.
The same day, this same suspect, Anders Breivik went over to an island where their ruling Labor Party had a youth camp. There were about 600 youth and workers staying on the island.
He was dressed in a police uniform so when he called the youth over to him, many of them came over to him. Once they got close, he started firing upon the crowd.
Before it was all said and done that day, he would kill at least 93 people that day between those gunned down at the youth camp and the seven that were killed in the governmental office bombing.
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This nut-case acts like he’s on a Crusade to wipe out what he feels is Marxism and Islamic extremism.
Anders sent a 1,500-page manifest document of his ideals and a 12 minute video to accompany it to the Finnish politician Terhi Kiemunki one hour before the attack. Supposedly, the video even appeared briefly on YouTube too before it was pulled off.
According to the manifest that he sent to the politician, he prepared for this attack for about nine years. The farm that he owned was only a cover so that he could buy six tons of fertilizer that he needed to make the bomb. It evidently took him about 80 days to make the bomb.
He claims that his arrest will only start a new phase: the propaganda phase. His trial will be a platform for spreading his ideology, he says.
The sad thing is that the maximum jail time that is available in Norway is 21 years. So this 32 year old could still get out at age 53.
So how did all of this affect Norway’s currency, the krone? It didn’t shake it up much at all on Friday. Even as I’m writing this on Sunday evening, the currency is still relatively stable.
Typically, a currency would have a knee-jerk reaction at a time like this as traders would sell first and “watch from a distance.” But that really wasn’t the case on Friday.
It really goes to show you how strong the krone is.
Norway is a fundamentally sound economy and I believe that’s why its currency wasn’t shaken up. They have a trade surplus.
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They have a sovereign wealth fund that was funded from the profits from their oil fields that has a fully funded pension for every family in Norway and even for those yet to be born. How many countries can say that right now?
Norway isn’t a huge place. It’s got a population of about 4.9 million people (which is slightly smaller than the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex that I live in which is approximately 5.5 million people).
However, Norway is the second-richest nation per capita after Luxembourg.
So this little country has done quite well for itself despite its small size. It’s still managed its money well — and how many governments do that these days?
Therefore, when you look at the alternatives out there today, Norway’s krone (NOK) looks pretty good.
So I still see this as a valuable currency to hold in a portfolio despite Friday’s tragic event.
Keep the prayers going for the families in Norway. A tragedy of this size doesn’t come along every day.
However, if you don’t own the Norwegian krone, it may be one that you want to consider adding to your arsenal to defend your portfolio in these tough economic times.
About the Author: Sean Hyman
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