Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster con The Public Wealth of Nations: How Management of Public Assets Can Boost or Bust Economic Growth
Public Wealth of Nations
“I recommended Detter and Folster’s The Public Wealth of Nations, a smart read that pulls data and management strategies from throughout the globe in order to argue for ways we can add value to public assets and hence increase economic growth.” (The Philadelphia Citizen, thephiladelphiacitizen.org, December, 2016)
“Detter (formerly, Swedish Ministry of Industry) and Fölster (Reform Institute, Sweden) contend that democracy works best when governments have little direct access to public wealth. … The authors present a compelling argument that better management of publicly owned assets would improve economic welfare … . Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.” (R. E. Schenk, Choice, Vol. 53 (12), August, 2016)
'Public wealth is vast, but largely overlooked as an asset class. Improving its management is one of the most important economic issues of our time. Dag Detter and Stefan Fölster shed much light on the subject. One can only hope that their book will kick-start a debate that ushers in better stewardship of state land, buildings, utilities and other assets. The potential gains are enormous.'
-Matthew Valencia, The Economist
'At a time of mistrust in traditional politics and weak public finances, Dag Detter and Stefan Fölster show politicians the way to demonstrate they are on the side of the people and to manage government assets better. There should be no excuse for those in power to dismiss these ideas.'
-Chris Giles, Economics Editor, Financial Times
'Better government handling of public assets is, or should be, a key issue in many countries. With his background as a former Director at the Ministry of Industry and former President of Stattum, the Swedish government holding company, Dag Detter can speak with great authority and depth of practical experience on the alternative approaches which governments might take. The Public Wealth of Nations is an important contribution to a debate of vital concern to governments across the world.'
-Lord Sassoon, former Commercial Secretary, HM Treasury
'This provocative book is a wake-up call for governments to become more responsible in managing their citizen's wealth and securing the foundation for future generations.'
-Marcel Fratzscher, President of DIW Berlin, Professor at Humboldt-University; Member of the Advisory Council of the Ministry of Economy of Germany
"In this important book, the authors convincingly argue using many examples that, like with pension funds or even households, an asset-liability approach is needed for public finance as well. They show that intelligent management of public assets can have a huge impact on government revenues, creating room for tax cuts, and on economic growth.'
-Dr. William De Vijlder, Group Chief Economist, BNP Paribas
"This important book shows the way forward in turning the latent Public Wealth of Nations into actual riches.'
-Willem H. Buiter, Global Chief Economist, Citi
From the Back Cover
We have spent the last three decades engaged in a pointless and irrelevant debate about the relative merits of privatization or nationalization. We have been arguing about the wrong thing while sitting on a goldmine of assets.
Don’t worry about who owns those assets, worry about whether they are managed effectively.
Why does this matter? Because despite the Thatcher/ Reagan economic revolution, the largest pool of wealth in the world – a global total that is much larger than the world’s total pensions savings, and ten times the total of all the sovereign wealth funds on the planet – is still comprised of commercial assets that are held in public ownership. If professionally managed, they could generate an annual yield of 2.7 trillion dollars, more than current global spending on infrastructure: transport, power, water, and communications.
Based on both economic research and hands-on experience from many countries, the authors argue that publicly owned commercial assets need to be taken out of the direct and distorting control of politicians and placed under professional management in a ‘National Wealth Fund’ or its local government equivalent. Such a move would trigger much-needed structural reforms in national economies, thus resurrect strained government finances, bolster ailing economic growth, and improve the fabric of democratic institutions.