Trillion Dollar Baby: How Tiny Norway Beat the Oil Giants and Won a Lasting Fortune
"For most of its history, the remote and near-Arctic nation of Norway has eked out a marginal existence from fishing, forestry and shipping. In the first part of the 20th century, the country had not changed much and it remained a relatively poor and isolated part of Scandinavia for the next three decades, with per capita income about 20 - 30 per cent lower than that of neighbouring Sweden. But things began to change after Christmas Eve 1969, which was the day when Phillips Petroleum discovered oil off the southern coast. As the revenue began flowing, Norway began having a long and serious debate about what it should do with this money. Over time its leaders began to put in place the most robust and visionary framework for extracting maximum benefit from non-renewable resources found anywhere in the world. Less than 20 years after the country began investing in what is now called the Government Pension Fund, Norway has the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world with assets of $940 billion. All of this money has been saved in just 18 years by a country with a population the size of Sydney. What's more, the fund is on track to hit the US $1 trillion mark within the next 2-3 years
"Paul Cleary is the author of Mine-field: The Dark Side of Australia's Resource Rush. He is a senior writer with the Australian and a researcher in public policy at the Australian National University. He has reported on economics and politics for a decade in the Canberra press gallery and served as an adviser to the government of East Timor on resource sector governance and negotiations. His books include Shakedown: Australia's Grab for Timor Oil, The Men Who Came Out of the Ground and Too Much Luck: The Mining Boom and Australia's Future. He lives in Sydney."