Swedish National Debt Office

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Sign of the Swedish National Debt Office.

The Swedish National Debt Office (Swedish: Riksgäldskontoret or shortly Riksgälden) was founded by Gustav III at the Riksdag of the Estates in 1789, through the Act of union and security. It is a Swedish Government agency. The first task of the Debt Office was to finance the ongoing War against Russia.

The method of raising funds was to issue promissory notes called Riksgälds denominated in Riksdaler which was the Swedish currency at the time. The reason why the funds could not be raised through the Riksbank was that its notes had to be backed by silver (commodity money) to two thirds, whereas no such restrictions applied for the promissory notes (credit money) issued by the Debt office. This produced a heavy seigniorage-induced inflation, where the exchange rate for the promissory notes against silver was 1 to 4 in 1834.

In 1989, after two hundred years as one of the few state agencies that reported directly to the Riksdag, the Debt office was reconstituted and is now reporting to the Ministry of Finance and the Government. After 1989 it also assumed the role as the government's internal bank from the Riksbank.

Since January 1, 2008 the Debt office handles the Swedish deposit insurance, which 1996-2007 was handled by a separate governmental agency.

Since 2022 the Swedish National Debt Office is headed by Director General Karolina Ekholm, PhD in economics.


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