Last week I spent two days reading what is a very interesting book that was released just a few days ago written by no other than Jens B Nordström who is the main financial reporter at Swedish Tv4. Now I have to say that I have in the past been very skeptic towards Mr Nordströms form of reporting which he himself admit did not put him in good relations with for example Victor Muller. But this latest book of his is actually well worth reading.
I have myself talked to Victor about this book and its contents as well as to many other sources that worked at the top layer of SAAB Automobile AB and my conclusion is that Jens is about half-way to the truth in what he writes and he makes a fair estimate on another 25%. The remaining 25% is something that is open to speculation but I know I have more information regarding than he does on many issues in the book. His summary of Saab from 2009-2011 is made on aprox 250 pages and I did a count of the number of pages our articles would have filled up during the same period and ended up at roughly 6000 so to summarize 6000 pages into 250 you obviously need to disregard some stuff, even so Jens has created a book with a clear red line, he stays focused in the book and has overall created a good read! Jens is trying very hard to stay impartial in the book which is a very good thing and one he manages to do. He gives credit where credit is due and questions issues where they should be questioned, he does make a number of assumptions which one perhaps should be a bit skeptical about but in general the story is there! He praises Victor Muller on several occasions, which is something I was surprised about given the history between the two of them and I have to give credit to Jens, I’m impressed by the work that he has done!
But whats most interesting about Jens book is that its mostly built upon interviews in which he publishes the actual interviews and that gives a big credibility to the book. During 2011 and after I have frequently talked to most of the people that Jens interviewed and I can hear these persons voices speaking the words as I was reading them which to me also is a big confirmation that this is the real thing. Many people have a certain way of saying things and this is clearly reflected in Jens book.
ANDERS BORG SAVED SAAB
Thats what I wrote in the headline and it happened in April 2011. Spyker had borrowed a lot of money from the EIB (European Investment Bank) with the help of the Swedish Government when buying Saab from GM. A clause in this deal was that the EIB could demand its money back from SAAB immediately if there was any proof of Saab being insolvet. In april 2011 when production was stopped due to unpaid invoices this was clearly the case.
By misstake an internal e-mail was distribute outside the EIB in which the issue about demanding the money back from Saab was discussed, this came to the attention of Anders Borg, which is the Finance Minister of Sweden. He then traveled to Brussels as a representative for the Swedish Government for an unscheduled meeting with the EIB and basically told them: “give Saab some breathing space, DO NOT demand repayment of the loans” and also explained to the EIB that it was important that Saab be allowed to test different solutions in order to save the situation.
The EIB did as Anders Borg requested and the threat of immediate bankruptcy of SAAB Automobile AB was removed. The story of Spyker and SAAB Automobile AB could have ended abruptly in April 2011, but thanx to forces at work outside Saab, the company was given another chance. If you think about it the impact Anders Borg did on the EIB was so strong that regardless of desperate the situation became at Saab, the EIB never demanded their loans repaid at any point up until after the bankruptcy.
This story is confirmed in Jens book by Philippe Maystadt, President of the EIB and I have also confirmed the story from other sources.
This save could not have been done by anyone else, to influence the top politicians in the EU it needs a man who himself is a top politician. “No businessman could ever have accomplished this” one source who wants to remain secret told me.
There are many more cases in which the Swedish Government actually Saved Saab during 2009-2011 some of which are written about in Jens book, I’ll bring some of them up here on SU in the close future.