December 12, 2012 was a working day like any other for Maria Norström and Thomas Olofsson of Riksgälden – Sweden’s national debt office – until the central bank came knocking on the door, wanting to borrow Skr100 billion in US dollars to boost its foreign exchange reserves.
It kicked off a six-week period of frenetic activity for Norström, head of funding, and Olofsson, head of debt management, who were being asked to oversee roughly a trebling of the forecast national deficit – a precaution, th
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