Norwegian Funds

Part 46 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21 2023 11:37 A.M.

The first to join the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund were the Norwegians.

They contacted Satoshi and Angel in a comment on the blog post where Satoshi had reported setting up the fund. The Norwegian Prime Minister, Freja Christensen herself, had indicated that they were interested in investing a substantial share of their $1.5 trillion Oil Fund.

The Norwegian Oil Fund was set up to save income from the Norwegian share of North Sea Oil for future generations. Norway originally had reserves of around 29 billion barrels of oil, eighty percent of which was already produced and sold in 2023. The Norwegian government had set up the Oil Fund in 1990, after the first two decades of oil development. The Oil Fund received its first capital transfer from the Ministry of Finance in 1996. It established ethical investment guidelines early on in 2004.

These ethical guidelines prevent the Oil Fund from investing in companies that contribute directly or indirectly to human rights violations. It was a logical extension from there to care about global warming, and seize the opportunity to make some money as well as contribute to solving the biggest environmental challenge in the history of mankind.

Satoshi set up a telephone meeting with the Prime Minister, sending an e-mail signed with his PGP-key giving his phone number to the mail address left in the comment. He wasn’t sure if this was for real, though.

A couple of moments later, his phone rang.

“Satoshi speaking.”

“Hello. Pleased to speak to you. This is Freja Christensen.”

“How do I know you’re for real?”

“Please have a look at my Twitter feed. Its @FrejaPrimeMinister. Someone is reporting right now that I’m speaking to Satoshi Nakamoto.”

“One moment please.”

Satoshi opened a Twitter page and searched for the account. It clearly was legitimate. And the last tweet said exactly what she had said it would.

“Okay. You are really the Prime Minister,” Satoshi said. “What can I do for you?”

“For starters, we’d like to invest around 20 percent of our Oil Fund in the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund. Do you think that might be arranged?”

“Yes. Of course. What kind of money are you talking about?”

“Only about $300 billion. That won’t do much to move the oil price. But it’s a start, I guess.”

“Thank you for your support. We’ll need more than a telephone call to set this up, though.”

“Of course. I’ll send my Finance Minister to New York in a couple of days. She will discuss the details with you. You may need some more time anyway to set your fund up.”

“Is this public information? Can I announce this to the World?”

“We will do so ourselves shortly,” the Prime Minister said. “One other thing.”

“What?”

“I understand the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund will need a lot of space to store the oil you’re buying. We could help with that. We have some depleted oil fields. We could pump oil right back there.”

“Sounds like a great idea,” Satoshi said. “That brings you right back to where you were before you started producing all that oil.”

“It does. Actually, we would have been better off if we had left the oil in the ground for fifty years. The $1.5 trillion we now have in our Oil Fund work out to about $65 per barrel we sold. Oil is now at $250.”

“Anyway, thanks for your support. You are the first big player to join.”

“You’re welcome. We always tried to invest our money in an ethical way. I think there is no stronger ethical case than the one you present. Have a nice day, Mr. Nakamoto.”

“Have a nice day.”

Satoshi put the phone down. He smiled at Angel.

“We got our first 0.3 trillion. Not bad for starters.”

The Norwegians were the first to move. But after the Norwegian government announced their decision to invest $300 billion in the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund, that news generated a lot of interest from other fund managers.

The next to move were the Saudi Arabians. They announced to follow the Norwegians with a $350 billion investment. It would not do for them to be beaten by Norway. They also announced that they would be reducing exports to the World markets by 5% each year starting immediately.

They already understood the basic concept. Their King had decided in 2008 that some newly discovered oil fields should remain untouched, keeping the oil in the ground for future generations. While that was motivated in part by considerations of intergenerational justice, it was also clearly good business to sell oil a couple of decades or centuries later, when the price would be higher than at the beginning of the 21st Century.

In a couple of hours, fund managers everywhere announced plans to join the effort. Satoshi asked one of his lawyers to deal with the preliminary inquiries. They would have more than $2 trillion in investments once the fund was up and running only from the institutional investors. Which would still be only about one percent of the assets in the global fund management industry. But it was a good start.

Link to part 47: Scarcity Rent and Olivine

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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