Hard at Work or Hardly Working? Norges Bank CEO Weighs in on U.S. vs. Europe Hustle

Nicolai Tangen, the big boss at Norges Bank, spilled some tea to the Financial Times about how he thinks Americans hustle way more than Europeans. He’s got a big say in where Norway’s gigantic $1.6 trillion oil fund throws its cash, and right now, half of it is riding on U.S. stocks.

Tangen was straight-up about the differences in work vibes between the two continents. Over in the U.S., if you tank, you dust yourself off and dive back in. In Europe, not so much — one big flop and it feels like game over. He said this chill attitude might be why Europeans aren’t as driven. “We are not very ambitious,” he admitted, adding a cautious note on the whole work-life balance thing, hinting that maybe Americans are onto something with their all-out approach.

The Norges Bank honcho was talking about this as he laid out why his team is so keen on U.S. investments. They’re big believers in America’s potential, especially with the U.S. 2024 elections on the horizon. Despite the uncertainty these elections might bring, Tangen’s game plan doesn’t waver – keep backing those U.S. giants for the long haul. “We have nearly half the assets in America, we will stay invested in America,” he confirmed.

And here’s why: U.S. companies are totally outpacing their European rivals, especially in tech and innovation. That’s got Tangen a bit worried about Europe falling behind.

Zooming out, Norges Bank is a behemoth in the world of money. It’s not just Norway’s cash they’re managing – they’re the biggest single player in the global stock market, with investments across 72 countries and owning about 1.5% of all global shares. Among their prized pieces? Huge stakes in tech titans like Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple.

On the broader scale, there’s some solid data backing Tangen’s views. Stats from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 2019 to 2022 show that the average Joe in the U.S. clocks in about 35 hours a week, stacking up to 1,811 hours a year. Europeans? They’re more laid-back, averaging 1,571 hours annually across EU countries. Germans are on the low end, clocking about 26 hours weekly. Even the Brits are putting in fewer hours, with an average of 1,532 hours each year.

So, it looks like Tangen might have a point about the different work ethics. Whether that’s all good or bad, well, that’s another story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.