Swedish Lottery Bonds
“The Newest and Largest Money Lottery in the World is the Swedish State's Lottery Bond.”
—Advertising from the Stockholm Exchange Office, early 1920s
Anders Holmlund brushed the snow off his feet as he stepped into the offices of the Swedish National Debt Office (SNDO) in Stockholm. It was March 31, 2003 and Holmlund's priority this morning was a planning meeting for the next lottery bond issue. The lottery bond (or premieobligationer in Swedish) had for 80 years been an important instrument for the Debt Office in attracting Swedish households to invest in the nation's debt. Holmlund still had an hour before the meeting to review the proposed issue, prepared by Joy Sundberg and Magnus Andersson of his analyst group.
Lottery bonds were of course just a part of Holmlund's responsibility. As Head of Analysis for the SNDO, he also worked with more traditional instruments, such as government bonds and treasury bills. The SNDO was the Swedish government's agency for managing central government debt, and they did their borrowing from both institutional investors (insurance companies, capital funds and large companies) and the retail market (private individuals, and small companies and organizations). Holmlund's team defined the structures of the SNDO bond issues—and today they were setting the parameters for the first lottery bond 2003 with the Retail Market group, who would handle the marketing and sales of the bond.
Sweden had been the first country in the world ...