"I think that one has to recognise that, first of all, in the US, we’re seeing an economy that is steadily improving. It’s not a stellar performance by any means; and it doesn’t represent a turnaround. But it’s an economy that’s growing and the growth is broad-based."
"But overall, in my view, the global economy is exhibiting a somewhat more positive outlook than one might have expected. However, Europe remains a problem."
"Natural gas prices in the US are currently one-third of what they are in Europe and one-fourth of what they are in Japan. That is a fantastic engine for the reindustrialisation of the US, which, in fact, is now taking place in my view."
"There’s new leadership in China and I expect that spending on infrastructure there will be reinvigorated. That will help drive global economic growth."
"Southern Europe, however, may continue to lag. Youth unemployment there may still be problematic and that carries with it the potential for continued social unrest."
"Our most important goal is to try to capture growth where growth exists. And for the most part, growth is to be found in the emerging markets. However ... our investing history and legacy is largely associated with Nordic-based public companies and most of our assets and employees are in Europe. It takes time to move the gravity of a company from one continent to others."
" In reality, it turned out that the [financial] crisis galvanized important changes in the management of the Swedish economy. And because we changed, we started to grow again and eventually achieved large gains in productivity."
"The fundamental challenge for Europe - as it is for China - is its demographics. Over the very long-term, that’s the most dramatic issue Europe faces."
"Given that the global economy and the global pace of life are getting faster in all aspects, one needs to become more agile and efficient about everything - including running a company. It’s essential that you streamline operations and become leaner wherever you can so as to be able to react more quickly to changing market conditions."
"Nevertheless, it’s important to push our companies and their management teams to become more agile and more efficient; and to open up and really try to understand what’s going on in their operating environments."
"But today, companies need to understand deeply how demand curves might change, where new growth will come from, what sort of products could be required in the years ahead, and how one’s competition might undermine your position. This is a mode of thinking that is totally different from what’s required in a nice, stable environment..."