| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Nordea suspends two analysts over COVID research note equating lockdowns with prison

Nordea bank in Finland has banned two senior analysts from publishing research and is investigating how a research note comparing lockdowns with prison “or worse” made its way into Nordea’s website.

The 1,900-word memo, headed “Papers, please, and how to sell them!” claimed that “lockdownistas” enforcing vaccination mandates and limitations had created an unpredictable market environment.

“It used to be “two weeks to flatten the curve,” but somehow it has evolved to “imprison the unvaccinated (or worse),” the message said, implying governments had not learned lessons on human freedom from Nazi trials after World War Two.

“Leaving aside the lessons from the Nuremberg trials such as bodily integrity, informed choice, the impact on civil liberties, and so on (because who cares?), lockdown policies, vaccine mandates and so on do carry costs,” the note said.

Nordea deleted the note on Wednesday and said it would look into “how the analysis was conducted and the process behind its publication”.

“We have initiated an internal review, and the two analysts will not write or publish during the review,” Nordea’s Chief communicator Tuomas Forsell told Reuters in repose to questions about the analysts named on the note, Martin Enlund and Andreas Steno Larsen.

Neither analyst was immediately available for comment.

Forsell said the publication process varies at the bank but would not comment on how and why the note criticising COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and restrictions was published on Sunday.

The note also made the unsubstantiated suggestion that booster shots made people more vulnerable to infection immediately afterwards and thus drove up infection rates. “Booster shots will likely give case growth… …a boost,” it said.

The bank said it would leave medical advice to medical experts.

“It is clear that we have failed in this case, and we apologise for that,” Head of large corporates and institutions Martin Persson said in a statement.

  • Reuters