Borg also understands how vital entrepreneurs are to recovery: he wants to encourage them to stay in Sweden and to stop capital flight. His decision to abolish his country's wealth tax was a no-brainer on the basis of the numbers but hadn't occurred to his predecessors. Research for the Swedish tax authority in 2002 found that capital flight from Sweden had amounted to 275 billion kroner since the beginning of the 1980s (around £400 billion in 2002 prices). This is further evidence that Borg shows no fear where others have shied away from abolishing a tax that was both harmful to the economy and ineffective.
Borg also grasps how critical welfare reform is. Sweden previously had very high welfare spending but that has been cut significantly on Borg's watch. It was part of an agenda of spending cuts that he felt had to partner tax cuts. Borg might look as if he hasn't had a haircut in a while, but he is not afraid to suggest that government spending should take one. In this sense (if not tonsorially) he has something in common with Britain's work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who also sees that it's unacceptable to leave people in the poverty trap, creating problems such as social exclusion.
There is still a lot more work for Borg to do in Sweden. He might have dished out some advice to Osborne but he's also got his eye on what the Chancellor is doing. He has taken note of Osborne's decision to cut corporation tax to 23 per cent by 2014. Sweden's rate is currently 26.3 per cent and Borg realises the importance of making his country's taxation system competitive.
They might not like it, but European leaders from François Hollande to Mariano Rajoy could use a finance minister like Borg. With him in charge of their finances, France and Spain might not be staring into the abyss of national bankruptcy but instead be looking forward to the kind of fiscal stability and durable economic growth that Sweden is enjoying.