Kjell-Olof Feldt is a Swedish Social Democratic politician, born 18 August 1931 in Holmsund. Feldt was Minister of Trade 1970–75, and assistant Minister for Finance 1975–76. The Social Democrats lost power in the 1976 elections, but, after having won the elections of 1982, Feldt was chosen to be full Minister for Finance by Prime Minister Olof Palme. He was seen as a part of Kanslihushögern during his time in office.
In a Playboy Scandinavia interview, Feldt reminisced upon his own legacy within the Social Democratic Party,
"The negative inheritance I received from my predecessor Gunnar Sträng (Minister of Finance 1955–76) was a strongly progressive tax system with high marginal taxes. This was supposed to bring about a just and equal society. But I eventually came to the opinion that it simply didn't work out that way he concluded. Progressive taxes created instead a society of wranglers, cheaters, peculiar manipulations, false ambitions and new injustices. It took me at least a decade to get a part of the party to see this."
In the late 1980s Feldt and was heavily criticized from within his own party: he and others at the Ministry of Finance Sw. "kanslihushögern" were perceived to be promoting right-wing politics and to be failing to live up to the traditional ideals of the social democrats. When economic problems mounted in 1990, the rift was highlighted, and Feldt left office after a fall-out with Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson on 16 February. Feldt had been in favour of a more conservative economic policy in response to the crisis, and when his ideas met resistance, he decided to leave his office. Feldt subsequently left party politics, though he remains a member of the Social Democratic Party. During the 1990s and early 2000s, Feldt has heavily criticized Social Democratic economic policy, both past and present.
Feldt was the son of a single mother, Irma, née Jonsson, who had to send young Kjell-Olof to live with his grandfather's sister. Though he came from a working-class family, Kjell-Olof managed to gain admission to Uppsala University where he received a Politices Magister (MA in political science) degree in 1956. He received a Licentiate degree at Lund University in 1967. Since 1970, he has been married to Birgitta von Otter. On May 31, 1991 he received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Uppsala University.