Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • Help us build a better Ontario September 14, 2017
    If you live in Ontario, you may have recently been selected to receive our 2017 grassroots poll on vital issues affecting the province. Your answers to these and other essential questions will help us decide what issues to focus on as we head towards the June 2018 election in Ontario. For decades, the CCPA has […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Does the Site C dam make economic sense for BC? August 31, 2017
    Today CCPC-BC senior economist Marc Lee submitted an analysis to the BC Utilities Commission in response to their consultation on the economics of the Site C dam. You can read it here. In short, the submission discussses how the economic case for Site C assumes that industrial demand for electricity—in particular for natural gas extraction […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario's middle and working class families are losing ground August 15, 2017
    Ontario is becoming more polarized as middle and working class families see their share of the income pie shrinking while upper middle and rich families take home even more. New research from CCPA-Ontario Senior Economist Sheila Block reveals a staggering divide between two labour markets in the province: the top half of families continue to pile […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Join us in October for the CCPA-BC fundraising gala, featuring Senator Murray Sinclair August 14, 2017
    We are incredibly honoured to announce that Senator Murray Sinclair will address our 2017 Annual Gala as keynote speaker, on Thursday, October 19 in Vancouver. Tickets are now on sale. Will you join us? Senator Sinclair has served as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), was the first Indigenous judge appointed in Manitoba, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • How to make NAFTA sustainable, equitable July 19, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Canada: Land of Mines and Banks

Just in time for Canada Day, the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business issued its annual Top 1000 rankings of the thousand largest publicly traded companies (by assets) in Canada (ranked by profit).  I blogged about this last year as well.  It’s such an interesting snapshot of Canadian business it’s worth perusing.

Once again, this listing reveals the extent to which Canada’s economic base is being steadily narrowed in the face of globalization and financialization.

Of the 50 largest corporations, fully 20 are resource producers (up from 17 of the top 50 last year).  Ten are financial and life insurance companies (down from 12 last year; the losses sustained by some major life insurance companies pushed them well down the list this year).  Another 6 are holding and property companies (which I consider broadly a form of finance: coupon-clipping, in essence), and 3 more are pipeline companies (tied at the hip to the energy industry).  By that reckoning, 39 of the top 50 companies in Canada are either resource or financial firms.  That’s a precarious concentration of our national economic eggs in just a couple of baskets.

Rounding out the top 50 are 3 telephone companies, 3 retailers, 2 railways, and all of 3 manufacturing firms (RIM, Bombardier, and Magna), down from 4 last year.  [With RIM in free fall, next year there will be just 2 manufacturers on the list.]

This is a dramatic statement of the general failure of the Canadian business class to build a diversified, productive, innovative foothold for our country in the global economy.  If it doesn’t involve digging stuff out of the ground, or creating and manipulating paper assets, then Canada pretty much isn’t in the game.

Brian Milner noted in his RoB commentary that over half of the total profits of all 1000 of the firms listed came from resource and financial firms.  The two sectors account for an equally dominant share of stock market capitaliztion, too.  As Milner warned, while investors are no doubt happy with the strong profits that have been generated by both sectors, “their throngs of admirers have to be wondering how long they can keep pulling fat rabbits out of their respective hats.”  When that stops happening, the whole country will be left grasping at economic straws.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: July 18, 2012, 8:36 pm

Okay, I knew there was something going on with the auto sector. I could not make out why the monthly sales were topping the charts and a bit of a rebound was being heralded. Well it seems there has been a big increase in sub-prime auto lending. It is quite worrisome, as I was placing a bit of hope on Ontario’s recovery on the auto sector. Given this report, I will actually now retract my belief that the sector will bounce back to promote longer run brick and mortar investment gains. Seems like the only investment is lending to people that most likely cannot afford the vehicles. I was thinking it was simply the American love affair with the auto and sacrificing and deleveraging. But given this report- maybe not.

Sorry for the lack of comments, but summer is here.

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2012/07/18/1088811/the-return-of-auto-subprime-lending/

Write a comment





Related articles