Stanford Responds to Moffatt: Why I Still Worry About Auto Job Losses Under a TPP

My friend and fellow #cdnecon tweeter Mike Moffatt has published a thought-provoking commentary regarding the impact of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Canada’s auto industry. Specifically, Mike engages critically with previous arguments I have made (on this site and elsewhere) that the TPP, as currently negotiated, could result in the ultimate loss of tens of thousands of Canadian […]

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Economist <3 car-sharing

It started with a car accident in February, and the total loss of our 2004 Prius, which had only been ours for less than a year. We were quickly compensated for its market value and were in a position to buy another car, but we held off due to a looming sabbatical that would take us out of the country […]

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The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The CCPA today released my report: “The Big Banks Big Secret” which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.  The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly reports from the banks themselves. […]

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The Rise of the Casino Economy

I was on a road trip recently, driving through the American south, and ended up coming face to face with the economics of gambling. The friend I was travelling with is a professional poker player, making his living at casinos all across the US. He used to work as an IT consultant in Toronto, helping companies with their computer systems […]

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Auto Labour Costs and Auto Industry Recovery

I was recently invited to speak to the annual management briefing conference sponsored in Michigan by the Center for Automotive Research, a fine outfit which does the best research work in the continent on auto employment, workers, and skills.  My slides are available here. My panel was addressing the current UAW negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers – the first […]

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The Economic Footprint of a Canadian-Made Car

Like most dailies, the Globe and Mail produces a honking big weekly supplement on cars; theirs is called Globe Drive, and comes out every Friday.  One feature of the section is a mildly amusing column called “My Wheels,” each edition of which features some minor Canadian celebrity discussing their personal choice of vehicle. I recently pitched an idea to the […]

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CAW Commentary on the GM IPO

GM’s $22 billion IPO got off to a roaring start last week. It’s ironic, needless to say, that it was underwritten by some of the same financiers (JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Bank of America) who brought us the global financial crisis — the same crisis that pushed GM over the edge into bankruptcy protection! That just goes to […]

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Digging Deeper on the GM Loan Repayment

Last week’s announcement by GM that is has fully repaid the loans it received from the U.S., Canadian, and Ontario governments (years ahead of schedule, and with interest) was greeted in most circles as another positive sign of the auto industry’s modest recovery.  Since the dark days of last June (when Chrysler was shut down entirely), the Canadian auto assembly […]

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Don’t Blame Auto Bailout for $50 b Deficit

In all the kerfuffle around Finance Minister Flaherty’s $50 billion deficit projection, the cost of the joint federal-Ontario support for the restructuring of GM and Chrysler has been getting a lot of attention. But while that restructuring support is an important and expensive undertaking, there’s no way it should be fingered as the major cause (or even a leading cause) […]

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Wage cuts, deflation and the feds

CCPA Executive Director Bruce Campbell coordinated the following letter, published at rabble.ca, from a number of progressive economists (mostly academic and private sector, not from the trade union sector) about the growing risk of deflation in general and the federal government’s attack on auto workers in particular. Government pressure to cut wages will increase the risk of deflation It is […]

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What is YOUR All-in Hourly Labour Cost???

One enormous myth that has been propagated (sometimes innocently, sometimes not) in recent debates over the future of the auto industry is the false notion that auto workers “make” $75 per hour. Autoworkers don’t remotely make that much money — yet the lie has been repeated often enough, I am amazed at how many people actually seem to believe it.  […]

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