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On November 4, I gave a historical presentation on Canadian housing policy at the annual conference of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. My slide presentation, which focused on pre-1964 Canadian social history, can be downloaded here. Here are five things to know about pre-1964 history that set the tone for important developments in Canadian […]
Le 4 novembre, jâ€™ai fait une prÃ©sentation sur la politique du logement au Canada, lors de la ConfÃ©rence nationale pour mettre fin Ã lâ€™itinÃ©rance. Ma prÃ©sentation (qui a portÃ© sur l’histoire sociale canadienne avant 1964) illustrÃ©e de diapositives, peut Ãªtre tÃ©lÃ©chargÃ©e ici. Voici cinq choses Ã savoir sur lâ€™histoire avant 1964, pÃ©riode qui a donnÃ© […]
This guest blog post has been written by Louis-Philippe Rochon. You can follow him on Twitter @Lprochon – Harperâ€™s recent incarnation as an anti-terrorist crusader has caught many Canadians by surprise. Harper is spending considerable political energy beating the drums of war against terrorists, and introducing a far-reaching, and much condemned, bill aimed at restricting […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Bank of Canada, banks, China, Conservative government, economic crisis, economic growth, employment, exchange rates, financial markets, GDP, global crisis, interest rates, international trade, labour market, macroeconomics, manufacturing, monetary policy, recession, Role of government, unemployment, US.
February 6th, 2015
Over at the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ottawa U professor Mario Seccareccia has given an interview titled “Greece Shows the Limits of Austerity in the Eurozone.Â What Now?” The interview can be read here.
Posted by Nick Falvo under banks, budgets, capitalism, debt, deficits, deflation, democracy, economic crisis, economic history, Europe, exchange rates, financial crisis, Greece, IMF, inflation, monetary policy, recession, taxation, unemployment, wages.
February 5th, 2015
On Monday I gave a guest presentation to Craig Jones‘ graduate seminar class in Carleton University’s School of Social Work.Â My presentation sought to answer two questions: 1. Why should government play a role in creating affordable housing? 2. Which level of government is responsible? With those questions as a backdrop, here are 10 things […]
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’re probably well aware that the price of oil has fallen dramatically, to less than $50 / barrel. What this means for Canada’s economic output & labour markets is not yet clear. But Stephen Poloz at the Bank of Canada hasÂ said that he expects the effect to […]
Louis-Philippe Rochon has written a provocative blog post for the CBC titled “Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2015.” The post is available here.
Posted by Nick Falvo under Bank of Canada, banks, budgets, Conservative government, consumers, deficits, economic growth, economic models, economic thought, employment, Europe, exchange rates, federal budget, fiscal policy, household debt, housing, inflation, interest rates, monetary policy, oil and gas, prices, Role of government, social indicators, tar sands, US.
January 11th, 2015
One of the most frequently repeated claims in coverage of yesterdayâ€™s Canada Post announcement is that the Crown corporation is on track to lose a billion dollars annually by the decadeâ€™s end. This apprehended threat to taxpayers supposedly justifies the complete elimination of door-to-door mail delivery. The Conference Board made this billion-dollar projection earlier this […]
Last fall, Greek magazine editor Kostas Vaxevanis published in his magazineÂ Hot DocÂ a list of 2,000 wealthy Greeks who were hiding taxable savings in the Geneva branch of HSBC. The list had been furnished years earlier by the then French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to the Greek government, who did nothing in regards to chasing after […]
L. Ian MacDonald wroteÂ a defence of the Senate in todayâ€™s Montreal Gazette. He makes the familiar argument that it provides useful study of policy issues. However, his first example is the 2002 Senate report supporting bank mergers. In the wake of the global financial crisis, we should be glad that opposition MPs like Lorne Nystrom […]
A letter appears in today’s Globe and Mail in response to recent direction given by Minister Flaherty to private mortgage lenders over mortgage rates.Â The letter was written by Steve Pomeroy, one of Canada’s leading housing policy experts. Here is the full text of the letter: – Glass-house mortgages Twice in recent weeks, the Minister […]
Just in time for Canada Day, the Globe and Mail’s Report on BusinessÂ issued its annual Top 1000 rankings of the thousand largest publicly traded companies (by assets) in Canada (ranked by profit).Â I blogged about this last year as well.Â It’s such an interesting snapshot of Canadian business it’s worth perusing. Once again, this listing […]
The US Federal Reserve today released its triennial examination of incomes and net worth of American households in the Survey of Consumer Finances.Â It shows the crushing effects on net worth of a housing and financial bust unparalleled since the great depression. The shocking results of this study overviewed in the New York Times are […]
Readers of this blog will have hopefully read my report “The big banks big secret”Â which examines the $114 billion that Canada’s banks received during the 2008-09 financial crisis. Â Its major finding was that at some point three of Canada’s fiveÂ big banks had received support worth more than their market capitalization, or the value of all […]
Posted by David Macdonald under Bank of Canada, banks, democracy, economic crisis, financial crisis, financial markets, financial regulation, fiscal policy, global crisis, monetary policy.
June 8th, 2012
The CCPA today released my report: â€œThe Big Banks Big Secretâ€ which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.Â 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 […]
Posted by David Macdonald under asset backed commercial paper, auto industry, Bank of Canada, banks, capitalism, corporate profits, economic crisis, economic risk, financial crisis, financial markets, financial regulation, free markets, global crisis, income distribution, inequality, recession, Role of government, Uncategorized.
April 30th, 2012
Hi all, I interrupt your regular blog viewing to bring you one of my infrequent posts, this time by a guest contributor — Alan Milner — who for reasons of job security, must remain anonymous.Â With no further ado: ******************************************************************* AÂ Bank for the Taxpayerâ€™s Buck? The Canadian tax system provides a variety of incentives […]
Last week, the C. D. Howe Institute was out with an op-ed contending that Canadian household debt is not worth worrying too much about: â€œThere does not seem to be a strong case for restrictive regulation of consumer credit products, such as tight caps on interest rates.â€ The C. D. Howe Institute arguing for looser […]
An interesting nugget in last weekâ€™s Drummond report is Table 11.1, an updated version of Table 2 from â€œOntarioâ€™s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growthâ€ (2009). It provides a sectoral breakdown of the McGuinty governmentâ€™s recent business tax breaks: HST input tax credits, cutting the corporate income tax, and eliminating the corporate capital tax. The […]
The conventional line has been, no. Our banks were strong. Unlike the US and Europe, no bailout was needed to deal with the global financial crisis of 2008. This line, of course, always conveniently neglected the Extraordinary Financing Framework, or dismissed it as trivial. Now Finance Minister Flaherty – seeking new powers to turn down […]
Here is an amazing multimedia article published by Bloomberg Markets Magazine in the U.S., that lists all of the individual banks which received financial assistance from the U.S. Federal Reserve during the 2008-09 crisis.Â It shows each bank’s peak borrowing from the Fed, the number of days they held the funds, and the timeline for […]
What do banks actually DO?Â Create credit out of thin air. Were Canadian banks bailed-out?Â Absolutely, to the tune of $200 billion.Â And they are still protected and subsidized more than any other sector of the economy. What must be done with these banks?Â Tax them, control them, and ultimately take them back. Those are […]
I hung out a while yesterday at the Vancouver Occupation, and was impressed with their efforts at radical democracy. Many in the mainstream press have been quick to pile on for how time-consuming decision-making can be under this model, but perhaps they have not spent enough time in legislatures and committee meetings and public consultations. […]
There’s a disturbing trendÂ buried inÂ this morning’s report by Statscan on Canada’s foreign direct investment (FDI) abroad.Â Not only is an increasing share of Canadian direct investment abroad going through finance and insurance industries, but a growing share is also being funnelled into tax havens. The finance and insurance now accounts for over 52% of all […]
The Progressive Economics Forum has the following line-up of sessions for this yearâ€™s Canadian Economics Association conference on June 3-5 at the University of Ottawa. Thanks very much to Nick Falvo for coordinating our conference activities and putting this schedule together. We are also hosting a summer school the day before and announcing our essay […]
Here are the most important facts about the Tax Free Savings Account. Will blog further on this tomorrow. Introduction of the Tax Free Savings Account: January 1, 2009, right at the height of the economic meltdown Whatâ€™s new: Stephen Harper promises to double the contribution limits to the Tax Free Savings Account, from $5,000 a […]
Michael Lewis has a great article in todayâ€™s Toronto Star about the windfall that banks are reaping from corporate tax cuts. He quotes three of our favourite bloggers: Toby Sanger, Armine Yalnizyan and Jim Stanford. He also cites a BMO Capital Markets report that I shared with him. Since BMO appears to have removed this […]
One nice thing about Canadaâ€™s financial regulatory architecture is the provision that the bank act must be reviewed every 5 years.Â This gives us all a time to take stock of the direction that bank regulation is heading. Â This is the year we are due forÂ the Bank ActÂ review. After a couple of years of […]
Gabriella Moldonado looked like someone who was thoroughly whipped by life. This past October I was standing on the front stoop of her sagging home in Laredo, Texas, interviewing the middle-aged, portly woman for a television documentary about Mexicoâ€™s drug cartel wars. Laredo is a city of 230,000 that lies on the Rio Grande river […]
Sometimes the crudest forms of Marxist analysis of the relationship between class and politics make the most sense. Read this Â scorching commentary by Simon Johnson – the former IMF Chief Economist turned ubercritic of the power of the big banks -Â on the appointment ofÂ a senior Wall Street figure, Bill Daley from Morgan Stanley, […]
It’s a funny old economy we live in. The release of today’s national balance sheet accounts has aroused great concern about the rise of the ratio of household debt to personal disposable income to a new record of 148%. Mark Carney and our banks want – quite rightly – to discourage further borrowing to prevent […]