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This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. Five years after a global economic crisis unleashed chaos on markets everywhere, income inequality has become an inescapable political and economic issue, in Canada as elsewhere. That’s because of mounting evidence that the increasingly skewed distribution of gains from economic growth slows future growth potential, [...]
Here is the link to a short piece I wrote for Economy Lab. It borrows from and includes the link to an important paper co-authored by the PEF’s own Marc Lavoie and recently published by the ILO , which I highly recommend. The overall conclusion of that paper is that a shift from profits to [...]
As I discussed in an earlier post, Niall Ferguson, the Harvard historian and author of numerous bad books about economics, is prone to writing and saying completely ignorant things, making one wonder about the intellectual heft of so-called academic “stars” who populate our institutions of higher learning. The latest bit of idiocy uttered by Ferguson [...]
Here is my take from today’s Economy Lab in the Globe. To expand a bit on alternatives, my take is that the neo liberal turn at the end of the 1970s was one possible response to the stagflation crisis, which found mainstream Keynesian economics wanting. Left Keynesians such as Kalecki had long recognized that full [...]
Four years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, it’s time to take stock of things by asking a stock political question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Where you stand on the answer depends on where you sit. Many people, businesses and communities are still struggling to regain the ground they lost [...]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under development, economic crisis, economic growth, employment, global crisis, income distribution, Role of government, social democracy, stimulus, super-rich, US, young workers.
September 14th, 2012
Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy, which garnered front page coverage (and kudos to the CAW for inviting him to speak.) It’s not the first time he’s raised this concern. [...]
Posted by Toby Sanger under Bank of Canada, capitalism, corporate income tax, corporate profits, debt, deficits, economic crisis, financial crisis, household debt, income distribution, investment, progressive economic strategies.
August 23rd, 2012
The US Federal Reserve today released its triennial examination of incomes and net worth of American households in the Survey of Consumer Finances. 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” which examines the $114 billion that Canada’s banks received during the 2008-09 financial crisis. Its major finding was that at some point three of Canada’s five 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
I am an enthusiastic reader of Krugman’s columns and, especially, his economic blog. And I certainly side strongly with him in the intellectual and political struggle against “the Austerians” and “Very Serious People” who are unnecessarily prolonging the Great Recession in America and in Europe. That said, Krugman’s latest book “End This Recession Now” (Norton, [...]
I am enjoying Tom Palley’s new book – and would post an enthusiastic review except for the fact that I have been unable to find the time to finish it. Certainly a very clear-headed take on the fundamental economic – and political – transformations that will have to take place if we are to escape [...]
On my recent book tour to promote “Thieves of Bay Street” I have journeyed to Alberta, Montreal and Ottawa. In so doing, I have gotten a taste of the Canada which Stephen Harper and his merry band of Tories are trying to forge. In Calgary, I arrived in time for the final weekend of the Alberta [...]
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 [...]
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
In the context of student protests over Quebec tuition fees, my friend Luan Ngo has just written a very informative blog post on Quebec’s fiscal situation. While I encourage readers to read his full post, I do want to use the present space to make mention of three important points he makes: -On a per [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Bank of Canada, budgets, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, deficits, economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, economic models, economic thought, education, equalization, financial crisis, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, heterodox economics, inflation, interest rates, macroeconomics, monetary policy, post-secondary education, progressive economic strategies, Quebec, social policy, student movement, user fees.
April 28th, 2012
There is a special, free on line, issue of the Cambridge Journal of Economics with what look to be very interesting contributions from the progressive side of the spectrum.
December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession. Its focus was almost exclusively [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under child benefits, Conservative government, corporate income tax, early learning, economic crisis, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, housing, income support, income tax, Indigenous people, inequality, minimum wage, Ontario, poverty, progressive economic strategies, recession, social indicators, social policy, taxation, unemployment.
January 8th, 2012
The OECD’s new assessment of the macro-economic situation makes for pretty grim reading. And their forecast of very sluggish global growth (just 1.6% for the OECD area in 2012) is based on an increasingly incredible view that the Eurozone will “muddle through”and experience only a mild recession. They do not seem to have convinced even [...]
A new issue of the International Journal of Labour Research has been published “While a lot of attention has been deservedly given to the financial roots of the current economic crisis, the role of wages as a cause to the crisis as well as a solution to the current economic predicament have yet to be [...]
Starting today I will be on a regular weekly biz panel for the Lang and O’Leary show, every Thursday night. The panel will take on two six minute segments to discuss the big economic stories of the day. Today’s proposed topics – the Eurozone mess, whither Canada’s GDP, is Occupy a media invention/will it hold [...]
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. [...]
In search of some background on the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, I recently caught up with Rick Wolff. He is a progressive economist and rising alternative media celeb in NYC (you can hear his entertaining weekly radio discussion of economic news at http://rdwolff.com/). He (with others like Stiglitz) among other spoke to the Occupy Wall [...]
The advanced economies, including Canada, risk falling back into recession because of government spending cuts and a looming financial crisis. The Canadian Labour Congress has been calling for our federal government and the G20 governments to respond by putting jobs first. This paper summarizes the economic situation as of the end of September, 2011 and [...]
The Labour Force Survey for August showed that average hourly wages were up by just 1.4% from a year earlier, the same low level of increase as was registered in July. Consumer price inflation was 2.7% in July, a bit down from 3.1% in June and 3.7% in May, but it seems that we have [...]
On Bloomberg today is a piece by George Magnus, senior economic advisor at UBS, on the relevance of Marxian ideas. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-29/give-marx-a-chance-to-save-the-world-economy-commentary-by-george-magnus.html Policy makers struggling to understand the barrage of financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize [...]
Arun Dubois’ blog post yesterday on Modern Monetary Theory has prompted me to write my own take on the subject. For those interested, an interesting thumbnail sketch of MMT, essentially functional finance augmented by a full understanding of monetary operations, is explained here. While MMT deals with the details of monetary and fiscal matters, the [...]
Posted by Keith Newman under debt, economic crisis, economic growth, employment, federal budget, financial crisis, fiscal policy, heterodox economics, monetary policy, population aging, unemployment.
August 12th, 2011
This guest post is from PEF members Marc Lavoie and Mario Seccareccia, both of whom are full professors of economics at the University of Ottawa. The “Japanization” of the World Economy Over the last twenty years, the Japanese economy underwent a long period of economic stagnation that some economists have characterized as a protracted “balance-sheet [...]
The Great Recession was followed by an anaemic recovery in the advanced economies, which threatens to be followed by a double dip or worse now that the fiscal stimulus measures of 2009 and 2010 have been succeeded by austerity programs. Now we face a new financial crisis, or at least a stock market correction of [...]
Does anyone else find it odd that a free-market-worshipping government can happily leap into the fray to micro-manage a labour market outcome (deciding, for example, that postal workers must get 1.75%, not 1.9%, in the first year of their new contract), yet pleads powerlessness when it comes to interfering with market outcomes that are genuinely [...]
The new issue of the International Journal of Labour Research (edited by Canada’s own Pierre la Liberte ) entitled “Crisis: Causes, Prospects and Alternatives” is now available. The issue takes a critical look at policies that led to the 2007-08 crisis and considers alternatives to orthodox policies both North and South. It features articles by [...]
With the Summer reading season at hand, here is a short list – in no particular order – of the best books I have read over the last couple of years on the roots and implications of the Great Recession – essential reading for all progressive economists. John Cassidy. How Markets Fail: The Logic of [...]
Today (June 15th) the Toronto Star broke news that the NDP was planning to drop the term “socialism” from its party’s platform. This was a mere formality of what had been in existence for decades: the party hasn’t been “socialist” in any shape or form for a very long time. On the very same day, [...]