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Archive for 'economic risk'

Do High Tuition Fees Make for Good Public Policy?

This afternoon I gave a presentation to Professor Ted Jackson’s graduate seminar course on higher education, taught in Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration.  The link to my slide deck, titled “The Political Economy of Post-Secondary Education in Canada,” can be found here. Points I raised in the presentation include the following: -Tuition […]

Intellectual Dishonesty at the Ivey Business Journal

Under the headline “Canada Isn’t Rotten to the Core”, the new editor of the Ivey Business Journal, Thomas Watson, attacked my book “Thieves of Bay Street” in his inaugural editorial. Although the book hit bookstores almost two years ago, and has faded from view, I found this assault so distorted to what “Thieves” explores I […]

Household debt going from bad to worse

Canadians are now more indebted than either Americans or the Brits at the peak of their housing bubble.  Statistics Canada today revised the national accounts.  The result on the household debt front was that instead of Canadian households having a debt to disposable income ratio of 154, it has now been revised upwards to 166. […]

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 […]

Who’s a bigger drag on Canada’s future? The old or the young?

This is my latest column for Canadian Business magazine.  Giorgio, a hard-working, smart-as-a-whip University of Toronto student, asked me a great question after a recent guest lecture: What if the biggest challenge facing Canadian businesses and governments in the coming years isn’t an aging society but the economic and fiscal drag of hundreds of thousands […]

Risk, Altruism and A Monkey Economy Like Ours

The “science” of economics has for most of its history relied on theory more than experimentation, which is quite literally the testing grounds of all “real” science. The birth of behavioural economics in the 1970s permitted economists to start testing theory rigorously, by borrowing empirical methods from psychology and other social sciences to lift the […]

Labour at the World Economic Forum

Here is the trade union statement to the World Economic Forum, which begins today: A New Reality for Workers? Statement of Labour Leaders to the World Economic Forum Davos, Switzerland, 26 – 30 January 2011

Housing on the knife’s edge

At long last, the federal government has decided to seriously address the housing price bubble that has increasingly concerned Canadians. On the heels of multiple warnings from the Bank of Canada that Canadians have taken on too much household debt for comfort (we hold the dubious distinction of having the worst consumer debt to financial […]

Revenge of the Debt Zombies — or — “What are Banks for Anyway?”

What are banks for?  Typically, banks are described as intermediaries that take deposits and lend them out, earning what is called net interest margin on the gap between what is paid on the savings and what is earned on loans.  From where I stand, this description is wrong on three counts. First, it suggests that […]

Economy Lab at the Globe and Mail

Here’s my take on Canada’s jobs recovery, written for the Economy Lab. The Economy Lab is a new on-line feature of the on-line business section of the Globe and Mail, part the newspaper’s extensive print and electronic make-over launched on October 1. Editor Rob Gilroy has made it a lively spot. The Daily Mix is […]

The Temporary Recovery

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The Predator State — More Progressives Who Saw True and Through

PEF people are not the only ones who correctly anticipated some of our recent economic and fiscal events.  Jamie Galbraith also saw a lot of this coming in his book The Predator State. With no further ado, I’m posting an enthusiastic review of the book by fellow traveler and Sorbonne PhD economics graduate Henry Sader:

The OECD on Iceland

Further to Toby’s excellent post on Iceland. Here are some extracts from OECD Country Reviews – courtesy of Roland Schneider of TUAC – which show gross disregard for the risks as they were building. Economic Survey of Iceland 2006 Published on 9 August 2006 Chapter 1: Policy challenges in sustaining improved economic performance Iceland’s growth […]

Another Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore has famously and correctly characterized the scientific consensus about global warming as “An Inconvenient Truth”. In today’s Financial Post, Buzz Hargrove identifies another “inconvenient truth” for Canadian progressives: “it is impossible to achieve Kyoto targets in the time frames spelled out in Kyoto.” Canada’s Kyoto commitment was relatively modest and achievable. However, after […]

Wheat Board Plebiscite

Yesterday, the Conservatives announced three ballot options for an upcoming mail-in vote on the Canadian Wheat Board’s marketing of barley: (1) maintain single-desk marketing, (2) end the Board’s marketing of barley, or (3) have the Board market barley without its monopoly. In effect, Board elections have always been plebiscites on the organization’s role and supporters of […]

Wage Reductions for Laid-Off Workers

http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/070116/d070116a.htm One thing we don’t know about the current round of manufacturing job losses is what is happening to laid-off workers – though employment rates are slipping for older male workers in Ontario and Quebec, and even a supposedly “tight” job market is generating little if any real wage growth for most workers. This suggests […]

New Zealand Social Report

http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/ This is worth a look as a serious attempt at an “official” social audit. A good selection of economic and social indicators, and what is interesting is that the report highlights some progessive benchmarks and targets, and some not terribly impressive performance. A brave government indeed, compared to our own.

Economic risk and the middle class

An interesting discussion is happening over at The American Prospect. Called Debating the Middle it asks “Just how is the middle class faring in the modern American economy, and how should progressives tailor their message and program accordingly?” As in other posts on the US inequality debate, there are some insights and implications to be […]