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(The following is slightly adapted from a short piece on page 3 in the new issue of Economy at Work, the quarterly publication I produce for CUPE, which also covers a lot of other relevant issues.) It’s been a little over four years since Canada’s economy bottomed out in mid 2009. While we didn’t suffer as deep [...]
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, [...]
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
Yesterday, Mike Moffatt took to The Globe and Mail’s “Economy Lab” in response to my suggestion that the Bank of Canada should moderate the exchange rate. (Perhaps his motive for encouraging me to seek the Saskatchewan NDP leadership was to get me as far as possible from the levers of monetary policy.) My rebuttal of [...]
Last week, Conrad Black launched a $1.25-million libel lawsuit against me, Random House of Canada and its editors over four sentences in my book “Thieves of Bay Street” that discuss his case. You can see the National Post article here about the suit: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/22/conrad-black-suing-publisher-for-1-25m/ While I won’t argue the merits of the suit on this [...]
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 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 [...]
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
Take a look at the picture below. Take it in. Now scan your eyes to the far right…there, in faded blue you’ll see the initials MMT. Now zoom out. Take it in again. Notice: a few hundred people. Spending their time learning about an economic theory called Modern Monetary Theory or MMT and its application [...]
The Prime Minister’s speech at Davos was, I would bet, written by Stephen Harper himself. It bore the stamp of his long standing contempt for the European welfare state. He all but said that the Europeans had brought the crisis on themselves through trying to live beyond their fiscal means: As I look around the world, as [...]
“Other People’s Money” by Justin Cartwright (Bloomsbury, 2011) is to the novel what the wonderful “Margin Call” is to film – a fictionalized but convincing account of high finance and the crisis of 2008. In this case, the central characters are the old money family owners of a private London investment bank which has incurred [...]
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 [...]
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 time since 2008 has been a crucial historical moment for progressive economists to pull back the green curtain that surrounds the operation of the for-profit banking system, and expose that system for what it is: a government-protected, government-subsidized license to print money. The problem is, as soon as you start saying things like that, people [...]
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
Last week, Travis noted Terry Corcoran’s strained argument that over-regulation of banks is what ails the global economy. Terry’s next column went even further off the deep end, endorsing the hard-money libertarianism of gold bugs like Eric Sprott. Today’s column is a full-blown defence of the US Tea Party. I have the following response to [...]
One nice thing about Canada’s financial regulatory architecture is the provision that the bank act must be reviewed every 5 years. This gives us all a time to take stock of the direction that bank regulation is heading. This is the year we are due for the Bank Act review. After a couple of years of [...]
In the current battle against an all-out conflagration in Euroland, markets are twitchy about European (and other) banks in the event that the firefighters don’t get ahead of the blaze. If markets lose confidence in those large banks exposed to the problems in Europe (or anywhere else, for that matter), the next chapter in the [...]
I’d get popcorn to watch ECB vs. the speculators, if the whole sorry story weren’t so sickening. The European Central Bank is meeting today to figure out what the bleep to do about this mess in Europe (the press conference is happening as I write). In the lead-up to the ECB announcement, non-core bonds (like [...]