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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 [...]
They’ve haunted me. Incessantly. The ghosts of Reinhart and Rogoff. Their research here, there, everywhere. Bank of Canada speeches? Yes. Finance Department talking points? Check. House of Commons debates? Yup. Globe editorials? Ditto. Discussions with fellow progressives? Sadly, yes. Results? Arguments conjured in their name. Reason decapitated. Modern Monetary Theorists (MMT) banished to the netherworld [...]
The Nova Scotia provincial government is set to introduce its promised balanced budget this year. The Nova Scotia Alternative Budget, released today, proposes some concrete choices rooted in Nova Scotia communities. Rather than pay down debt, the NS-APB prioritizes balancing the social debt threatening Nova Scotia. Can a budget really be considered balanced when unemployment [...]
It’s hard to get excited about Thursday’s federal budget. All signs point to an “austerity” budget, even though that approach has failed so spectacularly wherever it has been tried. Austerity is one of those zombie ideas that cannot be killed, roaming rampantly across the pages and screens of the mainstream media. The 2012 federal budget [...]
In a very long and fascinating speech which has been amplified by Martin Wolf in the FT, Lord Adair Turner seeks to break the taboo on discussion of the potential ability of central banks to monetize fiscal deficits. His argument boils down to a political economic one … Some monetization might be useful in certain [...]
This is a little old, but it was brought to my attention late and it seems to be of durable relevance. Last month, the New York Times (NYT) published an article chronicling public giveaways to corporations in the United States. What is extraordinary is that the article is the result of ten months – 10 [...]
On Tuesday, November 20th, the Parti Québécois released its first budget since taking office. This budget was widely anticipated in view of the many fiscal promises the PQ had made during the campaign, most of which where fairly progressive in nature. In the end, the exercise was (aptly) described by Marc Van Audenrode, who followed [...]
The US federal budget is back in the spotlight now that the election is over. In one sense, not much has changed in that the Republicans continue to hold the House, the Democrats the Senate and White House. But what we are now witnessing is the culmination of budget deals going back to the first [...]
The annual Employment Insurance Coverage Survey is out, here. The rate of eligibility for regular benefits from Employment Insurance is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year that there is comparable data. To qualify, a person must have worked in the past 12 months and contributed to Employment Insurance, they must have left their job for a [...]
Below is a recent editorial from the New York Times that does an excellent job of summarizing the failures of austerity policies. The NYTimes also published a very good analysis of how austerity measures have actually increased debt loads in many countries, instead of reducing them: “Despite Push for Austerity, European Debt has Soared” I made [...]
The Ontario government Fall Economic Statement and Fiscal Review ignores and hides billions savings the province will gain from lower borrowing rates in coming years. While this statement acknowledges that borrowing rates will be considerably lower in coming years–and more than 100 basis points lower in 2014–their forecast of debt interest costs (on page 85) [...]
With all the predictions of doom and gloom coming from the austerity camp, one would think that Canada was already about to hit the famed (but never seen) “debt wall.” Before we get too carried away, however, with the scary debt stuff, consider these two indicators of the fundamental fiscal fragility/stability of Canadian governments. The [...]
The main story in today’s GDP numbers is that the oil, gas and mining industries rebounded sharply in April after being hobbled by temporary maintenance and production difficulties in February and March. While the upswing in fossil-fuel and mineral extraction was large enough to boost the overall economy, other key sectors showed signs of weakness. [...]
Seen in isolation, Finance Minister Flaherty probably did the right thing yesterday in seeking to safely deflate the housing bubble and lower the dangerous growth of household credit to a record level as a share of household income. But he did it very late in the game, and risks tipping an already very fragile economy [...]
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
On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference. My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, competition, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, demographics, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, household debt, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, Newfoundland and Labrador, P3s, part time work, post-secondary education, privatization, productivity, public infrastructure, Quebec, rankings, regulation, Role of government, social policy, student debt, student movement, taxation, user fees, working time, young workers.
June 7th, 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
I wanted to tip my hat to the hard working folks at the PBO for a particularly revealing Economic and Fiscal Outlook that was published today. While the PBO has more than once eaten my lunch on various issue they’ve done a superb job of looking at Canada’s economic and fiscal position.
Andrew Jackson has started off this discussion with his post today looking at the job impacts of federal cuts. I wanted to add my own two sense and some calculations that I’ve whipped up. Thankfully the federal budget has started to fill in some of the details of its latest round of cuts. In particular, it [...]
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 [...]
This may come as a bit of a shock to Andrew Coyne and Jim Flaherty, but even the IMF are warning in their most recent fiscal policy update that austerity in the advanced economies is going too far, and will dampen growth. Indeed, they even suggest that too much austerity may spook the dreaded bond [...]
Krugman hardly needs me to leap to his defence against Canadian economic flat earthers like Andrew Coyne, but here goes. Coyne’s latest column argues that there is a recovery underway in the US which owes nothing to Keynesian stimulus. Accordingly, “we can add America post-2008 to the long list of failed experiments in Keynesian demand [...]
The Ontario government’s long awaited and much discussed report of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services (aka, the Drummond report) was finally publicly released this afternoon. As was rumoured, the report says Ontario would need to increase program spending by no more than 0.8% per year for the government to reach balance [...]
An excellent commentary from Andrew Watt.
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 [...]
Today’s IMF economic update further downgrades growth projections, including here in Canada where growth in 2012 is forecast to be just 1.7%, down from the IMF’s September forecast of 1.9%. That is well below the just released Bank of Canada forecast of 2.0%, and clearly implies rising unemployment. On fiscal policy they say: Countries should [...]
The Mark have published a pre Budget commentary from yours truly.
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
As faithful readers of this blog will know, I make only very sporadic contributions to this blog but a substantial fraction of those contributions have made reference to modern monetary theory (MMT), the view (crudely put) that, based on a detailed understanding of the institutional mechanisms behind monetary operations, calls into question our obsession with [...]
Governments around the world are heading down a path to economic suicide. So said Nobel Prize-winning former chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, to hundreds of well-heeled financiers and decision-makers who paid a bundle to hear him in Toronto. With a voice as gruff as gravel, and an energy bristling with urgency, he [...]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under budgets, Conservative government, deficits, economic growth, employment, federal budget, fiscal policy, progressive economic strategies, Role of government, unemployment, World Bank.
October 31st, 2011