An Analysis of Financial Flows in the Canadian Economy

An essential but perhaps overlooked way of looking at the economy is a sector financial balance approach. Pioneered by the late UK economist Wynne Godley, this approach starts with National Accounts data (called Financial Flow Accounts) for four broad sectors of the economy: households, corporations, government and non-residents. Here’s how it works: in any given quarter or year each sector […]

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ROCHON: Harper in closet over the economy as Canada heads toward another recession

This guest blog post has been written by Louis-Philippe Rochon. You can follow him on Twitter @Lprochon – Harper’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 free speech, and increasing police […]

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Great Divergence or Financialized recovery ?

The IMF’s latest delivery of the World Economic outlook contains an interesting analysis of the current “non” recovery in terms of a divergence between fiscal and monetary policy, the first between restrictive and procyclical in nature and the second being accommodating and reinforcing a financial expansion. As argued here by the IMF economists who worked on this issue, the “great” […]

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Another push for jobs by shifting the tax burden on workers…

… in Portugal. Portugal’s Prime Minister announced on Friday that the government would raise workers’ social security contribution rates from 11% to 18% (about one month’s salary)… and decrease companies’ contribution rates from 23.5% to 18% in the same breath. The usual need for job creation is invoked as justificaion for the move… an interesting claim, especially in light of […]

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Complete details of 2008-09 Bank Support

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 the stock, at around $20-25 […]

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A New Stage of the Crisis?

Until quite recently, it seemed that the global economy was set for an extended period of stagnation, lacking an obvious engine of growth in the advanced economies as households deleveraged, as governments imposed harsh fiscal austerity programs, and as corporations failed to see any good reason to invest significantly in new capacity. Relative optimists could point to China, Brazil, India […]

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From Financial Crisis to Stagnation

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 global stagnation, or even worse. […]

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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 reports from the banks themselves. […]

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Canadian Triumphalism Increasingly Bizarre

Prime Minister  Harper went to Davos yesterday to sing Canada’s praises.  No sooner had he finished reciting a long list of our national achievements, however, then he launched into a list of the sober, realistic, inevitable things that must be done in Canada to ensure “sustainability” in the long term.  Top of the list is rolling back our universal public […]

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Souvenirs de Cannes

I was in Cannes last week with CLC President Ken Georgetti for the G20 Labour Summit.  (I know, tough job.) This event was arranged by the International Trade Union Confederation with the support of the French Presidency of the G20. Our group as a whole, consisting of labour leaders from the G20 countries and leaders of  the International Trade Union […]

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Exiting from the Crisis

“Exiting from the Crisis: Towards a Model of More Equitable and Sustainable Growth” is a new book (over 270 pages) now available on line. This volume of essays from global trade union leaders and economists is the product of the Global Unions Taskforce on a New Growth Model, a joint project of the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the […]

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Why the Great Recession Will Go On and On…

The cover of last week’s Economist magazine boasted the headline “Grow, dammit, grow!” above a picture of a bald man looking up at a tiny sprout of hair on his pate. As the Great Recession continues to grind on with no end in sight – with growth remaining anemic and unemployment stubbornly high in North America and Europe – mainstream […]

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Soccer’s goal crisis

After watching yet another 0-0 draw, my excitement for the World Cup is more muted than when things kicked off a week ago. In part, it was dismal play by my home squad, England, but it’s deeper than that. Coming right off the Stanley Cup playoffs, even the drama of international competition can only somewhat backfill a gaping hole: this […]

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Stimulating Australia

An interesting column, arguing that the very limited rise in unemployment in the Great Recession in Australia owes a lot to a well-constructed stimulus program of the Labour government, based on higher transfers to lower income households plus short and medium term infrastructure investment. http://column.global-labour-university.org/2009/11/riding-your-luck-and-adopting-right.html

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Japan – Dancing on the Edge of Calamity

Duncan Cameron has asked me to post this contribution by Ken Courtis,  a recognized authority on Japan and world economics. A Canadian academic turned investment banker, he has been resident in Japan for many years. On 09-11-26, at 19:30, Ken Courtis wrote: The reality of Japan’s fiscal situation is as close to calamitous as any major economy has ever experienced, […]

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Plutonomy?

I put this post out for comments and discussion since this is an important question for which I don’t have an answer. A 2005 Citigroup report – apparently cited in Michael Moore’s new movie, which I have not yet seen – argues  that “plutonomy” – the extreme concentration of income and wealth in the hands of the very affluent – […]

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A Second Great Depression?

From the on line issue of the Financial Times, Sunday. A Second Great Depression Is Still Possible Copyright Thomas I. Palley Over the past year the global economy has experienced a massive contraction, the deepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s. But this spring, economists started talking of “green shoots” of recovery and that optimistic assessment quickly spread to […]

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What Happened at Pittsburgh?

Summary The main result of the Pittsburgh summit was to institutionalize and modestly extend the global economic governance role of the G-20 which arose as a necessary response to the global economic crisis. There is talk of medium-term co-ordination of national macro-economic policies, and a “re-balancing” of the global economy. However, while this is welcome, there is little of real […]

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Who Called the Crisis?

An interesting piece in the FT yesterday re how those economists who followed the financial flow circuits called the crisis, as opposed to the general equilibrium types who did not.  Complementary to the analysis of Tom Palley on the macro roots of the crisis, who rightly insists that the “no one saw it coming” crowd are trying to implicate all […]

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Global Unions and the G20

Global Unions ‘Pittsburgh Declaration’ Global Unions’ Statement to the Pittsburgh G20 Summit (24-25 September 2009) I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. The G20 leaders are meeting in Pittsburgh amidst reports that the global recession is bottoming out, with the massive decline in output in most major economies slowing, and that governments are preparing their strategies for exiting from the fiscal stimulus measures. This […]

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What’s in Play at Pittsburgh?

The London G-20 summit last fall may go down history as the meeting that saved the world. That’s a huge exaggeration of course, but leaders did agree to a program of co-ordinated monetary and fiscal stimulus which may have arrested an economic free-fall, and they agreed to an agenda for financial re-regulation with a view to making sure that it […]

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