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The Progressive Economics Forum: Challenging Inflation Targeting

Every 5 years the federal Finance Minister updates the “marching orders” that guide the Bank of Canada and its conduct of monetary policy. This process is the one opportunity for democratic oversight of the Bank, which otherwise is deemed to be operating “independently” of government — all the better to ensure that it has the […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Challenging Inflation Targeting

Alberta Politics: NDP environmental policies: Who’re ya gonna believe? Mark Carney or Rick Strankman?

PHOTOS: Bank of England Governor and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at yesterday’s brief news conference in the provincial Legislature Building. (CBC Photo) Below: Rick Strankman and Michael Bloomberg. Who’re ya gonna believe, huh? Mark Carney, form… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: NDP environmental policies: Who’re ya gonna believe? Mark Carney or Rick Strankman?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Boosting the economy for the rest of us

Elites and the talking heads in the media are arguing about how to respond to Canada’s soured economic outlook. Who should try to boost the economy, the federal government via fiscal stimulus or the Bank of Canada via monetary policy? But while elites argue amongst themselves, the overriding context is a transfer and concentration of […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Boosting the economy for the rest of us

Michal Rozworski: Elites debate boosting the economy, but for whom?

Elites and the talking heads in the media are arguing about how to respond to Canada’s soured economic outlook. Who should try to boost the economy, the federal government via fiscal stimulus or the Bank of Canada via monetary policy? But while elites argue amongst themselves, the overriding context is a transfer and concentration of […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Elites debate boosting the economy, but for whom?

Cowichan Conversations: COMER Lawsuit Claims That Canadians Have Been Swindled Out Of Trillions Since 1974

Constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati’s lawsuit on behalf of Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) has cleared another hurdle of opposition and headed to the Supreme Court. Many of you will recall The late Bill Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: COMER Lawsuit Claims That Canadians Have Been Swindled Out Of Trillions Since 1974

The Progressive Economics Forum: When Bad News is Good News: Harper’s Call to Poloz

Was there any concrete economic reason for Stephen Harper to call Stephen Poloz yesterday, as global stock markets continued their gyrations? And then to have his office subsequently issue a cryptic and rather foreboding statement about the conversation?

Of course, Prime Ministers and central bank governors talk to each other every now and then — but these conversations, for obvious reasons, are rarely publicized. And since we are in an election campaign, the meeting was all the more odd.

Poloz himself has no control over the actions of the markets. And his response to any macroeconomic damage that (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Is another recession on its way?

Is another recession on its way?

Louis-Philippe Rochon

Associate Professor, Laurentian University

Co-editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

 

Canada’s economy shrank in the first quarter by a whopping 0.6%. Is this the beginning of a new recession?

Recessions of course are defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Now we learn today that Canada’s economy shrank between January and March, the biggest decline in GDP since 2009, and the first contraction in the last four years. In fact, the economy contracted in all three months. It is even more dramatic when you think that Q4 2014 registered a (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: The central banker who talked too much

The central banker who talked too much

Louis-Philippe Rochon

Associate Professor of economics, Laurentian University

Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

 

On Tuesday, Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz testified in Ottawa in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. He had a lot to say about the state of the Canadian economy. But sometimes saying nothing is better.

I want to make clear that I have great respect for Mr. Poloz. His approach to monetary policy in Canada has been rather balanced. He has kept rates low at a time when they should be (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Bank of Canada Holds Rate Steady

The Bank of Canada released it’s quarterly Monetary Report today, and held rates firm at 3/4 per cent.

The Bank cut growth expectations for 2015, but expects Canada’s GDP to rebound in 2016. Much of this rebound will depend on a growing U.S. and global economy, and on the ability of Canadian exporters to capture a bigger share because of our lower dollar.

The Bank’s estimates for growth also depend on maintaining strong consumer demand, which may be difficult to maintain given high levels of household debt and lingering labour market weakness.

The underlying thinking behind the Bank’s optimism is that the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rocco Galati in court to challenge how Bank of Canada does business

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The mysterious world of money, making it, printing it,spending it. There has been contrary views regarding the role of banks in controlling our money supply since the Bank of Canada stepped away from providing debt free money to cities, town and municipalities.

Across the country, budgets are being prepared at all levels of government. Local boards and councils wrestle with funding facilities and services for their communities. The impacts of interest free money should gather considerable interest. Why was the role of the Bank of Canada changed from its established direction and purpose?

We should look at (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Bank of Canada Court Case Won in Federal Court-Huge Ramifications Claimed

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

A great many Canadians have heard various rumblings about the wealth transfer scheme that kicked in shifting a great deal of control and profit from the Bank of Canada to the private banks. Money for nothing is a sense.

There has been a fair amount of chatter floating about on Facebook, Twitter and of course landing in our email inboxes.

 

Here is what is purported to be a “Good News” story for Canadians.

The Progressive Economics Forum: 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 powers. But could this move hide a more cynical purpose? Can there be an ulterior motive?

I think there is, and the reason is quite simple. It’s the economy. Seven years after the beginning of the crisis, and 4 years (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rochon Asks: “Is the Canadian economy unraveling?”

In a recent CBC blog post, Louis-Philippe Rochon assesses the current state of the Canadian economy.

The link to the blog post is here.

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rochon on the Bank of Canada’s Decision to Lower the Rate of Interest

Louis-Philippe Rochon—who now blogs for CBC—argues that almost nobody had been expecting the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to lower the rate of interest.

His post can be found here.

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Banks and Balanced Budgets

The Bank of Canada surprised most analysts this week when it decided to cut rates by 25 basis points. The move comes after the price of oil has tumbled below $50 / barrel, oil producers announced huge cuts to business investment for 2015, Target announced a mass layoff of 17,600 workers in Canada, and the International Monetary Fund warned of a global economic slowdown.

The key message of the January Monetary Policy is that the Canadian economy needs stimulus. The Bank’s view of the Canadian economy stands in sharp contrast to that of the federal government, which is intent on (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Low Oil Prices, Good or Bad for Canada?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’re probably well aware that the price of oil has fallen dramatically, to less than $50 / barrel. What this means for Canada’s economic output & labour markets is not yet clear. But Stephen Poloz at the Bank of Canada has said that he expects the effect to be “not trivial”, and suggested that it might lower the Bank’s GDP expectations by around 0.3 percentage points. Deputy Governor Timothy Lane’s talk on January 13th is good background reading on this topic, and overall he suggested that the effect will be at least somewhat (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Louis-Philippe Rochon’s Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2015

Louis-Philippe Rochon has written a provocative blog post for the CBC titled “Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2015.”

The post is available here.

The Canadian Progressive: Canadians still demand female representation on banknotes

The call for more female representation in Canada remains loud and clear as an online petition demanding that the Bank of Canada include women on Canadian banknotes opens 2015 with more than 52,800 signatures.

The post Canadians still demand female representation on banknotes appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: The Mighty (Pol)Oz Speaks

But his message is not being well-received. No, not at all. Recommend this Post

Cowichan Conversations: Oil and Gas Investors Get Warning–Pension Funds at Risk

Blaise Salmon

Thanks to Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada and current governor of the Bank of England, for his warning that the “vast majority” of the world’s oil and coal reserves will never be used due to advancing climate change.

The value of these reserves is factored into the share prices of the world’s fossil fuel companies, so this represents a significant risk to pension funds and other investors. Yet most investors seem unaware of the risk. The parallels with the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008 are striking.

Central bank governors are very careful (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Bank of Canada, Exports, and LMI

Much has been made about Stephen Poloz’s decision to abandon ‘forward guidance’ in Bank of Canada rate setting announcements for the time being. Critics bemoan the loss of direction from the Bank. But Poloz’s comments yesterday were chock full of guidance on how the Bank sees Canada’s economic situation.

Having been disappointed by the failure of Canada’s export sector to resume investment or show any signs of life, researchers at the Bank investigated the performance of 2,000 product categories, and found that about 500 of those had very nearly been wiped out following the 2008 – 2009 recession. Further investigation (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Odd Conversion of Mainstream Economists to the Virtues of Depreciation

The long-overdue depreciation of Canada’s currency is gathering steam. The dollar lost 8 cents against its U.S. counterpart, in fits and starts, over 2013. It’s lost another 2 cents since the start of 2014, and negative sentiment about the currency is accumulating among financial analysts and traders.

Indeed, once the expectation that the loonie will fall becomes entrenched among enough of the red-suspendered trading set, that belief quickly becomes self-fulfilling. Speculators who think the loonie will fall, sell or short the asset to take advantage of that fall, and this only accelerates the decline. So we can expect the (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Myths of central banking

The Bank of Canada has been in the news lately – or, more precisely, the news has been full of other well-placed people telling our central bankers what to do. In an interview on CTV this past weekend, Jim Flaherty made comments (later retracted) that Canada’s central bank will be pressured to raise interest rates sooner rather than later. On Tuesday, the influential, pro-business Conference Board of Canada also came out with some advice. A Globe and Mail editorial written its chief economist suggested, somewhat surprisingly, that the Bank should target a higher level of inflation, up to 4% from (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: A Trillion Dollar Coin for Canada?

Arun here…breaking radio silence to share with you a thought-provoking piece by Larry Kazdan, a graduate of York University in sociology and history, and currently a Council Member with the World Federalist Movement-Canada, an organization that monitors developments at the United Nations and advocates for more effective global governance.

Our friend and fellow blogger Keith Newman recently wrote some words that set up Larry’s piece nicely so rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, I will let Keith introduce Larry’s work and then urge readers to read the piece in full.

****************************** The trillion dollar coin solution for the US (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rebutting Raganomics

Today, I had the following commentary posted on The Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab:

The loonie is overvalued and the Bank of Canada has room to act

On Tuesday, Christopher Ragan characterized the notion of an overvalued Canadian dollar as a “seductive myth” that the Bank of Canada should not act to address. I have made the case that we should broaden our central bank’s mandate to include managing the exchange rate and welcome the opportunity to advance this important policy debate.

Significantly, Ragan agrees that currency “depreciation would spur Canadian exports and provide a much-needed stimulus to (Read more…)