Surprise! A new investigation by the Toronto Star and the CBC found that recent treaties with tax havens like the Bahamas and Panama aimed at more “transparency” have just made it easier for corporations to evade ever more taxes. And Canadian corporations have obliged this golden opportunity. “Investment” abroad has ballooned all the while the […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: “Investment” versus investment
The use of coal to generate electricity is coming to an end, and one of the many reasons coal’s time is up is thanks to divestment. Divestment of fossil fuels has been argued on university campuses for years and started largely as a moral argument that we shouldn’t profit off the reckless destruction of the […]
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Eight development banks from around the world have decided the best way to encourage more sustainable transit development is to combine their efforts. They are looking at accelerating their investments in transport solutions that are better for the environment than current transport solutions. Transportation consumes a heck of a lot of oil and even marginal […]
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With an agreement reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership, the 12-member trade and investment treaty, opinions began swirling about what the deal means for the future of Canada. Plenty of facts have been bandied about in an effort to clarify the TPP’s significance: 12 Pacific Rim countries, 800 million people, 36 percent of global GDP . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Some missing elements from the Canadian TPP debate
A five-year $50-billion public infrastructure spending initiative would generate a return on investment to Canadians over the long term as high as $3.83 per dollar spent, trigger significant private sector investment and stimulate wage increases, according to a new study by an independent economic modelling firm.
The Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure Spending in Canada, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: New Study on Positive Economic Impacts of Public Infrastructure Investment in Canada
Last week it was Andrew Coyne; this week it’s Jack Mintz. Seems all the National Post’s favourite conservative commentators have suddenly decided to offer their Very Serious Advice™ to Alberta’s new government. While Coyne made a spurious comparison between raising the minimum wage and instituting a minimum income, Mintz outdoes him with an even more . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Repeat after me: Alberta isn’t Greece
This week’s podcast is a bit more economics-focused than usual but gets at the heart of what’s going on in the global economy where interest rates are near, at, or even below zero, but where investment, growth, wages and employment continue to suffer. My one guest, who joins me for a feature-length . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: JW Mason on business not investing, still disgorging the cash
The Great Budget Debate at the Progress Summit of course reflected a thorough clash in values. But there was one note of obvious agreement which makes the conservative position untenable once its implications are drawn out.
All four speakers spent plenty of time talking about the fact that some investments are worthwhile, and acknowledging that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On value assessments
As Target Canada tumbled into bankruptcy, Loblaw announced that its fourth-quarter profits more than doubled. What can be learned from this tale of two retailers?
The main reason for Loblaw’s surge was its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart last March, which turned it into Canada’s largest grocer and pharmacy chain. Shoppers contributed $3 billion to . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Grocery Wars: Lessons from Canada’s Changing Retail Landscape
This and that to start your weekend.
– Robert Reich discusses how the increasing concentration of corporate wealth and power is undermining the U.S.’ democracy, while noting that there’s only one effective response: We entered a vicious cycle in which political power became more concentrated in monied interests that used the power to their advantage . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links
Oil and gas companies get a ton of subsidies from governments which holds back the adoption of renewable energy. In most countries, the gas industry is supported by policies encourage car use and other related infrastructure decisions. Sometimes, like in Morocco, fuel is directly subsidized and recently the country found that it was just too . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Morocco Leads in Cutting Subsidies to Oil and Gas Industries
It’s easy to overestimate the importance of the tar sands to the Canadian economy. Tar sands and their pipelines are after all hailed by the ruling Conservatives, sections of the business press and the ever-present oil lobby as this young century’s “nation-building” project. Yet, a survey recently making the rounds highlights the relative unimportance of . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: The outsize (un)importance of the tarsands
Vancouver was the star of a recent New Yorker article that shone a light on the city’s lack of housing affordability and linked this lack to an inflow of foreign buyers. Unfortunately, this link is extremely tenuous, as most of the support is anecdotal or based on very limited data. At the same time, there . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Forget global superstar, Vancouver’s housing troubles start at home
Here, looking at one of Thomas Piketty’s findings about the self-propagation of wealth which has received relatively little attention – and pointing out how the a pattern of greater wealth grabbing higher returns can both be managed in order to reduce undue concentration of wealth, and even turned to the public’s advantage through pools of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day
Triple-bottom line companies and other terms that describe companies that focus on more than just profit keep coming. The most recent is what is no referred to as the purpose economy in a new book. The idea is that as we run out of resources on the planet we need to refocus how we measure . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: The Purpose Economy
Highlight Link: https://openmedia.ca/endowment
Statistics Canada reported today that private and public investment intentions are up by 1.4% for 2014, even weaker than Canada’s investment growth of 1.5% in 2013.
Private-sector investment intentions are only 1.3% higher this year, a far cry from the growth of after-tax corporate profits. Yesterday, Statistics Canada reported that net profits were 17.3% higher . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Corporate Olympics: Profit Sprint vs. Investment Crawl
Filed under: Capitalism Tagged: Britain, Capitalism, France, investment, productivity
. . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: Britain’s, Not France’s, Middle Class Is Being ‘Run Into The Dust’
This is the third and final post in what has become a three-part series on the puzzle of high profitability and low investment in the Canadian economy. In the first part, I looked at some data that shows the existence of the puzzle and explored a few of the factors that could be behind it. . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Austerity and the profitability puzzle: government gives profits a helping hand
The Progressive Economics Forum (PEF) normally hosts sessions at the Canadian Economics Association’s annual conference. But the House of Commons finance committee threw most of the union economists testifying in its pre-budget hearings onto the same panel on November 21. I began my testimony as follows:
In addition to my work as an economist for . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: PEF Session at the House of Commons Finance Committee
Ironically, Statistics Canada’s third-quarter GDP report on Black Friday showed the growth rate of consumption being cut in half. Final consumption expenditure grew by 0.4% in the third quarter compared to 0.8% in the second quarter.
Household spending growth fell to 0.6% from 0.9%. Government consumption growth plummeted to 0.1% from 0.4%. In other words, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Black Friday GDP: Consumption Slows, But Inventories Jump
Canada’s macroeconomy continues to be lethargic at best, and there is growing recognition that the continuing sluggishness of business capital spending since the 2008-09 crisis is a big part of the reason why. Governments are in austerity mode; consumers are maxxed out and cautious about new spending; our exports are restrained by an overvalued dollar . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Good Time to Rethink Corporate Tax Cuts
The basic storyline of today’s C. D. Howe Institute “E-Brief”, “Canada Lagging Peers in 2013 Business Investment Growth,” is that corporate tax cuts helped boost investment per worker in Canada above the OECD average. Yet corporate Canada is slipping in 2013 and apparently needs more tax cuts.
However, the C. D. Howe Institute’s own graph . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Do C. D. Howe’s Numbers Support its Policies?
This is the text of remarks I made today to Vancouver city council on divestment. Earlier this year, Council requested that staff report back on how the city’s financial investments align with the city’s mission and values, and various ethical programs like the city’s purchasing policy and the greenest city initiative. So the meeting was . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Why the City of Vancouver should divest from fossil fuels
by Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives | Jan. 24, 2013: OTTAWA— Underinvestment in infrastructure is not a crisis but a chronic problem in Canada, says a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The study, by economist and CCPA Research Associate Hugh Mackenzie, reveals the extent of underinvestment in infrastructure over the . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Canada has a $145 billion infrastructure underfunding crisis: study