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OPSEU Diablogue: Who’s values will prevail on Thursday?

Whoever shows up to the polls tomorrow may determine Ontario’s next Premier and whether she or he enjoys a majority or minority government. The question is, will that be decided by a majority of Ontarians, or will it reflect a … Continue reading →

Cowichan Conversations: Former Bank of Canada Governor Speaks Of the Dangers Of Radical Fundamentalist Capitalism

 

 

Now here is a voice of reason that is well worth watching and listening too. Carried by Press Progress and made available courtesy of Huffington Press.

Well, this ought to cause a stir at this summer’s garden parties among Canada’s elites.

Mark Carney, former Bank of Canada Governor (now the Governor of the Bank of England) has come forward to condemn what he calls “unchecked market fundamentalism.”

He delivered the remarks last week at the Conference for Inclusive Capitalism, an annual gathering of global political and financial elites that featured keynotes by Carney along with Prince Charles (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Martk Carney Speaks On The Consequences Of Unbridled Capitalism

Mark Carney said the following to a group of the world’s elites last week:

“Just like any revolution eats its children,” Carney told the audience of global power brokers, “unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself.”

“All ideologies are prone to extremes. Capitalism loses its sense of moderation when the belief in the power of the market enters the realm of faith.”

It’s rather gratifying to think of certain groups and individuals with their knickers in a twist, isn’t it?

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A Different Point of View....: Should Account-holders pay for High-Flying Bankers’ Misdeeds?

When the next big financial crisis hits the world economy, and Canadian banks are in distress — as they were  during the 2008 financial crisis — the bank-using public will have plenty to worry about.

As we saw earlier in this series, it’s hard to trust banks to protect our savings and investments when so many of them have been exposed behaving unethically, gambling extravagantly on exotic financial instruments, and even engaging in fraudulent activities.

Last week, U.S. regulators adopted the new Volcker rule, which bars American banks from several forms of conflict of interest, including trading securities for their own account, or owning hedge or private-equity funds.

It, and similar new laws in Europe, will help, but they will not stop big banks and rogue investors that are determined to gamble and carry out illegal activities.

Meanwhile, governments themselves are the source of an altogether new threat to our . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Should Account-holders pay for High-Flying Bankers’ Misdeeds?

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Andrew Simms and Stephen Reid note that the corporatist dogma that everything is done more efficiently in the private sector has no apparent basis in reality: The myth of private sector superiority says that the private sector is efficient and dynamic, the public sector wasteful and slow; that the more we can get the private sector to run things the better. That the head of a massive public enterprise like the Olympics can so blithely discount what underpins it demonstrates its reach. In fact, while billboard adverts said we had commercial sponsors (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Wife of Bank of England governor turns herself into a guillotine-magnet

Wife of Bank of England governor turns herself into a guillotine-magnet:

Diana Carney – wife of the new Bank of England governor (and former Bank of Canada head) – had a Mary Antoinette moment on March 25, 2013 when she whined on Twitter that she and her husband were having trouble finding suitable housing in London.

British taxpayers are giving her husband Mark Carney an annual salary of £624,000 (more than $959,000 CAD) plus an annual housing allowance of £250,000 (more than $384,000 CAD). No doubt he is also getting a bunch of other benefits and privileges. This is

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Wife of Bank of England governor turns herself into a guillotine-magnet

Alex's Blog: The Trouble With Austerity: Economics as Ideology

A somewhat abridged version of this post first appeared in The Toronto Star here

Governments here and elsewhere are increasingly preoccupied with cutting even as evidence piles up of its harmful consequences on people and the economy. Austerity is not even delivering the balanced budgets its advocates promise. Even the IMF is now preaching balance rather than a single-minded focus on cuts. Yet, austerity’s adherents hold fast, deny the evidence or double down. Why is that?

Of course a few at the top benefit from austerity, at least in the short term, and though few, they exert considerable influence. And (Read more…)

Alex's Blog: The Trouble With Austerity: Economics as Ideology

A somewhat abridged version of this post first appeared in The Toronto Star here

Governments here and elsewhere are increasingly preoccupied with cutting even as evidence piles up of its harmful consequences on people and the economy. Austerity is not even delivering the balanced budgets its advocates promise. Even the IMF is now preaching balance rather than a single-minded focus on cuts. Yet, austerity’s adherents hold fast, deny the evidence or double down. Why is that?

Of course a few at the top benefit from austerity, at least in the short term, and though few, they exert considerable influence. And

. . . → Read More: Alex’s Blog: The Trouble With Austerity: Economics as Ideology

Impolitical: Most and least worthwhile Canadian initiatives 2012

Taking some inspiration from Ezra Klein on this who in his year end wonk piece distributes various awards. He includes a most worthwhile and least worthwhile Canadian initiative. (The term “worthwhile Canadian initiative” once won a contest held by The New Republic on the most boring headline that one could imagine. Thus, Ezra’s use of the titles today.)

First, Ezra’s picks for Canada with which I strenuously disagree:

“Most worthwhile Canadian initiative: Mark Carney Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, left, has been tapped to lead the Bank of England starting in summer 2013. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Mark Carney is just

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Most and least worthwhile Canadian initiatives 2012

Calgary Grit: 2012 Woman of the Year

Every December, I like to name a “Person of the Year” – the individual who left their mark on Canadian politics over the past year. The only rules are that the PM is too obvious a choice, and that lame picks (“You!”) are strictly verboten. The Person of the Year doesn’t need to be someone who used the force for the powers of good, or someone I like – just someone who made a difference. Below is a list of recent choices:

2011: Jack Layton 2010: Rob Ford and Naheed Nenshi2009: Jim Flaherty2008: Stephane Dion2007:

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: 2012 Woman of the Year

Impolitical: The Carney brouhaha

This is causing a bit of a stir in some circles today in light of the Globe piece yesterday: “The Carney affair with the Liberal Party: It will all end in tears.” I’m not sure exactly who would be the ones ending up in tears here so I leave it to others to determine that.

But I do recall some tears that were shed on Carney’s departure. They were those of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, pictured here in an emotional gaze toward the Bank of Canada Governor. If there were any questions about Mark Carney’s judgment in speaking about

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: The Carney brouhaha

Accidental Deliberations: On transferable skills

Stephen Gordon is at least moderately panicked about the less-than-surprising news that some Lib operatives tried to recruit Mark Carney to serve as the party’s national leader – and there may be worse to come. But I’ll argue that there’s far less to be concerned about than Gordon, Mike Moffatt and others are suggesting.

At the outset, I presume it’s fairly uncontroversial that we have numerous important positions of influence intended to be filled by experts motivated by the public good.

Gordon and Moffatt seem to place the Bank of Canada on a particularly high pedestal, which may be how

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On transferable skills

Pop The Stack: Who ever said Canadian politics was dull?

What an exciting day to be a political addict in Canada. Who says Canadian politics is boring? People who aren’t paying attention, that’s who. At least four exciting things happened yesterday. Yes, four.

First, the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was found in violation of the Conflict of Interest act and will be removed from office. Essentially, he voted on something he really shouldn’t have and clearly took pride in not knowing how the process of government works as a defense. A process which he has been involved in for 15 years. Fascinating.

Second, we find out that Mark Carney, you know, (Read more…)

Pop The Stack: Who ever said Canadian politics was dull?

What an exciting day to be a political addict in Canada. Who says Canadian politics is boring? People who aren’t paying attention, that’s who. At least four exciting things happened yesterday. Yes, four.

First, the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was found in violation of the Conflict of Interest act and will be removed from office. Essentially, he voted on something he really shouldn’t have and clearly took pride in not knowing how the process of government works as a defense. A process which he has been involved in for 15 years. Fascinating.

Second, we find out that Mark Carney, you know, (Read more…)

Impolitical: Busy news day: Murray, Carney, Ford

Ok, obviously I was interested in this as the big event of the day but you cannot control for what the political gods of the day have in store for you: “Joyce Murray joins Liberal leadership, calls for co-operation with NDP, Greens.” That’s the leading… . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Busy news day: Murray, Carney, Ford

Calgary Grit: Goodbye

Rob Ford is removed as Mayor of Toronto, and Mark Carney is flying across the pond to become Governor of the Bank of England. If any politician is looking to unload some bad news, today would be the perfect “take out the trash day“. . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Goodbye

Impolitical: 20 Questions for Mark Carney

Off the top of my head and since this is becoming a bit of a thing, some questions for Mr. Carney to ponder, in no particular order.

1. Do you think war resisters should be able to stay in Canada?

2. What is your position on a woman’s right to choose?

3. Do you favour cap and trade or a carbon tax and why? Or perhaps neither? And why?

4. Do you support electoral system reform? If so, what kind and why?

5. Do you enjoy talking about the random variety of issues raised in questions 1 – 4?

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: 20 Questions for Mark Carney

Calgary Grit: The Table Stakes

Forget Mark Carney. We need “electable” candidates like Jim Karygiannis in this race!

Now that we know who can run for Liberal leader (namely, anyone with $75,000 and 300 signatures), the question becomes who should run:

“We have to be careful not to think that somebody who wants to raise his or her profile or somebody who wants to pursue a particular single issue should see this as an attainable platform to do that,” New Brunswick MP and prospective leadership candidate Dominic Leblanc told Postmedia News earlier this month.

“What I think Liberals want are a number of good candidates

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Table Stakes

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- While Thomas Walkom’s latest has faced some justified criticism from a couple of angles, this part at least looks to be right on the money: The assumption here was that if businesses were allowed to keep more of their profits they would invest them productively.

But in the real world, corporations don’t invest when the economic outlook looks gloomy. Why hire workers if you’re not sure you can sell what they produce?

Instead, corporations took the extra profits provided by government and sat on them — either in the form of cash

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kady points out that despite the Cons’ best efforts to stonewall, the Robocon investigation in Guelph looks to have locked in on the source of their fraudulent robocalls. And while it’s indeed somewhat concerning that Elections Canada hasn’t reached anywhere near the same depth of investigation when it comes to the other 234 ridings where voters have reported questionable calls, a solid case aimed at an individual who took steps to cover his tracks may be just the opening needed to get at the party’s wider scheme.

- pogge duly slams Jim Flaherty’s

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- I’ll follow up with one extra note from Mark Carney’s address to the CAW – as the headlines seem to have missed a rather important point about the relative effect of the Canadian dollar and even the widest possible definition of labour issues: He noted Canada’s export performance was the second-worst in the G20 over the last decade, with only 9 per cent of exports going to fast-growing emerging markets such as China and India.

But he sought to dispel the notion that the high loonie bears the bulk of the blame.

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Joe Stiglitz discusses the link between increased inequality and the U.S.’ economic frailty: Any solution to today’s problems requires addressing the economy’s underlying weakness: a deficiency in aggregate demand. Firms won’t invest if there is no demand for their products. And one of the key reasons for lack of demand is America’s level of inequality — the highest in the advanced countries.

Because those at the top spend a much smaller portion of their income than those in the bottom and middle, when money moves from the bottom and middle to

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Calgary Grit: The Race for Third

Back in February I asked readers of this blog who they thought would run for Liberal leader, and who they’d consider voting for. Admittedly, this is as far from a scientific poll as you’ll ever get, and I won’t pretend that the 500+ voters in this straw poll are all Liberals. But we’re not going to see anything resembling a credible Liberal leadership poll for close to a year, so let’s have a little fun with what we’ve got.

Before that, one other thing. It looks like a group of Borys Wrzesnewskyj supporters swarmed the poll late, so I’ve excluded

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Race for Third

CalgaryGrit: An update on all the people not running for Liberal leadership – Part 2

Yesterday, I looked at the ten names being tossed around most frequently for Liberal leadership – Rae, Leblanc, Trudeau, McGuinty^2, Garneau, Brison, Coderre, Cauchon, and Kennedy.

Today, a look at some long-shot candidates.

Mark Carney: The Bank of Canada governor would have instant credibility on the economy and, unlike many bankers, he’s not uncharismatic. There is, of course, still the question of whether or not he’s a Liberal – but no one seems too concerned about that.

Naheed Nenshi: The superstar Mayor of Calgary set Twitter abuzz when he tried out his French at a Toronto speech

. . . → Read More: CalgaryGrit: An update on all the people not running for Liberal leadership – Part 2

Politics and Entertainment: Five Lumps of Coal for Canada’s Economy

The recent IMF Report on Canada prompts me to remind everyone of some startling figures about the Canadian economy:  1) The private and federal debt combined ratio to GDP is an astonishing 203%.  2) The jobless rate in November is 7.4%, the worst in 5 months.  3) Youth unemployment is 14% and even worse in Europe and the U.S. Expect much social unrest in 2012 –  which may coalesce around the occupy movement.  4) Household debt to income ratio is a staggering 152%.  5) Real wage gains continue to stagnate in November: 2.4%

. . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Five Lumps of Coal for Canada’s Economy