Hurricane Trichet Hits Jackson Hole

After watching Jack Layton’s state funeral, I noticed that Jean-Claude Trichet’s speech from Jackson Hole is online. The European Central Bank president does not seem to get it. Far from acknowledging that last month’s interest-rate hike was premature, he touts “price stability.” His main theme is that the economic divergence…
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Recession Ahead?

TD Economics yesterday released a rather gloomy report, putting the odds of a US recession at 40%, and arguing that that Canadian economy is more vulnerable to recession than it was in 2008.  It highlights reduced capacity for governments to respond given that interest rates are already very low, and…
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The New Cost of Criminal Pardons

The Conservative government, with the collaboration of opposition parties, hastily passed a piece of legislation (Bill C-23A) last year which makes it more difficult for offenders to obtain a pardon for their offences.  This was the government’s response to the news that notorious child-molester Graham James had received a pardon,…
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Stimulus vs Public Investment

A column by Nobel Prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz in the Financial Times makes what I think is an important point. The current debate over fiscal policy for the US, Europe and Canada is often characterized in the media as one between advocates of  higher deficits from Keynesian style stimulus…
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Tea Party North

Last week, Travis Fast noted Terry Corcoran’s strained argument that over-regulation of banks is what ails the global economy. Terry’s next column went even further off the deep end, endorsing the hard-money libertarianism of gold bugs like Eric Sprott. Today’s column is a full-blown defence of the US Tea Party….
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C. D. Howe’s Overnight Moves Need Work

Less than a month ago, the C. D. Howe Institute released a paper by Michael Parkin, “Overnight Moves: The Bank of Canada Should Start to Raise Interest Rates Now.” The next day, its Monetary Policy Council called on the Bank to increase the overnight interest rate. This call was terrible….
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About those “unfunded liabilities”

When it comes to the Canada Pension Plan, a major talking point from the right is that the CPP has “unfunded liabilities”, with the implication that is not affordable and financially unsustainable. This is nonsense, a scare tactic based on an accounting fiction that counts only future expenditures but does…
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