Canada joins the QE club: What is quantitative easing and what comes next?

With the COVID-19 recession getting deeper by the day, the Bank of Canada has joined other central banks in quickly reducing its target interest rate to near zero and implementing “quantitative easing” (QE) measures to suppress other interest rates and support credit flows, including borrowing by government. Starting April 1,…
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Some of our most undervalued workers now among our most valuable as pandemic forces rethink of what jobs are critical

In any public emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, society naturally turns to tried-and-true public service professionals for advice, protection and care. First and foremost, we depend on health-care workers risking their own well-being to care for the ill — even in chaotic and overcrowded conditions. Other first responders provide emergency…
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Federal support package: the pros, the cons, and the next shoe to drop

Here are some quick thoughts on the extensive package of emergency measures announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau, Finance Minister Morneau, and Bank of Canada Governor Poloz: The Pros: The government has worked quickly and creatively to find ways to deliver support to Canadians, and fast – using the infrastructure…
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Economic Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Go Big, Go Fast

The health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic is of course the primary concern of Canadians, and the first priority for government to address. But it is increasingly clear that the economic fallout from the pandemic is also going to constitute an emergency. And it requires government to respond as…
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Protecting workers is key to protecting public health

Financial markets missed the memo about not panicking over COVID-19. They panicked, big time: several days of gut-wrenching drops that wiped more than 10% (or US$7 trillion) from worldwide valuations. The meltdown quickly caught the attention of policy-makers, who are now moving heaven and earth to reassure financiers their money…
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How NOT to Create a Million Jobs

In a recent media event at a Toronto sound studio to launch his campaign for the Ontario election, Conservative leader Tim Hudak made an interesting comment that is worthy of serious consideration by Ontario voters — and anyone else concerned with unemployment during this brutal, austere era. Mr. Hudak was…
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Loonie’s Fall Not a Moment Too Soon

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…
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Occupy Protests … It’s About Time!

Here is my commentary published in the Globe and Mail (web edition) on Sunday, regarding the wonderful Occupy Together events held in Toronto and almost 1000 other cities around the world: It’s the political puzzle of our times:  Why, in the wake of the most spectacular failure of free-enterprise in…
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