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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A tribute to Mel Watkins

Mel Watkins was a towering intellect whose body of work shaped the thinking of generations of students, scholars, politicians, journalists and activists, myself included. As a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto, Mel rejected the arcane pose of the economics profession. His writing was lucid, elegant and…
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Inconvenience and indifference

Indifference, said Antonio Gramsci, is “the mainspring of history.” By that he meant it is not the active few who determine what comes to pass, for better or worse, but “the absenteeism of the many.” The indifferent masses, he said, “allow the knots to form that in time only a…
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Reflections on my big Obama moment

In January, I joined more than 6,000 people at the Toronto Convention Centre to hear former U.S. president Barack Obama speak about “the future of work.” Seeing him in person for the first time got me reflecting on the past, and what remains my most impactful Obama moment. I was…
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Trudeau and Macron, the radical centrists

Macron and Trudeau at the G20 summit in Hamburg © PMTrudeau Flickr photostream. Can one be passionately centrist in this day and age? French President Emanuel Macron has staked his relatively short political career on it, with considerable success. Though the mood in Paris after recent legislative elections may be more…
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Three hearings on C-51 would have done the trick

Public pressure forced the government to hold nine instead of three public safety committee hearings into the Anti-Terrorism Act 2015 (Bill C-51). With the clause-by-clause review now over (committee spent more than 10 hours yesterday vetoing opposition amendments–all of them), you can see the logic in the original proposal. Just three sessions…
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