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Photo: Halifax International Security Forum/flickr
| December 2, 2014
Photo: Walter A. Aue/flickr
| August 26, 2014

Harper's corporate governance: The problem of running government like a business

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

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The Senate scandal that will continue to plague Stephen Harper when the House resumes sitting is far more than just a run-of-the-mill scandal, of which Canada has had many over the years. This one seems to present the result of an accumulation of rot, amorality, casual thuggery and complete lack of shame, as one politico put it. It feels like we are approaching the end point of the collapse of public morality.

Photo: serapheus/Flickr
| January 23, 2013
| November 26, 2012

Banks and the derivatives scam

Chase Tower in Rochester, New York. Photo: Kristen Cavanaugh/Flickr

John Kenneth Galbraith famously described financial genius as "a rising market." This was on display in the expansionary era of the 1950s and 1960s. New bank credits funded growing businesses. Investment bankers injected their own capital into initial share offerings of "public" companies, allowing businesses to grow by taking in shareholders as partners. Finance flourished.

| June 30, 2011

Pay bonanza continues for bankers

Some people were outraged last week by a report that a member of the kitchen staff of bailed-out Wall Street firm AIG had received a $7,700 bonus.

Surely that was far less outrageous than the million-dollar bonuses paid to others at AIG who actually carried out the firm's financial business.

After all, the kitchen helper produced something that at least could be eaten. Apart from perhaps overcooking the Chateaubriand or leaving spots on the champagne glasses, what harm could the kitchen helper have done -- compared to driving the world economy over a cliff?


UBS Investment Bank scores hole in one with Obama

It looked like it was business as usual for President Barack Obama on the first day of his Martha's Vineyard vacation, as he spent five hours golfing with Robert Wolf, president of UBS Investment Bank and chairman and CEO of UBS Group Americas. Wolf, an early financial backer of Obama's presidential campaign, raised $250,000 for him back in 2006, and in February was appointed by the president to the White House's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Economic recovery for whom?


Corporate elite settles an old score

By any logic, advocates of unfettered capitalism should be seeking cover from public wrath these days, as the deregulated capitalism they foisted on us continues to self-destruct, bringing calamity into the lives of millions.

Yet I've heard barely a whisper of mea culpa from members of this corporate crowd.

On the contrary, they seem to see the economic meltdown as an opportunity to finally do in their old foes in the labour movement.

After years of demonizing unions and undermining workers' rights, they're now taking advantage of the unpopularity of the auto bail-outs to try to take away gains that the Canadian Auto Workers spent decades achieving, and that set a standard for the labour movement.

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