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Canadian banks: Even the Americans are agog at our fiscal virtue

You know how wonderful Canadian banks are. They didn't fail when others did, and didn't need to be bailed out. We are standing tall among nations in that regard, and the Harper government can stick out its chest and preach the Canadian model of prudence and caution to a profligate world. Even the Americans are agog at our fiscal virtue.

Plus, our economy has been recovering from recession faster than others just in time for the G20 meeting in Toronto. It's wonderful, fake lake and all.

January 26, 2015 |
The upcoming federal election is an opportunity to take stock and look for strong leadership on fiscal issues that go beyond the failed attempts at so-called austerity and boutique tax cuts.
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What do you think about the Bank of Canada's decision on the interest rate?

The Bank of Canada announced this week that it was lowering its trend-signalling interest rate from 1.0 per cent, where it had been pegged since 2010, to 0.75 per cent.

What do you think about this decision?

Choices

Photo: Mikey G Ottawa/flickr
| January 23, 2015
| March 21, 2014
Columnists

A fine balance: GDP growth by sector and the impact of austerity

The second-quarter GDP numbers confirm that Canada's continuing "recovery," such as it is, is still balancing very precariously on a knife-edge between expansion and contraction. The various sources of growth vary widely in their current momentum. The overall net balance is barely positive. And coming austerity in the public sector could very much push the balance into negative territory in coming quarters.

| May 7, 2013
Columnists

Drinking the financial hemlock: Balancing public budgets to enrich the financial sector

Photo: d.neuman/Flickr

It's budget season everywhere, and it's all about debt and deficits and the elusive quest to balance the beast, which can only be done, it is said, by cutting services or raising taxes.

The burden of interest charges -- on the same scale as health or education in most provincial budgets -- doesn't get questioned because interest is fixed by the gods according to divine law, retribution from which we can only escape through harsher and harsher penance.

Or is it? Let's chew on a couple of startling points.

| November 6, 2012
Columnists

Fiscal 'crisis' in context: Two indicators

Net government financial debt

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With all the predictions of doom and gloom coming from the austerity camp, one would think that Canada was already about to hit the famed (but never seen) "debt wall." Before we get too carried away, however, with the scary debt stuff, consider these two indicators of the fundamental fiscal fragility/stability of Canadian governments.

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