People are bombarded with appeals to look after their personal finances. There is much less discussion of how interest rates get set, and what is the impact on the economy of spending cuts.
Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy.
Seen in isolation, Finance Minister Flaherty probably did the right thing in seeking to safely deflate the housing bubble and lower the growth of household credit. But he did it very late in the game.
On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference. Points I raised in the address include the following.
In the Quebec budget, the government is still insisting on transforming public service funding with the user-fee revolution logic, developing the Plan Nord, and reforming the pension plan.
Debt culture: A quick survey of the national debt load shows that whether it's household debt or credit payments, many Canadians are experiencing increasing difficulties and savings are also hurting.
Now that the HST debate is over, it would be great to see some of the energy and focus dedicated to debating the HST be redirected to designing solutions to the real challenges facing B.C.
TD Economics released a rather gloomy report, putting the odds of a U.S. recession at 40 per cent, and arguing that the Canadian economy is more vulnerable to recession than it was in 2008.
In 1990, the average Canadian household had debt representing just under 90 per cent of its personal disposable income. Today, that figure stands at roughly 150 per cent.