Government debt will worsen the next recession

Governments around the world will go into the next recession with fewer economic management tools at their disposal

Government debt will worsen the next recessionGovernment deficit and debt numbers in Canada are rising due to accounting changes made to better reflect the true nature of government liabilities. Ontario recently revised its deficit and debt projections (based on advice from its auditor general) to better reflect the true costs of pension liabilities and its electricity programs. And because of the…

Stephen Harper returns, and he has plenty to say

The former Conservative prime minister has advice for us on Trump, economics, immigration and more

Stephen Harper returns, and he has plenty to sayStephen Harper is back. After flying under the radar for the last three years, Canada’s former prime minister has returned to the arena, albeit not as an active politician. Instead, he’s a commentator with several messages to impart, all of which are packaged in his new book Right Here Right Now. Not everyone is impressed.…

Can we avoid another financial crisis?

We need to embrace intangible assets. And the lending world and investors need to free up funds to support intangible creators

Can we avoid another financial crisis?Could intangibles help avert the next financial crisis? Yes. And they'd better, because the train of global prosperity is about to jump the track and intangible assets are the only possible salvation. Today's headlines are depressing. There's a constant stream of negativity led by U.S. President Donald Trump's assault on the North American Free Trade…

Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?

Countries as disparate as Ireland, Iceland and Greece showed that misplaced financial exuberance has many pedigrees

Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?We were on a train from London to Edinburgh when the financial crisis erupted in September 2008. The newspaper headlines were downright lurid and the detailed stories provided little comfort. A financial catastrophe was about to descend on all of us. As relatively recent retirees, we felt particularly vulnerable. There’d be no time or opportunity…

Learning to adapt to the growing gig economy

The labour market is changing. creating opportunity and putting pressure on business and government to adapt

Learning to adapt to the growing gig economyThe rise of the gig or sharing economy is one of the most visible trends shaping the contemporary labour market. Most gig jobs fall into the category of contingent work. Such work can be contrasted with a traditional job, in which a person has a durable and structured employment relationship with a specific employer. Today,…

We need to start putting a value on intangible assets

The new economy relies on outputs like software, social media networks and apps. But very few of these new intangible value drivers fit into the existing accounting framework

We need to start putting a value on intangible assetsIf you're in business today, you no doubt face a conundrum: the financial statements of your company tell you that certain physical objects are the principal assets of your business but, sadly, that's not what the market or your gut tell you. Business increasingly relies on non-traditional sources of value. For example, most software companies…

Britain’s social (and economic) revolution

A stunning 94% of Britain’s richest made their money themselves. Land ownership no longer holds the keys to the kingdom

Britain’s social (and economic) revolutionIf you watched the royal wedding, you’d be tempted to think of Britain’s social order as immutable. While the bride’s background introduced a degree of diversity, the image of Britain as hereditarily hierarchical seemed to be alive and well. Reality, though, is different. The tectonic plates have shifted significantly over the past half-century, transforming what…

Federal government should sell EDC before risks get too high

The Crown lender plays in an international vipers’ nest, so controversy and risk may be inevitable

Federal government should sell EDC before risks get too highExport Development Canada (EDC), a Crown lending corporation, faces controversy for funding Turquoise Hill Resources. The mining firm allegedly used offshore entities to minimize the taxes it pays, including to Canada. EDC’s $1-billion-plus loan to Turquoise Hill represents nearly 1.5 per cent of the lender’s assets. EDC is also trying to repossess a Bombardier executive…

Ten shocks that could overturn our world

Future factors and potential disruptions that could have a truly transformative impact on life, society, government, the economy, and business

Ten shocks that could overturn our worldThe world is becoming increasingly aware that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ any more. Some say this near immunity to large scale shocks started with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President, and the revelations about fake news on social media influencing voters and elections around…

The Marshall Plan wasn’t a silver bullet

Called ‘the most generous act of any people, anytime, anywhere, to another people,‘ the post-war economic boost still had flaws

The Marshall Plan wasn’t a silver bulletU.S. President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan into law 70 years ago this month. Named after then-U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, the plan was aimed at the economic reconstruction of Europe in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. It got rave reviews. Its own chief administrator characterized it as “the most…