In the debate over whether the Bank of Canada should issue a central bank digital currency, it is tempting to take a black-and-white perspective. But, the truth is subtler. There exists a spectrum of CBDC design possibilities and a proper evaluation of the different options is necessary.

As it turns out, a token-based CBDC – one that mimics cash quite closely – would respect privacy, create an environment for new forms of private money to grow and wouldn’t disrupt the functioning and stability of our financial system.

To understand why this option is optimal, it is first important to distinguish between public and private money. Public money consists of the physical notes and coins in circulation – the cash in your wallet…

Comme Don Quichotte qui livrait bataille aux moulins à vent, le candidat au leadership conservateur Pierre Poilievre s’en prend à la Banque du Canada et réclame la tête de son gouverneur, Tiff Macklem, lui reprochant de faire les basses œuvres du premier ministre Justin Trudeau.

Si d’aventure M. Poilievre réussissait son coup, il précipiterait une grave crise de confiance envers la banque centrale, comme celle de l’affaire Coyne, en 1961, avec des conséquences non moins sérieuses pour la réputation du pays.

À l’époque, un conflit entre James Coyne et le premier ministre conservateur John Diefenbaker a forcé la démission du gouverneur. Son successeur, Louis Rasminsky, a cependant obtenu une modification à la loi de la…

For the first time in years, the Bank of Canada is under attack.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank kept inflation well under control – remarkably close to its 2-per-cent target – for more than 25 years. Since early 2020, however, inflation has surged. Consumer prices are up almost 7 per cent year-over-year. People are angry, and politics reflects their anger. The answer is simple: The bank must get inflation back down.

Some of the attacks are personal; promises to fire Governor Tiff Macklem have made recent headlines. That does not help. Partly because it tempts the bank’s defenders to respond in kind – to denigrate the attackers or dismiss people’s anger about inflation. Those responses would make a bad situation…