Op-Eds

A new NHL season has arrived – notably with the addition of the Seattle Kraken as the league’s 32nd franchise. The emergence of another American team in a league that only has seven Canadian ones, however, begs the question: What would it take for Canada to secure another NHL franchise? Will it ever happen? The answer requires examining the prospect of financial success.

A first core factor is market size and consumer demand. Having a large enough population with a passion for the sport is key to ensuring that there are not only enough viewers at home to satisfy TV advertisers, but that home arena seats can be filled every game night. Attending a professional sports event is expensive, so relatively high income levels are…

On le croyait mort, mais certains l’ont vu rôder. Plusieurs prédisent son retour prochain. D’autres en font plutôt des gorges chaudes. L’inflation est redevenue le bonhomme Sept Heures des marchés financiers.

Ce n’est pas tant l’augmentation du coût de la vie qui préoccupe les financiers, par ailleurs bien payés, mais l’effet négatif qu’elle pourrait avoir sur les taux d’intérêt et par-delà, sur leurs investissements. L’inflation soulève aussi un questionnement sur le financement de la dette publique.

Ces derniers temps, l’afflux des bonnes nouvelles énerve les marchés. Aux États-Unis, ils notent l’accélération de la vaccination, le gigantesque stimulus budgétaire et un taux d’épargne très élevé. Cet été, les…

Along with much of the world, Canada’s economy has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic and other events in 2020, notably the shock to global oil markets. How badly? An examination of the immediate data and longer trends indicates significant damage, with a lengthy recovery period ahead.

Let’s start with labour markets, where there are signs of recovery but also growing evidence of damage. The unemployment rate exploded to nearly 14 per cent from 6 per cent during the shutdown from March to May. The rate has dropped steadily since as many displaced workers have been re-engaged, but the second pandemic wave and renewed shutdowns in many provinces have meant more job losses. Employment fell by 63,000 in December, and the…

We knew the number would be big. Just how big was the question.

Statistics Canada released its initial estimate of second-quarter GDP on Friday. Output dropped by 11.5 per cent compared with first-quarter GDP and by a little over 13 per cent compared with the second quarter of 2019. This is the largest recorded quarterly decline since Statistics Canada began reporting quarterly GDP numbers in 1961.

The estimate was scary enough but the way it was reported may have caused either unnecessary panic or unnecessary pessimism. Media reports emphasized the “annualized” change in GDP, which was a drop of 38.7 per cent, which is worse than scary. Does this mean Canadian GDP will actually wind up falling almost 40 per cent, as it…

The art of calling the start and finish of economic recessions might seem a minor one but it is critical to understanding how policy decisions can affect the economy.

Making such calls is normally a backwards-looking exercise, with business cycle analysts waiting for the accumulation of enough data before they feel comfortable issuing even a nuanced interpretation of whether the economy has reached key points in a cycle. This spring, however, the sheer depth and size of the economic losses stemming from the COVID-19 lockdowns left no room for doubt. The C.D. Howe Institute’s Business Cycle Council was able to declare by May 1 that Canada had entered a recession in the first quarter of 2020 and that the peak of the business cycle…