Op-Eds

The green bond market was growing rapidly until the pandemic hit in 2020 and its progress stalled under economic shutdowns. As the recovery unfolds, green bonds – fixed-income securities used to finance sustainable projects – appear poised to resume their trajectory, in Canada and abroad. But should the federal (and provincial) governments get into the action with their own green bond issues? In a recent C.D. Howe Institute paper, I argue there are many good reasons for Ottawa to issue its own green bonds; chief among them is the setting of a benchmark price that can help build overall market capacity in Canada. The other key question is how the federal government can best play a role. These bonds instruments, whose...
Comme les tulipes au XVIIe siècle, les bitcoins sont emportés par une bulle, ce qui montre bien que la fièvre des spéculateurs est récurrente. Les tulipes mènent aujourd’hui une existence bien terre-à-terre, contentes d’être jolies et d’annoncer le printemps. Je cherche encore l’utilité des bitcoins. En 1637, les marchands néerlandais payaient des prix fous pour les bulbes de cette fleur exotique, importée de l’Empire ottoman, particulièrement la rare variété à motif tigré. Première crise spéculative documentée, la « tulipomanie » a brûlé des fortunes factices. On n’aura pas davantage à pleurer l’éventuelle déconfiture des « baleines », le surnom donné aux gros détenteurs de bitcoins, qui ne sont pas...
On Nov. 30, the B.C. government launched the world’s first publicly accessible registry of beneficial ownership of land, requiring disclosure of the people behind the companies, trusts and partnerships that own B.C. property (and who therefore benefit from such ownership). For implementing this new weapon to combat money laundering, the B.C. government deserves praise and thanks. Unfortunately, in its present condition, the registry will do little to deter the world’s criminals from laundering their dirty money in B.C. real estate. That’s because it’s missing the most important element — verification of the identity of the beneficial owners listed on the registry. To understand why “verification of identity” is essential to the registry...
Nos choix de placements peuvent accélérer les changements exigés par l’urgence climatique. Heureusement, les institutions financières développent des produits plus amicaux pour la planète. La finance durable s’impose comme nouvelle norme. Les entreprises qui composent les grands indices boursiers génèrent des gaz à effet de serre (GES) cadrant avec un réchauffement climatique de 3,5 à 5 degrés. L’indice du marché canadien TSX60, où le secteur pétrolier est fortement représenté, correspond à un scénario de 4,6 degrés, estime Mirova, filiale de la banque d’investissement Natixis. Que faire alors ? Le réflexe de larguer les actions des pétrolières réussit davantage à nous donner bonne conscience qu’à réduire les GES....
Banks are often in the political and regulatory crosshairs during times of economic stress, and COVID-19 is no different. Support for the payments system and credit markets can look like support for banks themselves. And supports for businesses are controversial. Few people want to prop up firms with no future and nobody wants government credit or transfer payments to fund executive bonuses or flow to shareholders through share buybacks or unsustainable dividends. Canada’s banks have just reported weak second-quarter earnings. Laurentian Bank just cut its dividend. Should the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) ask other Canadian banks to do the same? If they did, they would be following a trend. The European...