Op-Eds

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...
COVID-19 has put much of Canada’s economy on life support. As we emerge from the crisis and resume more normal activity, a challenge awaits. We do not want viable businesses to disappear. But we also do not want zombie firms to live on indefinitely. Early in the crisis, governments reasonably prioritized supporting households and businesses through central banks, government lenders and transfer payments. Going big and broad made sense to help us survive the sudden stop. We now need to navigate a different problem: letting firms go. In an ordinary year an amazing number of businesses in Canada appear and disappear. In 2017, 143,000 businesses came into existence — about one for every eight that already existed. That same year,...