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Les banques centrales s’approchent du dangereux passage entre Charybde et Scylla, les monstres marins de la mythologie grecque qui menaçaient les navires. Sauf que les écueils d’une faible croissance et de l’inflation sont bien réels.

La relance économique est enclenchée. Le Québec, pour l’un, a retrouvé son niveau de PIB d’avant pandémie dès mars. Mais ici comme ailleurs, cette reprise est encore mal assurée et inégale, comme on le voit dans les services livrés en proximité avec la clientèle.

L’inflation est manifeste, provoquée en grande partie par la perturbation des chaînes d’approvisionnement mondiales causée par la COVID-19, ce qui suggère qu’elle serait transitoire. Mais si les goulots d’étranglement persistent, ce…

Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight interest rate at 25 basis points while maintaining the pace of its quantitative easing (QE) program by continuing to purchase Government of Canada debt at a rate of $2 billion per week. Markets widely expected that: any major change to tighten or ease monetary policy in the middle of an election campaign might have been interpreted as a political statement. But with the economy stalling, inflation spiking (headline inflation was 4.1 per cent in August) and federal government stimulus not ending soon, what is next for monetary policy?

We are at an interesting point on the path of pandemic inflation. One perspective thinks it’s on track. As of July,…

Statistics Canada’s latest gross domestic product release contained at least two surprises. The first was that real GDP fell at an annualized rate of one per cent in the second quarter. That made headlines. With all the stimulus and rising optimism about recovery from the COVID recession, why the setback?

But a second surprise was that nominal spending — measured in the dollars that actually changed hands, before adjustment for price changes — rose at an eight per cent annualized rate. That raised eyebrows. The difference between a one-per cent real fall and an eight-per cent nominal rise is nine per cent higher prices. Real activity slipped a little. The value of our money slipped a lot.

We already knew that consumer…

La partie ne sera pas facile, mais les régulateurs ont commencé à serrer la vis au Bitcoin, à ses milliers de cousins cryptos et aux infrastructures qui gravitent dans cet univers opaque et apatride.

La Financial Conduct Authority du Royaume-Uni, incapable de superviser adéquatement Binance, la plus grande Bourse de cryptomonnaies au monde, interdit ses activités sur son territoire. La plateforme n’a pas répondu aux questions de base posées par le régulateur, qui estime que ses « produits complexes et à haut risque » font courir des « risques significatifs » aux investisseurs.

Binance, incorporée dans les îles Caïman, n’a pas de siège social. Chaque mois, il se négocie sur cette Bourse immatérielle des centaines de…

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate at 25 basis points while scaling back its quantitative easing (QE) program, reducing the pace of its purchases of Government of Canada debt from $3-billion a week to $2-billion. Lifting its foot off the QE pedal is warranted given recent inflation readings and other underlying metrics. At the same time, however, the unchanged overnight rate target actually represents an easing of monetary policy since the bank’s last announcement six weeks ago, because inflation expectations have increased, and the recovering economy has probably raised the level of the overnight rate that would be consistent with steady growth and 2-per-cent inflation.

Let’s unpack these two…