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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Found Money: Matching Canadians’ Savings with Their Infrastructure Needs

E-Brief by William Robson

William B.P. Robson argues that Canada’s need for investment in infrastructure to meet the demands of growth and aging developments can be met by using the savings of private Canadians. Robson notes “private sector and government worker plans are scouting the globe for investment [in infrastructure because] the assets are long lived, with returns that are relatively stable.” He asserts Canadians could use their savings to get a piece of the investment action by investing in domestic infrastructure projects. The author points out that the strength of Canada’s economy has meant that the amount of Canadian savings is high; in return, Canada is in need of further investment.

Robson, however, points to two main difficulties for funding domestic infrastructure with domestic savings. The first is a lack of political will, as the private and public sectors are wary of each other as investment partners; private parties see the public sector as unnecessarily cumbersome, while the public sector regards the private sector as a threat to its work practices. The second obstacle is that infrastructure investment is, by nature, large and illiquid, presenting difficulties for small and large investors alike. Robson considers infrastructure securities a solution to these problems because it would allow both large and small investors to buy into projects. Further, the author suggests, investment would no longer be considered something done by the ‘faceless capitalist,’ as many small investors would personalize larger projects.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): William Robson;
Publisher: C.D. Howe Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2007; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Monetary & Capital Management / Domestic Investment
Policy Articles / Monetary & Capital Management
Policy Articles / Monetary & Capital Management / Domestic Investment / 2007

Keywords / Tags:

infrastructure; investment; innovation; securities; private sector; public sector; finance;