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Home Policy Articles: Monetary & Capital Management: Page 2

Market economies are based upon money. An important field of study with the realm of Economics and Political Economy concerns questions about the movement of money within regional, national, and international markets. What institutions govern money and investment? What techniques are best to use in managing the flow of money? Should there be fewer or additional barriers to the movement of money and capital across borders?

This section of focuses on the important political and economic debates around the macro-management of money.



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Institutional Investor Activism and Market Confidence: A Greater Role for Public Policy?

Institutional investors play a key role in establishing and maintaining confidence in Canada’s financial markets, and increasingly use their ownership positions to raise corporate governance standards. Averill, Hebb and Lopes argue that institutional investors are able to provide the market-based oversight of Canadian corporations that will help to increase accountability and transparency, both vital to a well-functioning financial system.

Is Government Control of the Liquor Trade Still Justified?

In this article Valentin Petkantchin argues for the deregulation of liquor sales in Quebec.

Making Health Spending Work

This article by Fred McMahon and Martin Zelder attempts to incorporate Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) into the current health care system so that “a publicly funded system that incorporates market dynamics” can be designed. In McMahon and Zelder’s plan, Medical Savings Accounts would be attributed to each Canadian citizen, who would then have the option of choosing between private and public providers of health care. The authors believe this option makes most sense considering that Canada ranks near the top of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) member countries with respect to health spending, but places near the bottom in most categories pertaining to the quality of health care service delivery.

Making It Pay to Work: Improving the Work Incentives in Canada's Public Pension System

Kevin Milligan discusses the negative impact the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is having on the age of retirement. Milligan explains that GIS reduces its benefit by 50 cents for every dollar of outside income, creating a clawbacks effect for those who are collecting from the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). This has the effect of encouraging workers to retire earlier. Milligan offers a number of options for correcting this problem.

Monetary Convergence between Canada and the United States: A Critique of the Official View

This brief report serves as the introduction to Mapping the New North American Reality, a series of brief articles written by Canadian, American, and Mexican policy experts exploring the nature of North American economic integration.

Money on the Line: Workers' Capital in Canada

This publication, edited by Isla Carmichael and Jack Quarter, focuses on social investment – namely, the funds that have union sponsorship, and more specifically, union-based pension funds and labour-sponsored investment funds.

No Excuse for Inaction: Inflation, Special Factors and the Case for Raising Interest Rates

Laidler and Robson begin their analysis by noting the Bank of Canada forewarned Canadians frequently about inflationary pressure, and that short-term interest rates would rise.

North American Monetary Integration: Should Canada Join the Dollarization Bandwagon?

Over the last decade the concept of North American Monetary Union (NAMU) has received increased attention in Canada. Mario Seccareccia, author of North American Monetary Integration, recognizes this and explores whether NAMU proposals would be beneficial to Canada. According to Seccareccia, the low Canadian dollar, growing integration with the United States, and international examples of monetary integration (such as the European Union experience) are all behind the growth in support for a North American Monetary Union.

Occupational Pension Plans in Canada: Trends in Coverage and the Incomes of Seniors

Occupational pension plans – also called employer-sponsored, workplace, or registered pension plans – are crucial to Canadian seniors’ income security, contends author Edward Tamagno.

Olympic Costs and Benefits

Shaffer, Greer and Mauboules argue that neither the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid Committee nor any of its member partners (Vancouver, Whistler, the provincial or federal governments) has undertaken a systematic economic evaluation of the costs and benefits of the investments and other commitments required to hold the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Preserving Control: Canada and the International Market for Corporate Acquisitions

This article by Shay Aba and Jack M. Mintz focuses on the effect, or non-effect, of a declining Canadian dollar and how it pertains to company takeovers. Contrary to expectations, the authors find that a lower Canadian dollar does not necessarily lead to a drastic increase in foreign takeovers of Canadian companies, nor does it significantly alter the appetite of Canadian firms for foreign companies – despite a concomitant decrease in purchasing power.

Public Services and Community Crowns - It's the Saskatchewan Way!

Don Mitchell argues that Saskatchewan should possess a broad and responsive public service and progressive, creative, and innovative crown corporations. He notes that Saskatchewan has a century of experience in public service and public enterprise in education, health, social services, transportation, electrical and telephone utilities, insurance, mining, and forestry.

Rerouting the Mail: Why Canada Post is Due for Reform

Edward M. Iacobucci, Michael J. Trebilcock, and Tracey D. Epps contend that Canada Post requires reform in order to meet the challenges and changes of the twenty-first century.

Saskatchewan Prosperity: Taking the Next Step

This article by Jason Clemens, Joel Emes and Nadeem Esmail examines the challenges faced by Saskatchewan, offering both short- and long-term policy recommendations. Their main short-term recommendations are to privatize government business enterprises (GBEs, which are akin to Crown Corporations), use the proceeds from these privatizations to reduce the debt, and then to use the accumulated savings to finance the lowering of business taxes. Among their longer-term recommendations: shrinking the size of Saskatchewan’s government, and the continuing privatization of government business enterprises.

Saskatchewan's Crown Corporations

Allan Evans looks at the number and type of crown corporations in Saskatchewan. He argues that if Saskatchewan chooses not to privatize it ought to open up these industries to competition.

Saving the Future: Restoring Fairness to the Taxation of Savings

This article by Jack M. Mintz and Thomas A. Wilson offers a plethora of suggestions meant to improve the Canadian retirement tax system, which they believe is outdated. Accordingly, they suggest some of the steps that should be taken include: raising the maximum annual Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions allowance, and indexing RRSP contributions to inflation; giving all citizens access to the averaging of income over lifetimes; a change in the allowable age ceiling for RRSP contributions; a raise in annual percentage limits; and the ability to split Registered Retirement Plans (RRPs) between spouses.

Sobering Result: The Alberta Liquor Retailing Industry Ten Years after Privatization

In this report Greg Flanagan discusses the changes Alberta made to its liquor control, taxation and distribution policies in 1993/94. Flanagan explains that the changes have led to a lack of control, lower revenues from taxes and increased prices to the consumer. Furthermore, under the current system consumption limitation and education are not encouraged or enforced. Overall, the Alberta government has lost effective control of the liquor industry and will not be able to regain it without drastic changes to policy.

Sobering Result: The Alberta Liquor Retailing Industry Ten Years after Privatization

In 1993-94, the Alberta Government implemented major policy changes involving the control, taxing, and distribution of liquor products. These changes included: the privatization of the retail and warehousing functions; switching from an ad valorem (percentage of price) to a unit (flat) tax system of alcohol excise taxes; and, the migration from direct control of liquor regulation to a legislative and enforcement approach.

Sobering Result: The Alberta Liquor Retailing Industry Ten Years after Privatization

In this report, Greg Flanagan examines the impact of privatization on Alberta’s liquor retail industry.

Sticking to its Knitting: Why the Bank of Canada Should Focus on Inflation Control, not Financial Stability

David Laidler argues it has become evident that low inflation is not, in and of itself, sufficient to guarantee bringing overall stability to the financial system. He points to the bursting of the high-tech stock market bubble in the late 1990s as an example of this; it occurred at a time when inflation was low and stable. Laidler points out that, at the same time, the Bank of Canada’s success in controlling inflation has been matched in many countries, to the point that monetary policy seems almost routine.

Sustaining Public Pensions in Canada: A Tale of Two Reforms

In this paper Ken Battle analyzes and explains two pension reform projects, the Seniors Befit proposal and the Canadian Pension Plan financing proposal, the latter of which was adopted.

The Canadian Financial Services Industry: The Year in Review

This briefing summarizes the 2002-03 edition of The Canadian Financial Services Industry: The Year in Review. This publication reviews major developments in both the financial services sector and its policy environment, in Canada and abroad; it focuses specifically on legislation designed to restore investor confidence in corporate governance and financial markets.

The Enforcement of Corporate Criminal and Securities Laws

In late 2002 the Public Policy Forum convened a roundtable discussion on the subject of white-collar crime in Canada, inviting regulators, public service officials, private industry executives, and academics to participate. This publication, authored by David Brook, is a summary of the evening’s discussion. Brook explains that roundtable participants were asked to focus on four issues: 1) the adequacy of Canadian criminal and securities laws; 2) investigation; 3) prosecution; and, 4) sentencing. The report summarizes discussion on these issues and provides recommendations for actions roundtable participants felt could be taken to strengthen Canada’s legal system.

The Fiscal Burden of the Young and the Elderly

Population aging, resulting from the low fertility rates of the past forty years, has become a major concern of the policy makers in many industrialized countries. It is deemed to affect the economic growth, the long-term viability of both private and public pension plans and the sustainability of the existing fiscal structures.

The Governance of the Ontario Securities Commission: Lessons from International Comparisons

This article by Neil Mohindra examines the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and finds that it has recently “become larger, has absorbed more powers and responsibilities, and has achieved greater independence.” Considering the pressure the OSC puts on companies to have good corporate governance, Mohindra turns his analysis onto the governmental structure of the OSC itself – a body that is supposed to “lead by example.” Through comparisons with similar government organizations in the US, UK, Australia and Hong Kong, the author assesses the OSC’s relative strengths and weaknesses, in addition to offering several prescriptions for its improvement.

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