Economics

If finance minister Bill Morneau believes that Canada’s budget deficit “the challenge of our lifetime” he’s either tragically ill-informed, delusional, or disabled by finance-industry-insider blinders. Russia and Argentina, among others, show how states can default on their external debts and suffer relatively little consequence, as investors race back in within years. Even the worst economic […]

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China’s strategy with the Hong Kong ‘security’ law seems intended to send a global message: critics of China will be increasingly punished as the state’s global influence grows. This is disturbing in many ways, for the welfare of people in China, the region, and around the world. The degree of authoritarian control that technology has […]

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In the 1950s, when the RBMK design was developed and approved, Soviet industry had not yet mastered the technology necessary to manufacture steel pressure vessels capacious enough to surround such large reactor cores. For that reason, among others, scientists engineers, and managers in the Soviet nuclear-power industry had pretended for years that a loss-of-coolant accident […]

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In closing, a few words can be said about other aspects of the PCF [Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change]. The complete ignoring of the 2020 target illustrates the power of the Canadian dynamic of policy failure set out in chapter 1. Disguising the lack of will and effort needed to achieve an […]

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As recently as March 5th, The Economist published an article entitled: A recession is unlikely but not impossible The April 18th issue reports: “On April 14th the IMF warned that the global recession would be the deepest for the best part of a century.” I can’t find my note about it, but somewhere I recorded […]

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The Guelph University board of governors committed to divest from fossil fuels on Wednesday, after a sub-committee of their finance committee concluded that doing so was compatible with fiduciary duty and that a divested portfolio would have performed as well or better in the past. I was a guest on the board’s call, and it […]

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In the lead-up to the Canadian federal election in October, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals promised legally binding targets for Canada to be at net zero emissions by 2050. Specifically, they promised: “We will set legally-binding, five-year milestones, based on the advice of the experts and consultations with Canadians, to reach net-zero emissions by 2050” “We will […]

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Scientists alert people to the problem. Environmentalists are the first to believe them. Corporations that are implicated as contributing to the problem either deny the threat or balk at the cost of addressing it, fearful of government red tape and loss of profits. Eventually, enough public concern prompts politicians to act. They respond with tougher […]

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The always-slightly-overenthusiastic Slate.com reports: The financial world resumed melting into goo on Monday thanks to the global coronavirus outbreak, with stocks falling so hard and fast in the morning that it triggered a rare 15-minute timeout on trading. By day’s end the S&P 500 collapsed by 7.6 percent—its worst showing since the financial crisis. The […]

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Fossil fuel-endowed regions would benefit if some of their trusted leaders questioned the prudence of doubling-down on coal, oil, and even natural gas. Such visionaries would argue that fossil fuel expansion increases the region’s economic vulnerability to the future time when humanity finally accelerates on the decarbonization path. Unfortunately, such regions tend to produce political […]

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