By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 9, 2012 - 0 Comments
Diane Finley is moving forward with the Harper government’s plans for “social finance.”
Ottawa is making a bold push to have business play a bigger role in funding government social programs – asking Canada’s corporate and charities sector to submit ideas that could ultimately form part of the 2013 budget.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail on Thursday, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said interest in the emerging field of social finance is “very high,” pointing to multimillion-dollar investments from the Royal Bank. “We need to make sure that we’re not only not getting in the way, but we’re helping them advance their efforts to improve the outcomes in things like homelessness and literacy and other community challenges,” Ms. Finley said.
The prepared text of Ms. Finley’s speech is here. The plan is reminiscent of David Cameron’s Big Society, which has been met with mixed reviews. The Star looks at some of the criticisms of Ms. Finley’s plan. The NDP was unimpressed during QP yesterday.
By Tamsin McMahon - Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM - 0 Comments
Adding to the growing chorus of analysts predicting a bursting of the Canadian housing bubble, ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service placed almost all of Canada’s major banks on review for a downgrade Friday, citing the country’s growing household debt levels.
Among the banks that Moody’s warned may be downgraded are: Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, TD Bank and National Bank, along with Quebec’s Caisse Centrale Desjardins. The agency said its rating for Royal Bank of Canada, which was downgraded earlier this year, would be left unchanged.
Canadian household’s debt to disposable income ratio hit 163 per cent in the second quarter of the year, up from 137 per cent in the same period in 2007, the ratings agency noted. House prices are up 21 per cent over the same time period, it said, far outstripping the growth in incomes.
“Today’s review of the Canadian banks reflects our concerns about high consumer debt levels and elevated housing prices which leave Canadian banks more vulnerable to increased risks to the Canadian economy,” Moody’s vice-president David Beattie said in a statement.
By Jason Kirby - Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
How a Royal Bank executive is helping rewrite U.S. finance law
In August, Washington passed the Dodd-Frank Act, the most ambitious overhaul of financial regulation in decades. Turns out that was the easy part. Now regulators must grapple with how to put the mammoth new law into effect, and as Wall Street ramps up its lobbying effort to soften the impact of the reforms, Canada’s biggest bank has claimed a seat at the table.
In mid-November, John Taft, CEO of Royal Bank’s U.S. wealth-management division, took the helm as chairman of one of Wall Street’s most powerful industry groups, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). It’s the first time a representative from any of Canada’s banks has held the spot, and in the lead-up to his one-year appointment, he’s made the rounds on business news channels like CNBC and Bloomberg—always with the yellow RBC lion prominently displayed over his shoulder—to argue that unless the new rules governing Wall Street are properly thought out, the end result could be over-regulation that hurts the economy. “Priority number one is to make sure regulatory reform proposals are implemented in the right way that makes the system safer, sounder, more secure without inhibiting the ability of financial institutions to promote economic growth,” he told Maclean’s.
By Jason Kirby - Monday, June 21, 2010 at 4:20 PM - 3 Comments
You may be rich—if only you could find those long-lost investments
It’s not every day a stranger calls to say they’ve got a sum of money waiting for you to collect, and when it does happen, it’s almost certainly a scam. So when a woman from a Toronto investment firm phoned Cindy Grauer last year and told her she was eligible to reclaim a mutual fund account she didn’t even know existed, alarm bells went off. But after cautiously confirming her identity, Grauer learned both the caller—Alison Pettigrew, a customer relations manager from Front Street Capital—and the fund—a straggler left over from a 20-year-old investment account—were for real. Then came the stunner. “Are you sitting down?” Pettigrew asked. After two decades orphaned on Bay Street, Grauer’s small initial investment had exploded to a healthy five-figure sum. “It’s like winning the lottery,” she says. “But how could something like this happen? It’s outrageous.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 6:08 PM - 107 Comments
The subject, for a second day, was the apparent cost of securing this summer’s meetings of world leaders in cottage country Ontario and downtown Toronto respectively. The sum is now said to be a few nickels short of a billion dollars. The Parliamentary Budget Officer is apparently thinking about checking the government’s math, and the Liberals and NDP have asked the auditor general to investigate.
In the meantime, and in the absence of such accountings, there are only laments—”It borders on indecency,” the NDP’s Olivia Chow cried this afternoon—and accusatory questions, most wondering if somehow government mismanagement might perchance explain the tab. Continue…