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8220 Results

June 18, 1997

The Canadian economy: Challenges and prospects

Remarks Gordon Thiessen la Chambre de commerce et d'industrie du Québec métropolitain Québec, Québec
Once a year, the Bank of Canada's Board of Directors meets outside Ottawa, alternating among the provinces. I am delighted that this year's out-of-town meeting has brought us to the beautiful and historic city of Quebec. I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about recent developments in our economy.

The Effects of Budget Rules on Fiscal Performance and Macroeconomic Stabilization

Staff Working Paper 1997-15 Jonathan Millar
Budget rules can be defined as legislated or constitutional constraints on government deficits, taxes, expenditures, or debt. This paper reviews the budget rules recently legislated in six of Canada's provinces and both of its territories, as well as budget rules in other OECD countries.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Fiscal policy JEL Code(s): E, E6, E62, H, H3, H6, H61

Menu Costs, Relative Prices, and Inflation: Evidence for Canada

Staff Working Paper 1997-14 Robert Amano, Tiff Macklem
The menu-cost models of price adjustment developed by Ball and Mankiw (1994;1995) predict that short-run movements in inflation should be positively related to the skewness and the variance of the distribution of disaggregated relative-price shocks in each period. We test these predictions on Canadian data using the distribution of changes in disaggregated producer prices to measure the skewness and standard deviation of relative-price shocks.
May 30, 1997

Flexible Exchange Rates in a World of Low Inflation

Remarks Gordon Thiessen FOREX '97 Conference Toronto, Ontario
There is a good deal of discussion these days about Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in Europe - about the benefits and difficulties of organizing such a union. However, today I would like to examine a somewhat different issue, one that is at the other end of the spectrum; namely, How is the international system of flexible exchange rates working these days?
May 14, 1997

The changing business activities of banks in Canada

Over the last 30 years, the business mix of banks in Canada has changed significantly. Progress in information-processing technology, legislative changes, and market forces have combined to blur the traditional distinctions between banks and other financial institutions and have allowed banks to offer a much wider range of products and services. In this article, the author reviews the expansion of bank lending to households over this period and their recent movement into personal wealth management. While these trends were facilitated by revisions to legislation, they also reflected the changing needs of the "baby boom" generation, first as home-buyers and, more recently, as middle-aged investors. On the commercial and corporate side, banks reacted to the rapid expansion of securities markets (and to the reduced demand for intermediation by both lenders/depositors and borrowers) by moving into investment banking, after legislative changes opened this business to them in the late 1980s. They also used their expertise in credit assessment and risk management to provide credit guarantees and to act as counterparties and intermediaries in derivatives markets. Notable in this broadening of bank activities has been their more recent entry into the trust, mutual fund, and retail brokerage business. The banks have also made preliminary forays into insurance. The expansion of off-balance-sheet activities has made fee income an increasingly important part of bank earnings. The article also looks at the emerging tools and techniques that will most likely transform the structure of banking in the future.
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