Trimming Excessive Home Ownership Subsidies

While the cost of housing has prompted much debate, too little attention is on the heavy subsidies granted to residential real estate investment and the way in which these subsidies have caused price inflation. Fortunately, the Government of Canada mortgage insurance program is being scaled back.  The restrictions introduced late in 2016 are ‘cooling the […]

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Are Real Credit Unions FCU*d?

Real credit unions may have to reconsider their strategic options. History was made with the FICOM approval of the Coast Capital Saving application to be ‘continued’ as a Federal Credit Union (FCU). This action has the potential to totally restructure the BC credit union system.  While the commission did say that would consider the impact […]

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New Government Decisions

As the new Minister of Finance, Carole James, has several issues on her plate.  The two simplest are getting attention, because they are listed in the direction given to her by the new premier.   One is taxation, reversing the scheduled increase that faces large credit unions that no longer qualify as ‘small business’.  And second, […]

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Cashless, the political counter argument

Communications professionals know that you can sell something if you give it a good ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ brand identity.  This is the spin we hear all the time regarding a ‘cashless society’.  Apparently convenience means more than anything else.  But there is a darker side to this proposition; the expanded role of large intermediaries (e.g. […]

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Makers and Takers

warning

The last few decades have seen a huge change in the ‘structure’ of our economy.  Rana Foroohar provides an accessible overview of the USA economy in her book Makers and Takers. She notes that over the last thirty years finance, and financial engineering, have come to dominate the world of business and traditional ‘maker’ industries, […]

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de-Banked

Watch out if you use the word ‘bank’.  On June 30th the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (“OSFI”) issued an advisory that re-asserted that the use of the words bank, banker, and banking are restricted under The Bank Act.  OSFI expressed displeasure at the expanded use of the words by non-banks and they […]

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Regulatory Arbitrage

This is a new frontier for credit unions.  Regulatory Arbitrage is a big part of decision-making in large corporate entities as they choose where and how to do business.  The issue is the potential impact of requirements in certain legal jurisdictions; differing requirements drive corporate structures, governance practices, business strategies, investments, business location, staffing, and, […]

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Regulatory Over-Reach

This week FICOM hosted a conference for BC credit union directors, the sixth such annual event they have mounted.  Presentations from commission staff were augmented by a speaker on ‘Building Effective Boards’, Bev Behan.  The reporting out on FICOM and CUDIC activity was to be commended and some good questions were raised.  And while the […]

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A Real Estate Fueled Boom

Recently, economist Michael Hudson visited Vancouver to speak on the issue of housing and the ‘Junk Economics‘ (the title of his most recent book) behind our apparent good times.  The substance of his observations is presented in a readable article in this week’s Common Ground.  Hudson spoke at an event sponsored by the Centre For […]

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