Paul Summerville • September 8, 2014

On the night of 30 October 1995 while Chief Economist of Richardson Greenshields I sat in a hotel room in New York waiting for the results of the Quebec Referendum.

CNN had asked me to come down to comment in the event of a ‘yes’ vote, the producers had known me from multiple appearances between 1990-1994 when I was working in Japan.

Paul Summerville • March 8, 2013

Commentary on getting a good night’s sleep, the sharing economy, get out the sun screen, George’s hard choices, more to globalization than lattes all round, and strangled by language.

Tossing and turning.

New Yorker -- Up All Night
The science of sleeplessness.


Goofy – How to Sleep

Regulating sharing.

Paul Summerville • September 19, 2012

Commentary on Quebec, the real Mitt Romney, China’s fiscal cliff, and the BC NDP premier-in-waiting tells business leaders what they want to hear.

Two very smart people, one a great friend and mentor, and the other my sister, on the return of the national unity debate.

Ottawa Citizen -- Sovereignty isn’t dead
Gordon Smith imagines the Parti Québécois strategy for moving Quebec toward separation.

Paul Summerville • September 2, 2012

Commentary on the Fed, climate change skeptics, Syrian sadness, the case for inheritance taxes, figuring out poverty, and the Quebec problem.

James Grant on the Fed’s lost way.

Paul Summerville • September 1, 2012

Commentary on unrest in China, life after Hitch, Mitt’s past, inequality and all that, and Quebec's moment.

China in trouble.

Jacobin – China in Revolt
The Chinese working class plays a Janus-like role in the political imaginary of neoliberalism.

Hitchens replaced?

Paul Summerville • August 31, 2012

Commentary on the return of the Quebec challenge, at the convention, bullish on Russia, and big changes on Bay Street.

Canada’s genius includes consistently finding peaceful solutions to including a distinct language and cultural population situated in the geographic heart of the country that could leave to make their own and end Canada as we know it: that genius is about to be tested again.

Paul Summerville • August 23, 2012

Commentary on unascending American blacks, the zombie Euro, China’s neurosis, America`s job machine needs tending, badly taught economics, the Bank of Japan`s China warning, and the return of the toothache with pus.

A powerful summary of what America blacks have been and will likely be up against.

Paul Summerville • August 20, 2012

Commentary on Norway’s nest egg, the China gold connection, Ryan’s silly plan, Assange's Ecuador moment, and Quebec's declining population.

A very nice problem to have.

Financial Times -- Investment: Norway’s nest egg
Oslo’s oil fund is seen as a paragon of responsible use of energy income but debate rages about its strategy.

Why gold has been falling of late.

Paul Summerville • August 14, 2012

Commentary on the loonie and cars, America and immigration reform, leveraging the post-Olympic glow, the case for equities, and a unilingual CEO.

The typical posturing by car companies and unions during negotiations about the terrible impact of the at parity Canadian dollar without reminding readers of the positive impact that a strong currency has in attracting world class labour and best in class technology. Thanks to David of Victoria.

Paul Summerville • August 8, 2012

Commentary on bad Chinese banks, victory over imperialism, investing in the age of dismay, the markets in charts, a friend's Olympic 2012 picture, and that separation song.

Golden Elephants

Financial Times -- Chinese banks’ Weapons of Mass Ponzi
We wrote last week that China’s shadow banking system was reflecting and, to an extent, contributing to a growing liquidity risk which in turn is being exacerbated by net capital outflows.

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.