Last month, I wrote about the too-little-too-late boomlet in popular commentary on the Bank of Canada’s mandate review, the most underreported Canadian business story of 2016. There was grumbling after. Some thought I was unnecessarily mean to the press corps. Others thought my suggestion that the House Finance Committee pay closer attention to monetary policy risked the central bank’s independence.
Nuance is the first to go when it comes time to fit an argument to a page, so apologies if I hurt anyone’s feelings or left the impression that I would like to see Finance Committee Chairman Wayne Easter get a seat at meetings of the Governing Council. My intent was to make the point that the public deserves a far livelier opportunity to debate monetary policy than it has been getting of late. I thought I would return to the subject because there is yet more evidence that the business of central banking is changing. In case you missed it, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz on September 26 delivered an important lecture on trade and monetary policy. Poloz avoided definitive conclusions, but he said enough to make it clear that the country’s most prominent economist is uncertain he can continue to rely on the lessons his university instructors taught him.
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