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Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Tuesday, November 03, 2020
Okay, you’ve probably never heard of COMER. If you have , you may have forgotten about them because they haven’t been in the news lately. Too much to worry about right now to think of something you’ve forgotten all about or never heard of. One might think that whoever or whatever COMER was they must have been losers as they have slipped out of Canadian consciousness. And, and in my opinion, they took the Canadian consciousness of our constitutional rights and freedom as well as a near debt free economy along with them. Okay, who or what exactly was COMER and what did they do with the collective consciousness of our freedoms and what do we owe to whom or whatever they were?
COMER was and still is, as far as I can tell, short for the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform. It was established in 1986. In 2011 COMER, along with a collection of citizens angry about Canada’s growing debt accumulation when to the Supreme Court of Canada. They wanted to draw attention to the The Bank of Canada’s practice acting as a private bank for other European Banks and domestic and foreign corporations, all demanding high compound interest rates. COMER had a brilliant lawyer, Rocco Galati. Galati pointed out, in no uncertain terms, Bank of Canada Act and a copy of the Canadian Constitution in hand and before the Court, that the Bank of Canada was chartered as a public bank to give interest free loans to the Canadian government’s needs for social and physical infrastructure. Hopes were high. And remained high for the next five years as COMER waged a seemingly endless battle of appeals, court demanded amendments, court dismissals, and court hearings. It was maddening. To have the Supreme Court of Canada make the final ruling in May 2017 that the lawsuit against privatizing the Bank of Canada was not a legal matter. If it was not a legal matter then what was it? The Bank of Canada was clearly breaking the law. But no. The judge ruled it was a political matter. How charming. What an opinion. What a gutless opinion. And furthermore, the judge ruled that there would be no further reporting on the case. The reporters were silenced. The media was silenced. Canadians were silenced. Where does that leave us? Is all hope for a reinstatement of the original mandate for the Bank of Canada lost? Maybe not. There are deep holes in the judge’s ruling that makes his contention that the case was a political one and not a legal one biased, unfair, and ridiculous. And there are supporters in unexpected places. In this time of COVID-19 we need our public bank desperately. Next time.
Friday, October 23, 2020
What has the Bank of Canada actually been mandated to do for Canadians? And is the Bank of Canada a public or private bank?
The Bank of Canada started out as a private bank in 1934 but was nationalized in 1938. The Bank has been a public bank since then and functions as our central bank. It advertises itself a public bank, as a Crown corporation. But it isn’t really. Not now. But it used to be. Our public Bank of Canada was originally mandated to lift the standard of living of Canadians by loaning money to the government interest free for capital expenditure. The Bank also loaned to the provinces, interest free or very little interest. When some small interest amount was charged, it went straight back to the bank, and as the Bank belonged to the people, that money went into further expenditures that paid for some pretty wonderful improvements to Canada and her citizens. What improvements?
For thirty years after the nationalization of the Bank of Canada things happened. Big things. Wonderful things. By borrowing from our own central bank the government got the money to construct the Trans-Canada highway, the St. Lawrence Seaway, airports, and subway systems and also assisted a corporation that placed Canada in the forefront of aviation technology, mostly without interest. And it wasn’t only infrastructure projects that benefited Canadians. Professor John Ryan, a senior scholar at the University of Winnipeg, explains. ”During this period seniors’ pensions, family allowances, and Medicare were established, as well as nation-wide hospitals, universities and research facilities.” Pretty impressive stuff, right? Then how come we can’t do things like that now? And why are we now carrying so much massive federal debt? Because things turned bad for our public bank back in 1974. What happened then?
Well, Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau’s father, was in power and the bankers from the Bank of International Settlements came to visit our contented country. Remember the Bank of International Settlements? This bank is top dog in the central banking world as it is owned, operated, supported and in turn led by the sixty odd central banks of the western world. The International Bank of Settlements. Remember the name. This bank has affected your life as a Canadian in more ways than you can remember in the past, and is all set up to foist upon us a new money reset whither we like it or not. But back to Pierre Trudeau.
When the king lord bankers of The Bank of International Settlements came to visit Canada from Europe they had one view in mind. To get rid of the idea that the nationalization of the public nature of the Bank of Canada, and all the loans that were made to provinces and the nation without interest, was a good idea. To these bankers this was just a crazy idea. Banks were created, in their opinion, to make money. Period. Lots of money. Instead of no interest, as our public bank was practising at the time, they reasoned that the practice could easily be reversed. All Pierre Trudeau had to do was instruct the Bank of Canada that in the future, to get their loans for public expenditures from the private banks with compound interest loans instead of interest free ones as had been practised. All of the sophisticated central banks in Europe were doing this, they said. This way of doing things also curtailed inflation. Canada didn’t want to be kept out of the loop, now did it?
Evidently not. At least Pierre Trudeau didn’t want that. He began the practice of privatizing the Bank of Canada and that is what we have had from that day to this. There are a good many people who think this was woefully wrong, the cause of our massive public debt, and loss of Canadian wealth. Did you ever wonder about the difference in interest rates the banks give you on savings (1 or 2 per cent) and the interest on past due credit cards (18-19 per cent)? This is why the banks hate anything that even smells of public ownership. But if Pierre Trudeau could make such a drastic change in Canada’s fortunes in 1974 by just instructing the Bank of Canada to change one of its policies, then Justin Trudeau could give instructions to return to the bank. A lawsuit has been fought over this – trying to legally force the government to return the Bank of Canada to its 1938 mandate. And what the judge had to say was very interesting. Next time.