, 03.30.2022 05:43 PM

My latest: peculiar, perplexing Pierre

Pierre Poilievre hates Canada’s central bank.

And who doesn’t hate the banks, right? But hating this particular bank while running for prime minister? That’s a big problem.

Because a central bank isn’t just any bank. The importance of it is found on the currency in your wallet or purse: The signatures on those bank notes belong to the governor and senior deputy director of the Bank of Canada. Not politicians.

Some days, we wonder if Pierre Poilievre wants “Pierre Poilievre” inscribed there. Because he sure thinks he’s smarter than Canada’s central bankers.

That’s a big problem, as noted, because the Bank of Canada controls our currency and our money supply — essentially, how much dough is in circulation at any given time. Their main job is stabilizing prices of things.

Central banks also determine interest rates, which is basically setting the cost of money. So, as you can see, the central bankers — who aren’t elected, but are selected by elected representatives — have a very big impact on your life and mine.

Poilievre says the Bank of Canada is “an ATM machine” for the government, which is a lot of crap. He says it’s “more and more political,” which also isn’t true. He supports a private member’s bill that would “audit” the Bank of Canada, which isn’t needed — because it already has auditors on its board.

Now Poilievre isn’t the first politician who wanted to control a central bank. Demagogues do it all the time. Donald Trump attacked America’s central bank regularly, likening it to a dictatorship, a form of government he usually approved of. Globally, Russian allies like Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan to India’s Narendra Modi have gone after central banks, as well.

It’s like Church and State: Central bankers shouldn’t involve themselves with politics, and politicians shouldn’t boss around central bankers. Because, among other things, politicians shouldn’t be deciding prices. Can you imagine?

But Pierre Poilievre is deeply arrogant, as seen in his repeated claim to be “running for prime minister” – meaning, he sees the Conservative leadership race as a mere trifling. He’s leader already, in effect, and is going straight for 24 Sussex Drive.

But Poilievre’s arrogant belief that he knows better than the Bank of Canada is dangerous. Evidence of that is found in the company he keeps.

This week, Mitchell Thompson at Press Progress published a lengthy investigation into Poilievre’s cozy association with a Bitcoin trader who also trades in COVID-19 conspiracy theories — and who has actually compared central banks to Nazism and slavery.

Last month, Poilievre was the star of Robert Breedlove’s podcast, What Is Money? Poilievre gushed that he often listens to Breedlove “late into the night.”

Poilievre: “I find (Breedlove) extremely informative and my wife and I have been known to watch YouTube and your channel late into the night once we’ve got the kids to bed. And I’ve always enjoyed it and I’ve learned a lot about Bitcoin and other monetary issues from listening to you.”

The rest of us usually go get a stiff drink after wrestling the kids to bed. At Poilievre’s house, they listen to a nutbar conspiracy theorist. Here’s a sampling of what they hear.

• COVID-19 isn’t really real. Instead, “COVID is a government diversion strategy.”
• COVID is “mass formation psychosis.”
• “Hitler would not be a household name if (government-issued) currency never existed … he used fiat currency to fund the blitzkrieg.”
• The World Economic Forum is comparable to “the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz.”
• “Central banking is an institution of slavery. Burn. It The. F***. Down.”

Were the Poilievres concerned with what they heard, post-bedtime? Nope. The Conservative leadership frontrunner told Breedlove he thinks his show — replete with Nazi and slavery analogies — is “extremely informative.”

It is “extremely informative,” although not in the way that Pierre Poilievre wants.

It is extremely nuts.


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Well, my candidate is very likely to go to bed contented tonight, especially after reading this.

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    Robert White says:

    The Fractional Reserve Central Banking System is essentially a glorified Ponzi scheme, and Poilievre is wholeheartedly correct to lambaste all that participate in that system due to the deficit spending they undergird via lower for longer lower bound benchmark Interest Rate environments.

    Post-Nixon’s closure of the gold window in 71 “we are all Keynesian now.” Poilievre is contemptuous of Keynesian deficit spending which is spendthrift drunken sailor behaviour run amok IMHO.

    Poilivere is the smartest shadow finance offering that the Cons have on their dashboard.

    There is no excuse for racism via the right-wing partisan zealots of American Finance, I agree.

    Not to be tolerated, I agree.


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    Sean says:

    I actually think PP is a pretty smart guy, with an incisive intellect. That’s why I don’t think he actually believes any of this crap. It’s more likely that he’s pretending to be into this stuff because he thinks it will sell easy memberships for high turnout instant conservative voters…. and he’s probably right about that.

    I also think none of this will hurt him in an election. It’s just too complicated to explain. Joe and Jane Frontporch don’t have the time or patience to care about what silly TV shows a candidate watches. The folks who would care would never vote for him anyways.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      I doubt he’s pretending. Look what it got O’Toole. Sure, he’s the frontrunner but to what extent, no one really knows. Frankly, he has to be as solid as Mount Rushmore to effectively counter his antics during his earlier incarnation. Yes, he’s grown and evolved into a serious and credible character but will that be enough to get over the top? Depends. Charest will make an informal alliance with anyone and everyone whose got a pulse and that where the ballot danger lies. Poilièvre needs a strong number one and two showing. Not convinced yet that he’s got THAT in the bag just yet.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Put more briefly: watch Leslyn and see what she and her people do on their ballots.

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    Derek Pearce says:

    If (god forbid) he became Conservative leader, how on earth does he walk back all the craziness in a general election?

    Also, re your Kinsellacast below, when you guys say “people are divided,” “people are angry” etc what you mean is that CONSERVATIVES feel there’s division and CONSERVATIVES feel angry. The majority of Canadians are yawning at this agreement.
    Now then, if Canadians punish the Liberals and they lose the next election, that’ll be because Trudeau didn’t leave fast enough and that’s on him, not this arrangement.
    Lastly, boy it’s a bit of a jolt to think that the planes we’re flying now are the exact same ones that we flew over Kosovo. Yikes.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      And now the intellectual genius wants to move to maintenance plagued you know what. Isn’t it enough that the Danes and Australians are stuck with permanent defence heartburn because of this defence absurdity?

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    Pedant says:

    Since when are central banks immune to criticism?

    As you correctly state, this is an unelected body that wields extraordinary power over the daily lives of Canadians. For the past year the Bank of Canada has been grossly negligent, ignoring its duty to keep inflation low. This was following a money printing mania which saw 40% of all currency units in existence conjured out of thin air in the span of a year.

    The result of these negligent policies has been to make the rich richer and crush the working class. Why are politicians not allowed to criticize this? Tiff Macklem is not God.

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      Pedant says:

      Another point – the Bank of Canada’s 5-year mandate on monetary policy is jointly decided by the BoC and the government. It is simply false to say the government has zero oversight on the Bank of Canada’s actions.

      Moreover, the Bank of Canada is supposed to act in the interests of the Canadian people. When it fails to do so, it is up to elected representatives to rein in this unelected yet massively powerful body.

      Warren is correct that the BoC’s main job is to stabilize prices. Would anyone argue that they’ve been successful in doing so? Even if you discount the current food price inflation to bottlenecks and Russian and Ukrainian agriculture going offline (ditto Russian oil), you certainly can’t say the same for home prices which have doubled since the Worst Government Ever took power in 2015.

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        The Doctor says:

        Fair enough, but I think it’s awfully reductionist to single out the BOC for what’s happened to home prices. Certainly interest rates have played a role (duh). But there’s a lot more going on than that.

        Fact is, no politician has the balls to actually go after all of the things fueling high home prices, such as:

        — ban foreign ownership outright (a number of other jurisdictions have done this)
        — get rid of the massive tax breaks and incentives that fuel home ownership relative to renting
        — create actual disincentives to home flipping and have CRA aggressively audit people who are abusing the system (e.g., by fraudulently claiming the principal residence exemption)

        Plus there’s the fact that politicians get donations from market participants who benefit massively from this bubble.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Come on Pedant, you know it’s a fact that a quite deliberate Chinese wall exists between central banks and our so-called governments. That gives governments all the cover they need. Remember how it inevitably goes, gee whiz, it’s not our fault, the central bank is solely responsible in fact for monetary policy. Governments always cave like a deck of cards in a brisk wind and people actually buy that bullshit…

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    Doug says:

    He does have a point that allowing the central bank to.be a net buyer government debt presents moral hazard. Of course he hasn’t explained why. The central bank’s only bjective should be to maintain low ination. It should never feel obligated to protect governments from the bond market.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Well, at least in the States, they’re supposed to control inflation and reduce unemployment. Right, a grade of double zero on both counts.

      Meanwhile, they’re all in the markets profiting from their own policy decisions and surprise, surprise, none of them ever hit the slammer. How shocked, shocked, shocked, I am! Signé, Capitaine Renaud.

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    Robert White says:

    Historical racism on Wall Street reported by Wall Street on Parade-WSP.

    If you want to understand Wall Street read Wall Street on Parade-WSP.



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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    The United States Congress, Senate and House are long ago bought and paid for. Next.

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    whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

    Central Banks are not independent. Trudeau and Freeland delivered a new mandate for the Bank of Canada just a few months ago, the gist of which is to be less concerned about inflation, weakening the target for 2% inflation, to make central banking responsive to progressive policies.

    In 2018, a mere year before the 2019 federal election, the Bank of Canada began purchasing mortgage bonds for their balance sheet in the normal course of business (outside of a severe economic crisis/emergency), instead of just government bonds. This flood of central bank liquidity into the housing market initiated the current housing bubble.

    The half trillion in QE initiated by the Bank of Canada to monetize Trudeau’s pandemic programs is another of the major causes of the current inflation program. If one wants to take credit for the programs, and argue that they were necessary, one also has to take the blame for the massive inflationary impulse those programs created, by the Bank of Canada facilitating the huge pandemic spending programs with QE.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      I’m inclined to accept your view as it relates to the BOC.

      However, to suggest that POTUS or Congress for that matter has any meaningful influence on Fed policy is pure fantasy. Obama, Trump and Biden each had zero percent influence on either Fed policy or Fed action.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Historically, The Federal Reserve is only consistently “good” at three things: inverting the yield curve by raising rates, creating a recession and finally sinking capital markets by provoking that recession. They are idiots who created massive inflation via the digitization of money creation and they are entirely clueless how to get said inflation under control.

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    PJH says:

    I’m just hoping DoubleP keeps spouting craziness til the wheels fall off his and his co-loonies juggernaut….Til then, the best I can hope for is that his devotees throw themselves under the wheels in acts of ultimate fidelity…..

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    Phil in London says:

    Myself I am far less concerned about his comments on the central bank than on the company he is keeping.

    If the man is appearing on a trash talk show with a nutbar, (I never heard of this Breedlove dude till this article so my judgement is limited to what I read here) it is at the very least poor vetting and a strong indication of poor leadership qualities. It seems to me we already have a prime minister that is capable of that.

    It is that he shares an audience with Breedlove types that should disqualify him from being a critic of the central bank, which if totally apolitical why is Mark Carney now so cosy with the Liberal party?

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    R. Marut says:

    “…interest rates, which is basically setting the cost of money”

    Interest rates are the market adjustment to originary interest. Originary interest is the discount of future goods against present goods. Or to solve the reciprocal, the premium of present goods against future goods.
    Current market prices are the exchange rate between different goods at the same moment of time. Interest–originary interest, not interest rates–is the exchange rate between identical goods at different times. The exact complement to current real prices.
    Interest has absolutely nothing to do with the “price of money”, the “cost of borrowing”, the “rent for cash” or similar crap.
    Repeatedly including the term “interest rates” in one’s conversation is a scarlet letter of economic illiteracy, verging on the Trudeauesque. Originary interest is the key concept.
    The BOC’s perennial neo-stalinist lunacy of dictating “raising” rates to “fight inflation” or “lowering” rates to “stimulate the economy” are clear indications that the established Keynesian/macroeconomic supervisors of the intermediate commodity (also known as “money”) are complete frauds, ignoramuses, dilettantes, improvisers, pie-in-sky theorists, and insane.

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