The bank rate is the minimum interest rate charged by the Bank of Canada in its role as lender of last resort on short-term loans to the chartered banks and other members of the Canadian Payments Association that maintain deposits with the Bank, as well as to investment dealers.
Bonds in Canada
A bond is a tool that businesses, governments and other organizations use to borrow money. More specifically, it is a loan agreement through which the bond issuer (the borrower) agrees to pay the lender a specified amount by a certain date. Bond agreements generally also include interest payments. While the borrower usually pays the lender interest on the loan, bonds sometimes have negative interest, meaning the lender pays interest to hold the bond. Bonds and debt financing are important tools for funding large infrastructure projects and wars. (See Canada Savings Bonds; Victory Loans.)
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
The Canadian dollar, also known as the loonie, for the loon on the $1 coin, is the currency of Canada. Its international currency code is CAD and its symbol $, or C$, to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. As money, it is the measure of value in which all prices in Canada are expressed and the medium of exchange for goods and services. It is divided into 100 cents (¢) and available in material form as coins circulated by the Royal Canadian Mint and banknotes circulated by the Bank of Canada.
Capital in Canada
In economics, capital traditionally refers to the wealth owned or employed by an individual or a business. This wealth can exist in the form of money or property. Definitions of capital are constantly evolving, however. For example, in some contexts it is synonymous with equity. Social capital can refer to positive outcomes of interactions between people or to the effective functioning of groups. Human capital refers to people’s experience, skills and education, viewed as an economic resource.
Capitalism in Canada
Capitalism is an economic system in which private owners control a country’s trade and business sector for their personal profit. It contrasts with communism, in which property effectively belongs to the state (see also Marxism). Canada has a “mixed” economy, positioned between these extremes. The three levels of government decide how to allocate much of the country’s wealth through taxing and spending.
Coins and Tokens
Coins are issued by governments for use as money. A quantity of coins issued at one time, or a series of coins issued under one authority, is called a coinage. Tokens are issued as a substitute for coinage, usually by private individuals or organizations such as merchants and banks. Canada’s complex political history has meant that Canadian numismatists have an astonishing variety of coins, coinages and tokens to collect and study.
Canadian consumers obtain consumer credit whenever they purchase goods or services on account, or whenever they borrow funds to finance purchases already made. The most common type of consumer credit arrangements involve cash loans, usually to finance retail purchases on instalments.
SOME COUNTERFEIT MONEY is easy to spot. A veteran RCMP officer recalls once seeing a particularly lame bill photocopied in black and white, then coloured in with crayons.
A credit card is a card authorizing the holder to make purchases on credit. Credit cards are issued by financial institutions and non-financial businesses (eg, department stores, gasoline companies).
Debate Over Common Canadian/US Dollar
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on July 5, 1999. Partner content is not updated.There was a time when it was one of those textbook facts drummed into the heads of schoolchildren, never to slip the mind: Canada and the United States share the longest undefended border in the world.
Debt in Canada
A debt is something that one owes to another. While debt can take many forms, the term usually refers to money owed. In a Canadian context, debts have become an increasing concern during the past three decades. According to Statistics Canada, at the end of the first quarter of 2019, Canadian businesses, governments and households owed about $6.4 trillion in debts. That works out to roughly $170,000 per person. (See also Public Debt.)
In Quebec, they call it referendum fever. And of all those who fell into its grip last week, perhaps no one was more surprised than René Lepage, director of the community health clinic in the lower St. Lawrence River town of Matane.
Equity in Canada
Equity is the monetary value of a business or property, beyond any liens or related debts. The term generally refers to “shareholders’ equity.” Shareholders’ equity is an ideal figure that stands for the amount of money that shareholders would get if the company liquidated its assets and paid its debts. In informal usage, the term equities has evolved to mean publicly traded stocks.
Financial Bubbles in Canada
In economics, a bubble refers to a rapid rise in asset prices, to the point that they become disconnected from the fundamental value of the underlying asset. A change in investor behaviour is the most common cause of a bubble. When many investors rush to invest in a new technology or take advantage of low interest rates, for example, the increased demand for the asset can raise the price far above its real worth.
Financial Services in Canada
Financial services, as the name implies, are finance-related services that businesses provide to clients. In a Canadian context, the best example relates to the country’s large banks. The World Economic Forum ranked Canada’s large banks as the safest on the planet following the 2008 financial crisis.
Fuss Over Ontario Salaries
The meeting of hospital administrators last week in Toronto was overshadowed by a very personal issue: the participants' salaries.
The gold standard is a monetary system in which the value of the currency unit (the Canadian dollar, for example) is defined in relation to the value of gold.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the value of all final goods and services produced within a country by all factors of production, regardless of their ownership, usually during one year. Statistics Canada switched to GDP in their calculations of national production in 1986 to facilitate comparisons with other international statistics as most other countries used GDP. Despite its limitations, GDP is considered the best and most concise overall measure of economic performance. It is often used to calculate changes in a country’s standard of living. The growth of inflation-adjusted GDP (known as real GDP) is an important economic performance indicator. The tracking of GDP over time is used as evidence of business cycle performance, as traditionally two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth are referred to as a recession. As well, the distinction is often made between the growth of total real GDP (known as extensive growth) and the growth of real GDP per person (intensive growth), with intensive growth often used as an indicator of welfare per person in an economy.
Interest Rates in Canada
Interest is the price charged to borrow money. Expressed as a rate, interest is a percentage of the amount of money borrowed (the principal amount) that is to be paid for an agreed period of time. Interest can be paid by a borrower to a lender (e.g., to a bank), but it can also be paid by a bank to individuals whose money the bank uses to lend money to other borrowers. In Canada, interest rates are determined by the policy of the Bank of Canada, the demand for loans, the supply of available lending capital, interest rates in the United States, inflation rates and other economic factors. The Bank of Canada helps the Canadian government manage the economy by setting the bank rate and controlling the money supply.