Tuesday, March 31, 2009

After G20, it's on to the P10 (provinces, that is)

OTTAWA — For Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, this week's Group of 20 summit in London brings with it the prospect of months of federal-provincial squabbling and bureaucratic turf wars once he returns home.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his counterparts in the G20, a collection of the word's most important economies, want to shine a floodlight on the financial system to avoid another U.S. subprime mortgage crisis from emerging out of a dark corner.

The problem in Canada and other countries is that their regulatory regimes currently seek to get by with flashlights, leaving a lot of shadows where the beams fail to merge.

Lighting the shadows will take some work in Canada, where supervision of banks, credit unions, insurance companies, capital and housing markets, and pension funds is split between various federal and provincial bodies.

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