Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?

Countries as disparate as Ireland, Iceland and Greece showed that misplaced financial exuberance has many pedigrees

Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?We were on a train from London to Edinburgh when the financial crisis erupted in September 2008. The newspaper headlines were downright lurid and the detailed stories provided little comfort. A financial catastrophe was about to descend on all of us. As relatively recent retirees, we felt particularly vulnerable. There’d be no time or opportunity…

Does reading financial statements scare you?

Knowing how to read your monthly report card is essential for keeping your business profitable

Does reading financial statements scare you?My brothers and I would sometimes get into trouble, both at school and at home. Though we generally had good grades, my mother would always make a point of reading our report cards as soon as we brought them home. Walking home from school on that warm day in June, when I was in Grade…

BMO launches loan program to help young farmers

‘We see a need for programs and incentives to attract and support younger Canadians into the sector’

BMO launches loan program to help young farmersBMO Bank of Montreal has introduce a new loan program to support young Canadians in agriculture. BMO says the program is a first for a Canadian chartered bank. The bank said the BMO Young Farmer Program offers loans of up to $1 million in an environment where the total number of farm operators in the…

Empowering, advancing female leaders in the energy industry

Katie Smith of Young Women in Energy aims to increase and provide female voice, presence, development and leadership in the industry

Empowering, advancing female leaders in the energy industryKatie Smith is executive director at Young Women in Energy. Calgary’s Business: What is Young Women in Energy and can you give us some background on why and when it was formed? Smith: Young Women in Energy (YWE) is a non-profit organization established in 2013 with the vision of changing the face of energy. Now…

The upcoming human capital revolution

Despite fears about artificial intelligence taking jobs, people, ideas and innovation will grow in importance as the century unfolds

The upcoming human capital revolutionThe 21st century is going to be very different. If you're in business, a knowledgeable and skilled workforce will be essential. Despite the fears about artificial intelligence taking jobs, people, ideas and innovation are becoming more important as the century advances, not less. It’s now obvious that we live in a largely digital, technology-driven knowledge…

Canada needs a bold response to U.S. business tax cuts

Reducing corporate taxes doesn’t distort economic decisions or add complexity to the tax system. It does spur the economy

Canada needs a bold response to U.S. business tax cutsBy Charles Lammam and Brennan Sorge The Fraser Institute According to a recent statement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the fall federal budget update will finally outline the government’s response to major business tax changes by the Trump administration in the United States. Unfortunately, Ottawa took a long time to even acknowledge we have a…

Banking on intangible assets to build your business

Recognizing and capitalizing intangibles is the key to opening new financing opportunities for SMEs

Banking on intangible assets to build your businessIt’s commonly accepted that banks can’t finance small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) these days. Many SMEs lack the traditional collateral grade assets and/or reliable cash flow that banks need to write a commercial loan or extend a working line of credit. Regrettably, lack of bank financing forces many emerging companies to turn to alternative capital…

How Facebook failed its users and its shareholders

Corporate reputations are valuable assets that, in the socially-connected world, need serious risk management strategies

How Facebook failed its users and its shareholdersNothing in modern business history illustrates the importance of relational capital – or the vulnerability of corporate reputations generally – as the recent collapse in the Facebook share price. In a single day, Facebook (FB) lost nearly US$120 billion of market capitalization. This represents the biggest one-day fall of a major public company in history.…

Are your new leaders headed in the right direction?

Launching a leadership career should not resemble a game of pin the tail on the donkey. But too often we fail to provide the support to gain needed skills

Are your new leaders headed in the right direction?I was blindfolded and had been spinning for what seemed like minutes (it was only a few seconds), before being pushed toward the donkey. I was dizzy and had no idea where I was. I wanted to cheat so I could have a chance at winning but the blindfold was too tight. In the end,…

We need to start putting a value on intangible assets

The new economy relies on outputs like software, social media networks and apps. But very few of these new intangible value drivers fit into the existing accounting framework

We need to start putting a value on intangible assetsIf you're in business today, you no doubt face a conundrum: the financial statements of your company tell you that certain physical objects are the principal assets of your business but, sadly, that's not what the market or your gut tell you. Business increasingly relies on non-traditional sources of value. For example, most software companies…

BDC broadens support for entrepreneurs

The development bank is deploying $700 million to increase financing for the most promising Canadian clean-tech firms

BDC broadens support for entrepreneursA record 56,000 entrepreneurs receive support from the Business Development Bank of Canada, a 14 per cent increase from last year, according to the BDC’s 2017-2018 annual report released on Thursday. “The ambition, agility and creativity of entrepreneurs inspires us to go further, faster – because when entrepreneurs succeed, Canada succeeds. We not only boosted…

Soup’s on: major upheaval awaits the food industry

Kraft Heinz may not get its hands on Campbell Soup, but the industry still faces major consolidation and widespread change

Soup’s on: major upheaval awaits the food industryCampbell Soup Co. stocks soared after news suggesting the company could be bought by Kraft Heinz Co., one of 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s pet projects in the food sector. Even though the deal is highly unlikely, the rumours point to a much larger story in food processing. Since 2013, the acquire-and-cut modus operandi has…

It’s halftime! Are you winning?

Most small business leaders have no defined goals, they’re unsure what to keep track of and they’re floating from year to year

It’s halftime! Are you winning?“How do we win?” I asked. “We need to score baskets,” they answered. “How do we score baskets?” Donncha asked. “We need to pass and we need to shoot,” they answered. Our questions went on and on. The scoreboard told the story. It was halftime and our team was down by six points. The girls…

The decline … and fall … of Tim Hortons

How an iconic brand lost its Canadian identity and why its corporate masters probably don't care

The decline … and fall … of Tim HortonsThe bad news keeps piling up for Tim Hortons. Leger and National Public Relations recently released their annual report ranking Canada’s most admired companies. Google and Shoppers Drug Mart topped the rankings of most respected companies, regardless of where the company resides. Google has been No. 1 for six years. Kellogg’s, in eighth place, is…

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weak

The venture capitalist is actually looking for a the reason not to invest in your company

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weakIt is an industry accepted standard that venture capitalists will fund one of 100 deals. Some entrepreneurs will not be given more than a few minutes to pitch, others will get a longer meeting, while a lucky few will move into a process of successive interviews and discussions. But, in the end, only one deal…
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