Changing of the guard at Bank of Canada adds to COVID-19 uncertainty: Don Pittis

Tiff Macklem, who many saw as heir apparent back when he was the Bank of Canada’s senior deputy governor, pictured in 2014 with Stephen Poloz, who got the governor job in 2013. Now in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s Macklem’s turn as head of the central bank.
Chris Wattie/Reuters

Date of Publication: June 1, 2020

Source: CBC

Newly appointed Governor Tiff Macklem is set to replace Stephen Poloz on Wednesday as the central bank governor, causing economic uncertainty in the unprecedented era of COVID-19. Stephen Poloz, who was appointed 7 years ago, excelled at his role as he rode the shockwaves from the 2008 financial crisis cushioning the economy, albeit cutting rates too aggressively in 2015 in response to the oil crisis. Joe Martin, director of Canadian Business History at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, says that although Macklem was at the Bank of Canada during 2008, he is untested. In addition, Macklem’s climate change-fighting stance, independence from Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and the uncertainty of the Canadian economy could lead to trouble. His term will be further complicated by the impending U.S. elections and the deflation spiral that has begun in the first quarter of 2020.

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Summary by: Mark Youssef