Archive for August, 2016

Grazing at the public trough

August 25, 2016

Making life easy and rewarding for servants of the people remains with us, although social media may today make it more embarrassing for MPs and government appointees. In February 1960, the board of directors of the Bank of Canada unanimously decided to increase the pension of the Governor of the Bank, James Coyne, from $12K to $25K. His salary at the time was $50K, or around $400K in today’s dollars. At the time, the Governor was in a controversy over monetary policy with the Conservative government headed by John Diefenbaker with Donald Fleming as Finance Minister. Coyne resigned at the time the pension decision was made. He died in 2012, age 102.

I have been unable so far to find on the web the names of the board members at the time, but this should be possible. They apparently had no difficulty in providing what some might consider a generous settlement out of public funds. Scott Gordon, then professor of Economics at Carleton, lead the criticism of a number of Canadian economists of the Governor’s monetary policy decisions which lead to his resignation.