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Recession in Canada

A recession is a temporary period of time when the overall economy declines; it is an expected part of the business cycle. This period usually includes declines in industrial and agricultural production, trade, incomes, stock markets, consumer spending, and levels of employment. In purely technical terms, a recession occurs when two or more successive quarters (six months) show a drop in real gross domestic product (GDP), i.e., the measure of total economic output in the economy after accounting for inflation. In this sense, recessions are broad and can be particularly painful and challenging times for a country.

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Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial, based in Toronto, is one of Canada’s largest insurance companies. It has operations located around the world and offers insurance and other investment products to individuals and corporate clients. Total assets of the company have grown from $74 million in 1915, to $55.8 billion in 2000 and $271.8 billion in 2018. Its shares trade on the Toronto, New York and Philippines stock markets.

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Recession of 2008–09 in Canada

The global financial crisis that began in 2007 dragged much of the world economy into recession, and Canada was not spared. Although the effects on Canada were milder than on the United States and in Europe, the Canadian recession of 2008–09 was still severe enough to generate sharp declines in output and employment and to require significant responses by Canadian policy-makers.

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Stephen Smith

Stephen J. R. Smith, financial services entrepreneur, civic leader, philanthropist (born 2 June 1951 in Ottawa, ON). Stephen Smith is a successful entrepreneur in the financial services industry. He is co-founder, chairman, president and CEO of First National Financial LP, Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender, as well as chairman and co-owner of the Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company, Canada’s third largest mortgage insurance provider. He is also involved in the administration of cultural organizations such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Rideau Hall Foundation and Historica Canada — publisher of The Canadian Encyclopedia — where he has been chair of the board of directors since 2009. The business school at his alma mater, Queen’s University, was named in his honour after his record $50 million gift to the university in 2015. He is a Companion of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame (2019). A licensed pilot, he is renowned among friends and associates for his daredevil approach to his favourite sports, which include heli-skiing and long-distance cycling. As Charles Brindamour, president and chief executive officer of Intact Financial Corp. has said, “Stephen is a force of nature.”

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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.)

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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.)

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Assets in Canada

An asset is a useful and desirable thing or quality. The word is most often used in business, financial or accounting contexts. Canada has some of the world’s most impressive physical and natural resources. These resources may be viewed as “national assets.” The concept is also useful in personal finance, as housing is most Canadian families’ largest asset.