The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that the Bank of Canada posted a $522-million third quarter loss on Tuesday, the first time it has lost money in its 87-year history.
The Globe's Mark Rendell writes that the BOC has been caught in an unprofitable bind in recent months, as its dash to increase interest rates to fight inflation has created a mismatch between assets and liabilities on its enlarged balance sheet.
It is now paying out a higher interest rate on about $200-billion worth of commercial bank deposits at the central bank than it is earning in interest on bonds that it owns. This led to a net-interest revenue loss of $350-million in the third quarter, down from $814-million net interest revenue the previous quarter. Governor Tiff Macklem told the parliamentary finance committee last week: "The losses do not affect our ability to conduct monetary policy. I would also stress that our policy decisions are driven by our price and financial stability mandates. We do not make policy to maximize our income." Mr. Rendell says the losses may not impact the bank's ability to set interest rates, but they do create a political headache for both the central bank and the federal government.
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