OSFI: The Lasting Impact of the Crisis on the Global Financial System, by Julie Dickson

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September 26, 2011, Toronto, ON, to the Economic Club of Canada — Good morning. I have been seeking a narrative to help describe the global financial crisis that began four years ago and is still being felt: from how these events are changing the way we look at the financial system worldwide, to approaches to help us better anticipate and moderate the impact of future crises.

It occurred to me that there are several striking parallels between financial markets and the controversy surrounding concussions in sports. I would not describe myself as a sports fan, but sometimes I catch what is going on before I have time to change the channel! And a topic that I have heard a lot about over the past several months is concussions.

What are the parallels between the financial crisis and concussions? I have noticed striking similarities in their vocabularies. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a concussion is “a stunning, damaging, or shattering effect from a hard blow, especially: a jarring injury of the brain resulting in disturbance of cerebral function.” The Mayo Clinic adds that, “effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination.”

Another parallel is that concussions and financial crises are serious events. Recovery is slow and uneven. Over time, we are learning just how very complex and severe both phenomena can be, and both have lingering effects. In my remarks today,

  • I will begin with a brief review of the financial crisis and its impact. Then,
  • I will discuss three topical issues: consumer debt, systemically important financial institutions (often referred to as SIFIs,) and the importance of supervisory oversight. Finally,
  • I will say a few words about the risks of complacency.

Read the complete remarks here

About OSFI

OSFI is an independent agency of the Government of Canada. It reports to the Minister of Finance. For more information visit www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca.