Category Archives: Financial Institutions

Economy vs. Environment

Originally posted 18 December 2017

Several articles, studies, and announcements over the past weeks suggest that the “international movement” seeking to “manage” the risks of global warming are gaining ascendance. More recently, the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim,  announced his institution was re-assessing the risks of fossil-fuel developments.

World Bank announcement at One Planet Summit

World Bank to stop lending for oil and gas projects13-12-17 GM 


  • World Bank move
  • China’s Three Gorges floating solar panels
  • Alberta renewable auction
  • Moody’s analysis
  • Analysis/Opinion Continue reading

Flying under the Radar- Opinion and Analysis

Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB Financial) released its financial statements on 24 May corresponding with its Annual Public Meeting in Calgary. Uncharacteristically for the media-savvy provincial agency, it did not receive any major media mentions in spite of higher than anticipated net income ($150 million) compared to the projection released in last April’s provincial budget of $27 million. Still, there were several aspects in the report that bear further scrutiny.

ATB Financial president Mowat stepping down30-1-18 EJ

Mowat to retire as ATB CEO30-1-18 GM Continue reading


Originally posted 29 June 2016

Business Lending 1981-2016

The chart below shows the ebb and flow of bank lending in Alberta since the fourth quarter of 1981. The 1980s witnessed a significant decline in business lending due to the decline of oil prices.  Increased lending did not resume until 1995 and even then growth did not take off until 2004.  This rapid spurt of lending finished in 2008 with the financial crisis, then soon resumed with a vengeance until slowing in 2015. Continue reading

Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB Financial)

2016-17 First Quarter Financial Results

Originally posted 28 June 2016

Given the dreary news coming out of the commercial real estate market in Alberta this week, ATB’s earnings were a surprise on the upside. ATB earned $25 million which represented  nearly Budget 2016’s full year estimate of earnings ($27 million) predicted on April 14th. The optimistic news in ATB’s first quarter report contrasts starkly with news from commercial real estate REIT, Dream Office, that wrote down 45 per cent of its Alberta office portfolio. [See Commercial Real Estate for more details.] Continue reading