Financial misdeeds paid for by poor: Carney

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada addresses the Canadian Club of Ontario at the...

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada addresses the Canadian Club of Ontario at the Sheraton Centre. Carney received the Canadian of the Year Award. (Ernest Doroszuk /QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 9:46 PM ET

The poor and the unemployed have paid a disproportionately high price for the failings of the financial world, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney says.


“In Canada, incomes for the top 10% have increased about twice the rate as incomes for the lowest 10,” Carney said, during a speech Tuesday at the Canadian Club of Toronto where he was named Canadian of the Year.

“In every other aspect of human endeavour, men and women strive to learn and improve. Financial services should be no different,” he said. “First and foremost in those reforms, we need to deal with once and for all the unfairness of a system that privatizes gains and socializes losses.”

There’s an agreement on both sides that the “too big to fail” policy — one that fed public dollars into large failing private enterprises — needs to end, he said.

The reform process undertaken through the G20 will focus on rebalancing the relationship between governments and markets, he said.

“We all know that stagnation occurs when governments dominate markets,” he said. “But it’s also true, as we’ve just learned, that sooner or later disasters come if markets dominate, absolutely dominate governments.”

Too many governments were captured by the “myth” that finance is self regulating and can correct itself spontaneously, a belief exploded by the recent crisis, he said.

Prevention of a recurrence will require global policies, not just national strategies, Carney said.