There’s a good Op-Ed Contribution (The Great Solvent North) in the NYTimes.com by Theresa Tedesco, the chief business correspondent for The National Post (a Canadian newspaper) in which Canadian banks are being praised for their conservative and disciplined nature., among other things. They do deserve praise for this.
However, this man should also be praised. Praised for such things as keeping the Canadian banks in check when they were wanting to merge in the 1990s. I remember at the time that Canadian banks and their supporters were bemoaning that if they didn’t merge, they wouldn’t matter any more on the world banking stage. It was people like Martin who saw the risks there, and at one time, when the banks tried to do an end run around him, he slapped them down.
Now the banks are being heaped with praise. Yet if it weren’t for Martin, they might be in the same predicament that some of the other big banks they want to catch up to are now in. (Ironically, due to the decimation of the U.S. banking system, Canadian banks are now much bigger these days in comparison.) So, praise to the banks and the Canadian banking system, but praise also to the regulators and leaders like Martin who also played a big role.
There is a great Toronto Star article on Martin and what he accomplished here. It is well worth a read.