101 Week Guide & Directorship Applications

Apply to be a 101 Week guide!

Interested in meeting new people, going to cool events, and showing first years how awesome Econ is? Apply to be a 101 week guide! Applications will be accepted until April 22:

Click here for the application form

ESA Directorship Applications

There’s another way to get involved with Econ! Apply for Econ directorship positions! These are positions on the Econ Exec, and you get to help make decisions throughout the year. We’re looking for a Director of IT and a Director of Promotions. For more information, read the application form. The last day to apply is April 22!

Click here for the Directorship application form

Study and Pizza

Exam cramming is always better with friends, and Econ is here to help! Come study together and get free pizza 💯

Where: FSS 1030
When: Sunday April 9th, 11:00 to 4:00
Drop in as you like!


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Candidates Debate

 Here is your chance to meet the candidates for next year’s ESA Executive team! There will be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about platforms and plans.

The candidates debate will be held Thursday March 16 from 9-10pm in the FSS Collegium.

List of candidates and their platforms:


VP Finance (3)

VP INTERNAL AFFAIRS//VP aux affaires internes (2)

VP SOCIAL AFFAIRS//VP aux affaires sociales (1)

VP Academic Affairs//VP aux affaires académiques (1)
Michael DiLOSA


Elizabeth HOLJEVAC

VP Philanthropy (1)

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Become an ESA Peer Mentor

Apply here: www.goo.gl/insCa3

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Luncheon for New Graduates

The Department of Economics of the University of Ottawa is proud to invite alumni, students and professors to the annual Luncheon for New Graduates. Join us on March 31, 2017 to celebrate the Department of Economics’ newest graduates while enjoying a delicious lunch and listening to a short talk by guest speaker Dr. Aldo RustichiniThis event is organized as part of the Canada and the World Economy Lecture Series. 
I do hope that you can join us! Please register as soon as possible. Space is very limited. Tickets are only $10 for a delicious three course meal and the opportunity to meet  our special guest Dr. Aldo Rustichini.

Lunch-Hour Lecture with Dr. Aldo Rustichini, Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota

Friday, March 31, 2017, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Desmarais building, room 4101, University of Ottawa

55, Laurier Avenue East

I hope you can join me in celebrating our new graduates!

Other news:

The Economics departments of uOttawa and Carleton University recently decided to establish the Ottawa Carleton Graduate School of Economics, and are celebrating the establishment of the School with a conference on March 24-25.  Amongst the distinguished speakers are David Card (labour economics, University of Berkeley) and John List (introduction of experiments to economics methodology, University of Chicago), who are both widely expected to be future winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics.  The conference will take place on the uOttawa campus on the 24th, and at Carleton on the 25th.  If you wish to participate, you can register at https://socialsciences.uottawa.ca/economics/about-department/ocgse/inaugural-conference.  Following the scientific events on the 24th, there will be a special Convocation Ceremony at which a doctorat honoris causa will be awarded to Card and List, and this will be followed by a reception.

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Run in the ESA Elections

Are you an economics student who is enthusiastic, motivated, and dedicated to making your campus a better place? The ESA needs people like you to represent students, build community, and to keep Econ as the best program on campus! Run in the 2017 ESA elections and make all your campus dreams reality.

Continue reading “Run in the ESA Elections” »

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Econ Week is here!!!

We have speakers, we have social events, we have wine and cheese night with the profs! Everything is FREE and this is a fantastic opportunity to network with your classmates, professors, and even employers in your field.


Scholarship Update
The recipients of our newly-minted Economics Student Association Scholarship will be announced at the Wine and Cheese event, from 5:30–8 p.m. on Friday, March 3rd, in FSS 4004. Business casual attire is suggested.

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Scotiabank/CFIB Internship in Public Policy and Entrepreneurship


The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has some compelling opportunities for summer interns in several of our offices right across the country. The selected candidates will work closely with CFIB staff to research and report on important topics that impact the small business community.

There are opportunities in:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia (deadline March 6, 2017)
  • Calgary, Alberta (deadline March 6, 2017)
  • Regina, Saskatchewan (deadline March 6, 2017)
  • Toronto, Ontario (deadline March 6, 2017)
  • Ottawa, Ontario (deadline March 6, 2017)P

Please refer to the website for more details.

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Coming soon: Econ Week!

Mark your calendars folks! The ESA’s annual Econ Week is approaching. It will take place from February 27-March 6. We’ll be announcing speakers and events soon so stay tuned. The most up to date news will be found on our Facebook page so make sure you’re following us!

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Economics Students Association Scholarships


*The deadline for applications has passed. Stay tuned for next year’s scholarships!*

The ESA is providing a new scholarship! Fill out the application form.

Application deadline: January 31, 2017
Number of scholarships: 4 (one scholarship for first year, second year, third year, and fourth year  [or more])
Value: $1000 (non renewable)

To qualify an applicant must satisfy all selection criteria:
• A University of Ottawa student (not an exchange student)
• In the economics program (minor, major, joint honours or specialization)
• Minimum CGPA of 6
• Demonstrate leadership in community involvement, volunteerism and/or work experience
• Financial need will be considered

Required documents:
• A 500-600 word essay explaining why this scholarship is important to the applicant and how the applicant will satisfy the eligibility criteria.
• Unofficial transcript (the latest official transcript will be requested if selected)
• Proof of community work (if selected)

You also have the option of including:
• A 250-word essay describing your family and personal life, for example your family’s employment or economic situation.
• A letter of recommendation from a professor/a member of the community (optional).
• Applications without ALL the required supporting documents will not be considered.

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Holiday Party ⛄️⛄️⛄️⛄️⛄️


Come join the ESA in our last event of the year!
It’s a potluck so bring your A-game (and please label your dishes if they contain allergens) ⭐️

Where: Café Alt (basement of Simard), 60 University Pvt
When: 7 December, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Dress: Semi-formal suggested

RSVP to our event on Facebook

There will be a photo booth, board games, and karaoke! All that’s missing is your beautiful faces and your delicious food!

Bring your instruments, we love a good jam! And feel free to bring your own dishes to reduce plastic waste and save the planet 🌍


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New York SOLD OUT!

new_york_city_viewWe have now sold all our tickets for the ESA New York trip. Those with a ticket will be contacted soon with more details. For now, like our Facebook page and follow the New York event

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The Chief Statistician of Canada Infographic Challenge


Statistics Canada is inviting all postsecondary students from the National Capital Region to create an original infographic featuring data produced by the agency. Teams can have a maximum of three participants. Your infographic can be on any topic of your choice, and you can use data from CANSIM (Statistics Canada’s key socioeconomic database), the Census Program or any other StatCan product. The winner will receive the Chief Statistician of Canada Infographic Award.

For more information, click the link

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ESA Hiking Trip!


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Speaker Series: Chief Statistician Anil Arora


Come see the Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada, Anil Arora speak at the university!

Be sure to register for this free event here.

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Une Soirée d’humour avec Reda Saoui

Come out for a night of comedy in French with Reda Saoui. Food and drinks are provided!This event is followed by the 70’s night at 1848.

When: Mar.31
Where: Cafe Alt
What time: 9-10pm

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70’s Night!

Boogie over to 1848 to celebrate the end of midterms at Econ’s 70’s themed party off. Catch you on the flip-side!

When: March 31st
Where: 1848
What time: 10pm

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Relay For Life

Do you want to make a difference while having fun? On March 4-5, 2016, ESA is participating in Relay for life! The event is taking place in Jock Turcot University Centre from 7pm to 7am. If you are interested in joining the ECON team, sign up here!
Relay for Life is an inspirational, non-competitive, 12-hour overnight fundraising event that brings you and the University of Ottawa community together to celebrate life and fight cancer. Teams of students will band together to fundraise together. They will also be participating in various activities and walking laps all night.

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Arrivederci (Social Science Ball)

Arrivederci means “we will see each other again” so come celebrate a wonderful year and many new and old friendships at the Social Science Ball on Sunday March 6th, 2016 from 6:00PM to 1:00AM.

Tickets are located within all social science offices, please head over to your own federated body office to receive your ticket today for $40! Your ticket includes an hor d’oeuvres hour, two free drinks, and a three-course meal with the possibility of winning some awesome door prizes!

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2016 Econ Week

The week you’ve all been waiting for is almost here! Get ready because this year’s Econ Week is going to be packed with exciting speakers, nightime events plus everyone’s fair share of “free” food. Oh yeah, and wine. Did we mention the wine?

Speaker Events

Jason Garred: How Economics Influences Policy Decisions, Monday February 29th, 11am-12pm, FSS 5028
Nik Nanos: On Methodology of Public Opinion Polling, Monday February 29th, 5-7pm, FSS 4006
Garima Vasishtha: The Importance of Canada’s Central Bank to the Canadian Economy and the Monetary Policy Report, Tuesday March 1st, 10-11am, FSS 4004
Matt Pfeffer, Statistician for Montreal Canadiens/Hockey Canada, Tuesday March 1st, 3-4pm, FSS 4006
Kevin Page: Is Your Economics Degree Worth It? , Wednesday March 2nd, 10-11am, FSS 4006
Abel Brodeur: The Economics of Sex, Wednesday March 2nd, 4-5pm, FSS 4006
David Gray: The Turbulent Macroeconomic Outlook, Thursday March 3rd, 4-5pm, FSS 4004
Jonathan D. Ostry, Deputy Director of the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund: Redistribution, Inequality and Growth, Friday March 4th, 11:30am-12:45pm, FSS 4007 (Grad Luncheon)

Social Events

Pancakes for Econ Week, Monday February 29th, 10am-12pm, Second Floor FSS
Night at the Loft, Tuesday March 1st, 6pm-10pm, The Loft
Econ Week Wine and Cheese, Wednesday March 2nd, 7pm-10pm, FSS 4004
Life Sized Monopoly, Thursday March 3rd, 5pm-7pm, Location TBD
Econ Week Coffee House, Friday March 4th, 6pm-10pm, Café Nostalgica
Sign up to perform Here

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ECON Goes to Monet

Come on out to the National Gallery with Econ to check out Monet’s exhibition! We’ll meet in FSS 2040 at 5:00pm and walk over to experience everything that is “A Bridge to Modernity”! http://www.gallery.ca/monet/en/index.htm

When: Feb.4,2016
What time: 5pm
Where: Meeting at FSS 2040 than walking over to the National Art Gallery


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#Econ Twin Day Contest

Get ready everyone, Econ’s Twin Day Social Media contest is underway! We know you’ve got finals to study for but if you take a break and enter in the contest you’ve got a chance to win a ton of prizes!

All you have to do to participate is post a picture on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #EconTwinDay before December 15th and and you’ll be entered in a draw to win $5 giftcards to STARBUCKS! So go find your twin (biological or otherwise), snap a picture and send it our way! This contest is open to all uOttawa students.

Happy Twinning ya’ll

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Study Sessions

Come study with us!

December 7th: FSS 2048 4:00-8:00pm
December 8th: FSS 2048 6:30-8:30pm

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Join the Rational Agents

Want to volunteer with the ESA? Fill out the form before October 20th to join the Rational Agents!

Rational Agents// Agents Rationaux

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Vote in the 2015 By-election

Voting for the ESA fall elections starts tomorrowCome fill out a ballot in the FSS lobby tomorrowTuesday September 29th, from 10am-7pm or in the ESA office (FSS 2040) on Wednesday September 30th from 10am-7pm

See you at the polls!

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Textbook Exchange

If you have left some textbook for us to sell, please come and pick them up from the ESA Office (FSS 2040).

Wanna make a few more bucks to lighten up your debt load? Come sell your textbook in FSS!
HOW: Bring your textbooks and put a post-it note with your CONTACT INFO and PRICE.
***The Fed bodies volunteers DO NOT DEAL WITH MONEY. Therefore all transactions are between you and the buyer.***

For more information, Click on this Link!

When: September 16-18
Where: FSS second floor
What Time: 10-3

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Junior Vice President Application

Hey first years! Want to get involved with the ESA? Fill out an application by clicking the link below!

Junior VP Positions

The positions available are as follows:
Junior Vice President of Academic Affairs (application and interview)
Junior Vice President of Philanthropic Affairs (application and interview)
Junior Vice President of Social Affairs (application and interview)


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Are you an economics student who is enthusiastic, motivated, and dedicated to making your campus a better place? The ESA needs people like you to represent students, build community, and to keep Econ as the best program on campus! Run in the 2015 ESA by-elections and make all your campus dreams reality. Pick up an election nomination form at the ESA office, FSS 2040.

Positions available:
-Vice-President of Social Affairs
Organizes, coordinates, and ensures promotion of the social events relevant to the ESA

Election Timeline:

September. 18- Election nomination form must be submitted before September 18, before 11 pm.
September.20- Mandatory all-candidates at 5:30pm.

For questions or comments please contact us at: president@ecouo.ca/ elections@ecouo.ca

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101 Week Schedule and Kit Sale Location

Come grab your 101 week kit west of the Morisset Library on the lawn, where the green triangle is on September 5/6:

101 Week location

Be sure to bring a government ID if you indicated that you were eighteen years old. If not, a student ID will suffice.

If you’ve yet to purchase your kit, fret not: we have more! Bring a 60$ in cash or check (for the Economics Students’ Association) and, again, bring an ID.

To see the schedule for the week, click Here!

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Support Shinerama

This year, the Economic Student Association is hosting an online fundraiser with the goal of raising $750 for Shinerama.

Shinerama is the largest post-secondary fundraiser to support cystic fibrosis. In Canada there are 60 universities raising funds to find a cure or control the disease. Cystic Fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting youths and young adults. This disease causes various effect ont he body but mostly affect the digestive system and lungs.

To help support this great cause, please click on this “Link” and donate.


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Bowling for Shinerama

The SSA and ESA present Bowling for Shinerama! It’s $10 a person for 2 games and rentals.

The Bowling alley is at McArthur Lanes you can either meet us there for 3pm or meet us on campus at 2:30pm and we will bus together.

Come and Support Shinerama!

When:July, 25
What Time: 3-5pm
Where:McArthur Lanes, 175 McArthur Ave

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ESA’s Sucker Run

Hey guys!

ESA will be having a sucker run for Shinerama this Saturday! All the money goes to help find a cure or a treatment for cystic fibrosis. The first one was a blast and the second one will definitely be a fun time as well!
To all of the ESA guides, the more events you come out to support, the greater choice you have in the events you go to during 101 weeks. Volunteer hours are also given to anyone else who comes out to support the cause.
See you there!

When: July 18th
Where: Byward Market
What Time: 9pm EST

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The Amazing Race: Shinerama Ottawa Edition

Do you want to compete in an exciting and challenging race around downtown Ottawa while raising money for Shinerama? Then participate in the Amazing Race: Shinerama Ottawa Edition presented by DSA – ESA.

Teams of two will compete to see who will be crowned the first Amazing Race Shine-nanigans. Registration is only $5 per person.Registration ends on June 22, 2015.

*PRIZE* There will be a free dinner for two at a local restaurant offered as well as a cash prize (depending on our numbers)

Come out on June 27 and support the cause!

Contact Leila Moumouni-Tchouassi or Na’Shantéa Miller via a facebook message to get started on the registration process. Message us with a team name and a team colour

Accessibility accommodations will be made available upon request, to the best of the ability of the DSA and the ESA
The DSA and the ESA acknowledge that this event takes place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory.

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Water Fight, Barbecue and Sucker Run// Bataille d’eau, barbecue et vente de bonbon


Come out and support the first ESA-IPPSSA Shinerama event of the year!

This event will be June 13th, at 4pm at the Strathcona Park.

We will be hosting a fun-packed afternoon with a water fight, a BBQ and a sucker run. All the money will be used to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

For the water fight, you can buy 5 water balloons for $1. Feel free to bring any buckets or water guns. After the water fight, we will be having a BBQ where you can get up to two burgers for $5.

Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes because after that we will be doing a sucker run to raise money for Shinerama!

Come and support the cause!

Check out the Facebook Event Link for more information!

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Out with the old….

It was a pleasure serving you! We couldn't have done it without you :)

It was a pleasure serving you! We couldn’t have done it without you 🙂

As midnight (0000) of May 1 approaches and the last minute of April 30th expires, the outgoing executives of the Economics Students Association would like to thank you for your support and and wonderful memories made together this year! We hope you all have a fantastic summer and wish you the best of luck in all your endeavours!

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ESA Elections 2015 Candidates

Here are the candidates running for the Economics Student Association’s
elections 2015-2016!


Selena Hofmann

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Katie Duffy

Ying Xue Xiang

Vice President of Bilingualism and Outreach

Hippolyte Gallot

Vice President of Communications

Samuel Amoah

Emma Sheppard

Vice President of Finance

Jim Ibrahimi

Vice President of Internal Affairs

Chandrika Ayyalasomayajula

Vice President Philanthropic

Na’Shantéa Miller

Roy Angelo Saavedra

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Econ Week 2015

[le français suit]

The Economics Student Association is proud to present a week of speakers, activities, meals, and appreciation of the most delightful of disciplines.

This year’s week features a huge range of events. From economics and democracy to overseas giving to happiness, the week features economic interpretations of topics in development, politics, philosophy, and more. Plus, fill your belly with food at every single event — we know how to provide incentives.

See below for the schedule, and welcome to the best week of the year!


L’Association des étudiants en science économique est fier de vous présenter une semaine d’invités, d’activités, de repas, et d’appréciation de la plus délicieuse des disciplines.

Cette année propose une gamme d’invités et des activités incroyables: de l’économie et son liens a la démocratie, à l’aide internationale au bonheur, cette semaine propose des interprétations économiques des sujets dans le développement, la politique, la philosophie, et plus encore.

Venez également déguster nos beaux mets à chaque événement – nous savons comment vous inciter a venir.
Voir ci-dessous pour l’horaire, et bienvenue à la meilleure semaine de l’année !


10:00 – 12:00 Pancake Breakfast (with profs!) / Pétit déjeuner de crêpes (avec les profs) –

14:30 – 16:00 DAVID GRAY – Macroeconomic Futures /  L’avenir de la macroéconomie

17:00 – 19:00 KEYNOTE PANEL: KEVIN PAGE & MATT BUFTON – Why do #IVote? / Pourquoi #JeVote?

12:00 – 13:00 ANDRÉ DOWNS – Canada’s Trade Policy / La politique du commerce au Canada

17:00 – 18:30 ANDREW SHARPE – The Economics of Happiness / L’économique du bonheur

16:30 – 17:30 ALL-CANDIDATES’ DEBATE /
DÉBAT DES CANDIDATS – ESA Elections / Élections de l’AÉSÉ

18:00 – 21:00 CATAN FEST – A “Settlers of Catan” Speed Tournament / Un tournoi rapide de « Les Colons de Catane »

13:00 – 14:30 ROSE ANNE DEVLIN – Charitable Donations Overseas / Les dons internationauxid G

19:00 – 22:00 ***WINE & CHEESE / VINS & FROMAGES***

11:00– 13:00 GRAD LUNCHEON / DÉJEUNER des NOUVEAUX DIPLÔMÉS – Registration in advance is required. / L’inscription en avance est requise. –https://alumni.uottawa.ca/lunch-hour-lecture-with-michael-keen

17:00 – 20:00 Uber Amazing Utility Maximizing COFFEE
HOUSE / SOIRÉE CAFÉ incroyable de la maximisation d’utilité

Please contact us at president@ecouo.ca to request any accommodations.
SVP contactez-nous au president@ecouo.ca pour faire une demande d’accommodation.

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Le formulaire de nomination est maintenant disponible pour télécharger || Nomination forms are now available for download

Download (PDF, 108KB)

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ESA Elections 2015 // Élections de l’AÉSÉ 2015

This is part one of two for your nomination to the executive of the Economics Student Association. Part two is a Signature Page, which you must print off and have signed by 10 undergraduate Economics students. The Signature Page is available at the ESA office (FSS 2040) or on the ESA website. The paper copy of your Signature Page must be submitted to the ESA office (FSS 2040) along with an online submission of this form by Sunday March 15th @ 11:59pm. There will be a mandatory all-candidates meeting on Monday, March 16th at 5:00 PM in FSS 4013.

If you have any questions regarding the electoral process, please contact the Chief Electoral Officer, Dennis Beeby, by email at ceo-dge@ecouo.ca.

Ceci est la première de deux parties pour votre candidature pour être un membre de l'exécutif de l'Association des Étudiants en Science Économique. La deuxième partie est une page de signature que vous devrez imprimer et obtenir 10 signatures d'étudiants de premier cycle en science économiques. La page de signature est disponible au bureau de l'AÉSÉ ou sur le site web de l'AÉSÉ. Une copie papier de cette page de signature doit être soumise au bureau de l'AÉSÉ (FSS 2040) et le formulaire électronique devra être rempli avant dimanche le 15 mars à 23h59.
Il y aura un rencontre obligatoire pour tous les candidats le lundi 16 mars à 17h00 à FSS 4013.

Si vous avez des questions à propos du processus électoral, prière de contacter le Directeur-général des élections, Dennis Beeby, par courriel à ceo-dge@ecouo.ca.

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Social Sciences Ball 2015 /// Bal des Sciences Sociales 2015

The Social Sciences Student Associations cordially invite you to…

The Palace of Versailles! ⚜

Please dress in your finest attire, and come ready to wine and dine with the classiest of uOttawa’s students.

Friday March 13th, 2015
6:45 pm departure from Campus
Tickets 40$ at any of your Social Sciences offices (TBD)

Facebook event link : https://www.facebook.com/events/646767145445760/

Les associations étudiantes de la Faculté des sciences sociales vous invitent cordialement au….

Château de Versailles! ⚜ 

Veuillez vous mettre sur votre 31 pour l’occasion et soyez prêts à un souper de roi avec les étudiants d’uOttawa avec le plus de classe.

Vendredi, le 13 mars 2015
18:45, départ du campus
Les billets sont 40$ et disponibles aux différents bureaux des associations étudiantes des science sociales.

Lien Facebook pour l’événement : https://www.facebook.com/events/646767145445760/

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The 2015 ESA General Assembly // L’Assemblée Générale de l’AÉSÉ de 2015

[le français suit]

Come one, come all to this annual gathering of the Economics Student Association! On this magical evening, we will be discussing ways to improve the structure and operation of the student association, and we’ll be formalizing those improvements through constitutional amendments.

The current constitution is available online here: http://ecouo.ca/our-constitution/

There will be ****FREE PIZZA**** (that’s right, we’re using your student funds to incentivize you to come!!!)

If possible, it is recommended that motions be submitted to president@ecouo.ca by the evening of Wednesday February 25th so that they can be translated and posted on the event page before the GA itself. If not, on-site translation of motions will be provided. Please feel free to contact president@ecouo.ca for assistance in the formulation of motions.

Accommodations, including dietary accommodations, are available on request.

Venez tout le monde à la réunion annuelle de l’Association des Étudiant(e)s en Science Économique! Pendant cette soirée magique, nous allons discuter des moyens d’améliorer la structure et le fonctionnement de l’association étudiante, et nous allons officialiser ces améliorations au moyen des amendements constitutionnels.

La constitution actuelle est disponible en ligne ici: http://ecouo.ca/fr/our-constitution/

Il y aura de la ****PIZZA GRATUITE**** (oui, nous utilisons vos fonds d’étudiants de vous inciter à venir !!!)

Si c’est possible, il est recommandé que les motions soient soumis à president@ecouo.ca le mercredi 25 février afin qu’ils puissent être traduits et affichés sur la page de l’événement avant l’AG elle-même. Si non, la traduction des motions sur place sera assurée. S’il vous plaît n’hésitez pas de contacter president@ecouo.ca pour l’assistance avec la formulation des motions.

L’hébergement, y compris de l’hébergement alimentaires, est disponible sur demande.

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Pancake Breakfast for Relay! // Petit-déjeuner de crêpes pour relais!

[le français suit]
Get some pancakes on Tuesday, February 24th on the second floor of FSS! All proceeds will go towards the Economics Student Association relay for life team. This breakfast will be by donation.

What is relay all about?
Relay for Life is an inspirational, non-competitive, 12-hour overnight fundraising event that brings you and the University of Ottawa community together to celebrate life and fight cancer. Teams of students will band together to fundraise together. They will also be participating in various activities and walking laps all night.

For more information, email philanthropic@ecouo.ca


Mangez des crêpes Mardi le 24 février au deuxième étage de FSS! Tous les fonds collectés seront versés à l’équipe de Relais de l’Association des Etudiants en Science Economique. Le petit-déjeuner serait payé par donation.

C’est quoi Relais pour la vie ?
Relais pour la vie est une course amicale et inspirante, d’une durée de 12 heures, qui vous permet de vous joindre aux autres membres de la communauté de l’Université d’Ottawa pour prélevé des fonds, célébrer la vie et lutter contre le cancer. Des équipes d’étudiants de l’Université vont se joindre pour prélever des fonds pour l’événement et participeront au Relais en faisant des tours de la piste et en participant à diverses activités à travers la soirée.

Pour plus d’information, envoyez un courriel à philanthropic@ecouo.ca

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CEO Selection for Elections 2015 // Sélection d’un DGE pour les élections de 2015

[le français suit]

The ESA is looking for an individual to serve as the association’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for the 2015 ESA Elections, happening in March 2015. The individual selected will be responsible for communicating with the election candidates, enforcing electoral rules, and ensuring equal opportunity of candidates throughout the electoral process. Students from any program are eligible to serve as CEO, and a $50 honorarium will be provided to the student selected. Please email president@ecouo.ca with a letter of interest explaining your qualifications and interest in the position by 11:59 PM on February 25th, 2015, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.



L’AÉSÉ cherche un individu pour servir comme le Directeur / la Directrice Général(e) des Élections pour l’élection de l’éxécutif de l’AÉSÉ de 2015, qui se passe en mars 2015. L’individu choisi sera responsable de communiquer avec les candidats aux élections, d’appliquer des règles électorales, et d’assurer l’égalité des candidats tout au long du processus électoral. Les étudiants de tout programme sont admissibles à servir en tant que DGE, et des honoraires de $ 50 seront fournis à l’étudiant sélectionné. Se il vous plaît envoyez un courriel à president@ecouo.ca avec une lettre d’intérêt expliquant vos qualifications et votre intérêt pour le poste avant 23h59 le 25 février 2015, et n’hésitez pas de nous contacter avec les questions.

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Trivia & Board Games Night | Soirée quiz et jeux de société

***Le message en français suit***

The ESA would like to invite you to a fun night of trivia and board games to kick off Reading Week. We have some fun prizes for the winning team, so come out and test your knowledge in the company of your friends and professors! Tickets for entry to the LOFT are available at FSS 2040 by donation while quantities last. All proceeds go to uOttawa Relay for Life.

L’AÉSÉ aimerait vous inviter à une soirée quiz et jeux de société pour célébrer le début de la semaine de lecture. Il y aura des prix fantastiques pour l’équipe gagnante. Venez et montrez vos compétences avec vos amis et vos professeurs! Billets pour entrer à l’événement sont disponibles au locaux FSS 2040 par don en quantités limitées. Tous les procès iront aux Relais pour la vie uOttawa.

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Mark your calendars! Explore Public Policy Issues Seminar February 14 in Montréal, presented by the Fraser Institute || Veuillez noter dans vos calendriers: La conférence “Explorez les politiques publiques”, presenté par l’Institut Fraser aura lieu le 14 février à Montréal

**Un message suit en français**

Explore Public Policy Issues

This is a free one-day student seminar with presentations from leading policy experts, Q & A, and informal discussions.

Lunch is included. The presentations will be in French and English with simultaneous translation.


Laura Dawson

Vincent Geloso

Yanick Labrie

Fred McMahon



Canada’s international trade agreements

Has the Arab Spring withered, or might it bloom again?

Is there a role for profit in the health care sector?

Who Needs Jobs? Spreading Poverty or Increasing Welfare


Brochure – to be confirmed

Location Delta Montreal Hotel 475 Avenue President Kennedy Montreal, QC
Program 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Register now

Complimentary Return Bus Service from Ottawa to Montreal

There will be complimentary return bus service from Ottawa to Montreal. If you wish to register for the bus please indicate that you will require bus transportation in the comments field of the registration form.

Bus Schedule


7:30 am – Depart University of Ottawa (University Centre, 85 University)

9:35 am – Arrive at Delta Montréal


4:00 pm – Depart Delta Montréal

6:05 pm – Arrive at University of Ottawa      

Explorez les politiques publiques
Séminaire gratuit d’une journée avec présentations d’experts en politiques publiques, périodes de questions et discussions informelles. Le repas du midi est compris. Les présentations se feront en français et en anglais avec traduction simultanée.


Le profit a-t-il sa place dans le secteur des soins de santé?
Yanick Labrie, économiste et analyste des politiques de santé, Institut économique de Montréal

Accords commerciaux internationaux du Canada
Laura Dawson, Présidente de Dawson Strategic et ancienne conseillère principale sur les affaires économiques États-Unis-Canada à l’ambassade des É.-U. à Ottawa

Qui a besoin d’emplois? Diffuser la pauvreté ou augmenter le bien-être
Vincent Geloso, chercheur associé, Institut économique de Montréal

Le printemps arabe a desséché, ou pourrait-il refleurir?
Fred McMahon, chaire de recherche Dr. Michael A. Walker en liberté économique, Institut Fraser

Brochure – à venir


Lieu Delta Montréal
475 Avenue du Président-Kennedy
Montréal, QC
Programme De 10 h à 16 h
Pour s’inscrire

Service Bus gratuit retour d’Ottawa à Montréal
Il y aura un service gratuit de bus de retour d’Ottawa à Montréal. Si vous souhaitez vous inscrire pour le bus s’il vous plaît indiquer que vous aurez besoin de transport par autobus dans le champ des commentaires du formulaire d’inscription.

Horaires de bus

7:30 am – Départ Université d’Ottawa (Université Centre, 85 Université)
9:35 am – Arrivée à Delta Montréal

4:00 pm – Départ Delta Montréal
6:05 pm – Arriver à Université d’Ottawa

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Student Blog Submission: Financial Intermediaries and Deposits: A Mutual love story (Deposit Insurance)

The relationship present between a financial institution and that of the deposits it receives from its clients can be seen similar to that of a marriage agreement. One simply cannot work without the other.

As we economists know, financial intermediaries make their profits through the deposits that are made.

It’s a simple marriage agreement you see.

Let us observe from a very simple perspective; a couple meets, courts and falls in love, subsequently both commit to each other and unify themselves in the form of holy matrimony. This union yields the birth of an offspring or two (loans, investments), their offspring are cared and nurtured for as private investment until they are old enough to bear fruit of hard labor and become a mutual return of investment to the union of both man and woman (in this case profit), man and woman live happily ever after till death do them part.

Quite a fairy tale ending wouldn’t you agree? However, that is not usually how these interactions work.

In reality the tango which occurs between financial intermediaries and deposits made by clients is not as simple. Yes—both agree on how deposits and transactions must be carried out. Yes— both want the best return on their investment; both want a stable relationship where fruition with respect to investment is in the interest of both parties; and finally, yes—both parties would rather they not have to look far for their continual existence as a single entity. As you can see, a financial intermediary bases somewhat of its existence on the deposits it receives as this gives it transaction capabilities. Similarly, depositors require financial intermediaries as a secure way of handling their wealth with a sense of security.


But as in the most classic of love stories, questions such as the following  persist, “is this the real deal?”, “what if?”, and just like that before any matrimonial bliss is entered, both parties have to be assured that their interests going in are rightfully protected. In this case, I talk of the importance of a pre-nuptial agreement (‘Pre-Nup’) as deposit insurance. You would literally not want to give your life to someone without some sort of back-up or collateral just in case of a defunct. This is why the importance of a deposit insurance cannot be downplayed. A deposit insurance gives both parties a safety net; in both instances the financial intermediary will be able to pay off its depositors; as a result, depositors will not be left without any form of compensation in case of a defunct by any financial intermediary due to a bad investment.

So the question is, why is there mutual love between these two? Deposit insurance—that’s why. No one goes into any contractual agreement in this day and age without some sort of collateral.

By Jamal M
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Student Blog News!

Hello all econ students, the Economics Students Association’s Student Blog Service is back again for the second semester!

As many students were interested in being evaluated on their writing in their classes, the Department of Economics has partnered with us to reward you for your work. Quality contributions between three hundred and a thousand words can earn you an additional 1% on your final grade, up to a total of 2%, on any undergraduate economics course to which they are relevant. The only exceptions are Macroeconomic Theory III, Microeconomic Theory III, and Introduction to Econometrics.  You may submit your posts here.

Please note: If you are submitting a blog post for grades, ensure that you have sent the blog post to your professor for review and approval with any possible corrections before submitting it in the form below.

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2nd Semester Office Hours | Heures de bureau pour la 2e session

Here are the office hours for your executives in  FSS 2040! | Voici les heures du bureau de votre exécutif à FSS 2040! Semester 2 Office Hours

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Student Blog Submission : European Debt Crisis

The Euro, first launched in January 1st, 1999, is the currency used by most of the institutions of the European Union and is the official currency of the Eurozone, consisting of 19 out of 28 member states of the European Union (EU), including the overseas departments, territories and islands which are either part of, or associated with the Euro area. The Euro was established when 27 countries signed the Maastricht Treaty and created the European Union. Following the financial crisis in 2008 in the United States, which greatly affected the entire world, the fear of a sovereign debt crisis developed in 2009 among fiscally conservative investors concerning some European states.

Several countries in the Eurozone have borrowed and spent too much money since the global recession began, causing them to lose control over their finances. Greece was one of the first Eurozone countries, followed by Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain to take a multi-billion dollar bailout from other European countries. This was the start of the European Debt Crisis, which by definition is the failure of the Euro. This threatened to bring down the entire continent, along with putting the rest of the world at an imbalance.

Now, how did it all come to this…?

Throughout history, most of Europe was at war, and countries fighting against each other tend to do less business or trade among themselves. Europe was a continent of trade barriers and several currencies. On top of that, both World War I and World War II crippled the economies of Europe. So, in order to help Europe heal, the leaders of the European countries decided to bring down the trade barriers and work towards building a unified and more prosperous Europe, allowing trade to be made easier and economic growth in sight. Finally, with the Maastricht Treaty signed, the 27 counties were in a unified Europe under the European Union.

When the Eurozone adopted the Euro, they discontinued using their different currencies, along with discontinuing their own monetary policies, giving control to the newly formed European Central Bank (ECB). Although the Euro area now had one unified monetary policy under ECB, it still had different fiscal policies (financial liberalization), which is one of the key reasons for the sovereign debt crisis, leading to the initiation of the European financial crisis. It is important to note that the monetary policy determines how much money supply will go across the market and the interest rates will be for borrowing money, whereas the fiscal policy determines how much money a government collects through taxes and how much it spends.

A government can only spend as much as it collects in taxes, and anything above that, it will have to borrow, in other words deficit spending. And as countries could now borrow from a pool of funds at a lower interest rate from the ECB, they started borrowing more than they could handle, and to add onto that, they borrowed again to repay they loans, and this kept going on in a vicious cycle, giving rise to the banking crisis, which is exactly what happened to Greece, Italy and Portugal. Credit flowed, debt accumulated and the economies of Europe became tightly intertwined. This went on until 2008, spurred by a housing bubble in the US housing market, a credit crisis swept the globe, bringing borrowing to a halt everywhere.

As the biggest and strongest economy in Europe, Germany was the country that everyone in Europe was looking towards, as no other country could pay. This meant austerity measures to be set by Germany have to be followed by the countries being bailed out. The EU not only needed a monetary union (ECB), but also a fiscal union as Europe was in danger, otherwise, the stability of the Euro can be threatened. If this is not done, the monetary union may break, leading the Euro to disappear, in other words, fiscal union or a break-up. Today the unemployment rate in the Eurozone is at 12%. The European debt crisis is on the brink of pulling the entire Eurozone into recession, dragging the global economy down with it.

Even though Germany has been the economic engine for the Eurozone, its slowing economy could join the rest of the region in recession, putting Germany’s ability to carry the region in serious jeopardy. Despite a shared currency, the Eurozone is made-up of different countries with vastly different cultures, histories, philosophies, and economies. These differences illustrate just how difficult it is for disparate countries to work together with one unified voice.

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Student Blog Submission : The Backbone to Sustaining Life

Imagine this—you are in a desert and you have been walking for hours and yet there is no water in sight for many miles.



You daydream of water but there is still no drinking water to be found. At that point, you would do anything just for a sip of the thirst quenching water.

About 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, but 97% of that 70% is saltwater. Now, out of the remaining 3% freshwater, only about 1% is readily available for human consumption.

At present, if something were to happen to the 1% freshwater supply, and there is a deficiency for clean water, what do you suppose will happen? One there will be scarcity of clean water, which implies that there will be very high demand for water, leading to really high prices. You might think to yourself, oh, it’s just water… nothing can happen to it and even if it does I’m sure the government will find a way.

Sadly there isn’t another way as unlike a luxury car, water isn’t a luxury product but a necessity good, one of the things essential to survival.

Did you know – humans can only live without water for 3 days but food for a week?

Water is many things to many different people. In developing countries, it is viewed as a symbol of hope. Hope for economic growth and prosperity. It is the enabler for building a new city in a desert like Dubai for instance, or expanding opportunities in rural areas. In the developed world, it is overlooked as a worthless, taken for granted commodity, but it is anything but that. We are forced to be reconciled with the fact that water is not a basic human right, or a free commodity, but it could all too easily end up turning into just another economic commodity.

Now what do I mean by economic commodity you may say?

An economic commodity is a reasonably homogeneous good or material like precious metals, fuel, etc, that are bought and sold as an article of commerce, and are traded in bulk on a commodity exchange or spot market.

To take it a step further, if the scarcity of water rises, i.e. the supply of clean water falls, the demand for it will sky rocket to a point where people will be willing to use it as a means of money instead of the fiat money (paper and coins) that is used at present day. It can alternatively be used to back money up as opposed to fiat money being backed up by gold at present. The value of money will fall way below the value of value, and hence back to the barter system, but this time only in terms of “water” as the new money. As previously mentioned… it’s only 3 days that you can last without water.
Coal was black gold once upon a time, but now water is known as blue gold, and unless we start using water considerately, we will soon run out of it, leading to a new world war for the new currency – water.
Written by  FM

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Student Blog Submission: Stays on Swaps: The Legal Remedy to Firms Too Big To Fail, Failing

By  Conor Ryan

Since the famous collapse of the Lehman Brothers in 2008, the inefficiency of the current resolution procedure for insolvent banks has been on the minds of everyone. When Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection, they had tens of thousands of individual derivative positions. Their trading counterparties rushed to close out these trades immediately with Lehman Brothers—seeking the return of collateral, as well. These obligations took years to unwind, and resulted in billions of swap-termination payments being made. Additionally, the fear investors had of the failure of other firms prompted mass withdrawal and general uncertainty in the markets.

There is a snowball effect of the aforementioned panic. In Lehman’s case: They maintained their large role in the U.S. housing market, even after the bubble began to correct, and they were considerably leveraged. A near-collapse by another Wall Street firm, Bear Stearns, spread speculation that Lehman Brothers may fail, itself. As the stock began to fall, the speculation grew—lowering the price of their stock, and prompting further speculation. Several hedge funds pulled their shares, and their short term creditors cut ties with the firm.

A special type of swap, the Credit Default Swap, is used, in incredibly basic terms, to insure against a default on a bond, or other fixed income product. The purchaser of a CDS agrees to make payments to the CDS seller until the maturity date of a contract, and in return for these payments, the seller agrees to pay off third party debt, if said party defaults on their loan. The buyer may purchase a CDS if they believe that the third party will fail to meet their debt. In the Lehman Brothers’ case, the price of CDS’s related to their debt spiked 66% in September 2008 as they became increasingly insolvent. This signaled the nearly unanimous belief that Lehman would inevitably default. Ironically, a large CDS seller named American International Group would have defaulted, itself, on the very credit default swaps they sold, if it weren’t for $85 billion in government bailout support.

Is there a solution that could slow, or even stop this devastating domino, rush-to-withdraw process?

Maybe. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association aims, according to its own mission statement, to “…[foster] safe and efficient derivatives markets to facilitate effective risk management for all users of derivative products.” Since 1985, it worked to make the market for over-the-counter derivatives, derivatives not sold on an exchange—but most sold often directly between financial institutions, safer and more efficient. By this intention, last week the ISDA drafted a protocol, to which eighteen global banks have agreed, wherein they have made swaps contract changes designed to reduce the damage unwinding failed firms inflict on resolution efforts, market stability, and most importantly, taxpayer dollars.

What is a swap, and what will this protocol do?

A swap is a derivative in which two parties ‘swap’ or trade cash flows of one another’s financial instruments. Swaps have many forms and countless applications for floating vs. fixed interest rates, foreign exchange rates, commodity prices, etc., but the main purpose is the advantageous use of another firm’s exclusive access to an above-mentioned variable. If a firm with a high credit rating swaps a $5,000 loan at a fixed 5% interest rate with an emerging firm with uncertain income given a $5,000 loan at a floating 6% interest rate—due to their low credit rating, the former could enjoy the lower borrowing cost (predicting that the floating interest rate will decrease)—while the latter, newer firm could enjoy the stability of a known, fixed rate—potentially boosting their credit rating. Interest rate swaps, often called plain vanilla swaps, allow both firms to capitalize on their comparative advantage.

The contract overhaul will require the trading counterparties of banks undergoing resolution proceedings to delay their contract termination rights in certain departments of the firm, and stay their demands for collateral, for 48 hours. This change will give regulators additional time to arrange the proceedings in an orderly way. Under the current bankruptcy laws, the counterparties of a bank’s swaps can essentially attempt to collect their collateral immediately—because swaps are exempt from any stay that would keep creditors of a failed firm from immediately calling the debt. If this is the law, what good is the protocol? The protocol has been accepted on an exclusively voluntary basis by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., Credit Agricole SA, Deutsche Bank AG, Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Nomura Holdings Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Societe Generale SA, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., and UBS AG.

However it has been, and likely will continue to be, rejected by asset management firms. Let’s analyse not only why the latter group would reject this type of agreement, but more curiously, why the former would welcome and applaud such an arrangement.

Various asset-management firms indicated they couldn’t willingly agree to the protocol. Their fiduciary duty, which is a legal responsibility to act exclusively in client’s, or other party’s, interests, prohibits asset managers from surrendering contractual protections—like the right to collect defaulted swap money early, for a less favorable position. Volunteering to do so may leave the asset managers vulnerable to lawsuits filed by their own clients, for failing to retrieve the client’s money as soon as possible. The remedy to the asset management firm resistance is a move by the Federal Reserve to make this overhaul a legal requirement. Fiduciary duties would not be considered if the immediate collection of debt and collateral was made illegal.

Why did the banks, listed above, endorse what is effectively a limit on their own rights?
General concern for the health of the financial system might be one explanation. Lehman-style bankruptcies affect all banks and hurt the entire economy. It is in the interest of everyone to have an organized system in place to wind down a failing firm. This protocol may prevent such chaotic crashes from happening again.
But, as Peter Eavis points out, in his New York Times article: Change in Derivatives Contracts Only Goes So Far, the banks themselves may also have benefited.
“There is a notable gap in the contract overhaul that suggests the banks were keen to protect the status of their derivatives business. In one important situation, the contract change does not, in fact, delay early termination rights on derivatives.” For example, under circumstances where a bank’s derivatives trading entity files for bankruptcy, counterparties would still be able to end their trades early. The 48 hour stay on termination rights prevents the bankruptcy of said entity from setting cross-default rights, which is the right of a lender to bar access to balances in all loan accounts, and even apply all available balances in any account of the borrower to satisfy a loan in default. Counterparties of the failing firm could pillage the entirety of the firm’s accounts, creating more issues for other non-derivative trading counterparties and causing general mayhem on a large network of market participants. This is undesirable, and the ISDA asserts that the weekend pause will allow the regulatory bodies enough time to unwind a sinking firm, or even enough time for the firm to find a solution towards financial recovery. The domino effect would, in theory, be lessened, and the two days would act as a calming ‘deep breath’ for the firm and its trading partners.

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Gold—mother of all commodities

According to Christopher Columbus, those who had something of gold were in possession of something of great value on Earth and a substance to even help souls to paradise.

An asset that has fascinated people throughout the ages is gold. Over the years, gold has been a driving force in the history of all civilizations. Much bloodshed and wars have been fought, all centered around the quest for this shiny metal.

Great human achievements have been frequently rewarded with gold in many forms. The fascination for gold continues even to a point where financial analysts and the media closely monitor the gold commodity market.

Before World War I, the world economy used the gold standard – a fixed exchange rate regime, where the currency was converted to gold at a fixed rate, allowing exchange rates to follow a fixed exchange rate (in term of gold, not fiat money).

The biggest advantage of using the gold standard was that it eliminated the uncertainty that would have occurred when exchange rates fluctuate, which in turn encouraged world trade. Due to this, currencies are now more inclined towards keeping their exchange rates fixed and to keep their currencies backed by and convertible into gold.
After World War II, a similar system was established through the Bretton Woods Agreement (a gold exchange standard), with which many countries fixed their exchange rates relative to the US dollar, and the central banks could exchange dollar holdings into gold at an official exchange rate. All currencies pegged to the US dollar thereby had a fixed value in terms of gold.

In October 1976, the definition of the dollar was changed, and references to gold were removed from statutes, thereby the International Monetary System was made of pure fiat money.
As of 2014, no country has used a gold standard. Gold reserves are held in significant quantity by many nations as a means of defending their currency and hedging against the dollar (also known as currency reserves). Both gold coins and gold bars are traded in liquid markets and serve as a private store of wealth. The Washington Agreement on Gold, which was signed in 1999, states, “Gold will remain an important element of global monetary reserves”.
The price of gold is positively related to the expected inflation rate. Because the gold market responds immediately to any changes in expected inflation, it is considered a good barometer of the trend of inflation in the future.

For over a thousand years, gold’s combination of luster, malleability, density and scarcity has captivated humankind like no other metal. Today, gold’s most popular use is in the manufacture of jewelry, and with prices of the commodity currently trading at US$1,205.50 per ounce, it is an investment that most people either risk averse or risk lovers tend to be geared towards.

Submitted by : AB

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Student Blog Submission : Is that lottery ticket really worth the $10 million today?

Is that lottery ticket really worth the $10 million today?

Lets assume that John has no knowledge of the finance industry. He gets his tax done by a tax professional, and the only money-matter that he deals with is paying his bills. All in all, he does not even have the basic know-how of the financial world and it does not seem to bother him…until one day.
John stepped into a grocery store on a Tuesday night after a busy and hectic day at work and decided to purchase a lottery ticket. It was his first time purchasing a lottery of any type and was not expecting much from it; and let us not forget that he considers himself to be highly unlucky in all aspects of life. He went up to the counter and paid a good $10, went back home and gave the ticket to his mum to asked her to keep an eye on the TV this Friday to which she responded, “I have a good feeling about this Johnny boy”.

Friday came along and to his surprise he had won. He contacted the lottery company and provided all his information and was asked to wait for the company to contact him. A few days later, the company was at his doorstep wanting to interview and take pictures with him being handed a cheque for $10 million, which promises to pay $500,000 each year for the next 20 years.

John is quite happy and goes back home to his family.
His stepfather, Frank did a Master in Finance and realized that John really has not won $10 million, as over the years the value of his $10 million will diminish, ultimately to approximately $4.68 million. John was furious and wanted Frank to prove himself.

“Now you see here John, the concept of present value is based on the commonsense notion that a dollar paid to you one year from now is less valuable than a dollar paid to you today. This notion is true because you can deposit $1 in a savings account that earns interest and have more than $1 in one year. Now in the case of your $10 million jackpot, the current year the value of your $500,000 is $500,000, but the value of your $500,000 next year is $454,546, which you can see is a lot less than the promised $500,000. Let me go a step further and tell you what you should expect the year after where you will only get $413,223.

Fast forward to the last year you end up with $81,754, which clearly is nowhere near the promised $500,000. This is of course considering a 10% opportunity cost to discount your money, because if you would have received the money today you could have invested and earned interest on it.

So, did you really win the $10 million? Not really, instead you won almost a third of the promised amount. You did win about $4.68 million over 20 years, but as you were not aware of the concept of present value.”

Submitted by:  AB

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Student Blog Submission : High Yield Energy Bonds

In writing this article, I attempted to explain current market movement using theory extrapolated from class. This post hopes to inform fellow students about investor sentiment towards high yield oil and gas bonds using concepts seen in class such the Theory of Asset Demand, and related topics like yield to maturity, bond spreads, risk and credit ratings.

For those unfamiliar with the Theory of Asset Demand, four major factors contribute to demand curve shifts in the supply and demand framework of that security; they are wealth increases/decreases, expected return increases/decreases, liquidity increases/decreases and perceived riskiness increases/decreases. In our case, an increase in the perceived risk of the asset due to deterioration of industry fundamentals has led to a leftward demand curve shift thus decreasing price. Naturally, yield to maturity has risen due to its inverse relationship with price.

With the framework having been set, the rest of the article attempts to explain the recent change in market fundamentals and how this has impacted bond returns for high yield oil companies.

Continue reading “Student Blog Submission : High Yield Energy Bonds” »

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Student Blog Submission: Bitcoin in Canada: What You Need to Know

Bitcoin is the breakthrough in technology expected to transform centralized money system to decentralized one. A financial system, which is decentralized, is cheaper, faster and better. These attributes will form the basis for a historic change in the money history. Bitcoin is a virtual currency whose ill repute and popularity continues to increase. Many companies, including Dell, have started accepting Bitcoin payment.

The list of services and good, which have bought using Bitcoin encompass airline tickets, pizza delivery and university tuition. A number of firms have begun to pay personnel in Bitcoins. In particular, Canada is a pioneer in Bitcoin ATM’S. Vancouver is the first city to have a Bitcoin ATM installed, as well as a number of cities in Canada now have Bitcoin ATMs too. In worldwide rankings, according to a Montreal Economic Institute study, Canada is second after United States in capital investments in Bitcoin firms.

The Bank of Canada has been warning the public over the risks associated with electronic money. Bitcoins can be are a desirable payment mode since they can lead into fewer fees, as well as a quicker payment method than traditional wire transfers. Nevertheless, there are some risks that are associated with Bitcoin usage as a payment method. Bitcoins’ value is not fixed, which means it can fluctuate considerably, which makes it more similar to stock consideration instead of cash. Bitcoins’ value, for example, dropped over 50 percent from December 2013-April 2014. Hence, such timing issues closing delays may substantially affect Bitcoin value consideration.

Bitcoins are largely unregulated, as well as subject to a tentative legal landscape. Bitcoin transactions, unlike traditional transactions that are currency-based involving personal bank accounts, can be done in a way, which does not identify the person doing the transaction. Therefore, Bitcoins have been utilized to buy illegal goods. The FBI, for example, shut down an online drug marketplace (Silk Road) and in the process they impounded 28.5 million dollars’ worth of Bitcoins.

The regulation level affecting Bitcoin varies extensively between nations, as well as is shifting rapidly. This requires those using Bitcoins to finance a transaction to stay updated of the changing legal landscape. For example, in Canada, Bill C-31 received royal sanction on 19th June 2014 and the scope of its anti-money laundering stretches out to individuals trading in such virtual currencies as Bitcoin. Therefore, this subjects Bitcoin transactions to governmental anti-money laundering requirements of reporting.

Other prospective risks exist. For example, Bitcoins might be hard to convert into cash in case the value drops sharply in future or their difficulty in traditional financial systems’ accessibility. Virtual currencies are prone to hackers and technological obsolescence, which makes Bitcoins unreliable. For example, Mt. Gox, globe’s largest Bitcoin exchange, lost millions to hackers.

In Canada, wherein tech-savvy dwellers are displaying sturdy interests in the Bitcoin trend, the general currency adoption remains low. Bitcoins have not yet offered real benefit to average shoppers to spend them.

Credit cards, along with other mobile payments forms are more attractive to persons looking to be safeguarded from cyber theft. Moreover, most credit cards offer attractive cash-back options, rebates, as well as air miles. The best adopters of Bitcoins are high-risk investors buying and holding upon the conviction their value will rise. Canadians require more information about what Bitcoins actually are, as well as how the system operates.

Conclusively, this blog on Bitcoin is crucial particularly to a course on money and banking because it highlights an imperative issue that affects banking. The Bitcoin technology removes the middleman (banks) meaning that in future banks might become obsolete. Hence, money and banking courses need to come up with ways of ensuring they remain relevant in the industry.

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Student Blog Submission: Employment Creation Contradicts Market Expectations

A parcel in the name of 43,100 arrived in Canada in October this year. This was despite the market expectations of an increase in unemployment within the region. The increase from the previous month – September – which had a staggering 74,100 jobs created. The market expectations were either further decrease of 5,000 jobs, while optimists approximated a 20,000 jobs creation. These predictions were influenced by the rise and fall that has accompanied Canada’s employment rate this year. The other consideration was the loss of 11,000 jobs in August. As at October, 2014, the average employment growth over the last 6 months was 15,000 jobs. Judging by the last two months’ results, it looks like the unemployment trend is finally beginning to take a back seat. Indeed good news for Canada. But what caused this increment?



Entrepreneurship is solely responsible for this economic boost. The private sector increased jobs through new enterprises. Manufacturing and processing industries employed more people and service industries substantially added more people to their team. Other individuals opted to start their own businesses as sole proprietors. The public sector on the other hand retrenched 54,000 employees. But what impact do this statistics have on the country? An increase in employment will lead to an increase in production. This increase in production will consequently lead to increased supply of goods. With more goods provided, companies will enjoy higher revenues in the short run due to profit per unit produced. In the long run, the price of goods will fall due to the increased supply. The effect of this is that more people will afford to buy goods. This raises the citizen’s standards of living. The rise in employment and decrease in price of goods will lead to more people affording goods. This will lead to an increase in the country’s purchasing power in relations to the world. It is this purchasing power that leads to higher employment levels.


The country’s initiative of increasing the minimum wage level has also sparked arguments from critics who claim that this move will take the country back to high unemployment rates. However, the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives is quick to point out that this is not the case. The report points out that the two factors – employment and employment wage – are independent factors that are not related.

In conclusion, Canada is moving from a follower to a pace setter. The employment wage increase as well as the rise in the level of employment is improving the country’s living standards. The Canadian dollar now has a higher purchasing power. This leads to a greater bargaining power over imports as well as a better market price for their exports. Canada’s economy is, therefore, improving relative to the world economy.


References Acharya-Tom Yew, Madhavi. “Minimum Wage Hike Does Not Kill Jobs: Report | Toronto Star.” Thestar.com. Toronto Star, 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2014. Financial Group, RBC. “Canadian Employment Gain Tops Expectations.” – Action Forex. 7 Nov. 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2014. .   Submitted on 11-29-2014 by  W. G.

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Student Blog Submission: Is there hope for the Japanese economy?

The Japanese economy has suffered greatly for the past 20 years. Throughout the 1980s, Japanese asset prices were greatly inflated, forming a massive bubble. In 1991, the bubble popped, along with the Japanese economy. Japan has struggled to recover from the 1991 recession ever since. Frustrated with the progress of recovery, Japan has adopted expansionary policy under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Popularly called Abenomics, the government of Japan has engaged in an incredible amount of fiscal stimulus coupled with monetary easing (buying bonds and pushing yields to their lower bound) with the hope of finally escaping the sluggish cycle they’ve been stuck in for the past twenty years.

Naturally, the fiscal stimulus program has brought nationwide debt to exorbitant levels; resulting in an astounding debt-to-GDP ratio of 240%. To tame this debt, Japanese policy makers have raised consumption taxes from five to eight percent. The results have been disastrous. With two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the Japanese economy is now in a recession. This comes a few weeks after weak inflation figures caused the Bank of Japan to announce an increase in their quantitative easing program. Now, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling a snap election with a mandate to postpone a second rise in the nation’s consumption tax to prevent further contraction. So, what is the government of Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan to do?

Some suggest austerity measures and fiscal conservatism, similar to what some EU countries have emplaced. I believe that this is the wrong way of solving the problem. By further raising taxes and cutting government spending, the country will fall into a deep recession—perhaps even a depression—threatening the economic recovery of the rest of world. Rather, the Bank of Japan should consider monetizing the government’s debt.

By shifting aggregate demand outwards, real output and prices will rise, thus making increasing tax revenues and inflation. Obviously, there is a worry that too much monetization would lead to the level of hyperinflation we saw in 1920s Germany.

However, if done properly, monetization may serve as a useful tool for the Bank of Japan to brighten the future of Japan’s economy.

Submitted by : RB

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Student Blog Submission : The Bigger Risk of Speculative Grade Corporate Debt

Earlier this week, Forbes posted Steve Blumenthal’s article: Watch Junk Bonds for Early Warnings of a New Financial Crisis, warning investors of the conditions present to bring a crisis more disastrous than the one seen in 2008. It’s true that the bigger banks and larger derivative markets that contributed to the disaster 6 years ago are quite possibly more dangerous in 2014 than they were in 2007, but could junk bonds really provoke another, potentially worse financial crisis? Since 2010, the American high yield bond market has doubled—growing from $1 trillion to $2 trillion. This statistic alone might not necessarily signal anything negative, but the duration of this growth, compared to the more than three-and-a-half decades of growth it took to reach the first $1 trillion—paired with extremely high estimated default rates, is indicative of a very significant, imminent, and destructive market correction.

Martin Fridson, CFA, who Blumenthal calls: “One of the smartest minds in high yield research”, and who the New York Times calls: “One of Wall Street’s most thoughtful and perceptive analysts”, predicts that 1.6 trillion in high yield bonds will default between 2016 and 2020. If the level of growth we currently observe persists, $1 trillion per 4 years, the 2016 high yield bond market will have grown to around $2.5 trillion. It is a shocking, and exceptionally frightening forecast that $1.6 trillion in a $2.5 trillion market will default. Using the current 2014 market in Blumenthal’s analysis, calculating a $640 billion hit on the $2 trillion market, he makes a “reasonable guess” that the bonds would retain 40% of their value. I myself have calculated, using the same percentage, that in a 2016 $2.5 trillion market (that value may even be conservative, the current growth rate might very well rise itself), a $1.6 trillion default rate would still cause a $256 billion hit on the market— nearly a 13% decline in value. So, why is the high yield bond market thriving?

While the Federal Reserve kept interest rates artificially low for a number of years, yield-seeking investors have gravitated towards the high yield market. But now, as Mike Cherney of the Wall Street Journal expects, the stronger economic growth will prompt the Fed. to increase interest rates and consequently, as I have learned in my ECO2115 Introduction to Money and Banking course, lower the attractiveness of the riskiest assets, including speculative grade corporate debt. If this trend continues, mounting borrowing costs could lead to an upsurge in defaults, potentially to the 80% of which Fridson warned, above. Another pessimistic trend, representative of what ECO2115 has taught me to be a possible resistance level, is that “…this week as stock markets gyrated, the yields of high-risk corporate and European bonds spiked upward and, crucially, trading volumes evaporated.”, as Landon Thomas Jr. wrote just two days ago in his Dealbook article: Fears That Pimco and Other Big Firms Could Be Unable to Unload Risky Bonds.



What is the warning here? Should investors avoid high-yield debt altogether?

No, many investors continue to buy high yield bonds while paying close attention to the company’s corporate leverage, share repurchases, and cash holdings. The important factor is to monitor any cracks in the junk bond market. Investors should consider hedging their exposure and overweighing to defensive categories. This could include Treasury bond exposure, or in sector ETFs: such as Health Care ETFs or Utilities Sector ETFs. It seems as though a rise in interest rates may be the greatest threat to the high yield market– as this happens, investors should shift their high yield debt holdings to the equity market, or at least to higher-rated bonds less likely to default. At the risk of sounding like a doomsayer, with my “Repent, Junk Bond Holders” sign at a street corner, I truly believe that a default as large as $1.6 billion in the high-yield debt market would trigger catastrophic consequences throughout the entire economy, especially as the political will to bail out sinking firms plummets, itself.

Submitted by CR

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Student Blog 2014-15!

So you want to participate in the ESA’s economics blog? Excellent! The link below will take you to the submission form; please fill it out completely in order to submit an article.

As many students were interested in being evaluated on their writing in their classes, the Department of Economics has partnered with us to reward you for your work. Quality contributions between three hundred and a thousand words can earn you an additional 1% on your final grade, up to a total of 2%, on any undergraduate economics course to which they are relevant. The only exceptions are Macroeconomic Theory III, Microeconomic Theory III, and Introduction to Econometrics. And if several of your posts are published, why, you may well receive a request to you join our team of regular contributors… so get writing!


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Sydney MARTIN (VP Philanthropy)


My name is Sydney Martin and I am a first year student in Environmental Economics and Public Policy (French immersion program).


Why should voters choose you?/ideas

First of all, I am an enthusiastic and outgoing person who is committed to the ESA and the students it serves. As a longtime athlete and more recently as a Gee-Gee, I have learned the value of hard work and perseverance, qualities which I would bring to my position as VP Philanthropy. On the more practical side, as a member of student council and similar organizations throughout my high school years, I have relevant experience in both planning and carrying out large-scale events for a student body.

In addition to effectively organizing existing events like Movember at Maclaren’s, Relay for Life, and Shinerama, I have some other ideas for events I believe would interest and engage the ESA student body. My main initiative would be a casino night in which the ESA could raise funds via an entry fee. As well as raising money, this would be a great way to bring econ students together for a good cause.



Thank you for taking the time to read my platform and don’t forget to vote on March 22 and 23 in the FSS lobby!




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Vice President of Bilingualism and Outreach: Elizabeth Holjevac (Liz)


Hello! My name is Elizabeth Holjevac and I am a first year student studying Economics and Public Policy. I am running to be your Vice President of bilingualism and outreach for the 2017-2018 year.

Past/Previous Experiences

I graduated high school with an IB certificate in french and I am currently in the french immersion program at the university, meaning I am very qualified for this position. My previous experience in the work force and my completion of over 300 hours of community service has given me the ability to work in a fast paced environment and has helped me to become a friendly team player. In addition, I have previous experience planning and running recreation events.

Your Ideas/Plans

  • I would like to partner with other VP’s of Bilingualism from other associations to plan and organize a trip that would take english and french students to the Quebec winter carnival in Quebec City. I believe this would be an amazing way for students to learn about french culture and to better appreciate
  • I would like to organize a french speaker event for the francophone and french immersion students, as a lot of the guest speakers that usually come to the university to talk to the economics students only speak in english. I believe this would be a great way to engage french students and help them be more informed about current economic issues around the world.
  • I would like to work with the VP social in order to plan more bilingual events to bring both the english and french students closer together. I also believe this will help francophone students feel more comfortable about coming to events, meaning there will be a higher francophone turn out at each event.
  • I plan to work with the VP of communications in order to create engaging emails for francophone and international students. This will help bring more french students to events and will help them be more informed about ESA affairs.
  • I plan to work with the VP of communications, the director of IT and the director of promotions to ensure that all publications (emails, posters, Facebook posts, etc) are in both french and english in order to include francophone and international students.

 Why Should Voters Choose You

I am a very ambitious and dedicated student who will work hard to ensure that francophone and international students are well represented throughout the university. I am passionate about helping all economics students and ensuring that they have the best university experience possible.


If you vote yes for me as Vice President of bilingualism and outreach, I promise that I will do my best to bring french and english students together. In addition, I will work hard in order to properly represent all francophone and international students in the ESA.

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Kika MUELLER (VP Communications)

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Michael DiLOSA (VP Academic affairs)

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Jelena IVANOVIC (VP Social)

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Ryan Ngai (VP internal)

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Tamami ICHIMURA (VP Finance)

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