11 June 2008

Create wealth fund: OECD

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development believes that a Norway-style overseas investment fund would be beneficial for Canada:
“It's not [only] an exchange rate play. It's a more fundamental issue” of investing the proceeds for the future, and helping manufacturing in Canada at the same time, said Angel Gurria, secretary general of the OECD, in Ottawa on Wednesday to release its report on the Canadian economy.

The OECD wants Alberta “not to be so procyclical ... not to spend all those revenues now,” said Peter Jarrett of the OECD economics department.

The federal government should set up a fund too, and set aside any windfalls in a transparent manner, he said.

The Norway idea is a popular one among some academics and government officials but has never gained traction among politicians in Canada.

Ottawa has said in the past that it can't calculate how much money it gets from the energy industry, given the substantial spin-offs of investment and production in that industry, Mr. Jarrett said. But there's nt reason it couldn't create a model.

“There is scope for doing so,” he said.
Bond Papers has discussed the idea at least once before. So far local pols have ignored the idea.

You find a summary of the OECD report at oecd.org.