Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.
Sam Bankman-Fried convicted of defrauding FTX customers
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted this week of orchestrating multimillion-dollar fraud against the cryptocurrency exchange’s customers. The former crypto golden boy was found guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy by a 12-member jury, which reached the verdict after over four hours of deliberations. During 15 days of testimony, former members of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s inner circle – former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and former FTX executives Gary Wang and Nishad Singh – testified that he directed them to commit crimes, including lying to lenders and investors about the companies’ finances. Mr. Bankman-Fried’s sentencing is set for March 28, 2024. He could face decades in prison.
Canada’s unemployment rate rises in October
Canada’s unemployment rate rose to 5.7 per cent last month, adding another data point in favour of the Bank of Canada’s rate pause. Statistics Canada released its October labour force survey, which showed the economy added a modest 17,500 jobs, less than Bay Street analysts were expecting. The latest numbers reflect that Canada’s labour market is softening and higher interest rates are weighing on economic activity, Matt Lundy reports. Earlier this week, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem also said the central bank could begin cutting interest rates before inflation is all the way back to its 2-per-cent target, although he said that discussion is still a ways off.
Canada’s economy faces $900-billion mortgage renewal shock
Almost two-thirds of Canadian mortgage borrowers will face a punishing “payment shock” over the next three years, Jason Kirby reports. An estimated $900-billion in Canadian mortgages are due to renew between 2024 and 2026, and could face a sharp increase in payments, according to a report by Darko Mihelic, an analyst who covers the banking sector for RBC Capital Markets. Borrowers that have variable-rate mortgages with fixed payments will see the biggest shock if they’re set to renew in 2026. Take a closer look in this week’s Decoder.
Is a $100,000 salary enough for a comfortable life any more?
Once upon a time, a $100,000 salary loomed large in the collective imagination as code for having made it. Nowadays, however, a low-six-figure salary no longer goes very far after today’s basic living costs are taken into account. Feeling the financial squeeze of Canada’s affordability crisis, many earners say they’re just getting by. Erica Alini asked a few $100,000 earners how they’re doing money-wise – and the answer hinges, first and foremost, on the cost of keeping a roof over their heads.
John Chen to exit BlackBerry as CEO after 10 years
The John Chen era at BlackBerry Ltd. has come to a close. The former chief executive officer retired from his role as of Saturday after 10 years at the helm, Sean Silcoff reports. BlackBerry stock jumped last Monday after the company confirmed the news, closing up 6 per cent on the day. Mr. Chen – who earned a fixed US$3-million in salary and bonus per year – was appointed in 2013 to replace Thorsten Heins. The company recently announced disappointing revenues and cut its forecast for the connected-car business owing to delay. Board member Richard Lynch will become interim CEO until the company hires a permanent replacement.
The ‘Bank of Mom and Dad’ is no longer just for down payments
Children looking to become first-time homeowners aren’t just turning to the Bank of Mom and Dad for down payments, they’re also asking for a co-sign on the mortgages. According to Erica Alini and Irene Galea, parents are increasingly putting their names on documents just to help kids pass the mortgage stress test and qualify for a mortgage that they’re capable of paying for on their own at the bank’s contract rate. Parents are also more frequently paying part of the mortgage installments too. Many young homebuyers are finding their income isn’t high enough to qualify for a loan, and high borrowing costs have translated into outsized mortgage payments for prospective buyers.
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