Archives: Briefings

Canada ranks 14th on World Economic Forum’s new Global Social Mobility Index

The five Nordic countries topped the measure, but the organization said “only a handful of nations” were creating the necessary conditions for upward movement. The WEF recommended governments make personal income taxes more progressive, introduce policies that “address wealth concentration,” spend more on education alongside the private sector and create new social safety systems. (The Logic)

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai calls for AI regulation

“Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach” to artificial intelligence, “balancing potential harms with social opportunities,” Pichai wrote in a column. In his view, companies cannot build technology and “let market forces decide how it will be used.” (Financial Times)

British pension funds say divesting from fossil fuels will hurt

According to a Reuters survey, 33 of Britain’s 47 largest pension funds said they would not divest from oil and gas firms; some said doing so would result in losses in financial returns. Some funds said they preferred to focus on companies’ carbon footprints. (Reuters)

Extradition hearing for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou begins

The first stage of the historic proceedings, which in their entirety could last years, will focus on “double criminality,” the legal principle that determines whether Meng’s alleged violations of sanctions against Iran—of which she’s been accused in the U.S.—would be a crime if committed in Canada. (The Globe and Mail)

France and U.S. compromise on digital-services tax

Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump agreed to not to impose new tariffs until the end of 2020 and to continue participating in an OECD process to change the way multinational corporations are taxed. The measures would allow countries to tax such firms if they do business there, rather than based on the location of corporate headquarters. Representatives of the two countries were due to discuss the matter in Davos this week. (Reuters)

RBC files AI patents on purchase prediction in latest tech push

Canada’s largest bank has filed a patent application for a method of predicting when customers are about to make large purchases. It’s also looking to patent a text-analytics tool tasked with helping investment advisers identify themes early, such as the rise of cryptocurrencies. (Financial Post)