Here’s what caught our eye this week:
Canadians among some of the most indebted in the world
This week, the Organization for Economic Co-Operations and Development (OECD) released a new report showing that Canadian households are some of the most indebted in the world. According to a Canadian Business story on the OECD report, household debt is more than 100 per cent of GDP in Canada, outstripping developed countries such as South Korea, the U.S., and the U.K.
The story also indicated Canada is loading up on debt more quickly than any other developed country. Between 2011 and 2016, Canadian household and corporate debt-to-GDP increased by 20 per cent. That being said, there are signs that Canadians are starting to realize they need to cut back on their spending and focus more on building up their savings. The savings rate is close to five per cent, near its 25-year average rate, and retail sales have begun to slow down.
Calling all fintech experts: the OSC wants you
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is looking for members to join their new Fintech Advisory Committee. According to an official OSC press release, the Fintech Advisory Committee will “advise OSC staff on developments in the fintech space as well as the unique challenges faced by fintech businesses in the securities industry.” The 15-member committee will meet every quarter to discuss pressing fintech industry issues.
To apply for spot, you will need to be experienced in any of the following: digital platforms; cryptocurrencies; venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting, focused on the fintech sector; data science or artificial intelligence; fintech or technology entrepreneurship; compliance or RegTech solutions; cryptography or cybersecurity.
Applications are due on December 22nd.
University student games travel rewards programs
Montreal law student, Avery Campbell, has managed to fly around the world in luxury due to an interesting loophole he discovered that allowed him to rack up travel rewards points. According to CTV News, Avery began purchasing non-circulated face-value coins from the Royal Canadian Mint a couple of years ago using his credit cards. The resulting rewards points have paid for first-class travel to nearly 70 countries for Avery and his friends.
Avery also runs a blog, aptly called Don’t Call the Airline, where he shares some of his top travel hacks and card churning tips.