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Flaherty Says Canada Would Have to Act Quickly If Crisis Spreads

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Canadian policy makers would have to work quickly to respond to any “disorderly markets” that may result from a spreading of the crisis in Europe.

“It’s a very serious matter once these dominoes start to fall, that’s why we have to act early on as we did in 2008 to make sure that things don’t accelerate,” Flaherty said today in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Flaherty said policy makers, including the Bank of Canada, could take measures similar to steps implemented in 2008 to maintain liquidity in Canada’s banking system.

Canada faces a “major shock” and global financial conditions could deteriorate significantly if Europe’s crisis worsens, the Bank of Canada said June 14.

“If we had disorderly markets in banking that extended from Europe into the United Kingdom, United States and the entire banking system, and credit started to contract because of a loss of confidence between banks, then you start to have a liquidity problem in the banks,” Flaherty said today. “That’s when governments need to act.”

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