Long before the spectacular collapse of Bre-X in 1997, the
Canadian capital markets had their share of swindlers and crooks.
In the boom times after Second World War, hard-sell speculative
mining ventures, pushing what often amounted to a few acres of
moose pasture, riddled over-the-counter markets and the TSE. It was
in this context that the Ontario Securities Commission developed
into Canada's leading securities regulator. Following the war, the
OSC concerned itself primarily with fraudsters and attempts to
reign in Toronto's boiler rooms, but by the mid-sixties
increasingly sophisticated markets and a series of scandals
culminating in the Windfall affair resulted in a rewriting of the
Securities Act and a widening of the OSC's investor protection
mandate. The seventies tested the Commission's new powers as
increased corporate merger activity brought the phrase
"insider-trading" into the popular lexicon.
Surprisingly, considering that capital markets have such a
profound impact on Canada's well-being, this is the first thorough
study of the their post-war evolution and regulation. Moose
Pastures and Mergers takes off where the author's acclaimed
previous work, Blue Skies and Boiler Rooms: Buying and Selling
Securities in Canada, 1870 - 1940, left off. With an ear for a good
story - seedy personalities, bunglers and guileless victims abound
- and a scholar's rigour, Armstrong has met the protean beast of
share markets head on and revealed its shape for the timid or the
merely baffled. Essential reading for business journalists,
securities lawyers, academics, and interested investors.
Winner of the J.J. Talman Award presented by the Ontario
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