Controversial Bank of Canada governor dead at 102


James Elliott Coyne, considered one of the Bank of Canada's most controversial governors, died Friday night in Montreal.

He was 102.

According to the Canadian Encylopedia, Coyne warned against the dangers of foreign investment and spoke out on economic matters despite the divergence of his views from government policy. His outspokenness caused friction with the Diefenbaker government, which already distrusted him because of his close links with prominent Liberals.

In his book, the Bank of Canada of James Elliott Coyne, James Powell argued that the dispute between the Bank and the Diefenbaker government was not over monetary policy, as widely believed, but rather over Coyne's outspoken criticism of the government's economic policy.

Powell, a retired senior Canadian central banker who also wrote A History of the Canadian Dollar, says that Coyne's term as governor marked an important stage in the development of the Bank of Canada as a modern central bank, one that is independent, transparent, and accountable.

Coyne stepped down in 1961.

He is survived by a son and daughter, journalist Andrew Coyne and actor Susan Coyne.

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