A 2021 Year in Review

TO SAY THAT 2021 was a year that had an unrelentingly break-neck speed of a news cycle would be an understatement, and there was no shortage of stories capturing the attention of Canadian financial journalists (or any journalist for that matter).

Over in the financial media world, reporters saw a Succession-style boardroom drama with billion-dollar deals hanging in the balance, people spending millions of dollars on pixelated apes, a ragtag group of Redditors turn Wall Street’s world upside-down, and a big boat caught in a tight place. But I mean, it was a REALLY big boat. 

The year cemented moments in history, like this unfolding experiment of quantitative easing that the Bank of Canada first entered in last year, seeing its impacts play out on the broader markets. As the economy slowly (albeit unevenly) finds its footing again, a will-they, won’t-they narrative played out among economists and market watchers as they tried to determine whether or not the central bank would move on raising interest rates.

We’ve also seen tense moments in geopolitical battles like the Meng Wanzhou extradition hearing, the culmination of which finally saw Canadian nationals Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig returning home.

The over-arching theme that hung over the news media was the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. General news reporters were on a dogged search for answers on what case counts meant for how Canadians lived their lives; health reporters tirelessly examined the data and spoke with healthcare professionals to determine where it would lead; and financial journalists took to Bay Street to get perspective on how this virus would impact the markets, the economy, and our finances.

2021 brought a large share of stories involving challenges and grief, though it also brought many stories of people overcoming these challenges. These are the kinds of stories I try to hold onto.

In my own year in review, I had the pleasure (and great luck) of working with different dedicated newsrooms and hard-working journalists whether they were veterans or newbies. I was fortunate to work in broadcast news, digital news, and ultimately, tremendously fortunate to land at the Financial Post.

For me, 2021 brought equal parts crushing disappointment through the COVID-19 pandemic and some growth through the people I’ve worked with and known along the way. The year may be ending on more of a dour note, but I’m maintaining optimism for the next year that we’ll come closer to finding ourselves on the better end of this thing.

I’m also looking forward to the news stories I’ll chase and report on in the new year. I greatly appreciate all of the readers who have joined me along the way, the editors who made my writing more exciting than it actually is in the first draft, public relations and comms teams who helped me get to the bottom of a topic and story, and everyone who has given support and advice along the way. Here’s to 2022 and (hopefully) better times ahead.

Cheers and thanks for the readership,

Stephanie Hughes 

The Year of Canadian Finance in Review: Top Stories in 2021

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