The Globe’s most-read business and investing stories of 2023: Livable cities, Alberta’s pension plan, mortgage costs and more

High inflation. A complicated interest rate cycle. Alberta’s controversial pension plans. Netflix’s password sharing crackdown. Canada’s most livable cities. Rising mortgages payments. Recession fears. It’s safe to say that there has been no shortage of news this year.

In the final weekly digest of 2023, we’re taking a look back at The Globe’s most-read business and investing stories of the entire year. Get caught up on the biggest stories that resonated with readers on a variety of topics from housing, debt, critical minerals and more.

‘We’re barely making it’: Eight Canadian stories reveal the pain of soaring mortgage costs

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Colin Tran wants to purchase a home, but can’t afford high mortgage costs. Instead he’s saving using the new First Home Savings Account.JASON FRANSON/The Globe and Mail

In a year of high inflation and housing unaffordability, Canadian homeowners were especially feeling the squeeze of interest rates. Irene Galea spoke to Canadians facing difficult decisions in order to continue paying off their loans. They’re deferring retirement, cutting back expenses and worrying about how they will cover their next mortgage payment. Some are even lengthening their mortgage amortization, stretching out the duration of their payments from 15 or 25 years to 30 years or beyond to keep their payments down. These are their stories.

Opinion: Netflix’s desperate crackdown on password sharing shows it might fail like Blockbuster

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This photo shows a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore.Jenny Kane/The Associated Press

When Netflix announced in February that it would crack down on password sharing, Canadians users were left questioning whether it was still worth paying the subscription fee. In a column for The Globe and Mail, Ken Birch, director of the Institute for Technoscience and Society at York University, raises the question of whether the move – and Netflix’s business model and monetization strategy – is viable in the long-run. He writes: “Netflix is facing a self-defeating cycle with its subscription changes.” Fast forward to the end of the year, Netflix has reported strong third-quarter results and increased its subscriber base – sending shares surging.

The 100 most livable cities in Canada

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Illustration by Kathleen Fu

One of The Globe’s popular stories of the year in general was the inaugural ranking of Canada’s 100 most livable cities. The data-driven list places an emphasis

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Which Canadian company was hacked this week? Take The Globe’s business and investing news quiz

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s business and investing news quiz. Join us each week to test your knowledge of the stories making the headlines. Our business reporters come up with the questions, and you can show us what you know.

This week in business and investing: The former chief executive officer of a noted Canadian company came out of retirement to retake the reins of a business she started more than three decades ago, after the previous boss quit – just one year into the gig. The last year has been fairly tumultuous for the company, with leadership shakeups, a cyberattack, the exit of half of its board and competitive pressures in the industry.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-based software company also attempted to bring back former staffers – this time, employees that were part of mass layoffs. The business offered relatively plush perks, as part of its pitch to ex-staffers to return. Elsewhere, borrowing costs remain sky-high, and a Canadian province wants to separate – from the federal pension program, that is.

Do you remember these stories? Take our quiz below to test your recall for the week ending Sept. 21.

1‘If you want to bring in the ______ CEOs and whip them with wet noodles, you can do that,’ Prof. Christopher Ragan said about executives from which industry?

a. Grocery

b. Bank

c. Entertainment

d. Oil and gas

a. Grocery. Prof. Ragan was referring to the move by the federal government to summon grocery chain executives to Ottawa to testify over food inflation (still far above most other components CPI data).

2Founder and former CEO ____ announced she’s coming out of retirement to retake the helm of _____, the company she founded 30 years ago.

a. Arlene Dickinson, Indigo

b. Heather Reisman, Indigo

c. Margaret Atwood, Indigo

d. Arlene Dickinson, Chapters

b. Heather Reisman. It’s the latest in a year of leadership shakeups at the bookseller; in early September, Indigo announced the departure of its CEO and president after just one year in the job.

3The Walt Disney Company said it would be doubling its capital expenditure into its parks division as Disney+ continues to see losses. How much will they invest in parks in the next 10 years?

a. US$33-billion

b. US$100-billion

c. US$60-billion

d. US$50-billion

4Yet another Canadian company was the victim of cyberattacks this week. Which company announced

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