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Thursday, November 27, 2008

CANADA, STRONG AND FREE

Well, we keep headed in interesting directions in the international community, the investment, commodity and banking businesses and the transition to the Obama Presidency. It is very hard to understand the right things to be doing in any one area, let alone all of them that impact personal life.

I have grown very tired of watching our investments shrink in comparison to what we had understood was the safe level to have at retirement... while still safe, I sense that we understand better today, just how tenuous life would be in a world without stable markets for our goods, and invesetments. I have never been known as a conservative... of this I am sure... but I can assure my friends that I am one conservative dude with our lifestyle today. I strongly support the need for everyone to reduce consumption; be mindful that no matter what an individual has, if we don't have enough to go around, none of us will have anything.

The stock markets are down, the commodity prices (including the most obvious one, oil) are down, and all of this is hitting the Canadian Loonie hard. It is a double whammy for anyone living in the USA, but invested in Canada... I used my Canadian Mastercard in error last week for a $103.00 charge; the bill came through on Mastercard as $135.55! If you are coming south this year, bring cash and travellers cheques!

Based on the valuation of the Loonie, I can't figure out is why Canada is not getting any credit for its financial stability over the past fifteen years. The country has not had a deficit in all that time, including 2008. The USA on the other hand will be over a Trillion Dollars in the hole at the end of the year! A Trillion!!! Yet the Loonie is below $0.79US as I write this. Further, there have been no bank failures in Canada. None of the USA businesses and banks that are owned by these Canadian banks... TDBank, Scotia Bank, BMO Harris Bank, RBC Dain Rauscher and the CIBC holdings... have had any failures. They are not standing on Wall Street with their collective hands out.

Add to that, there are no sub-prime Canadian mortgages coming home to roost. In fact, the real estate industry is doing quite well, across the country. There will be a slow-down in housing, partly because of the USA's problems causing lay-offs in the auto industry in Canada, and a reduction in metal commodity orders. It makes no sense to me that Canada is being brushed with the same ink as the USA... red! Successive liberal and conservative political parties have lead the country very well, and it is the only G8 country not begging forgiveness from its population for poor financial regulations, and general mis-management of its economy.

I would like to say "good on ya, Canada!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a former "alien" resident of the USA, I agree wholeheartedly with this entry. Ignorance of Canadian economic and our highly stable political systems are nowhere so evident as on Wall Street!! I am a former NJ resident and many of my neighbours there were financiers on the Street....

Madcap

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!