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Rich in Quebec

Rich in Quebec
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  • Economic Theory Implies Canadian Dollar Will Fall [View article]
    There is also the matter of the Canadian election on May 2, which will most likely produce another Conservative minority government. Even if it survives, its policies will have to be modified to adjust to a more left leaning opposition. Though inaccurate, the word "socialist" will enter the conversation, and likely provide a trigger for profit-taking, at the very least. In this case, I think it rational to bet on irrationality.
    Apr 28 08:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canada: First World Market With Frontier Area Profits [View article]
    Bob - Your last paragraph is key and, I believe accurate. However the switch from the Bloc to the NDP is extremely rapid around here.

    The local newspaper published a poll done over three days on the Brome-Missisquoi riding south of Granby.. The Bloc and the NDP were tied for first, with the Liberals and Conservatives far behind. However, the poll changed radically from day to day, with the Bloc imploding and the votes going to the NDP.

    As you probably know, the existence of the Bloc, originally seen as a short term protector of Quebecois federally while waiting for the impending nirvana of sovereignty, had been hotly debated by sovereignists themselves. If the trend were to continue, the NDP could get over 40 seats in Quebec alone. But there is no NDP electoral machine here. Most candidates are novices. Will the trend continue and will the supporters vote?

    A massive substitution of left wing sovereignists by left wing federalists could mean nothing in terms of policies. However, as I indicated above, the Conservatives are slowly declining as well.

    So, at its most radical, Canada could return somewhat to the role of U.N. peacemaker, rather than the warrior role we have seen lately. And, there could be a return to a role of a leader on environmental questions rather than the pariah we have become since the arrival of these non-progressive Conservatives.
    Apr 26 11:22 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now that Obama and Ryan have revealed their respective plans, here's Paul Krugman's take: So far, it's "more about staking out positions than about enacting policies. On one side you had a combination of mean-spiritedness and fantasy; on the other you had a reaffirmation of American compassion and community, coupled with fairly realistic numbers. Which would you choose?"  [View news story]
    Neil - Take your pick of any number of northern European countries that are more "socialistic", and where its citizens enjoy an objective standard of living at least as high as that of Americans. On a subjective scale, most would consider the better distribution of wealth, the lack of crime, better social support systems as a positive.
    Apr 16 12:01 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ryan Plan: Getting Federal Spending Under Control [View article]
    Kudos for Congressman Ryan for having actually put out a proposal. It should force centrists and those on the left to put out counter-proposals.

    Here in Canada, we are in the midst of a Federal election campaign. Unfortunately, all political parties seem to have learned all too well from our U.S. neighbors that fear and negative ads work.

    Conservatives are accused of being closet U.S. Republicans and over-emphasizing defense at the cost of social programs. Conservatives defend their social programs and warn of the influence of Quebec separatists if they are not given a majority.

    Socialized medicine, officially a provincial responsibility, is a given. Arguments exist only on the type and degree of Federal support.

    Each Party touts the advantage of its plan to bring the budget back in balance. The "socialist" NDP would cut taxes on small businesses and subsidize job creation and pay for it by raising taxes on big business. The Conservative Party would cut taxes on all business.

    Our taxes are higher. Our services are better. We don't have the income disparities of the U.S. As most modern democracies, we have a national sales tax. It is not applied to food, and rebated on a sliding scale based on income.

    The U.S. is fiscally unbalanced. Whether Americans can throw off the voodoo economics of the past 30 years of Laffer Curve, increased revenue through tax cuts, deficits don't matter thinking, and face up to real choices should be as interesting to watch as it is important to resolve.

    Apr 11 11:04 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    spald_fr - There can be all sorts of arguments made as to which benefits Americans should provide for themselves and how they should pay for them. Arguing motivations for such actions muddies the waters. Spurious allegations, such as illegal aliens as a source of votes, just make the proponent of a point of view appear silly.
    Apr 11 08:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Walker's Budget: A Road Map for Conservative State Governance [View article]
    Thomas Smicklas - As anti-government regimes go about dismantling government services, there must be some angle in profiting from it. Is the goal ( noble or shameful) coming to light the reason for your objection to this article, or is it the lack of suggested strategies to profit from government disinvestment?

    Feb 24 04:03 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Fiscal Policy: This Will Not End Well [View article]
    Pigdog67 - Canada indeed benefits from high resources per capita. Much as Australia, this is the reason for the surge in the Can$. Despite high resource prices, our balance of trade went negative for a while. Such are the consequences when your neighbor,and best trading partner suffers from a deep recession.

    What helped to save us is precisely what right-wing Americans detest, ie. bank regulation and protection for consumers and workers.
    Feb 21 08:16 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hot Sector for 2011: Defense [View article]
    One has to wonder how long defense spending will stay at current or higher levels. Nothing in Mr. Sacknoff's article seems incorrect. But, with most countries suffering financial problems, one would think that austerity might apply to this sector as well. Are more arms the solution to potential asymetric warfare, or is their sale to prop up
    "friendly" regimes one of its causes.

    Just in case sanity breaks out, I won't invest in this sector. Fearing that Dwight Eisenhower was all too right in his farewell warning about the military industrial complex, I won't bet against it either.
    Feb 2 01:25 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Overvaluation Hitting Critical Levels [View article]
    It's always difficult to foretell, though seemingly so obvious after it happens.

    Market corrections are not usually so well foreseen. Yes, there are so many optimists. But there are quite a few pessimists. There seem to be so few that suggest we will just muddle through.

    "Don't fight the Fed" used to be a popular saying. There is so much liquidity. It will be removed only when the economy really takes off. Cash used to be king in times of doubt. This king is a pauper providing a negative real return.

    On a book value basis, the market is selling (please provide more precise figures if you have them) at about half the valuation of the insane market of a decade ago.

    Since the "muddle through" crowd is tiny, and Mr. Market tends to disatisfy the maximum number of participants, I don't expect much movement for now. May my prediction be accurate long enough to be forgotten rather than be a subject of laughter, or worse, outright derision.
    Jan 6 07:25 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coal: Dawn of the Black Gold Rush [View article]
    Those who would invest in coal should factor in eventual restraints on the use of carbon. Coal, being near pure carbon, will suffer most unless "clean coal" technology eventually is developped and becomes cost effective.

    Climate change / global warming is becoming more obvious to all that would see. Denyers may still opine the certitude that it is all a plot but speeches on You Tube do not equate and negate articles found in peer reviewed academic journals.

    If one remembers the tactics used by the tobacco deniers, there will probably be plenty of time to profit. Just don't buy with the intention of holding forever.
    Nov 8 07:45 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why It Makes Sense to Have Ethanol in Your Investment Portfolio [View article]
    Xander - Even if one accepts your assumption that ethanol is a direct substitute for Middle East oil (which it isn't), better alternatives exist. If ethanol is such a great fuel, import it from Brazil and other tropical countries at a net lower cost to consumers. Alternately, historical evidence indicates that sugar beets, produced in the U.S., beats corn on cost. if you are wary of imports and are willing to pay more than cane based ethanol, unless science has changed, sugar beets would be a better choice than corn for domestically
    produced ethanol.

    But, there is no sugar beet lobby. There is a corn lobby. So, at best, the U.S. chooses a costlier solution than simple logic would dictate. Thus, my suggestion that a political analysis precede any economic analysis.
    Oct 18 07:32 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why It Makes Sense to Have Ethanol in Your Investment Portfolio [View article]
    In most of the U.S. and Canada, sugar used to be produced from sugarbeets. This died out simply because competition from sugar cane effectively killed it. To produce sugar from corn, and then make alcohol makes no economic sense.

    To produce sugar from a second best source in temperate climates, and to effectively ban cane-based ethanol from tropical countries is a political decision.

    Just that you know that your investment decisions should be politics-based. Once you believe that the corn lobby has succeeded in electing their right-thinking politicians, then it will be time to choose the means for profiting. Perhaps a reading of the polls has already gotten you there.
    Oct 18 12:47 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: Best Energy Investment of the Decade [View article]
    Eventually, even the U.S. will trade and/or tax carbon. Unless CO2 sequestration becomes cheaply available, this will be a plus for natural gas relative to coal.

    I agree with Bradiop in favoring companies that would benefit in the increased use of natural gas, rather than the actual producers.
    Oct 13 09:40 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exactly How Laissez Faire Was the Financial Sector? [View article]
    One need only read the tracts put out by the Right since the Thatcher-Reagan era to recognize their desire to unleash the power of unfettered capitalism by limiting if not eliminating the regulatory process. The IPE group seems to have been drinking at the font of the Joseph Goebbels School of Propoganda to blame our present problems on excessive regulation.
    Oct 12 08:20 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Budget Deficit Is Falling [View article]
    Swiftcreek - Pleigh's point was that Australia and Canada's relatively high taxation had not hurt them in the present crisis. Your point about resource dependence having helped them during the present crisis is true. But, that does not explain away their wealth created through economic cycles that have at times been quite unfavorable.

    Both Australia and Canada, like the U.S., have federal systems, providing greater democracy at the cost of bureaucratic inefficiency.

    Infrastructure costs tend to be greater in vast countries with low population densities.

    It seems to me that people can prefer a low taxation, low government service environment even if, from observation of the world's materially rich countries, it seems to be irrelevant to the creation and maintenance of that wealth.

    Americans seem to prefer greater economic freedom. Others prefer a more egaliterean society.
    Sep 16 06:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment