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Economic Outlook

Canadian Banking Regulators Sound the Alarm

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Posted by Nathan McDonald

on Thursday, 24 March 2016 08:58

UnknownThe shouts of warning are finally starting to come out from official bodies. Since the collapse of the oil and gas market, we have been writing about the fact that we haven't seen the worst yet. 

As I have previously written, Canada and Russia are two countries that have been absolutely devastated by the crashing oil markets. The oil and gas crash has racked the Canadian economy and resulted in massive layoffs in the industry and those that support it. Yet the ripple effect has yet to take full effect and the corresponding regulatory bodies are just starting to take notice. 

The Canadian banking sector, along with the Commodities sector, constitutes a massive part of the Canadian economy. Therefore, it is not surprising to learn that the former is now controlled by the latter and in a major way. 



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Economic Outlook

Chang and Eng - The US and Canada

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Posted by Jeff Thomas via Sprott Money

on Thursday, 24 March 2016 08:48

40885Chang and Eng were the first internationally known "Siamese twins", as a result of their having been exhibited worldwide. Although each had a complete body, they were joined together at the sternum.

In 1870, Chang suffered a stroke and his health deteriorated over the next four years. In 1874, at age sixty-two, he developed bronchitis and died. His brother Eng realised immediately that his continued attachment to his brother meant that he was next. Although he was separated from his twin in an emergency operation, Eng died hours later. He left the problem too long and paid with his life.

Just as with Siamese twins, it's a risky proposition for one country to have too much dependency on another. If a visitor to Uruguay were to visit a supermarket and examine the origin of the products by reading labels, he would find that Uruguay produces 90% of the food it consumes. In Cuba, however, we read the labels on packaging and see that the great majority of packaged foods comes from Mexico. This suggests that, should food production diminish in Mexico, or should there be political turmoil or shipping problems, Cuba could face significant problems in feeding its people.



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Economic Outlook

Explosions at Brussels airport and metro station kill at least 34

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Posted by Business Insider

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 06:51

 

  • Death toll climbs to at least 34 in attacks on Brussels airport and metro station.
  • Dozens injured in what prosecutors say was a suicide bombing.
  • All public transport shut down in Brussels.
  • Authorities launch massive police operation.
  • Belgian prosecutors confirm the explosions were terrorist attacks.
  • Belgium raised its terror alert to its highest level.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 6.44.38 AM

 

....read more HERE

 



Economic Outlook

The Dark Night: North Korean Strategy

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Posted by George Friedman - This Week In Geopolitics

on Monday, 21 March 2016 18:35

To understand North Korean strategy today, we must first understand the implications of its geography. Korea is a peninsula jutting southward from Manchuria. The waves of the Yellow Sea break on its western shores, and the waves of the Sea of Japan roll in on its eastern flank. It shares a 30-mile-wide border with Russia, its northeastern border about 70 miles from Vladivostok, Russia’s major eastern port. The southeast corner of Korea juts to within 100 miles of Japan to its south, and the peninsula’s southwest corner angles westward only about 300 miles from Shanghai. In hostile hands, Korea can threaten Japan’s access to the East China Sea and the Pacific from the Sea of Japan. Korea can also potentially interfere with China’s access to the Yellow Sea and potentially to Shanghai.

Japan and China have invaded the Korean Peninsula on several occasions. Its geographical position and size relative to Japan and China made these incursions inevitable. From the Chinese point of view, Korea served as Japan’s axis of advance in China. From Japan’s point of view, if a hostile power were to hold Korea and thereby gain access to the Sea of Japan, it could threaten maritime trade and open the door to invasions of the home islands from the west and the east. When the peninsula was in Japanese hands, Manchuria and the Russian maritime regions, including Vladivostok, were threatened.

Surrounding 20160321 TWIG



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Economic Outlook

Life and Times During the Great Depression

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Posted by Visual Graphics

on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 07:09

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 7.02.11 AMThe economy of the United States was destroyed almost overnight. 

More than 5,000 banks collapsed, and there were 12 million people out of work in America as factories, banks, and other shops closed.

Many reasons have been supplied by the different economic camps for the cause of the Great Depression, which we reviewed in the first part of this series

Regardless of the causes, the combination of deflationary pressures and a collapsing economy created one of the most desperate and miserable eras of American history. The resulting aftermath was so bad, that almost every future Central Bank policy would be designed primarily to combat such deflation.

...view and read more HERE



Economic Outlook

A Common Theme

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Posted by Robert Levy - Border Gold

on Saturday, 12 March 2016 07:00

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 7.48.51 PMThe theme of divergence has been playing out in the global economy. One example is how the US Federal Reserve has begun their path of gradually raising interest rates whereas central banks like the Bank of Japan or European Central Bank have acted in recent months to lower policy interest rates and provide further economic stimulus through quantitative easing. Another, in the United Kingdom there is talk of a “Brexit” where citizens will vote in a referendum this June whether to remain a part of the European Union. Even in Canada we see divergence in the form of how the BC economy performs compared to the rest of the country.

Over the course of 2015, as commodities prices continued to tumble, the Canadian energy sector has had a net negative effect on the countries labour market. The province of Alberta lost more jobs last year than they did in 1982 when they were in recession. BC on the contrary, has seen employment growth of 3 per cent in the twelve months trailing February 2016. It leads the pack of Canadian provinces and is one of three to actually add jobs over the last year. Parts of this country are very challenged with economic opportunity while other regions are forecasted to show modest growth.

This in itself presents a very difficult challenge for the new Federal Liberal government as we begin to examine and digest the details of their first budget over the next couple of months. There are very clear have and have not regions of this country, and they must insure stimulus spending is (to quote Harvard economist Larry Summer’s) “targeted, timely, and temporary.”

Of the three T`s, all imply their own level of importance, but I`ll expand on the notion of being temporary. Whether the government runs a deficit amounting to half a percent or full percent of GDP is really inconsequential in the short run. That being said, TD`s Economics department updated their projections for the Fed`s budget with the latest data from the Finance Department and found from their estimates they are on track for run deficits totalling 150 billion over the next five years. This would in-fact twice break a Liberal promise of first capping deficits at 10 billion per annum and then second keeping the debt-to-GDP ratio fixed. This risks government spending creating negative connotations for returning to economic growth over the long run and having a debt that runs away like during the late 1980`s and early 1990`s.

Thankfully Canadian politics have exhibited a level of civility that is absent in most other western nations making headlines at the moment, and our new government has been given a mandate to spend as they see fit to reignite the Canadian economy. As BC`s forecasted to be most prosperous province through 2016 though we should hope for two things. The first being that the fiscal stimulus measures of the federal budget can provide an effective temporary lift to the Canadian economy. But, the second is certainly be careful what we wish for as the risks to over spending mean either higher taxes down the road or higher deficits bigger than planned as the government gets itself mired in debt.

 
 


Economic Outlook

Peddling Fiction, Ignoring Fact

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Posted by Peter Schiff - Euro Pacific Capital apital

on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 18:40

 
In his seventh, and final, State of the Union address this January, President Obama, clearly looking to bolster his legacy as the president who vanquished the Great Recession, boldly asserted that “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”  Unfortunately for the President, more and more Americans seem to believe (with an adequate basis in proof) that the fiction is emanating from the White House.
 
It’s hard to imagine how anyone can really assert with a straight face that the economy is currently “strong.” The most recent Gross Domestic Product (GDP), from 4th Quarter 2015, shows us barely inching along at a 1% annualized growth rate (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2/26/16). Given that moderate growth used to be measured in the 3%-4% range, and that recent declines in the trade balance could further subtract from both 4th (2015) and 1st quarter GDP, we could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow or two in reaction to Obama’s boast. 


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