Loonie Tunes

The Canadian dollar—the so-called “Loonie”—has been flirting with parity against the US dollar in foreign exchange markets. This concerns some Canadian politicians, regulators and economists. An economy based on commodities relies on exports for economic growth, which bolsters the image of those who attempt to manage trade. A strong dollar makes Canadian goods more expensive to foreigners who must pay more to acquire the dollars needed to pay for Canadian goods. Some economists have suggested that the Bank of Canada should sell Canadian dollars to devalue the currency. This sort of fine-tuning would make exports more affordable to foreign customers. … Continue reading Loonie Tunes

Terror Tactic

From Stockholm a Reuters story speculates about connections to an apparently foiled attack by a suicide bomber last Saturday. A premature detonation caused an explosive-laden vehicle to burst into flames killing the bomber, Taymour Abdulwahab. A local security spokesperson was reported to have said that a team of investigators, including the FBI, was looking for “links with blasts elsewhere”. Initially, Swedish authorities speculated that Abdulwahab had accomplices and was possibly targeting the central railway station or a large department store. Looking for links to blasts elsewhere? The article contained the following statements: “…Middle East-born suicide bomber Taymour Abdulwahab…. “Abdulwahab’s family … Continue reading Terror Tactic

Canadian Copycats

Canadians copy many social and cultural conventions from their North American neighbors. At the same time, many Canadians, particularly those in policy-making roles, agonize over their conception of a Canadian “identity” crisis. The latest manifestation of this trait is now a national economic problem. Canadians are carrying too much consumer debt against the preferences of leaders such as Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney and Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Like their American cousins the policy-makers (politicians and bureaucrats) have been pursuing a low-interest rate strategy in an effort to “stimulate” a faltering economy. The regrettable side effect is that … Continue reading Canadian Copycats