It would appear that Canada is doing alright. One of the few western nations to have weathered the credit collapse, Canada seems to be doing okay, for now.
The recent drop in the price of oil, however, has hurt and will continue to hurt. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz patted himself on the back yesterday by saying that it was a good thing that he lowered the rates when he did, rather than wait and see. The effect is to slightly weaken Canadian GDP in Q1, but reduce the long-term sting (assuming oil will rebound this year – a scenario which some consider unlikely.) This continues the storyline that Canada has been conservative in its financial planning and that ‘slow and steady’ wins the race.
Japan, on the other hand, faces many huge problems. An ageing population coupled with a low birth rate, little land for crops, radioactive food on what little land they do have (which will hurt the birth rate more than increase the death rate) and a money-printing strategy of which even the Fed is jealous.
Europe is printing money, Australia’s natural resources are crashing in value, China’s economy (the shadow side of it anyhow) is plummeting, and Russia… it could go either way. The only thing holding up the US economy now, besides hype and faith, is the value of the dollar. (What Saudi did to oil, America did to its currency; but Saudi is hurting, too.) The strong dollar is leaving all other currencies in its wake. Swiss de-pegged the Franc and said enough, we’re not playing this game anymore. (They should have gotten their gold back in that referendum last year, even it if was all in coin bars.)
Let’s not forget that the Canadian economy would be in tatters were it not for the American market. This is Canada’s greatest vulnerability; but Canada has been hedging of late with emphasis on the TPP and other trade deals abroad.
Nevertheless, other factors bring one to conclude that Canada is the place to be. Li Ka-Shing (richest man in Asia) just sold everything he had in Hong-Kong and got himself a Canadian passport. The Rothschilds’ head office is in Toronto (they may or may not still control the world, but they do know what they’re doing.) Things can’t be all bad, can they?
The secret behind all of this disorder in the world can be summed-up in one phrase: Disaster Capitalism. Remember that expression. A brief example of DC follows: If a farmer can make two million dollars on his crops (through insurance) if they fail, and only one million if he sells them at market, that farmer will pray for locusts, floods or drought. Derivatives are ways to bet that this will happen. (The total derivatives market is now around the $800 Trillion mark, about ten times global GDP.) There are those who have a vested interest in global starvation (Monsanto, ironically enough,) and there are those who espouse the merits of de-population (Bill Gates who owns tons of Monsanto shares.) If floods wipe out certain crops, Monsanto has flood-resistant seed; if droughts are to blame, Monsanto has drought-resistant seed, too. If there is too much aluminum in the soil, Monsanto has abiotic seed. I suspect Monsanto is up to its eyeballs in derivatives, but whether it is or not, it would make (economic) sense if they could figure out a way to poison the earth. Bill Gates, on the other hand… well, I’ve gotten into that before.
In other words, the worse it gets, the greater the wealth gap will be. The worse off Canadian farmers are, the more consolidation we will see in Big-Agri. And cloud-seeding programs (geo-engineering) in Alberta (sponsored by the insurance industry) move potential hailstorms from Calgary (to protect cars) on into the prairies (to damage wheat.) Hmmmm…
The farm example is just that, an example, but the same can be said for every other sector, as well. What Wal-Mart did to mom-and-pop stores is taking place all over the agriculture and resources markets in Canada. Consolidation and mergers are the order of the day making the big bigger and the small extinct.
So is Canada a safe haven? You bet it is; if you’re a big player. For the rest of us, it’s better here than in most other places, for now; but austerity will catch up, and when the rest comes tumbling down, there won’t be any safe places left, unless you’re a polar bear.
Now with the Women’s World Cup, Pan-Am Games, and another Toronto bid (fifth) for the Olympics in 2024, the stage is being set for a new Canadian renaissance in Toronto reminiscent of the late 60’s – 70’s in Montreal.