Two important pieces of news for the Canadian resource sector were announced today, both reference in some way the “net benefit” clause for investment in Canada, one at a national level (Nexen-CNOOC), the other at a provincial (National Gateway pipeline review), both important to Canadian and global resource supply chains. First, the proposed takeover of Nexen […]
Jeffrey Sachs in yesterday’s FT A-List argues that “spending has been sizeable…the structural fiscal expansion was more than 4 per cent of GDP on a sustained basis during 2009-11… Fiscal stimulus, in short, has been tried, but did not succeed in spurring a robust recovery.” But reading further into why this fiscal effort failed, he […]
The Great Contraction has exerted large negative effects on state and local government finances, as detailed by the Congressional Budget Office, prompting renewed concerns among the media and investors about the possibilities of bankruptcy and default. In fact, there have been few recent occurrences of municipal bond defaults, with state and local debt being extremely […]
Central banks made a coordinated 50bps cut today, but to a facility that almost no one uses and apparently fewer understand, as the NY Fed’s detailed breakdown of exposures shows. Commentaries like CNBC’s leave out important points, like the reason the ECB needs those dollars… which is to lend to banks in Europe which can’t […]
Clearly the government needs to do more to help citizens in dire financial straits. An information hotline is a good bit short of a serious plan, such as the one described in my last blog post; Martin Feldstein and Gavyn Davies have also weighed in recently. As far as this story goes, Mandelman’s blog post […]
Monetary policy refers to the process by which a country’s central bank controls money supply, often through the manipulation of interest rates, with the aim of promoting economic growth and stability while maintaining relatively stable prices and low unemployment. Monetary policy is either expansionary (mainly by lowering interest rates to combat a recession or a […]
The Economist recently had an in-depth special report on pensions, but one confusing statement stood out:
In a sense, it does not matter how the benefits are paid for. If unfunded, they come from workers’ taxes; if funded, they come from investment income.”
What did they mean by it, and are they making sense?
Today is the one year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that dumped 4.9 million barrels (206 million gallons) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. A roundup of what has happened so far:
1.8 million gallons of dispersants released.
Microbes supposedly ate the rest of the oil and methane.
Blown-out Macondo well was plugged with cement.
China’s FX reserves passed the US$3 trillion mark in March, reaching a level of US$3.044 trillion at the end of the month. Given that China recorded a trade deficit for the quarter, this implies that China received a hefty amount of hot money in the quarter.
Late stage capitalist societies like Japan and the U.S. already have the capacity to produce more than enough of the basic goods needed for our biological survival – such as food and shelter. The production of basic goods has become so efficient that we need fewer and fewer people to work to provide them. But at the same time, the population has grown because of such efficient, mass production. Because job creation and wage growth didn’t keep up with rising living costs – leading to lifestyle changes such as the two-income family, post-baby boom families got smaller, closing off a demographic bubble that will soon become a national budgetary headache. In essence, Japan and the U.S. have become victims of their own success.