As Canada’s banks come under scrutiny by both government and the public, banking reformers have a chance to play “I told your so” card. In fact many of the predictions that critics made of the future of banking have come true, however the subject still remains largely out of sight and out of mind by media, public and government.
A private equity consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is preparing a takeover offer for Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. that, if successful, would represent one of the largest leveraged buyouts this country has seen, according to the Report on Business.
Wind energy is often considered as one of the better ideas when trying to build a greener energy plan, and it’s moved from a concept to a reality here in BC. But like forestry and mining the energy sector requires access to BC’s public lands and a closer look at the B.C. government's wind energy policies reveals an enormous giveaway of literally billions of dollars in wind farm assets and future public revenues to private power developers.
Banks nearly slip and fall as they show a moment of collusion?
By Don Elzer - February 1, 2008
In the wake of a rogue bank trader losing $7 billion for France’s second largest bank, we’re seeing just how fragile our big financial institutions are.
This week, Mark Carney has taken over as the new Governor of the Bank of Canada amidst growing public scrutiny of how our big financial institutions govern themselves.
While he’s facing the challenge of fighting off a looming recession and possibly redesigning our central bank, there is a greater question. Will Mark Carney place the interests of his country first, or the interests of Canada’s big six banks?
Will he reform our central bank - or will our banks reform him?
Carbon Tax: Crafting Bubble Magic
A carbon tax for all the wrong reasons?
Provincial efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions and create a smaller environmental footprint were bumped up a notch as Finance Minister Carole Taylor introduced the government’s new budget, which has directed British Columbians to pay more at the fuel pump and less at tax time under a new carbon tax on all fossil fuels.
As the housing bubble deflates across North America, economists are looking for the next bubble to replace it, and it appears as though the new bubble is being primed here in British Columbia as we test how a Carbon Tax actually works within our economy and how tax revenues will be spent. The Monster Guide discovers the next big bubble being constructed by FIRE.
A regional trade deficit with a view of the American and Pacific Rim marketplace
By Don Elzer
As the North Okanagan begins to consider the idea of an inland port it would be wise for all of us to begin to ponder just how global trade will change in this upcoming decade.
We’re well positioned to trade with both the United States and China, the two economic giants now dominating trade on the planet. However, so far both countries are hungry for our natural resources with little interest in our manufactured goods, in fact balanced trade to them means us buying their manufactured goods and Canada making natural resources easily accessible to them.
The taste for Canadian made products remains very thin in both countries as they become preoccupied with competing against one another for economic dominance.
How we love and want our "stuff" by the container ship load.
Regionally, the Okanagan has a trade imbalance, we demand consumer goods from overseas markets and we produce very little, and even our natural resources such as forest products remain in a slump.
There’s much we can learn from China as they grow their economy from manufacturing. A new study of worldwide technological competitiveness suggests China may soon rival the United States as the principal driver of the world's economy -- a position the U.S. has held since the end of World War II. If that happens, it will mark the first time in nearly a century that two nations have competed for leadership as equals.
We are now paying a Carbon Tax here in BC and the move represents one of many intended to bring about a new era of direct investment into our environment. Between now and the end of this year just about everyone will know what a carbon-offset is.
Carbon-offsets will be at the core of the US presidential race; they will be the chief point of discussion as we re-negotiate free trade; and they may be used to prime the financial resources to build Site C Dam here in BC if the province leverages its carbon tax with carbon-offset funds, a formula that could prime the construction of hundreds of other privately held energy related projects. The future under offsetting has governments creating a guidance framework, and handing the problem off to corporations who then invest in their own version of problem solving – or not.
Climate Action Secretariat makes its pitch to enviros
By Don Elzer
This past month the Campbell government’s climate action secretariat convened a meeting with environmental groups to discuss the government's proposed carbon offset regulations. The government expects to be purchasing between 600,000 to 900,000 tonnes of offsets each year to compensate for its greenhouse gas emissions. But those purchases - investments in projects that reduce such emissions - could be
controversial as the administration insists on including reforestation activities like the "incremental tree planting initiatives" mentioned in its recent throne speech.
Late last year the premier's special climate action advisor Mark Jaccard questioned the emissions impact of those activities and was quoted by The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer saying, "Was the planted tree in Guatemala truly an additional investment in reducing GHGs or would another tree have sprouted eventually in that spot anyway? Does the planted tree represent a permanent increase in biosphere sequestration or carbon or will it be cut down in 10 years' time?"
Our economic crash can be found in the winds of a hurricane
Economic Bad Karma
A grave on a once busy street in New Orleans, a disaster ignored by all of us now haunts the global economy.
By Don Elzer
After Katrina, which cost insurers $41.1 billion, 1992's Hurricane Andrew and the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon rank as the No. 2 and No. 3 most-costly U.S. catastrophes, according to the institute. Insured losses from Hurricane Ike would have to top $17 billion to rank fourth.
Katrina ended up costing almost as much as two wars. Lining those disasters up in a row and squeezing them into an eight year time frame is proving to be much too costly for the North American economy.
The question remains, why didn’t the rebuilding of New Orleans cause an economic boom in the US? Certainly, rebuilding one of the largest cities in the US, is a project that which might compare to staging 30 or 40 Olympic Games. The answer is simple, it wasn’t rebuilt. It remains an anomaly in US history, and one that we’re all paying for today. The decision will eventually prove to be negligent on the part of policy-makers and the insurance industry.
One of the world's foremost thinkers in the field of monetary reform is a long time resident of the Okanagan Valley, and he’s quietly watching in the wings as nearly every one of his predictions quickly turns into reality.
Darcy Craig Milligan’s work has become both renowned and vilified in the world of international banking as he has both exposed and proposed alternatives that would see our economic framework returned to more local control. His theories have for the most part flown under the radar of mainstream media and have been unnoticed by Canada’s governments, but that may shift.
Time to fix an antiquated tax system and economy?
Monetary reform people have a better idea, and we should be listening
We have the technology and the economic will. But do we have the courage?
Much of what Milligan has focused on over the past three decades is what’s described as Constitutional Money, which is the foundation to monetary reform, but there’s a component of that reform movement that could prove to be just what we need right now. A small Financial Transactions Tax is capable of reducing and even totally eliminating most if not all taxes that we pay today, as well as injecting huge amounts of capital into local economies for the paying down of interest-bearing debt and the building of publicly-owned capital assets within communities.