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Hilliard MacBeth

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Author of "When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash"

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Gold is continuing its price surge, hitting new highs of $2,000 per ounce last week. The U.S. dollar has been weak, which is one of the factors pushing gold higher and attracting more speculators to the metal. Could gold continue to hit new all-time highs? I try to avoid visiting a topic too frequently. A Weekend […]

July 31st, 2020 | The Fed is Here to Help

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Federal Reserve made no change to its interest rate at this week’s meeting. The media release said that the Fed is worried about the economic impact of COVID-19. The Fed said it will use its “full range” of tools to support growth. What more can the Fed do? The US Federal Reserve continues to […] Radio - Gold, Hydrogen Power, Alternative Energy

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Hydrogen as a fuel has been promoted for decades. Until now hydrogen fuel cells never gained momentum, in a world dominated by coal and oil and, in the future, battery-electric vehicles, solar and wind. But hydrogen has generated new attention recently as European governments announced new subsidies. Could hydrogen play a bigger role in the […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Democratic Presidential nominee Joseph Biden unveiled his clean energy platform this week, which shows an increased willingness to move closer to the progressive wing of his party. The $2 trillion spending proposal is over four years, a dramatic change from his previous campaign promise of $1.7 trillion over ten years. If Biden wins in November, […] Radio - Condo speculators may get really burned

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The recent bankruptcy of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, a pioneer in U.S. shale production, highlights the disruptive change that is roiling energy markets. The COVID-19 pandemic recession has triggered a collapse in demand and prices for energy. Is the failure of some large US-based energy producers going to affect Canadian-based producers? The U.S. benchmark price for […] Radio - Is Alberta’s recovery plan workable?

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - This week the Canadian government lost its status as an issuer of triple-A-rated debt. On Wednesday, Fitch, one of the three debt ratings agencies, lowered Canada’s rating to AA+ from AAA. Until COVID-19 appeared, the Canadian government was one of the least indebted in the developed world. Over the last two decades, the government debt-to-GDP […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The economy is sagging badly during the unusual times brought on by the combination of a recession and the impact of COVID-19. Consumers and businesses have cut spending while government deficits have increased exponentially. But the net result is a severe decline in U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that will impact us for some time. […] Radio - Stock Markets, Industrial Output, Gold and Silver

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - A vaccine for COVID-19 is crucial for a complete economic recovery. While a rebound in activity has started, a return to “normal” requires a vaccine that can be delivered to billions of people. Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that a vaccine would be ready by the end of 2020, or early 2021. Other articles suggest […] Radio - How long will it take to get back to “Normal”?

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Canadian banks reported their results this week and, as expected, took substantially higher provisions for credit losses. Most of the increase in provisions came from estimates for future losses on performing loans. Banks are required to estimate future losses, based, in part, on a forecast for the economy and unemployment. Many Canadian households will face […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Evan Siddall, the CEO of the government’s housing agency, spoke to a parliamentary committee on Tuesday about Canadian housing risks. The agency he heads insures mortgages for the riskiest borrowers, those who cannot provide a down payment of at least 20 percent of the home purchase. Siddall suggested that the insurer could lose $9 billion […] Radio - Prospects for crude depend on the oil source

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - On May 13, 2020 Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell made a virtual speech warning about the weak U.S. economy, suggesting that fiscal and monetary policy makers must rise to the challenges caused by COVID-19. Since the Fed has already cut interest rates close to zero, announced unprecedented amounts of asset purchases and emergency lending programs, […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Investors in Canada, and elsewhere, are watching with fascination as Shopify, an Ottawa-based company founded by former snowboarder Tobias Lutke, grows to become the largest company by market value in Canada. Will Shopify be the next Amazon? In full disclosure I do not own Shopify (SHOP) or Amazon (AMZN). Shopify’s performance on the stock market […] Radio - Why Alberta’s oil patch is optimistic

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The impact of COVID-19 threatens to turn this recession into a unique event with unpredictable consequences. The economies of many developed countries were long overdue for a period of negative growth, and the elevated household debts in Canada, China and Australia meant that the next recession was going to be special. But now, because of […] Radio - Alberta still optimistic their oil can bounce back

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Bank of Canada could play a key role in mitigating the economic impact of the recession. And the government of Canada will dramatically expand its role as lender, and spender, of last resort. This week both the Bank of Canada and Statcan reported on the troubled economy. What can Canadians expect during this recession? […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The U.S. stock market peaked on February 19, 2020 at close to 3,400 on the S&P 500. A correction started the next day, developing quickly into a full-blown bear market. By March 23 that index had lost 34 percent. Since the March 23 bottom the stock market has rallied hard, retracing more than a third […] Radio - Will CERB lead to an annual guaranteed income in Canada?

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Gold bullion and gold mining shares have been used at times as a hedge against the possibility of a cataclysmic event in the markets. Since the arrival of COVID-19 and a severe economic downturn, interest in gold as a hedge is making a comeback. Will gold and gold mining shares perform as a hedge this […]
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