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Hilliard MacBeth

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Author of "When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash" Radio - GM’s Electric Hummer sells out in 10 minutes

October 16th, 2020 | The Second Wave of COVID-19

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Six months after the COVID-19 pandemic started, reports abound of significant increases in cases in some countries. The United Kingdom, for example, shows new daily cases higher than any previous peak. How big is this second wave? How will it affect the economy? As recently as mid-September pundits were forecasting a recovery in the economy […]

October 10th, 2020 | Clean Energy Wins The Race

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Clean energy investing outperformed stock market averages worldwide over the past year. The investment crowd is piling into investments related to renewable energy. Will the clean energy sector continue to outperform? The performance of clean energy companies like Tesla, Vestas and Enphase has been spectacular this year. Funds that specialize in renewable and clean energy […]

October 2nd, 2020 | The Recession Becomes Real

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Canadian government, the biggest spender of the G7 countries, rushed legislation through Parliament this week that extends an income support program to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new subsidy under Employment Insurance (EI) replaces the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). About 4 million people, or 20 percent of the workforce, were receiving […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The optimism about the Canadian economy that appeared in late spring and continued into the summer was created in part by generous government income support and payment deferrals. Now that complacency will be tested as the mortgage deferral cliff, the biggest of payment deferrals, will arrive in October. And income support programs are also expiring […]

September 23rd, 2020 | Throne Speech and Battery Day Radio - Bank of Canada, Real Estate, Energy

September 18th, 2020 | Zombies Must Go Now

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The number of zombie companies is increasing exponentially. As Japan learned in the 1990s, a predominance of companies that cannot pay their debts is bad for the economy. Central bankers kept interest rates unusually low, helping firms stay alive that would have failed even before this recession. Zombies are a negative force for future growth […]

September 11th, 2020 | Bank of Canada Runs Out of Ideas

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Monetary policy, as practiced by central bankers around the world, has been ineffective for most of the last decade and longer. In the current crisis, their traditional toolkit, which focuses on manipulating interest rates, has failed. Is there more that the Bank of Canada can do during this economic emergency? Here is an excerpt of […]

September 4th, 2020 | Lucky Australia Strikes Out

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Australia outpaced Canada in economic terms during the housing and resource boom of the last twenty years. And, unlike Canada, Australia managed to avoid a recession for almost thirty years. A combination of real estate growth and resource-based exports kept the country Down Under growing, until now. Has Australia’s lucky streak come to an end? […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Canadian banks have yet to feel the full impact of loan losses in this recession. Quarterly earnings for all Canadian banks appeared this week and showed hints of what is to come, although extreme outcomes were not reflected. Are bank earnings showing the full impact of the current recession yet? In May 2019, the Bank […] Radio - Is Alberta’s Hyper-Loop Just Hype?

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The U.S. election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 looks to be a watershed event. The incumbent, Donald J. Trump, is weaker in the polls than most presidents seeking a second term. A change in government, especially if the U.S. Senate majority switches, will have a major impact on policies that affect investors. What can investors […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Market valuations in the U.S. have seldom been higher, rivalled only by 1929 and the 2000 peak. These are unusual times as this combination of great market returns since April and a terrible economy has never happened before. How worried should investors be about the U.S. market? One of our favourite charts is the Shiller […] Radio -  Can people afford the real estate they’re buying now?

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
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