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September 30, 2022 | Panic in London Over Interest Rates and Bond Prices

The panic in UK government bond markets that gripped London Monday was a trigger for emergency action by the Bank of England, which reversed its monetary policy in an attempt to calm markets. The UK budget released late last week was not well received. Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng, who delivered the government budget, […]

September 23, 2022 | The Fed Talks Tough as the Inflation Fighter

The Federal Reserve jumped its policy interest rate to 3 percent this week, from 2.25 percent. The Fed reiterated its commitment to getting inflation back to the target level of 2 percent, from its current pace of around 8 percent. The Fed is talking tough. Can the Fed walk the walk or is it just […]

September 16, 2022 | CPI Shocks The Financial Markets

The U.S. CPI for August shocked the markets this week, leading to an almost 4 percent decline in stock markets. The CPI showed a small decline, but the “core” CPI increased. Will inflation persist at these high levels? The market was expecting a moderation in the inflation number but got a shocking increase in some […]

September 9, 2022 | The Bank of Canada Says Full Speed Ahead

The Bank of Canada increased its policy rate by 75 basis points on Wednesday. It also stated that the fight to contain inflation is likely to last for some time. You could imagine them saying, “damn the torpedoes, full speed, go ahead.” How much pain will higher rates cause? The Governing Council of the Bank […]

September 2, 2022 | Junk Bond Prices Have Collapsed

Junk bond prices have collapsed, losing more than 15 percent of their value this year. But the push to higher rates by central banks and the possibility of a deep recession point to a much deeper adjustment during 2023. This will create some great opportunities for stock and bond investors.   This chart shows how […]

August 26, 2022 | Green Hydrogen is a Great New Opportunity for Newfoundland and Canada

Germany wants Canada to become a world leader in the production of hydrogen. With a visit from a star-studded delegation from Germany, Newfoundland gains credibility as a potential new centre for clean hydrogen. The delegation included German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz, the Economy Minister Robert Habeck as well as the CEOs of Volkswagen, Bayer, Uniper (spin-off […]

August 19, 2022 | Warren Buffett Loses His Magic Touch

The massive conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, run by the famed investor Warren Buffett, reported a large loss in the second quarter. Berkshire lost money because of accounting rules that require that losses on securities that are held must be recorded in earnings. Has Warren Buffett lost his magic touch?   Source: Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett is […]

August 12, 2022 | The Official Recession Label Will Come Much Too Late To Be Useful

The probability of recession in the U.S. is high. The popular definition of recession — two consecutive quarters of negative growth — has already occurred. But there is no official declaration of recession, yet. Why the delay in calling a recession? Some people argue that a U.S. recession has started. The test of two consecutive […]

August 5, 2022 | The Official Recession Label Will Come Much Too Late To Be Useful

The probability of recession in the U.S. is high. The popular definition of recession — two consecutive quarters of negative growth — has already occurred. But there is no official declaration of recession, yet. Why the delay in calling a recession? Some people argue that a U.S. recession has started. The test of two consecutive […]

July 29, 2022 | Persistent and Large Rate Hikes by the Fed Signal the End of an Era

This week’s large rate hike by the Federal Reserve means that the era of the Greenspan Put is over. The Fed increased its base rate by 75 basis points this week and hinted that more increases are coming, in spite of widespread worries about a weak stock market and an economy that might be already […]

July 22, 2022 | The Chinese Residential Property Market Crisis Deepens

The Chinese residential property market is in deep crisis. Thousands of apartment buyers have stopped paying their mortgages because they are upset that the unit they bought has not yet been built. Will this crisis affect China’s stability? Starting about a year ago, China’s residential property market was the focus of many articles when a […]

July 15, 2022 | The Bank of Canada Shocks with 100 Basis Points Increase in Rates

The Bank of Canada shocked financial markets with a surprise increase of 100 basis points in the official interest rate. Will this be enough to stop inflation? Here’s an excerpt from the July 13, 2022 announcement: “With the economy clearly in excess demand, inflation high and broadening, and more businesses and consumers expecting high inflation to persist […]

July 8, 2022 | Crude Oil Prices Peaking and Plunging

Crude oil has plunged below $95 this week, from a recent peak of $123 in March 2022. In the past, high prices for crude oil have been associated with recession. Is the price action of crude oil predicting a recession? Crude oil is the most actively traded commodity in the world. Its impact on the […]

July 1, 2022 | New Battery Design for BEVs Could Be a Breakthrough

Battery technology will be key to rapid adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The world’s largest EV battery manufacturer — Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) — has announced the specifications for a new battery design. Will this improvement push EVs into a dominant role? Here’s a release including a 4-minute video showing CATL’s battery compared to Tesla’s […]

June 24, 2022 | The Bank of Canada Wants 2 Percent While Inflation Nears 8 Percent

The inflation rate in Canada hit a new high for this cycle as it reached 7.7 percent growth. The Bank of Canada’s goal is to get inflation to 2 percent. Can the Bank of Canada succeed? Carolyn Rogers. Source: Bank of Canada Carolyn Rogers, senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada said that “inflation […]

June 17, 2022 | The Fed Will Continue To Hike Until It Hurts

The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday. Only once before has the Fed hiked by such a large amount. Conventional wisdom says that when inflation is out of control the Fed must hike until it hurts, and even beyond. There is only one parallel to the recent surge in inflation. […]

June 10, 2022 | The Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle has Begun its Journey into Obsolescence

The dominance of the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is coming to an end as battery electric vehicle (BEV) adoption accelerates worldwide. While the demise of the ICE vehicle will take a decade or two, the impact is already being felt. The popularity of ICE-powered vehicles began in the early 1900s when the use of […]

June 3, 2022 | Canadian Banks Declare Premature Victory Over COVID

Canadian banks declared victory, prematurely, over the COVID-19 crisis by reporting increased profits, in most cases, and raising their dividends. The looming interest rate increases powered by the central banks and the markets did not deter the banks in their optimism. Are Canadian banks adequately prepared for higher interest rates and a recession? A closer […]

May 27, 2022 | Central Bankers Take on the Housing Bubble

Central bankers are in a tough spot. They would like to curb inflation, but they know that raising interest rates quickly could trigger a recession. In the 1970s central bankers lost the battle with inflation for many years, and eventually they were forced to raise interest rates as high as 20 percent. Can central bankers […]

May 20, 2022 | The Crypto World is Shaken to its Core

Luna and TerraUSD are the crypto currency tokens which collapsed earlier in May. About $3 billion of reserves are gone and questions about what happened to the stablecoins are piling up. Touted as a safe haven for holders of cryptocurrency, the Luna/TerraUSD system failed spectacularly, going from a peak value of $18 billion in early […]

May 13, 2022 | A Worldwide Food Crisis is Happening

The world is in a food crisis that will affect everyone. The inflation in crop prices is threatening to trigger widespread starvation in some poor countries. Grain producers will benefit from strong prices and increased demand for their exports. Russia, United States, Ukraine, France and Canada are main exporters of wheat in the world. Input […]

April 29, 2022 | Battery Costs for Electric Vehicles are Soaring

Worldwide demand for battery electric vehicles is soaring. The cost of materials needed for vehicle batteries is rising even faster. Will the cost of batteries bring the electric vehicle revolution to a sudden halt? In some countries, such as Norway, the conversion to battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) is very advanced. With punitive taxes on internal combustion […]

April 22, 2022 | Battery Costs For Electric Vehicles Are Soaring

Worldwide demand for battery electric vehicles is soaring. The cost of materials needed for vehicle batteries is rising even faster. Will the cost of batteries bring the electric vehicle revolution to a sudden halt? In some countries, such as Norway, the conversion to battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) is very advanced. With punitive taxes on internal combustion […]

April 8, 2022 | Is Canada’s New Climate Plan Ambitious or Absurd?

  On March 29th the Canadian government announced a plan to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors of the economy, targeting a 40-45% reduction below 2005 levels (see plan here). The government is committing to $9.1 billion in new investment towards carbon capture technology, zero-emission vehicles, and cleaner electrical generation. Many stakeholders are still digesting the plan, so […]

April 1, 2022 | How To Get Inflation and The Housing Bubble Under Control Again

The current inflation surge in Canada and around the world demands answers from government. Will inflation be brought under control? How? I was invited along, with others, to present on March 28, 2022, to the Standing Committee on Finance for the House of Commons on a Zoom call. The topic is inflation, and the housing […]

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