The logic of Alberta leaving Canada is difficult to deny. If the rest of Canada remains hellbent on cramping the Albertans’ style, why not quit the Canada Show? Alberta isn’t dependent on the federal government’s financial handouts like other provinces. It has an energy sector, public infrastructure, educational system and workforce that has drawn plenty of international investment interest on its own. Negotiating export pipelines directly with the United States would be infinitely easier than with other Canadian governments, especially since the U.S. Gulf Coast is home to the only concentration of refineries in the world that can process Albertan heavy crudes. The money the Albertan government would save by not having to underwrite the rest of Canada would be gob-smacking.
Everyone has heard of the Federal Reserve Bank or “The Fed” and that it has something to do with the value of our money — and so it must be very important. But few even claim to really understand what the Fed does and how it does it.
The Dow Jones Industrials Average and S&P 500 are breathing down the neck of record highs set last Fall. Some take that as a sign to sell, time to shift out of equities and realize gains. We think that would be a mistake.
It feels like we are living in the Land of Oz and the Fed is the "all-powerful" wizard in control.
From just about every significant group of thought leaders – the press, politicians, economists, analysts, and government officials – the narrative of the past twelve years has been all about government and nothing about the entrepreneur. They say the crisis ended because of government bailouts and easy money. It's an artificial sugar high, covering up fundamental problems that still exist and could come back without the Fed's support.
It's March 8, 2009. The market's down 56% from its all-time high, unemployment is over 8% and hurtling toward 10%, it's just been reported that real GDP dropped at a 6.2% annual rate in Q4 of 2008, and it feels like the world is coming to an end. You're tired, exhausted from living though this, and you fall into a deep sleep. So deep, in fact, that you don't wake up until today, 10 years later.
Twenty-two trillion! It's a number we have been hearing a lot lately. Five years ago, it was seventeen trillion. Sometimes as a statement, sometimes a question. Debt – consumer, business, but most notably government – has a permanent spot on many investors' minds. But knowing the level of debt hasn't helped investors. It needs to be taken in context.
In civilized societies, children are taught not to bully. The “#MeToo” movement has declared war on adult sexual bullies. But there is one area where the bullies have not been called out and, in fact, are often applauded, even though they have hurt thousands of times as many people as Harvey Weinstein.