Hats off to Hearst

Someone gets smart: Instead of dropping its Canadian prices, a U.S. magazine publisher has quietly removed the American price for its magazines — leaving only the Canadian price on the cover. You go, Hearst Magazines! What the market will bear! The hyperbolic reaction ranges from calling the move a “shell game” (The Star headline) tocontinue reading

Fun with numbers

Pace the Globe and Mail’s John Partridge, a lovely man, a lede like this always makes me question whatever follows: You should probably ignore all the headlines you have seen shrieking about the vast amount of cross-border shopping — physical and online — triggered by the soaring Canadian dollar. Really? Why? Because Stats Can sayscontinue reading

Watching ducks walk

A story in the Globe today reports on a study of how consumers make decisions about what to buy. The study posits that consumers choose products they identify with — the “in” group — and shun ones in the “out” group. In one experiment, the group of Canadian: study subjects used and graded identical penscontinue reading

For all your bludgeoning needs

From CBS Marketwatch:  World of Warcraft Visa. This comes from the online role-playing game World of Warcraft and gives cardholders points toward free game time. For every 1,500 points earned, the cardholders gets one free month of play time.

The mean streets of Halton region

Police shoot man in Oakville park at two-thirty in the morning, Oakviller expresses disbelief that real life takes place in her Legoland-like hometown: The woman, who asked not to be named, said she usually takes her 2-and 3-year-old boys for walks in that forest. She said her family moved to the neighbourhood because it wascontinue reading

Separated, but living in the same house

Oh, I do love a good theory. Especially when it’s clearly spelled out in a way that makes it easy to poke holes in. So thanks to BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Doug Porter for his irresistible musings on decoupling: Despite the tight linkages, there are four reasons to believe domestic growth will fare better than thecontinue reading

What a coincidence!

From Saturday’s Financial Post: It was one of those rare coincidences which cause the view to completely change. The same week in early November that the loonie hit a record high of US$1.10, Canada reported a record quarterly drop in its trade surplus — it fell by more than a third to $10.7-billion in thecontinue reading

Guess the caption

   …I’m guessing yours isn’t the one currently on the website I took it from:  Jane New spends some time removing the ice build-up on her car before heading out in downtown Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007. The forecast calls for up to 10 cm of snow by nightfall. Or do helicopters come withcontinue reading

Mark these words

There’s usually a lag between economic cycles in the US and in Canada — a year and a half to two years seems to be the accepted lag time for real estate — which is why I’m constantly surprised to see economists committing things like this to paper — exclamation points and all: While somecontinue reading