Don’t believe the hype

Someone the other day was quoted as saying “$25 is the new $200” — that is, the new outlier target for oil prices is now $25/barrel. With the price per barrel at $40.81 and continuing to fall, it doesn’t seem like a bold call. The tumbling price of crude has put numerous projects in thecontinue reading

Dragging their feet against the inevitable

According to today’s paper, the City of Toronto plans to announce a deal to impose a five-cent tax on plastic bags at a news conference today with Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, and their lobby group, the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. Missing in action? The news conference is not expected to include representatives of the Retailcontinue reading

Ideological cluelessness abounds

Harper speaks to reporters in Lima on November 23rd: “Recent private sector forecasts suggest the strong possibility of a technical recession at the end of this year and the beginning of next,” Harper said [November 23] at a news conference in Lima, where he was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. “I am surprised atcontinue reading

The Shipping News

Someone told me yesterday that the Capesize cargo ships his company uses to import and export its product have fallen in price from $220,000 a day to $9,000 a day. That’s no typo — these ships can now be had for less than 10K per day. Daily rates are continuing to plummet. The Baltic Drycontinue reading

I’m asking nicely

Late to the party, Scotia Economics conceded at last yesterday that the Canadian housing boom is over. But fear not — we’re still different: “This is not a ‘U.S.-style’ bust caused by overbuilding, speculative buying and imprudent lending, but rather a cyclical slowdown accompanied by a valuation adjustment in several large centres where booming demandcontinue reading

Moving on

I wondered about the 3 million job loss number tossed around by the automakers and the media. A former GM economist explains: Job losses would not be close to being as large as is claimed by the industry’s hired guns at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). Among job losers if Detroit actually has tocontinue reading

A blogger bites back

I was going to post something else from Willem Buiter’s excellent Maverecon blog at — his thoughts on why Britain may face a currency crisis and a sovereign debt crisis, in addition to the calamitous economic situation it is already in. But then I came across this, which I enjoyed more. Buiter explains thatcontinue reading

From Iceland to Switzerland?

Isolated, proud people, European but not Euro-pean, if you know what I mean. OK, so one has lots of mountains and safe deposit boxes, and the other has tundra and a bank with a high-savings arm called Icesave that — wait for it — melted away. Iceland has been called the first casualty of thecontinue reading