JK Galbraith said it best

From The Great Crash, cited in today’s Globe: “Always when markets are in trouble, the phrases are the same: ‘The economic situation is fundamentally sound’ or simply ‘The fundamentals are good.’ “All who hear these words should know that something is wrong.”

There go the oil sands

Via Naked Capitalism, an interesting outlook for oil demand from Oppenheimer. Most important for Western Canada’s oil sands production is this assessment: We don’t expect OPEC to aggressively defend oil prices above $60/b, since higher prices slow economic and demand growth, which are not in OPEC’s best interests. Could oil fall to $60? Well… Givencontinue reading

PMSH, market analyst

Secular bear market? Not according to our Prime Minister, who, echoing the sage advice of W. those many years ago, urges you all to get out there and buy something. “I think there’s probably a lot of great buying opportunities emerging in the stock market as a consequence of all this panic.”

“The financial planet is in total crisis”

That’s the comforting assessment of a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council. Having spent much of last fall and this spring following the credit crisis, and trying to picture the changes it could bring about, I find myself oddly unmotivated to write about it now that, in many ways, the worst case scenariocontinue reading

It’s the shorts!

Oh yeah, this is sure to restore confidence in British financial stocks (emphasis added): Britain bans short-selling of financial stocks By Steve Goldstein Last update: 1:52 p.m. EDT Sept. 18, 2008 LONDON (MarketWatch) — Britain’s Financial Services Authority on Thursday banned short-selling of financial stocks and prohibited any increase in new bearish positions in thecontinue reading

The Oracle of Ottawa

“My own belief is if we were going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now.” You have to wonder just why Stephen Harper would feel compelled to offer these thoughts today. I mean, I understand this comment, also from today: “The Canadian economy’s fundamentals arecontinue reading

Oil sands production: unsustainable, in so many ways

Jack Layton’s campaign kick-off highlighted the well-known environmental issues with the oil sands. And a new report from National Bank Financial highlights the other sustainability problem facing Fort McMurray: the break-even oil price required by new mining projects in the oil sands has jumped to $85 a barrel, an increase of $20 or 31% incontinue reading

And so it begins

I think we know how this story goes. After months of slower sales and record-high inventory, Toronto’s real estate prices begin their descent: In the City of Toronto the average price declined one per cent to $377,990 from last August’s $381,681. Existing home sales in the city were down 25% year-over-year, which qualifies as “stable”continue reading

Chinese ingenuity, the new Soviet incompetence?

From the GMO quarterly newsletter, a dissenting voice on the Chinese miracle: No sooner do we finish wallowing in the idea of Soviet incompetence than we start to believe that Chinese central planners can wonderfully manage a complicated economy, growing unprecedentedly fast and transforming overnight from a rural society to a capital-intensive wonder using halfcontinue reading

We made the cut!

Often Canadians like making it onto lists — best quality of life, most expensive cities, kindest and gentlest societies, that kind of thing. But then there are lists Canada is on but would prefer to be left off, like the Al-Qaeda target lists, or this one — super-bear economist Nouriel Roubini’s list of countries likelycontinue reading