Today's economy

Today’s economy media pack – 2010.01.29

By Kevin Press, BrighterLife.ca

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A cautious Stephen Harper, some good news from the U.S. and Niall Ferguson on the “world debt overhang.”

  • The Globe and Mail. Canada’s voice of caution to the world. “Stephen Harper is warning that the global economic recovery is in a fragile state, and that governments around the world will have to redouble their efforts to solidify the rebound and prevent another crippling recession.”
  • The Globe and Mail. TFSAs, RRSPs, or both? “For years, Duncan MacAdams socked away money in his registered retirement savings plan. At 68, the Halifax property manager has accumulated a nest egg of about $100,000.”
  • National Post. Only half of retired couples share vision for retirement. “Of Canadian retirees who are married or in a common-law relationship, only half have the same vision for their retirement as their partner and 19% admit to conflict in their relationship because of this, the TD Waterhouse Couples and Retirement poll finds.”
  • National Post. Vancouver ‘severely unaffordable,’ study shows. “Vancouver has become one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world, with Toronto and Montreal not far behind, according to a survey released Monday.”
  • Yahoo! Finance. Vancouver expected to post best economic growth of any Canadian city in 2010. “The Olympic effect will give Vancouver’s economy enough of a boost to make it the top economic performer among Canadian cities this year, according to a report Wednesday by the Conference Board of Canada.”
  • CBC. IMF gives Canada vote of confidence. “Canada received another vote of confidence Tuesday as the International Monetary Fund raised its 2010 growth outlook for the country to 2.6%, positioning it as one of the top performers among developed countries for this year and next.”
  • CBC. ‘Earnings recession’ ended in last quarter: CIBC. “Profits at Canadian companies advanced last quarter for the first time since the start of the recession, but strong expectations for the year ahead will be tough to match, CIBC World Markets said in a report Monday.”
  • Bloomberg. Canada economy expands 0.4% in November on wholesales. “Canada’s economy expanded for a third consecutive month in November, led by gains in the wholesale trade, oil and mining industries.”
  • The Money Game. Rosenberg: Canada isn’t having a jobs crisis like America, so invest here. “David Rosenberg taunts current stock market weakness in his latest daily, while at the same time building himself a nice giant hedge by promoting Canadian stocks as cheaper alternative to U.S. ones. Thus if U.S. market keeps rallying he can at least point to his Canadian investments which would likely be rising at the same time in such a scenario.”
  • The Money Game. Roach: Double dip recession now 40% likely. “Morgan Stanley’s Steven Roach thinks it’s pretty unfair of politicians to be putting so much blame on banks alone for the financial crisis, as if to forget the role ratings agencies and government itself. Moreover, he also thinks a double dip recession is pretty likely.”
  • Roseman Eruptions. Boston based strategist turns cautious in 2010. “If you never heard of Jeremy Grantham then I suggest you become familiar with his views. The chief investment strategist at multi-billion investment firm GMO in Boston called the March 2009 market bottom and the market peak in 2007. Grantham is an astute market analyst and more often than not has predicted macro trends that usually turn out to be spot on.”
  • The Atlantic. Our not-so-great recession. “As the financial crisis of 2008-2009 slowly passes into history, the first round of autopsies is beginning, with congressional committees looking for culprits, and everyone from business leaders to economists to the proverbial man on the street grappling with answers as to what precisely caused the meltdown.”
  • The New York Times. Senate, weakly, backs new term for Bernanke. “The Senate gave Ben S. Bernanke a second four-year term as the head of the Federal Reserve on Thursday after critics excoriated the central bank’s conduct in the years leading up to the financial crisis.”
  • The Economist. America’s economy: Ticking up. “After a tough start to 2010, Barack Obama could not have asked for a better GDP number to distract attention from his political difficulties. In the fourth quarter of last year the American economy grew by an impressive 5.7%, at an annual rate, the best quarterly performance since 2003.”
  • The Economist. A Greek bailout, and soon? “In Brussels policy circles, the question asked about a bailout of Greece used to be: are European Union governments willing to do this? Now, I can report, the question among top EU officials has changed to: how do we do this?”
  • CNBC. Others will follow Greek debt tragedy: Niall Ferguson. “The world debt overhang is threatening the world recovery, because markets will realize at some point how risky it is and the yields on bonds will increase, Niall Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard University, told CNBC Thursday.”
  • Canadian Financial DIY. McKinsey deflates another bubble. “Those who think that now that the recession is over, everything is fine and happy days are here again might think a second thought after reading strategic consulting company McKinsey’s The Looming Deleveraging Challenge. We Canadians might be especially over-confident given the minimal harm our banks suffered during the 2008 crisis.”
  • Investment Postcards from Cape Town. The deleveraging has begun. “Barron’s magazine printed the first part of its annual Roundtable discussion of 2010 this past week. We noticed that many of the participants were very concerned about the debt (mostly government debt while we think total debt is a much more useful metric).”
  • BBC. Davos 2010: Global bosses are confident again. “A vast majority of the world’s top bosses are confident their companies will grow this year, a survey suggests.”
  • Daily Mail. Britain crawls out of the longest downturn in history but now the dreaded ‘double dip’ beckons. “Britain limped out of recession yesterday with an anaemic return to growth that raised fears of a second downturn and wrecked Gordon Brown’s election strategy.”
  • Million Dollar Journey. Talking about finances with your aging parents … or grown kids. “There are some conversations in life that are more difficult than others. Bringing up the subject of money with your aging parents or grown children has the potential to get messy.”
  • Financial Methods. How to avoid fights about money. “Couples fight about any and everything. Money should not be one of them.”

And please follow me at twitter.com/todayseconomy.

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