Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Omnibus Ballet - Act II

Here we go again, another omnibus budget bill. The second portion of the implementation of the 2012 budget. I never finished my analysis of the budget, because the situation we find ourselves in changes much faster than I can possibly analyze a massive document such as that. Not that my lack of interest in completing that analysis really matters, as bad economic news can really sound great depending on the wording. Bad news is good news when horrible news is the norm.

Here is a great example:

Canadian Dollar Falls Most Since May as Rate Outlook Eases

Doesn't that headline sound great? Our dollar is going down (exactly what we think we want) and the rate outlook is easing. Everyone loves easy, and so an easing outlook must be good right?

Here's a few excerpts:
Oil fell as forecasts from bellwether companies signaled slowing economic growth.
The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart by the most since May as a lower-than- forecast advance in consumer prices added to speculation the central bank will place less emphasis on raising policy rates.
“Nothing firm came out of the EU summit, and fiscal cliff talk isn’t helping things,” Thomas Molloy, chief dealer at FX Solutions LLC, an online currency-trading company in Saddle River, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview. “It’s generally risk off.”
The so-called fiscal cliff refers to $607 billion in U.S. federal spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January unless the U.S. Congress acts. The U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner.
Government bonds fell, pushing the benchmark 10-year note up 0.05 percentage point, or five basis points, to end the week at 1.84 percent. The price of the 2.75 percent notes maturing in June 2022 fell 44 cents to C$107.95. 

Canadian government bonds have lost 0.4 percent this month, on pace for the worst monthly performance since March, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Index data.
“The weak CPI data will have an impact on how the Bank of Canada telegraphs its forward-looking language,” Mazen Issa, Canada macro strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank’s TD Securities unit, said in a phone interview. “The data shows that on a year-over-year basis, inflation will be fairly benign and the growth outlook won’t change between now and next week -- we’re still expecting to see below-trend growth.” 
Here would be my choice for a headline: "Canadian dollar weakens against USD despite QE3 as global growth continues to falter".

Now it's interesting that the budget is being released in 2 separate implementations. Why? Well if you remember, the budget came out during the very first month I started this particular blog. What's happened since then? Well, we weren't in a housing bubble, then we were worried about interest rate hikes, then all of a sudden we were in a housing bubble, interest rate hikes were imminent, and now that housing bubble is collapsing (albeit slowly, but the speed will pick up - and no it won't stay in Vancouver and Toronto) and the interest rate hikes never happened, hmm. Canada's entire economic outlook has done a complete 180 degree flip. The specifics of the crisis are far far worse than those risks outlined in the budget going forward. The government has put this collapse at the feet of Flaherty's tweaks to mortgage rules but the reality of the situation is pretty damn obvious.

Part one of the budget was implemented while our economy was supposedly going up up up, and part two is being implemented while we struggle to grow. Both parts are to implement a plan that was revealed shortly after Q1 data was made available. This omnibus bill is unprecedented in size and scale in Canadian history, it makes sweeping changes, but based on what? It seems to me that a budget should reflect current economic conditions, and also attempt to project future trends. This of course leaves only two options towards their train of thought: Either the budget is based on complete nonsense, or for the entire year the government has been playing dumb about where they knew the general direction of the global economy is going. Naturally, it was the second, not the first.

In general, it seems to me the entire budget is essentially an implementation plan to prepare Canada for some sort of new position with Asia. I've written about this situation here. Since I've written that piece Canada has demonstrated an increasing realignment particularly with, but not limited to, China. I've noted before that our housing bubble was largely influenced by foreign investors and speculators. It should be no surprise our housing collapse is coming at the same time that foreign growth collapses and remember, even that growth data is exaggerated.

The size of the bill itself is interesting, I've been scrolling through it and for instance I find pages of "changes" in which the words "this Part" are replaced with "this Act". Seriously. Being that the size is such a point of contention amongst opposition parties, why include fluff and simple corrections like this at the same time? This lends to the argument that the size has been bloated on purpose. Why? Because its the size of a telephone book and it's pretty easy to hide a single Trojan horse in a document this size. I'd love to read it, but I'd have to quit my job or at least go on leave to have the time to do so.

What's been pointed at in the media as changes brought in by this budget bill are all listed in plain English in the summation at the top which in brief describes the changes in the specific divisions. Nobody is reading this thing, but the changes going on around us point to a major realignment towards Asian interests - this should be no secret.

The speed of implementation has to do with how little time remains before global economic collapse and the huge demand for energy in China and India. There can be no objections, this is why China will be able to challenge Canadian governments through a supposed independent trade body, as accompanies all free trade agreements. The legalities of our new relationship with China are not being done in public or with the Canadian citizen's knowledge, all the budget does is provide the infrastructure to carry out our new commitments.

For those who say the effect of a loss of sovereignty is being exaggerated, I've shown before not only that the dangers are very real but are already occurring in existing trade deals such as NAFTA.

Our realignment seems to be timely with pissing contests between major powers. About a week ago Russia declared they will not be renewing the nuclear arms treaty with the U.S. only to now a week later put on the largest nuclear demonstration for the world since the days of the Soviet Union. The war ducks are lining up, and energy is at the center of the conflicts - have no doubt.

Chain's fake growth collapsing is a phenomenon Canadians should be studying. It's very similar to what's being promoted here in Canada as the solution: a massive expansion so large that we will have to be relying on temporary foreign workers just to keep operating. The reason being given for the temporary foreign workers is that there is going to be a skilled labor shortage due to the baby boomer generation retiring. There is some truth to that but when put in the context of exponential growth and the coming demands that will be made of Canada - it's really just a drop in the bucket.

Let me ask you this, why must an economy grow? The answer is fairly simple: to proportionally service a growing population. In other words, if we want to continue growing the world population, we have to grow the collective wealth of the world to a point where there is something for everyone. If you scale down to the national level, Canada seems to be saying that it's required growth outweighs the Canadian population, either that, or they are saying a lot of Canadians will either have no job, or a low paying one. Neither scenario seems to be prosperous for Canada.

There is a piece of information missing as to why we would want to, or need to, grow our economy far beyond what can be serviced by our population. However, when you look at the requirements and size of the Asian populations it makes a lot more sense, doesn't it? When you consider the added overhead of a whole whack of "temporary" citizens workers, the infrastructure required to service their needs, how much net-benefit exactly will Canadians be receiving from their non-renewable resources? If the reason we are exploiting them is "jobs", whose jobs are we talking about? It's not like there is some inheritance waiting for Canadian citizens from these resources - if you are not involved in the process of their exploitation then you have no more benefit from these resources than Joe "Temporary" Blow.

In short, Canada is expanding it's industry far beyond our population's ability to operate it because it's an economy being slowly designed to service a population much larger than ours. This supplementation of Canadian revenue isn't new, the U.S. has been fulfilling this role, and since their economy tanked Canadian debt has been filling in the gap left by them. Our government has publicly recognized this gap and thus we need a new sugar daddy as Canadians can only have so much debt before that in itself brings our own house of cards tumbling down.

The last time an omnibus bill was tabled, the opposition parties put on an omnibus voting marathon ballet. Clearly, that didn't work, not even a little bit. I don't think this time around there are any opportunities to halt this tactic of obfuscation and confusion. Any opportunity was lost when the first one passed without even so much as a modified comma, I expect this one to be steamrolled through too.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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