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Found 12 results

  1. À la suite de pressions du gestionnaire The Ethical Funds, le détaillant compte rendre public le code d'éthique auquel elle soumet ses fournisseurs. Pour en lire plus...
  2. Desjardins financial grows outside Quebec The Gazette Published: 1 hour ago Desjardins Financial Security, the life and health insurance arm of the $152-billion Desjardins Group, said yesterday that business growth outside Quebec was strong in the second quarter. Premium income was up 6.1 per cent from a year earlier in Quebec, where it already has a large market presence, and rose 16.8 per cent in the rest of Canada. Desjardins Financial has been working hard to build market share outside Quebec, especially for group business. Desjardins Financial also sells group and individual retirement savings products, including mutual funds, and growth in this business came mainly from its new guaranteed investment contracts. "We continue to gain ground in an extremely competitive insurance market," chief operating officer Richard Fortier said. Second-quarter net income was $59.3 million vs. $68.4 million a year earlier.
  3. http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20070719/ttc_cuts_070720/20070720?hub=TorontoHome They are thinking about closing down a whole subway line in Toronto because of lack of funds?? As backward as it seems to be here sometimes, we can sure be thankful that we are not in Toronto! We are adding lines not removing them.
  4. Le Petit Maghreb By Joel Ceausu Little Italy and Chinatown are getting a new sibling — and since it’s just a few blocks, maybe Louise Harel won’t mind. Le Petit Maghreb is now more than just a casual moniker for a certain part of the city: it’s an official part of Montreal’s commercial destination network, and an unofficial but growing tourism draw. The area in the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough has received $40,000 from the city of Montreal’s Programme réussir à Montréal ([email protected] Commerce) recognizing the efforts of the local Maghreb business association for revitalization of Jean-Talon Street between Saint-Michel and Pie-IX boulevards. “Thanks to this support, local businesspeople finally have the means to create an official new district in Montreal,” said a clearly delighted borough mayor Anie Samson. “It’s excellent news for the Maghreb community, as well as the growing attraction of our borough and Montreal.” The local Maghreb community hails mostly from North Africa, particularly Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Over the years, this important stretch of Jean-Talon has become a gathering place for Montreal’s Maghreb community — estimated at about 150,000 people. The funds will be used to develop a master plan to mobilize businesses, reach targeted communities, and carry out an economic and physical strategy to define a public image for the sector. About half of the 105 area businesses are related to Maghreb culture in bakeries, butchers, Arab pastry shops, restaurants and tearooms, along with hairdressing salons and travel agencies. Malik Hadid is also happy that after three years of work the designation will become official. “I am very happy that the Association can count on the support of [email protected] Commerce,” said the travel agency owner and local association president. He was quick to add that the Maghreb association also enjoys close cooperation with the borough, the local economic development agency and Station 30 police. The city’s [email protected] program is already at work in other neighbourhoods around the island, helping spruce up commercial districts and adding appeal to important arteries using architecture, infrastructure and marketing, and helping boost investment by matching funds of local investors. Other east-end streets selected for the program include Promenade Fleury, Jean-Talon St. in Saint-Leonard, and Charleroi in Montreal-Nord.
  5. having recently walked through griffintown from downtown towards verdun i found that while the area is filled with many condo projects most of them look they have been there for quite a while and they all seem to be waiting after one another to 'pop' from the ground ... in the meantime the place still looks awfully desolate and abandoned and you have to think that this has an effect on the health of those projects - it's not like the city lacks any plans for griffintown but don't you think they should be more proactive about it and inject some fund in the neighborhood to help spur the growth of all these residential towers instead of waiting for them to actually get built before they do anything ? chicken and the egg kinda situation now it seems but imo the city should be the first to do actually do something and not the private developers .. after all all these years down the road its the city that will still be collecting tax funds if anything gets built - not the initial investors
  6. Wall Street, R.I.P.: The End of an Era, Even at Goldman Article Tools Sponsored By By JULIE CRESWELL and BEN WHITE Published: September 27, 2008 WALL STREET. Two simple words that — like Hollywood and Washington — conjure a world. Goldman Sachs’s headquarters in New York. The company, a golden child of the financial sector, faces a very different future and mission amid seismic changes wrought by the credit crisis. Lloyd C. Blankfein led Goldman’s securities division before becoming chief executive in 2006. A world of big egos. A world where people love to roll the dice with borrowed money. A world of tightwire trading, propelled by computers. In search of ever-higher returns — and larger yachts, faster cars and pricier art collections for their top executives — Wall Street firms bulked up their trading desks and hired pointy-headed quantum physicists to develop foolproof programs. Hedge funds placed markers on red (the Danish krone goes up) or black (the G.D.P. of Thailand falls). And private equity firms amassed giant funds and went on a shopping spree, snapping up companies as if they were second wives buying Jimmy Choo shoes on sale. That world is largely coming to an end. The huge bailout package being debated in Congress may succeed in stabilizing the financial markets. But it is too late to help firms like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, which have already disappeared. Merrill Lynch, whose trademark bull symbolized Wall Street to many Americans, is being folded into Bank of America, located hundreds of miles from New York, in Charlotte, N.C. For most of the financiers who remain, with the exception of a few superstars, the days of easy money and supersized bonuses are behind them. The credit boom that drove Wall Street’s explosive growth has dried up. Regulators who sat on the sidelines for too long are now eager to rein in Wall Street’s bad boys and the practices that proliferated in recent years. “The swashbuckling days of Wall Street firms’ trading, essentially turning themselves into giant hedge funds, are over. Turns out they weren’t that good,” said Andrew Kessler, a former hedge fund manager. “You’re no longer going to see middle-level folks pulling in seven- and multiple-seven-dollar figures that no one can figure out exactly what they did for that.” The beginning of the end is felt even in the halls of the white-shoe firm Goldman Sachs, which, among its Wall Street peers, epitomized and defined a high-risk, high-return culture. Goldman is the firm that other Wall Street firms love to hate. It houses some of the world’s biggest private equity and hedge funds. Its investment bankers are the smartest. Its traders, the best. They make the most money on Wall Street, earning the firm the nickname Goldmine Sachs. (Its 30,522 employees earned an average of $600,000 last year — an average that considers secretaries as well as traders.) Although executives at other firms secretly hoped that Goldman would once — just once — make a big mistake, at the same time, they tried their darnedest to emulate it. While Goldman remains top-notch in providing merger advice and underwriting public offerings, what it does better than any other firm on Wall Street is proprietary trading. That involves using its own funds, as well as a heap of borrowed money, to make big, smart global bets. Other firms tried to follow its lead, heaping risk on top of risk, all trying to capture just a touch of Goldman’s magic dust and its stellar quarter-after-quarter returns. Not one ever came close. While the credit crisis swamped Wall Street over the last year, causing Merrill, Citigroup and Lehman Brothers to sustain heavy losses on big bets in mortgage-related securities, Goldman sailed through with relatively minor bumps. In 2007, the same year that Citigroup and Merrill cast out their chief executives, Goldman booked record revenue and earnings and paid its chief, Lloyd C. Blankfein, $68.7 million — the most ever for a Wall Street C.E.O. Even Wall Street’s golden child, Goldman, however, could not withstand the turmoil that rocked the financial system in recent weeks. After Lehman and the American International Group were upended, and Merrill jumped into its hastily arranged engagement with Bank of America two weeks ago, Goldman’s stock hit a wall. The A.I.G. debacle was particularly troubling. Goldman was A.I.G.’s largest trading partner, according to several people close to A.I.G. who requested anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. Goldman assured investors that its exposure to A.I.G. was immaterial, but jittery investors and clients pulled out of the firm, nervous that stand-alone investment banks — even one as esteemed as Goldman — might not survive. “What happened confirmed my feeling that Goldman Sachs, no matter how good it was, was not impervious to the fortunes of fate,” said John H. Gutfreund, the former chief executive of Salomon Brothers. So, last weekend, with few choices left, Goldman Sachs swallowed a bitter pill and turned itself into, of all things, something rather plain and pedestrian: a deposit-taking bank. The move doesn’t mean that Goldman is going to give away free toasters for opening a checking account at a branch in Wichita anytime soon. But the shift is an assault on Goldman’s culture and the core of its astounding returns of recent years. Not everyone thinks that the Goldman money machine is going to be entirely constrained. Last week, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren E. Buffett, made a $5 billion investment in the firm, and Goldman raised another $5 billion in a separate stock offering. Still, many people say, with such sweeping changes before it, Goldman Sachs could well be losing what made it so special. But, then again, few things on Wall Street will be the same. GOLDMAN’S latest golden era can be traced to the rise of Mr. Blankfein, the Brooklyn-born trading genius who took the helm in June 2006, when Henry M. Paulson Jr., a veteran investment banker and adviser to many of the world’s biggest companies, left the bank to become the nation’s Treasury secretary. Mr. Blankfein’s ascent was a significant changing of the guard at Goldman, with the vaunted investment banking division giving way to traders who had become increasingly responsible for driving a run of eye-popping profits. Before taking over as chief executive, Mr. Blankfein led Goldman’s securities division, pushing a strategy that increasingly put the bank’s own capital on the line to make big trading bets and investments in businesses as varied as power plants and Japanese banks. The shift in Goldman’s revenue shows the transformation of the bank. From 1996 to 1998, investment banking generated up to 40 percent of the money Goldman brought in the door. In 2007, Goldman’s best year, that figure was less than 16 percent, while revenue from trading and principal investing was 68 percent. Goldman’s ability to sidestep the worst of the credit crisis came mainly because of its roots as a private partnership in which senior executives stood to lose their shirts if the bank faltered. Founded in 1869, Goldman officially went public in 1999 but never lost the flat structure that kept lines of communication open among different divisions. In late 2006, when losses began showing in one of Goldman’s mortgage trading accounts, the bank held a top-level meeting where executives including David Viniar, the chief financial officer, concluded that the housing market was headed for a significant downturn. Hedging strategies were put in place that essentially amounted to a bet that housing prices would fall. When they did, Goldman limited its losses while rivals posted ever-bigger write-downs on mortgages and complex securities tied to them. In 2007, Goldman generated $11.6 billion in profit, the most money an investment bank has ever made in a year, and avoided most of the big mortgage-related losses that began slamming other banks late in that year. Goldman’s share price soared to a record of $247.92 on Oct. 31. Goldman continued to outpace its rivals into this year, though profits declined significantly as the credit crisis worsened and trading conditions became treacherous. Still, even as Bear Stearns collapsed in March over bad mortgage bets and Lehman was battered, few thought that the untouchable Goldman could ever falter. Mr. Blankfein, an inveterate worrier, beefed up his books in part by stashing more than $100 billion in cash and short-term, highly liquid securities in an account at the Bank of New York. The Bony Box, as Mr. Blankfein calls it, was created to make sure that Goldman could keep doing business even in the face of market eruptions. That strong balance sheet, and Goldman’s ability to avoid losses during the crisis, appeared to leave the bank in a strong position to move through the industry upheaval with its trading-heavy business model intact, if temporarily dormant. Even as some analysts suggested that Goldman should consider buying a commercial bank to diversify, executives including Mr. Blankfein remained cool to the notion. Becoming a deposit-taking bank would just invite more regulation and lessen its ability to shift capital quickly in volatile markets, the thinking went. All of that changed two weeks ago when shares of Goldman and its chief rival, Morgan Stanley, went into free fall. A national panic over the mortgage crisis deepened and investors became increasingly convinced that no stand-alone investment bank would survive, even with the government’s plan to buy up toxic assets. Nervous hedge funds, some burned by losing big money when Lehman went bust, began moving some of their balances away from Goldman to bigger banks, like JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank. By the weekend, it was clear that Goldman’s options were to either merge with another company or transform itself into a deposit-taking bank holding company. So Goldman did what it has always done in the face of rapidly changing events: it turned on a dime. “They change to fit their environment. When it was good to go public, they went public,” said Michael Mayo, banking analyst at Deutsche Bank. “When it was good to get big in fixed income, they got big in fixed income. When it was good to get into emerging markets, they got into emerging markets. Now that it’s good to be a bank, they became a bank.” The moment it changed its status, Goldman became the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States, with $20 billion in customer deposits spread between a bank subsidiary it already owned in Utah and its European bank. Goldman said it would quickly move more assets, including its existing loan business, to give the bank $150 billion in deposits. Even as Goldman was preparing to radically alter its structure, it was also negotiating with Mr. Buffett, a longtime client, on the terms of his $5 billion cash infusion. Mr. Buffett, as he always does, drove a relentless bargain, securing a guaranteed annual dividend of $500 million and the right to buy $5 billion more in Goldman shares at a below-market price. While the price tag for his blessing was steep, the impact was priceless. “Buffett got a very good deal, which means the guy on the other side did not get as good a deal,” said Jonathan Vyorst, a portfolio manager at the Paradigm Value Fund. “But from Goldman’s perspective, it is reputational capital that is unparalleled.” EVEN if the bailout stabilizes the markets, Wall Street won’t go back to its freewheeling, profit-spinning ways of old. After years of lax regulation, Wall Street firms will face much stronger oversight by regulators who are looking to tighten the reins on many practices that allowed the Street to flourish. For Goldman and Morgan Stanley, which are converting themselves into bank holding companies, that means their primary regulators become the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversee banking institutions. Rather than periodic audits by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Goldman will have regulators on site and looking over their shoulders all the time. The banking giant JPMorgan Chase, for instance, has 70 regulators from the Federal Reserve and the comptroller’s agency in its offices every day. Those regulators have open access to its books, trading floors and back-office operations. (That’s not to say stronger regulators would prevent losses. Citigroup, which on paper is highly regulated, suffered huge write-downs on risky mortgage securities bets.) As a bank, Goldman will also face tougher requirements about the size of the financial cushion it maintains. While Goldman and Morgan Stanley both meet current guidelines, many analysts argue that regulators, as part of the fallout from the credit crisis, may increase the amount of capital banks must have on hand. More important, a stiffer regulatory regime across Wall Street is likely to reduce the use and abuse of its favorite addictive drug: leverage. The low-interest-rate environment of the last decade offered buckets of cheap credit. Just as consumers maxed out their credit cards to live beyond their means, Wall Street firms bolstered their returns by pumping that cheap credit into their own trading operations and lending money to hedge funds and private equity firms so they could do the same. By using leverage, or borrowed funds, firms like Goldman Sachs easily increased the size of the bets they were making in their own trading portfolios. If they were right — and Goldman typically was — the returns were huge. When things went wrong, however, all of that debt turned into a nightmare. When Bear Stearns was on the verge of collapse, it had borrowed $33 for every $1 of equity it held. When trading partners that had lent Bear the money began demanding it back, the firm’s coffers ran dangerously low. Earlier this year, Goldman had borrowed about $28 for every $1 in equity. In the ensuing credit crisis, Wall Street firms have reined in their borrowing significantly and have lent less money to hedge funds and private equity firms. Today, Goldman’s borrowings stand at about $20 to $1, but even that is likely to come down. Banks like JPMorgan and Citigroup typically borrow about $10 to $1, analysts say. As leverage dries up across Wall Street, so will the outsize returns at many private equity firms and hedge funds. Returns at many hedge funds are expected to be awful this year because of a combination of bad bets and an inability to borrow. One result could be a landslide of hedge funds’ closing shop. At Goldman, the reduced use of borrowed money for its own trading operations means that its earnings will also decrease, analysts warn. Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, predicts that Goldman’s return on equity, a common measure of how efficiently capital is invested, will fall to 13 percent this year, from 33 percent in 2007, and hover around 14 percent or 15 percent for the next few years. Goldman says its returns are primarily driven by economic growth, its market share and pricing power, not by leverage. It adds that it does not expect changes in its business strategies and expects a 20 percent return on equity in the future. IF Mr. Hintz is right, and Goldman’s legendary returns decline, so will its paychecks. Without those multimillion-dollar paydays, those top-notch investment bankers, elite traders and private-equity superstars may well stroll out the door and try their luck at starting small, boutique investment-banking firms or hedge funds — if they can. “Over time, the smart people will migrate out of the firm because commercial banks don’t pay out 50 percent of their revenues as compensation,” said Christopher Whalen, a managing partner at Institutional Risk Analytics. “Banks simply aren’t that profitable.” As the game of musical chairs continues on Wall Street, with banks like JPMorgan scooping up troubled competitors like Washington Mutual, some analysts are wondering what Goldman’s next move will be. Goldman is unlikely to join with a commercial bank with a broad retail network, because a plain-vanilla consumer business is costly to operate and is the polar opposite of Goldman’s rarefied culture. “If they go too far afield or get too large in terms of personnel, then they become Citigroup, with the corporate bureaucracy and slowness and the inability to make consensus-type decisions that come with that,” Mr. Hintz said. A better fit for Goldman would be a bank that caters to corporations and other institutions, like Northern Trust or State Street Bank, he said. “I don’t think they’re going to move too fast, no matter what the environment on Wall Street is,” Mr. Hintz said. “They’re going to take some time and consider what exactly the new Goldman Sachs is going to be.”
  7. Comme quoi on peut virer à 180 degrés une situation. Rien en 2008, puis aujourd'hui, une reconnaissance. On se retrousse les manches et on avance! Nice. http://onstartups.com/tabid/3339/bid/75597/The-Big-List-The-Best-and-Worst-Startup-Stuff-In-2011.aspx
  8. ``What happens in the next leg down? We obviously have a huge crisis in financial institutions, but the crisis in the economy is just beginning to be felt,'' Bonderman told a private equity conference in Hong Kong today. ``The global recession is likely to be a deep one and a prolonged one, not a V-shape, not a U-shape, more an L-shape one.'' The credit contagion that began with a surge in subprime mortgage delinquencies is driving the U.S., European and Japanese economies toward recession, and prompted China to unveil a $586 billion stimulus package. The International Monetary Fund last week predicted economic contractions next year in the U.S., Japan and the euro region, the first simultaneous recession since the end of World War II. David Rubenstein, the 59-year-old co-founder of Washington- based Carlyle Group, echoed Bonderman's pessimism. Rubenstein said at the Hong Kong conference that the recession will last for at least a year, and that U.S. unemployment may rise as high as 10 percent. U.S. housing prices may have ``a significant way'' to fall because they're still high by historical standards and sliding rents are reducing the allure of home ownership, said Bonderman, whose firm's funds oversee more than $50 billion. Prices `Way High' TPG's fourth buyout fund, launched in 2003, has delivered average annual returns of 31 percent, according to the California Public Employees' Retirement System, an investor in a number of TPG's funds. Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas slid 17 percent in August as foreclosures rose, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller price index. ``Housing prices are still way high by historical standards,'' Bonderman said.
  9. Will Quebec be a gas, gas, gas? Fund managers are making big bets on juniors targeting the Utica shale region SHIRLEY WON From Wednesday's Globe and Mail May 28, 2008 at 7:21 AM EDT Quebec may seem like an unlikely hot spot for natural gas exploration, but some investors are digging deeper into unconventional resource prospects in the province. Shares of junior gas explorers targeting the Utica shale region in the St. Lawrence lowlands have surged recently, with some fund managers making big bets on potential winners. "It could be a very large gas discovery for Canada and Quebec," said Eric Sprott, chief executive officer and a manager with Sprott Asset Management Inc. "We probably started [accumulating stock] six months ago, but we went in earnest eight weeks ago." Toronto-based Sprott Asset Management, through several of its funds, holds 14 per cent of Gastem Inc., 15 per cent of Questerre Corp. and 13 per cent of Altai Resources Inc., according to Bloomberg. Forest Oil Corp. The Globe and Mail The Quebec shale play, which involves drilling for gas by fracturing dense rock, focuses on an area south of the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City. Interest has grown in the region since April, when Forest Oil Corp., a Denver-based oil and gas company, announced a significant discovery there after testing two vertical wells. Forest Oil said its Quebec assets may hold as much as four trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, and that the Utica shale has similar rock properties to the Barnett shale in Texas - the largest U.S. onshore gas field. Quebec has been known to have natural gas reserves, but advanced horizontal drilling techniques and higher gas prices are now only making the play potentially economically viable, observers say. Forest Oil, which has several junior partners in the region, will drill three horizontal wells in Quebec this summer. It has targeted its first production for next year, and full-scale drilling for 2010. Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc. also plans to drill in Quebec in late summer. The presence of the majors gives this play more credibility, said Wellington West Capital Markets analyst Kim Page. "Talisman has indicated it is budgeting $100- to $130-million for Quebec," Mr. Page said. "The return opportunity, if this play is commercially viable, is very high." But it is the juniors that "provide the greatest upside potential," when investing, said analyst Vic Vallance of Fraser Mackenzie Ltd. The analyst has a "buy" rating on Gastem and Questerre, saying they have properties in the "sweet spot" of the play. He has no price targets on these juniors because "it's so early stage and speculative." Montreal-based Gastem is partnered with Forest Oil, Questerre and Epsilon Energy Ltd. in the Yamaska permit of the St. Lawrence lowlands. An important catalyst for Gastem's stock could come from results of the drilling of two of Forest Oil's wells this summer, Mr. Vallance said. Forest's third well is in partnership with Junex Inc. Drilling results are also a potential catalyst for the stock of Calgary-based Questerre, which is also partnered with Talisman in its drilling program, Mr. Vallance added. Toronto-based Northern Rivers Capital Management Inc. owns 11 per cent of Gastem through its four funds. "The fact that it is in all the funds reflects how bullish we are," said Alex Ruus, a hedge fund manager with Northern Rivers. Mr. Ruus was on site when Forest Oil began drilling on Gastem's property last summer. "I became quite convinced that there was probably a commercial discovery here." It was Gastem's management that got Forest Oil interested, he added. "Forest Oil is the operator that is driving this [play], going forward." He has scenarios valuing Gastem from $1 to $40 a share, but his target is now more than $10, based on current data. The play is attractive because there is a ready-made local market, as Quebec imports gas from Western Canada, and there is a network of nearby pipelines, he said. "If this thing becomes as big as we think it will, you will see Quebec starting to export natural gas to Ontario, and New York State." Paul MacDonald, with Marvrix Fund Management Inc., sold all of his shares in Junex during their recent rally, but still holds more than 750,000 of its warrants in three Marvrix resource flow-through funds. Mr. MacDonald bought Junex at $1.25 to $1.30 a share, but the stock shot well past his near-term target of $2.25. "With the best-case assumptions, you can see $30 on Junex," he said. "But there are still risks to the downside. ... It's still high risk, high return." http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080528.wrgas28/BNStory/SpecialEvents2/Quebec/
  10. Interesting video from a MIT economy teacher: http://wallstreetpit.com/13455-simon-johnson-says-the-crisis-is-just-beginning http://www.smh.com.au/business/call-that-a-crisis-stand-by-for-the-worst-is-yet-to-come-20100108-lyzc.html World leaders and central bankers cannot count their chickens yet, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. The contraction of the money supply in the US and Europe over the past six months will slowly puncture economic recovery as 2010 unfolds, with the time-honoured lag of a year or so. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, will be caught off guard, just as he was in mid-2008 when the Fed drove straight through a red warning light with talk of imminent rate rises - the final error that triggered the implosion of Lehman, American International Group and the Western banking system. As the great bear rally of 2009 runs into the greater Chinese Wall of excess global capacity, it will become clear that we are in the grip of a 21st-century depression - more akin to Japan's lost decade than the 1840s or 1930s, but nothing like the normal cycles of the postwar era. The surplus regions - China, Japan, Northern Europe (or Germania), the Gulf - have not increased demand enough to compensate for belt-tightening in the deficit bloc - the Anglo-sphere, Southern Europe (or Club Med), Eastern Europe - and fiscal adrenalin is already fading in Europe. The vast East-West imbalances that caused the credit crisis are no better a year later, and perhaps worse. Household debt as a share of gross domestic product sits near record levels in two-fifths of the world economy. Our long purge has barely begun. That is the elephant in the global tent. Yields on AAA German, French, US and Canadian bonds will slither back down for a while in a fresh deflation scare. Exit strategies will go back into the deep freeze. Far from ending the practice of central banks buying their own governments' bonds (known as quantitative easing, or QE), the Fed will step it up. Bernanke will get religion again and ram down 10-year US Treasury yields, quietly targeting 2.5 per cent. The funds will try to play the liquidity game yet again, piling into crude oil, gold and Russian equities but this time returns will be meagre. They will learn to respect secular deflation. Weak sovereign wealth funds will buckle. The shocker will be Japan, our Weimar-in-waiting. This is the year when Tokyo finds it can no longer borrow at 1 per cent from a captive bond market, and when it must foot the bill for all those fiscal packages that seemed such a good idea at the time. Every auction of Japanese Government bonds will be a news event as the public debt punches above 225 per cent of GDP. Once the dam breaks, debt service costs will tear the budget to pieces. The Bank of Japan will pull the emergency lever on QE. The country will flip from deflation to incipient hyperinflation. The yen will fall out of bed, outdoing China's yuan in the beggar-thy-neighbour race to the bottom. By then China, too, will be in a quandary. Wild credit growth can mask the weakness of its mercantilist export model for a while but only at the price of an asset bubble. Beijing must hit the brakes this year or store up serious trouble. It will make as big a hash of this as Western central banks did in 2007-08. The European Central Bank will stick to its Wagnerian course, standing aloof as ugly loan books set off wave two of Europe's banking woes. The Bundesbank will veto proper QE until it is too late, deeming it an implicit German bail-out for Club Med. More hedge funds will join the European Monetary Union divergence play, betting that the north-south split has gone beyond the point of no return for a currency union. This will enrage the Euro-group. Brussels will dust down its paper exploring the legal basis for capital controls. Italy's Economy and Finance Minister, Giulio Tremonti, will suggest using European Union anti-terrorism legislation against ''speculators''. Wage cuts will prove a self-defeating policy for Club Med, trapping it in textbook debt-deflation. The victims will start to notice this. Articles will appear in the Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese press airing doubts about EMU. Eurosceptic professors will be ungagged. Heresy will spread into mainstream parties. Greece's Prime Minister, George Papandreou, will baulk at EMU immolation. The Hellenic Socialists will call Europe's bluff, extracting loans that gain time but solve nothing. Berlin will climb down and pay, but only once. In the end the euro's fate will be decided by strikes, street protest and car bombs as the primacy of politics returns. I doubt that 2010 will see the denouement but the mood music will be bad enough to knock the euro off its stilts. The US dollar rally will gather pace. America's economy - though sick - will shine within the even sicker Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development. The British will need a gilts crisis to shatter their complacency. In time the Dunkirk spirit will rise again. The pre-emptive QE by the Bank of England's governor, Mervyn King, and timely devaluation will bear fruit this year, sparing Britain the worst. By mid to late 2010, we will have lanced the biggest boils of the global system. Only then, amid fear and investor revulsion, will we touch bottom. That will be the buying opportunity of our lives.
  11. Cash-strapped Quebec Liberal wing warns of closing CAMPBELL CLARK From Thursday's Globe and Mail September 27, 2007 at 5:07 AM EDT OTTAWA — The Liberal Party's Quebec wing has warned Leader Stéphane Dion that it needs a quarter-million-dollar cash injection by Friday or it will have to close its Montreal office and lay off staff. The threat is not a sign of a financial crunch but part of an internecine battle between the party's national headquarters, run by officials close to Mr. Dion, and its Quebec machine over the transfer of funds, according to party officials. The Montreal office will remain open, Liberal officials said, but the dire warning has piled onto a run of troubles for Mr. Dion. It all seems to be centred in Quebec, where grumbling about his leadership has been loudest since last week's poor showing in three by-elections, including the loss of the party's traditional safe seat of Outremont. Mr. Dion yesterday lost potential star candidate Marc Garneau, the former astronaut, who said he was frustrated by the leader's delay in appointing him to run in the safe Liberal seat of Westmount-Ville Marie. And even an MP who leapt to his defence, Raymonde Folco, of the suburban Montreal riding of Laval-Les Iles, appeared to damn him with faint praise and conceded that Mr. Dion was "not getting through" in Quebec. At his age, Ms. Folco told reporters, the leader is not going to be able to change radically, so strong players in the party might have to travel with him in the province. Former Liberal cabinet minister Jean Lapierre said on CTV-Newsnet that the party's Quebec director-general, Serge Marcil, told Mr. Dion "that if [the Liberals] don't deposit a quarter of a million dollars by Friday, they probably will have to close down the office in Montreal and they can't even honour the payroll." When reached by telephone, the president of the party's Quebec wing, Robert Fragasso, said he would call back, but he did not. A spokesman for the Liberal Party in Ottawa, Elizabeth Whiting, said that the party's Montreal office will not close. She said that a request for funds came from Quebec, but did not discuss the details, although she acknowledged that Ottawa and the Quebec Liberals disagree over money. The public departure of Mr. Garneau was another blow to Mr. Dion yesterday. The former head of the Canadian Space Agency had wanted to carry the party's banner in Westmount Ville-Marie, but decided to give up on running for the party because he doubted Mr. Dion would choose him. The Liberal Leader has said he will name a candidate in the riding, but, having been passed over for an appointment in Outremont, Mr. Garneau said he decided he will no longer try to run.
  12. Ces deux types de fonds d'investissement sont en général sous contrôle privé, ce qui leur permet de prendre des risques élevés et de publier relativement peu d'information sur leurs activités. Pour en lire plus...