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jerryking : interest_rates   16

CIBC’s Victor Dodig warns about global debt levels; urges Canada to prepare
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | by JAMES BRADSHAW (BANKING REPORTER)

Who/Where/Occasion: CIBC's CEO Victor Dodig, in a speech to the Empire Club

Problem(s):
* alarm over rising global debt levels, warning that Canada needs to start preparing now for the next economic shock.
* some of the most acute threats to the global economy are beyond this country’s control, but cautioned Canadians not to get too comfortable while times are good.
* developing problems could ripple through interwoven financial markets around the world.
* “It sounds counterintuitive, but that same debt that helped the world recover is actually infusing risk into the global financial system today," ...“I think there’s a real serious global challenge of this low-interest-rate party developing a big hangover."

Remedies:
* clarify rules around foreign direct investment, which is falling in Canada. The main culprit is the uncertainty plaguing large business deals that require approval from Ottawa under opaque foreign-investment rules – and he cites the turmoil surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as an example.
* more immigration to Canada, asking the government – which has already set higher immigration targets for the coming years – to open its arms even wider.
* governments and employers to work more closely with universities and colleges to match the skills graduates have to employers' needs, promoting what are known as the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – as well as skilled trades.
* remove interprovincial trade barriers.
* allow companies to expense capital investments within one year to be more competitive with U.S. rules.

My Takeaways:
CEOs  CIBC  debt  FDI  global_economy  interconnections  interest_rates  opacity  pipelines  resilience  speeches  uncertainty  Victor_Dodig  war_for_talent  threats  beyond_one's_control  complacency  preparation  financial_system  readiness 
september 2018 by jerryking
Central banks worldwide need more tools to co-ordinate policy -
Dec. 24, 2016 | The Globe and Mail | JAMES DEAN Special to The Globe and Mail

Modern central bankers worry about unemployment, income inequality, growth, inflation housing and asset bubbles, household debt, and fear of financial instability. Typically, central banks have had to rely on a single tool, their ability to raise or lower short-term interest rates. But is is an an axiom of policy making that for each additional goal, an additional instrument is necessary. Central banks worldwide agonize about their frustration with trying to target a plethora of goals.... With but a single instrument, they cannot simultaneously pursue the multiplicity of goals that today’s electorate expects of them....The answer is either to give central bankers more tools, or to co-ordinate their policy choices with those of other agencies.

For example, an ability to dictate both down payments on housing mortgages and margin requirements on borrowing to buy financial assets; setting reserve and capital requirements on banks; adjusted the lending mix of commercial bank portfolios, with preferences for export industries, or infrastructure like highways, airports and ports. Or for agriculture or labour-intensive industry or high-tech industry....The room for this kind of expanded mandate for central banks is relatively wide in some countries but very limited in others, the United States in particular.
central_banks  tools  interest_rates  Bank_of_Canada  U.S._Federal_Reserve  policy  coordination  policy_tools 
december 2016 by jerryking
Pimco’s Strategy for Life After Gross: Go Beyond ‘Bonds and Burgers’ - WSJ
By JUSTIN BAER
Updated Nov. 7, 2016

The 53-year-old Frenchman, who joined Pimco in the past week, intends to push it deeper into hedge funds, real-estate assets and other alternative investments, people familiar with the matter said. With interest rates in much of the developed world near zero, those kinds of investments are in demand from pensions, endowments and other clients. They are also among the types of funds that command higher fees.

Investing in bonds, loans and other forms of debt securities will remain Pimco’s focus, but Mr. Roman will aim to build out capabilities in areas ranging from private credit to quantitative investments based on computer models, the people said.....Pimco, a subsidiary of German insurer Allianz SE, believes the gradual shift into alternatives is its best bet to ride out what many industry executives expect will be a brutal shakeout for asset managers. Tepid returns and the surging popularity of cheaper investment options, including exchange-traded funds, have pressured managers to lower fees.
Pimco  CEOs  alternative_investments  asset_management  capabilities  money_management  ETFs  shakeouts  interest_rates  developed_countries  low-interest  developing_countries 
november 2016 by jerryking
Infrastructure spending is no miracle cure - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 23 2015

In some circles, infrastructure spending is seen as a miracle cure to lift the economy, if not political fortunes. With rock bottom interest rates, proponents say now is the perfect time to ramp up spending on trains and subways in order to stimulate growth, relieve congestion and boost long-term productivity.

As with most economic strategies, however, the devil is in the execution....You can always find studies to buttress your claims that new infrastructure pays for itself by stimulating the economy and generating jobs during the construction phase while boosting productivity thereafter. But this is hardly true across the board. Does anyone believe the Sheppard subway line has made Toronto’s economy more productive? It’s a sinkhole whose operating costs are a drain on the rest of the transit system.

And what about Pearson Airport’s Terminal 1? It’s a cavernous monster that adds to passenger stress levels while subtracting from their productivity. Speaking of poorly conceived projects, the soon-to-open rail link between Pearson and downtown Toronto appears to rely on overly optimistic ridership projections.

In our infrastructure envy, we decry our subways, roads and commuter trains as second-rate. But proper scale and functionality are far more important than fancy architecture or expensive materials.
Konrad_Yakabuski  infrastructure  politics  debt  second-rate  Keynesian  scaling  functionality  UPX  interest_rates  sinkholes  low-interest  overoptimism 
april 2015 by jerryking
Is Poloz making the loonie fly low? - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 25 2014

the governor of the Bank of Canada does not take his marching orders from the government. But the government does influence monetary policy by choosing the governor.

Ask Jean Chrétien. In John Crow’s case, “I didn’t agree with what he had done under [Brian] Mulroney by opting to wrestle inflation to the ground with high interest rates in the middle of a recession and with a high Canadian dollar,” the former prime minister wrote in his memoirs.

Mr. Chrétien turfed Mr. Crow within two months of his 1993 election and replaced him with Gordon Thiessen. The dollar began what seemed like a fortuitous descent from 76 cents to 62 cents in 2002, triggering a manufacturing-led export boom in Central Canada.

The flip side of that boom, however, was complacency. With a low loonie, Canadian manufacturers ignored the need to become more productive and innovative. Thoroughly unmodern, few had any other competitive advantage to fall back on when surging oil prices drove the dollar to parity in 2007.

A lower dollar can put the wind in your sails for a while. Long-term, not so much.
Konrad_Yakabuski  Stephen_Poloz  Bank_of_Canada  loonie  interest_rates  monetary_policy  central_banking  Jean_Chrétien  productivity  complacency  weak_dollar  manufacturers 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Biology of Risk - NYTimes.com
By JOHN COATES JUNE 7, 2014

What is it about risk taking that so eludes our understanding, and our control?

Part of the problem is that we tend to view financial risk taking as a purely intellectual activity. But this view is incomplete. Risk is more than an intellectual puzzle — it is a profoundly physical experience, and it involves your body...Risk by its very nature threatens to hurt you, so when confronted by it your body and brain, under the influence of the stress response, unite as a single functioning unit....The state of your body predicts your appetite for financial risk just as it predicts an athlete’s performance.

If we understand how a person’s body influences risk taking, we can learn how to better manage risk takers. We can also recognize that mistakes governments have made have contributed to excessive risk taking.

Consider the most important risk manager of them all — the Federal Reserve. ...Uncertainty over the timing of something unpleasant often causes a greater challenge response than the unpleasant thing itself. Sometimes it is more stressful not knowing when or if you are going to be fired than actually being fired. Why? Because the challenge response, like any good defense mechanism, anticipates; it is a metabolic preparation for the unknown....Most models in economics and finance assume that risk preferences are a stable trait, much like your height. But this assumption, as our studies suggest, is misleading. Humans are designed with shifting risk preferences. They are an integral part of our response to stress, or challenge.......[JCK from David Brooks -The Wisdom Your Body Knows scientists are now focusing on the thinking that happens not in your brain but in your gut. You have neurons spread through your innards, and there’s increasing attention on the vagus nerve, which emerges from the brain stem and wanders across the heart, lungs, kidney and gut. The vagus nerve is one of the pathways through which the body and brain talk to each other in an unconscious conversation. ].......One such opportunity is a brief spike in market volatility, for this presents a chance to make money. But if volatility rises for a long period, the prolonged uncertainty leads us to subconsciously conclude that we no longer understand what is happening and then cortisol scales back our risk taking. In this way our risk taking calibrates to the amount of uncertainty and threat in the environment.

Continue reading the main story
Under conditions of extreme volatility, such as a crisis, traders, investors and indeed whole companies can freeze up in risk aversion, and this helps push a bear market into a crash. Unfortunately, this risk aversion occurs at just the wrong time, for these crises are precisely when markets offer the most attractive opportunities, and when the economy most needs people to take risks. The real challenge for Wall Street, I now believe, is not so much fear and greed as it is these silent and large shifts in risk appetite....As uncertainty in fed funds declined, one of the most powerful brakes on excessive risk taking in stocks was released....There are times when the Fed does need to calm the markets. After the credit crisis, it did just that. But when the economy and market are strong, as they were during the dot-com and housing bubbles, what, pray tell, is the point of calming the markets? Of raising rates in a predictable fashion? If you think the markets are complacent, then unnerve them. Over the past 20 years the Fed may have perfected the art of reassuring the markets, but it has lost the power to scare. And that means stock markets more easily overshoot, and then collapse.

CONTINUE READING THE MAIN STORY
120
COMMENTS
The Fed could dampen this cycle. It has, in interest rate policy, not one tool but two: the level of rates and the uncertainty of rates. Given the sensitivity of risk preferences to uncertainty, the Fed could use policy uncertainty and a higher volatility of funds to selectively target risk taking in the financial community....IT may seem counterintuitive to use uncertainty to quell volatility. But a small amount of uncertainty surrounding short-term interest rates may act much like a vaccine immunizing the stock market against bubbles. More generally, if we view humans as embodied brains instead of disembodied minds, we can see that the risk-taking pathologies found in traders also lead chief executives, trial lawyers, oil executives and others to swing from excessive and ill-conceived risks to petrified risk aversion. It will also teach us to manage these risk takers, much as sport physiologists manage athletes, to stabilize their risk taking and to lower stress.
Wall_Street  risks  risk-management  risk-taking  uncertainty  U.S._Federal_Reserve  bubbles  volatility  behavioural_economics  risk-preferences  risk-aversion  biology  psychology  interest_rates  emotions  human_experience  financial_risk  signaling  stress_response  market_crash  immobilize  paralyze  bear_markets  policy_tools  physiological_response  risk-appetite  unpredictability  physical_experiences  calibration  human_behavior  human_frailties  human_psyche  metabolic 
june 2014 by jerryking
Why some see big potential in tiny farms - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

Oxford, England — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Apr. 12 2014,

TechnoServe, a long-established Washington-based non-profit whose 1,400 employees provide technical assistance to small developing-world farmers....Those small farmers don’t produce much food in part because they can’t afford to buy decent seeds and fertilizer. They can’t afford seeds or fertilizer because they can’t borrow money based on their future crop sales. And, Mr. Masha notes, that’s because lending them money can be so expensive: Interest rates on tiny loans are already, by definition, very high; add to that the cost of servicing loans across regions, and the considerable cost of hedging those loans against volatile developing-world currencies, and, he says, “you’ve priced them right out of the credit market.”

Banks and micro-credit agencies are also reluctant to lend because small farmers often have no collateral: Property ownership is ambiguous and few countries have small-claims courts to deal with defaults. (Brazil, an exception, owes a lot of its development success to the creation of such institutions.)

While the potential in these farms is huge, few want to take the risk of building agricultural supply and value chains in the developing world. Such investments take many years to generate returns, which tend to be very modest – rendering them uninteresting to corporations and venture capitalists, but increasingly appealing to Chinese state enterprises and a few people with local knowledge.
smallholders  farming  agriculture  size  scaling  Doug_Saunders  TechnoServe  poverty  tacit_data  supply_chains  value_chains  fertilizers  seeds  SOEs  China  interest_rates  microfinance  microlending  property_ownership  developing_countries  institutions 
april 2014 by jerryking
Tear down those mountains of cash
Jul. 21 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Doug Saunders.

Corporations/multinationals are hoarding cash, which is strange, because this should be a great time for companies to invest: low prices, low interest rates, cheaper labour costs. A sensible company would build up cash during boom times – when investments are more expensive – and spend it during recessions, when consumer demand is weak and capital is cheap....Saunders argues for taxing those cash reserves.
Doug_Saunders  debt  cash_reserves  multinationals  interest_rates  idle_funds 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Launching Pad - NYTimes.com
July 21, 2012 | NYT | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

Obama should aspire to make America the launching pad where everyone everywhere should want to come to launch their own moon shot, their own start-up, their own social movement. We can’t stimulate or tax-cut our way to growth. We have to invent our way there. The majority of new jobs every year are created by start-ups. The days when Ford or G.E. came to town with 10,000 jobs are over. Their factories are much more automated today, and their products are made in global supply chains. Instead, we need 2,000 people in every town each starting something that employs five people.

We need everyone starting something! Therefore, we should aspire to be the world’s best launching pad because our work force is so productive; our markets the freest and most trusted; our infrastructure and Internet bandwidth the most advanced; our openness to foreign talent second to none; our funding for basic research the most generous; our rule of law, patent protection and investment-friendly tax code the envy of the world; our education system unrivaled; our currency and interest rates the most stable; our environment the most pristine; our health care system the most efficient; and our energy supplies the most secure, clean and cost-effective.

No, we are not all those things today — but building America into this launching pad for more start-ups is precisely what an Obama second term should be about, so more Americans can thrive in a world we invented. If we can make America the best place to dream something, design something, start something, collaborate with others on something and manufacture something — in an age in which every link in that chain can now be done in so many more places — our workers and innovators will do just fine.
Tom_Friedman  Obama  Campaign_2012  start_ups  entrepreneurship  Cambrian_explosion  product_launches  rule_of_law  interest_rates  institutional_integrity  currencies  moonshots  tax_codes 
july 2012 by jerryking
Taking One for the Country - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 30, 2012

"I found myself applauding for Chief Justice Roberts the same way I did for Al Gore when he gracefully bowed to the will of the Supreme Court in the 2000 election and the same way I do for those wounded warriors — and for the same reason: They each, in their own way, took one for the country.

To put it another way, Roberts undertook an act of statesmanship for the national good by being willing to anger his own “constituency” on a very big question. But he also did what judges should do: leave the big political questions to the politicians. The equivalent act of statesmanship on the part of our politicians now would be doing what Roberts deferred to them as their responsibility: decide the big, hard questions, with compromises, for the national good. Otherwise, we’re doomed to a tug of war on the deck of the Titanic, no matter what health care plan we have. "...Our newfound natural gas bounty can give us long-term access to cheap, cleaner energy and, combined with advances in robotics and software, is already bringing blue-collar manufacturing back to America. Web-enabled cellphones and tablets are creating vast new possibilities to bring high-quality, low-cost education to every community college and public school so people can afford to acquire the skills to learn 21st-century jobs. Cloud computing is giving anyone with a creative spark cheap, powerful tools to start a company with very little money. And dramatically low interest rates mean we can borrow to build new infrastructure — and make money.
Tom_Friedman  John_Roberts  U.S._Supreme_Court  judges  statesmanship  hydraulic_fracturing  natural_gas  cloud_computing  smartphones  robotics  software  interest_rates  infrastructure  automation  constituencies  low-interest  compromise  blue-collar  manufacturers  politicians  hard_questions  high-quality 
july 2012 by jerryking
UNPRECEDENTED VOLATILITY A HALLMARK OF AGRICULTURE’S NEW AGE
* Have a plan for the future – perhaps a surprise to some, but many farmers don’t have a plan in place that paints a vision for where they want to take their operation over the next 2, 5 and 10 years.
• Have credit in place before it is actually required – it is human nature to leave things to the last minute.
• Implement a sound hedging strategy – in addition to the system of crop insurance in place in this country, there are many ways that Canadian farmers can take actions to manage their risk. Diversifying into new businesses is one example.
• Well-managed risk can pay off – at the same time, taking on some risk that is prudent and ts the risk pro le of the farming operation can pay off handsomely for farmers. In such a volatile and fast paced environment, there are bound to be some buying and selling opportunities that open up. Knowing when to take advantage of them can separate successful farms with those that muddle along.
• Know your costs – many producers have a good sense of how their top line is performing. But it is just as impor-tant to have a good understanding of the cost side of the equation.
• Maintain adequate liquidity and reasonable leverage – in order to mitigate the risks associated with increasing asset prices, it would be prudent for farmers to ensure that they have sufficient liquidity and manageable leverage if they are expanding.
• Use reasonable interest rate assumptions in assessing investment opportunities – even though borrowing costs are unusually low, farmers must be mindful of the fact that this low-rate environment won’t last forever.
agriculture  uncertainty  volatility  farming  liquidity  leverage  hedging  futures_contracts  diversification  new_businesses  risks  risk-management  risk-taking  OPMA  WaudWare  interest_rates  vision  long-term  never_forever  business_planning  credit  costs  anticipating  risk-mitigation  low-interest  cost-consciousness 
may 2012 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Our Three Bombs - NYTimes.com
October 6, 2009 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. "As
we continue to build up carbon in the atmosphere to unprecedented
levels, we never know when the next emitted carbon molecule will tip
over some ecosystem and trigger a nonlinear climate event....people are
worried that our next dollar of debt — unbalanced by spending cuts or
new tax revenues — will trigger a nonlinear move out of the dollar and
torpedo the U.S. currency."

If people lose confidence in the dollar, we could enter a feedback loop,
as with the climate, whereby the sinking dollar forces up interest
rates, which raises the long-term cost of servicing our already massive
debt, which adds to the deficit projections, which further undermines
the dollar.
Tom_Friedman  climate_change  nonlinear_systems  debt  step_change  tipping_points  apocalypses  feedback_loops  interest_rates  discontinuities  think_threes 
october 2009 by jerryking
Annals of Innovation: How David Beats Goliath: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
May 11, 2009 |The New Yorker | by Malcolm Gladwell. How
underdogs create opportunities by first understanding their strengths,
weaknesses, and the rules of the game, and then changing the rules....To Gladwell, the story illustrated how traditions become blind spots. “Playing insurgent basketball did not guarantee victory. It was simply the best chance an underdog had of beating Goliath,” he wrote. “And yet somehow that lesson has escaped the basketball establishment.” The anecdote became the opening passage of the book David and Goliath, another fixture on bestseller lists....A few years ago, Ranadivé wrote a paper arguing that even the Federal Reserve ought to make its decisions in real time—not once every month or two. “Everything in the world is now real time,” he said. “So when a certain type of shoe isn’t selling at your corner shop, it’s not six months before the guy in China finds out. It’s almost instantaneous, thanks to my software. The world runs in real time, but government runs in batch. Every few months, it adjusts. Its mission is to keep the temperature comfortable in the economy, and, if you were to do things the government’s way in your house, then every few months you’d turn the heater either on or off, overheating or underheating your house.” Ranadivé argued that we ought to put the economic data that the Fed uses into a big stream, and write a computer program that sifts through those data, the moment they are collected, and make immediate, incremental adjustments to interest rates and the money supply. “It can all be automated,” he said. “Look, we’ve had only one soft landing since the Second World War. Basically, we’ve got it wrong every single time.”
anecdotal  basketball  batch_processing  blind_spots  books  coaching  decision_making  economic_data  innovation  interest_rates  Malcolm_Gladwell  massive_data_sets  money_supply  overlooked_opportunities  rainmaking  real-time  rules_of_the_game  strategy  strengths  Tibco  underdogs  U.S._Federal_Reserve  Vivek_Ranadivé  weaknesses 
may 2009 by jerryking

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