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No magic bullet expected for economy at G20 meeting

We're all Screwed
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11/15/2008 01:26 AM
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No magic bullet expected for economy at G20 meeting
No magic bullet expected for economy at G20 meeting
Updated Fri. Nov. 14 2008 11:10 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Leaders of the G20 nations are meeting in Washington but no one is expecting they can come out with a magic bullet to put down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

"We've got to focus our attention on getting the world economy growing," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said ahead of Saturday's meeting.

The G20 leaders are discussing how to jump start the slumping economy and whether to impose more government control over banks and other lenders.

U.S. President George Bush opposes more regulation, but the real question is where does president-elect Barack Obama stand?

Obama, is noticeably absent from the meetings, but has representatives there.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper came down hard on the Bush administration Friday, blaming their policies for the global economic crisis.

"It is not a secret to anybody that in a very real way this problem began in the United States with a completely inadequate regulation of the financial sector," Harper said at Conservative convention in Winnipeg before heading to Washington later in the day.

But he said it is vital that leaders "spend most of our time dealing with the issue of how we will move forward and get the world economy moving again, and obviously undertake the kinds of financial regulations necessary to avoid this type of a crisis."

Bush continues to stand by his guns however, saying regulation is not the answer.

"The greatest threat to economic prosperity is not too little government involvement in the market, it is too much government involvement in the market," the unpopular outgoing president said.

Obama's people meet Harper's people

While Harper was waiting to sit down with the current U.S. president at the G20 summit meeting in Washington, his officials were busy meeting with representatives of Obama's.

The meeting between the Canadian contingent and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and onetime Republican congressman Jim Leach, both representing Obama at the G20 conference, took place Friday morning.

It was the first first-to-face meeting between Canadian officials and Obama's team since the historic Nov. 4 election.

CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife, reporting from Washington, said the meeting is a good sign for Canada-U.S. relations.

"It means we're being listened to and we're not being ignored," he said.

Fife said on CTV's Mike Duffy Live there are two tracks going on concurrently at the G20 meeting, one being lead by George Bush's agenda and "the real story, that is, what is Barack Obama to go when he takes over on January 20."

"The Canadian government has been working hard behind the scenes to get in touch with the transition team players in what will be the Obama administration."

A senior Harper official did not provide details on the meeting other than to say the conversation centred on the G20 summit.

"It was a positive meeting," the unnamed official told The Canadian Press. "We were able to articulate our position clearly, and we look forward to future discussions and meetings with the president-elect's transition team as they move forward on their work."

One proposal Canada is pushing during the summit meeting is an international "peer review" of every G20 country's national financial regulations.

Harper arrived in Washington for the meeting Friday afternoon.

Harper seeks consensus

Harper said he has been speaking with other G20 leaders ahead of the meeting, and said Canada will be seeking consensus on a communique that focus on global macroeconomic fundamentals.

The document is intended to "restore growth, recognizes that good regulation begins at home and supports mechanisms for peer review that are transparent and accountable," Harper said.

He said some leaders at the meeting will be advocating protectionism as the solution, while others will push for global regulations.

Canada will be promoting a more middle-of-the-road approach, he said.

"We recognize we are living in a more interconnected world than ever before," Harper said.

"No country can afford to isolate itself and to tackle this problem alone. Canada can serve as a good example for the rest of the world as we seek to restore confidence and get the world economy going once again."

He bragged that Canada has the strongest fiscal position in the G7, as well as strong regulations that have kept inflation in check and a sturdy banking system.

Co-operation is key

Earlier Friday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said it's crucial that more countries are involved in helping to solve the international financial crisis.

Flaherty, speaking from the Tory convention, said many large emerging economies want more of a say in how to deal with the crisis.

"They're unhappy with the fact that this crisis in financial markets emanated primarily from the United States, also from some of the European institutions... and (now) their economies are being damaged," Flaherty told CTV's Canada AM.

Flaherty said there has been talk about including these emerging economies in discussions at the Financial Stability Forum -- a creation of the G7.

"I think that's one of the issues... that will be important this weekend that we broaden the group countries that are working on how we move out of this international crisis," Flaherty said.

Flaherty, who will also head to Washington later in the day, said Canada has already had discussions with all of the G20 members ahead of the weekend meeting.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/15/2008 01:29 AM
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Re: No magic bullet expected for economy at G20 meeting
Comments are now closed for this story

So the world's top corporations are saying "bail us out but don't change the system so we can do it all over again". They want to retain an open, free, global market with no oversight, government intervention, standards of conduct by other nations.

The system hasn't worked. Billions of dollars of baby boomer retirement funds have vanished and now nations will have the added burden of caring them in the next couple of decades. The youth is working for less than we were. I can't think of any measure to justify saying the system is working...other than ensuring CEO's get larger and larger bonus' (a la Goldman Sachs).

It won't happen but the governments should hold those very same CEOs somewhat accountable. They would seize illegal profits from biker gangs, the mafia...so why not them?

Corporations to governments -

"Enough of this regulation nonsense - just keep giving us the billions in corporate welfare we need to keep the "free" markets that work so well (for us) open."

"Identify the root causes of the current financial crisis”???
I should think this is painfully obvious to everyone. Why should we listen to these guys? Their self-serving greed and stupidity is the root cause to the current financial crisis.
The question before us all is should corporations be given the power and freedom to run things or should we the people take control and run things? I for one don’t want some CEO interested only in his insatiable hunger for more control and wealth running my life or my country. We need a system for the people not the corporations. It’s time for change.

Conrad in soliitary
If ,as is the general consensus,there is to be some concessions made ,then we should all make damn sure the guys at the top are the first in line !In fact they really should be the only ones in line !

Nick in Gatineau
What does the OEDC say in regards to all of this ? And how would it affect the WMF ? Doha is nice but only If all that matters is making money unhindered by taxes, unions, and most of all: laws.

Everyone is screaming about regulations yet all know the new standards are coming into effect... so are they all saying the new financial instruments are garbage ?

In order to think outside the box, one has to know where the box actually is therefore one has to know what the boundaries are. If you keep working in an environment that thinks there are no boundaries, there is no way to fix it unless you chop off the excess, trim the branches, etc. They are doing that except that instead of letting the wound heal, they are replacing the limbs with golden ones.

So what EXACTLY do the financial institutions want ? To sell Real Estate ? To own more shares of large corporations ? To form a new way to Merge companies ? Is this what this whole mess was about ? Bring the argument to the brink and force the government to allow it ? I hope not.

Canada doesn't stand a chance to lead any summit including the G20, without a Paul Martin there.
He still is the most trusted Canadian world wide when it comes to money/finaces.
Don't be fooled in thinking because Mr. Harper took an Economic course, he is an Economist.

Gail, NS
Not sure why you are blaming corporations for the bank failures. It's the banks who have been bailed out, not most corporations. and they were following directives from the government to lend money on risky mortgages as an economic stimulus measure. As far as pensions go, most of them were over-inflated, and loaded with those supposedly safe investments - blue chip stocks (in other words, lots of bank stocks). Funny, none of you were crying about the big corporations when you were loading up your investment portfolio's with their stocks :)

KJ in Kingston Ontario
Right -- "free" -- as in 'free-fall' -- if you are a small investor who was foolish enough to think those stocks had real value -- however if you're a billionaire it means FREE MONEY to save your business after you've run up the corporate stock values with pyramid scheme tricks and then cashing out ahead of the crash with all the proceeds.

Steady as She goes
The relatively stable position that Canada is in will help Prime Minister Stephen Harper play a leading role during the G 20 summit. I hope the Liberals and NDP finally get the message that this is a global problem not a Canadian Conservative problem. The Conservatives didn't cause it but rest assured, we will get through this with Prime Minister Harper at the helm.

Do these guys not watch Star Trek? They are supposed to unite the world and find a way to move beyond the need for money to make the world go around. Then we can take to the stars and set alien nations on the right path.

How galling of this man to continue to tell us how things should be run. The major banks in Canada cannot be held up as symbols of how to run banks. If they had had their way, they would be in the same mess as a lot of their worldwide contempories. The federal government had rules in place that prevented the banks from making the same risky moves that other did. Even with these rules in place, some of the Canadians banks still got caught short abd are fighting desparately to contain their exposure.
In addition to all of this, our "great" banks charge their "loyal" customers outrageous fees that have also helped the banks to have outrageous profits, year in , year out.
Canada has nothing to teach the world about weathering this financial storm because Canada will not weather this storm as well as these "experts" want us to believe. The reasons;
1 - We are too small of an economy not to be heavily affected.
2 - The Big 3 auto makers are about to go belly up and with it 10's of thousands of high paying Canadian jobs.
3 - We are still a resource based economy. Our resources, trees, oil, potash and minerals are not in demand as they were. China, India and the U.S. are not buying our resources like they were.
4 - Oil is falling fast and will land hard. There goes a lot of those high paying jobs out West and in Nfld.

The crash is upon us and it is about time these "experts" admit it. Liars, liars, all!!

Waiting for the solution
Show Leadership? Just show cummon sense and find long term solutions to this problem. It`s not about makiing an impression it`s about making a difference for us Canadians

It takes real leadership to allow the economy to takes its course without doing anything stupid to put all of us in a terrible situation. Yes some people are hurting more than others, especially with some of the major job losses in Ontario in the auto sector. But there are still jobs out there. If people want to sit on their butts waiting for another 30.00 hrs job to come along, that is their doing. If they want to wise up like many of us, they will start looking and take that job that might pay less but still help meet their needs. There is still work out there, we Atlantic Canadians have always been in this situation. I used to live in Moncton NB when CN Rail closed its shops and thousands lost their jobs, and it was during a recession. Many looked at their situation, sought work elsewhere and Moncton survived.

Harper is right on track ...and has an opportunity to show the rest of the world leaders, many of which are simply trying to protect their votes and not the good of the people for the long term, what good economic, business and governmental common sense can produce. the mas amount of bailouts being done will only put us back into this situation in another 10yrs.

Bush is partly right - this is not a failure of capitalism. However, the US view of capitalism as an unregulated free-for-all is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place. Permitting US financial institutions to lend money willy nilly to poor credit risks based on the rising real estate market was a house of cards. To make matters worse and to me, the real crux of the failed credit markets, was to then wrap up this junk into so-called "Asset Backed Commercial Paper" and sell them as quality investments. People failed to look behind this facade and conclude the obvious. Canada has set a great example by tempering this kind of greed with well thought out regulations. If we had any financial clout at all, other countries would do well to pay close attention to our example. Unfortunately, our manic neighbours to the south will, in all likelihood, hold greater sway in forming future policies and direction. Stay the course, Canada, we are all better off for it.

...What about Air Canada and all of the auot makers in Canada? Last time i heard they are not banks. Yet the goverment feeds them a non stopp supply of cash. Here is a novel idea. If the money used to buy up all the bad debit, how about everytime the goverment sells off something, every tax payer in Canada gets a cut of that money. ...

The only shining we're going to see from Canada at this conference, is the glow from the $12B bonfire that's been burning here over the last two years...and now we're in the nice, bright RED!!! Now we get to watch Harper try to take CREDIT (gotta love the punn here) where credit isn't due...it belongs to Martin/Cretien. Prepare to be embarassed on the world stage again, by Mr. Harper!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/15/2008 01:30 AM
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Re: No magic bullet expected for economy at G20 meeting
Michelle is right. The only way to get out of this mess is to take to the heavens a la Star Trek. I for one would like to be the science officer but with human emotions not like Spock who was so hard headed with that logic stuff. Maybe instead of money we can raise troublesome tribbles and use that for some sort of bartering system? Oh what fun it would be!

Tired SK Taxpayer
Thank goodness Harper is there and not Dion or Layton...they'd quickly blow ALL of my savings by spreading the wealth...

It appears as if the corperations want their billions and big bonuses but dont' want the government to change the way they do business. They like their greed the way it is.

I think Mr. Flaherty is right about not giving any money to corperations like GM or Ford. At least not until they come up with a sound economic business plan that will help the company recover.

If the government just throws money at that industry, they'll just take it and run all the way to Mexico with it. In other words, our money will be used to stimulate the Mexican economy.

As far as the G20 goes, I don't really think much will come of this meeting, not with a outgoing administration still in place.

I think we'll see more happening once President-Election Obama is in place.

It's easy for Canada to shine here due to the prudent measures the Liberals took during good times.

...Harper has yet to embarrass us on the world stage.As a matter of fact I take great pride in having him represent us world wide. Now the I HATE AMERICANS Liberals- that was an embarrassment. And the everybody loves us because we are so nice, please come into our country and walk all over us(as long as you like us)Liberals,BRUTAL

H. Jones
It all seem so "childish" and "close minded" if we are always focus on comapre with the other courties!

So big deal IF we, Canada , is or will be the leader of the G20? What does it really means? Does it mean the other 19 countries are in worse financial shape than us and we are supposed to be "Happy or proud of it"?

We all should have an open mind and hope EVERYBODY, EVERY COUNTRY are all doing well. No hugry people and everybody can afford to buy food and pay their share of bills on time! Having a JOB is the most IMPORTANT thing on everybody's mind!

Sometimes I think those VIP are so narrow minded! They should go back to school and learn about Global Economic, Taxation, Accounting before they sit in their fancy office and "DREAM" of how to be BIG! They are ALL so "out of touch in REALITY"! SHOULD LET THEM TRADE PLACES WITH THE OTHER CITIZENSHIP JUST FOR ONE DAY AND EXPERIENCE THEIR CHALLENGE!

To Tired SK taxpayer, the Harper government spent the cushion that the Libs had in place. Now we have none and they are thinking of selling off Canadian assets. Give your head a shake when thinking this government is more responsible than the previous Liberal governments.

Roger T
What's there to shine when the country is in dire strait, unemployment, poverty, homeless, crimes are all on the rise. The country is in a recession and people are about to lose their homes if more job lost are at this pace.

The only thing that will shine at the G20 is Flaherty's teeth when it comes to photo opts.


This Christmas eat to live, NOT GIFT TO LIVE!

To Roger T: That is quite a grim picture you paint. A shame you don't see that the other G20 countries are worse than Canada.
I wish people would see how good we have it in this country. I realize these are hard imes...I am also a home owner...but Canada has been riding high for 20 years. Sometimes the economy goes down...and it will rise again. Better than ever, is my prediction. The Conservatives can position Canada to be a leader in the world once again. I think that the other countries will be praising and congratulating Canada for how we as a nation are weathering this storm.

JD in London
For those of you just tuning in, the story so far:

The 70's - US Dollar goes off Gold Standard - Carter forces Fannie & Freddie to issue NINJA loans (No Income, No Job or Assets)with the belief that everyone should own real estate.

The 80's - Reaganomics promotes the collapse of the Soviet System (Government Run Economy)

The 90's - Clinton gives China "most favoured nation" status to promote capitalism. Guess where all the manufacturing jobs go? Also, even more NINJA loans.

The 00's - Republicans warn that Fannie and Freddie are holding potentially disasterous NINJA loans, Dem's (Barney Frank) says "there is no problem"
China continues to buy up US debt.

Today - Market in free fall, $700B bailout fails (read Government Run Economy) because Freddie & Fannie fail. Housing bubble bursts.

Tomorrow - China calls the loans on the US. The world loses confidence in the US dollar.


If you take tax payers money to bail yourself out of a self created mess - then darn straight you are going to have rules imposed on you. It's their own greed that got them into this mess and now they are saying trust us again??? I don't think so.

There should also be a major condition : No more OUTSOURCING of jobs to any one that takes a dime of taxpayers money. How do we the taxpayer pay off your debts if you take away all our good paying jobs? I think there should also be tax breaks for companies that don't outsource and instead create jobs for Canadians.

On one hand they want free markets and the other they provide bailouts. If it's really a free market, then let them fail. I'd rather my money is spent retraining workers than bailing out a failing institution.

Why people only concerns how Canada can be Shine, high profile in G20. Canadian is facing economic crisis in Ontario, Quebec . At same time, the energy enriched provinces’ s revenues will be cut to half due to the sharp decline in oil price. More people will lose their jobs for years to come and we only rely on U.S market which is in recession with more than 10 trillion debt.

It would seem to me that rather then shine with the world, may-be something should be done about fixing the problems. Also may-be rather then sending money to rebuild other countries at this time, we should be rebuilding this country, and helping fix the problems of some of the auto makers, and keeping this economy going.
So Mr. Flaherty and Mr. Harper SHINE or FIX, your choice. By the way where is all our double talking opposition parties at this time.

Kevin in Toronto
Governments shouldn't own assets or corporations to begin with. Sell them all.

Dare I say it: Perhaps part of the problem is the immeasurably high wages many union workers get for their jobs. Perhaps the auto industry would have remained stable if it weren't for such high wages.
In addition, we can't let people who don't make money, borrow money. Let's get back to responsible lending/borrowing. That may be tough for people (including myself) but in the long run, it is helpful for all of us.

If you look at the stock charts of our banks,its been really stable recently,that means (and according to what our govt. is saying ) our banks are in a pretty good shape. Then , why on earth, are our govt. pumping billions and billions into buying mortgage from the so-called "healthy" banks....something is fishy here,citizens beware, do not put all your savings into one bank.

For everyone making posts both positive and negative, both intelligent and stupid I urge you to Google Zeitgeist II and watch the addendum to Zeitgesit I. This explains our current monetary system in layman terms. I am not a communist or a HillBilly Albertan either but can assure you are current way of life is absurd. Watch it - you will begin to see things more clearly. We send heads of state and financial planners to these Summits and truely just how much experience and advice can anyone offer when there is no real precedent for the events that are occuring. We all should be there protesting and holding signs because for once this is a situation that warrants a protest. Down with Oil companies, Down with large corps - let mom and pop run the country now.

Crisis in Canada was not a failure of the free market system. Because corrupted croocks and legal Gangsters from realestate and Goverments system. It will be once very bad time for them. They will pay for what they did and what they do.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/15/2008 01:31 AM
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Re: No magic bullet expected for economy at G20 meeting
If the crisis is not the failure of the free market system. What is the cause?
Mr. Bush is an incredulous person. He has started to bail out Wall St. and next it will be the auto ind. He has the gall to say the system is not broken.
The organizations that represent big business are stating that govts. should not go overboard in their solutions. Wall St. and banks have been going overboard for the last 5 years. Look what happened.
Do these people have no shame.

The a__e is right out of it now! Just released data shows that retails sales in the U.S. fell by 2.8% in Oct. This decrease has never been seen before!! This large a drop has never happed before!! American consumers have snapped their wallets shut faster than Harper and Flaherty can say; " Canada's wallet is open for all Canadian Banks!"

If the world's biggest comsumer market did this at the beginning of the holiday shopping season, the crash is about to happen!! Hold on to your love ones because the financial end is near.

I'm going to Montreal for the Grey Cup and I am going to find me the biggest steak I can, the best booze I can and tie one on for possibly the last time in a long time!!

Another example of how bad it is getting; Putin in Russia want to be head honcho again. This after just giving the job to Medvedev recently. Putin can't trust his own hand picked successor for less than a year to manage the store. Watch out!

Hold on to your love ones, it's going to get really scary really fast!

JD in London
How to get elected on a platform of HOPE - JOBS - CHANGE

Here's how it works:

If you HOPE that you will have a JOB, you better CHANGE and buy only North American.

How do the new Chevrolets look this year?

Kevin in Toronto
I'm not fan of unions - I think often they negotiate themselves out of a job by making it impractical to do business here.

But...workers with Toyota, Honda, etc..they get the same deal the CAW negotiated with GM and neither of those companies are in danger of folding. Can't be entirely the union.

Time for a meaningful change
"They're unhappy with the fact that this crisis in financial markets emanated primarily from the United States..."

Well I'm not too pleased either that my promising resource stocks got flushed down 90+%.

Now it's a waiting game thanks to the greedy idiots in the USA as well as CDN investment bankers who have been illegally naked shorting our TSX markets while Canadian market regulators do absolutely nothing....

It's time to change the rules and remove the regulators who refuse to do their job.

All this talk is true, however let's change the topic for a little while. All this doom and gloom is getting to depressing.

Is there anything out there in the world that is positive?

Jonny of the RCR
...I fail to see how someone working hard and achieving a high level of education that enables them to earn a position as "CEO" puts them in a position of blame. This crisis was caused when the Clinotn government intervened in the first place and told lenders they had to lend to people who could not afford to pay their debts.
The government SHOULD not change anything aside from ensuring this never happens again. It is not the governments job to take care of people and hold their hands.

More 'Liberal spin' ...
"Canada doesn't stand a chance to lead any summit including the G20, without a Paul Martin there...."

...Fortunately, Canadians disagree and are supporting a REAL manager not some rejected Prime MInister whose ships are registered elsewhere rather than pay taxes HERE. ...

John in Calgary
If they want to help the economy the first thing they need to do is stop all the predictions. Maybe it's infringing on peoples freedom of speech and opinion and press; but everytime some economist makes a doomsday report the market sinks. It sure seems like that's how this whole thing escalated.

Economists should only be allowed to interpret the data. "The Canadian economy had a decrease in economic production of 0.1% in the month of July" They should NOT be able to say "The Canadian economy had a decrease in economic production of 0.1% in the month of July, which means the world is coming to an end, sell your second born, sell your dog, sell your favourite hat, cause this is it, our goose is cooked, your turkey will be chasing you with a clever LIFE AS WE KNOW IT....IS OVER"

Just the facts would be enough I think.

Clinton hasn't been in office for eight years.
Bush has had eight years to rectify any mortgage rules he didn't like.

The mortgages, subprime or not, aren't the problem. Securitization of the mortgages and using them to overleverage is what has caused the US financial meltdown. ...

Matt G.
If you paint a doom and gloom picture for the public, they will think its going to happen regardless. Canada is a strong country, and yet all the negative non-sense going on in the world economic sectors is making more people nervous than is required. This country will survive, if and only if we start thinking more positively.
The Americans and their government screwed themselves. They are in the position they are in because that country told its people that they deserve the very best of everything, and not to be frugal or smart with your money. Canada is and has been doing better because we are a different society. Most don't believe in buying a new car every 3 years. Most are smarter to not spend more than $350,000 on a home. A mortgage is only supposed to reflect 1/4 of what a person takes home every month, not more than half which causes it to become a 40+ year mortgage. You've got to learn to spend within your means, and if you can't do that, you need to get more education, which would possibly allow you to get a better paying job, so you can have the things you want. The Canadian government and all media organizations need to stop spreading recession fears across this country. We can survive, no problem. Just get on with your lives. If you lose you job, bounce back, and find another one, or get additional training to allow you to find one. Take responsibility for your actions.

Leave it to Harper to support lame duck Bush.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to join U.S. President George W. Bush in a defence of free-market capitalism and resistance to international calls for dramatic re-regulation of financial markets.

Harper must have a learning disability: US system doesn't work--except for the rich.

Gail (Hamilton)
If Minister Flaherty can put forward how Canada operates with checks and balances, then perhaps capitalism will survive on this planet. The new world order seems to call for socialism with all its "regressive" policies. Do people all want to earn the same? Do people want to see only those in powerful positions have all the wealth or do they want a chance to succeed as well? Do people all think that government should be the biggest employer? We already pay close to half our income in taxes. No privately owned company is too big/small enough to fail. Failure leads to finding new ways to do things. A country divided on hateful partisan lines never mends. Whoever is elected should get the country's support because they are the leaders of everyone. The reason we have elections is to give politicians the chance to better our country and our lives.

The decision to sell off government owned entities has to be considered in an uncertain economy, and I think Mr. Martin would do the same if he was still in charge of the country's finances.

Democracy for the time being is at work here folks.

G-19 (G-20 without USA) is going to slap USA.
USA is not going to be running the world economy.

We want more than crony capitalist corruption.

Linda in Vancouver
It looks to me like the middle class is going to be the recipient of most of the pain.Although,a broke middle class means fewer donations to charity for the poor.
But the poor have nothing much left to lose.The really wealthy won't be quite as wealthy,but will still be just fine.Those who piled up massive debt will just walk away after declaring bankrupcy.
The real victims will be those who worked hard,saved their money,invested,and avoided debt.Now their pensions will fail,their assets are worthless,and their jobs are vanishing.
When all is said and done it looks like the people who worked the hardest,played by the rules,paid their bills and their taxes,and lived with their means,are going to suffer most of the pain.
Although,I guess that should be no surprise in Canada,where criminals get priority over victims,and workers pay the bills for those who won't.
Given what happened to Martha Stewart,I wonder who might be next.This is more than a criminal betrayal of trust by some very greedy individuals in positions of trust.

A Guenther
CIBC invested billions in US mortgages then gets a bailout from our taxpayers money, factories closing down in Canada only to reopen in China, offshore owners of neglected apartment buildings, privatized services are now corporate playgrounds, medicare covers less and less every day, just to name a few.
... GM has a top notch history as far as treatment of their employees goes. When people started buying the Japanese imports years ago and plants starting shutting down due to fewer sales of North American cars, then the Japanese auto makers took over the plants, and rehired the employees at far lower wages.

When I travelled down the states 15 years ago I walked into my first Walmart ever in Alabama. I was looking at clothes for my daughter and everything, I mean EVERYTHING that I looked at was made in the US. I was so impressed that I thought when they came up here, they would do the same only as made in Canada. Silly me for being surprised to see all China labels.

The politicians have 'sold the farm' piece by piece over the years. We plunked ourselves on the world stage and became intertwined, all in the name of trade relations. We became a country open for plunder. We allowed our precious resources to be sold out of the country.
For this we will not escape the coming recession.

...We saw quite clearly how ...Mr Martin handled our money...
Was he not our Finance Minister during Adscam, although he maintains he didn't know anything about it. Liberals have to deal with the fact that the Conservatives are now the government...

Roger T

This is a message to the retailers & greedy corporations, we as consumers can control the way we spend and what you put in your pockets, so until any real prices drops are made the reality is "THIS CHRISTMAS - EAT TO LIVE, NOT GIFT TO LIVE!".

Personal savings comes before the economy. "Save Your Money"

Interest rates are poison
Solutions are available.

As long as creations (banks) make money from money, nothing will be resolved.

Our forefathers built things with money, they made homes, businesses etc.

Financiers make nothing. Regulations of interest are integral to the resolution of this crisis. If banks are regulated to charge nominal interest (enough to pay their salaries and not to make them the most profitable businesses in the world)the problems will resolve.

Banks currently make their profits by lending your money to (me). They have no ownership. They do not need to be the huge profiteers.

Home paid for
There would be no International financial crisis if the United States Federal Reserve (Private corporation of Bankers ) and the Banks had no subprime Morgages. Setup for NAU ( North American Union)

Sure there is no point in laying blame on anyone when the whole world knows it's the fault of the Americans. But the Americans need to realize it was their lack of regulations that enabled this mess to happen and they need to change that. Not keep up with the usual Dick Cheney chant of no regulations because regulations are bad? Bad for who exactly? The minority super rich people or the majority of the population? It's seems obvious what someone like Dick Cheney's motivations are.

Roland Godin
Harper is very humble, he is part of the problem and he does not want to be reminded...we are part of the solution, all we have to do is bring it on, that is the money to pay for a problem they created.

None of the actions they are taking is going to make a difference. They are taking money and trying to revive a dying patient - capitalism. "Hit him again! Again! Again!" The people need jobs not more credit. Surely they could see that? Is it a surprise that the banks are not loaning the money to Americans - money they rec'd through the federal gov't to a tune of $700 billion? Just who exactly is this money earmarked for? The homeless people? The Americans who are about to lose their jobs?

People, you are witnessing the conservatives at work. If anybody wanted any further proof that they lack the kind of intellect that's needed today it's with this issue.

The media needs to stop being coy over this issue. This reminds me of the pre-Iraq war silence when the media effectively cheerleaded the conservatives into a disasterous war.

Chris Said
"Dare I say it: Perhaps part of the problem is the immeasurably high wages many union workers get for their jobs". What he fails to mention is that business and industry leaders are at fault too, especially those organizations that permit the hiring of executives who demand 6 or 7 figure bonuses on top of their excessive salaries, regardless of their performance. And what about our public sector, which is over-manned in the management area and undermanned in the areas that actually deliver goods or services?

That is true everywhere; those actually producing goods and wealth are not the ones causing the problems, it is the bosses, whether middle or upper "management". As demonstrated by our present crisis, some of these managers could not organize ants for a picnic, yet we pay them as if they were supermen.

Where will it all end up? Read Ozymandias

Classic "bought and paid for" political statement from this hack.
Not focusing on who's to blame is like saying "We'll just restock the stores shelves, not catch the robber.
The very same pond scum banksters that created the derivative nightmare to begin with are now being given billions to bail themselves out. At taxpayer's expense.
It is full time to restructure the commodities exchanges, enfore existing laws, and hold banks accountable for they're own mistakes.
Come on Canadians, GET MAD for a change!

The stock market is a giant casino. There will be winners and losers.

john from SK
To Shelley/Ottawa Yeah Paul Martin was really great, didn't he have A steamship line but none of them were registered in Canada so he didn't have to pay taxes. Fine Upstanding Cdn Crook. Also if you live in Ottawa you can't be too bright any way. It was a garbage dump 30 years ago and still is. Maybe you should vote for Uncle Bob Rae. He might clue you in

Rod P.
Bonnie you are showing your very Liberal roots! Paul (overtax Canadians) Martin is yesterdays news. You Liberals want the government to do everything for you. You certainly have shifted to the left. I like Mr. Harper's actions and those of Mr. Flattery so far but I can see there is no pleasing some people.

Randy in Calgary
Good comments Astro.

It is wrong to assume that profit and financial success are the only factors that can motivate society. Generations of indoctrination into this mindset have left us with a society where only a small % of people possess all property and wealth. There is no human nature, only human experience and envoirnment. Sadly, the current human experience teaches us that goodness and generosity are obsolete and anyone who promotes these virtues is derided as a mentally ill commie pinko. Technology and the capability of the human mind have taken us into an era where monetary economics should be obsolete and the only constraints should be the human imagination. A competitive society is a society at war with itself.

Capitalism is not to blame, remember communism, it failed entirely, with a lot worse results than what is happening here. Socialism, isn't one of the banks that failed the bank of Iceland? They are a socialist country and they are in a terrible crisis. Capitalism is not to blame. Banks greedily giving credit to people who don't deserve it helped spark this crisis, but also, in any economy, things cannot go up forever, eventually it normalizes. Canada is in a better position than most, even though we are not immune to some effects. Be happy we are, and be happy the government is prudently dealing with this crisis instead of just throwing money around without thought.

In regards to the auto sector, here's a thought, if you want to help, BUY DOMESTIC! Why are we sending all our money to Japan etc when we can help our own economy by buying domestic? I drive a Chevy, have for years, its got great fuel economy, has never broken down and is a fantastic car. Other countries don't allow North American cars in in the same way we freely take in their cars. That is the cause of the problems in the domestic industry, is that North Americans would rather give their money overseas than buy quality products made at home, whether its for prestige or the actually believe the negative marketing of these overseas companies. Canadians, wake up and help ourselves, BUY DOMESTIC for all things you can.

ET: "Now we get to watch Harper take credit...where credit isn't due...it belongs to Martin/Chretien"

Actually, if you remember, Martin/Chretien got elected promising to abolish Brian Mulroney's GST. Which Mulroney brought in to reduce the huge deficit he inherited from the profligate Liberal spending of the Trudeau years.
They lied, as usual. They kept the GST and,along with massive downloading to the Provinces,and raiding the Unemployment Insurance Fund, etc., used it to build up and enormous surplus.
So, the credit goes to Mulroney. The Martin/Chretien Liberals were just paying off the remains of their own deficit from the Trudeau years.

Ralph in Alberta
Oh but one thing comes to mind: Pride before the fall. Considering that 75 bn dollars has been given our superior banks and banking systems

Mykey, The Lakehead
At times like this it's good to know that Canada is being represented by proven leadership. By the way, Bonnie, Prime Minister Harper didn't just "take an Economic course", he did his Master's degree. His instincts serve him well and provide him with the kind of insight that will help solve today's problems.

Stop the ignorance!
Dave - Air Canada has not received a penny of taxpayers money since it was privatized in 1988. Get out of your dream world and focus on real issues.

John Reid
Harper is a fool there is enough blame to go around BUT the primary blame in on the USA they started the whole deal off again this time with the sub prime mortgage fiasco, last time it was with the inflated stocks that caused the first great depression and now we are headed for another depression and on and on it goes. if the world doesn’t place the blame where it applies it will only be repeated all over again in another twenty or so years.
Yes by all means lets try and help each other out of this mess BUT lets recover the money that was fraudulently taken from joe Q public by the robber barons that gave themselves multimillion dollar bonuses for screwing the common man out of his job, house and pension, take back these undeserved bonuses and charge them with the fraud they have committed.
Bailing them out without punishment and letting them keep their ill gotten gains will only urge them on to do it all again in the future, they have already shown what they think of the government and the people they have screwed by going to high class resort hotels on the pretext of having meetings to solve the problems they caused and living high off the hog on the bailout money they already have.
At the moment the common working man has no confidence in the government or any financial institution to get it back you must show that you are not going to let them get away with it NO Bail out, loan the money by buying up shares and ownership in the name of the people in the institutions that have failed and NO bonuses paid until the loans are all paid back the the people and government regulation of the US federal reserve banking system, I would even go so far as to suggest that we the people should have a say in how much the CEO’s and people running the companies we now control get paid.

Realistically speaking, there is an answer
It's imperative that wealth re-distribution take place.

Without putting the money back into the hands of the population, the cycle of spending will come to a halt.

Stopping the spending system will spiral the world into stark depression.

The "big shots" have the answer, but do they have the guts to put laws into place to force the greedy to share their wealth? I doubt it.

The "blame" for this recession rests solely with the US. Since the Americans will never admit to being at fault, the rest of the world has to figure out a way to tell their citizens to bend over a little further. So, as soon as you hear the words "global solution" or "bi-partisan" you will know and understand another huge deception is about to occur. I am so much enjoying my life savings and RRSP's melting at an alarming rate. Guess I will have to be ready to survive on CPP, eh?

Ron in Ontario
We must go back to a system that runs on reality and not on a supposed value. Greed is not limited to big corporations or their leaders but it is most obvious there. Let's figure out a system that rewards hard work and real creativity. It must be fair to everyone whether they own any type of stock or investment at all. Criminal actions must be clearly defined as such and and punished as such. Let's get tough on executive crimes! You do not need a gun to rob people. And people don't need much encouragement to invest a little to make a lot and find our they are financially broke.

Doing what is right seems to be a lost art Of course, if anything goes, everything is allowed, why bother doing the more difficult thing of doing what we know is right.