Biz Fix

In the money: Suncor CEO Rick George puts the rhetorical boots to Barack Obama in today’s Globe. The presidential candidate has proposed restricting imports of “dirty” oil. George says go ahead. “These guys will say a lot of things, but then when they get into office, it’ll end up they’ll do something else,” Mr. George said. “The pragmatic thing is, if they don’t buy crude from Canada, where are they going to buy it?”

Trading down: Who knew General Motors, along with building trucks nobody wants, also builds time machines. The General’s shares have fallen to levels not seen in 34 years, or 53 years (depending on who’s counting). Incidentally GM’s woes have had an interesting side effect. Based on market capitalization Magna International, the Aurora, Ont-based auto parts supplier, at $7.12 billion, is now a bigger company than GM, at $6.47 billion. Of course, since GM is one of Magna’s largest customers, that doesn’t bode well.

Number cruncher: Sure, $140 a barrel oil gets all the attention, but another commodity is breaking records, and the consequences are even more dire. Because of flooding in the U.S. corn futures hit an all-time high of $7.99 a bushel. The price of corn has more than doubled in the last year. Bad news for families around the world. Follow this link for a chart showing corn prices since 2000. For no other reason than pure curiosity I plotted corn against the S&P 500. Stunning.

Boom or gloom: StatsCan says our paychecks are still rising, but after four straight months of pullbacks, Desjardins Group predicts Canada’s economy is headed for a recession. Prognosis: Gloom.

Ticker tape: Mark Mcqueen of Toronto investment firm Wellington Financial thinks Royal Bank and Scotiabank should team up to buy mega Wall-Street bank Citigroup, once the largest company in the world… With prices for everything from gasoline to lipstick going through the roof, bet you didn’t know inflation in Canada only “accelerated slightly” last year, but that’s the way it was according to StatsCan




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