Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today in Flaherty

He will speak:
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to comment on the economy this morning, following the release of the latest data from Statistics Canada. [...] Economists widely expect that the Canadian economy stalled in the second quarter and may have even contracted slightly amid a global slowdown.
See also: "Canada's current-account deficit rose to $15.3 billion in the second quarter as the trade balance fell into the negative, Statistics Canada said Tuesday, increasing from a $10.1-billion deficit in the first quarter. That was bigger than the $13.7-billion current-account deficit that economists polled by Bloomberg had expected."

Further backdrop, Christine Lagarde, new head of the IMF, gave a big speech on the weekend encouraging a greater focus on job creation as a priority over austerity measures in the U.S. and Europe.
"By pointing out a commonplace – that if fiscal tightening happens too fast, it can destroy a recovery and undermine bond market credibility – Ms Lagarde offends against what has become the ruling view in the eurozone: that deficit cuts are the required cure, regardless of the patient’s symptoms. And not just the eurozone: the UK, whose stagnation is not unrelated to its ambitious and successful deficit reduction policies, is no doubt on her mind, even if she is too polite to name names."
The big question seems to be whether anyone is listening. Wonder if Flaherty might have some leadership type thoughts on her recommendations and such world currents that seem to be affecting us.