So, you’re still a Trump fan? You’ve now heard of the $2 Trillion COVID-19 U.S. stimulus package – right. You recall that there was a bit of a delay in getting it through in spite of general bipartisan support. Well, it’s 880 pages apparently and room was needed to help along the one percent club during this health crisis. Yes. While health professionals scrambled without sufficient PPE ( you will know the acronym now) to care for the overwhelming caseload, while masses digested news of job loss, and while families hunkered down in self-isolation, legislators were hard at work fine tuning an earmark to grant a new tax benefit for the richest one per cent of Americans.
You see, the way you grant benefits to the one per cent club
is you change a tax provision. Those
earning this kind of money have “multiple streams of income”. Tax rules
typically have restrictions when it comes to amortization (depreciation). The
U.S. tax code up until the corona virus stimulus package had a limit on the
ability to deduct excess losses generated from amortization (depreciation) from
real estate (buildings) against other forms of income. The limit was $500,000.
This limit has been removed. Let’s think this through. For those real estate
developers who are now going to encounter serious drops in market valuation,
the probability of experiencing “recapture” on written down buildings in the
future during an ultimate disposal is reduced (lesser capital gain or loss),
but today they’ll get the benefit of reducing aggregate taxable income by utilizing
unlimited excess losses. Actually, not only today but they’ve been granted
retroactive treatment back to 2018 by amending their 2018 returns.
Now, do you want to cut Trump a little slack with his
incoherent COVID-19 bafflegab when
behind the scenes he was distracted on how to potentially profit from misery
with an earmarked addendum to a stimulus package?
What would an honourable leader do if he wanted to grant such a benefit? He would float the topic to the public, debate it openly in parliament and grant it a vote within its own piece of legislation.
Credits to CNN and NY Times.
There was an untimely elimination of an epidemiologist position in China back in July of 2019. You know how much Mr. Trump liked to exclaim “you’re fired” back when he hosted “The Apprentice”. It’s Reuters and four of their sources who expose this stunning revelation. The key post administered through the American Centre for Disease Control was bestowed the duty of identifying disease outbreaks in China. Dr. Linda Quick served in the role prior to it being extinguished. This woman actually trained Chinese field epidemiologists in concert with monitoring the public health landscape. Chinese American Bao-Ping Zhu who served in the role from 2007 to 2011 expressed his dismay to Reuters. The four sources also confided to Reuters that no other foreign disease experts were embedded in China after the departure of Dr. Quick.
Who would have thought during the taping of “The Apprentice”
that the term “you’re fired” by one, Donald Trump would one day come back and
haunt hundreds of thousands of people around the world whose health depends on
the early detection of deadly viruses? Were there other variables associated
with the outbreak? Yes. One very important variable would have been the
strength of the relationship between countries and the goodwill of China in
communicating issues around public health to the U.S. and the World Health
Organization. I’ll leave it to you to speculate whether Trump fostered
trustworthy relations with the Chinese. If these sources are correct, the World
Health Organization may have also failed in its duty to deploy resources inside
The matter of corporate interests in the aviation sector,
the “travel bug”, and duties of repatriating citizens, and limitations of
airports in dealing with crowds have also been key elements associated with
this pandemic of COVID-19. The aviation industry as we see it today and the negative
consequences we’ve come to realize were likely unimaginable to the Wright
Brothers as they pioneered motorized flight.
Has cavalier Trump posturing as Chief Medical Man having made irresponsible initial remarks during outbreak tempted New Yorkers to ignore social distancing guidelines? Governor Cuomo was appropriately eloquent and stern yesterday when bringing attention to the non-compliant social distancing behaviour of New Yorkers
One might ask…what role must the U.S. federal government
play in back stopping a “for profit” medical system with idle inventory of medical
supplies in the case of a pandemic? Well….when you look at some the spending
decisions made by Congress…one might suggest that this has been one hugely
over looked budget line item.
Given the character of Donald Trump and his propensity for
vindictiveness, it was easy to predict his “blame” on China for not
communicating effectively with his administration. Oh yes, he couldn’t help
himself from labelling the virus the “Chinese virus” as a reference to where he
thinks the blames lies never mind the racist overtone. You’ll recall the remark
pertaining to the white supremacists marching against the removal of
confederate statues. “There are good people on both sides.”
Instead of deferring to medical professionals and heeding
their counsel, he’s compelled to stand at the microphone and spew defensive
rhetoric when faced with legitimate questions at his gong show of a daily
briefing. After pointing Pence as the front man, his unwavering ego of course demands
As one procurer of medical supplies has pointed out “it’s
the wild west”. Perhaps, a phrase which aptly characterizes the White House
operations tainted with nepotism, oppression evident by personnel turnover, and
skulduggery exemplified by Ukraine / Biden scandal. America, you had your
chance to oust him but were denied due to gutless senators holding the party
Recommendations for the federal government of Canada in lieu of corona virus pandemic and economic crisis. Will they listen? I don’t know.
- Permit the purchase and sale of unused RRSP contribution room.
- Permit the direct tax deductibility of net capital losses up to a maximum of $25,000 per year.
- Rewrite usery laws prohibiting lenders from charging more that a seven per cent differential from the Bank of Canada overnight rate.
- Reassess affordability of Canada Child Benefit program.
- Expropriate treaty land deemed necessary for commercial development from which fair negotiations have failed.
- Proclaim jurisdiction over tide water ports with constitutional amendment if required.
- Assign able bodied unemployed men to environmental remediation projects.
- Improve service channels to Canadians via CRA and Service Canada.
- Impose and enforce director liability for environmental negligence.
- Responsibly incentivize investors interested in the development of our natural resources.
If any reader finds this list appropriate, do feel free to
copy the items into a letter addressed to any Canadian politician you deem open
You’ll notice that your governments are speaking in code
much of the time when it comes to addressing the financial impact, consequences
to your household, and detail pertaining to your access to credit facilities in
the context of COVID-19. Your Prime Minister is once again scheduled to address
the nation at 11:30am EST. We’ll see if he get his “head of his a@s” and starts
speaking in terms of your household cheque book.
While the Bank of Canada rate has been reduced over the past
decade, margins between the “overnight rate”, “prim rate” and “retail lending”
has widened. That’s right…the banking system has done very well because you
my fellow Canadian has been too happy to pay interest in the wide margins.
This crisis has hit while you are highly leveraged meaning
that many more of you will now be faced with bankruptcy unless your government
starts REGULATING THE BANKING SECTOR in terms that assist you in managing your
debt. The board of directors of your chartered banks won’t be too warm to that
idea especially in lieu of their confounding argument that masses of Canadians
hold chartered bank stock in their registered investments.
From what I can see so far, your government is going to be
floating more “paper” in order to free up credit. The term “paper” refers to
securities which may take the form of derivative contracts. Oh ya…you
remember those – the ones that produced the financial crisis of ’08 / ’09 (mortgage
backed securities). Of course your government will also be referring to the “purchase
of bonds” which is code for creating new money out of thin air with a charge to
your grandchildren’s future.
This is what’s on my mind today as I receive emails
pertaining to COVID-19 from those compelled to exhibit their interpretation of
this virus in the context of their platform / agenda / business relationship
with you / notion of how think you now need to operate in the context of their
interpretation of the public health message.
Everybody’s got an opinion and they have needed to learn how
to type in order to convey it through the internet. Thanks god I took typing
class in grade 9 with all the girls while my friends took shop as their
elective. What were they thinking?
Anyway….I’m amused by superfluous posts and reposts of
value driven dogma which percolates occasionally on internet threads. Suddenly
an audience is illuminated through a key stroke when the more difficult gesture
would be a letter to a member of parliament (yes, I have written them in case
Then there’s the internet companies who literally dictate
terms and then await the fall out. I guess Apple app developers receive
automated bots for feedback on why their apps disqualify for hosting. I’ve had
a copyright claim on youtube within the first 30 seconds of upload. They couldn’t
have possible got through the full 1:58 in order to fully digest the
material. I’ll be at their mercy with my
28 subscribers having uploaded to “private” never intending to monetize the video.
Then there’s the government
with its tax collection and system of correspondence now pretty much dictating communication
through the internet as opposed to a live person. If you really want to talk to
somebody, you’ll have to navigate the phone auto attendant just to find the
queue to wait in for 30 minutes. Your music will certainly be interrupted frequently
with messages of education hoping you’ll find some nugget of information thereby
reducing the probability of being redundant when you finally get through to
talk to that agent. This agent will need to provide you their agent ID number.
Have your pen handy for those 30 minutes ‘cause they spout it off quickly
hoping you’ll not catch it thereby potentially not being liable for the
You get the drift. We have all these phones now but folks
don’t want to talk on them for anything relevant to their business or
professional life. Email or text only please – I’m now conversation inept
having been raised behind a computer screen.
One must ask, are we now more efficient? I suggest yes at
times and no oftentimes. Nobody wants to be controlled but they do want balanced
reciprocation. People know when they are being controlled and they will resent
it. When communication is compromised – so is the relationship.
stand point of the stock market, this is a lesson that so many folks needed to
learn. Your investment advisors are simply people with vulnerabilities like the
rest of us. The buy and hold mantra has cost you money. You must put attention
on your own investments and you must actively manage your portfolio with input
from financial people who know more than you. You must be the torch bearer of
your own financial destiny. You must be in a mode of “continuous learning”. What
about locked in accounts and government pensions you ask. Well, you are at the
mercy of portfolio managers but you still have access to your accounts with a
right to know what you own.
do I find the time to manage my own investments? You fit it in. You stop
succumbing to the bosses request for overtime. You put boundaries around your
schedule. You stop being a pushover when it comes to your calendar. This might
mean helping your spouse understand that that second vacation within a calendar
year goes bye bye. Boo hoo! What would
you rather have – an earlier with
compounded accelerated rate of return and an earlier retirement or that second
vacation just because your kids get a spring break?
Now that I’m
on a roll ‘cause I put this together having just returned from an empty gym ‘cause
of the psychology behind avoiding sweat boxes now that we’re dealing with this
corona virus, I expound further. Have
you seen the chart on the Dow 30? The thing has been going straight up for
years. Did you not think that it was overdue for a major correction in response
to some kind of Black Swan event? Hell….I simply took a look at the
incompetence of governments in running budgets given deficits and debts and on
that basis alone considered the market over heated. Have you not perceived the
weakness currently in our North American political leaders?? There’s another factor right there in and of
itself worthy of shorting the market or running for the hills.
If you feel like you’re being hosed. You are. We’re in an era of non-confidence and nobody wants to own it because the exclamation lacks personal power. You hate ceding your power and I don’t blame you. Ideally, you pick your choice worthy battles. You fight them thereby appeasing your conscience while incidentally assuming that bigger fights with more moving parts will be handled effectively by those in higher power structures. Here’s the thing…..the credibility of those higher power structures has been eroded. The affect is not necessarily apparent on the surface but once you get behind the doors of a broke household or board room…..the scene may look more vivid.
Whether it be a deceitful president of the United States, a
government authority overstepping its jurisdiction, a tepid minded Prime
Minister, protesters impeding commercial activity, a police department being
indifferent, a legal system operating atrociously slow, a tax system
redistributing wealth, or an electoral system exercising regional disparity,
people in my opinion are feeling more powerless now than in the past. This is
my sense. What are the implications of this? Not much happens in the beginning.
Fringe movements rise up and energies fade. It’s not until groups in large
numbers feeling similarly aggrieved amass that any traction takes hold.
Insular leaders living in a vacuum clueless of what’s being
discussed at the supper table is a phenomenon of the day. The election of
Donald Trump should not have been a surprise for elitist liberals but indeed
this pompous bunch had their worst nightmare come true. The wide swath of
political blue painted across the map of the Canadian prairies in 2019 should
not have come as a surprise. Elitists again were caught off guard.
People expect competent leadership with commercial interest
playing a vital part in decision making. People expect merit based pay. People
expect entrepreneurial risk to be rewarded. People expect their tax dollars to
be spent wisely. People expect the responsible development of resources within
environmental guidelines along with the permitting process to be reasonable.
These are not difficult concepts but the intransigence at every turn by figures
of authority mixed with a political landscape of deceit and unreasonable
demands by First Nations people are more than just getting on the nerves of