Category Archives: Economics

Ryerson Reports Modern Day Slavery

The Star this morning has reported on the plight of immigrants working through temp agencies.  It should be no surprise that take home pay for such workers are a pittance when factoring in day care costs, taxes and the “pimp”.  I have a client who introduced me to this label which I actually find quite fitting.  Ryerson University will be reporting on these “middle men” in an upcoming report.  When I lived in Vancouver for a time, I was registered with about five agencies.  I’d get on the phone in the morning to see what was happening and mostly get the cold shoulder.  One particular agency was responsible for the majority of my hours.  One occasion led to a respectable full time job where I was able to make an impact.  In fact, this position launched my “reworked career”.  This should be what “temping” is all about.  A worker should be in transition while pursuing a focused primary career goal.  It should not be a way of life.

In Canada, we pay too much income tax.  Employers are also burdened by payroll taxes which tempt them to temp out situations which arise in their business as opposed to binding themselves to legacy like costs.  It makes business sense.  It also reduces the burden placed on an “HR department”.  Unfortunately, socialist government models impede the capitalist instinct.  Workers are less inclined to promote themselves directly to employers and employers are less inclined to make commitments to workers.  Ryerson will be releasing a “study” but I can espouse with confidence that one doesn’t need a PHD in economics to deduct the street level ramifications of the market condition for temps.  When business can’t compete with public sector salaries and pension plans, it will look to the market for ways and means to obtain non-payroll help.  Alternatively, it will close up shop or find a more business friendly jurisdiction.

Malinvestment Rising

Even if you’ve studied macroeconomics 101 back in the day, you may not have heard the term.  Keynesian theorists bread from state sponsored academia are not oriented to hypothesize that investments can go wrong and can be counter-productive to a long term economic benefit.  Today China faces the financial effect of amortizing vacant industrial complexes financed through non-transparent means as eloquently described by Jim Rickards in his book “The Death of Money”.  Mr. Rickards claims that this phenomenon is not in and of itself a financial risk of devastating proportions to the Chinese banking sector but when matched up with other elitist transgressions in stimulating economic growth, perilous conditions have become beset.  Mr. Rickards goes on to exemplify the flight of capital out of China by those instinctive purveyors of wealth who have concluded that all is not well in the Chinese banking system.

Apparently, it’s not only the western world which endorses the free flowing off balance sheet derivative market but the Chinese have become adept at putting it to work in helping Chinese savers acquire better returns than the near zero bank rate offered today.  In spite of the 2008 financial crisis, now reports that the notional outstanding derivative book is twenty per cent higher now than it was back in 2008 and that Goldman Sachs alone carried $48 trillion dollars in derivatives at the end of 2013.  The mortgage variety of derivatives were largely the cause of the 2008 financial crisis.

Economic Excess

Mar 3, 09
Jaw dropping aberrations from capitalist norms have inundated the pysche of politicians, regulators, and market analysts alike whom have been examining economic excess. Who would have thought – other than legendary Richard Russel (founder of Dow Theory) that the indexes would see these levels today? On second thought, I guess that Ian Gordon has been talking this up for a good while along with Jim Willie and Doug Casey. I know – good chance you’ve never heard of them because they were all considered unworthy of attention due to some screws being loose. Funny what unfolds away from the fold. The only mantra that hasn’t yet come to fruition for these mavericks of market musings is skyrocketing junior gold share prices and consistent four figure bullion. Obviously still a developing story.

Hard Done By Auto Workers

Oct 6, 2007

Amaaazing. Oshawa couple are stunned that they are going to be losing their $70,000 per year jobs at the GM plant. Yes each. $70,000 each for unskilled assembly line labor work. How often have the smothering legacy costs of GM been reported in the financial news over the past two years? Too many to count on fingers and toes for certain but all of a sudden the McAuliffe’s are surprsised. Trish says, “but when you have based your life and your plans on having a certain income, it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under you.” Well, earth to Trish – we live in a global economy where capitalism has won out. You probably should have started retraining twenty years ago with the launch of the NAFTA free trade deal. Consider yourself lucky that your overpaid menial work has lasted this long. I suggest that you stand up straight, look into the mirror and start taking responsibility for your families welfare in the context of the global economic reality instead of laying blame at the feet of some entity that you thought was going to look after you throughout your adult years. Countries outside North America have simply done a better job at building cars more efficiently, more cost effectively, and with more sensitivity to the market place. Guess what Trish – capitalism produces winners and losers. GM is losing and must make decisions to adjust back to the winners circle. Had you spent some time and energy observing the trends in your industry, you may have forecasted your plight. It is people in your precise demographic that don’t seem to have enough “time” to examine a home business. Well perhaps, now you are better positioned. Unfortunately, you could have transitioned yourself nicely while still in the employ of GM.