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The Good News About the Bad Times

March 6, 2009 - Updated: March 6, 2009

"If President Obama is looking for smart government, there is much he, and all of us, could learn from our quiet - okay, sometimes boring - neighbour to the north", writes Fareed Zakaria, bestselling author  ( the Post-American World) and chief international columnist for Newsweek.  


This is one of the most encouraging news that we've heard in a long time.  Fakaria further notes that among countries in the industrialized world, only Canada has not experienced bank failures and government bailouts.  Our big five banks  made a combined profit of US$8.2 billion as  opposed to the $8.5 loss of the top five US banks.  The World Economic Forum ranked Canada's banking system as the healthiest in the world while the US ranked 40th and England 44th.  Until the recent global financial meltdown, the Canadian financial system has been viewed as "over-regulated" and we now appreciate the benefits of this.  Aside from our healthy banking system, our 12 years of federal budget surpluses has put our government in a strong position to spend money to fuel a recovery as opposed to the US$1trillion federal deficit that the US has experienced, not counting the $787 billion stimulus package that was recently signed by Obama.


So what happens after the recession?  In an article by Philip Preville, The Good News About the Bad Times, there are three possible scenarios.  One is that once it's over, everything will go back to normal, with New York and London as alpha cities of the financial world.  Another scenario, which he thinks is unlikely is the opposite - that London and Wall Street are finished, taken over by new economic powers like China, India and the Middle East.  Preville believes that the more probable result will be one in which power will be broadly distributed, especially North America.  With this in mind, we certainly have a lot to look forward to...

Tagged with: canadian economy obama
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