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Recap of recent real estate news in Canada. Tiff Macklem and market exuberance, cottage country price appreciation and the rise of lumber prices.


Bulls versus the bears, this week in the Canadian real estate industry.


We a living a ponzi real estate market and the economy is at risk. Yet Doug Porter, economist BMO, is on record as saying Candian\'s want to pay more for houses. Yes, you can\'t make this stuff up. This video discusses the issues related to Porter\'s statement and explains why he is wrong.


2020 was a record year, except for condos. Montreal REM sites the exception to this rule. This video shares insights regarding the Canadian real estate segment.


Taxes are going up, TO condo prices are going down and recreational property up 15% to 40% in the Canadian market.


The mortgage debt to income ratio declined despite the pandemic. In this issue I discuss real estate stalling and immigration's impact on home prices.


This video is intended to give viewers an understanding of the economic ideas behind Canada's potential housing bubble. This video also explains why Siddal, President and CEO of the CMHC, was likely pushed from his post.


October 14th real estate report describing the issues in the market the last two weeks.


Overview of Canadian banking industry. This multi-part series looks at issues facing Canadian banks from a variety of angles. Part 1 examines the types of banks and scale using ROE and EBITDA as measures.


'Pros on the Go', a Fierce Tartan company are seeking insurance partners to pilot its new solution for streamlining the claims process.


Using financial data, Mark Sibthorpe compares the performance of TD bank to its rivals. TD grew faster in 2017 than its rivals, but was cited for aggressive sales practices.


Mr. Michael R. King, Tangerine Chair in Finance and Co-Director, Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab / Ivey Business School at Western University


This video covers XE.com's presentation at the AI, Big Data and Analytics event which took place in Toronto February 7/8, 2018. Cecelia Tamez and Jean Louis provide insights into their evolution and winning strategy.


Greenpeace's campaign to stop TD financing the oil sands is delusional. Trillions of dollars are at stake for the banks and the Canadian economy. This video explores the related financial issues.


This video provides an overview of the main differences between Canada's approach to overland flooding versus the US approach.


Canadian bank overview part 5, medium-large banks. Banks include Manulife, Tangerine and Laurentian Bank.


Canadian banking industry overview of Canadian Tire Bank, Presidents Choice Financial, Equitable Bank, B2B Bank


Overview of small-medium size banks in Canada. Banks covered include Versabank, Hollis Bank, Equity Bank and Caisse Populaire Acadienne.


Review of small banks including Bridgewater,Vancity Bank, Concentra, Wealth One, Zag...


Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin a fraud used by criminals, yet he has jumped into the blockchain with both feet.


RBC invested $24 million into Wave Technologies and now they will roll out Waves accounting, invoicing, reporting and billing platform to SMEs.


Canadian banks have increased their deposits by $127 billion since the start of the pandemic. This video uses charts to show which banks gained the most and how.


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About BankNews TV: financial services industry monitor (FSIM), analytics and research

Latest news and events for Canadian financial service companies, analytics, fintech and AI. BankNews.TV provide the latest technology news and reports for banks and insurance companies looking to compete in a rapidly changing market.

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Research

Real estate report: October 30th, 2020  

fsim.ca/docs/Oct30rereportv1.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

The big buzz in real estate recently is Mark Carney being scooped up by Brookfield. This means more juice for riskier borrowers. Brookfield, a huge player in real estate, both residential and commercial, recently bought its remaining shares from Sagen (Genworth MI Canada), which values the company at $3.8 bn.


VersaBank’s New High-Security VPN Proving Especially Valuable During COVID-19 Pandemic  

fsim.ca/docs/TailscaleReleaseMarch30FINAL.pdf

Press Release

VersaBank (TSX:VB) (“VB” or the “Bank”) today announced the implementation of its new high security Virtual Private Network (VPN) remote access software solution, developed in partnership with Tailscale, a leading provider of secure network connectivity solutions. The software enables VersaBank employees to securely and directly connect to all the Bank’s servers across multiple offices and cloud providers, using two factor authentication and with every connection encrypted. The Tailscale-based solution uses the Office 365 setup and Windows client/server applications that the Bank already had in place.


2014 FSIM when Bernanke visited Montreal  

fsim.ca/docs/MockBernanke.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Considering Bernanke is hated by the Republicans and hated even more by the Democrats, and is currently under scrutiny for saving AIG but not Lehman, (in hindsight) with respect to issues over solvency vs liquidity, the Montreal lovefest attended by 1,100 people yesterday must have been a welcome respite. Click the link to read the entire 2014 report.


Eisman's big Canadian bank short  

fsim.ca/docs/eisman2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

I have been reporting on Steve Eisman's short position for quite some time.  As the analyst reaction to Eisman shows (link below), Eisman has taken a lot of heat for shorting Canadian banks. Instead of capitulating, in September 2019 he publicly disclosed the fact that he added Canadian Tire to his position, He explains the rationale for this in a BNN interview late 2019. Essentially, his big concern with respect to banks was non-performing loans in Alberta. He feels Canadian bank CEOs are not prepared for a credit cycle. He specifically referenced ATB (a private bank) in discussing his concerns. Looking at the numbers today, my guess is that he has made off like a bandit.


VersaBank Beta-Testing Its New, High Volume Mortgage Finance App   

fsim.ca/docs/VBCortelMortFinanceAppFeb62020.pdf

Press Release

VersaBank announces it is initiating beta-testing on its newly developed high-volume mortgage software app with the Cortel Group, one of Canada’s largest home and condominium builders. The app, named “Direct Connect”, was designed to facilitate and significantly reduce the lengthy finance approval process typically experienced by home buyers when visiting home and condo pre-construction sales offices.


How and why you need to defend your brand against disruptors  

Mark Sibthorpe

Technology, and being open to opportunities, has preempted transformation in banking. At the top of change are Mint, PayPal and ApplePay; three examples of transformative solutions that are now ubiquitous. On the horizon: Uber and Google, both having recently announced partner based banking services. Further down in the plumbing is Duca Impact Labs, Versabank, and Revolut. This report shows how cost conscious FIs can, not only stay relevant in the face of adversity, but punch well above their weight. All thanks to creative thinking and the ongoing commoditization of technology.


Kick the can(nomics)  

fsim.ca/docs/Kick.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canada has used consumer debt to provide life support to the economy. This strategy which basically pushed the day of reckoning to the next government was old back in 2014, and now is well past its sell-by-date. Recognizing this, and desperate to keep the economy out of a recession, Trudeau is spending more money now than any government in Canadian history. This report disusses a possible alternative.


ScoreCard Bill Morneau, Canada's Minister of Finance  

fsim.ca/docs/ScoreCardMorneau.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report is a scorecard I designed in order to rank the performance of the current Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau. I do regular rankings because, otherwise, I cannot measure the performance in a meaningful way. The scoring is based on a variety of metrics as detailed on the ‘score-table’ on page 3. Examples of the criteria and weighting include:

 


Observations and overview of 2018 NB flood support from government and insurance companies.  

fsim.ca/docs/Observations and overview of 2018 NB flood support from government and insurance companies..pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

 


Flood aftermath is linked to post traumatic stress. Here are some findings from a study conducted by Queensland University following a flood:

"The findings showed that aftermath stress contributed to poor mental health outcomes over and above the flood itself, prior mental health issues and demographic factors," Ms Dixon said.

 

"Aftermath stress was the strongest predictor of post-traumatic stress symptoms with 75 per cent of people saying the most difficult aspect was the aftermath and dealing with insurance companies," she said.

 

With this in mind, I felt it was important to understand how New Brunswick flood victims were treated.

 


Update Argentina: a sign of the times  

fsim.ca/docs/Update Argentina_ a sign of the times.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Argentina is in the news daily because the situation is dire, and may be an indication of further contagion. The most dramatic story that speaks of the a leading cause of its troubles was the recent arrest of the public works secretary, Jose Lopez. June 15th he was caught hiding millions in cash in a monastery. No this is not a plot for a comedy.


Summary of Canada's flood news, 2017 to present  

fsim.ca/docs/Summary-of-flood-news-2017-present.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report covers flood news in Canada from 2017 to present and highlights the relevent issues for home-owners and the insurance industry.


Banking on Pot  

fsim.ca/docs/c10191_banking-on-pot.pdf

SBS

As states across the US legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes, it has fueled a growing industry of marijuana related businesses (MRBs).


Canadian banking industry overview  

Mark Sibthorpe

The industry overview is divided into 5 parts:

Introduction
Small banks
Small medium sized banks
Medium sized banks
Medium large banks


2014 Mobile payments the Apple pay way  

fsim.ca/docs/Mobile_Payments_Apple_Pay_2014.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

With Walmart Pay about to userp Apple Pay, I thought I would share my 2014 book on mobile payments and loyalty. The guilde was written for Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit, mobile payments and Apple Pay, but anyone involved with credit and loyalty might find it useful.
The book is a prelude to Walmart leaving MCX, and chronicles the evolution that led to Walmart Pay. There is an extensive case study of Walmart that looks into its efforts to become an ILC and to avoid paying credit card transaction fees ('merchant discount').
It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and industry facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives. 


Death to bitcoin, long live the blockchain   (See full report)

Mark Sibthorpe

Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin a fraud used by criminals, yet he has jumped into the blockchain with both feet.


TD bank industry conduct  

fsim.ca/docs/tdind2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

TD’s share price recently collapsed by $7 bn in one day due to CBC’s allegations of aggressive selling tactics. A huge fall from a bank that was trading at a premium as recently as January. This was even before the most recent allegation of TD attempting to avoid paying taxes on advertising.
This report chronicles the events leading up to the collapse, shows TD's performance, analyses other related issues.


Book review: Back from the Brink  

fsim.ca/docs/backbrink.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This is a book review of the book Back from the Brink by Paul Halpern, Caroline Cakebread, Christopher C. Nicholls and Poonam Puri.


Footnote 151  

fsim.ca/docs/footnote151.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Footnote 151 implies an important regulatory change related to derivative contracts. It means that US Banks will not be required to hold as much capital against commodities. If you want to understand the implications of this regulatory change in more detail, see the enclosed related article detailing the changes. For contextual purposes, I have also included two Rolling Stones Magazines reports from 2010 and 2014 that chronicle the role large US banks have played in manipulating commodities. You might question the credibility of these sources, but rest assured, these reports are based on United States Senate hearings which outline the issues in a 396 page report related to the implied risks. 


Save the Canadian economy now  

fsim.ca/docs/helecopter-money.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Consumer debt spending appears to have insulated Canada from the worst of the credit crisis, but now the alarming magnitude of consumer debt ($1.92-trillion) could exacerbate a day of reckoning.
This report assesses the issues at hand and recommends the solution to get Canada's economy on track.


Reasons financial service companies should consider gamification  

fsim.ca/docs/Gamfin.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Gamification of business processes resulted on Mint.com growing to 10 million users within 4 years. This report explains how.


National Bank Special Report  

fsim.ca/docs/NatBSpec.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

According to Bloomberg, National Bank of Canada will take a C$64 million ($48 million) restructuring charge in the fourth quarter and said its investment in Maple Financial Group Inc., which is being probed by German regulators, may be at risk of a “substantial loss.”


Will Canadian banks charge companies for deposits?  

fsim.ca/docs/depgrowthimpact2.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

In light of today’s possible rate cut, this report discusses how a bank rate cut and capital ratio pressure could precipitate negative corporate deposit interest rates in Canada.


Canadian Tire's (CTC) - Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) Scotia deal overview and risk assess  

fsim.ca/docs/ctfsfinal.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Review of the Canadian Tire Financial Services deal with Scotiabank, risks, opportunity and benefits.


Finance minisiter scorecard August 26, 2015  

fsim.ca/docs/Scorejo-August-2015.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report looks at Joe Oliver, minister of finance’s progress to date, and assigns a grade to his government’s performance to date.


Xtreme Branch  

fsim.ca/docs/xbranch.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Branches are evolving to meet the digital age. This documents tracks the evolution with real-world examples.


Canadian Nudge  

fsim.ca/docs/nudge.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Whether he knew it or not, Tom Reid, a senior vice-president at Sun Life, made a case for the behavior modification concept ‘Nudging’ when he recently proposed auto-enrolling Canadians in his company’s pension plans. Sun life cover 1.2 million Canadians, about 60% of the eligible employees.
According to Reid,


CWB cause for concern  

fsim.ca/docs/cwbupdate.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

In an earlier report BankNews.TV expressed concerns about CWB. Here are 5 charts that show cause:
1. First earnings drop in years;
2. Deposits dropping which will increase cost of funds in the future.


BNTV Overview  

fsim.ca/docs/overviewpdf.pdf

BNTV

BankNews.TV Publishing Corp services overview document:

  • Analytics
  • Financial services industry monitor (FSIM) industry briefings and developments reports
  • Research


Challenger banks not a threat to big banks  

fsim.ca/docs/challenger.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report looks at Canadian challenger banks (apart from merchant led banks) and explains why they have not threatened larger institutions. It also looks at ways in which these upstarts have achieved success.


Gamification of financial data project  

fsim.ca/docs/GamingEventProposal-printsample--en-final.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This document contains details on how BankNews.TV is helping kids learn programming via gamification of financial data.


The impact a rate rise will have for Canadian banks  

fsim.ca/docs/irr-f.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canadian banks have made money throughout the credit crisis, but this trend may be about to reverse. The rational supporting this prediction is that revenue has grown despite a declining net interest margin (NIM). It has grown in spite of this fact because Canadian debt (loan lease volume) has risen significantly, as shown in chart 2.

This report looks at the issues facing Canadian banks in the event of a Bank Rate rise.  


FIFA: the new goldenballs  

fsim.ca/docs/goldenballs.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Yesterday, the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) opened criminal proceedings related to the FIFA scandal. This report outlines some of the events related to the criminal investigation, with a particular focus on banking.


Scorecard Minister of Finance: JIm Flaherty  

fsim.ca/docs/Scorecard Min Fin Flaherty April 8 2014.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

March 18, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty resigned from cabinet after having endured a difficult year due to health issues. This report looks at his legacy and attempts to grade his government’s performance to date.


Sample RFP for a Loyalty Program  

fsim.ca/docs/sample RFP for a loyalty program.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe


Merchants extend financial services  

fsim.ca/docs/merchantfs.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Merchant led financial services are growing in importance once again. This is exemplified in the ongoing UK rivalry between ASDA, Sainsbury and Tesco. Together these merchant/financial service companies provide the backstop for three different approaches for merchants looking to extend their financial services.


Hot Money: real-estate  

fsim.ca/docs/hotmoney.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Canadian and London real estate, like Macau, may also be a convenient means for China’s elite to move money offshore; with the deleterious effect of driving up home values. Louise Shelley`s research concurs. In a published paper written for the National Defense University, Shelley argues that money laundering in real estate (MLRE) increases prices.


Currency Cheat Sheet: a guide for the rest of us  

fsim.ca/docs/currencycheatsheet.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Readers of this document will be presented with monetary policy issues and facts
that show the USD will likely remain the dominant reserve currency, despite
questionable Chinese practices, record US debt levels, and a shaky economy.


Riches to Rags? Summary of possible risks for Genworth MI CANADA, INC.  

fsim.ca/docs/gq4risk.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Genworth had its Q4 2014 earnings call. Genworth own about 30% of the mortgage default insurance in Canada. Not surprisingly, the earnings call became focussed on Alberta; and for good reason, with 20% of its outstanding insured mortgage balance in Alberta, sensitivity to the oil shock and how Genworth plan to manage related risks were discussed in detail.


Canadian Western Bank Competitive Forecast  

fsim.ca/docs/cwbf.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Based on historical financial data (see detailed charts pages 5-8), the oil based recession in Alberta, and comparison against two of its peers, this document outlines my observation with respect to CWB’s future performances.


Liquid Canada: the tipping point  

fsim.ca/docs/Liquid.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

This report examines liquidity issues in the Canadian financial service industry.


Bank Fees  

fsim.ca/docs/Bank fees.pdf

Mark Sibthorpe

Recently the CBC and The Globe and Mail both reported on what has been referred to as a consumer “bank fee outcry”. CBC compares banks to cable and phone companies, standing accused of trying to gouge customers with service fees. The backlash appears to have originated in conjunction with the NDP and the Consumers Council of Canada which argues that there is anxiety ‘among consumers about banking fees’.


Cheap Oil Report  

fsim.ca/docs/co2.pdf

Cheap oil has pushed the Bank of Canada's governor, Stephen Poloz onto a slippery slope. For some background on this, take October 22nd, when Poloz bid farewell to forward guidance, resulting in yesterday's surprise rate cut. A cut that has enraged TD and other banks, which see this as eroding profits.
 


Canada's Economy, a strategic solution  

fsim.ca/docs/ces.pdf

This report explores Canada's strategies to compete globally. The report begins with an analyses of the housing market, because housing is the canary in the coal mine; explores what happens in the event of collapse; and analyses the underlying problem causing Canada to be uncompetitive.
 


Complete loyalty RFP  

fsim.ca/docs/booksample.pdf

Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit and mobile payments should read this book. It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives.
 


Mobile Payments Blueprint: guide to credit and loyalty transformation for merchants  

fsim.ca/docs/booksample.pdf

Merchants that want to understand loyalty, credit and mobile payments should read this book. It offers readers a step-by-step methodology for evaluating and transforming credit and loyalty programs. The strategies are based on proven examples and facts. The Nectar, Target, Canadian Tire and Walmart case studies are examples of the practical approach I have taken, written with the intent that merchants can use them as blueprints for their own initiatives.
 


Report on merchants extending financial services  

fsim.ca/docs/

Special report explaining why some merchants in the UK, U.S. and Canada are expanding their financial services. The paper discusses the structural and regulatory pressures facing merchants and explains the rational behind key decisions. This is an 8 page high level report
 


Guide to system selection  

fsim.ca/docs/gssnow.pdf

Read sample report: Guide to system selection. This sample would normally cost $99 but is available free as a sample. Click here view sample report.


News feed

THE HOUSING BOOM THAT NEVER ENDS ALREADY WIPED OUT ALL THE SHORT-SELLERS

Bloomberg - Ari Altstedter and Kevin Orland (2021-06-15)

Normally this kind of quick-buck speculation would be interpreted by economists, policy makers and finance types as the indisputable sign of a housing bubble. But Moore has been a professional house flipper in the Toronto area for more than a decade now, during which a seemingly endless line of illustrious doomsayers have taken the other side of his bet on real estate in word and deed, only to be proven wrong.

One of the earliest was Mark Carney, then Canada’s central bank governor but soon to take over the Bank of England, who called the country’s reliance on housing wealth “ unsustainable” back in 2012. Then came the wave of American financiers, one after the other, whose collective bet on a Canadian housing crash got its own nickname, “The Great White Short.” Many of them, like Steve Eisman of The Big Short fame, applied the lessons they had learned in the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble years earlier.


END OF AN ERA AS POLOZ EXITS BANK OF CANADA

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-06-01)

Stephen Poloz had only been Governor of the Bank of Canada for a few months in the late summer of 2013, when he gave a speech that defined his unique communication style and signalled a new era for a traditionally staid institution.


INFLATION IS MORE OF A THREAT THAN THE FED SAYS

WSJ - Opinion (2021-05-05)

Regarding Mickey D. Levy and Michael D. Bordo’s “The Fed in the Sand as Inflation Threatens” (op-ed, April 27): I have been calling on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to release his plan to curb the effects of inflation for several months. Last month, I finally heard back from him. He told me that he doesn’t want inflation that substantially exceeds 2%, or inflation for a prolonged period.


IF YOU’RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT INFLATION BURNING YOU, “YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION”: BMO

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-05-05)

Commodity prices are ripping higher, at one of the fastest rates in history. The Bank of Canada (BoC) commodity index jumped 24% in the first four months to the year. The index is now at the highest level since 2014.  


VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE PRICES SOAR OVER $30K AFTER CANADA CREATES MORE MORAL HAZARD

Better Dwelling - Kaitlin Last (2021-05-05)

The Greater Vancouver composite benchmark, a.k.a. the price of a typical home, reached a new record high. The benchmark hit $1,152,600 in April, up 2.6% ($29,300) from the month before. This represents an increase of 12.0% ($116,600) compared to the same month a year ago. Most gains are driven by detached homes, but condo apartments have picked up recently.


FINANCE AND INSURANCE SECTOR HELP FUEL GROWTH, EMPLOYMENT

Investment Executive - Staff (2021-05-05)

Last year, finance and insurance was the third-largest contributor to total GDP in Canada, after real estate and rental and leasing, and manufacturing.


CPPIB APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF CREDIT INVESTMENTS

Investment Executive - Staff (2021-05-05)

“Credit investing is a growth area for CPP Investments, and under Andrew’s leadership, I’m confident in the team’s ability to achieve its goal to double the size of the credit portfolio in the coming years,” John Graham, president and CEO of CPPIB, said in a release.


TORONTO HOME SALES, PRICES COOL AS COMPETITION WANES IN APRIL

G&M - Rachelle Younglai (2021-05-05)

Toronto’s housing market started to slow in April after months of frenetic activity, with sales and the average price falling from March.


POWER CORP. SHARES ON A ROLL WITH WEALTHSIMPLE STAKE. WILL THE RALLY CONTINUE?

G&M - David Berman (2021-05-05)

The resurgence marks an impressive turnaround for the Montreal-based holding company, best known for its ownership stakes in insurer Great-West Lifeco Inc. 

GWO-T +0.50%increase   , asset manager IGM Financial Inc.  IGM-T -0.25%decrease   and, increasingly, Wealthsimple Technologies Inc., the online money management firm and stock trading platform.


RBC SPINOUT IVP RAISES THIRD VENTURE FUND AFTER EARLY SUCCESS WITH VERAFIN

G&M - Sean Silcoff (2021-05-05)

The Toronto startup financier that helped put Canadian software giant Verafin Inc. on the global map has closed its third venture capital fund.

Information Venture Partners (IVP), which specializes in backing early-stage revenue-generating providers of financial technology and financial services software, has raised US$101-million for its third fund, five years after the company raised its second, $106-million fund. Investors include two fund-of-funds firms, Northleaf Capital and HarbourVest Partners, and four of Canada’s Big Six banks. IVP is co-led by general partners Rob Antoniades and David Unsworth.

IVP was spun out of Royal Bank of Canada in 2014 and finalized its latest fund after several early investments produced windfall returns. Last fall, Nasdaq Inc. bought IVP-backed Verafin, a fraud-detection and anti-money-laundering software seller based in St. John’s, for US$2.75-million. It was the largest takeout of a Canadian software company since IBM bought Ottawa-based Cognos Inc. in 2007. The sale valued Verafin at more than triple its level a year earlier, when IVP put together a special purpose vehicle with its largest backers to buy out its earlier position, dating back to 2009, as part of a $515-million financing.


YOU KNOW A MARKET IS ALL PRICED IN WHEN …

FP - David Rosenberg (2021-05-05)

That has become a major story, because the market is sputtering a little even though a record 87 per cent of S&P 500 companies that have reported thus far have smashed through their earnings estimates (and 95 per cent for tech stocks). Yet, for the companies that “beat,” the average price move in their shares the following session has been -0.2 per cent; and try -1.6 per cent for the tech sector (Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. all sharing that fate last week).


JANET YELLEN JUST SAID INTEREST RATES MAY NEED TO RISE TO PREVENT THE ECONOMY OVERHEATING AMID STIMULUS

FP - Ann Saphir and Dan Burns (2021-05-05)

Overall the programs, which include stepped-up spending on infrastructure, childcare and education, will make a “big difference” to inequality, Yellen said.


HERE’S WHY CANADIANS PAY THE HIGHEST INSURANCE BILLS IN THE OECD

FP - Yadullah Hussain (2021-05-05)

All told, Canadians paid almost $50 billion — or around 2.3 per cent of GDP — between 2015 to 2018 in insurance premiums to private insurers for the three main lines of property and casualty insurance: liability, property and auto.


IN ENERGY-RELIANT CANADA, BANKS AND INVESTORS FACE DILEMMA IN MEETING EMISSIONS TARGET

FP - Nichola Saminather (2021-05-05)

Canadian banks’ commitments to “net-zero financed emissions” by 2050 have drawn doubts from many investors, given the lack of a defined goal, details and their continued support for oil and gas companies, even if partially aimed at helping them transition to alternatives.


AFRICA’S DIGITAL PAYMENTS RACE BECOMES A SCRAMBLE

Reuters - Ed Cropley (2021-05-05)

The prospect of a cashless Africa has triggered a scramble for control of its payments plumbing. The continent’s top telecoms operators have become big financial players thanks to their “mobile money” networks, which provide basic banking to tens of millions through handsets. If China is a guide, that could make them gatekeepers to a fintech revolution.


CRYPTO MANIA SENDS DOGE SOARING, CRASHES ROBINHOOD TOKEN TRADING

Bloomberg - Vildana Hajric and Claire Ballentine (2021-05-05)

Other so-called altcoins also took off, with Dash spiking 18% over a 24-hour period through the European morning on Wednesday and Ethereum Classic rising almost 45%. In the world of DeFi, tokens such as Force DAO and Tierion surged more than 1,000% on Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap.com data. Meanwhile, Robinhood said it resolved earlier issues with crypto trading on its platform.


TORONTO HOME PRICES POST SHARPEST DROP IN YEAR AS LOCKDOWN HITS

Bloomberg - Ari Alstedter (2021-05-05)

The number of properties changing hands in Canada’s largest city declined 20% in April on an annualized basis from the month before, while the average price for a home fell 3.6% to C$1.05 million ($855,000), according to data released Wednesday from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. Both declines were the steepest since April 2020, the month after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.


YELLEN CLARIFIES INFLATION REMARK, SEES NO NEED FOR FED TO HIKE

Bloomberg - Christopher Condon and Saleha Mohsin (2021-05-05)

Discover what’s driving the global economy and what it means for policy makers, businesses, investors and you with The New Economy Daily. Sign up here


JAMIE DIMON ON BOOMING ECONOMY AND FINALLY GETTING OFF ZOOM

WSJ - David Benoit (2021-05-05)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon believes a boom is coming in the American economy but warned that the government could waste it away if ambitious spending plans aren’t held accountable.


THE FED BOARD AGREES NEVER TO DISAGREE

WSJ - Judy Shelton (2021-05-05)

In the aftermath of an economic and financial challenge that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently likened to Dunkirk—the urgent rescue of British and other Allied troops from France in World War II—there’s a remarkable uniformity of opinion on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Apparently, they all agree on the appropriateness of the Fed’s monetary-policy decisions. That’s what worries me.


SCOTIABANK INCREASES STAKE IN CHILEAN OPERATIONS WITH ADDITIONAL $500-MILLION INVESTMENT

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-05-04)

Bank of Nova Scotia is paying $500-million to increase its ownership stake in the bank’s operations in Chile.


HOW DEFERRING THE OAS JUST GOT A LITTLE MORE LUCRATIVE

G&M - Patrick Brethour (2021-05-04)

In 2015, the federal Liberal platform committed the party to reversing a Conservative plan to gradually raise the retirement age (or at least the eligibility age for Old Age Security payments) to 67 from 65, arguing that seniors needed the money more than Ottawa.


CALGARY HOME SALES UP 462 PER CENT, REACH HIT RECORD HIGH IN APRIL: CREB

G&M - CP (2021-05-04)

Calgary set a new record for April home sales as the market continued to rebound from lows triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s real estate board said Monday.


THE BANK OF CANADA MIGHT HAVE TO TIGHTEN ITS MESSAGING TO ALLAY WORRIES ABOUT INFLATION

FP - Kevin Carmichael (2021-05-04)

“I would say, ‘Governor, I’m sure glad we’re learning from the lessons of history,’” Easter, a Liberal, said during Macklem’s testimony at his committee on April 27. “I’m one, and there may be others on this committee, who faced a 23-per-cent interest rate in the 1980s and I’ll tell you we paid for that for a very long time.”


HERE'S WHY THE STATE OF MORTGAGE LENDING ISN'T PRECARIOUS DESPITE FEAR MONGERING ABOUT HOUSING MARKETS

FP - Murtaza Haider and Stephen Moranis (2021-05-04)

Housing markets in Canada have defied all predictions of doom and gloom since the onset of the pandemic. Those with a bearish housing market outlook keep pushing the timing of an imminent collapse forward, but their dismal forecasts to date have not materialized.


BROKER ROBINHOOD UPBRAIDS BUFFETT OVER CASINO COMPARISON

Reuters - Shubham KaliaJohn Mccrank (2021-05-04)

Robinhood Financial on Monday struck back against comments by Warren Buffett that likened the retail brokerage to a casino that encourages millions of inexperienced day traders to place short-term stock market bets.


FIDELITY HALVES VALUATION OF ANT GROUP AFTER CHINESE CRACKDOWN

Reuters - Reuters (2021-05-04)

The new valuation for the Jack Ma-founded company, which has been forced to restructure following scrutiny from Beijing, was $144 billion as at the end of February, based on regulatory filings cited by the WSJ. read more


CANADA’S BANKS AND INVESTORS FACE DILEMMA IN MEETING EMISSIONS TARGET

Reuters - Nichola Samanther (2021-05-04)

The situation highlights the largely Canadian quandary faced by both the banks and their investors. Even in their quest to shrink financing for big emission-producers, the lenders cannot withdraw from an industry that accounts for about a tenth of the economy, despite its being responsible for over a quarter of emissions.


WOMEN ARE TAKING TOP JOBS AT FUND COMPANIES, BUT THEIR RANKS AREN’T GROWING

Bloomberg - Liz McCormick and Katherine Greifeld (2021-05-04)

Women made up about 14% of the 25,000 portfolio managers globally that run fixed-income, equity, and asset-allocation mutual and exchange-traded funds as of Dec. 31, unchanged from 2000, according to Morningstar Inc. In the U.S., about 11% are female, a share that has held constant over the past decade and is down from 14% in 2000.


BANK OF CANADA IS “DISCREDITING” ITS OWN INFLATION RESEARCH, PUZZLING ECONOMISTS

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-05-04)

The BoC’s April Monetary Policy Review (MPR) said inflation data would be unreliable. More specifically, the three measures — CPI-trim, CPI-median, and CPI-common would be unreliable. Arseneau says, “last week’s imbroglio [embarrassing situation] over inflation in Canada comes at a bad time.”


GREATER TORONTO NEW HOME PRICES RISE BY OVER $327,000 AS SALES SURGE HIGHER

Better Dwelling - Kaitlin Last (2021-05-04)

The benchmark price of a new home in Greater Toronto pushed to a new record high. Single-family homes reached a benchmark of $1,443,638 in March, up 5.10% ($70,165) from a month before. This brings the benchmark 29.4% ($327,700) higher than the same month last year. It was more than 3x the median household income. 


LATEST IN MORTGAGE NEWS: HOUSE PRICE GROWTH TO COOL BY END OF YEAR: TD

Canadian Mortgage Trends - Steve Huebl (2021-05-04)

“Accordingly, we anticipate some cooling in sales starting in the second half of the year, as rising interest rates begin to bite,” he wrote. “This should also sap some steam from price growth.”


WEALTHSIMPLE ON BRINK OF LARGEST-EVER CANADIAN PRIVATE TECH FUNDING: $700-MILLION-PLUS DEAL WOULD VALUE THE BANK CHALLENGER AT $5-BILLION

G&M - Sean Silcoff, Clare O'Hara (2021-05-03)

Wealthsimple Technologies Inc. is closing in on a landmark financing deal, backed by some of Silicon Valley’s leading venture funds, which will make the Toronto-based online bank challenger one of Canada’s most highly valued private technology companies.


WHO ARE CANADA’S REAL ESTATE BILLIONAIRES? A FIELD GUIDE TO THE SECRETIVE AND SUPER-RICH

G&M - Andrew Willis (2021-05-03)

Dozens of property developers have become billionaires on the back of Canada’s four-decade residential real estate boom. Most are owned by the offspring of immigrants. Only a handful embrace public profiles.


PRIVATE DEBT MANAGER BRIDGING FINANCE PLACED IN RECEIVERSHIP AS OSC INVESTIGATES ITS ACTIVITIES

G&M - Tim Kiladze (2021-05-03)

An Ontario judge has placed alternative lender Bridging Finance Inc. under the control of a receiver following allegations that the money manager improperly used investor funds to benefit some of its founders and executives.


U.S. HOME BUILDERS PUSH FOR NEW U.S.-CANADA SOFTWOOD DEAL

G&M - Brent Jang (2021-05-03)

U.S. home builders are urging the Biden administration to negotiate a new softwood deal with Canada after lumber costs for a single-family house tripled over the past year to nearly US$53,000.


CANADIAN BANKS STRUGGLE TO RECONCILE BIG OIL FINANCING WITH GREEN COMMITMENTS

G&M - Nichola Saminather (2021-05-03)

Canadian banks’ commitments to “net-zero financed emissions” by 2050 have drawn doubts from many investors, given the lack of a defined goal, details and their continued support for oil and gas companies, even if partially aimed at helping them transition to alternatives.


THE BANK OF CANADA MIGHT HAVE TO TIGHTEN ITS MESSAGING TO ALLAY WORRIES ABOUT INFLATION

FP - Kevin Carmichael (2021-05-03)

The combination of the Bank of Canada’s loose monetary policy and the federal government’s massive spending is a necessary response to an epic catastrophe. There’s an echo of the 1960s and 1970s, a period that inspired the music of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, but ended in one of the worst recessions in Canadian history.


BERKSHIRE SHAREHOLDERS REJECT CLIMATE CHANGE, DIVERSITY PROPOSALS THAT BUFFETT OPPOSED

Reuters - Jonathan Stempel (2021-05-03)

Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) shareholders on Saturday easily rejected proposals requiring the company run since 1965 by Warren Buffett to disclose more about its efforts to address climate change and promote diversity and inclusion in its workforce.


CHINA ORDERS TECH GIANTS TO UNBUNDLE FINANCIAL SERVICES

WSJ - Keith Zhai (2021-05-03)

In recent years, China’s technology giants have turned consumers’ embrace of mobile payment apps into lucrative ecosystems offering a range of financial services, from personal loans to insurance policies.


CANADIAN OFFICE VACANCY RATE HITS 14%, HIGHEST IN A QUARTER CENTURY: BMO

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-05-03)

Toronto and Vancouver fared a little better, but still made very large jumps according to Guatieri’s analysis. Greater Toronto office vacancies “nearly doubled” to 12.4% in Q1 2021, the highest level since 2005. Metro Vancouver office vacancy rate hit 6.3%, about 2 points higher than a year before. Metro’s vacancy rate climbed by nearly 50%, but still remains the lowest of any city across Canada. 


EDMONTON-BORN GREG ABEL TAPPED TO SUCCEED WARREN BUFFETT AT BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY

G&M - Joe Castaldo (2021-05-03)

“The directors are in agreement that if something were to happen to me tonight, it would be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning,” he said.


BILL AND MELINDA GATES ANNOUNCE DECISION TO ‘END OUR MARRIAGE’ AFTER 27 YEARS

G&M - Sally Ho (2021-05-03)

Bill Gates was formerly the world’s richest person and his fortune is estimated at well over US$100-billion. How the couple end up settling their estate and any impact on the foundation will be closely watched, especially after another high-profile Seattle-area billionaire couple recently ended their marriage.

 


WORLD SHARES NEAR RECORD HIGH, EURO UPBEAT ON FED, EARNINGS

G&M - CAROLYN COHN AND HIDEYUKI SANO (2021-04-30)

World stocks held near a record high and the euro was on course for its best month in nine as strong U.S. data and corporate earnings plus the Federal Reserve’s commitment to support the economy fuelled investors’ appetite for risk.


THE HOUSING BOOM IS RIPPING APART THE FINANCIAL FABRIC OF CANADIAN LIFE

G&M - Rob Carrick (2021-04-30)

If it’s not vaccinations dominating conversations these days, it’s housing.


NEXT GENERATION OF BANKERS FEAR FOR FUTURE

Reuters - Dhara RanasingheSaikat ChatterjeeScott Murdoch (2021-04-30)

The stage fright of walking into the imposing offices of a $607 billion asset manager in the heart of a historic financial district? Pandemic era: a five-day induction on Microsoft Teams.


JUNK BONDS ARE BEING PRICED FOR NIRVANA

Bloomberg - Marcus Ashworth (2021-04-30)

It’s tricky being a high-yield debt investor when there’s nothing to buy with a high yield. The definition needs revising. The consequences of getting such meager returns on junk bonds is that the margin for error for discerning investment managers is vanishingly thin. You’re meant to be rewarded for investing in riskier companies, but this isn’t happening right now.


OIL SANDS PIPELINE WINS BID TO HIDE INSURERS FROM ACTIVISTS

Bloomberg - Robert Tuttle (2021-04-30)

“Trans Mountain has satisfied the requirements for confidentiality,” Canada Energy Regulator said in its decision Thursday. “The names of Trans Mountain’s insurers could reasonably be expected to prejudice its competitive position in its dealing with potential insurers.”


MANULIFE CEO GORI SAYS REMOTE WORK IS ‘INCREDIBLY’ EFFECTIVE

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-04-30)

“We’re not in a huge hurry to get people back,” Gori said in an interview Wednesday. “The current environment of having people work remotely is working incredibly effectively for us.”


WHAT FINANCIAL ADVISERS ARE TELLING RICH CLIENTS ABOUT BIDEN’S TAX HIKE

Bloomberg - Laura Davison and Ben Steverman (2021-04-30)

Advisers are telling them to keep calm, but they’re also counseling to prepare for action—bringing forward planned asset sales, shedding stock, reallocating investments, and even restructuring income. “Don’t do anything drastic just yet,” Ed Reitmeyer, a partner at accounting company Marcum LLP, is telling his clients. “The world isn’t over because of a higher capital-gains tax rate.”


SAN FRANCISCO, AND SEATTLE RENTAL PRICES ARE AMONGST THE FASTEST FALLING IN THE U.S.

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-04-30)

The Bay Area represented the three biggest declines in one-bedroom rental prices. San Francisco made the biggest drop, with the median price reaching $2,600 per month in April, down 24.6% from a year before. Outside of the Bay Area, Seattle landed the fourth spot with the median rent reaching $1,500, down 16.20% over the same period. 


CASES ARE UP AT OBSI, BUT CLIENT COMPENSATION IS DOWN

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-04-30)

In 2020, OBSI recommended compensation in 35% of investment cases, down from 47% the previous year. The average compensation recommendation fell to $9,250 from $14,291. Total compensation dropped to $1.2 million in 2020 from $2.5 million in 2019.


OUTLOOK FOR GLOBAL FINANCIAL SECTOR IMPROVES

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-04-30)

For the rest of this year, Fitch said that it expects the stabilization in rating outlooks to vary by region “due to contrasting speeds of economic recovery and different degrees of exposure to the sectors most affected by the pandemic.”


THE TROUBLE WITH ‘BUBBLE’: WHY CANADA’S RED-HOT HOUSING MARKET IS DEFYING THE BURST

G&M - Ian McGugan (2021-04-30)

If it makes you feel better to say Canada’s housing market is a bubble, go ahead and say it. Everyone else has.


DAVID DODGE’S BIG ISSUE WITH THE BUDGET ISN’T DEBT, BUT LACK OF GROWTH

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-04-29)

David Dodge has had a few days to take a look at the budget that the federal Liberal government unveiled last week. He’s not a fan – of the math or the substance.


INFRASTRUCTURE BANK UNLIKELY TO SPEND EVEN HALF OF ITS $35-BILLION BUDGET OVER 11-YEAR MANDATE: PBO

G&M - Bill Curry (2021-04-29)

The Canada Infrastructure Bank is unlikely to spend even half its $35-billion budget over its 11-year mandate despite government pledges to get the cash flowing to new green projects, warns Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux in a new report.


MUTUAL FUND SALES SOAR AFTER YEARS OF WEAKNESS, DATA SHOW

G&M - Clare O'Hara (2021-04-29)

Canadian asset managers saw first-quarter sales hit their highest level since 1997 as investors rushed to invest after a year of strong returns.

Mutual fund sales have surged in recent months with $41.9-billion in net sales recorded within the first three months of the year, compared with net sales of $39-million in the same period in 2020, which saw high levels of redemptions, according to data released from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada.

The surge also surpassed the bestselling year on record, which was set in 1997 with $22.7-billion in net sales for the first three months.

“After several years of mostly weak industry net sales, the key story in 2021 has been the breathtaking acceleration of industry net sales [over the past 12 months],” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Geoffrey Kwan, in a research note this week.

IGM Financial 

IGM-T +1.30%increase   , AGF Investments Inc. and CI Financial Corp.  CIX-T -0.66%decrease   have all seen improved sales numbers as pandemic lockdowns prompted Canadians to curb their household spending and begin to take a closer look at their overall finances.


SHOPIFY’S US$1.3-BILLION PROFIT ECLIPSES REVENUE AS PANDEMIC SHIFT TO ONLINE SHOPPING FUELS ANOTHER BLISTERING QUARTER

G&M - Sean Silcoff (2021-04-29)

Shopify Inc. earned a US$1.26-billion net profit in a first quarter that saw the online commerce software giant vastly exceed analysts’ financial expectations, as it has done consistently during the pandemic. Its stock rose 11.4 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange.


RETAIL SALES UP 4.8% IN FEBRUARY, BOOSTED BY CAR DEALERS, GAS STATIONS

CBC - CP (2021-04-29)

Canadian retail sales climbed in February, boosted by sales at new car dealerships, gas stations and clothing stores, but economists cautioned the pandemic's third wave will again dent sales.


U.S. KEEPS ULTRA-LOW INTEREST RATE POLICIES IN PLACE, BUT NODS TO 'STRENGTHENED' RECOVERY

G&M - Reuters (2021-04-29)

"Amid progress on vaccinations and strong policy support, indicators of economic activity and employment have strengthened," the U.S. central bank said in a unanimous policy statement at the end of a two-day meeting.


FEDERAL PLEDGE TO PUBLICLY DISCLOSE WHO OWNS SOME PRIVATE COMPANIES CATCHES PROVINCES OFF-GUARD

CBC - Ivan Angelovski, Zach Dubinsky (2021-04-29)

That's been the case in British Columbia, where a government-commissioned report estimated money launderers parked $5.3 billion in real estate in 2018 alone — enough that it drove up housing prices by five per cent.


AVERAGE CANADIAN CREDIT SCORE IMPROVED DURING PANDEMIC, BORROWELL STUDY FINDS

FP - Barbara Schecter (2021-04-29)

An analysis of the credit reports of more than one million Canadians, including those in 20 of the largest cities in the country, found that missed payments fell by a third in the first quarter from a year ago — from three missed payments for every 10 consumers to just two. A missed payment is defined as any payment recorded on a credit report that is at least 30 days past due.


VISA EMERGING FROM PANDEMIC ‘STORM’ AS SPENDING VOLUMES RECOVER

Reuters - Noor Hussain (2021-04-29)

Visa Inc (V.N) is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, its top boss said on Tuesday, as a surge in online shopping helped the world’s biggest payment processor beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and counter sluggish travel spending.


MACKLEM STRESSES BANK OF CANADA’S COMMITMENT TO 2% INFLATION

Bloomberg - Theophilos Argitis and Kait Bolongaro (2021-04-29)

Discover what’s driving the global economy and what it means for policy makers, businesses, investors and you with The New Economy Daily. Sign up here


IT’S HARD TO TAKE DOGECOIN SERIOUSLY, BUT THE DOGE DOESN’T CARE

Bloomberg - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-28/dogecoin-worth-40-billion-as-cryptocurrency-joke-keeps-going-up (2021-04-29)

Here are some things with a total market value in the neighborhood of $40 billion: Insurance giant Prudential Financial Inc., the manufacturer Carrier Global Corp., and, at just a few billion less, Southwest Airlines Co.  Or, for a recent price of about 30¢ each, the supply of Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency that started as a joke in 2013. After climbing more than 6,000% this year in a hockey-stick rally, it’s still largely a gag—but one with a potentially darker punchline.


STOCKS ARE OFF TO BEST START TO A PRESIDENTIAL TERM SINCE GREAT DEPRESSION

WSJ - Karen Langley (2021-04-29)

The S&P 500 has risen 10% since Mr. Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The index is on course for its strongest performance since the start of Mr. Roosevelt’s first term in 1933, when it surged 80% after a spectacular crash in the Great Depression, according to a Dow Jones Market Data analysis. By comparison, the S&P 500 rose 5.3% in the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term in early 2017 and on average has gained 3.2% over that period in presidential terms since Herbert Hoover’s in 1929.


CANADIAN RETAIL SPENDING IS UP, AND NEARLY A THIRD OF GROWTH WAS BUILDING SUPPLIES

Better Dwelling - Kaitlin Last (2021-04-29)

One of the biggest trends is related to housing — building and garden supplies. Retail numbers came in at  $4.21 billion in February, up 3.5% from the month before. This works out to an increase of 29.0% when compared to the same month a year before. The annual growth is the highest of any of the major components. The annual growth also represents 31.05% of core retail growth. 


OFFICIALS DEFEND RECOVERY PLAN FOR TROUBLED PACE CREDIT UNION AS FINANCIAL PRESSURES BUILD

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-04-29)

Executives from PACE Savings and Credit Union and its regulator sought to reassure members that the troubled company is stable and viable after its financial position deteriorated sharply last year.


IF YOU THINK HOUSING’S A BUBBLE, YOU SHOULD SEE ONTARIO COTTAGE PRICES: BMO

G&M - Scott Barlow (2021-04-29)

“If you’re buying a cottage right now, make sure you really, really, like it—you might be stuck with it for a while. Indeed, the factors that have propelled this market to dizzying heights might be ready to crest soon. Vaccinations are broadening; listings are becoming more ample; and a different tone from the BoC has at least shifted the conversation a bit on interest rates (weekly surveys of price growth expectations have finally backed off a bit). While the recreational property market is certainly unique, valuations have never been this high when adjusted for interest rates and provincial income. We fully appreciate that those things often don’t matter, especially for a highend cottage, but they do provide a historical reference— and in that sense, we’ve almost flown off the charts. Even if we build in some permanence because of things like work-from-home and scarcity of waterfront, it’s still not hard to see a scenario where froth comes out and the last buyers in (especially in a blind-bid scenario) are faced with years of negative equity”


INFLATION PRESSURE HITS CONSUMERS AS FIRMS PASS ALONG HIGHER COSTS

G&M - Matt Lundy (2021-04-28)

An increasing number of companies are passing along higher input costs to consumers, a sign of inflationary pressure as the economy recovers from the pandemic.


BANK OF CANADA UNFAZED BY SHORT-TERM INFLATION INCREASE

G&M - Mark Rendell (2021-04-28)

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said the central bank is not concerned about a temporary spike in inflation that is expected to take Consumer Price Index growth to around 3 per cent in the coming months.


BANK OF CANADA JOINS VOLUNTARY INITIATIVE TO STUDY INDIGENOUS ECONOMIC ISSUES

G&M - MARK RENDELL AND WENDY STUECK (2021-04-28)

The Bank of Canada is looking to improve how it researches and analyzes economic issues relating to Indigenous communities as part of a joint initiative with the central banks of New Zealand and Australia.


LOW STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATES COULD BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HEAD START ON INVESTING

G&M - SALMAAN FAROOQUI (2021-04-28)

When the federal government set the interest rate for federal student loans at zero and provincial interest rates were set at a low 3.5 per cent in Ontario, Chantelle Gubert decided it was a perfect opportunity to divert more money toward her long-term savings.


CAN CANADA’S CRYPTO CRACKDOWN AVOID ENDING IN FARCE?

G&M - Neil Gross (2021-04-28)

Canada’s securities regulators sent a blunt message to the 600 or so unlicensed crypto-asset trading platforms (CTPs) operating in this country last month. CTPs were told they must register as a marketplace or dealer immediately and bring their operations into compliance with laws that protect investors and promote market fairness very quickly afterward.


NEO LAUNCHES NEW LISTING VEHICLE GEARED TOWARD MID-SIZED COMPANIES

G&M - Vanmala Subramaniam (2021-04-28)

Mid-sized Canadian companies intending to go public will soon have a new route to follow.


BANKING REGULATOR TO SHIFT FOCUS TO TECHNOLOGY, CLIMATE RISKS

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-04-28)

New threats that increasingly keep banking regulators up at night present a fresh set of challenges because they fall outside the traditional boundaries of financial risk management. They include global threats such as climate change, fast-moving innovations in technology and cybersecurity and the emergence of new asset classes such as crypto assets – an uncharted and largely unregulated area for financial institutions that is “growing in importance,” Mr. Gully said.

 


HOUSING IS KEEPING CANADA'S ECONOMY GOING AND THAT'S BAD NEWS WHEN THE BUBBLE POPS

FP - David Rosenberg (2021-04-28)

First, as with the U.S., strip out government handouts in 2020 and the economy would have sunk 15.3 per cent to its lowest level of activity in seven years. At the same time, the Canadian housing market has gone simply insane with ultra-low interest rates, easy access to credit, shifting preferences (work from home) toward more real estate and tremendous speculation. Total residential construction has surged 22.5 per cent in the past year and that has taken the housing share of GDP to a record high of 9.3 per cent — double the historical norm. Strip out housing, and GDP contracted 3.5 per cent in the past year (versus the actual decline of 1.5 per cent); strip out housing and government, and the economic contraction is -5.6 per cent.


IT'S TIME TO RETURN TO THE OFFICE, JAMIE DIMON SIGNALS TO WALL STREET

FP - Hannah Levitt and Natalie Wong (2021-04-28)

“This is fantastic news and the fact that it’s JPMorgan and Jamie Dimon — this will send a very positive message to other CEOs, not just in New York but around the country, to start making plans to on-board their employees,” Bill Rudin, chief executive officer of Manhattan office landlord Rudin Management Co., said in a phone interview.


VISA EMERGING FROM PANDEMIC ‘STORM’ AS SPENDING VOLUMES RECOVER

Reuters - Noor Hussain (2021-04-28)

Visa Inc (V.N) is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, its top boss said on Tuesday, as a surge in online shopping helped the world’s biggest payment processor beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and counter sluggish travel spending.


DEUTSCHE BANK OUTSHINES WALL ST RIVALS WITH BEST QUARTER SINCE 2014

Reuters - Tom SimsPatricia UhligPatricia Uhlig (2021-04-28)

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) posted a better-than-expected net profit for the first quarter, driven by its investment banking activities which outperformed major U.S. rivals.


FINANCIAL FIRMS SHOULD DISCLOSE EMISSIONS FROM ACTIVITIES THEY FUND, GROUP SAYS

Reuters - Simon Jessop, Ross Kerber (2021-04-28)

The world’s banks, asset managers and insurers should provide more information to investors about the greenhouse gas emissions from the activities they finance, a group that tracks emissions data said on Wednesday.


PRUSSIAN BONDS FACE KEY TEST IN CANADA WITH LAURENTIAN DEAL

Bloomberg - Esteban Duarte (2021-04-28)

Laurentian Bank is sounding out credit investors for its inaugural covered bond deal in what would be the first sale of the debt in Canadian dollars in almost two years.


CANADIAN REAL ESTATE SALES ARE FORECAST TO SLOW, AND IT’S GOING TO DRAG THE ECONOMY

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-04-28)

Using the CREA home sale forecast, this year should demolish those numbers — even as sales slow. The estimate works out to $46.42 billion in 2021, up 27.99% higher than a year before. If the year hits projected economic growth, just the spin-off economic activity would be 1.91% of GDP. There’s a large dependence on real estate, when the spin-off of higher home sales, prints 0.4 more GDP points.


DOES THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT HAVE A DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION PROBLEM?

Investment Executive - Shilpa Tiwari (2021-04-28)

Climate change and its effects are not experienced uniformly. In the Global North, Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) are disproportionately impacted by changing climatic conditions. BIPOC communities are more likely to live in the shadow of oil refineries and to get sick from contaminated water. It is not surprising, then, that a survey conducted by Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication found these communities are also the most concerned about climate change. So, why are BIPOC largely absent from climate conversations?


CANADIAN WESTERN BANK SETS SIGHTS ON HNW ENTREPRENEURS

Investment Executive - Rudy Mezzetta (2021-04-28)

The goal now, CWB executives said, is to integrate the scaled-up wealth business with the bank’s commercial and personal banking units to create a “seamless” platform tailored to business-owner clients.


BANKS WEATHERED COVID-19 MUCH BETTER THAN FINANCIAL CRISIS: BIS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-04-28)

“Banks’ balance sheets expanded noticeably in 2020, with increased credit to the [government] sector on the assets side and greater deposits from households and non-financial corporates on the liabilities side,” said a new BIS report on international banking data.


AS TD TRIAL OVER ROLE IN PONZI SCHEME WRAPS, LAWYERS FIGHT OVER LIABILITY

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-04-27)

The scheme was led by Allen Stanford, a former billionaire from Texas now serving 110 years in prison after the financial empire he built in the Caribbean was exposed in 2009 as a US$7.2-billion fraud. Investors suffered huge losses, and the lawsuit alleges that TD shares liability for that harm because it operated accounts for Mr. Stanford’s offshore companies for 18 years and either missed or ignored risks and red flags.


BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF CANADIAN APARTMENT BUILDINGS ON THE BLOCK AS SELLERS RUSH TO CASH OUT AT RECORD PRICES

G&M - TIM KILADZE AND RACHELLE YOUNGLAI (2021-04-27)

Apartment building owners in major Canadian cities are quietly selling billions of dollars worth of properties at premium valuations, despite the pandemic, with pension funds, private equity firms and other investors desperate to swallow large portfolios that rarely hit the market.


AS CENTRAL BANKS GO GREEN, TIFF MACKLEM SAYS HE HAS NO PLANS FOR CLIMATE ACTIVISM AT THE BANK OF CANADA

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-04-27)

Even as the Bank of Canada undergoes a major review of its mandate as part of the process for the renewal of its five-year inflation-targeting agreement with the federal government before the end of the year, he doesn’t see a need to add a green element to the bank’s policy mandate.


KPMG DISPUTES LEAKED EMAILS LINKING FIRM TO OFFSHORE COMPANIES SUSPECTED IN MASSIVE PONZI SCHEME

CBC - Harvey Cashore, Frédéric Zalac, Paul Émile d’Entremont, Mark Kelley, Sannah Choi, Lynette Fortune (2021-04-27)

More than half a billion dollars disappeared offshore in the mid 2000s in what has been called one of the largest investor frauds in Canadian history. 


HSBC PROFIT JUMPS AS VACCINE ROLLOUT SPURS RECOVERY HOPES

Reuters - Lawrence White (2021-04-27)

HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA.L) beat quarterly profit forecasts and released $400 million it had set aside to cover bad loans caused by the pandemic, as rapid vaccine rollouts in the United States and Britain raise hopes for an economic recovery.


TO ‘E’ OR NOT TO ‘E’? CALL US ABRDN, SAYS UK ASSET MANAGER STANDARD LIFE ABERDEEN

Reuters - Simon Jessop, Carolyn Cohn (2021-04-27)

British asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA.L) is changing its name to “Abrdn PLC”, abandoning the letter “e” in phone-text fashion as part of a plan to modernise its brand.


ANALYSIS: AS SMALL-CAP STOCKS LAG, WALL STREET WORRIES ABOUT BROAD SLOWDOWN

Reuters - David Randall (2021-04-27)

An historic rally in share prices for smaller U.S. companies has slowed sharply in April after six months of strong gains, leading many investors to worry that the stock market as a whole may have already priced in a strong rebound from the pandemic.


UBS’S BENCHMARK IS ACROSS ATLANTIC NOT ACROSS TOWN

Reuters - Reuters (2021-04-27)

Compared with scandal-stricken Credit Suisse (CSGN.S), UBS is sitting pretty. It trades at 96% of forward tangible book value, using Refinitiv data and Monday’s closing prices, against 58% for its cross-town rival. Surging wealth-management fees helped it to a 14% return on tangible equity in the first quarter.


NOMURA, UBS TAKE GLOBAL BANKS’ ARCHEGOS HIT TO OVER $10 BILLION

Bloomberg - Marion Halftermayer (2021-04-27)

Global banks’ losses related to the collapse of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management topped $10 billion after Nomura Holdings Inc. and UBS Group AG disclosed more than $3.7 billion of combined hits from the collapse of the U.S. family office.


CANADA AVOIDS ELECTION WITH LAWMAKERS BACKING TRUDEAU BUDGET

Bloomberg - Kait Bolongaro (2021-04-27)

In a Monday evening vote, lawmakers from the New Democratic Party backed Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s plan to help the Canadian economy recover from its pandemic-induced losses. The vote in the House of Commons was 178 to 157 in favor.


MARKET “BUBBLE” MAY CREST SOON, SO BUYERS MAKE SURE YOU LOVE THAT PROPERTY: BMO

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-04-27)

The bank is warning markets may “crest,” or peak, in the not-so-distant future. Home prices have been driven by low interest rates and a lack of supply, relative to demand. Low rates have fueled higher home prices, as those not impacted by the pandemic went on a borrowing spree. As for inventory, pent-up listings have been waiting for a more ideal time than a pandemic to sell. Both of those trends are coming to an end in the not-so-distant future. 


REAL ESTATE MAKES CANADIAN GDP LOOK LIKE IT’S RECOVERING MUCH FASTER THAN REALITY

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-04-27)

Canadian GDP has only made a minimal decline compared to last year in real terms. The last quarter came in at $2.1 trillion at Q4 2020, up 3.4% from the previous quarter. GDP is now 1.5% lower than the same time last year. Virtually everyone considers this a better than expected recovery. There’s a small catch — housing is consuming even more of the country’s investment.


AS BANK OF CANADA TURNS HAWKISH, INVESTORS RETOOL FOR HIGHER RATES OUTLOOK

G&M - Fergal Smith (2021-04-26)

Investors in Canada are shunning interest-rate sensitive stocks, seeking inflation protection and betting on a steeper yield curve as the Bank of Canada leads global central banks in shifting to a more hawkish stance.


TIFF MACKLEM EYES THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CRISIS: BALANCING INFLATION RISK WITH AN INCLUSIVE RECOVERY

G&M - Mark Rendell, David Parkinson (2021-04-26)

Now, with the bank formally acknowledging this week that the economy is much further down the path to recovery than it had previously estimated, the governor enters a delicate phase of policy making. As he begins to unwind the massive monetary stimulus the bank has put in place to prop up the economy and accelerate the recovery, he must weigh that task against both rising inflation expectations and a desire not to leave COVID-19′s economic casualties behind.

 


ROB CARRICK’S 2021 ETF BUYER’S GUIDE: BEST BALANCED ETFS

G&M - Rob Caarrick (2021-04-26)

Balanced exchange-traded funds go by a few different names – asset allocation, all-in-one and one-click funds, to name a few. What all these products have in common is that they rope together bond and stock market ETFs into configurations suiting conservative, middle-of-the-road and aggressive investors.


AMERICAN EXPRESS QUARTERLY PROFIT BEATS ON OVER $1-BILLION RESERVE RELEASE BOOST

G&M - Reuters (2021-04-26)

American Express Co exceeded quarterly profit estimates on Friday as it released more than $1 billion worth of funds it had set aside to cover potential coronavirus loan losses.


CASHLESSNESS MAY HAVE GONE FOO FAR IN NORWAY, GOVERNMENT WARNS

FP - Bloomberg (2021-04-26)

Banknotes and coins are used in only 3-4 per cent of all transactions in Norway, the lowest level of cash usage in world, according to calculations by Norges Bank. Neighbouring Sweden, another nearly cashless society, has also sounded the alarm amid concerns that the complete disappearance of paper money would pose a number of risks. The near obsolescence of cash has prompted central banks in both countries to explore their own digital currencies.


REVOLUT PLANS TO RELAUNCH IN CANADA IN 2022

Startuparound - Press Release (2021-04-26)

United Kingdom-based FinTech startup Revolut intends to return to Canada next year, after revealing, in March, plans to leave the Canadian market. 


MARK CARNEY'S MISTAKEN VALUE(S)

FP - Philip Cross (2021-04-26)

Economists won’t be surprised that a former central banker holds a jaundiced view of free markets. The very existence of central banks is premised on correcting intermittent but recurring financial market failures. This makes central bankers susceptible to a cynical assessment of how markets operate, just as veteran police officers, after years of witnessing its worst manifestations, can develop a misanthropic view of human nature.


AMEX CREDIT SPENDING SLUMP ECLIPSES PROFIT BEAT, SHARES FALL

Reuters - Niket NishantSohini Podder (2021-04-26)

American Express Co (AXP.N) said on Friday travel and entertainment-related spending on its cards halved in the first quarter as customers stayed at home during the COVID-19 crisis, overshadowing its better-than-expected profit.


GREENSILL CREDITORS VOTE FOR AUSTRALIAN LIQUIDATION, PROBES OF DIRECTORS TO FOLLOW

Reuters - Paulina Duran (2021-04-26)

Creditors of Greensill Capital Pty, the Australian parent of the collapsed British supply chain financier, voted on Thursday to liquidate the company, its administrator said, triggering deeper investigations into the conduct of its directors.


GERMANY'S FINANCE MINISTER REJECTS BLAME FOR WIRECARD FIASCO

Reuters - John O'donnellChristian Kraemer (2021-04-26)

Germany's finance minister denied any blame for the multi-billion-euro Wirecard fraud on Thursday, pointing the finger at the company and its auditors, EY, for waving the firm's accounts through for a decade.


NEW U.S. CREDIT BENCHMARKS GAIN TRACTION AS LIBOR DEADLINE APPROACHES

Reuters - Karen Brettell (2021-04-26)

New U.S. bank credit benchmarks are expected to gain traction in the coming months as the deadline to phase out exposure to the discredited Libor approaches, even as regulators continue to push an alternative called the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).


AUSTRALIA HOUSE PRICES TO COOL FROM RED-HOT LEVELS, WESTPAC SAYS

Bloomberg - Michael Heath (2021-04-26)

The bank brought forward its forecast property gains for this year to 15%, from 10% previously, to reflect the current surge, while retaining its overall two-year expectation of a 20% increase, according to a research note Monday. It noted that Sydney dwelling prices rose 3.7% last month, with the median property gaining more than A$1,000 ($777) a day.


UBS, DEUTSCHE BANK TO SHOW IF EUROPE BANKS MATCHED WALL STREET

Bloomberg - Nicholas Comfort (2021-04-26)

While Credit Suisse Group AG kicked off Europe’s bank earnings season on Thursday, its gains in trading and advising on deals were a sideshow given blow-ups related to Greensill Capital and Archegos Capital Management. This week, four of the biggest securities firms are up.


INSURANCE COSTS THREATEN FLORIDA REAL-ESTATE BOOM

WSJ - Leslie Scism (2021-04-26)

Florida lawmakers are pushing legislation aimed at curbing rising property-insurance rates that are delivering sticker shock to some of the home buyers flocking to the state during the pandemic. 


BOY SCOUTS SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS THREATEN FINANCIAL HAVOC FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES

WSJ - Peg Brickley (2021-04-26)

Filed by a coalition of law firms representing sex-abuse victims, Thursday’s court papers suggest escalating tensions in the Boy Scouts bankruptcy case, where the youth group, its insurers and the nearly 84,000 men who stepped forward seeking compensation haven’t reached settlement terms.


TIP WAS SLOW TO COME BUT STILL WORTH MILLIONS

Investment Executive - James Langton (2021-04-26)

The commission announced the payment of two whistleblower awards, including a US$3.2-million payout to a tipster who alerted the regulator to apparent violations and then provided it with a “roadmap” to understanding the activity, and expertise that saved investigative resources.


CANADIAN HOUSING STARTS (MARCH 2021)

TD - TD (2021-04-26)

  • Canadian housing starts jumped to 335.2k (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) in March, up 21.6% from 275.6k units in February. Stripping away monthly noise, the 6-month moving average increased to 273.7k units, up from 252.6k units in February. 


A SURGE IN PAYMENTS TRENDS: FIS FORCED TO PIVOT QUICKLY DURING PANDEMIC

Bobsguide - Aoife Morgan (2021-04-23)

Over 80 percent of in-store Visa payments are now contactless. Contactless transactions in France and Germany increased by two-thirds and almost half year-on-year. Similarly, Mastercard notes at least 75 percent of all transactions in Europe are now contactless.


YELLEN, SUNAK PUSH FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND CLIMATE FINANCING

Bobsguide - Jeremy Chan (2021-04-23)

The investment needed to bring the economy towards net-zero will be substantial. The OECD estimates that $6.3trn is needed every year until 2030 to meet sustainability goals. The figure then grows to $6.9trn in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.


WHO KILLED ENCANA?: INSIDE THE MESS THAT CRUSHED CANADA’S ENERGY ICON

G&M - TIM KILADZE AND JEFFREY JONES (2021-04-23)

It took Gwyn Morgan 30 gruelling years to build Encana Corp. into Canada’s flagship energy producer and only one email to upend his life’s work.


SHAW FAMILY INVESTS IN WEALTH MANAGER GRAYHAWK

G&M - Clare O'Hara (2021-04-23)

Less than a month after pulling the trigger to sell its telecommunications company to Rogers Communications Inc., the Shaw family is injecting millions into ultrahigh-net-worth wealth manager Grayhawk Investment Strategies Inc.

On Wednesday, Calgary-based Grayhawk will announce it has completed a $13-million financing round led by Power Corp.’s alternative-asset management arm Sagard Holdings Inc., and also included members of the Shaw family.

Shaw Communications Inc. 

SJR-B-T -0.35%decrease    chief executive officer Brad Shaw has been an individual investor in Grayhawk since it launched in 2015, and will now be joined by his siblings and their extended family members.


MARK CARNEY'S MISTAKEN VALUE(S)

FP - Philip Cross (2021-04-23)

In his new book Value(s), former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney claims we have moved from a market economy to a market society that overvalues money and private goods while systematically undervaluing public goods such as protecting the environment, building infrastructure, and caring for others, a hackneyed argument dating back to John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1958 book, The Affluent Society.


JOE BIDEN IS EYEING A CAPITAL GAINS TAX AS HIGH AS 43.4% FOR WEALTHY

FP - Laura Davison and Allyson Versprille (2021-04-23)

President Joe Biden will propose almost doubling the capital gains tax rate for wealthy individuals to 39.6 per cent, which, coupled with an existing surtax on investment income, means that federal tax rates for investors could be as high as 43.4 per cent, according to people familiar with the proposal.


BITCOIN SINKS BELOW $50,000 AS CRYPTOS STUMBLE OVER BIDEN TAX PLANS

Reuters - Stanley WhiteKevin Buckland (2021-04-23)

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies suffered hefty losses on Friday on fears that U.S. President Joe Biden's plan to raise capital gains taxes will curb investment in digital assets.


THE EX-CONVICT'S TALE: GERMANY'S ROLE IN WIRECARD SCANDAL UNDER MICROSCOPE

Reuters - John O'donnellTom Sims (2021-04-23)

In February 2019, after a steep drop in Wirecard's share price, German authorities launched criminal probes into short-sellers and journalists who had accused the company of fraud, and banned investors from betting against the company.


INFLATION FORCES THE BANK OF CANADA’S HAND AHEAD OF FED AND ECB

Bloomberg - Theophilos Argitis and Ye Xie (2021-04-23)

In a surprise move, it accelerated the timetable for a possible interest-rate increase and began paring back its bond purchases on Wednesday. That made Canada the first major economy to signal its intent to reduce emergency levels of monetary stimulus.

It’s a turn in policy by Governor Tiff Macklem that shows there’s a limit to how much he’s willing to test the upper boundaries of inflation, with new forecasts showing the central bank expects the biggest persistent overshoot of its 2% target in at least two decades. The question is whether Canada’s situation is unique, or foreshadowing the start of a global exit from stimulus.


TRAVELERS SEES PRE-TAX CATASTROPHE LOSSES MORE THAN DOUBLE

WSJ - Allison Prang (2021-04-23)

Travelers Cos.’ pretax catastrophe losses more than doubled from a year ago for the company’s first quarter, due in part to winter storms.


A CANADIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL FINALLY USED THE TERM “BUBBLE” TO DESCRIBE PROPERTY

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-04-23)

The Canadian property bubble was recognized by an unlikely entity — the Canadian government. MP Adam Vaughan dropped the b word this week. Vaughan isn’t just an elected official, but also the Secretary to the Minister in charge of most of the country’s housing policy. In a Twitter exchange, he explained how difficult it’s been to let some air out of the market. He also acknowledged current cooling measures failed to be effective.


CANADIAN REAL ESTATE IS THE SECOND BIGGEST DRIVER OF INFLATION RIGHT

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-04-23)

Canadian real estate is finally starting to show up in inflation data, but it may not be as high as you would guess. BMO chief economist Douglas Porter shared his take on Canada’s inflation numbers. The consumer price index (CPI) is starting to make a sharp climb. Most of the increase is attributed to the comparison period, but not all. The second-biggest driver of CPI last month was shelter, and it wasn’t subject to much of a base effect.


WITH NEW PROJECTIONS, BANK OF CANADA SIGNALS IT’S WILLING TO BE FLEXIBLE ON INFLATION TARGET IN PURSUIT OF FULL RECOVERY

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-04-22)

Canada’s inflation-targeting central bank just acknowledged that inflation is headed above its 2-per-cent target in the post-COVID-19 recovery. And you know what? It’s okay with that.


AS SHOPPING HABITS CHANGE, OTTAWA TARGETS CREDIT CARD SWIPE FEES

G&M - James Bradshaw (2021-04-22)

This is the third time in less than seven years that the federal government has pressured credit-card companies to lower transaction fees, which vary between retailers, types of cards and payment methods. In 2014, there was an agreement reached with Visa Canada and Mastercard Canada to lower average fees to 1.5 per cent. Then in 2018 a five-year pact was struck that included voluntary commitments to lower average fees to 1.4 per cent, starting in 2020. (American Express struck a separate deal with Ottawa.)


BURNED INVESTOR’S ‘PUMP AND DUMP’ EXPERIENCE RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT IIROC

G&M - Niall McGee (2021-04-22)

About three weeks ago, Robert Edington saw a post on the internet about Graycliff Exploration Ltd. and thought it sounded promising. The Financial News website claimed the small mining exploration company was sitting on $500-million in gold reserves and that its shares were set to jump by 500 per cent. After watching the price of Graycliff shares run from 80 cents to $2.50 over about 10 trading sessions, Mr. Edington jumped in. “I decided to make a play on April 12,” he said. “It dropped like a rock only hours later.”

Mr. Edington, a semi-retired physician who lives in Peterborough, Ont., now realizes he was likely the victim of a “pump and dump.” In such schemes, con artists acquire shares in a thinly traded stock, and then spread false information that “pumps” up the price and volume. Taking advantage of artificially high stock prices, scammers then “dump” their stocks, leaving honest investors holding near-worthless securities.

Over the past few months, apparent pump and dumps originating from The Financial News have caused huge volatility in the shares of four small mining companies, three of which trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE).

Last week, Graycliff Exploration in one session raced up by 50 per cent, and then plummeted by 29 per cent. The same day, the shares of another Canadian exploration company, Valorem Resources Inc. 

VALU-CN -4.35%decrease   , which was promoted in The Financial News in a near-identically misleading fashion, jumped by 48 per cent. Three days later, the company lost a quarter of its value. All of the companies targeted this year by The Financial News, which include Chilean Metals Inc.  CMX-X +6.25%increase   , and Crestview Exploration Inc.  CRS-CN +2.50%increase   , said there was nothing to explain the sizable swings in the price of their shares, and that company insiders had nothing to do with the promotions.


WILL CANADIAN BANK STOCKS FOLLOW SUIT OF U.S. COUNTERPARTS?

G&M - David Berman (2021-04-22)

After large U.S. banks reported surprisingly strong first-quarter financial results last week, investors shrugged. Will quarterly results from Canadian banks next month be met with a similar reaction?

U.S. banks certainly delivered the goods. JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

JPM-N +0.85%increase   reported a profit of US$14.3-billion during the quarter ended March 31, up nearly 400 per cent from the same quarter last year.


BANK OF CANADA OFFERS FRESH HINTS THAT INTEREST RATES WILL RISE NEXT YEAR AS ECONOMY SURGES

CBC - Don Pittis (2021-04-22)

New signs of a strong recovery — including the bank's prediction of a stunning global growth rate of nearly seven per cent this year — plus indications that the underlying foundation of the Canadian economy has not suffered serious damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, mean the central bank is scaling back on monetary stimulus.


CENTRAL BANKS AND GOVERNMENT OUT OF TOUCH WITH MAIN STREET WHEN IT COMES TO RISING COST OF LIVING

FP - Martin Pelletier (2021-04-22)

Nothing makes our central bankers, academics and government officials sound more out of touch with Main Street these days than when they talk about low levels of inflation. The problem is that ultra-low interest rate policies justified by CPI tracking don’t seem to help much when income levels are stagnating and asset prices are surging.


HSBC SUBSIDIARY SETTLES WITH BCSC FOR $1 MILLION OVER FORCED MUTUAL FUND REDEMPTIONS

FP - Barbara Shecter (2021-04-22)

“GAM Canada admitted that requiring people to redeem their units early was unfair, because investors were initially told that the funds were suitable for long-term investment time horizons,” the B.C. regulator said in a statement.


FORGET BUBBLES, CANADA HAS A HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS

FP - Frances Donald (2021-04-22)

Donald said that the economy may emerge from the pandemic in decent shape, but that Canada still needs to address structural problems that are holding it back, such as the lack of affordable housing, or the lack of childcare.


CANADA'S HOUSING BUBBLE IS EXPANDING FROM EAST TO WEST, AND NOT JUST IN LARGE URBAN CENTRES

FP - StackCommerce (2021-04-22)

By the second quarter of 2012, it took the lead and as 2020 was closing out Canada was way up front, with house prices have skyrocketed by 165 per cent in 20 years. As of Feb. of this year, the national average selling price hit an all-time high of $678,091, an increase of more than 25 per cent over the same month last year, pre-pandemic.


BANK OF ENGLAND SEES POTENTIAL RISKS FROM CLOUD DATA PROVIDERS

Reuters - Reuters (2021-04-22)


CANADIAN DOLLAR JUMPS MOST IN 10 MONTHS ON ASSET PURCHASE CUTS

Bloomberg - Susanne Barton (2021-04-22)

“I thought the bank might try to complain about or argue against CAD strength -- it didn’t,” Anderson said. “The bank merely made the factual statement that CAD had rallied alongside commodity prices. Based on that, I’m slightly less worried about the BOC trying to push back against CAD strength in the future.”


CIBC FORMS GLOBAL ENERGY-TRANSITION GROUP IN INVESTMENT BANK

Bloomberg - Kevin Orland (2021-04-22)

The new group will break down silos between the different teams to give clients the broader package of services that the energy transition is necessitating, Roman Dubczak, CIBC’s head of global investment banking, said in an interview. For example, clients working on toll roads will need to understand how electric vehicles and charging stations will factor into those projects, he said.


CANADIAN BANKS BEGIN CIRCUMVENTING MORTGAGE STRESS TEST FOR HIGH-INCOME CLIENTS

Better Dwelling - Stephen Punwasi (2021-04-22)

The idea is to allow borrowers to enjoy the benefits of lower interest rates, without spending more. Often when rates are lowered during a hot market, home prices just absorb the slack. If tested at a higher rate, the borrower gets the benefits of cheap debt, without spending more. It also ensures they can afford the payments, and the economy doesn’t give more points of spending to housing. It’s an all-around win for the most part.


JAPAN'S FIRST APP-ONLY BANK TO RUN ENTIRELY ON GOOGLE CLOUD

Finextra - Finextra (2021-04-22)

A wholly owned subsidiary of regional banking group Fukuoka Financial, Minna Bank’s services are designed to appeal to the needs of digital natives, providing account opening, deposits and funds transfer over consumer smartphones.


VERSABANK ANNOUNCES 2021 MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS RESULTS

VersaBank - Press Release (2021-04-22)

Detailed vote results for directors and re-appoint of KPMG as auditors.


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THE HOUSING BOOM THAT NEVER ENDS ALREADY WIPED OUT ALL THE SHORT-SELLERS

Bloomberg - Ari Altstedter and Kevin Orland (2021-06-15)

Normally this kind of quick-buck speculation would be interpreted by economists, policy makers and finance types as the indisputable sign of a housing bubble. But Moore has been a professional house flipper in the Toronto area for more than a decade now, during which a seemingly endless line of illustrious doomsayers have taken the other side of his bet on real estate in word and deed, only to be proven wrong.

One of the earliest was Mark Carney, then Canada’s central bank governor but soon to take over the Bank of England, who called the country’s reliance on housing wealth “ unsustainable” back in 2012. Then came the wave of American financiers, one after the other, whose collective bet on a Canadian housing crash got its own nickname, “The Great White Short.” Many of them, like Steve Eisman of The Big Short fame, applied the lessons they had learned in the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble years earlier.


END OF AN ERA AS POLOZ EXITS BANK OF CANADA

G&M - DAVID PARKINSON (2021-06-01)

Stephen Poloz had only been Governor of the Bank of Canada for a few months in the late summer of 2013, when he gave a speech that defined his unique communication style and signalled a new era for a traditionally staid institution.


INFLATION IS MORE OF A THREAT THAN THE FED SAYS

WSJ - Opinion (2021-05-05)

Regarding Mickey D. Levy and Michael D. Bordo’s “The Fed in the Sand as Inflation Threatens” (op-ed, April 27): I have been calling on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to release his plan to curb the effects of inflation for several months. Last month, I finally heard back from him. He told me that he doesn’t want inflation that substantially exceeds 2%, or inflation for a prolonged period.


IF YOU’RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT INFLATION BURNING YOU, “YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION”: BMO

Better Dwelling - Daniel Wong (2021-05-05)

Commodity prices are ripping higher, at one of the fastest rates in history. The Bank of Canada (BoC) commodity index jumped 24% in the first four months to the year. The index is now at the highest level since 2014.  


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