Thursday, December 18, 2008

Harper's Ever Worsening Economic Forecast Of The Day

Well, there it is. The Globe has Harp's Minister of Funance saying two years of recession is possible. Canadian Press has the very same Minister of Funny Forecasts warning that we're in for four years of recession. Did Flaherty goof up? Wasn't he supposed to save the "four year recession" warning for tomorrow?

But fear not. Weeks after Obama put together the best and brightest economics minds in America to help him forge a recovery plan, Flaherty has finally gotten off his backside to announce he'll be going to Canada's corporate elite, apparently that's good enough for True Northerners.

What in hell do Canada's business czars know about putting together a federal budget? You'll be playing this time for the matching lawn furniture. The answer: you guessed it, SQUAT! They're Boardroom Barons, not economists, Jimbo. If we wanted the country run like a second-rate, mismanaged corporation - oh wait, I guess 38% of us did vote for just that.

Anyway I'm sure L'il Jimbo's "experts" will give him all the advice he needs on how to recession proof Bay Street. As for you and me? Ah, who cares?


WesternGrit said...

Hehehe... 38% of the 60% who voted, meaning roughly 22% (correct my math if I'm off)?

What sort of gets me is the talk of the "Coalition" economic panel. That group of experts seemed to be better... Is that a dead idea? Obviously the Cons are copying the idea lock stock and barrel... the idea the coalition guys copied from Mr. Obama, lol...

Regardless, we need to weigh what Harper's "panel of experts" (experts in giving money to big business) add to the political equation. In adding this group he has given himself credibility in the "I give up, this crisis is too much for my economic mind - I'm calling in 'experts'" category. We either need to counter with a serious focus on the "quality" of said experts, or be prepared for their continued handout to corporate interests: Watch the P3s trotted out - everything will be a public private partnership - with their corporate friends benefiting. They will push the corporate agenda.

So much for Harper "saying no to corporate welfare". I hope I'm wrong, but knowing who these people are, you can be pretty certain the P3, corporate stoking idea will be front and center.

Anonymous said...

"What in hell do Canada's business czars know about putting together a federal budget? You'll be playing this time for the matching lawn furniture. The answer: you guessed it, SQUAT! They're Boardroom Barons, not economists, Jimbo."

Some of the most respected economists in Canada have had permanent rose colored glasses welded to their face. Indeed one could argue that "the economists" have been at least as clueless as the politicians. Maybe thats because economists enjoy so much policy clout. So perhaps the problem with the Cons is that they have been listening too closely to the economists.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Travis, I beg to differ. If Harpo had been listening to either of the two economists I prefer to rely on, Nobel prize economist Joe Stiglitz or Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman, he would've seen this coming two years ago and he might have at least done something to help prepare Canada for it. All he had to do was read Krugman's column in the NYT and they're free.

I agree with WesternGrit. I think we're in store for a heaping dose of Disaster Capitalism of the sort that's worked out so well for New Orleans and a host of beleaguered nations.

After all, the neo-con mantra is why pass up a perfectly good disaster - especially one you've done absolutely nothing to prevent.

Skinny Dipper said...

The Conservative Party has been renamed the Proroguesive Conservatives.

Anonymous said...

At first on reading this post my stomach tightened. But there is a silver lining...If Harper and friends screw the country, they might also screw their own party. Badly enough that within a couple of years there could be a different government, and perhaps an alternative that isn't merely Harper-lite. There is an opportunity in this recession/depression for restructuring and greening which is desperately needed on many levels.

Anonymous said...

You can beg to differ all you like. And I certainly did on my blog but if you look at what Canadian economists were actually saying at the time and even at the BOC, the Cons can claim that had reason.

Just for at taste go look at the Worthwhile Canadian blog written by S. Gordon. Prior to November the attitude was very much there is no reason to get excited. Since that blog has been about how mild the recession will be.

The talking head economists in Canada only came around mid November. Lets be clear even the FT did not want to call it as it was until the great collapse of Bear Sterns. I am not saying it was right but if the cons were looking for economists to cover their tracks there was no shortage before October.

So why should we listen to the economists in general? I could cherry pick one or six, myself included, who came close to "getting it right" but that would not be a representative sample.

And your quip makes it sound like of only the cons had listened to the economists they would not have egg on their face. I humbly suggest they have egg on their faces because they listened to the vast majority of vanilla economists.

My point is simply this: the economists are just as confused as the rest of us humble creatures. Sure they are trying to put a good gloss on it but they do not have a good clue. The good metaphor here is a cancer patient with a 50/50 chance subject to radiation treatment which has a 50/50 chance of killing the patient. That = 25% chance of success.

Everyone is shitting their pants. What the Cons are guilty of is pretending there is no reason to shit in your pants and that was very much the Canadian economists' council prior to and during the election