Canadian economy staring into the abyss

We are weeks away from a systemic collapse of large parts of the energy industry in Canada. We need to act quickly and decisively

Canadian economy staring into the abyssJust how close is the Alberta oil patch to catastrophic failure? In an informal and I admit very unscientific review of sentiment in Calgary's oil patch conducted by Alberta Council of Technologies (ABCtech) officers last week, a chilling tale of fear emerged. With Western Canada Select crude (WCS) bottoming out at less than $10 a…

Energy East pipeline represents Canada’s salvation

It’s time to send a clear message to the United States and OPEC that Canada is in charge of its own destiny

Energy East pipeline represents Canada’s salvationYou know things are bad when private-sector companies like Cenovus Energy are begging NDP Premier Rachel Notely to use the powers of government to curtail oil production in Alberta. But the gruesome truth is, at US$14 per barrel, Western Canadian Select (WCS) is essentially a giveaway.  This is bad for business (with the exception of…

The world we live in today forged in the trenches of the Great War

The battle for the values it was fought for – the defense of justice, rights and freedoms – never ceases

The world we live in today forged in the trenches of the Great WarIn Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row. It was at the funeral of his close friend and comrade Alexis Helmer that Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was first moved to write his (now famous) poem. At the time of writing he was physically and mentally exhausted, resting in the back of…

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberals

Modern progressives see proof of social oppression around every corner. They believe society in general is to blame

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberalsThe breaking point for me was Pittsburgh. This murderous act of anti-Semitic horror, when combined with the relentless breakdown in social civility, has made me face an unpalatable truth: something has gone very wrong with modern society. Our entire civilization is speeding to toward fragmentation and decay – Brexit, Donald Trump, warring political partisanship, rising…

Time for Canada to forge its own trade destiny – outside USMCA

NAFTA made us dependent on the U.S. The new trade deal will do more of the same. We need to globalize our trade perspective

Time for Canada to forge its own trade destiny – outside USMCANow that the dust has settled on United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), what are the key takeaways and what should Canadians be doing next? The first and most obvious takeaway is acceptance: this deal is poison. USMCA does not create a free-trade zone. In fact, the words 'free trade' never appear in the documents. This is…

Can we avoid another financial crisis?

We need to embrace intangible assets. And the lending world and investors need to free up funds to support intangible creators

Can we avoid another financial crisis?Could intangibles help avert the next financial crisis? Yes. And they'd better, because the train of global prosperity is about to jump the track and intangible assets are the only possible salvation. Today's headlines are depressing. There's a constant stream of negativity led by U.S. President Donald Trump's assault on the North American Free Trade…

Canada can’t afford to be bullied by Trump on trade

What the president really wants is the surrender of Canadian sovereignty, to create a semi-colonial dependency

Canada can’t afford to be bullied by Trump on tradeU.S. President Donald Trump is, once again, blaming Canada for delays in concluding North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations. There's nothing new in this but this time Trump is bringing in high-powered congressional guns to lambaste Canada. Trump loyalist and Republican Congressman Steve Scalise lowered the rhetorical boom: “Mexico negotiated in good faith and…

The upcoming human capital revolution

Despite fears about artificial intelligence taking jobs, people, ideas and innovation will grow in importance as the century unfolds

The upcoming human capital revolutionThe 21st century is going to be very different. If you're in business, a knowledgeable and skilled workforce will be essential. Despite the fears about artificial intelligence taking jobs, people, ideas and innovation are becoming more important as the century advances, not less. It’s now obvious that we live in a largely digital, technology-driven knowledge…

Banking on intangible assets to build your business

Recognizing and capitalizing intangibles is the key to opening new financing opportunities for SMEs

Banking on intangible assets to build your businessIt’s commonly accepted that banks can’t finance small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) these days. Many SMEs lack the traditional collateral grade assets and/or reliable cash flow that banks need to write a commercial loan or extend a working line of credit. Regrettably, lack of bank financing forces many emerging companies to turn to alternative capital…

How Facebook failed its users and its shareholders

Corporate reputations are valuable assets that, in the socially-connected world, need serious risk management strategies

How Facebook failed its users and its shareholdersNothing in modern business history illustrates the importance of relational capital – or the vulnerability of corporate reputations generally – as the recent collapse in the Facebook share price. In a single day, Facebook (FB) lost nearly US$120 billion of market capitalization. This represents the biggest one-day fall of a major public company in history.…

We need to start putting a value on intangible assets

The new economy relies on outputs like software, social media networks and apps. But very few of these new intangible value drivers fit into the existing accounting framework

We need to start putting a value on intangible assetsIf you're in business today, you no doubt face a conundrum: the financial statements of your company tell you that certain physical objects are the principal assets of your business but, sadly, that's not what the market or your gut tell you. Business increasingly relies on non-traditional sources of value. For example, most software companies…

Will Trump’s protectionism be the making of Canada?

By blowing up NAFTA, Trump would be forcing Canada to take control of its future once again and commit to building common bonds to preserve our nation's integrity

Will Trump’s protectionism be the making of Canada?It’s ironic that U.S. President Donald Trump's madcap protectionism might do more for Canadian unity than our timid political leaders have accomplished in decades. Ever since the first Canada-United States trade deal in 1988, which started the process of continental economic integration, we Canadians have slowly been distancing ourselves from one another. Worse, we haven’t…

How human capital is turning our economic system on its head

The rise of the intangible economy has upset the industrial applecart, rendering many basic assumptions redundant

How human capital is turning our economic system on its headA recent New York Times article (6 Reasons That Pay Has Lagged Behind U.S. Job Growth) highlights a great mystery: persistent wage stagnation. As the U.S. job market tightens, economic theory suggests wages should rise – it's all about supply and demand. Problem is, wages in the U.S. have largely been flat for decades. Many…

America’s Gulliver complex casts us all as petty Lilliputians

The post-war status quo has the stamps of American idealism and system design all over it. Yet Trump wants to blow it all up

America’s Gulliver complex casts us all as petty LilliputiansFor many Americans, blowing up the global status quo is seen as a necessary precondition for the revival of American greatness. The sense of American victimhood that lies behind this kind of thinking has triggered nothing less than a deep-seated Gulliver complex at work on a world stage. There’s a near continuous barrage of negativity…

The perverted logic that leads Donald Trump to believe he’s king

Trump's delusion is not trivial. His assault on the U.S. constitution and its founding principles could unravel centuries of progress

The perverted logic that leads Donald Trump to believe he’s kingAccording to the Washington Post, Donald Trump's lawyers argue that the American president should not be investigated (and cannot be prosecuted) for obstruction of justice because he holds complete control over federal investigations. As the nation's chief law enforcement officer, the lawyers argue, Trump could “even exercise his power to pardon if so desired,” including,…
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