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Monday, August 22, 2011

RIP Jack Layton

When I heard of Jack Layton's passing this morning, I felt as though Canada was truly at a loss.

Even non-NDP voters in my experience have never had anything really horrible to say about the man, he was just a man of the people... Something every politician wants to be seen as.

This was not only his image but who he was.

I have met Jack in passing and he always brought life to the room he was in.  I saw him speak at Yonge & Dundas square back in University and was amazed how one man could truly identify with all the different demographics in attendance - it was a protest for uranium drilling in a small town in northern Ontario

He was a great sport; I heard him a few times as a guest on the Dean Blundell show on the Edge in Toronto before elections and supporting Movember.

I think all Canadians thought of Jack Layton and the NDP as one in the same... No Jack, means no NDP.

Overall, Jack Layton was a great person who was a proud Canadian and improved the lives of everyone he met.

My condolences go out to Jack and his family and friends - he was a great figure on the Canadian political landscape and will truly be missed.

R.I.P. Jack

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Next Recession?

Remember 1998?

I do... everytime I look in my driveway.

I think it was a great time to be alive... but little did we know what would only be 2 years away... Y2K and the peak of Napster!

I loved Napster, I personally enhanced my appreciation of music through it and was even buying CDs back then... from record stores, not just Amazon.

I think everyone but the recording industry loved Napster - they saw it as they beginning of their end.

Now lets fast-forward to 2007.

It was also a great time.  Even the first half of 2008 was pretty good as I recall.  I was working a ton trying to get through school, but it was fine - jobs were available and I had 2 of them.

Then it happened - the stock market collapsed due to the crash of the 'sub-prime mortgage' catastrophy in the US housing market.

I was working at a major insurance company that summer when it happened... shit hit the fan. 

It was September 2008 and I was going into my last semester of university and to be perfectly honest it didn't really impact me - I wasn't trading in the stock market and all my money belonged to the school.

In 2007, the average person (certainly in Canada) may not have known what the terms 'sub-prime' or 'recession' or 'bail out' really meant... but they sure do now don't they! They have become apart of our vernacular.

To the point where people are starting to ask - when will the next one be here?

For the time being, the US has raised the debt ceiling and even Alan Greenspan is saying "we can always print more money".

Never thought I would hear HIM say that...

But will we have another recession?

Like the Napster example illustrates, industries will come and go.  Sub-prime mortgages (or something similar) will probably happen again... Don't people always want what they can't have?

If you want to see a historical perspective, check out the August 9th article on Both Sides of the TableIt is an interesting view of the past 3 years.

This past month was an interesting one on the markets to say the least... But what we can see over the long-term is that things (industries, problems, governments, etc.) will rise and fall, but overall we collectively move forward.

Don't think of it as a recession, but simply part of our evolution.  Has our evolution ever been linear? Has the growth of our companies ever been linear?

No - so this expectation of the economy doesn't make sense either.

Our economy and world will continue to go through periods of growth and decline whether venture capitalist spending is strong, or not.

I'm not an economist, but I do watch trends.  While trends won't necessarily predict the future, they say a ton about our past.

When will the next recession be? I don't know.  Will we have one?


What do you think?