Monday, October 06, 2008

Black Monday II

European stock markets are down 6% as a big German bank teeters. The Dow Futures show New York opening at about 10,100, meaning the Dow could easily fall through the 10,000 barrier by ten o'clock this morning. That's going to generate big headlines and a lot more fear.
The Canadian dollar is already down, as commodity prices like oil fell in Europe overnight. With the lower commodity prices, the TSX will get hammered again.
The economy, a disaster simmering for fifteen months, is very, very big news.
There's interesting political fall-out. The financial crisis, which Bush tried to delay past the election, appears to have killed McCain's campaign. He's pulled out of Michigan and even lost New Hampshire.
In Canada, Harper is running on his leadership skills, yet he's shown none on this file. Nor has he shown anything resembling concern. And that appears to be taking him down.
Harper has no plans to save central Canadian manufacturing jobs. Even worse for the Tories, most of us in central Canada believe he doesn't care if our factories close and our towns die. There's a feeling he, like so many Westerners, wants to see Ontario and Quebec suffer. As for Maritimers, they're just whiners and welfare bums in the Tory universe.
The Liberals and NDP are picking up and splitting a big anti-Harper vote. Right now, 65% of Canadians would vote against Harper. That's hardly a mandate.
The Globe and Mail web page has a Liberal ad warning voters against "Bush-Harper economics." Have they found the Tory juggular a week before the election? Is "Harper as R.B. Bennett" more potent than "Dion the wimp?"
All of a sudden, this has become interesting.
I said months ago Canadians never re-elect governments in recessions. I didn't expect the process to play out during one election campaign. But the math still favors a Tory minority in a very fractured House of Commons. With six business days to go (next Monday's not a holiday on Wall Street), outside forces may dictate the outcome much more than anyone believed.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

spot on. one of the best blogs in Canada.

Warren K said...

Bang on. And I use my name to say that!

Anonymous said...

Though what can Stephen Harper or Jack Layton or Stephane Dion do in a worldwide credit crisis?
ABCNews said auto sales were down by upwards of 30 percent in September. Even Honda's sales were down in the US by 24 percent.
How can one deal with disasterous figures like that.

Ottawa Watch said...

You can at least begin looking at ways to adapt the government to focus on economic recovery, spending money on infrastructure instead of making inconsequential tax cuts to the GST. This government has no industrial strategy at all. It believed in the "invisible hand" of the market. Well, right now the "invisible hand" is panhandling.