18-Mar-2011

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Canadian Budget Expectations – Announcement Coming March 22nd

+ Budget deficit to be $39.5 billion and balanced by 2015

+ Minor tax cuts, no increase in spending

+ Guaranteed Income Supplement increase might move poor seniors to the poverty level.

+ Canada’s total net federal debt $560 billion, interest costs $700 million, represents 35% of GDP, one of the best in the world.

Tidbits

+ Canadian core inflation weaker than expected, 0.9% February YoY, lowest level since January 1994.

+ Canada and the rest of the G7 are selling yen to help support the Japanese economy. First concerted G7 effort since 2001.

+ If Japan cannot solve the nuclear crisis by fixing a power cable to two reactors to restart water pumps needed to cool overheating they may need to bury their crippled nuclear plant in sand and concrete as a last resort.

+ Energy market analytics company, Bentek, has determined that the US has 23 nuclear-powered boilers, representing 20% of their nuclear capacity, with the same design as the Fukushima facility. If this was replaced by natural gas, it would require about 3 billion cf/d.

+ Saudi King Abdullah made a rare televised statement congratulating Saudis for their loyalty and national unity. He also outlined a boost in welfare benefits, bonuses for public sector workers, including the army, and a massive drive to build new housing.