Dec. 19, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 10 SECOND HEADLINES WILL RETURN ON JANUARY 2, 2015

EU POLITICAL FAULT LINES THREATEN RETURN TO GROWTH – NBF Report – full report available on request

  • Euro zone has yet to regain its 2008 pre-financial crisis level of economic output and is at risk of falling into its 3rd recession in just over 6 year and is well on its way to 0 growth for the decade.
  • 52% of EU citizens support the EU, 36% support the European parliament, 34% support the European commission and 30% support the European Central Bank. (source: Pew Research)
  • Support for the EU is highest in Poland (72%) followed by Germany (66%) and France (54%).
  • France’s President, Francois Holland has a post WWII low approval rating of 12%.
  • Youth unemployment exceeds 50% for the Euro zone as a whole and young people are increasingly supporting anti-EU political parties.
  • 79% of Italians aged 18 to 29 are still living with their families.

RUSSIA

  • Vladimir Putin blamed the US and Europe for the economic crisis and warned the slump could last for 2 years.
  • Russia’s central bank is forecasting GDP could shrink 5% in 2015 if oil stays at $60.
  • Russia’s central bank increased interest rates to 17% from 10.5% early this week.
  • Number of Russians trying to buy homes in London dropped 70% in 2014.
  • Apple has halted online sales of its products in Russia because of the currency fluctuations.

ALBERTA – MASSIVE OPPOSITION DEFECTIONS

  • The only public commitment made to the 9 defecting MLA’s was Premier Jim Prentices’ personal endorsement if they run in the next election.
  • Premier Prentice and the Tory caucus have agreed to a set of values which include:
    • Review of existing property rights legislation.
    • Development of a public prioritized infrastructure list for major capital projects and maintenance.
    • Free votes for private members’ bills and bills dealing with issues of personal conscience.
    • Caucus briefing, debate and vote on all major spending initiatives prior to announcement
    • Not implementing a provincial sales tax and keeping Alberta’s taxes the lowest in Canada.
    • Balance the budget, bring an end to debt financing (including capital projects), and pay off the provincial debt.

TIDBITS

  • New York is joining Vermont in prohibiting hydraulic fracking.
  • Canada’s November inflation rate was 2% Y/Y vs October’s 2.4% Y/Y.
  • Alberta Power Line (80% owned by Canadian Utilities) will design, build, own and operate a $1.4 billion Fort McMurray West Transmission project.
  • BC is proceeding with a $8.78 billion hydroelectric project on the Peace River.