Oct. 19, 2018

NATIONAL BANK FINANCIAL – 2018 ECONOMIC LUNCHEON, OCTOBER 17TH

Stéfane Marion – Chief Economist and Strategist

  • Canada has dropped to 12th place vs 10th place Y/Y in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. Of G7 countries, only France and Italy rank lower. Canada needs to:
    • increase investment in research and development
    • aggressively court highly skilled workers
    • lower barriers to trade (including interprovincial barriers)
    • facilitate training and/or recognize foreign qualifications
    • increase infrastructure spending significantly (Canada now ranks 25th, spending less than 4% of GDP)
    • introduce new corporate tax measures to level the playing field with the US
  • Canada has the highest inflow of workforce-ready immigrants in the OECD.
  • Canada has the world’s largest share of population (aged 25-34) with post-secondary education.
  • Emerging markets account for almost 60% of global GDP compared to 42% during the Asian Crisis of 1998.
  • 44% of sales for S&P500 listed companies now come from outside the US.
  • The current US business cycle is now a record 130 months.
  • US has more job openings than unemployed people.

ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD, SCOUTS LEADERSHIP DINNER, OCTOBER 18TH

  • As a leader you can make things happen; first you need to change yourself, then you inspire people to follow.
  • When JFK announced the space program, the US was starting from scratch. 8 years later they were on the moon.
  • When Neil Armstrong couldn’t follow NASA’s moon landing plan, his leadership ability created a successful landing with only 16 seconds of fuel left in the Eagle!
  • The International Space Station is partnered with enemies of the past. To effectively lead an international team, Chris understood that different leadership is required to achieve different results.
  • We need to inspire our young people for our future.
  • We learn through failure.
  • No one wants to be afraid, so you need to be competent and train continuously. The odds of death on his lift-off were 38 to 1.
  • The shuttle has 80 million horsepower…you are going somewhere fast! In the first stage you are going 8 km/second, in the second stage you are at Mach 25.
  • Only 12 spacesuits exist, each suit weighs 240 lb and they are incredibly expensive.
  • You see 16 sunrises and sunsets in 24 hours.
  • Our atmosphere is thinner than one layer of an onion and we are corrupting it.

TIDBITS

  • The first ticket for driving and consuming cannabis was issued within 1 hour of legalization in Winnipeg.
  • US Transportation Security Administration is increasing use of facial recognition and other biometrics to improve accuracy and speed wait times at airports.