Friday, September 20, 2013

Seven reasons to love living in Canada,

Seven reasons to love living in Canada, based on a just released OECD report:
·         Income: The average household earns US$28,194 each year after taxes. That’s more than US$5,000 above the OECD average. There is disparity at both ends of the earnings spectrum though, not surprisingly. The top 20% takes home US$55,718, while the bottom 20% earns US$10,526. We ranked seventh on household wealth and ninth on income.
·         Community: Canadians spend two minutes a day volunteering; that’s about half the OECD average. On the other hand, 64% said they’d helped a stranger in the last month. (The OECD average is 48%.) And 94% know someone they could count on if needed. We ranked seventh on support network.
·         Housing: Nine in 10 Canadians are satisfied with their housing. The average home in this country provides 2.6 rooms per occupant, more than any other country. And 99.8% of Canadians live in a home with a private washroom that has an indoor, flushing toilet. (The OECD average is 97.8%.) We ranked 24th on the ratio of housing costs to income, eighth on basic facilities and first on number of rooms per person.
·         Environment: We’re better than average on both air pollution and water quality measures. We ranked 14th on pollution and 12th on water quality.
·         Health: Our life expectancy at birth is 81, a full year above the OECD average. And 88% of Canadians say they are in good health. Health spending in this country makes up 11.4% of gross domestic product. (The OECD average is 9.5% of gross domestic product.) We ranked third in health and 17th in life expectancy.
·         Safety: Just 1.3% of Canadians said they were assaulted over the one-year period leading up to the survey. That’s well below the OECD average of 4%. Our homicide rate is less impressive. It’s 1.6%, only marginally below the average rate of 2.2%. We ranked first on assault rate and 23rd on homicide rate.
·         Work-life balance: Canadians work an average 1,702 hours per year. That’s 74 hours below the OECD average. When asked if they work more than 50 hours a week, 4% said yes. (The OECD average is 9%.) We ranked ninth on working long hours.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The US FED just gave the junkies more Opium!

Imagine your son or favorite nephew (or any one you love a lot and are in charge of caring for) is hooked on drugs! Doctors have told you that if he continues with this habit, his end is near. There are two ways to cure him of his addiction. One is by taking away his stash of drugs -which will in the short run aggravate his condition and make him more violent and increase your task of caring for him. You may have to probably give up your day job to care for him. A painful process for both. The other way is to say, ”YOLO -You only live once!” and let him continue on his drug habit- in fact supplying him more, to ensure that he is apparently happy, while you can go about your daily business! What would you do?

Now, replace the addict with the “Markets” and yourself with the “US Federal Reserve”. Yesterday the FED decided to keep the taps flowing. What’s flowing out of the tap was once antibiotics for the market (QE). It has now become pure opium! And the markets are cheering that the taps will continue to flow! Come on you faceless Market! The US Fed just said that they are not sure of growth prospects for the world’s largest economy. In fact they trimmed the growth forecast. So what the hell are you cheering about?