Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stock markets, Oil prices and misc doom and gloom

Just a few thoughts on the machinations of the wise and crafty wizards of the world of finance and related things.

My morning tour of usual haunts reveals the stock market ebbing again, gold down considerably from past weeks and oil prices tumbling. Financials are getting a bit of a drubbing as well. So what else is new eh?

Well, remember that little company called Zenn Motors? They are up, and actually have been up ever since Ontario's gov announced a plan to allow the LSV's on Ontario roads. Just thought I would give them a plug.

Besides that, Nortel stock has bounced 33% and trading heavily as of this a.m. Interestingly, the upward swing for both of these stocks is related to government actions. Given that at a quick glance, I couldn't find much else that was positive, I thought I would mention that small consideration. Anyone tinkering in or considering tinkering with stocks at the moment might want to be watchful for such things, and as evidenced recently, the effects of world events on certain commodities such as the price of oil. These are about the only avenues I have been able to identify which could actually show some short term profits in an ugly market. Zenn's stock went from about $2.00 a share to approx. $2.70 within a few days of the announcement.

I'm not advocating that anyone invest in the stock market, but for those with high risk tolerance, make of it what you will.

Then there is the more conventional and longer term safe route, which could encompass preying on the lower real estate prices. I wouldn't be in any hurry to jump into that though. Timing will be very important there. I drafted an Okie's survival plan some months ago while involved in the swirl of Garth's reports on the economy and didn't post it because I thought it might be a bit difficult for many to associate with. Particularly Garth's target audience. That being the households earning a minimum of $80,000 per annum. I had the sense that Garth had trouble associating with folks whose income levels were less than that. That could be a result of a number of things, but I would only be speculating.

I will dig up the draft and give it some fine tuning before posting it. Garth did address some of the suggestions I had in mind over time, but a number of them he didn't. Which brings me to my next consideration. That being how negative should we allow ourselves to be?

No reasonable thinking person, or person with significant business background could or should ignore what is going on around us, and especially in the US, but constantly dwelling on the negativity can't be good for a persons state of mind. Can it? Having kicked the can around for a while, and in a number of industries, past experience tells me that when the effects of the job losses in the US hit us full tilt, there is going to be a lot of impact. But on the upside, based on previous downturns, this one has sent out a letter of intent, and gives those paying attention a step up and time to make some preparations.

No one is hiding the truth now and even the Group of One has publicly acknowledged that the soup is going to thicken. Ok, they have had their coming out, and we hear the message. So for the geezers with the tweezers (PTDBD), it takes on considerations relative to them, and to the other age groups the same.

The main point I am trying to make here, is what should people do to prepare psychologically? There is only so much one can do to prepare financially, depending on ones circumstances, but what people do about how to address this in ones own mind is very important as well. We can succumb to the doom and gloom, and go a hunting for the nearest rabbit hole (Charesius), or we can give ourselves a not so gentle boot in rear and go in search of some positive thinking and considerations of how we might make a positive difference some how. I read something yesterday; somewhere in cyber land, I forget where, but it was a story about fear in the big city and exploding demand at food banks from the recently unemployed. Kind of a downer, until you read the whole story. It went on to say how a significant number of off duty fireman and police officers were donating their time and helping out at the all volunteer facility and by virtue of their efforts, the food bank was able to keep up with the heavy increase in demand.

That's just an example, as there are lot's of ways to help out. From creating credit counseling services, to working to organize co-oping for daycare. Services to help people with need for short term and occasional labor connect with those who are willing is another service that people could organize. There are many many ways that people can use their individual talents to help each other out, and to support their communities. Never know, people might even get a sense of community again, and actually come to know who their neighbors are and something about them. Some might even break through the carefully crafted barriers of mistrust that are associated with speaking in funny tongues, having a different colored skin or wearing funny clothes.



  1. Brother, I have looked at Zenn. There is going to be a problem with electric cars that no one has addressed. Green wash perhaps?? The batteries. They are toxic. We as a society are going to have a hard time with disposal. If you own shares? Decide your exit point and get out before anyone discovers that there will be a problem.

    I've never owned Nortel. I looked at them a few months ago and decided there was too much debt. Since they're in protection why are people buying the stock? They do have some good assets or intellectual property.

    I've given myself a kick in the pants. A good kick. I've been planning my garden for the spring. Garden p*rn arrives daily in my mailbox. As for helping people? People don't ask for help around here no matter how desperate. That said, in the fall I am asked for 'extras' because so and so doesn't have time or space for a veggie garden.;)

  2. I`m having a hard time visualizing a 2 hr electric car stuck in traffic for 3 hrs.

    "what should people do to prepare psychologically?"

    Most Cdns prefer the good news lie rather than the bad news truth, which in this case and context of your question the bad news is `deficit spending is not a plan, it`s a political gimmick`. In fact it will multiply the problems of the 40/0 mortgage which government used to prop up the economy and of course, primarily, themselves.

    My question is how long will it take Cdns standing at the foot of the ivory towers notice it`s all the political parties pouring the boiling oil over the ramparts.

    First step in preparing psychologically is accepting the bad news truth over the good news lie.

  3. Economic conditions have the Premiers cowering.
    First the feds remove the right of the provinces by imposing an illegal tax. Now they want to return said illegally collected funds directly to the municipalities bypassing the provincial governments direct responsibility for municipal affairs.

    Perhaps I`ve put a little too much faith in the ability of the provinces to restore the rules of confederation by forming a provincially nominated federal government.

    Right about now people should be facing the bad news truth on how much the loss of international investor confidence is playing in this.

    no justice, no investment

  4. Where is around here Dee? Just curious. I'm a Maritimer, mostly. Blood line is half Maritimer, half Lady of The Empire. Mom came from a place not far from London.

    I did read some about the battery issue you refer to, and have automotive background so this is my take. Most of the components of the conventional batteries are recyclable, and in comparison to the amount of defunct batteries coming from conventional vehicles, it would be a very small percentage. But, the conventional battery is what is restricting vehicles like Zenn,and is why their stock price is still low. The technology that will make this vehicle viable is the eestor or something like it. Not sure of the spelling, but if you check Zenn's site it will give you information on this. It represents apples and oranges in functionality.

    I owned Nortel many moons ago. Umm..early 90's so it's not relevant now. The bounce came from speculators, and it's an in and out game, not a buy and hold. Between the time I started to write the post and now, Oil has dropped approx $2.00 and Nortel is only up 4% from yesterday.

    Like I said, this is not a game for the faint of heart. It's now an hour by hour game mostly. There are some areas that one could research for keepers, and I'm thinking along the lines of food production. Monsanto, the creators of frankenberries have held their own quite well as example.

    Gardening is wonderful. Not only can it provide chemical free food items, excellent nutrition and cost savings, it is good for the soul. Makes one earthy, if you follow my drift.

  5. First step in preparing psychologically is accepting the bad news truth over the good news lie.

    By poppavox

    That's one of things I was trying to address. In a round about positive manner. No point in denying that many are going to have a really bad time, while some merely have to make adjustments. Still others, will profit. It's a big circle out there.

    I should also mention that some will be destroyed, and that is why it is important for those who are capable to try to get over themselves a bit, and try to help out in whatever way they can.

    It does require leaders though, someone to go about talking to people and organizing those who are willing. There are a lot of good people in the world. Unfortunately, we usually hear from/about the bad ones, and that in itself creates negativity.

    Still, there is hope. When words such as "an eye for eye will only make everyone blind", endure and are passed on and transcend continents, there is hope.

  6. Comrade One said...
    First step in preparing psychologically is accepting the bad news truth over the good news lie.

    By poppavox

    No point in denying that many are going to have a really bad time,
    The economy has the penchant for slamming people into reality all on it`s own. The good news lie I was referring to the intention or even the ability of our elected federal government to get us out of the soup when we are where are as a result of decades of federal policy.

  7. poppavox? Sometimes too much doom and gloom is unhealthy. I'm ignoring media reports and sticking to reading my favourite blogs. Some people enjoy living with rose coloured lenses, let them. Look after you and yours first. I don't know what's going to happen in this go around but I'm preparing me and mine the best I can.

    Comrade? I live in the province right next door to got rope? but don't hold it against me 'k?

    I looked at the batteries a while back. I'll have to check to see what's new. I know they say they're recyclable but what they don't say is the expense of recycling as well as a huge amount of energy required to break down the battery. Just giving you something to consider.

    Herb? I meant to post in the AIG entry. Banks are allowed to sell insurance as long as it's not in the branch or in other words lenders are not supposed to be able to access the data from the insurance side. Don't know about life but that may have changed? I know the banks have been lobbying hard to have that changed. Imagine being turned down for a mortgage because your great grandmother had a heart attack at the age of 101? The implications are boggling. That said, the BMO buy was a good deal for the long term.

  8. Dee said...
    poppavox? Sometimes too much doom and gloom is unhealthy.
    Yes and I don`t blame you or the many others that aren`t healthy enough to face reality and must hunker down.

    I post on this and other blogs to report on the facts because there are in fact many that want the truth and not what government uses to mislead the population. There is a sound case to make against deficit financing, the loss of investor confidence, the highest number of parent denied children in Cdn history, no Party has a plan, government acts in its own best interests, indenturing our children for life, corruption of a government ungoverned by the rule of law, the rules of confederation, the legitimacy of government that has imposed an illegal tax and a few really big issues. Would you have me stop posting at a time when more and more people are rejecting the good news lies and want truth?

    Perhaps if you feel what I post is just doom and gloom you might want to reply with any good news you might think will mitigate the damage a failed system is inflecting on our country.
    A few tried it with Garth with 0 success but I`m willing to listen to the rose coloured view.

  9. Stuff the economy and screw the warhawks. The economy has gone to hell in a handbasket anyway, so may as well let the warhawks play with all their dumbass nukes and blow each other to kingdom come.

    If allowed to quietly and unsuspectingly fester upon us, it will lead to the decay of humanity. Read it and weep. Besides, it was on TV late last night, so it must be true . . .
    Vancouver Island Declares Civil Emergency

    For all you non-Islanders, we have had 70cm of snow in the past week. The snow is not an issue for most of us, but it fell on the golf courses too, which is very serious.

    The following is a blow-by-blow report of the current extreme weather conditions on Vancouver Island (BC).

    6:22 AM -- Temperature plunges to -8.3 C. Word spreads that a Comox resident finds ice on the windshield of his Bimmer. Curious neighbours gather to watch him scrape it off with his Gold Master Card.

    One motorist, a former Albertan, claims use of the mysterious "defrost" switch on the dashboard of the car can aid in the process.

    9:30 AM -- Hardware stores sell both of their snow shovels. Islanders begin cobbling together implements made from kayak paddles, cricket bats, mashies and nibliks, umbrellas, cookie sheets, and boogie boards.

    10:00 AM -- Golfers at Qualicum's Memorial Golf Club, have broken into the ladies locker room where the ladies bridge club store their card tables, and are now strapping the card tables to the front of their golf carts in order to clear the fairways and greens. The Pro has sanctioned the use of orange balls.

    Noon -- No one has played a game of cricket, or a round of golf for more than one day in a row now, so elementary schools have called in grief counsellors. Grief counsellors refuse to go, citing lack of snow tires.

    2:30PM -- Rush hour begins an hour early as office workers come down with mysterious illness and bolt for home. Usual traffic snarl is compounded by large number of female driven SUV four-wheel drive vehicles abandoned by side of road, still in 2-wheel drive mode.

    When questioned, one female SUV owner asked, "What's four wheel drive?"

    2:50 PM -- Airplanes are grounded and ferries docked. No way to travel between Island and the ROTW (rest of the world). Victoria newspaper Times-Colonist headline reads "Mainland cut off from Civilization".

    3:00 PM -- Nanaimo-Parksville Conservative Member of Parliament, James Lunney phones Prime Minister Harper asking for financial assistance. PM replies "foreign aid budget all allocated for 2008". This is 2009.

    3:10PM -- Same MP phones Peter Mackay, Minister of Defence, asking for assistance from Canada's DART rapid-response military team. Minister replies they will be on the ground in Parksville as early as July 2009, or sooner if they can rent a suitable aircraft from Brazil.

    3:30 PM -- BC Lottery Corp. responds to emergency by installing slot machines in Nanaimo homeless shelter.

    4:15 PM -- Fears of food shortages lead to alarming scenes of violence and looting at grocery stores in Victoria, except for Oak Bay, where residents hire caterers to do rioting for them.

    5:40 PM -- TV weatherman Ed Bain in Victoria, shaking uncontrollably, tells viewers that snow warnings have been extended. This weather pattern could go on for days. Mercury plunges to Winnipeg-in-August temperatures.

    Martial law is declared and Premier Campbell has called an emergency meeting of his cabinet on the main deck of HMCS Protecteur where an emergency command centre will be established as soon as they dock in Honolulu.

    6:00PM -- The sidewalks are rolled up and we retreat to our parlours with our mulled wine.

    The situation here is critical. Even though it's close to midnight here in Kelowna, it's sunny and mild outside but most people are acting very strangely, walking in square circles.

    Please help. For the love of God, we must have a greater supply of maraschino cherries.

    Tax receipts will be issued for all gifts of ten Zombie-Woofs or more.

    Yours, etc., etc., etc.

  10. The 3 points of Iggy sans sugar coating

    The budget must contain 3 provisions. The first for the protection of the lower end of the economic scale. Naturally we all want that. In 1990 a motion was passed unanimously by the HoC to eradicate child poverty by 2000. Turns out it`s was worse in 2000 than 1990 and worse now. Great political stuff but as valuable as another fork of used hay on top of the generational pile.

    Point 2 was stopping the hemorrhaging of jobs. We can still keep creating jobs on our childrens dime but we also know the deeper the hole the higher the chance it`ll cave in. Big risk, small chance of success, also the view international investors have of Canada.

    Point 3, create long term jobs. The public can`t replace private investment although some of the industries Iggy named to shovel cash at is laying off scientist. Perhaps cheap labour might increase the odds of success in manufacturing products no one can afford to buy from 0 to 0.0.

    Now that we`ve firmly establish there is no plan, only political rhetoric, we can conclude deficit spending is not a plan, it`s a political gimmick to prop up a failed system.

  11. "For all you non-Islanders, we have had 70cm of snow in the past week. The snow is not an issue for most of us, but it fell on the golf courses too, which is very serious."


    It's a National calamity in the making. Worse than that, it's treasonous, worse even than Peter Puck selling our National Treasure to the Heathens in America. God Save Our Gretzky!

    And Kenny Dryden too. The Spirit of '72.

  12. poppavox:

    'A few tried it with Garth with 0 success but I`m willing to listen to the rose coloured view.'

    Dude, chill. You either misunderstood my post or I didn't communicate effectively. All I'm saying is people listen to 5 second sound bites and believe what's being spoon fed to them have rose coloured lenses. Msm is toxic because they hedge or dodge around the truth. I find after I listen to a broadcast it makes me angry. I don't think it's healthy to walk around being angry all the time do you?

  13. Don't have your email so snitch it for a topic if you want to. What do you think of this story??

    Caught the brief blurb on bnn

  14. Thanks for your report Charlesius! ~Linda.

  15. Msm is toxic because they hedge or dodge around the truth. I find after I listen to a broadcast it makes me angry. I don't think it's healthy to walk around being angry all the time do you?
    No I don`t think that`s a good idea especially if you`re anger at federal politicians and you are one. It seems most of the anger at present remains well within the partisan community. Those of us on the fringe of the political peripheral would be better described as disgusted with politicians selling used hay packaged as third cut, often mistaken for anger. The rest of the population seems to be going through a phase of frustration closing in on anger as the disgust has been rung out of them.

  16. 'The rest of the population seems to be going through a phase of frustration closing in on anger as the disgust has been rung out of them.'

    Perhaps I'm one of them? I don't know.;) I do know that I've been avoiding the television except for BNN but even they annoy me sometimes.

    I like the blogs. For political info I go to the Maclean's blogs. Kadie is a delightful read. Sometimes I find more insightful info in the comments sections then the entries themselves.

  17. There are so many positives out there if you look for them.

    The best example is the car industry where Magna on its own is going to team with Ford on the new electric cars. Now if only Zen joined in and used its production capacity to jump start the production of practical electric powered vehicles. Chrysler is being dismantled and the few vehicles worth producing will be produced by other companies in the near future includng once again Magna.

    Compare this to the government who only talked to the Detroit three and then gave them billions with few strings attached to continue running companies that think the next great breakthrough after GPS and home entertainment systems in your car and fridges is get this, a car that parks itself. These companies are so out of touch with reality they deserve to die. In fact most of the doom and gloom is something I have waited for years to happen. The collapse and breakup of those dinosaur huge corporations that ceased to function twenty years ago when the only growth they had was to absorbe smaller hungry and successful companies to suck them dry of cash and spit them out. I doubt any of the biggest thousand corporations have made more than 1% of their profits over the last twenty years by inovating anything with microsoft excepted. This day had to come.

    Now instead of our incompetent governments doing what they are doing now just imagine if they set aside billions of dollars and went to these dying companies and bought up sections or divisions put shares on the market equal to the amount paid and only sold the to Canadians or Americans depending on the country to get smaller companies going again which will actually compete! they can re-use that same money over and over again to do the same thing until we run out of dying corporations. Part of the buyout should include the elimination of at least 90% of the management of the company so as to brng in new blood to get the it moving again.

    The big dagger hanging over the Detroit three is the entry into our market of large numbers of $10,000 cars from China and elsewhere. Our paper ysterday had an ad for a ten thousand doller KIA at 0% financing. This is the tip of the iceburg. Unfortunately while our companies kept ading crap to their cars to boost profitabiliy to over ten grand a vehicle while letting quality go down the tubes they have a long way to go if they want to survive. While wages need to be lowered a bit cutting half the executive salaries, cutting profits to a grand a vehicle and getting rid of frills like power windows and air conditioning etc. to get the cost down to something reasonable while working on quality to justify the higher price due to wages.

    For those looking to invest in stocks, look at how companies treat employees to see which ones are interested in long term survival over short term profits. One of the Japanese car companies put their employees on 4 day work weeks which says to me they will be a surviver.

    Comrade this is a post I have been waiting for about six months to respond to. Unfortunatly Garth went all negative and my other favorite blogs aren't interested in looking outside the box. If this is still up when I get home from work at 5am I'll do a bit on housing along the same lines. It isn't all doom and gloom but we are in for some tough times, ALL of us.


  18. Good post William. In Mr. Garth's defense he does have to earn a living and d&g sells books.

    I think corporations in N.A. have to rethink on how they do business. William's mention about the Japanese company cutting back work hours in not just that particular company but the overall culture of Japanese companies. CEOs of Japanese companies take pay/perk cuts just as much if not more than the people who work on the 'floor'.

    Anyone concerned about the all the charters issuance of common shares/share dilution? I know they have to get their capital up but the dilution is hurting the stock prices and may hurt the dividends too. Any thoughts?


  19. Dee said...

    "the dilution is hurting the stock prices and may hurt the dividends too"

    Since I read this article last fall I`m curious as to how investors even calculate stock value. Currently Cdn banks stocks seem more tied to how much cash government will pump into the banking system than profit and loss.

    Toxic assets hid in the banks books, how is the government able to say our banks are in better shape than all others.

    Does hiding toxic assets makes them better or is it a government backed scam?

    I`d recommend avoidance.

    Canada banks to get relief from toxic assets: report
    Fri Oct 17, 8:55 AM

    Under a ruling expected on Friday, the country's biggest banks and insurers will be able to postpone recording losses on assets that have become hard to sell

    This will give them the ability to move the instruments from their trading books, where they must be priced at current market values, to their banking books, where they can be held in anticipation that they will return to value.

  20. poppavox?

    All I can say is 'OMG!' and thank you for posting the link.

  21. No thanks necessary Dee

    I posted it on as to how reliable or even accurate the governments glowing statement on the health of our banking system when toxic assets of undetermined origin or value will only show up in bankruptcy. It seemed extremely unusual to both pump in $75B and bury bad debt yet still say our banking system was in better shape than others. How did they arrive at that conclusion?
    Obviously it`s not true, lying is only minor infraction government is willing to do to protect itself within its operating mantel of dismiss distract deny. I didn`t repost it among the din of bashing the opposition as most informed investors know the true shape of our economy. I thought massive deficit spending as a political gimmick was much more worthy of multiple posts, oddly it didn`t garner any more notice than the banks using Nortel accounting methods.

  22. Dee and / or Poppavox said... 'The rest of the population seems to be going through a phase of frustration closing in on anger as the disgust has been rung out of them.'

    It seems that an awful lot of people are angry now (see link) --

    One should keep in mind that layoffs, permanent job losses thruout the world are happening at an ever-increasing speed, and no one seems to be able to figure out why.

    It's easy to blame somebody else for one's own misfortunes in life -- the ultra-rich, super-wealthy, politicians and the like -- but is someone in Canada to be held responsible for the fight between Russia and Ukraine? Of course not.

    People will be a lot angrier in the very near future -- two years or less -- and those ultra-wealthy are also going to be affected, one way or the other. Money, in and of itself, is no more of a tool to be used carefully than a garden hose. If people can handle a garden hose, why can't they treat money properly?

    Does it boil down to a love of power, which includes a love of money instead of respect for one another? Right now, and into the future, the first answer takes precedence, and ultimately the vast majority of sheeple will have to endure their own consequences, until they have a much broader view of life.

    That's what tough times are for -- to teach folk lessons.
    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY! (Courtesy

    "In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." -- Voltaire (1764)
    In case y'all didn't know --

  23. Hello Charles

    "One should keep in mind that layoffs, permanent job losses thruout the world are happening at an ever-increasing speed, and no one seems to be able to figure out why."

    Garth gave us the answer about a year ago.
    Under saved over spent over mortgaged consumers.
    Consumers globally have over spent their ability to even keep up the rate of spending and most importantly spend more. Spent consumers is primary reason massive deficit spending will, like the 40/0, only delay and intensify the inevitable hard landing.
    Herb posted an expert opinion that Parliamentary reform as far as 5 years out is `unrealistic`. Obviously reform is out of the question when government is willing to spend our childrens future on propping up this failed system.

  24. William 11:03 p.m.

    Welcome and excellent post. I will write more a little later when I have time.

  25. Chuxster,

    made my wife read your Island of Civilization weather emergency report. She has been trying to move us to Nanaimo for years, and I've been hanging on in tropical Ottawa brandishing the excuse that our kids need us.

    Well, in two years First-Born will be 40, Darling Daughter 30, and I will have a problem. I don't golf, so that's an attraction I don't need. Is there any sailing on the West Coast?

    Now ready to face the D&G of the day.

  26. The latest Nortel indignity:

    The 1,300 who were given their lay-off notices in November have just discovered that they will not get their severance packages. Due to bankruptcy protection, they will have to line up with Nortel's other insecured creditors and wait for a year to see how much they will get on the dollar.

    How will this affect their EI entitlements in the interim?

  27. Hopefully the Nortel employees have enough savvy not to tell EI about the supposed severance that will never be. I had a go with them when I wuz a just youngstar. Got a Lawyer and took it to an appeal board. That was funny, as the lawyer got out the Book of Jobe, otherwise known as the UI regulation book at the time, and the miracles began. I discovered that for every rule in that book there were 2 more that concerned the exact same thing but took completely contradictory positions to each other. In other words, they had justification for whatever the whim of the hour was. On pointing out the contradictory regulations, the appeal came to a swift conclusion and found in my favor.

    I still remember the sight of their red cheeks, and the 1967 Pontiac Parisiene that I bought with the back pay. Every time I drove it, I smiled like a Cheshire Cat.

  28. To Charlesius One,

    A little story. Some moons back when I was living close to the 905 and 416 areas, and still interesting in dating women and such, I met this lovely and very interesting woman of Russian ancestry who worked at several things including being an aspiring artist/actress. She spoke at length of her ambitions and aspirations.

    We were having a lovely evening getting to know one another and sharing something similar to the Chardonnay you spoke of. I had in turn told her of some of my varied experiences and the many fields of employment I had been engaged in over the years. I also spoke of my being on something of a break and involved in learning all about computer wizardry, networking etc. As visions of sugar plums and other miscellaneous orbs danced in my head, and feeling she had me sufficiently relaxed to pop the big one, ever so coyly she asked, "so.....what do you want to do when you grow up?" (Bet you thought it was going to involve sex. Didn't you?)

    So there I was. Stammering incoherently, and in of those very rare occasions, at a loss for words.

    Well, I told you all of that because I have finally decided.

    I want to be a Trunk Monkey in the Prime Minister Limousine.

    I wonder if it has a Bar?

  29. Comrade One, lest I question your sanity, Trunk Monkey in which PM's car?

  30. Comrade Herb

    Is there more than one?

    If so,I want the one that has the tire iron in it. I was thinking about testing it on some melons.

    Did you see Charles Trunk Monkey videos that I posted earlier?

  31. Your thoughts on Magna, Ford and Zenn would certainly be boost for Zenn and sounds like such a practical idea, that it wouldn’t likely come to pass. It’s just too logical. I worked at a Magna facility for a while some years ago, and like most big corporate entities, they were a lot of improvements they could have made. Product quality and management attitudes are what come to mind foremost.

    I had similar thoughts on the money Ottawa is providing. What a great opportunity to promote companies like Zenn and other facilities here in Canada. Instead, they ignore a truck plant here in this country and give the contract for the new Military trucks to a US firm. I mean, I thought Conservative beliefs supported free enterprise and promoting the same here at home when possible. I don’t expect them to take over the running of a plant, but surely they could have used the influence of this contract to gain more favorable terms.

    Good points about the corporate entity too. Now I believe there are corporations whose efficiency exceeds that of others and are in fact viable, but I don’t agree with this too big to fail mentality. Firstly, any corporation I have worked with or around suffered from employee apathy and generalized waste. Both of those things are greatly reduced in smaller scale enterprises. Employee’s performance is critical in small ventures and almost always better supervised. Similarly, expenditures, waste and theft are more closely monitored. Budgets of smaller companies generally don’t allow for such laxity, and therefore tend to be much more efficient.

    Another bone I have with the corporate entity is the political power they ultimate come to wield. The combination of influences of Corporate ownership is in my view, the largest deterrent to small and medium sized business which tends to have it’s roots more localized and thus provides better long term job security. Off the top of my head, the lumber industry comes to mind. Here in the Maritimes, we have had a great number of closures of facilities owned by International corps., both recently and in the not to distant past, yet all of the small independent mills and vendor combinations in my area have survived. Another bug I have is the corporate tendency to do business without regard for responsibility to the overall Canadian economy. They don’t care what Country their supplies come from, or how far/how much fuel it takes to transport, the price is what matters.

    On the auto industry, I agree with what you wrote, except for the $1,000 margin. It has been my sentiment for a long time that the industry was far too concerned with costly trinkets and built in obsolescence. Plus the fact that they have forced their retailers into far higher overhead costs which also have a significant impact on the final sticker price. . Even the way provincial governments have structured their educational approach has an effect. Once upon a time in a land far away, a young person could take motor mechanics in school and one year at Tech and go to work as an apprentice general mechanic. If they wanted to do front end/suspension or brakes and related or half dozen other areas, they could go to work right out of school. But not now in many provinces. At least one more year has been tacked on, and that represents additional education costs that the young person has to cover or repay. The more costs are added, the more expensive the final product.

    So now, a very large segment of society will suffer because of corporate vision, and the creation of bubbles and unrealistic expectations. And this is where our wise government leaders fit? I put the question mark on purpose. I’ll try not to get wound up to much here. Take my province, N.B. for example. We have a Premier who is just another professional politician. Same as the last one. The only significant difference is this one’s Father was a long-term professional provincial politician before him. Young Mr. Graham’s resume is not impressive, yet he leads a government? Horseshit. He’s a friggin’ shiney face, rubber stamp man. The last guy, Bernard Lord got himself a big fat plum after being booted from office, and headed up some multimillion-dollar study related to the French language and related stuff. Fer Christ’s sakes, the French language has been studied inside out and backwards for decades now, and in my mind these types of things are the root of our problems. Now our Gart wouldn’t go into this stuff, but I will. Not everything I know mind you. There are some things that are best left unsaid.

    Thanks again for your thoughts. Hope to see you regularly.

  32. Hello Herb

    "Is there any sailing on the West Coast?"

    Nanaimo has excellent sailing although Victoria and West Vancouver have the mega yacht clubs.
    Out here Nanaimo isn`t considered the west coast though, neither is Vancouver as they are inside waters. Great day sailing anywhere on the inside and if you`ve a taste for adventure you could sail the outside to Alaska and back and never run out of amazing sights and times.
    You really have to see the west coast to understand why eco groups put their lives on hold to save some of the more incredible places.

  33. Shoot, that last post was in response to William @11:03 p.m.

  34. C.O.,

    why would you want to be a Trunk Monkey at Harper's beck and call to defend the SOB?


    Christ, man, I was trying to be funny. I know there is great sailing in them thar parts.

  35. Herb
    Christ, man, I was trying to be funny. I know there is great sailing in them thar parts.

    lol, that is funny. everything you`ve posted so far I`ve taken as a joke, the first time I take you seriously,,, you`re joking.

    lol, ya got me

  36. No Herb, I would prove to be an independent minded Trunk Monkey. Maybe start a Union.

    The United Brotherhood of Trunk Monkeys. Or we could call it the Coalition of Rank Ass Primates, or CRAP for short.

    It's a joke, it was all a joke. I admit it. Politics and doom and gloom do funny things to the psyche.....