Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, probably has the best personal brand of anyone in Canada right now. Carney has created a spotlight for himself by taking some risks, all of which could have blown up in his face. I think he managed to avoid disaster by focussing on some key principles about personal branding.
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney took a lot of flack last week for articulating a fact: companies have a lot of "dead money" on their balance sheets. But Carney was getting at a larger issue: Canadian companies take caution to an extreme and do not think and act more globally. Carney may have been too polite to say it, but many senior executives and boards in Canada are slow, bureaucratic, self-satisfied, defensive and extremely conservative. What Canada needs more of are corporate leaders who have the drive, the fire in their belly, and the thirst and sophistication to conquer the world.
After much indignation from Canadians, some who do not fit the "neutral ethnicity" the Bank of Canada's P.R. team had seemingly invented, Bank governor Mark Carney, offered a carefully worded statement this morning. Though the governor "apologizes to those who were offended," admitting that "the Bank's handling of this issue did not meet the standards Canadians," there were many points missing from the statement. The Twitterverse is abuzz about the underlying problems in Canadian society which proclaims allegiance to multiculturalism.
For now, the Canadian economy appears reasonably well-positioned for the coming year. While growth will not be spectacular, the economy is still expected to continue expanding and this should be supportive of the Canadian dollar.
Occupy Wall Street is supported by titans of commerce, not just a bunch of latter-day hippies, street people and other idealistic, but woefully misguided, young people. And those pundits, including the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, who whine it has no clear goal, are themselves hypocrites.
There is no rescuing Greece. If the country will not submit to regulations that people like Mark Carney would probably endorse, better that it not be propped up. Let it abandon the euro and revert to the drachma, until it comes to terms with itself.
Assuming Mr. Carney and his fiscal policy counterparts maintain their credibility, the country may very well hang on to number one for another year at least. That's good news for business and it might just be the thing that softens the blow to our equity market should the gyrations of the past few months continue.
McGuinty's announcement today hits that rising concern right on the mark. Andrea Horwath is in Sudbury promising to try to create jobs in Northern Ontario. Tim Hudak feels out of the swim. Am I missing something? Or is the PC campaign missing the moment?
The market is pricing a Bank of Canada interest rate increase in the final quarter of the year. By then we will have a better understanding of the state of the current slowdown in the U.S. and there should also be greater clarity regarding the European debt crisis.
Policymakers in Canada must hope that the elephant next door has nothing more than a case of the sniffles. Unfortunately, the diagnosis looks more serious.