Best Place Canada
As things stand today, there are few parts of the globe that have not been touched by the problems in financial markets – problems which began in earnest over a year ago now and have been worsening ever since. The situation right now seems to point to a global recession which will only begin to lift during the latter part of next year. While playing the blame game is certainly not going to help anyone, there is a lot of blame flying around anyway, most of which is being aimed at the most acquisitive economies, and a large amount of that is directed squarely at the United States. Conversely, experts seem to have mostly good things to say about Canada.
There is little doubt that part of the reason for this is the proximity with the United States, which allows a side-by-side comparison between neighbours. While the crisis itself has been attributed to the sub-prime mortgage lending crisis in the US – although this is only part of the story, and the sub-prime market’s collapse was more catalyst than cause – the global nature of the markets ensures that when one economy takes a blow, the businesses which have investments in that economy suffer also. Hence, it was not just US banks that suffered in the light of the credit crisis, and when the problems precipitated a comparatively small gust of wind, those businesses which were not built on the strongest of foundations began to collapse.
The credit crisis, therefore, may have been catalyzed by what was happening in the US, but it immediately affected banks in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan (which was already having problems) and beyond. To date it has even caused governments to be recalled, including that of Iceland, which had been surfing a wave of financial well-being. Canada itself has been far from untouched, but the current suffering here has been more of an inevitable outcome of global problems than a headlong plunge precipitated by failure to plan. While other countries pretty much dived head first into the cracks, Canada was slowly sucked towards them before sliding over the edge. Therefore, when the markets begin their definitive improvement, Canada will be one of the first countries to climb out of the mess.
There are so many stereotypes about supposed national tendencies, and some of the more unkind ones seem to imply that Canada is a country where nothing much happens, and what does happen is not that exciting. Anyone living here can see how inaccurate that is. The upside, however, of that stereotype is that Canada tends to find itself in better shape than others having refused to gamble away everything it owns.
Things right now are shaky – not just in Canada, but in most of the world – but this does mean that if you have cash to invest, prices now are at their lowest in some time and may not have far to fall. And once the economic indicators dictate that we are on the way to recovery, watch those numbers climb. Much better to watch it from Canada than anywhere else.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Canadapersonalfinancewebsite.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com. This article originally published on the above website on Apr 10, 2009.