Good morning once again! Yesterday’s watercooler topic was Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in front of a joint congressional committee, who grilled him for five hours about Facebook users’ security. As one quipster posted, the CEO was probably in the room long past the interview, showing some of the seemingly tech-challenged senators how to hook up their computers to wifi. There will be another IT session today with the House of Representatives. Meanwhile …
The Bank of Canada’s latest indicator clinches it — interest rates are going up soon, Kevin Carmichael writes. But don’t panic, he says; the economy will be OK. Most respondents to the central bank’s Business Outlook Survey said they had so far been unaffected by U.S. policy announcements or uncertainty about what the Trump administration might have in store. Confidence is buoyant even in the face of constant harassment, and that removes one hurdle to nudging the benchmark rate higher.
The prime minister has effectively landlocked our vast oil reserves and condemned the country to a poorer, more divisive and less secure future, Joe Oliver comments. The Liberal government has mouthed support for pipeline expansion, but its actions have been consistently harmful. Instead of brokering a deal, Trudeau has managed to facilitate an economic, social and constitutional disaster that will go down as his shameful legacy.
The Trans Mountain impasse adds to Scotiabank’s concerns over Canadian competitiveness. CEO Brian Porter said at the bank’s AGM that the issue is having a chilling effect on investment here, and consideration should be given to what it will cost the country in GDP and per-capita income if the expansion doesn’t go ahead, Geoff Zochodne reports. The bank reported an $8.24 billion profit for 2017, a 12% jump over the previous year.
LOCATION, LOCATION, NEW LOCATION
Stress tests are pushing one in three potential buyers to forgo a home purchase as a result of the new mortgage qualification rules that came into effect Jan. 1, a new Re/Max survey finds. As Naomi Powell notes, one quarter of buyers compromised on the size of their home, while 18 per cent made concessions on its location.
The greatest bubble in history is popping, Bank of America says. Bitcoin is following other massive asset-price bubbles in history less than one year out from its record, analysts say. Check out the dramatic chart that compares the tulip bubble and others with that of Bitcoin.