"To think that there I was, building a prediction of the recession's demise, little by little, and the Great Recession not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts.
I fairly chuckled at the idea. … But the deterioration of labour markets grew louder, louder! …
'Villains!' I shrieked, 'dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Turn on the projector! here, here! - It is the beating of his hideous chart!'"
- Sean Snaith, director of University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness, borrows from Edgar Allen Poe's The Telltale Heart to argue that for every economist declaring the end of the recession, there's the nagging beat of a decomposing job market buried under the PowerPoint floorboards.
TIME FOR AN INTERVENTION?
"We are hollowing out our industrial base by letting speculative foreign exchange market forces, in effect, dictate the mix of monetary conditions."
- CIBC World Markets chief economist Avery Shenfeld urges the Bank of Canada to consider foreign-exchange intervention to put the brakes on runaway Canadian dollar rallies (like, say, the one we've seen over the past three months).
MONEY FOR NOTHING
"Are companies really lacking in cash right now? Is that why they are not hiring, or is it a subdued and generally uncertain economic outlook? … A company may well use a tax credit from Uncle Sam to hire a worker, but if business is slow, what is the new worker going to do? File papers? Clip booklets? How does that add to productivity growth?"
- David Rosenberg disses an Obama-administration idea to offer employers a tax credit for new hires, as a means of kick-starting the U.S. labour market.
BANKING FOR DUMMIES
"After years of making money out of things I didn't understand, it's rather nice to make a bit of money out of something I do - essentially, paying savers next to nothing and charging borrowers lots."
- British satirist John Bird, posing as an investment-banking executive, tells mock-interviewer John Fortune that despite the demise of exotic credit derivatives, banks have re-discovered a way to make oodles of money anyway.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR
"If I could go back in time, I would have certainly focused to a greater degree on ways to reduce the debt."
- Leonard Asper, CEO of CanWest Global Communications Corp., acknowledges in the new issue of Report on Business Magazine that maybe he should have managed the company's crippling $4-billion debt load better. CanWest filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, and this week announced plans to shuffle its National Post newspaper into its publishing division - in order to save the flagship paper from shutting down.