Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance. Inside the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on market news as it develops.
Here are our editors’ picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.
Borrow or else, Doug Horner says
Alberta’s Finance Minister is singing from a different hymn sheet than many of his predecessors. While many consider having a balanced budget and being debt-free to be the holy grail of fiscal policy, Doug Horner is warning that the province’s economy could hit a wall if Alberta doesn’t knuckle down and address an infrastructure deficit that has been allowed to grow for too long. In a sit-down with The Globe and Mail, ROB Insight’s David Parkinson writes that Mr. Horner outlined the threats to growth posed by inadequate services in the face of a projected boom in the province’s economy and population.
Is HFT bad? Ask a nice Canadian boy
It wasn’t quite pay-per-view boxing, but CNBC’s Tuesday panel discussion on high-frequency trading offered pretty good entertainment value. In case you’ve missed the first few rounds of this bout, the new book Flash Boys, by business writer and bane of Wall Street Michael Lewis, traces the story of one Brad Katsuyama, a former RBC executive who battled head to head with the HFT industry. In Streetwise, Joanna Slater offers commentary on the action when Mr. Katsuyama squared off against William O’Brien, president of BATS Global Markets, and the verbal blows that started flying had even busy NYSE traders glued to the screen.
When corporate cash rises from the dead
The so-called “dead money” has been piling up in corporate coffers for some time now, but a resurrection is nigh. Brief signs of life have appeared in the past, only to ebb away, but this time it appears a resurgence in capital expenditures is really under way and has some steam behind it. The big question for investors is which stocks are reasonably priced and set to benefit the most from higher spending. In Inside the Market, Scott Barlow identifies the market sectors that historically have had the highest correlation to capex.
That $50 steak may soon be a bargain
All is not well down on the farm. U.S. cattle herds and hog numbers have tumbled as a result of drought and disease, and combined with surging demand from China, livestock futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have hit all-time highs. Investment from both China and at home is flowing into agribusinesses, Carl Mortished writes in ROB Insight, and it’s a seller’s market as the outlook for growth looks brighter every day. Maybe it’s time to become a vegetarian.
Too big – and getting bigger – to fail
Canada is one of a few countries in which major financial institutions have actually increased their share of total banking assets since 2006. The IMF has found that systemically-important banks in other economies enjoy a significant advantage given the expectation that they’ll be bailed out by government in the event of a crisis, and there’s no reason to believe the Big Six banks are any different. Kevin Carmichael in Streetwise looks at why both Ottawa and Washington are examining ways to combat the big guns’ perceived advantage.
Rob Carrick finds a stock it pays to own
Sometimes a stock comes along that doesn’t make you have to choose between growth and income. In Inside the Market, Rob Carrick explains how one utility stock he bought almost 10 years ago has fit the bill on both counts, delivering steady and rising dividends, which in all likelihood have been part of the fuel behind its growth.