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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

We'll need some context here, but the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has identified Canada, along with Hong Kong and China, as the country most at risk of a financial crisis.

The BIS is known as the "bank of central banks" and its academic research on the global financial system is exhaustively detailed and well-respected.

The BIS is also viewed, however, as stodgy and overly conservative in somewhat the same way as Germany's penchant for austerity is perceived within the European Monetary Union.

Bloomberg reports,

"Canada -- whose economy grew last year at the fastest pace since 2011 -- was flagged thanks to its households' maxed-out credit cards and high debt levels in the wider economy. Household borrowing is also seen as a risk factor for China and Hong Kong, according to the study. "

"China Banking Crisis Warning Signal Still Flashing, BIS Says" – Bloomberg

"Keep calm and carry on with policy normalization, BIS tells central banks" – Reuters

"@BIS_org Expanded family of early warning indicators points to the build-up of vulnerabilities in some jurisdictions #BankingCrisis… " – (table) – Twitter

"Global Financial Markets May Be in for More Turbulence: BIS Economist" – Wall Street Journal


Also for Bloomberg, three charts highlight the ways in which higher interest rates are starting to hold back Canada's economy,

"Wednesday's [Bank of Canada] statement pointed directly to decelerating growth in household credit, which has slowed for the past three months running. Household credit, which includes everything from residential mortgages to auto loans to lines of credit, rose just 0.2 percent in January from a month earlier, the slowest pace in more than half a decade, according to Bank of Canada data released over the weekend."

"These Charts Show Higher Canadian Rates Are Starting to Bite" – Bloomberg


On a more optimistic note, UBS strategist Keith Parker is very bullish on equity markets for the near term, and for a credible reason I hadn't considered previously – balanced funds,

"[we are] looking for balanced funds to buy [equities]; corporate bid could reach $1tr. .. equities pricing in higher rates but not higher expected medium-term profit growth, lower taxes, or higher payouts."

"@SBarlow_ROB UBS has the pom poms out" – (research excerpt) Twitter

See also: "Credit Suisse: global growth moderates, still looks good mid-term" – (research excerpt) Twitter


Energy sector coverage,

"Oil, briefly up on lower rig counts, falls on U.S. output outlook" – Bloomberg

"Fears of Too Much Oil Bring Short-Selling Back" – Bloomberg


Tweet of the Day: "@paulkrugman Once upon a time manufacturing really was a third of employment; these days it's well under 10 percent 2/ " – (chart) Twitter

Diversion: "Disruption, distraction and dysfunction': What Doug Ford's Ontario PC leadership could mean for Canada" – CBC

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