Saturday, March 04, 2006

Canada: Beating the Swiss at THEIR game?

After the 2002 Olympic Gold-medalists Canadian men's hockey team recently lost to the Swiss team in Turin, there's now word that Canada may be beating the Swiss at THEIR game: economic fundamentals and a rock-solid currency.

Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns recently stated that Canada now boasts "some of the soundest economic fundamentals in the world", including some positives that the Swiss cannot match, including a federal government bugetary surplus, and solid growth in gross domestic product. Mr. Porter further contends that the "loonie" - as the Canadian currency is popularly-known - can aspire to a role long played by the Swiss as a "go to" currency in times of global turmoil.

Tim Mazanec, senior foreign exchange strategist at Investors Bank and Trust in Boston agreed that Canada's current account surplus is the envy of most countries and helps explain why the loonie is so strong. "There's many countries in the world that can only dream of it", he said.

From a economic basket case back in 1994, when Canada owed 44% of it's GDP in net foreign liabilities, to today, when that figure has been slashed to just 12%, Canada has worked hard to place its finances on solid ground.

Mr. Porter concluded his statements by saying that, "I think to some extent we (Canadians) should be celebrating it (the strong currency, which has gained about 40% over the past five years), because it's partly a reflection of the real improvement we've seen in Canada's fundamentals in the past ten years."

You can invest in the Canadian market through the iShares exchange traded fund, EWC.

Oh Canada ... now if our hockey team could only play the same tight game ...


The Confused Capitalist

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