Justin Trudeau’s Liberals try to stop a stampede of capital out of the country.
The new carbon tax is only one of the green policies hurting Canada’s competitiveness. Ontario has long been the nation’s manufacturing hub. But in 2005 the province began phasing out the use of coal for electricity generation, and in 2009 it passed the Green Energy Act, designed to force industry and consumers into renewable energy. The net effect has been skyrocketing electricity prices in the province and declining manufacturing output.
.. Ontario, under new political management since June, and Saskatchewan have gone to court to challenge the federal government’s authority to impose the tax. Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Manitoba have their own proposals to price carbon and are all on record against a federal take.
In Alberta, where the economy depends heavily on pumping oil, the United Conservative Party’s Jason Kenney is the favorite to win next year’s election for provincial premier. He has promised to oppose the Trudeau tax. He says he will keep a provincial carbon tax but limit it to “major emitters.”
Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said last week that the Trudeau government wants “to have the most energy efficient, smart industries here that create good jobs, at the same time do what we need to do to tackle emissions.” But Liberals may soon find out that as one of the world’s foremost energy producers, Canada can’t have it both ways.
The Millionaires Are Fleeing. Maybe You Should, Too.
In the worst cases, bouts of capital flight can gain momentum until the value of the currency collapses, plunging the nation into crisis.
.. Balance of payments records show that 10 of the last 12 major currency crises, dating back to the Mexican peso meltdown of 1994, began when residents started sending money abroad, which was typically two years before the currency collapsed. Often politicians blamed “evil” and “immoral” foreign speculators for these crises, but it was the locals who first saw trouble coming.
.. Right now, this forensic accounting offers clear evidence of looming financial difficulty in only one major country: Turkey.
.. Starting early last year, affluent Turks began effectively moving large sums of money out of the country by exchanging their lira bank deposits for dollars and euros, while foreigners continued to buy Turkish assets.
.. Turkey’s millionaires appear to be fleeing both deteriorating financial conditions marked by very high inflation, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on his critics, including those in business.
.. Owing largely to the stability and glitter of the most famous emirate, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates in 2017 had a net inflow of 5,000 millionaires, increasing the size of its affluent population by 6 percent, the largest gain in the world.
.. Britain was among the millionaire havens until 2016, but may continue losing ground until it can resolve the uncertainties raised by Brexit.
.. Savvy locals are also the first to return when a country’s fortunes begin to turn for the better.
.. More broadly, economists and politicians might rethink the blame they heap on “immoral” foreigners in periods of capital flight. They assume global money managers are more sophisticated than provincial locals
but those longtime residents are in fact quicker to spot and respond to trouble in their own backyards