Posts Tagged ‘TSX’

Oh Deer, Oh Dear!

This morning’s financial district “visit” by a lost deer was shocking enough. The police were attempting to capture the doe and release it outside the hustle of the dowtown core. After consulting with experts, like veterinarian from the Toronto Zoo, police tried subduing the animal tranquilizer dart. After all, a runaway deer could cause a traffic accident, injure itself or an innocent bystander. Things took a turn for the bizarre after that.

The “take down” escalated when the dart didn’t seem to work. When the doe didn’t calm down it was then shot with a Taser stun gun. Whoa! The Police didn’t kill the deer but it is being monitored before being released back into the wild.

Despite the taser, it seems that the TSX, the doe and others financial types on Bay Street will survive.

The Nortel Shell Game

It’s not every day that you see a company with a 127-year history in Canada dissolve before your eyes. Or is it? North America‚Äôs biggest maker of phone gear filed for bankruptcy protection in January of this year. I’m sure that in the current climate refinancing their debt is difficult but this downward spiral has been mounting.

Bankruptcy protection, at least these days, is nothing new. Nor is the mismanagement of Nortel, as recently as 2007 the company paid a $35 million fine to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that it was manipulating earnings from 2000 to 2003. Lately executives have been touting a renewed focus on stabilizing its customer and supplier base but one must follow the money.

The company had been hoarding cash leading up to its bankruptcy filing and had been slow to pay severance payments. After a fight that went to Ontario Superior Court, Nortel was allowed to pay $45 million in bonuses for close to 1,000 executive and nonexecutive employees (including the eight senior executives). With thousands let go you it’s not hard to think of how many current or former employees feel. The gravy train is coming to a halt. The fire sale has begun. The demise of Nortel is criminal, but many will say this is business as usual.

Only a matter of time until Nortel will be delisted from the TSX. Nortel was Canada’s most widely held and valuable company (one of the few “dot com” companies with real assets) worth over $350 Billion and employing 95,000. Now it’s worth a few hundred million and employs less than half that staff count! Pity.

TSX – WTF

The largest point drop ever! The TSX is hurting after news in America spooked the market. Is the sky falling? Not sure just yet but it I’m sure it will be a bumpy ride. Some economists saying we have 3 quarters worth of slow to negative growth ahead in Canada. OUCH!

Praying for the best. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the debates. Jack Layton, in Toronto campaigning, called for a meeting of all parties on the potential Canadian crisis but this was rejected.

The Sky Is Falling… What’s Happened To Canadian Markets?

Damn! The TSX has been hard hit with the news that financial giant Lehman Brothers was becoming one the biggest bankruptcy stories in American history. Financial markets around the world are reeling with the news and some are calling the current situation the worst they have ever seen. Hard to believe that the TSX index has sunk into the 12,000 range after hitting highs around 15,000 in June. A 20% drop! OUCH!!!

With BCE, the world’s largest leverage buyout, a fading memory I shudder to think of what the index will do or look like under the Conservative plan to allow for more takeovers. This policy plan was shaped by findings made by a government appointed Competition Policy Review Panel.

The government appointed Lynton “Red” Wilson chair of the Competition Policy Review Panel and made the call for more foreign investment. Among the recommendations forwarded by Mr. Wilson, once a CEO of BCE, move the Industry Canada threshold from to investigate foreign investment from $295 Million to $1 Billion! The industries they would like to dissolve? Telecommunications, Airlines and Uranium mining. Hmmm! Considering Canada is one of the world’s largest sources and exporters of Uranium and Telecoms can basically print money in the age of the iPhone this hardly seems prudent. The airline industry has enough problems without further takeover talk. As a leader in at least one of these industries how does selling them off benefit Canadians or Canadian Markets?

The Conservatives, under massive public pressure, blocked the selling off of MDA but under the new proposed rules how many companies would disappear without the so-called watchdog looking? Remember that the MDA deal was the first ever blocked! Not calling for extreme protectionism here but the current trend in selling Canadian assets off doesn’t invoke scenes of sovereignty on the TSX, Alberta or the Arctic. Considering it’s been said that between 70 to 90% of mergers/takeovers fail it would be interesting to see whose lobbying dollars have been spent to push the sale of these industries. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the TSX and what kind of government enters the fold after the upcoming election.

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