Daily Archives: March 1, 2009

More praise for Canadian banks should result in more praise for Paul Martin

There’s a good Op-Ed Contribution (The Great Solvent North) in the NYTimes.com by Theresa Tedesco, the chief business correspondent for The National Post (a Canadian newspaper) in which Canadian banks are being praised for their conservative and disciplined nature., among other things.  They do deserve praise for this.

However, this man should also be praised. Praised for such things as  keeping the Canadian banks in check when they were wanting to merge in the 1990s. I remember at the time that Canadian banks and their supporters were bemoaning that if they didn’t merge, they wouldn’t matter any more on the world banking stage. It was people like Martin who saw the risks there, and at one time, when the banks tried to do an end run around him, he slapped them down.

Now the banks are being heaped with praise. Yet if it weren’t for Martin, they might be in the same predicament that some of the other big banks they want to catch up to are now in. (Ironically, due to the decimation of the U.S. banking system, Canadian banks are now much bigger these days in comparison.) So, praise to the banks and the Canadian banking system, but praise also to the regulators and leaders like Martin who also played a big role.

There is a great Toronto Star article on Martin and what he accomplished here. It is well worth a read.


More blackberry tools

Lots of people come to this blog looking for BlackBerry tools. I feel bad, since this eclectic blog is anything but a source of software tools. But feeling bad is useless. Instead, I found this link on Mashable.com that IS useful. See this post: 15 Free Tools to Turn Your BlackBerry into a Communications Powerhouse for a source of useful BB tools. Let me know if you find any that are worthwhile and I will post that info here.

Warren Buffet comes clean

The venerable Mr. Buffet has taken a hit this year like everyone else, and according to this article, he  Accepts Blame and Faults Others (NYTimes.com), as he is right to do. Warren Buffett has been a critic of financial derivatives for some time (and with good reason). Sadly, even his criticism was not enough to curtail the use of these weapons of mass financial destruction, as he used to classify them. Perhaps if he had come up with this metaphor sooner, that may have helped:

“Participants seeking to dodge troubles face the same problem as someone seeking to avoid venereal disease,” he wrote. “It’s not just whom you sleep with, but also whom they are sleeping with.”