The Top Secret Canadian Bailout That Actually Worked -- At Least for a While!
The date was November of 07.
It was, to paraphrase a popular TV show, a wild and crazy time.
Especially for the Loonie. For the first time in years the Loonie was not only trading above the Greenback, but in fact was trading significantly above the Greenback.
Canadians about to leave for vacations, or planning on buying a Buick in Toledo and importing it, were delirious.
The same, however, could not be said for their in-business counterparts.
From coast to coast, from sea to shining sea, Canadian businessmen were doing something they never expected to do in their lifetimes -- trying to figure out exactly who their Member of Parliament was .. and how to reach him (or her.)
[POINT OF CLARIFICATION -- Pundits who have taken the time and energy to study the topic believe that Canadians, per capita, are the most politically apathetic bunch on the planet, not only in terms of actual turnout, but also based on number of political party memberships per family; or per individual in a lifetime.]
The message they wanted sent to their elected representatives?
In a nutshell, fix this Forex mess before it destroys my business. And do it yesterday.
For decades, it seems, entire sectors of the Canadians economy had become "hooked" on being a discounted currency (to the almighty buck) and had thereupon built their enterprises on that somewhat shaky foundation. The film industry -- really just a glorified service provider -- is an excellent example.
How many otherwise sane Hollywood producers do you think would trek to the Frozen North -- and be compelled to make liberal use of Canadian actors -- were it not for the dollar saving? (Or the Corollary -- how many top Canadian actors, working only out of Canada, can you name?)
In any case, the message was heard.
As the chart shows, the Loonie suffered a psychotic break shortly thereafter, and begin to behave like than the Loonie of old -- in other words, the moonshot was over. Speculators got the message loud and clear. Big money was shorting this baby. Stay away.
The "big money" was, of course, the Bank of Canada who, via its agents, can secretly play with the sovereign currency as they wish, without oversight.
Oh Thank The Lord for Democracy!
The word on the street, un-verifiable, is that bringing the Loonie down to earth cost a King's Ransom -- but did calm the fears of those cranky businessmen.
The irony is that this bailout, based on nothing more substantial than a wing and a prayer, actually worked! By 08 you had the collapse of commodities and then the crash and, bang, suddenly the clandestine forces behind the Nov 07 selloff seemed a lot smarter than they actually were...
So we watch and wait.
Until the next shoe drops -- which should be the weakening of the US dollar when those tired old Treasuries start to show their age and lack of imagination. And when other countries start to pick up the demand slack from the US (something that MUST happen over time), and demand for commodities rebounds.
They pulled this rabbit out of this particular hat once.
The next time they try it, they may however find the rabbit has teeth.