Central bankers in Davos urge speed to rescue economy

“Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday. Two days after the European Central Bank launched a bold bond-buying drive to revive inflation in the euro zone, a top ECB official warned that Europe’s common currency project could come unstuck if the bloc limped on with sluggish growth and mass unemployment.“We can’t do everything for Europe, we did our part on Thursday, others have to do their part. There is nothing we can do as the ECB to lift growth in a lasting way,” ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said,” wrote Noah Barkin and Paul Taylor for The Globe and Mail January 24, 2015. They continued, “Reviewing the global economic outlook at the World Economic Forum in Davos, speakers from the IMF, the ECB, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan said their ultra-loose monetary policy could only buy limited time for politicians.  The ECB announced on Thursday a massive programme of buying government bonds with printed money over 18 months from March in a drive to raise the inflation rate from the current 0.7 percent towards its target of close to but just below 2 percent.” Read the full article hereRaymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

“As the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis’ most notorious concentration camp approaches, historians are grappling with how to preserve the memory of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.  No one knows how many of the survivors remain alive today, but it’s a group that is dwindling as age takes its toll.” writes Aleksandra Sagan for the CBC on January 25, 2015. Sagan continues, “To mark the liberation’s anniversary, about 300 former Auschwitz prisoners are travelling to Oświęcim, Poland, to pay tribute on Jan. 27 at Birkenau’s Gate of Death, the unloading ramp at the camp’s rail entrance”In 10 years, during the 80th anniversary, we’ll not have this opportunity,” says Pawel Sawicki, a press officer for the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Ten years ago, he explains, 1,500 survivors commemorated the 60th anniversary.” Read the full article hereRaymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

Changes coming for Canadians taking extended visits to the U.S.A.

“A B.C. MP is warning people about a new information-sharing agreement between Canada and the United States that could put travellers who regularly spend a lot of time in the U.S. at risk of significant consequences.  The Entry Exit Initiative allows officials to track how many days Canadians have spent in the U.S. Prior to the agreement, the country could only track entry dates, not exit dates.  “We were specially wanting to alert people that this could potentially be a problem for them if they were being careless about their travel,” said Gail Hunnisett, constituency assistant for Alex Atamanenko, MP for B.C. Southern Interior,”  posted by Radio West for CBC News on Monday.

The article continued, “Hunnisett said she’s been fielding a lot of calls since Atamanenko’s office put out the information.  She said a common misconception is that Canadians regularly travelling to the U.S. for long stays can spend up to 182 days, or six months, in the U.S without being considered a resident for tax purposes”. Read the full article hereRaymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

Cheap oil may signal permanent economic changes

“Having seen numerous fluctuations in the energy markets over the years, many analysts and policy makers have a natural tendency to “look through” the latest drop in oil prices — that is, to treat the impact as transient rather than as signalling long-term changes. I suspect that view would be a mistake this time around. The world is experiencing much more than a temporary dip in oil prices. Because of a change in the supply model, this is a fundamental shift that will likely have long-lasting effects,” wrote Mohamed El-Erian for Bloomberg News and published in the National Post on December 30, 2014.

El-Erian continued, “Through the years, markets have been conditioned to expect OPEC members to cut their production in response to a sharp drop in prices. Saudi Arabia played the role of the “swing producer.” As the biggest producer, it was willing and able to absorb a disproportionately large part of the output cut in order to stabilize prices and provide the basis for a rebound. Read the full article hereRaymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

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