Matthew Lekushoff |


Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the 2018 federal budget last week. I've compiled a list of the new budget below.

Budget deficits: The annual budget will remain in deficit for the foreseeable future. It is projected to shrink to $12.3 billion in 2022-23 from the current $18.1 billion for 2018-19, adding about $75 billion ($2,000 per person) to our national debt. On the bright side, the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall from 30.4% to 28.4% by 2022-23.

These projection are based on the economic environment remaining fairly consistent. Should an unexpected recession or increase in interest rates occur, all numbers will likely be much worse.

Gender equality: The reduction of the gender wage gap is a government priority, where the feds are planning on introducing legislation similar to what is currently seen in Ontario and Quebec. They will also be tripling the size of loans available to women-led tech start-ups.

National pharmacare: The government is looking into the prospects of a national pharmacare plan in the hopes of saving Canadians up to $4 billion per year.

Small business tax reform: Passive investment income made in a corporation will reduce the upper limit of active income taxed at the federal small business tax rate of 9% in 2019. Every dollar of passive income made over $50,000 will reduce the upper limit by $5. The Globe and Mail has a helpful chart for further clarification (#7 in the article).

Additional reading:


Equity markets remain mixed with little change from their close two weeks ago. But, that is not to say they have been muted. The U.S. and global markets fell steeply in the days following President Trump's announcement of pending tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports (see below for more details). 

Fortunately, markets were strongly positive preceding the announcement and this week has seen them rise again.


Expecting the unexpected from President Trump is like drying off after a shower-you can choose not to, but you'll be more comfortable if you did.
Unfortunately, that approach still wouldn't have prepared you for his trade announcement last week. In an attempt to keep his election promise of fixing the U.S.'s massive trade deficit, Trump announced he wants to apply tariffs of 10% and 25% on all imports of aluminum and steel, respectively.
Although planned to apply "without exceptions," the announcement may be most targeted to the current NAFTA negotiations, as Canada is the largest supplier of both metals to the U.S., while Mexico is the fourth-largest supplier of steel and seventh-largest of aluminum.
Should these tariffs be implemented, it stands to reason that many, if not all, countries that export steel and aluminum to the U.S. will retaliate with their own tariffs. From there, it doesn't take much imagination to envision a spiral of subsequent tariffs and counter tariffs, turning global trade on its head with major economic implications.
Although, most economic predictions aren't worth the paper they're printed on, a strong majority of economists agree that trade wars hurt everyone involved. Let us hope this announcement is more posturing than true intent-otherwise, we'll all need a shower before things are finished.


"We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right." 
 -----  George Orwell
"Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed..."    
----  Will Durant


Tweetstorm on Will Durant's The Lessons Of History. On themes and lessons observed from 5,000 years of world history  by Ben McCarthy (@benpaulprojects): This tweetstorm offers a great summary of Will and Ariel Durant's The Lessons of History. It was one of the best books I read last year and is worthy of a few more reads.
The Return of a Decision Making Jedi: My Discussion With Michael Mauboussin   by Farnam Street:  Making decisions is one of the most important things we do on a regular basis. The better decisions you make, the better your life will be. In this far-ranging podcast, Michael Mauboussin discusses some of the processes and tools he uses to make better decisions. This is his second conversation with Farnam Street's podcast, The Knowledge Project. If you are curious, listen to his first .
Falsification: How to Destroy Incorrect Ideas  by Farnam Street: Most people are more concerned with being right than finding out what is right. If you are interested in the latter, this article not only shows you a great technique to getting there, but also has a great party trick!
The One Key Trait that Einstein, da Vinci, and Steve Jobs Had in Common  by Heleo: You could be forgiven if you thought Einstein, da Vinci, and Steve Jobs had little in common other than their towering intellect. But, according to a biographer of all three, they shared another very important trait that we can all use.
All of the World's Money and Markets in One Visualization  by Visual Capitalist: The further down you scroll, the more mind-boggling it gets.

  • The NFL combine is a unique event where players hoping to be drafted by NFL teams compete to evaluate their speed, power, and athleticism. It's a big deal. This year's combine was dominated by Shaquem Griffin, a player who almost wasn't invited. Not because he lacked talent, but rather because he lacked something else-a left hand!
    Although it would have been impressive if his results were 'just' average, he ran the 40-yard dash faster than any other linebacker (weighing more than 225 lbs) in history. He also bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times-with a prosthetic hand. To learn more, here is  a video  and  article  of what he accomplished.  

Matthew Lekushoff

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