Friday, September 21, 2007

I've waited 31 years for this

The Canadian dollar is now worth more than the US Dollar. While some have stated that this is primarily due to the fiscal irresponsibility of the current US government, it is also partially due to the strength of the Canadian economy. Should true Republicans be up in arms and have reason to change things? Perhaps, but looking back at the last 31 years, it is actually not bad having a weaker currency. Here are my top predictions for the US and Canada in terms of changes over this new status quo.

1. I think the US will benefit from a weaker dollar in the short and medium terms by keeping some blue collar and other manufacturing related jobs at home. If the US dollar weakens further, it could really help aid the US in terms of foreign orders for the manufacturing sector.

2. The Canadian economy will likely suffer as North American companies with the ability to take advantage of short term fluctuations will likely move manufacturing resources into the US. Canada will likely retain some core natural resource related industries, however processing will likely move south. This is not really bad IMO - it is the real time working of a global economy. Canada built up a good manufacturing sector when it had a weak dollar compared to the US. If this reverses, it should benefit both countries.

3. Pulling out of the war in Iraq will be very desirable for the next US administration. Regardless of Democrat or Republican politics, the economy and relative value of the US dollar will likely be a hot topic in the next 24 months. Luxuries like wars will be also on the table in Canada as mounting costs of our troop presence in Afghanistan also weigh into the national budget debates.

4. Bush is done! He has financially been the most irresponsible president in US history IMO. Forget about morals, he has truly taken a great nation and bankrupted it. Energy costs are at an all time high and the average American still does not have guaranteed health care. America is a great country but it needs to have a good leader. There are about 269,000 or so people in the US I think can do a better job of it than the current leader. Someone please step up and do this.

5. Both Canada and the US will need to work together to maintain competitiveness against the emerging financial superpowers. As globalization is upon us, we must put our petty differences aside and look towards the global stage and figure out how we fit in.

6. The software sector will continue to be profitable, however vendors will have to adjust their strategies to account for disparity in currencies. Currently, the Adobe stock has stayed strong if you live and breathe US dollars. If you are a Canadian shareholder (like me) you have lost 60% of your investments in 3 years on currency issues. Luckily, Adobe is very strong and has doubled in terms of base price leaving us ahead of the game. Nevertheless, foreign investment into Silicon Valley startups might dwindle amid concerns of the weakening US dollar.


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