Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists:


Subtitle: Why didn't the CCCE "chide" Harper on Income Trusts?

Why is the CCCE so concerned about the ”policy chaos” over rules governing the environment? Why are they “chiding” the Premiers?

Speaking of chiding, where was the CCCE on the flip flop on income trusts and the chaos that policy enured? Isn’t the CCCE concerned about the resultant banana republic nature of Canada’s capital markets in the eyes of foreign investors, not to speak of Canadians saving for their own retirement? How can a capital market operate efficiently or fairly when a Prime Minister promises one tax regime and then delivers another? Retroactively no less, causing a permanent loss of $35 billion in hard earned investment capital? And offers no proof whatsoever to support the policy reversal? That is the act of a rogue government in the hands of a rogue Finance Minister. Or perhaps the rogue Finance Minister is actually in someone else's hands?

Meanwhile the CCCE remains deaf silent. Silence is complicity for a group that considers itself so powerful and so well populated by Canada’s great capitalists who routinely comment on virtually every development in this country.

I think Tom D’Aquino and his cohorts at the CCCE need to read the book entitled: “Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists”. How will Canada ever hope to become competitive on the world stage by destroying the investment vehicle that affords Canadian businesses of all sizes with a low cost form of capital and Canadians with an investment vehicle that suits their investment goals? The CCCE are proponents of a buggy whip economy and bespoke tax policies that coddle the status quo.

Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists is a non-fiction book by Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago GSB. The full title of the book is: Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists: Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity.

The book is neither a defense of pure laissez-faire capitalism, nor is it an anti-capitalist polemic. Instead, the authors develop the following arguments in the book:

* The free market is the form of economic organization most beneficial to human society and for improving the human condition.
* Free markets can flourish over the long run only when government plays a visible role in determining the rules that govern the market and supporting it with the proper infrastructure.
* Government, however, is subject to influence by organized private interests
* Incumbent private interests, therefore, may be able to leverage the power of governmental regulation to protect their own economic position at the expense of the public interest by repressing the same free market through which they originally achieved success.
* Thus, society must act to "save capitalism from the capitalists" -- i.e. take appropriate steps to protect the free market from powerful private interests who would seek to impede the efficient function of free markets, entrench themselves, and thereby reduce the overall level of economic opportunity in society.

Question: Why does the outline of the book “Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists" so remind of this Globe article?

Income-trust crackdown: The inside story
November 2, 2006

“High-profile directors and CEOs, meanwhile, had approached Mr. Flaherty personally to express their concerns: Many felt they were being pressed into trusts because of their duty to maximize shareholder value, despite their misgivings about the structure. Paul Desmarais Jr., the well-connected chairman of Power Corp. of Canada, even railed against trusts in a conversation with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a trip to Mexico, and told him he should act quickly to stop the raft of conversions, according to sources.”

Answer: Maybe its because Paul Desmarais Jr. is a Vice Chairman of the CCCE along with his industry colleague Dominic D'Alessandro of Manulife who had the most to gain by eliminating the competitive financial product known as income trusts.

Just think of them along with the CCCE as the "incumbent private interests who were able to leverage the power of governmental regulation [under the easily coerced Harper] government to protect their own economic position at the expense of the public interest by repressing the same free market through which they originally achieved success."

6 comments:

Robert Gibbs said...

CCCE must stand for:

Canadian Corrupt Conservative Entrenchers.

FIGHT FOR THE BRIGHT,
NOT THE CONSERVATIVE RIGHT!

WesternGrit said...

Do a little search on Tom D'Aquino, look into what he represents, and whom he's worked for. You'll find a background in big oil, MNCs, and big American money... Tom D is a force behind the dismantlement of Canada as we know it. He is about as close as we can get to the "Anti-Canada".

This is from the Canada Public Service Agency website (A GC site):
"Thomas d’Aquino is a lawyer, entrepreneur, author, educator, and strategist. He is chief executive and president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), a nonpartisan and not-for-profit organization of the chief executives of 150 of the country’s leading enterprises. Under Mr. d’Aquino’s leadership, the CCCE has helped shape the direction of fiscal, taxation, trade, energy, environmental, competitiveness, and corporate governance policies in Canada. Mr. d’Aquino and his colleagues have worked on a wide range of North American and global issues germane to Canada and to Canadian enterprises. He is one of the private-sector architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mr. d’Aquino’s career combines experience in government, business, and law. He served as a special assistant to the prime minister of Canada and was the founder and chief executive of Intercounsel Limited. He also served as an international trade lawyer and as an adjunct professor of law.

Mr. d’Aquino serves on boards and advisory committees in Canada and abroad. He has been considered one of Canada’s most effective global business ambassadors. He has been a regular commentator on radio and television and a frequent speaker in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Mr. d’Aquino has addressed audiences in 25 countries and more than 100 cities.

Mr. d’Aquino is the author of numerous publications and the coauthor of Northern Edge: How Canadians Can Triumph in the Global Economy.

Mr. d’Aquino was educated at the University of British Columbia, Queen’s University, University College London, and the London School of Economics. He holds BA, LLB, and LLM degrees, as well as Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University and Wilfrid Laurier University."

Dr Mike said...

Silence suggests complicity!!

After all , who had the most to gain.

mike.

PS The thought for today from AESOP :

"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office".

Anonymous said...

Westerngrit:

Good point. Tom D'Aquino also sits on the Board of Manulife, whose CEO attempted to mislead the House Finance Committee with this complete nonsensical claim:

"The notion and the implication that somehow the government on this [income trust] file is responding to initiatives that originated with corporations is not based on reality."

How does Dominic D'Alessandro reconcile that with this account in the Globe, afterall he and Paul Desmarais Jr. are Co Vice Chairman of the CCCE:

"High-profile directors and CEOs, meanwhile, had approached Mr. Flaherty personally to express their concerns: Many felt they were being pressed into trusts because of their duty to maximize shareholder value, despite their misgivings about the structure. Paul Desmarais Jr., the well-connected chairman of Power Corp. of Canada, even railed against trusts in a conversation with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a trip to Mexico, and told him he should act quickly to stop the raft of conversions, according to sources."

Sure Dominic we believe you. The Income Trust Tax fell from the sky. And the 18 pages of blacked out documents were handed down to Moses
on Mt. Sinai.

I categorically reject the religion known as the Tax Fairness Plan, since it an utter shame unsupported by the integrity known as science.

Brent Fullard

Where's my GIS? said...

A Simple Tax Lesson:
I hold Income Trusts in my RIF. Every $ taken from that RIF is taxed at full rates. I am taking the same amount out every month to live on, however the capital value of the RIF has been greatly reduced due to Steve and Jimmy's policy. Ottawa continues to get the same tax revenue from me as always. The folly is that I now will run out of RIF before I run out of life. At that point Ottawa will get exactly $0 from me instead of a steady stream of tax cash until my death. Had they not stolen my capital, they could have also had roughly 50% of the remainig value of my RIF at my death.

Dr Mike said...

To where`s my gis??

This crew in finance is as short sighted as a possum at noon on a bright sunny summer day.

You have to remember that this is the same bunch of guys who think RRSPs are tax exempt , so there is really not a lot of hope of brightening-up their dimly lit bulbs.

Jim Flaherty was a disaster when he ran finance here in Ontario--so when he was chosen as Canadian Finance Minister , all of us in this province began to shudder & have not stopped since.

The prospects for any improvement are slim to none without the removal of the whole works of them--certainly something to shoot for in the next year or so.

mike.