Derek: In your piece today entitled “Manulife, the millions and moral hazard”, you neglected to mention how Dominic D’Alessandro lobbied the government to kill income trusts and how he basically lied to Parliament to defend those measures. That story would have been titled: “Manulife, the Billions and moral sinkhole”, since Dominic’s actions caused innocent income trust investors to lose $35 billion of their retirement savings in order to permit Manulife to shovel more of their variable annuity product down the throats of now-captive Canadians seeking retirement income, and in the process almost destroy Manulife’s balance sheet. But that’s a separate story about Dominic’s managerial incompetence and river boat gambling.
The moral sinkhole part arises from the fact that Dominic D’Alessandro, who you have correctly labeled as the conscience of Bay Street (since Bay Street has no conscience), went before Parliament and basically lied. This has been my beef with Dominic D’Alessandro from the outset. I expect people in his position to do everything they can to feather their own nests by extracting bespoke tax policies from compliant and incompetent governments like Stephen Harper’s that favour Manulife and screw the average investor saving for retirement, but to succumb to lying before Parliament is beyond the pale. That lie occurred when Dominic testified the following.(in response to a set-up question from CON MP Rick Dykstra):
“The notion and the implication that somehow the government on this [income trust tax] file is responding to initiatives that originated with corporations is not based on reality.”
We all know, even you Derek, that this is absolute BS and that Dominic was simply trying to mislead Parliament and all Canadians about the fact that this income trust tax was the sole result of “initiatives that originated with corporations”, or your paper would not have written the following account about what the origins of this tax were, in a piece entitled: “Income-trust crackdown: The inside story” , on 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.”
That sure sounds like "the government responding to initiatives that originated with corporations" that are "based on reality" to me?
Manulife, the millions and moral hazard
Globe and Mail
March 28, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 8:48 AM