Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Manulife: The power of One

Manulife: The power of One.....that’s Manulife’s new slogan from their TV ad campaign.

It didn’t occur to me how sinister this new slogan actually is until I read this Canadian’s comment on CBC’s web site, where Canadians are being given the chance to ask His Harperness a question.

All the top rated 25 questions, as determined by viewers, are all about income trusts and Steve’s lie about tax leakage. Here is one that caught my eye that tells the story in the succinct way that has eluded me so far in all my advocacy on this issue. Keep in mind this is now the sinister facet of Manulife: The power of One

This was a promise from Harper, taken from 2006 CON platform:

"Stop the Liberal attack on retirement savings and preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them."

Was Manulife's influence that great that seniors savings had to be sacrificed?

What a great question!

Answer: Yes. Manulife's idea of a "level playing field is to remove the opposing team (ie income trusts) from the field, in order to make Canadians; saving for retirement (note: the little icon in picture above) more captives to their wares. So they went to the Harper government and lobbied the Harper government to KILL income trusts. It's that simple and that wrong. Manulife's idea of good competition is to have none. In order to achieve Manulife's desired objectives, the Harper CONs came up with a "plausible" sounding policy argument that would allow them to renege on their 2006 election problem:

Create a faux crisis.
A faux crisis called tax leakage. Then the perfect opportunity presented itself. Telus announced its conversion. Let's get BCE to do likewise, even though Michael Sabia didn't want BCE to become an income trust. But this way, by piling on with his own announced conversion, he could kill the whole income trust model, with the frenzied atmosphere of everybody converting, caused by his announcement that the "sky is falling". This would be the "perfect storm" excuse for Flaherty to take drastic measures and to NOT CONSULT with the public. Added to the this concoction of manufactured panic would be the argument that would easily enjoin every Tom, Dick and Harry in the country into thinking the government's draconian actions were "just", by saying that "income trusts cause tax leakage."

Eureka! The entire nation would be gamed by this grandeur of delusion. That's the power of One.

The fact that tax leakage is a patent falsehood or that Canadians would lose $35 billion of their life's retirement savings, or that large swaths of the Canadian economy would become foreign takeover targets, or that real tax leakage would take the place of non-existent tax leakage after all these takeovers of trusts, or that the pensions funds got a special exemption from this tax to shut them up so they would go along with this rape of the average Canadian saving for retirement didn't matter at all, as we had decisive Jim Flaherty in charge. Decisive indeed. Decisively wrong, but he achieved his objective, namely Manulife's objective along with their insurance lobby brethren, like Power Financial of making Canadians more captive to their grossly inferior wares that were unable to compete on a playing that was level, so together they cooked up this scheme, and let Flaherty execute it, whereupon they clumsily tried to deny they were behind it when giving testimony before the Finance Committee to buy the CONs and the NDP with cover for their treacherous deeds of ripping off Canadians, every single taxpayer included who will pick up the multi-billion dollar tab.

That's Manulife: The power of One

Policy Outcome Postscript:
Having succeeded (at least temporarily) in making Canadians saving for retirement income more captive to Manulife's synthetic and derivative junk food investment wares, things like Income Plus and variable rate annuity contracts that provide Canadians with only NOTIONAL participation in stock market plays, what does Manulife do, they get greedy and decide they are smarter than the stock market by making the premeditated decision to NOT HEDGE the very risks that are embedded is such a risky game, with the result that Manulife is almost blows itself up financially, which imperils through collateral risk its other lines of businesses, like life insurance itself!

What kind of public policy destroys the FAVOURED means by which Canadians were making direct investments into Canada's REAL economy, in order to steer those people like sheeple into becoming more captive to making investments in junk food like Manulife's Income Plus, for the sole purpose of Manulife being able to extract fees? Meanwhile in their desire to maximize that fee stream, Manulife acts imprudently in river boat gambling fashion and FAILS TO HEDGE those risks, resulting in that grotesque flip side of the Power of One, namely TOO BIG TO FAIL.

As it was, Manulife required a form of bail out to deal with the spiraling-down financial situation it had created for itself in the midst of a market crash whose risks became multiplied in the hands of Manulife, given their propensity to take massive unhedged risks tied to that collapsing stock market the world experienced during the precipitous Global Financial Meltdown.

The next time taxpayers may not be so lucky, and will find themselves with another AIG on their hands, a Canadian version of AIG, or what would become known as AIG North.

Making this entire lobbying exercise by Manulife of killing income trusts in order to make Canadians captive to the wares of Manulife, an exercise in fiscal self-flagellation and the spinning of evil webs, in which Manulife itself got caught, and Canadian taxpayers narrowly escaped.

Name one sane intelligent Canadian who thinks this constitutes their idea of "smart policy"?

Could Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper have been any more SHORT SIGHTED and GROSSLY NEGLIGENT if they tried? They are: The power of Dumb..


Anonymous said...

The obivous answer is: yes. There can be no other reason for stealing $35 billion of wealth from Canadians and the additional payments of taxes from Canadian taxpayers of $7billion per year.

Hey maybe Corky can finally figure this out when he's at the "transition" seminars that the NP is putting on.

I feel for those hard working people at the National Post who are going to suffer from the demise of their employer in part because of the hacks at the NP.


Anonymous said...

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 9:38 PM
Subject: Message from Liberal MP Paul Szabo

I commend you for this message to Mr. Fullard. I,m one of many that have been severely influenced by this fraudulent legislation regarding income trusts. Mr. Fullard is a voice in the wilderness speaking on behalf of citizens such as myself who don,t have the capacity or expertise to voice our total disinchantment with our Parliamentary Democracy. I can accept anything passed in the house if it is shown to have substance and is positive in the long run for our country. I find the way this issue was and is dealt with is demeaning and an affront to the intelligence of the public at large. I,ve followed Parliamentary hearings on CPAC in which you were the chair person and i can imagine what frustration it must be for yourself in putting up with the gamesminship.
I,ve always respected your consistent and unfaultering demeanor and honesty and it gives me a degree of hope that this income trust issue can be dealt with and a solution resolved.

Respectfully Yours
Don Bool
Courtenay, B.C.

Anonymous said...



Sent from my iPhone

Anonymous said...

Kind of like...Holy f##k batman!

Anonymous said...

I have another name for ManureLife's activities with regard to ITs:

The Power of None.

That would None as in No Competition. There is None, after they worked their hocus pocus.


Sent from my iPhone

Dr Mike said...

It all comes down to the power of money.

They have it , we don`t.

They have a voice , we don`t.

The gov`t cares about them & the rest of us can go pee up a tree.

The gov`t never even considered the outcome to the small investor when they made this decision & for that they must never be forgiven.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...

How long can complacency last . . .


Fillibluster said...


That’s EXACTLY the point when I last appeared on BNN....... May 14, 2007

Too bad that BNN forced YouTube to drop it, cause here’s all you’ll see now when you go to that video: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by BNN.

As such, BNN is preventing me from hearing my very own prescient and delicious words. Nice! How very kind of the Biased News Network.

Brent Fullard

Anonymous said...

Manulife - the power of one . . . great piece, but it goes further than MFC -

The whole banking oligopoly in Canada pushes brokers to invest - via investment parameters they set and control - to expose their/our clients to inferior investment products (w high fees attached) and inferior asset classes. You can't imagine the hoops advisors have to jump through to protect clients if the advisor prefers to use short positions or overweighting high yield bonds vs equity or encourages 20-30% in gold/precious metals/commodities instead of highly levered bank stocks. Most of the Foundation boards that I do work for have made 2-3% per year over the same time frame because they are boxed into the conventional Kool-Aid asset mix promoted by the banks. The banks sell "relative return" in the interest of managing their own risk - not in the interest of clients - clients want and need positive absolute returns. (Incidentally - that was the key attraction of the income trust market - equity risk, yes - but with a coupon that both alleviated risk relative to equities and potentially providing 8-12% return prospects)

Look at the magnitude of the push now for Canadian banks to sell insurance products! Either in-house or from the likes of MFC . . . look at the MERs on segregated funds . .the banks know the prospects for capital market performance (the life co's? - I'm not so sure) - How do clients make money with 4% MERs in a 0-6% capital market performance environment?!? Answer - they don't!! But the banks (insurance companies sure make money though).

The banks generate huge revenue (as you know) pushing garbage pref shares and over-priced equity . . . brokers are enticed by payouts . . . the banks aggressively advertise their discount "due it yourself" investment platforms or their Kool-Aid pushing financial planners and paint investment advisors as greedy! Investment advisors get zero advertising exposure - question - as an advisor, if you know you are being marginalized by the banks what logical course of action are you going to take with your business . . . I expect you'll attempt to maximize short-term profitability, won't you? What a f$&*king GONG show!!

Manulife - like AIG are the ignorant scapegoats (the big brontosaurus meat), the conduits - Goldman, Morgan, the Canadian banks/ Power Corp (the T-Rex clan) run the show, let's be honest. (I wonder who convinced the dolts at MFC that they didn't really need to hedge their "guaranteed" product? Advice from the various capital market strategists and useless economists in the "you-know-who" Canadian (perhaps Goldman too) banking oligopoly? Maybe Sherry?!?

Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fullard;
May I suggest that you offer a small 1 to 2 minute speech to be read at the anti-prorogue gatherings across Canada. You can do this on facebook, each community has built its own smaller page specifically for their city's gathering, and I know that Winnipeg is looking for citizen speakers. Anti- prorogue rallies may work for you too!

Anonymous said...

Hmm is Manulie Canada's answer to Primerica?
This whole ONE thing sounds exactly the same as Citi's Primerica business model.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered that my temporarily parked cash at my brokers was put in a Manulife Account. I am currently finding other places to put it. No way do I want Manulife to manage my cash. Maybe we all need to check with our brokers to see where they are parking our cash. We can fight fire with fire.