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..