Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ralph Goodale isn't the only one to hold a grudge

Jane Taber writes that “Ralph Goodale holds a grudge” against NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Lies who announced her sudden departure from Parliament earlier this week. Well he isn’t the only one holding a grudge. Judy Wasylycia-Leis represents the worst in a politician. Incompetent and deceitful in the extreme. Judy Wasylycia-Leis was the NDP party’s Finance Critic who instructed her party to support Harper’s income trust tax that was predicated on Harper’s, Flaherty’s and Mark Carney’s patent lie that income trust cause tax leakage. Judy Wasylycia-Leis accepted Harper’s proof of tax leakage, that took the form of 18 pages of blacked out documents like the dutiful incompetent that she is. In the process, Judy participated and was instrumental in one of the biggest frauds in the history of this country. One that cost 2.5 million Canadians to lose $35 billion of their life savings.

I have nothing but contempt for Judy Wasylycia-Leis, in the same manner that Judy Wasylycia-Leis has nothing but contempt for democracy, due process transparency and accountability. Good riddance to Judy Wasylycia-Leis. I wonder what incompetent the NDP will find to replace her, in the same way that Thomas Mulcair (current NDP Finance Critic) has proven to be.

Ralph Goodale holds a grudge

Jane Taber
Globe and Mail

Like an elephant, the Liberal House Leader never forgets.

In the national caucus meeting yesterday, veteran Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale stood up to make an important announcement. A colleague described him as “hot” – hot under the collar and agitated.

He told MPs and senators, according to sources, that no one was to honour, give accolades or make complimentary statements in the House about Judy Wasylycia-Leis, the NDP veteran who announced this week that she is leaving federal politics. Tomorrow is her last day; she says she wants to spend some time with her family but there is strong speculation she will announce her bid for the Winnipeg mayoralty.

Why should Mr. Goodale care if his colleagues pay tribute to the feisty MP who has devoted 13 years service to federal politics?

He has not forgotten Ms. Wasylycia-Leis’s role in the defeat of the Liberal government in the 2006 election and how his name was dragged into it. In fact, he has described the event as one of the most painful of his career.

At the time, Mr. Goodale was finance minister in Paul Martin’s minority government. Income trusts and how the Liberals would handle them was a big issue. In November, 2005, Mr. Goodale he revealed the Liberals would not tax income trusts.

But Ms. Wasylycia-Leis, the NDP’s finance critic, wrote to the RCMP Commissioner at the time, Giuliano Zaccardelli, asking the force to investigate allegations of leaks around the announcement as trading of income trusts spiked just hours before the announcement.

And in the midst of the election campaign that winter, the RCMP sent a letter to the NDP MP confirming a criminal investigation was under way; in a subsequent press release the Commissioner asked that Mr. Goodale’s name be included, according to a Globe and Mail report.

Ms. Wasylcia-Leis immediately called for Mr. Goodale’s resignation; it is believed that this incident led, in part, to the defeat of the minority Martin government. Stephen Harper and his Conservatives won.

The RCMP later admitted that including Mr. Goodale’s name was not in keeping with past practices.

This, of course, raised the question of bias in the midst of an election campaign. The RCMP Public Complaints Commission, however, found no evidence of wrongdoing of “illegal activity on the part of anyone” – and that included Mr. Goodale.

When asked about Mr. Goodale’s remarks about Ms. Wasylcia-Leis to his colleagues this week, his spokesman said Liberals do not comment on what goes on inside caucus.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Mark Carney shares in common with Goldman’s Fabulous Fabrice Tourre:

In testimony today before the US Senate, Goldman Sachs’ Fabrice Tourre stated: “None of my clients were individual, retail investors.” The same claim applies to Mark Carney, as “none of his clients were individual retail investors”, and yet two successive Finance Ministers. Ralph Goodale and Jim Flaherty placed Mark Carney in charge of the income trust file, which was an investment vehicle that was DOMINATED by retail investors and therefore any policy change would dramatically affect retail investors, a market that Mark Carney knows nothing about.

Would Ralph Goodale and Jim Flahert go to their car mechanic for a medical diagnosis? Probably not. So why are they subjecting Canadian retail investors and taxpayers to the obvious policy biases of ex Goldman Sachs' employee Mark Carney, and someone so prone to ethical violations like LYING to all Canadian about tax leakage?

So what did Mark Carney chose to do when given the levers of power by Rlaph Goodale and Jim Flaherty? He screwed the Canadian retail investors with his patent lies about tax leakage in order to appease the institutional players (eg Manulife, Power Corp. etc) who wanted to kill income trusts. Not wanting to upset institutional investors like the Canada Pension Plan, OMERs and Teachers’, Carney did a one off side deal with these institutions and gave then the exclusive right to own income trusts without paying Carney's 31.5% tax, while penalizing retail investors who have to pay the 31.5% tax on income trusts in RRSPs.

Talk about unethical double dealing by Goldman Sachs! We have our own culprit here in Canada by the name of Mark Carney, but elected representatives in Ottawa who are too placid to hold him to account. unlike the members of the US Senate Sub Committee and its Chairman, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.

Speaker Milliken’s ruling requires that Flaherty’s proof of tax leakage be made public

Speaker Milliken has ruled today that Parliament has the unfettered right to documents that it has requested from the government of the day. Flaherty’s proof of tax leakage was requested by the Finance Committee dating from February 2007 as follows. I call upon the Official Opposition to see to it that this information is made public to Canadians, now that Speaker Milliken has ruled on Parliament’s right to information requested of the Government:

Report of the Standing Committee on Finance

February 2007



It is imperative that a democratic government be as transparent as possible when levying a new tax so that it can be held to account by its citizens. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the federal government release the data and methodology it
used to estimate the amount of federal tax revenue loss caused by the income trust sector.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What Mark Carney shares in common with his alma mater Goldman Sachs

The Guardian in the UK today writes: “Goldman allegedly went one step further, according to the SEC actively creating a financial instrument that transferred wealth to one favoured client from others less favoured.”

So how is this any different than the approach that Mark Carney took in shutting down the income trust market? First, Carney’s argument of tax leakage is a patent lie and therefore the loss of $35 billion in Canadians savings is a fraud, and second Carney only applied the 31.5% tax to “publicly listed” income trusts, which was a deliberate concession to the clients of Goldman Sachs (like the pension funds and private equity and state owned entitled like Abu Dhabi Energy and Korean National Oil) who are allowed to own these trusts free of the 31.5% tax provided they take them private.

The mere act of taking these devalued trusts private was the means by which these losses would be transferred from average Canadians and recouped by others.

Therefore Mark Carney "actively created a policy that transferred wealth to one favoured client from others less favoured.”

Mark Carney is too smart enough to have simply done this by accident, knowing that Canadians and especially those in the media are too dumb to know that he had engineered the biggest fraud in Canadian investment history and transfer of wealth from average Canadians to institutional players, who are the client base of Goldman Sachs.

Mark Carney’s “private income trust carve out” is nothing more than a government mandated “tax arbitrage” whose sole purpose is to transfer the $35 billion of intrinsic value that was lost by retail investors and place it in the hands of Goldman’s institutional investors in deals like the takeover of Teranet Income Fund by OMERs for $2 billion, in which the buyer (OMERs) for completely arbitrary reasons does not pay the 31.5% tax, whereas the average Canadians does. Other beneficiaries of this government set up are billionaires like Li Ka Shing and the Thomson family of Toronto, pension funds like OMERs, PSP. The Caisse etc and a host of Foreign corporations like Abu Dhabi Energy and the Korean National Oil Company and US private equity firms like Allinda Capital Goldman Sachs itself!

Meanwhile the Liberals say nothing and are more concerned with the Helena Guergis soap opera, while Canadians remain victims of a $35 billion fraud perpetrated by the Harper government, in which government policy was designed SOLELY for the end purpose of transferring wealth to (in effect) a group of Goldman clients from “others less favoured.” A policy outcome that is only possible with the support of Jack Layton and the NDP, who don’t know right from wrong.

Ottawa is more corrupt than Wall Street. Something that is only possible with the active support of the Canadian media who don’t know right from wrong. This kind of fraud that is embodied in the income trust policy can not be allowed to stand if Canada has any hope of being a country whose policies are just and which serve the purposes they are purported to serve, rather than merely being policies based on patent falsehoods (like tax leakage) and who real purpose is to transfer wealth from one favoured group of individuals like the pension funds along with many foreigners from the savings of average Canadians.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Expropriating choice

For those of you who do not yet understand the linkage between Canadians’ financial literacy (actually the lack thereof) and its essential role played in expropriating choice under Jim Flaherty’s income trust tax, we have the following observation from Jacques Menard, Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and Vice Chair of Jim Flaherty’s Task Force on Financial Literacy that appeared in yesterday’s Globe and Mail:

"You can help people but you cannot be so intrusive as to invade their privacy and expropriate their freedom of choice."

One of the four things that I find most objectionable about Jim Flaherty’s income trust tax is that it expropriates choice. The other three being that (1) it was based on the patent lie called tax leakage and therefore a total affront to the basic tenets of democracy, (2) it caused investors to lose $35 billion of their investment value and (3) all of its predictable consequences were destined to be adverse.

Expropriating choice was the main goal of Jim Flaherty’s income trust tax. Jim Flaherty would exploit Canadians’ financial illiteracy as the means to pull off this policy stunt by invoking patently false arguments like tax leakage and a handful of other spurious claims to pull off this expropriation of choice. These patently false arguments that exploited Canadians lack of financial literacy (especially those in the press) were then reinforced with 18 pages of blacked out documents as the form of “proof”, demonstrating the paramount importance of financial disclosure in combating those like Jim Flaherty who seek to exploit Canadian’s financial illiteracy for their own illicit purposes.

Whereas Jim Flaherty’s income trust tax caused Canadians to lose $35 billion of their life savings and was confined to “only” the 2.5 million Canadians who owned income trusts at the time, the expropriation of investment choice it brought about is of inestimable cost and affects ALL Canadians adversely, especially the 75% of Canadians who are without pensions. The means to that nefarious end of expropriating choice was to exploit Canadians financial illiteracy and to deny them access to the facts. The media played an essential role in promulgating these patent lies, including the CBC as recently as February 25, 2010.

These 75% of Canadians who are without pensions are a highly vulnerable group in more ways than one. Apart from having to rely solely upon themselves for their retirement security, they are also the targets of every lobbyist out their who has designs on their retirement savings. Lobbyists like those from the insurance industry who would love to get their hands on this pool of investment capital in order to derive a fee stream from it. Those like Don Stewart, CEO of Sun Life who also happens to be the Chair of Jim Flaherty’s Task Force on Financial Literacy who was advocating that a form of “negative billing” is the answer to Canada’s pension woes, in which he is advocating that:

“"There are simple ways of setting up behaviour patterns that reinforce personal financial interests as opposed to detracting from them," said Mr. Stewart. An example: Employees are much more likely to opt in to a corporate pension plan if the company automatically enrolls them and requires them to fill out a form to opt out.”

Gee, I wonder who that change is intended to benefit more, Sun Life as manager of that employee’s pension or the employee themselves? The insurance industry was a main driver behind Jim Flaherty’s income trust tax and the insurance industry’s sole intent was to limit Canadians investment choice, employing whatever spurrous argument were at their disposal, including patently false arguments like tax leakage, in order to make Canadians more captive to the synthetic and derivative investment products of the life insurance industry, like Variable Rate Annuities, of the kind that Manulife failed to hedge and which almost brought Manulife to its total financial demise during the Global Financial Meltdown.

It should not be the role of government to restrict Canadians suite of choices, but rather to maintain them at all costs and to expand them whenever possible. The emergence of income trust form of investment CHOICE was the manifestation of the Canadian capital markets functioning as it should and evolving its product offerings to meet the changing needs of Canadian investors. The profound need for retirement income during a time of protracted low interest rates saw to the evolution of the income trust form of investment that had grown into a $200 million made in Canada solution in the space of 10 short years. The advent of the income trust market meant that the corporate model was being threatened and the investment wares of the insurance industry were unable to compete. Therefore these parties turned to the Government to expropriate this investment choice. Jim Flaherty and the Government concocted a series of patently false and spurious arguments and exploited Canadians’ (including the media) lack of financial literacy to pull this expropriation of choice off.

Why Jim Flaherty would want to improve Canadians’ financial literacy is beyond me, as Canadians’ lack of financial literacy is the one sure thing that Jim Flaherty is best able to exploit in order to make his gross incompetence on financial matters passable and allow him to pull the wool over Canadians eyes. You shouldn’t feel left out however, as I think the same exploitation of financial illiteracy is at play within the Flaherty household itself, as follows:

Globe and Mail April 14, 2010: “But the Minister isn't sure that he has passed those lessons on to his 19-year-old triplet sons. "They won't like me saying this, but they're among the group that could increase their financial literacy." Mr. Flaherty said.”

Which probably explains how Flaherty was able to pull the following off, by exploiting his son’s lack of financial literacy, and sell him a pack of lies about tax leakage etc.:

Globe and Mail October 2, 2007:
“"And these guys are not lacking in opinions," Mr. Flaherty adds.

Even about the income trust decision?

"I was actually very interested," offers Galen, brightening up. "I read a lot of articles about it and then I asked my dad and, at the end of it, I was actually in full support of my dad."

Mr. Flaherty smiles, then looks at his wife. "What's his allowance again?" asks the family finance minister.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Harper's proof of tax leakage from today's Globe

Stephen Harper: The black ink squid.

Can you actually believe that Harper was audacious enough, and the Canadian media gullible enough to accept the argument of "threat to National Security" as being Harper's argument for why he issued 18 pages of blacked out documents as the only proof of tax leakage, and the main false justification a policy that destroyed $35 billion of Canadians hard earned life savings and took an essential investment choice away from then?

Shame on the Canadian media. Shame on every MP in the House of Commons. Meanwhile Canadians are without any effective the media.

Makes me ashamed to be a Canadian to be living amongst such compliant sycophants. Like squids, I have learned that virtually all Canadians are spineless beings.