Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lots Still To Be Thankful For

By: Lee Distad

If you’re a newshound, and especially if you have an interest in financial and business news as I do, things look pretty grim. Turn on the TV, pick up a paper, or go to the web and you’ll see headlines warning of impending doom across a broad swath of sectors: Banks are failing, the price of oil is dropping, container ship charter rates have dropped to nearly zero, and so on. And retail, oh lord; the prognosis that on-air pundits are giving for retail and the upcoming Christmas selling season is beyond terrible.

Still, let’s take time today to focus on what’s important, and better yet what we still have to be thankful for. How about some perspective to start with: this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a weak US dollar, fluctuating energy prices, and spiralling inflation. It’s not the end of the world yet, this too shall pass. Let’s be thankful that the exposure of Canadian chartered banks to sub-prime asset-backed securities has been minor. On the same vein, let’s be thankful that lending standards in Canada have been more rigorous in the last five years than our neighbours to the south, so that we’re less likely to see a tidal wave of mortgage defaults here. On a more industry-centric note, let’s also be thankful that Canadian consumers still have an appetite for cool shiny toys like flat-panel TV’s, smart phones, and in-car navigation. This Christmas may not be the best one ever, but it’s unlikely to be bleak for Canadian retailers.

Lastly, let’s all remember that the reason why Canadian Thanksgiving is a month earlier than American Thanksgiving is because we have more to be thankful for.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

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