Hilliard’s Weekend Notebook

Thoughts, views and opinions as current events unfold: With topics taken from current market events and my latest book — When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash (Dundurn: March 2015)  and my first book Investment Traps and How to Avoid Them (1999) — this short piece will give you unique and valuable insights filtered by my thirty-six years’ experience as an investment professional.

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A worldwide food crisis is happening

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on May 13, 2022

The world is in a food crisis that will affect everyone. The inflation in crop prices is threatening to trigger widespread starvation in some poor countries. Grain producers will benefit from strong prices and increased demand for their exports. Russia... Read more
China stimulus will be too little this time

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Apr 29, 2022

China used to be an economic growth leader, with expansion rates of close to 10 percent for years, unrivaled in any large economy. During the 2008-09 global crisis the Chinese government launched a vast stimulus program that lifted China and even the... Read more
Battery costs for electric vehicles are soaring

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Apr 22, 2022

Worldwide demand for battery electric vehicles is soaring. The cost of materials needed for vehicle batteries is rising even faster. Will the cost of batteries bring the electric vehicle revolution to a sudden halt? In some countries, such as Norway,... Read more
The Bank of Canada signals the end of speculative excess

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Apr 15, 2022

The Bank of Canada (BOC) has started tightening monetary policy, with a 50 basis points hike this week. This is the end of the easy money policy that has been in place since the 1990s. Will this tightening burst the speculative bubbles in Canada? Here... Read more
Guest post: Is Canada’s new climate plan ambitious or absurd?

Published by Jonathan MacLeod on Apr 08, 2022

On March 29th the Canadian government announced a plan to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors of the economy, targeting a 40-45% reduction below 2005 levels (see plan here). The government is committing to $9.1 billion in new investment towards... Read more
How to get inflation and the housing bubble under control again

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Apr 01, 2022

The current inflation surge in Canada and around the world demands answers from government. Will inflation be brought under control? How? I was invited along, with others, to present on March 28, 2022, to the Standing Committee on Finance for the House... Read more
China Evergrande hit the news again

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 25, 2022

China Evergrande hit the news again, with a surprising announcement that a creditor had seized US$2 billion of funds from a subsidiary of the company. Creditors are upset that one lender received preferential treatment from the restructuring process,... Read more
Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 17, 2022

Russia is threatening to use nuclear weapons in the current conflict with Ukraine if western countries intervene. Is there a significant possibility of a nuclear war? V. Putin issued a vague threat, but everybody thinks they know what he was talking about... Read more
Cost of crude oil could start a recession

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 11, 2022

A doubling in the price of crude oil in a short period of time (a year or less) has been a reliable predictor of recession. In fact, every time in the post-WWII period when oil has doubled, there has been a recession. Will there be a recession after the... Read more
Rate hikes will test all the bubbles

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 04, 2022

The Federal Reserve is ready to make an interest rate increase in mid-March. The Bank of Canada increased rates this week. Can economic activity withstand these rate hikes without experiencing a recession? The Bank of Canada hiked rates slightly on March... Read more