Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Oooh! Canada!

Another Fosco Lives! shout-out to his canuck friends M+L.

Sure, the people who live there speak some sort of weird moon-man language and eat horrible non-crispy bacon, but Canada is turning out to be the place to live in the midst of the world's financial meltdown.

As this op-ed in the NY Times notes:

America, the capital of capitalism, is pondering nationalizing a handful of banks. Meanwhile, Canada, whose banking system had long been notorious for its stodgy practices and government coddling, is now being celebrated for those very qualities.

The Canadian banking system, which proved resilient in the global economic crisis, is finally getting its day in the sun. A recent World Economic Forum report ranked it the soundest in the world, mostly as the result of its conservative practices. (The United States ranked 40th).
How can this be? Doesn't Canada have any financial brainiacs--you know, like the ones who brought down Wall Street? And with no hotshot banking jagoffs, I can't imagine that Canada has much demand for lapdances and cocaine. Oh, what a joyless land!

Of course, every story is better when there's irony involved. Cue irony:
Most people don’t know that the vision behind Canada’s banking system, made up of a few large, national banks with branches from coast to coast, actually had its beginnings in the United States. Canada’s system is the product of a banking framework inspired by Alexander Hamilton, the first American secretary of the Treasury.
That's right, just like pretty much everything else (except bacon), Canadians learned banking from us and then did it better.

You know, Fosco is starting to find really attractive the Canadian lack of drama. Remember when Canada had that whole parliamentary crisis? Well, as far as Fosco can tell, everyone took a long vacation and then things went back to normal. Now that is a civilized government.

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