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Top links: Bond market doesn’t trust the Bank of Canada

A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the World Wide Web.

The Financial Times' Alphaville blog's Izabella Kaminska details the bubble-like conditions in the technology start-up industry by noting there is so much money pouring into new tech companies that management in the sector are living large while more or less lighting investment dollars on fire.

The theory is supported by anonymous portfolio manager The Fly, who despite the comic name is probably the most transparent, honest and helpful asset manager on the Internet. He lists 17 speculative tech companies at risk of 50 per cent or more stock corrections.

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"Tech bubble or no tech bubble?" – Kaminska, FT Alphaville

"In all seriousness, this is unsustainable" – The Fly

Bond markets appear to have little faith in Bank of Canada's inflation forecast, according to Carleton University economics professor Nick Rowe. Mr. Rowe notes that the 30-year Government of Canada bond yield is well below the central bank's assessment of long term interest rates, "the bond market is supposed to anticipate the future path of interest rates, and 30 years is a long time, relative to most recessions. Either the bond market thinks it will take a very long time for the Bank of Canada to get back to the neutral rate, or else the bond market thinks that the neutral rate is lower than the Bank of Canada thinks it is."

This sounds like a wonky, esoteric discussion but it has important real-world economic repercussions. Inflation expectations are an important determinant of consumer spending and long term bond yields also reflect an estimate of future economic growth. If the bond market is right, economic growth will be lower than the Bank of Canada expects for a long time.

"The Bank of Canada vs the bond market" – Rowe, Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

The release of the new BlackBerry Passport device will dominate domestic media today but investors should remember that foreign opinions on the company have been more accurate historically. During the company's ignominious fall from grace, Canadian analysts maintained a bullish stance when U.S. and European analysts turned uniformly, and correctly, negative.

Bloomberg television provided some non-Canadian perspective on the new device and the state of Blackberry's resurgence.

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"Can BlackBerry win back the business user?" – Bloomberg

See also "Is the smartphone market reaching maturity?" – BBC

The Economist notes an increasing amount of inter-government co-operation designed to limit corporate tax dodging. It's definitely early days and importantly, there remains ample reason to believe that U.S. corporations design congressional legislation themselves and will lobby to prevent any inconvenient legal changes.

Nonetheless, in an increasingly globalized economy, the likelihood of international corporate regulation is becoming steadily more necessary and probable.

"Corporate tax dodging: Transfer policing" – The Economist

"Cross-border swap dispute risks trade war" – Bloomberg

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"New U.S. tax rules won't stop Burger King-Tim Hortons deal" – Report on Business

The Wall Street Journal reports Australian regulators are moving to cool the country's housing market. Whatever measures they come up with will be of immediate interest to Canada's Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Canada.

"Australia's central bank makes pre-emptive move on house prices" – Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required)

Tweet of the Day: "@literaryeric: Internet trolls are narcissists, psychopaths, and sadists | Psychology Today…"

Diversion: "Don't ever appear on the Daily Show" – Bloomberg

Follow Scott Barlow on Twitter @SBarlow_ROB

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About the Author
Market Strategist

Scott Barlow is The Globe's in-house market strategist. He is a 20-year veteran of Canadian investment banks, including Merrill Lynch Canada, CIBC Wood Gundy and Macquarie Private Wealth (MPW). He was a highly ranked mutual fund analyst for 10 years and then, most recently, the head of a financial adviser support team at MPW. More


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