European Commission Solvency II

The European Commission has proposed shaking up how the EU’s insurance sector covers risk.

Solvency II aims to protect policyholders better and spur competition in the 27-nation European Union while making more efficient use of capital in the industry.

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Oil Supply Fears Sparked by Morgan Stanley

Oil prices soared at the end of the week amidst a report from Morgan Stanley that in a month’s time oil will reach 150/barrel. The question everyone is asking, who gave Morgan Stanley the big money to spark the fear for more oil?

The price of a barrel of oil surged almost $11 Friday, hitting a new record high of US$139.12 before settling at US$138.47.

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New Oil Messiah: AFS Trinity Power to Save America?

Hybrid Technology to Reduce US Oil Dependency?

Washington rejoice, hybrid technology will save you and America alike. Governor Chris Gregoire and other state and local officials are ringing praises for the new Messiah AFS Trinity Power from a cross country tour in which its XH-150 Plug-in Hybrid SUVs have been celebrated as the possible answer to record high fuel prices, U.S. oil dependence and motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions,

Will Car Manufacturers Prevent Production?


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US Housing Market Crash Fueling China’s Need for Copper?

Thieves in the US are stealing precious metals from empty homes and selling the metals to scrap yards to suffice global demands largely fueled by hungry China. Yes, Americans are fueling Chinese appetite for copper. Home foreclosures coincides with record highs in the price of copper and other metals which means homes coast-to-coast are being stripped for copper, aluminum, and brass by thieves. Much of it ends up with scrap metal traders who say nearly all copper gets shipped overseas, much of it to China and India.

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House Committee on US Housing Market

The House Committee on financial services had this to say about the US housing market situation.

Problems that began in the U.S. mortgage markets have led to the most serious international economic crisis since the late 1990s. Huge losses and concern about credit quality have spread far beyond the housing sector. America faces the prospect of a sharp recession, made all the likelier by the probable default of several million additional mortgages in the coming year and the resulting displacement of millions of families.

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March 2008 – Major US Rate Cut 2.25%

The U.S. Federal Reserve cut its key lending rate by three-quarters of a point, which isn’t as deep as some analysts had been expecting.

The federal funds rate, which is what banks charge each other for overnight loans, had been three per cent. Tuesday’s cut reduces that to 2.25 per cent. The Bank of Canada’s equivalent is 3.75 per cent.

The U.S. rate is now at its lowest point since 2004. The Fed has been employing some measures that haven’t been used since the 1930s to try to calm the markets.

World Oil Pirces on the Bubble?

Will Prices Collapse

A couple of topics are being discussed over in the Oil & Energy forum. The first is why hasn’t the high oil prices curtailed consumer demand for oil in relatively poor nations like China and India. The other question is do you think the world oil price (market) will collapse? Discuss your thoughts in the forum.

Head to the States to buy your home

Check out what we posted in October 2006. Nothing has changed other than lower interest rates in the US and more houses up for sale so grab them while you can. Only caveat? You need a job to pay the mortgage, and you need a mortgage :P

Hey Canada, looking to buy AND afford a nice house? well get out of Alberta and head down south of the border–well not quite. New home prices fell last month in the US by the largest amount in 35 years. The Commerce Department reported that the median price for a new home sold in September was $217,100, a decline of 9.7 percent from September 2005.

That was the lowest median home price in two years and the sharpest year-over-year decline since December 1970, providing dramatic evidence of the slowdown in the once-booming housing market.

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Canadians Get Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) in 2008 Budget

The new Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), revealed in the Conservative 2008 Budget starts in 2009 and gives Canadians aged 18 and older tax free contribution room of up to $5,000 annually (from their taxable income). The investment income, including capital gains, earned in a TFSA will not be taxed — even when withdrawn.

The plan also allows an investor to withdraw funds from the TFSA at any time and for any purpose. The withdrawal amount can then be put back at a later date without reducing contribution room for that year. Unused room can be carried forward to future years.

TFSA Good For Retirees


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Canadian Housing Market to Cool – Alberta Included

Alberta’s housing market is about to slowdown which should improve affordability in 2008, according to
a new housing report issued by RBC Economics. Since November, selling a house in Calgary has been difficult with a the slow buying period and overall lower demand.

RBC currently calculates the need for pre-tax household income for a detached bungalow to be 43 per cent, the standard two-story home to 46 per cent, and the standard townhouse to 33 per cent. The standard condo was the only segment to witness affordability improve to 28 per cent.

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