Ready, Set, . . . Get Ready

(Sooo, Whaddya Know)

So, what do you know?

Definitely busy times, that’s for sure. This you know.

Life was just cruising along so smoothly that no one even noticed. This too we know.

Jobs were available for everyone – each according to their own particular parts. Sure, we all kept an eye on our gas tanks with an eye on having enough to get where we were going. We checked our fridge as to cover today’s supper. We kept up on personal care items, made sure the lawnmower was full and that the lawn was trimmed and that we had propane for the BBQ. Where applicable, we made sure the children were groomed, fed, well-mannered and on time. We made plans and maybe even put a little away for the future.

We accepted the fads and trends as they came along and some of them managed to stay with us: Skirt lengths up or down, smaller cell phones, larger cell phones, intricate video games and wayyy more special FX in movies to compensate for repetitive themes. Computers got smaller and faster. Cordless tool batteries last longer and sweatpants became yoga pants. (Not complaining) We can even get our  turn-signal light bulb replaced at the dealership -at dealership shop rate – if we don’t care to read an owner’s manual.

Men wearing make-up. Women being men. Using pronouns.

People became accustomed to an abundance in economy and a slow liberalization of society. 

These things we also know but didn’t care to dwell on.  We ‘Westerners”.

Life was good!


                                                                   Black Swan Events Definition

The term “black swan” – popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – refers to unpredictable events with often catastrophic consequences. According to Taleb, the traits of a black swan event are:

Rarity – They are rare and unpredictable. (So are actual black swans)

Unseen outliers may result in severe consequences. Dominoes might fall.

Retrospective Bias. The idea behind the so-called “black swan theory” is NOT to attempt to predict such improbable events, but rather to be more defensive. Cover all bases.

If such events ever take place, we must be sure there are measures already in place to limit possible losses, if well-positioned.  Therefore, a sound strategy entails minimizing losses while placing bets to capitalize on irregular events, akin to a venture capitalist in pursuit of “home runs” to offset potential losses.

In the case of investing in your personal and familial affairs, a few examples of Black Swans (i.e.) risk measures are:

Digital Age “Dot Com” Era Rise of the Internet, Adoption of Personal Computing, Mobile Phones.

Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.  Covid. Russian incursion into Ukraine.

2008 Global Financial Crisis – the “Great Recession”

The “dot com” era consisted of a recession once the bubble finally popped.

In other words, it all depends on the perspective and information (Whaddya know) on hand for whether an event is a “Black Swan” event or not.

While COVID-19 itself was unpredictable, more measures could have been put in place to prevent the spread of a potential virus. While unexpected, Pandemics are unlikely to happen, but could still be prepared for). Ultimately, one cannot completely predict and understand the cause of a Black Swan event, or how the event will play out – but the point is that protective measures should be taken for downside protection in anticipation of unexpected events *Adapted for brevity, theme and clarity, from                                                                      

In the great scheme of things 99% of Westerners have never really known hunger. We have become accustomed to abundance and variety and too much waste. Our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. Due to the convenience of processed and fast-food, many of us cannot even cook a proper meal. Never mind preparing. The food bank is nearby. Food is just a truck delivery away. Most of us have zero knowledge of dealing or bartering. How about foraging?

And how many reading this article have any links to any underground economy or source buying. How many of us even understand the how and why of inflation? How many of us do any small bit of research on commodity prices or shipping or of the current media fear-demic of global war over Russia actively repatriating parts of the (Russian Province of) Ukraine which were stolen in 2014, and concurrently destroying the few small areas of Nazification and egregious organized global crime – and in the process, totally obliterating all talk of the Pandemic in one fell swoop. And where the heck did global warming disappear to? And where is this all leading? Are we to see Government price fixing as has recently happened in Venezuela? Will food ‘allowances’ be implemented by some digital phone app. as happened with vax passports? Will we all experience more of that ‘for the greater good’- with food cops coming to take inventory of our home freezer?

And add inflation (declining purchasing power of the dollar) to all of it. . . the cost of food, fuel price increases, rising interest rates, stagnant wages.                                              

Ukraine and Russia, major producers of chemical fertilizer have stopped shipping outside of their own countries – giving Brazil heart palpitations due to vast fields of inorganic crops. Russia will cease selling grain crops to Europe. China has stopped outbound shipments of computer chips and will likely take Taiwan in order to secure a proper supply and to ‘clean up’ more global criminal cabals in Taipei.

Canada expects a 35% decrease of wheat in the coming season yet will still ship and trade according to ‘obligations to foreigners’ – without fertilizer.  Don’t get me started on insane oil production restrictions.

Sooo, which countries will run out of food first?  .   What will become of global shipping?

And what of jobs on the whole? What’s to come with the rapid increase of robotics and tech which augment or even replace us lazy, demanding humans? We hear much ado over how life will be sooo META easy once a universal basic income (stress basic) comes into place to finalize our servitude and forced allegiance to governments of all stripes.


The storm is here. It may last some time. It is a necessary storm and a cleansing one as well. Best to be as prepared as you can be according to your means. Family bonds are paramount in these times. Community is next.

Scotia’s Derek Holt on Implications For Bank of Canada of Today’s CPI (Consumer Price Index) Derek Holt, Vice-President & Head of Capital Markets Economics, has recalled the BoC’s (Bank of Canada) January MPR forecast that Q1 inflation would be 5.1% y/y. Instead it is tracking 5.5% to 5.6% y/y. “Never-ending serial upside surprises to BoC inflation forecasts won’t sit well as the Bank of Canada’s inflation forecasters have been constantly playing catch-up,” he said. And, he added: “What that says to me is that the BoC needs to expedite its tightening.”

As he had previously written, Holt said the BoC should not see shutting down its reinvestment program — which is likely to occur at the April meeting — as a substitute for hiking the policy rate in a ‘rate equivalence sense’. Holt noted there is no ‘rate equivalence’ as argued by their own staff’s research on the GBPP purchase program’s effects and based on the stylized facts that point to no meaningful change in Canada-US bond yield spreads during the period in which the BoC was gradually bringing net purchases down to zero while the Fed kept on buying Treasuries and MBS by the truckload.

According to Holt, the BoC needs to show it is serious about inflation risk and adhering to its mandate with a larger move than just 25bps in April, like 50-75bps. (BPS = Basis points. 50 bps = ½%) increase in interest rates.     

*A 7.5 % inflation rate eliminates one month’s salary.


So, if you’ve taken the time to access the links provided above, . . . What do you know now that you didn’t just a short time ago? Will you be ready?

Maurice St. Jean

Editor   2022-03-16


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