Dr. Kenneth Courtis is a Canadian who has had a distinguished career as an academic, an analyst, and commentator on the global economy, particularly Asia, where he has lived for the last thirty years, as investment banker, and as an investor. He has taught at universities in Europe, the US, Asia, and was tenured professor at l’Universite Laval. He subsequently was chief economist at Deutsche Bank, Vice Chairman at Goldman Sachs, and is now Chairman of Starfort Investment Holdings, which has interests in corporate advisory, private equity, funds management, and global commodity markets. Dr. Courtis keeps a close eye on the Canadian economy and politics.
Dr. Courtis, whom I’ve known for thirty years, was recently in touch. Here is his assessment of the Harper Government’s mismanagement of the Canadian economy as seen from abroad. The points he made in his email are comparable to the section headings of a PowerPoint presentation and it reads like a haiku. Overall his assessment is clear and to the point:
“Economy in recession
Dollar in a death spiral
Bet the country on high risk, high cost tar sands oil
Betting the country now on residential real estate — and the highest household debt level of any developed country — and this going to end in tears
Has become irrelevant to the relevant issues on the international agenda
I could do on, but isn’t this an open and shut case for extraordinary mismanagement?”