Assessing the Toronto MoneyShow and the New Gold Rush

Mark Skousen

Mark Skousen, Ph. D., is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

I just returned from speaking at the Toronto MoneyShow and was very impressed with how the private and public sectors work together to make the largest city in Canada a real showcase of success — especially the downtown area.

There not only are lots of great restaurants, hotels, museums and office buildings, but also well-kept parks, roads devoid of potholes and excellent public transportation, including upscale subways and a train in downtown Union Square that goes directly to the Toronto international airport every 20 minutes (I paid a $6 senior rate). Toronto even has an underground mall.

In fact, Toronto recently was ranked as the world’s most livable city, albeit expensive and freezing cold during the winter. Contrast that to New York City, which seems to make no improvement in its transportation system, no matter who is mayor. Every street has potholes galore, and there still is no direct train between LaGuardia airport and Grand Central Station.

New York Mayor de Blasio, who is up for reelection, could learn a lot by visiting Toronto. I’m always amazed that any mayor of New York gets re-elected, because no matter who is mayor, Republican or Democrat, the roads and transportation system get worse. There are huge potholes on practically every road.

I once asked one of my students at Chapman University who was from Germany, “When was the last time you saw a pothole on the roads in Germany?” His answer: “I never have.” That’s because the Germans do it right. In the United States, they renew the road budget every year and give it to the lowest bidder. As a result, we have terrible roads in New York. It’s time for real change and not just talk about making America great again.

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The New Gold Rush in Commodities

Given that Canada’s economy is so heavily commodity based, many of the discussions at the MoneyShow  were on the outlook for gold, oil and the base metals, most of which are in a bullish uptrend since Trump was elected. Base metals copper, zinc and aluminum fell last week, but most view it as a correction in a new bull market. Even rare earth/strategic metals that were all the rage five years ago are making a comeback and we are making good money in this sector in the FMA. (Learn more about FMA by clicking here).

Update from last week’s Skousen CAFE: I was glad to see that the arcane Jones Act (see my latest Skousen CAFE article) was suspended for Hurricane Irma, allowing foreign ships to deliver much needed fuel to the Florida area. I hope the Trump administration will suspend it indefinitely.

You Blew It!

Bank of America Is Too Timid to Mention Prayer

Like millions of Americans, I have an account with Bank of America.

In response to the recent natural disasters hitting Texas and Florida, the company released the following statement in its voice messages: “Our thoughts are with communities impacted by recent hurricanes.”

Are Bank of America executives so worried about offending their atheist clients that they can’t say “Our thoughts AND PRAYERS are with communities impacted by recent hurricanes?” I called their 800 number to ask, and they had no comment.

Contrast Bank of America with Crystal cruises, which had a much more personal response:

To our Dear Crystal Family,
All of us at Crystal are thinking of everyone affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and are praying that you and your families are kept safe and healthy. We are hopeful that those in the southeast United States will be spared Irma’s wrath as well.
We have been watching the progress closely and have been in contact with all of our Crystal Family both ashore and on board to keep them apprised of the situation as the hurricane passes through the area.
Please know that you are all on our minds.
Until then, keep you and your loved ones safe. We are all in this together.
With care and concern,
Edie Rodriguez and your Crystal Family
CEO and President

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