Tuesday, October 15 Commentary
Investors, money mangers, politicians and central bankers around the globe paying very close attention to what is going on in Washington D.C. today.
Negotiations between the White House and Republicans in the House of Representatives went right off the rails on the weekend so some key Senators picked up the ball and it appears they have the framework for an agreement to enable the federal government reopened and avert an American default on its loans.
This is by no means a permanent solution, just a stop gap measure and they still have to work out the fine points, especially the timelines about when tasks are to be completed.
A powerful earthquake last night in the central Philippines.
The unofficial body count thus far is 85.
The epicentre of the 7.2 magnitude quake was 56 kilometres beneath the island of Bohol where there are collapsed buildings, also across the strait in Cebu.
That's reporter Barnaby Lo in Manilla. Since the big quake, there have been more than a hundred aftershocks.
In the summer of 2010, 25-year old Reyal Jardine-douglas of Pickering was on a TTC bus acting irrationally. Police were called. He pulled a knife and ignored their orders. They shot and killed him. His family says Jardine-Douglas suffered paranoia.
In the fall of 2011, 52-year old Sylvia Klibingaitis of Toronto called 9-1-1 saying she was bipolar and wanted to kill herself. When Police arrived she came out with a knife and threatened officers. She was shot to death.
In the winter of 2012, 29-year old Michael Eligon escaped from hospital where had been admitted involuntarily under the Mental Health Act. He stole a pair of scissors from a convenience store while he was on the run. He ignored police orders to drop the scissors and yelled something like "one of you is going to die". He too was shot to death.
A Coroner's Inquest begins today into those three deaths...because in all three instances the victims appeared to have mental health problems; all were carrying weapons and refused police orders to stop.
The inquest has no legal authority to assess blame for the deaths...only make recommendations. The Ontario Special Investigations Unit has already cleared police in each case.
The Federal Government in its quest to hang on to the reigns of power in the 2015 election will reach out to consumers in tomorrow's Throne Speech. Expect to hear promises of a cap on roaming fees for cellphones, some sort of move on the price gap in retail pricing between Canada and the U.S. and a pledge to give TV viewers a lot more choice in cherry picking the stations they want instead of being forced to buy packages of stations, many of which you never watch.
On the surface it sounds great. I can get all the channels I want and not bother with the channels I consider to be garbage.
Beware what you wish for because the way things are now the packages cross-subsidize each other so the least popular one's can survive. Michael Geist, a law prof in Ottawa says pick and pay may mean the cost of individual channels will go up. In his words "there might b a bit of sticker shock on any individual channel." In his words to the Globe: "it would certainly shake up the marketplace."
Rogers tried this two years ago in London. You get the basic cable service which includes all the channels the CRTC forces Rogers to carry....that was 20 dollars a month. Then there were "digital mix packs" 15 channels for 26 dollars, 20 channels for 29 bucks, 30 channels for 33 dollars...you pick each one. However there are also theme packs and premium packs such as Movie Packs and Sports Packs.
So the question comes down to...would you pay more per channel for the specific channels you want or pay less per channel for some of what you want and some of what you don't want.