Quarterly Bulletin Q4 – 2018

December 31, 2018

By mid-December stock markets had become so volatile that the financial markets were under a cloud of fear. Despite a rally that began on Christmas Eve, the markets racked up record losses for the month of December and were down sharply for the year. At year end, the S&P/TSX composite total return index was down 5.4% on the month, and down 8.9% on the year. The bond markets were also buffeted from all sides.

Quarterly Bulletin Q3 – 2018

September 30, 2018

Concerns that hacking represents a national security risk have become so serious that we now need to factor them into our transactions in the mergers and acquisitions market. An unusually high rate of failed transactions led us to examine why this happened, and we have taken the necessary measures to manage this risk.

Quarterly Bulletin Q2 – 2018

June 30, 2018

Throughout the second quarter there were hopes that the U.S. administration would finally understand that imposing tariffs, first on steel and aluminum and then on a long list of Chinese products, could only be bad for both the U.S. economy and the global economy. This hope quickly faded. The trade war between the U.S. and China began on July 6, when President Trump confirmed that he was imposing tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth: as promised, China’s leaders quickly responded by imposing tariffs on the same amount of goods. However, the Americans then raised the stakes, announcing new tariffs on products worth another $200 billion, only to be quickly matched by the Chinese. With the improvisation and chaos that seem to govern decision-making at the White House, it is impossible to have any sense of where this trade war will end. What we do know is that an economic shock is inevitable.

Quarterly Bulletin Q1 – 2018

March 31, 2018

We have known for several quarters that volatility would return to financial markets eventually, and it finally did in February, with a vengeance. The S&P 500 VIX volatility index, wich slumbered below its historical average of 16 for almost all of 2017 and even began under 10, shot up as 50 in early February.