The CBC contacted me for my thoughts on the events this week, and in particular, the impact on the Canadian economy.
They invited folks to write in with their questions. As you can see, many people are worried about the safety of their investments.
I take the first question — about whether there is a panic out there — and try and put things into perspective.
“I remain quite the optimist about the potential for economic growth worldwide. There are 650 million people worldwide entering middle class through the next decade, and there are a lot of growth markets that emerge with that. Health care, the environment, energy — all of these industries are immersed in very rapid scientific advancement and fast paced innovation, with new discoveries, and hence new markets.
I’m dealing with global manufacturing companies who are moving beyond market commoditization and the impact of Asia, by focusing on more sophisticated product and higher-value skills. I spend a lot of time with a variety of global companies that seek my guidance, and certainly see that despite financial market turmoil, there’s a lot of growth out there.
Think about it another way — we’ve had quite a few “large scale economic hits” which have whacked the stock market over the last ten years. The Asian currency collapse in 1998 caused havoc with global markets.
Then there was the dot.com implosion in 2000. There was a lot of concern with the telecom meltdown a few years later — remember Nortel and the hit to the pocketbook of many Canadians? Not to forget the huge market downturn which occurred with 9/11.
Things are moving at light-speed out there, but remember — when it comes to trends and the future, there are short term events but long term trends. The former can often by scary as heck; the latter are often calmer.