Friday, December 12, 2008

Bailout Coordination

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is quoted in the Globe this morning as saying that "panicking and making the wrong choices would be devastating for the Canadian economy."

There is a lot of irony in Flaherty's timing. The American administration is poised to move ahead with an auto bailout today, even without the support of Congress. In the tightly integrated North American auto industry, Canada's failure to coordinate on the bailout could have devastating effects on manufacturers north of the border. The US is essentially providing a $50B subsidy - and its goal is to protect US jobs. This is not the time for the Canadian government to be frozen in an ideological bullheaded refusal to act, and yet it is. Far from "panicking," Flaherty is lost in some rightist la-la land, hoping that if he can just keep cutting spending everything will somehow work itself out.

Update: Later the same day... the bailout is announced. Thanks goodness. I think in this situation there is really no alternative for Canada, once the US announces a bailout in such an integrated industry.

No comments: