Letter from the Editor Issue 69

Winter 2008 CSANews Issue 69  |  Posted date : Dec 23, 2008.Back to list

Whew! Just in time! The price of gas came down from the stratosphere to the merely exorbitant level of a buck a litre, just in time for the annual snowbird migration. I am totally unable to understand why we send billions of dollars to our enemies, for oil, when we could drill holes in the ground to access the heat of the earth's core. This is called geothermal energy and it is being used right now in several parts of the United States. Surely, with our ever-expanding knowledge of technology, this could be one component on a fast track to energy sufficiency in North America. Someone told me that, if implemented properly, geothermal energy could provide enough energy for millions and millions of years. Sounds good to me.

Of course, in every bright sky there seems to be a cloud, and that is the totally illogical strength of the US dollar over the past few weeks. From a very comfortable exchange rate of PAR (sounds like a golf game), the Canadian dollar dropped precipitously to $0.75. This is in the face of billions of U.S. dollars being printed in the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving's basement to bail out every financial institution we could think of, and there are more bailouts to come. I believe this U.S. dollar strength is a very temporary "correction" based on a huge demand for the U.S. dollars needed to shore up the U.S. financial system and corporate balance sheets. Governments and companies of all kinds are bringing their overseas money back home to prepare for the tough times ahead and, when that U.S. dollar buying is done, the U.S. dollar should dramatically weaken to reflect the effect of the dollar printing presses. Unfortunately, this money printing is also highly inflationary and we will eventually see increasing interest rates, in my opinion. Since the vast majority of Medipac's medical claims are paid in U.S. dollars, we are hoping, nay praying, that the Canadian dollar recovers quickly. There is also upward pressure on premium rates, due to the U.S. dollar strength, but so far we are holding the line. Our Early Bird insurance purchasers made a great choice, again.

As a last comment, many of us have lost a significant part of our retirement investments in these crazy financial markets and it is far too late to think of selling our stocks and bonds. It appears that we are very close to the bottom of the stock market trough and I have personally started to make some small stock purchases over the past few days. The gold stocks have particular appeal to me as I am not sure anyone really knows what a dollar is worth any more. It is just a piece of paper, after all.

We have all experienced tough times but we, surprisingly, always seem to end up in a much better situation once they pass. This "crisis" will hopefully be a short one; let's continue to enjoy our lives while we wait for it to pass.

May I wish you and your families good health, happiness and prosperity for the New Year.

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