The futures market is down, and I look at that with ease since I have plenty of cash sitting in the sidelines again. But then an article caught my eyes. What was of interest to me is the following:
Auch Matthias Brinkmann ist ein intimer Kenner der Schweiz. Seit 1996 betreute der Deutsche den «Swiss Desk» bei der EU-Kommission. Als Beamter und Referatsleiter war er bei allen bilateralen Verhandlungen der letzten Jahre mit dabei. Am 1. September wechselt Brinkmann nun aber in die EU-Vertretung im kanadischen Ottawa.
If you can’t read German what it is saying, paraphrasing, is that Matthias Brinkmann is switching to the EU embassy in Ottawa. Your reaction would probably be, “yeah and?”
You need to go back a bit in history Matthias Brinkmann stationed himself in Switzerland around 1996. At that time Switzerland rejected the EU and became notoriously independent. Fast forward to today, and Switzerland is part of Schengan, has freedom of movement, and trade. Essentially Switzerland is an EU member without being an actual EU member.
I remember the mood around 1996 in Switzerland. It was not good and that is why my wife and I left in 1998. We could not get a permit and things just were not nice. But then Switzerland changed.
One of the individuals who pioneered this was Mathias Brinkmann. He pulled off the impossible. Could he be traveling to Canada to do the same thing? I say yes he is. Quebec has already started.
It will soon be easier for workers from Quebec and France to go live and work in each others’ jurisdictions. A new manpower mobility agreement, signed by Quebec Premier Jean Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, will deregulate a dozen professions and almost as many trades in both France and Quebec so that foreign job applicants can be fast-tracked into the labour market. Both governments have agreed to accept the equivalence of each others’ degrees and training certificates for certain occupations.
Quebec and France put out their feelers and things seemed to work out. Now Canada will be the next goal.
So why Canada? Simple; resources, and another export nation. Canada has nearly 35 million people and is the size of a European nation. Simply put Canada is not insignificant. Additionally from Canada, European countries can sell to the US or Mexico. Sound crazy? I am not so sure.
Ok so if Europeans setup shop in Canada to sell to Americans how can this be a decoupling? Look at the GDP numbers, Germany ticked up, Japan ticked up. The Swiss retail sales numbers went up year over year. I am thinking that things are not so bad in the remainder of the world.
And while America is trying to figure itself out the European Union, China, India, Brazil, and Russia are staking out a new world economic order. Here is what I think will happen. If America manages to get its act together by next year then everything will be same ol’ same ol’. BUT if America does not manage to get things going then there will be a decoupling. The ramifications of this are going to be profound and I don’t want to make any further predictions until I have seen more.