A tour guide to our blog
Thanks to the Globe and Mail “Best Financial Blog” contest, traffic on the site is up. For everyone who is new to the blog, here is a simple tour guide to some of the more popular subjects since we began this effort in September 2006 (popularity citations courtesy of mybloglog and general feedback):
BAD CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Business Development Bank of Canada – you may not believe it in the post-Gomery world, but this Crown Corp. is breaking the law and their own 1995 Act by competing with the private sector (see the humourous side of it “Solving the Ottawa – Ontario corporate bailout spat” March 10-08, the beginning of a weeklong series on the Rogue Crown Corp. “BDC Fact #1” December 3-07 and the most recent fact post “BDC Fact #10” March 4-08).
Banks – we were close to calling the bottom on CDN bank stocks (“Enough with pounding the CDN banks” March 6-08) as BMO and CIBC are up more than 20%, and Scotia, TD and Royal are up between 5 and 12% since March 6th; and then there was the time that BMOs SIV restructuring appeared to leak before a press release (“The market always knows” March 19-08).
BCE – everything you did or didn’t want to know about the pending takeover of BCE (from the first rumour “BCE takeover – only a matter of time” March 29-07, to our last post “Genuity ‘expects BCE deal to close’” May 6-08).
Bear Stearns – now just a memory, but we beat Reuters, the WSJ, Bloomberg, etc. on the rumour about the Bear’s pending insolvency (see “Bear rumour speaks volumes” March 10-08 and “U.S. Fed action comes too late to save Bear Stearns” March 14-08).
Income trusts – On Oct 11th, 2006 we again called for the income trust tax loophole to be plugged, and to the horror of investors across the land, Federal Finance Minister Flaherty did just that on October 31st (“Drip, drip, drip” October 11-06).
Lehman Brothers – what a topsy turvy week that was (see “It’s Lehman’s turn in the woodshed” March 17-08).
RIM – Canada’s $75 billion superstar (last post “Boy Genius: PR genius, but a disclosure nightmare” May 2-08 and this truism “No more RIM predictions” June 26-07).
Sandvine – CEO of the year (“Sandvine CEO named ‘Entrepreneur of the year’“), but ultimately blows up, flames out, and collapses (“Sandvine gets taken out and shot” March 7-08).
TD Bank – we get an exclusive look at a letter to Ed Clark from his Aunt, and she’s not happy about his skinny pay packet (“My dear Edmund” February 22-08).
BMO – the SIV disclosure was slow to come (“SIV values may mean more pain to come” January 16-08, “Joe & Jill Retail deserve to know BMO’s SIV exposure” February 17-08), but in the end it came (last post “BMO bares all part 2” February 19-08).
CIBC – how exactly did a dinky US$330 million “subprime exposure” wipe out $4 billion of shareholder capital? We never heard (“When US$330 million of subprime becomes US$1.7 billion at CIBC” November 13-07).
Coventree – hate to say we told you so (“The shorts will be out in force at COF” August 16-07). For some reason, Coventree’s business is over, but the stock still trades at $2.30.
Crunch Time – Craig had a sense of the credit bubble long before most other commentators (see “Too much credit where it’s not due?” February 12-07″) and then there was the panic that the Bank of Canada ignored (“‘Panic’ sets in to the debt markets” July 29-07).
Subprime – a new swear word (“Credit market mayhem parallels the S&L crisis” March 18-08).
Tighter Credit – we called it last winter, spring and summer (see “Too much credit where it’s not due?” February 12-07, “Credit where it’s not due – Part 2” February 17-07, “Maybe there is a credit bubble after all” June 1-07, “Credit Market turmoil and its effect on the overall Canadian economy” August 2-07), but no one cared (“Buckle up – the wheels have come off” August 13-07 and “The debt casino is open again” October 19-07).
Crocodile tears (“Bay Street Bonus Anxiety” December 11-07).
Big Dog Tech Job – this job might not be for the long term, but it’ll pay well until they kick you out the door (“Big Dog job alert in Tech I-Banking” February 21-08).
The Tech IPO window opened, and then shut again, in 2007 (“Tech IPOs coming back” June 12-07 and “Most 2006 and 2007 Tech IPO offerings are underwater” February 25-08).
The Taser is a ludicrous police tool, and we called the device into question long before the RCMP killed a Polish tourist at the Vancouver International Airport (“Taser gun sets man aflame” June 23-07 and “Is it the Taser or the mindset?” October 24-07).
Jason just loves his Apple, but I’m just not sure what’s up with Steve Jobs (“Steve Jobs finally gets his subpoena” September 21-07).
iPhone vs. the Curve (“iPhone Versus the Curve” July 21-07).
Make your truck go green (“Biodiesel – How burning fat is good for the environment” November 14-07).
UNREGULATED REGULATORS & OTHER FUNNY BUSINESS
Regulators pick on the small fry, but never seem to question the big fish. A touchy subject, but that’s what blogs are for (see “Canadian gumshoes ignore fraud & billions in losses” February 3-08).
Parroting the blogosphere (“Paul Kedrosky” April 18-07, “Is imitation truly flattering?” June 16-07 and “News flash!: Dead Tree Media unearths connection between subprime and corporate debt” June 27-07).
Is Regulation Services asleep at the switch? (“Has upticking returned to the TSX?” September 3-07 and “When does Regulation Services step in?” September 27-07).
VENTURE CAPITAL SWOON
The CPP Investment Board might be Canada’s very own pension plan, but don’t expect it to invest directly in Canadian technology funds (“Buyout vs. Venture returns” February 20-08 and “CPPIB Canadian general partner Q3 2007 performance numbers” February 11-08).
Geosign quietly hit the wall, and we heard them scream long before the DTM (“Has the deal of the year become a nightmare?” June 25-07).
Canada’s VC market is in crisis (last post “Solving the Start-up & VC malaise part 2” February 6-08).
And the Ontario Provincial Government is both partly to blame, and trying to fix the situation, all at the same time (see “Ontario politicians asked to address deteriorating VC climate” October 1-07 and the last post “$165MM MRI Fund: blessing or curse?” December 3-07).
As for all of the times that we got things wrong, or had lame blog days, the truth is this: we have full time jobs to contend with. The luxury of a blog is that you can quickly forget your errors and typos — tomorrow’s another day. Thanks for stopping by.
If you’ve enjoyed it, feel free to vote on the Globe’s site. Amy hates to lose.
Congrats on catching the spotlight. Keep up the good work.