Wednesday roundup

Zero Hedge attacks Canada (again), why you shouldn’t use a mortgage broker, reasons for an emergency fund and what’s up with the Permanent Portfolio?



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A finance blogger who writes under the alias Tyler Durden on the Zero Hedge blog took aim last week at Canada’s Big Banks, questioning their tiny tangible-capital ratios. Concerned? Don’t be, says the Globe and Mail’s Fabrice Taylor. As a rule, banks are leveraged to the hilt, and Canada’s banks are as cozy with each other as they are with the government-to the point of oligopoly. They’re about as safe as a stock can be.

Staying with Zero Hedge, the blog is ruffling feathers north of the border again by suggesting that Canadian economists are out to lunch when they refer to negative Q2 economic data as “transitory”.

“Odd how the US used the transitory line for months until it all turned out to be permanentory,” the blog said. Its authors believe Canada is headed for a recession, while Canadian economists blame the -0.4% Q2 growth on declining exports and short-term issues such as the Japan earthquake and shutdowns in the energy sector.

If you’re thinking of using a mortgage broker for your next real estate deal, Echo of Boomer and Echo has four reasons why you should do it on your own.

• If you’re debating whether or not you need (or should start) an emergency fund, Mike Holman at MoneySmarts blog offers his reasons for biting the bullet.

Ever heard of the Permanent Portfolio? Canadian Couch Potato provides a rundown of the investing strategy that calls for investors to hold equal amounts of stocks, long-term government bonds, gold and cash. The secret is mixing volatile investments to create a low-volatility portfolio. Call it financial alchemy … a good read, in any event.

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