All Trudeau has built with infrastructure program is towering expectations

first_img Kevin Carmichael Public administration is hard enough when all a government wants to do is tinker; a tax cut here, a few rule changes there, maybe a new trade agreement if the stars align.It is extremely difficult when the objective is transformative change; think Jean Chrétien’s and Paul Martin’s overhaul of Canadian fiscal policy in the 1990s or the exertions of the Democratic majority in Washington to introduce universal health care in 2010.This brings us to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s infrastructure program, the latest reminder that good ideas don’t implement themselves.In 2015, Trudeau told us voters that he would abandon balanced budgets in order to build roads, bridges, metro lines and other infrastructure that would make Canada’s economy bigger and more competitive. Canadian voters endorsed a return to deficit financing in surprisingly strong numbers. Four years later, many of those people must be disenchanted, notwithstanding what they might think of the prime minister’s ditching of electoral reform, his star-crossed sojourn in India, and his decision to take the side of the white men running SNC-Lavalin over the Indigenous woman running his justice department. Report raises fresh doubts over economic benefits of Trudeau’s $188 billion infrastructure plan What has Trudeau’s Infrastructure Bank achieved? A recycled loan and millions in expenses ‘We’re delivering’: Ottawa defends infrastructure program critics say has been hobbled by delays Trudeau took about $90 billion left unspent by Stephen Harper’s government, budgeted about $100 billion in new spending, and unveiled to much fanfare a record-setting commitment to infrastructure. Yet only about $19 billion of that money has been spent, the National Post’s Jesse Snyder reported on March 13, citing Infrastructure Canada data. The Parliamentary Budget Office reported last year that program was responsible for a “modest” increase in gross domestic product, and said this week that provinces appear to have used the promise of money from Ottawa as an excuse to reduce their own infrastructure budgets. Meanwhile, the budget deficit, which Trudeau once promised to erase by 2019, is about $20 billion and the economy nearly stalled in the fourth quarter.“Expectations were too high, they were unrealistic,” Mahmood Nanji, a former Ontario finance ministry official who now is director of the Lawrence Centre for Policy and Management at Ivey Business School, told me in a phone interview on March 14.Trudeau shares the same political lineage as Chrétien and Martin, and he and Obama reportedly became fast friends. Either those men are poor mentors, or Trudeau is an uninterested student, because he appears to have missed the most important lessons of the 1990’s budget cuts and the tortured history of Obamacare.The previous Liberal government’s austerity program was successful because Martin managed expectations, which helped him demonstrate success. That kept the public behind him.Obama and his highly educated advisers devised a program that survived Washington’s gauntlet of lobbyists, but they took the boring part — implementation — for granted. The website on which many Americans were to purchase their subsidized health plans crashed out of the gate, and it took months to get it working. The failure emboldened the Republican campaign to repeal the law. The Democratic Party lost control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and Obama never really recovered politically.Trudeau’s experience with infrastructure mirrors Obama’s star-crossed experiment with health policy. He had the right idea. Canada had been underfunding infrastructure for decades, and it showed in the country’s miserable productivity numbers. A significant body of research shows that spending that boosts competitiveness will pay for itself through stronger economic growth. Canada is better off now that the balanced-budget spell has been broken.But some politicians continue to see red ink as the answer to everything. And now, the fiscal zealots have the upper hand in the debate because the infrastructure program hasn’t delivered what was promised. “They developed an infrastructure policy with zero evidence or research on the economic benefits,” Matt Jeneroux, the Conservative infrastructure critic, said after the release of the latest critical PBO report.That matters. In January, Nanji and some co-authors at Ivey published a paper that aims to get policy makers thinking differently about infrastructure. They describe six macro risks that they contend are responsible for delays, poor decisions, and blown project budgets. One of those is political risk.Nanji reckons Canada needs to spend billions of dollars more a year than is currently budgeted to reach its economic potential. Yet it’s fair to wonder what would become of Trudeau’s existing infrastructure promises if he loses the election. Before the SNC-Lavalin scandal broke, the Opposition was spending most of its time making a fuss over the deficit. If the Conservatives win, and balancing the budget becomes a priority, the infrastructure program would be an obvious place to cut.“In good economic times, a balanced budget should be in the forefront of politicians’ minds,” said Nanji. However, given the infrastructure deficit, he added that politicians should be asking a different question: “What is a reasonable deficit that you can manage?”You reduce political risk by creating systems that shield strategic policy decisions from the election cycle.The Trudeau government has tended to blame the provinces for failing to figure out how they wanted to spend the money, but Ottawa should have seen it coming. Australia has an independent agency that assess what the country needs to maximize its economic potential. Nanji’s report proposes that Canada’s various levels of government could agree on a list of priority projects that are worth of funding, regardless of who is in power at any given time.Here’s the point: a country that is serious about infrastructure will remove politics from the equation to the greatest extent possible. Something for Trudeau to consider, if it isn’t already too late.• Email: | Twitter: Twitter Reddit All Trudeau has built with infrastructure program is towering expectations Kevin Carmichael: The point is, a country that is serious about infrastructure will remove politics from the equation to the greatest extent possible Share this storyAll Trudeau has built with infrastructure program is towering expectations Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn ← Previous Next → Recommended For YouAcasta Enterprises Announces $15.5 Million Reduction of Bank Indebtedness and Proposed New Commercial Bank Credit FacilitiesTrump administration freezing fuel efficiency penaltiesSandy Hook parents lose state court appeal against Newtown over school shootingLockheed Martin plans to expand Milwaukee plant workforce by 15%Gibraltar police release all crew members of detained Iranian tanker Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s infrastructure program is the latest reminder that good ideas don’t implement themselves, writes Kevin Carmichael.Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press/File March 15, 201910:56 PM EDTLast UpdatedMarch 16, 20192:52 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Emailcenter_img Facebook 26 Comments What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → Featured Stories advertisement Sponsored By: Comment Morelast_img read more

Down to Business podcast How Canadas largest sports company is grappling with

first_img If you have any questions about the show, or if there are topics you want us to tackle, email us: Down to Business podcast: Why the Canada-China trade relationship is making Canadian businesses uneasy Down to Business podcast: The real culprit behind Vancouver’s runaway real estate Emily Jackson 0 Comments Twitter Facebook Reddit More Email Welcome to Down to Business, a weekly podcast from the Financial Post.To celebrate the Toronto Raptors making the NBA finals, our sixth episode covers North America’s $70-billion sports market. Humza Teherany, the chief technology and digital officer at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, talks to host Emily Jackson about how technology is changing the business and fan experience of major league sports.You can listen below — or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play, where you can also subscribe to get new episodes every Wednesday morning. Down to Business podcast: How Canada’s largest sports company is grappling with digital disruption Episode 6 of the weekly podcast from the Financial Post Sponsored By: center_img Share this storyDown to Business podcast: How Canada’s largest sports company is grappling with digital disruption Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn May 29, 20196:44 AM EDT Filed under News FP Street Comment Join the conversation → Featured Stories advertisement Recommended For YouTwo top banks slash CannTrust price target in half because of Health Canada probeUPDATE 1-Weak economic data, rate cut expectations dampen sterlingBlockchain-based payments could help solve growth constraints in the burgeoning Esports industryJuror urges U.S. judge to uphold $80 mln Roundup verdict against BayerNew Gold Hosts Rainy River Site Tours ← Previous Next → What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generationlast_img read more

VW chooses SK Innovations as additional battery supplier for North America and

first_imgSource: VW Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine The Volkswagen Group has added South Korean battery cell manufacturer SK Innovation (SKI) to its stable of battery suppliers. SKI will supply the batteries for VW’s North American sales and a portion of the batteries for its European pure EVs.VW’s Roadmap E strategy calls for the Group to bring 50 new fully electric models to market by 2025. This will require battery capacity in excess of 150 GWh per year through 2025, which VW points out is equal to four times the annual capacity of Tesla’s Gigafactory.Along with SKI, the Volkswagen Group has chosen LG Chem and Samsung as battery partners for Europe – they’ll begin supplying batteries in 2019. SKI will cover VW’s battery demand in the North American market from 2022 on. VW has chosen Chinese battery giant CATL to supply batteries for the China market beginning in 2019.“With SK Innovation, LG Chem, Samsung and CATL, we have found strong partners for the long-term supply of cells for our electric vehicles,” said Board Member Stefan Sommer. “This lays the foundation for the transformation of the Volkswagen Group towards e-mobility.”last_img read more

Heres Whats Known Of Porsches Upcoming AllElectric SUV

first_img Porsche Cross Turismo Expected To Launch In 2021 It’s looking like Porsche will introduce its first pure-electric SUV in 2022, and here’s what we know so far.The all-electric Porsche Taycan is coming soon. Well, the plan is for it to go on sale in 2020. Following that effort, Porsche will release an all-new battery-electric SUV to compete with the Jaguar I-Pace. Apparently, the automaker is already in the development stages of its electric crossover, which will also work to compete with the Tesla Model X and Audi e-Tron, though the latter is under the same VW Group brand umbrella.Related Porsche Electric Content: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Porsche To Offer Electric SUV, Tesla Roadster Rival Too According to a recent article by What Car?, the upcoming Porsche electric SUV will come standard with all-wheel drive by way of two electric motors. In its base configuration, it will churn out some 400bhp and have a real-world range of 250 miles or more. These numbers parallel that of its corporate cousin, the Audi e-Tron, which comes as no surprise. In addition, several variants will be available, with a top-of-the-line model pushing some 600bhp, but potentially less range.The SUV will follow in the footsteps of the current Macan, although it will be an all-new offering. Essentially, it will be a four-door crossover with seating for five people. It will be sized much like the Macan, but offer the cargo volume of the current Porsche Cayenne. Fortunately, the EV powertrain will allow for more available space due to the lack of a large internal combustion engine.Porsche already announced that it will offer an electrified variant of all of its vehicles by 2023, so this all-new SUV will have to be released ahead of that timeline if the brand is going to stay true to its word. Unless, of course, the automaker decides to come to market with another plug-in hybrid or traditional hybrid SUV by 2023.What Car? assumes the upcoming crossover will share similar pricing with the current Cayenne E-Hybrid.Source: What Car? Source: Electric Vehicle News Porsche Taycan Electric Range: Distance You Can Drive In 24 Hourslast_img read more

CATL FAW Group Set Up Battery Joint Venture

first_img CATL Delivered China’s Largest 100 MWh Battery Energy Storage CATL Signs Battery Venture Deal With Volvo Owner Geely The joint venture was founded at the end of January, involving a registered capital of RMB2 billion. CATL and FAW Group hold 51% and 49% stake in CATL-FAW with respective contribution of RMB1.02 billion and RMB980 million. The new joint venture’s business scope covers the development, production and sale of lithium ion battery, power battery, energy storage battery with ultra-large capacity and battery system as well as relevant after-sale services and technology consultation.Qu Tao, a board member of Dongfeng-CATL (Wuhan) Battery System Co.,Ltd, take the posts of chairman and general manager of CATL-FAW.CATL will invest 240 million euro in a battery factory near Erfurt, eastern Germany, said to start production in 2021 with an initial capacity of 14GWh per hour. The battery maker recently disclosed that capacity for its German factory will be expanded to 60GWh by 2026, according to recent reports.Up until now, CATL has built joint ventures with Geely, SAIC Motor, GAC Group and Dongfeng Motor. It also formed partnerships with such global automakers as BMW, Daimler, Groupe PSA, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, etc.Source: Gasgoo CATL just keeps on growing.China-based power battery provider Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) and the state-owned carmaker FAW Group have set up a joint venture dubbed CATL-FAW Power Battery Company (CATL-FAW), according to, a Chinese data search platform.More CATL News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 3, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News China’s CATL & Honda Sign Massive EV Battery Deal Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

The Fallacy That The FCPA Was Dormant For Decades

first_img FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Learn More & Register More importantly, try telling the following approximate 80 individuals charged with FCPA violations between 1978 and 2003 that the FCPA was dormant. Their real lives, real careers, real reputations, and real pocketbooks were changed because of the supposedly dormant FCPA. There is a common narrative in certain circles that the FCPA was dormant for its first 20-25 years. Five minutes of simple research provides the following examples.The FCPA was passed in 1977 but “the statute effectively lay dormant for years.”“For over two decades the FCPA rested mostly dormant.”“First enacted in 1977 in a wave of post-Watergate anti-corruption sentiment, the FCPA had laid dormant and relatively forgotten until the early 2000s …”Most recently, a guest post on the FCPA Blog states: “[The FCPA] lay nearly dormant for pretty much a quarter of a century before it was picked up, dusted off and used by prosecutors.”Granted enforcement of the FCPA from its enactment until circa 2004 was generally less than enforcement since 2004 (for obvious practical reasons discussed at the end of this post). However, the narrative that the FCPA was dormant for nearly 20-25 years is a fallacy as highlighted in this post.Try telling the following approximate 40 business organizations charged with FCPA violations between 1978 and 2003 that the FCPA was dormant.Katy IndustriesPage AirwaysKenny InternationalInternational Systems & ControlsTesoro PetroleumInternational HarvesterCrawford EnterprisesRuston Gas TurbinesC.E. Miller Corp.Sam P. Wallace Inc.Applied Process Products OverseasW.S. Kirkpatrick Inc.Silicon ContractorsAshland OilGoodyear InternationalYoung & RubicamNapco InternationalHarris Corp.F.G. Mason EngineeringEagle Bus ManufacturingGeneral ElectricLockheed Corp.Vitusa Corp.MontedisonTriton EnergyControl Systems SpecialistSayboltMetcalf & EddyInternational Materials SolutionsIBMUNC / Lear ServicesSyncorChiquita Brands InternationalBaker HughesKPMG SiddhartaAmerican RiceBellSouthAmerican Bank Holographics, Inc Finbar KennyCharles MillerDonald CrawfordWilliam HallMario GonzalezRicardo BeltranAndres GarciaGeorge McLean (see here and here for a Q&A with McLean)Luis UriarteAl EysterJames SmithAlfonso RodriguezHarry CarpenterArthur KleinThomas SpangenbergSteven McKennaRichard LieboRobert GurinJoaquin PouJose GuaschJohn BlondekVernon TullJohn IacobucciRonald SchultzGeorge MortonDanny HerzbergSuleiman NassarAllen LoveDavid MeadFrerik PluimersDarrold CritesThomas QualeyDavid KayJoshua CantorDaniel RothrockRichard HalfordAlbert ReitzRobert KingPablo HernandezHerbert TannenbaumDouglas MurphyRamendra BasuGautam SenguptaRichard PitchfordJames GiffenHans BodmerClayton LewisThomas FarrellRobert ThomsonJames ReillyJames WilmotGerald WilmotDouglas JustonRoss ChapinJames LawlerRichard OlneyWallace CarrollMelvan JacobsJ. Thomas KenneallyHerman FrietschRaymond HofkerAlbert AnguloHarlan SteinRobert BucknerOrin AtikinsPhillip KeeverRichard McAdooDavid GoreRobert PuetzWilliam McClureRobert MurphyEric MattsonJames HarrisSonny HarsonoLawrence TheriotJoshua CantorJoseph SchwartzJoel MalebrancheAllen SturdivantGranted enforcement of the FCPA from its enactment until circa 2004 was generally less than enforcement since 2004. However, there are obvious practical reasons for this.More International BusinessThe FCPA is a law most logically implicated when doing business in international markets. In the FCPA’s modern era, business organizations (large and small and across a variety of industry sectors) are doing more business in international markets than ever before.More Companies and Individuals Subject to the FCPAAnother practical reason for the general increase in FCPA enforcement in the modern era is that more companies and individuals are subject to the FCPA than ever before.  Foreign companies with shares listed on U.S. exchanges are subject to the  books and records and internal controls provisions as well as the anti-bribery provisions to the extent a bribery scheme has a U.S. nexus.  When the FCPA was passed in 1977 and for many years thereafter, few foreign companies had shares listed on a U.S. exchange, but in the FCPA’s modern era approximately 1,000 foreign companies have shares listed on U.S. exchanges.  Indeed, most of the top FCPA enforcement actions in terms of settlement amounts have been against foreign companies.In addition, in 1998 the FCPA was amended resulting in certain other foreign companies and foreign nationals becoming subject to the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions to the extent a bribery scheme has a U.S. nexus.  Enforcement agencies have invoked this newest prong of the FCPA in bringing enforcement actions against, among others, companies from Korea, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Russia and China, as well as citizens of Japan, the United Kingdom, and Israel.More Resolution VehiclesFor most of the FCPA’s history the DOJ had two choices when faced with conduct that might implicate the FCPA: prosecute or do not prosecute. (See here for a podcast with former FCPA Chief Joseph Covington).  In this new era, the additional options of NPAs and DPAs (and even more recently declinations with disgorgement) dominate FCPA enforcement and use of these alternative resolution vehicles is one of the more obvious reasons for the general upward trend in FCPA enforcement.  For instance, the former chief of the DOJ’s FCPA unit stated that if the DOJ did not have the option of resolving FCPA enforcement actions with NPAs or DPAs the DOJ “would certainly bring fewer cases.” Likewise, the OECD Report stated that “it seems quite clear that the use of these agreements is one of the reasons for the impressive FCPA enforcement record in the U.S.”Sarbanes OxleyThe passage of Sarbanes Oxley (“SOX”) in 2002 is also one of the practical reasons for the increase in FCPA enforcement.  Enacted in the aftermath of several corporate financial scandals, Section 404 of SOX (“Management of Assessment of Internal Controls”) requires issuers to assess and report on the effectiveness of its internal controls over financial reporting. Among other things, the SOX requirement caused issuers to more actively assess internal controls across its business operations particularly in foreign subsidiaries because such books and records are consolidated with the issuers for purposes of financial reporting. Such assessments have resulted in questionable payments or transactions being reported to corporate headquarters and SOX was specifically cited by the DOJ as one of the reasons for the increase in FCPA enforcement.  During a 2010 Senate FCPA hearing, a DOJ representative stated:“We are getting a significant number of disclosures from corporations about their own criminal conduct.  I think that, in part, relates to the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, which encourages corporations to review their own books and records.”Similarly, during a 2011 House FCPA hearing, the same DOJ representative stated:“At least one likely cause for this increase in cases is disclosures by companies consistent with their obligations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires senior corporate officers to certify the accuracy of their financial statements.  This has led to more companies discovering FCPA violations and making the decision to disclose them to the SEC and DOJ.”ContextIn analyzing the general increase in enforcement in the modern era, context is also important. For instance, just two relatively newly invented enforcement theories have yielded approximately 30 corporate enforcement actions. Those two theories are the notion that individuals associated with certain foreign healthcare systems, such as physicians, are “foreign officials” and the notion that providing internships or jobs to family members of alleged “foreign officials” equates to bribery.Moreover, the following context is also important.Just a few unique historical events had a significant impact on FCPA enforcement statistics between 2007 and 2011.  The events were: (i) publication in 2005 of the so-called Volcker Report on the United Nations Iraq Oil for Food Program which served as a ready-made list of enforcement actions; (ii) in 2003, a former top official at French oil and gas company Technip shared information with French investigators concerning a $6 billion dollar project at Bonny Island, Nigeria; and (iii) several oil and gas companies utilized the services of Panalpina.The combined effect of just these three unique historical events resulted in 26 corporate enforcement actions (35% of all corporate enforcement actions and 55% of the settlement amounts during the time period 2007-2011).Other FactorsOther factors that have contributed to increased FCPA enforcement include foreign law enforcement cooperation, changes in technology and increased monitoring and reporting of business conduct by non-governmental organizations, civil society, and the media.last_img read more