The Great White North shakes off its historical politesse and starts kicking ass, financial-style. Will the rest of the world listen?
What's up with Canada? They're strutting all over the global stage these days. Finance minister Jim Flaherty has telegraphed to this week's G20 meeting that he thinks the rest of the Western world should get its act together and finish the package of global financial reforms laid out in Toronto in June. And Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on record supporting U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's proposal that G20 countries adopt limitations on the size of their trade surpluses or deficits, in effect arguing against currency devaluations that juice local economies at the expense of countries with stronger currencies. These guys mean business.
Given the dire state of the American economy, Geithner's arguments for currency relief don't exactly come across as genuine, but the Canadians' rhetorical brickbats aren't coming from a position of weakness. When Harper criticizes China's currency policy, he's talking as the head of state of one of the only Western countries to dodge the fallout from the credit bust. Go Canada! More
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