BJK Financial Group Blog

As 2023 Draws to a Close

Here we are witnessing the end of another year. It seems like a good time to look back and try to make sense of what we have seen and what it could mean for the future. There are three topics that have been catching and keeping my attention throughout the year. They are:

  • Inflation and interest rates
  • The ongoing environmental crisis
  • A deepening political chaos

Inflation and interest rates


One of the biggest stories in Canadian politics and economic policy this year has been the ongoing issue of inflation and its impact on interest rates.  There was even a recent story on the CBC website whose title seems to say it all: Inflation is cooling. The cost of living crisis is not.   


The article describes how the decline in inflation should allow the Bank of Canada to maintain interest rates or even drop them, but it also means that the Canadian economy is also “clearly weakening”.


We’ll have to see how things unfold as 2023 rolls into 2024.


Carbon Tax and Climate Change


A recent poll released by Angus Reid shows that most people oppose the current Carbon Tax, with over 40% wanting to abolish it completely. This goes along with a belief that while the decision to exempt heating oil from the tax is a good idea, that the real motivation for this is political not economic or environmental.


At the same time the CBC reports that, “7 in 10 Canadians worried about climate change, poll suggests.” But at the same time, most Canadians also “say pocketbook issues like inflation are their top concern.”


None of this is especially surprising. While Canadians generally agree that while we need to tackle climate change, there isn’t a great deal of agreement about how to do that.


Something else for us to watch for in the months and years to come.


Chaos in Congress and Around the World


As I sit down to write this column, it is hard to know just what the US Congress is going to be doing by the time you get to read this. The saga of George Santos and his use of campaign funds for botox, OnlyFans and high end men’s clothing is only a side show in the general chaos within the Republican caucus.


And their ongoing difficulties in selecting and keeping a Speaker of the House would be funny if it wasn’t so unnerving. Let’s remember that they were only able to agree on Mike Johnson to fill that role at the end of October, October 25 to be exact, not all that long ago. And even now he is on a very short leash, as far as some of his colleagues are concerned.


But the biggest challenge I see with this congress is how they cannot seem to agree on any way to move forward on the simple task of maintaining a functioning federal government.  Although Congress was able to recently pass a piece of legislation called a continuing resolution, they still have major portions of the federal government to pay for, let alone offering assistance to either Ukraine or Israel.


Whatever goes on out there, I hope that things are good for you


After all of this challenging news and the perspective it offers on the world around us, I hope and trust that things on the home front for each of you are good.

With that, I want to close by offering you and yours best wishes as we approach the end of another “adventurous” year. And I wish you the best for 2024 and beyond.

Brian Kettles at 11:57 AM
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Brian Kettles
Name: Brian Kettles
Posts: 35
Last Post: April 5, 2024

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