The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Information Overload

March 22, 2018

I’m not a betting man, at least not an obsessive one. However, if I were invited to take just one bet on the intellectual capacity of humans, and what made the most intelligent, most successful people prize winners; I would place my chips on one’s ability to multi-task.

Keeping a multiplicity of balls in the air, moving seamlessly from one project to another, juggling our many obligations and responsibilities – in other words, being able to handle all these activities and more simultaneously is what separates astonishing accomplishment from morbid failure.

Stars multi-task. Also-rans don’t.

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BIS Bash Are We Taking a Bath?

The Week Ahead

March 19, 2018

Canadians are attracted to negative reports from abroad about their country like bees to honey. So it’s interesting that financial markets, for once, essentially yawned about a report from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) that warned of an impending banking crisis here. Canada stood out as the sole country of the 26 reported on that had all four “early warning indicators” flashing either red or amber.

There’s plenty of reason to be skeptical about the report’s methodology. Financial crises are rare events, so trying to glean warning signs of them starts with major data limitations. Countries have very different regulatory environments, macro-prudential buffers, and data definitions. Even the report itself has multiple warnings to treat its results with “considerable caution.”

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Will China Use Treasury Holdings to Retaliate?

The Week Ahead

March 12, 2018

So far, the focus has been on NAFTA with the US Administration being relatively soft on China. New tariffs on steel and aluminum are a far cry from the broad-based 45% tariff promised by President Trump during the campaign. Yes, China is the largest steel producer in the world, but with an only 2% share of US steel imports, it’s hardly a dominant player in that space.

And Trump has many reasons not to push the envelope on China. A large broad-based tariff will be translated immediately into higher prices at Walmart—hurting mostly low-income Americans—many of whom make up his base.

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