December 20, 2017

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 was down 0.1% and Toronto was up 0.2%.

The U.S. income tax reduction bill has been passed.

While the market seems to expect all of the income tax savings to fall to the bottom line, that will not necessarily be the case. Wells Fargo announced today an increase in its minimum hourly rate to $15 from $13.50 In highly competitive businesses, we should expect some of the income tax savings to show up in lower prices to consumers.

Canadian Western Bank was up 1.9%. FedEx was up 3.5% after reporting earnings. This reflects a U.S. economy that is literally on the move.

It was disappointing today to see that Loblaws and its parent Weston have been involved in collusion and price-fixing for some 15 years. This is a failure of management and controls at those companies and also I think a failure of the Competition Bureau to be effective. This will probably end up being a much bigger deal than it initially looks like.

I notice that the Globe and Mail is no longer allowing comments on its Web site. The web site states: As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to It’s because their partner “Civil commenting” is shutting down.  I sent an email to the feedback address and it bounced back! It’s been my experience that the Globe and Mail and its Civil Commenting partner was a terrible system for posting comments. It used to be far better. It always seems like companies that are on their game in one way are on their game in all ways. And companies that struggle in one way seem to struggle with everything. The Newspaper business is tough. But I don’t think that is an excuse to have a poor online system.