It's Wednesday, October 8th.
The hemorrhaging of global stock markets eased yesterday after word spread of possible interest rate cuts by central banks... a move which would make credit easier to come by.
Currently, and if that doesn't turn the markets around, central banks will take the next logical step: an unbelievable deal on your next mortgage.
This is The Current.
It's been another turbulent week for the global economy. Asian markets continued to tumble again today. European banks are taking a beating as investors worry about their solvency. The British government announed it would partially nationalize eight of its major banks to help ease turmoil in the financial industry. In the United States, government officials say two trillion dollars -- and yes, I said Trillion -- have been wiped out of the country's retirement savings. And here in Canada, economists from the five major banks say they expect little or no growth in the Canadian economy and that the word "recession" doesn't even begin to describe what the world is dealing with.
Of course all of this is happening in the midst of an election campaign here in Canada. Throughout it, Prime Minister Harper has maintained that Canada's economic fundamentals are sound and that it is important to avoid panic and stay the course. But as the campaign chugs along, he's facing more and more criticism.
For their thoughts on the state of the Canadian economy and the politics of prescribing remedies for what may or may not be ailing it, Anna Maria Tremonti was joined by Armine Yalnizyan. She's an economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. And Finn Poschmann is an Economist with the C.D. Howe Institute. They were both in our Toronto studio.
About 18 months ago, Ted Rogers began warning the executives at his company that there was a financial storm coming. Unfortunately, he was all too right. After more than five decades of business experience, Ted Rogers has learned a thing or two about surviving tough economic times ... and thriving. As the CEO of Rogers Communications, he turned a cable company into one of the largest media corporations in Canada. His new autobiography is called Relentless: The True Story of The Man Behind Rogers Communications and he's with me in Toronto. Good morning!
With less than a week until election day, we're going to take a look this morning at a key ingredient for any successful prime minister -- leadership.
Off the top of this part, we heard a bit of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker giving his victory speech in June, 1957. He went on to give us the Canadian Bill of Rights, the precursor to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And this morning, we're going to look at what John Diefenbaker -- as well as the Prime Ministers who gave us the national railroad and universal, national medicare -- would bring to the question of leadership today. To do that, I'm joined by three Prime Ministerial biographers.
Denis Smith is the author of Rogue Tory: The Life and Legend of John G. Diefenbaker.
For John A. MacDonald, we have Richard Gwynn, the author of John A., The Man Who Made Us.
And Andrew Cohen is the author of the new biography Lester B. Pearson, which is part of a new series called Extraordinary Canadians.
Irma Coucill also knows Canada's prime ministers intimately. She is a portrait artist who lives in Toronto. And over the last 60 years, she has drawn every one of Canada's prime ministers. In this part we hear her story as she sits talking with The Current's John Chipman about one of her favourites.
And we'll leave you this morning with one more thought on leadership. Few Canadian leaders could match Joey Smallwood's legendary oratory. He was the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1949 to 1972 and faced little opposition until a newspaper columnist named Ray Guy began challenging him.
Ray Guy's columns have now been published as Ray Guy: The Smallwood Years and we asked him to pick a few of his favourite Joey Smallwood speeches and tell us about them.