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‘Some Crash, Some Crisis’: It Was a Great Media Ride, But Brexit is no Market Killer



As the world marks the first week anniversary of last Thursday’s Brexit vote, it’s time for a review of the carnage — the record-setting demolition of trillions in market value, the Lehman Brothers-like tipping point to financial meltdown, the currency devaluations, the portents of recession and global economic crises — all the stuff that didn’t happen.

It was a great media ride while it lasted, with flocks of economic gurus and market analysts feeding a frenzy of alarming predictions and hyperventilated commentary. Many of the over-hyped warnings came with political and ideological undertones. The vote to leave the European Union was portrayed as the work of narrow-minded voters who were ignorantly threatening the globalized economic system.

The excitable chief of the Financial Times Catastrophe Desk, Martin Wolf, concluded last Friday that Brexit “is quite possibly” the worst event in British history since the Second World War. “It could mark an important moment in the West’s retreat from globalization.”

No such signals appear in the real world. As markets opened and closed Wednesday, the fourth trading day following the vote, Brexit week barely shows up as a significant event on the charts. There is certainly more movement to come in the next weeks and months, but most of the market world is today essentially where it was the day before the vote, stalled and struggling with slow growth outlooks that have little to do with Brexit and much to do with other factors, including the EU governance regime.

One exception is the British pound, which at $1.34 US is down 9 per cent since the vote. But 9 per cent is small beer for a currency that, for scores of reasons unrelated to the threat of Brexit, has never recovered from a value loss of 35% in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The pound has been in a slump ever since. This week’s trading was nothing new.

Currency watchers at the big trading houses such as Goldman Sachs believe the pound could hang around its current level for some time. The markets, allegedly heading into some kind of financial Armageddon a week ago, are now said to be basking in the warm afterglow of a reality where Brexit concerns have eased or, as one headline put it, “softened.”Advertisement

That was fast. The Financial Times 100 index of major British companies jumped 3.5 per cent Wednesday before closing above its level before the Brexit vote. As Winston Churchill might say, “Some crash, some crisis.”

The Dow Jones Industrial has gained almost 700 points since Monday, and at 17,700 the Dow is still trading close to its all-time high. The biggest threat to the Dow, and the world growth outlook, is the next rate move by the Fed. European stocks are also rebounding from post-Brexit lows, with the EuroStoxx 600 index gaining a few points Wednesday before closing at 356.

All these movements over the past few days must be seen against a larger five-year economic and statistical context. The EuroStoxx 600, for example, has been in the doldrums since last July. At one point the index had fallen 25 per cent to the 300 level. At 356 Wednesday, the index is nicely above its one-year low — despite Brexit.

With the exception of the pound, the major indicators of market health (or weakness) have barely moved relative to recent and long-run trends. If that’s all there is, then history will have a hard time finding the Brexit vote on the charts.

The real future of the markets and global economic trends is in the hands of politicians. The Brexit vote itself did not produce the anticipated financial carnage, mainly because the crisis is a political one and not an economic one. The future of the markets and the economies of Britain and Europe will be determined by the decisions and actions taken by EU leaders and whoever ends up holding the levers of power in London.

So far, despite media reports that the EU will punish Britain, the actual political language suggests a long period of firm and tough negotiation — as one might expect. Right now, both sides are staking out negotiating positions. The leading EU politician, Germany’s Angela Merkel, sounded like a professional labour bargainer when she said, “Whoever wants to get out of this family cannot expect that all of the obligations will fall away but the privileges continue to remain in place.”

The real future of the markets and global economic trends is in the hands of politicians

On the other side, British leaders are staking out initial negotiating points at the other end of the table. Conservative Brexit leader Boris Johnson said he wants Britain to continue to have “access to the single market.”

This is clearly the beginning of hard bargaining. The risks may be high, but it is not a world war or the end of globalization.

For all his failings as the Prime Minister who initiated the Bexit vote, David Cameron has emerged over the last four days as a man dedicated to keeping the British ship afloat. The markets, it seems, are on board.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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