Saturday, January 19, 2013

Harper ventures into venture capital (with our money)

William Watson: Harper’s big Dragon
It was a bit of a shock Tuesday to see the prime minister of Canada standing on the set of Dragons’ Den/Dans l’oeil du dragon, the CBC’s game-show caricature of capitalism.

... the federal government has in mind $400-million (which ... the NDP finance critic categorized as “peanuts”...)

... The government going into the venture capital business clearly marks the end of any idea of the Conservative Party of Canada as a market-oriented institution.

... Instead of getting into the business itself wouldn’t it be better for the government to try to figure out whether anything it’s doing is causing shyness among potential Canadian investors? One obvious possibility is that there’s no room for them. We already have the CMHC, the EDC, the CCC, the BDC, the various regional lending agencies, and so on. Maybe capitalists simply feel crowded out.

... Governments giving hundreds of millions of dollars of free cash to investment bankers to play with: Where is the Occupy movement when you need it? 
I wondered if the U.S. government did anything similar, other than blow a 1/2 $billion on Solyndra, that is.  The answer is "yes, but".  It's handled through the Small Business Administration's Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) Program. The SBA says:
"... SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA, that use their own capital plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee ...
... NO TAX DOLLARS ARE APPROPRIATED ... " (emphasis mine)


Thucydides said...

How about cutting $400 million in spending and applying that to tax breaks so ordinary Canadians can choose what to invest in?

Sure it is peanuts (a bit over $10/Canadian), but if we were to keep chipping away with a billion here, a few million there and apply that to tax cuts for all Canadians, the end results would be remarkable.

Anonymous said...

He's a "conservative", eh? The biggest impediment to business in this country is the government and all their taxes and regulations to make it a "fair" playing field.

So, what really happened to the Harper we used to know?

Anonymous said...

The Harper you used to know is dead but it doesn't matter you people will support him anyway.

JR said...

Hmm, let's see - what will our options be? Mulcair, Trudeau, Harper?

Yup, Stephen Harper is still far-and-away the best of a sorry lot. This must be Canada.