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Trudeau’s Finance Chief Defends Bank of Canada Ahead of Hike



(Bloomberg) — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland defended the Bank of Canada’s independence after the main left-leaning opposition party joined the Conservatives in criticizing its record.

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“Canada is a country of peace, order and good government,” Freeland told reporters Tuesday on her way into a cabinet meeting. “Institutional stability very much includes the independence of the Bank of Canada. Our government respects very much the independence of the Bank of Canada.”

On the weekend, New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh told CTV News that Governor Tiff Macklem’s increases to interest rates are without merit and urged the Liberal government to do more to cushion the blow of inflation.

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Singh also wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly, flagging recent changes in the government’s mandate agreement with the central bank that added labor-market conditions as a secondary consideration to price stability.

Freeland acknowledged the increasingly difficult circumstances Canadians face. Her comments, made a day before Macklem is expected to deliver a fifth-straight outsized interest-rate hike, show monetary policy is becoming politicized.

“Inflation is too high, life is really tough for a lot of people, and rising interest rates are posing another set of challenges,” she said. “People are worried about their mortgages.”

But she gave no indication the government would add to the targeted spending it announced in September. Those measures include a temporary doubling of a sales-tax rebate for low-income earners, a one-time top-up for renters who can’t pay their bills, and new dental care coverage for uninsured children.

“We really believe it’s important to have a fiscally responsible approach right now,” the finance minister said. “We really understand the value of not pouring fuel on the flames of inflation and of not making the Bank of Canada’s very tough job even harder.”

While Singh acknowledged the importance of central bank independence, his comments ratchet up pressure on both the government and Macklem. Earlier this year, the NDP agreed to support the Liberals in the minority parliament until 2025 in exchange for more social spending.

The Bank of Canada is also taking heat from the other side of the political spectrum. The Conservatives are vowing “ruthless scrutiny” of the governor, whom the party’s new leader has threatened to fire for helping drive inflation to a multi-decade high.

Macklem and his officials have increased borrowing costs by three percentage points since March. They are expected to hike by another 75 basis points on Wednesday, bringing the benchmark overnight lending rate to 4% — the highest since March 2008.

Even Liberals are starting to criticize the central bank.

Tyler Meredith, who was Freeland’s director of economic strategy until last month, publicly urged Macklem to show “flexibility” and consider easing his foot off the brakes. “There is ample evidence for the Bank of Canada to begin to slow down and potentially pause. They should heed it,” the former aide wrote Tuesday in an opinion piece for The Globe and Mail newspaper.

Speaking in a Bloomberg interview last week, Meredith warned that inflation hurts the poor the most, arguing it therefore risks undermining Trudeau policies that have sought to reduce wealth inequality.

(Updates with Singh letter to Trudeau and oped by former Freeland aide.)

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Big Six bank earnings show mixed bag for Canadian economy – CTV News



The most recent earnings reports from Canada’s big banks are showing signs that the Canadian economy is slowing down ahead of a potential recession, with some signs of optimism.

The Big Six banks – RBC, TD, CIBC, Scotiabank, BMO and National Bank – all released their Q4 2022 reports this week. Five out of the six saw their profits dip compared to last year and three fell short of their earnings expectations.

Michael Morrow, managing director of mergers and acquisitions and capital markets at financial firm BDO Canada, says high inflation, lower capital markets activity and rising loan-loss provisions are all putting pressure on the big banks.

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High inflation has meant higher operating costs – including higher staffing costs amid a tight labour market – that has cut into their margins, Morrow said. Meanwhile, rising interest rates and economic uncertainties have slowed investment and led to lower capital markets activity.

“Capital markets activity continues to be a drag on all of the banks, particularly those that have a higher concentration of capital markets activity versus regular retail-related activity,” Morrow said.

RBC CEO Dave McKay said on an earnings call on Wednesday the bank is bracing for a “brief and moderate recession.”

In anticipation of an economic downturn, the big banks are also increasing their loan-loss provisions, which refers to money set aside to cover bad loans.

“As the bank’s worry about the economic performance of the Canadian economy, what that might mean is more loan losses going forward. And so their provisions every quarter has been creeping up, including this quarter,” Morrow said.

“It’s definitely a leading indicator in terms of where we think the Canadian economy will be next year and where the where the risks lie.”

Loan-loss provisions especially weighed heavily on CIBC, which set provisions for credit losses for the three-month period of $436 million, up from $78 million in the same quarter last year. CIBC missed its earnings expectations by over 19 per cent.

“As we look ahead to 2023, global economic growth is expected to be slower as central banks continue with their monetary policy tightening to tame inflation,” said CIBC CEO Victor Dodig on an earnings call on Thursday.

“In response to these headwinds … we are going to continue to take actions to reposition our business to adjust to these new realities, but also continue to grow our client franchise and moderate our expense growth.”

But despite these so-called headwinds, Morrow believes there is still good news to be gleaned from these results. Most of the Big Six are increasing their dividend rates for shareholders, which Morrow says “provides us with a view of confidence in the stability of the banks and their earnings profile.”

“If they’re increasing dividend rates, then that’s certainly an indication that they feel that the business and their capital ratios are going to be able to not only withstand this downturn, but continue to thrive through the year, through the back half of next year,” he explained.

On top of that, RBC announced it would be taking over HSBC’s Canadian operations in a $13.5 billion deal, pending regulatory approval. Morrow says he sees the purchase as a “positive vote of confidence for the Canadian economy,” especially given the fact that RBC is paying a premium price for the acquisition. The bank is paying 9.4 times HSBC Canada’s 2024 adjusted earnings.

“Certainly, you know, it gleans to the confidence that RBC has within the within the Canadian lending market. And if there were certain doubts in the Canadian market, you wouldn’t see these participants paying premiums in the marketplace at this point in the cycle,” he said.

With files from The Canadian Press and Reuters

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Pitfalls Of Channel Partner Training To Avoid



Pitfalls Of Channel Partner Training To Avoid

This article outlines everything from what is channel partner training to the four significant pitfalls of channel partner training that organizations must avoid. It also explains how the best LMS for partner training can help overcome potential difficulties by identifying the trouble spots and making your partner training program successful.

Without further ado, let’s get started. 


What Is Channel Partner Training?

Your channel partners could be franchises, wholesalers, distributors, or resellers. 

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The term “channel partner training” refers to training companies and individuals involved in the resale of your product offerings. One must design partner skill-building initiatives to help partners close more sales by assisting them in introducing your products to customers in the best possible light. 

It is essential to train your partner network to provide customers with the best service possible, which helps build brand loyalty. 

Partner training includes everything from orientation and training partners to training programs. By instructing your channel partners, you give them the knowledge they need to work effectively across your existing system. 

Every aspect of your business, from sales and market reach to growth potential, will benefit from training partners and increasing their knowledge about your products or services.


Benefits Of Channel Partner Training

Partner training offers various advantages for your company. Here are a few of those benefits.


  • Creates and safeguards your company’s brand.

Various partners may imply multiple voices shaping the story about your product. Training your channel partners ensures that your brand remains constant with each of its narrators.

  • Spend less on support

You don’t have to constantly reskill a partner when things go wrong if you train them properly from the beginning of your interaction. They’ll know how to avoid issues and deal with them when they arise.


  • Increase retention of customers

Increased partner responsiveness to customer issues also results from improved partner performance—this responsiveness results in higher customer retention rates.


  • Enhance performance

Partners have access to the best messaging to spread awareness of your product and promote widespread adoption. Your products remain on top by regularly adding new training content.


  • Manage expectations. 

When you are not meeting expectations, there is less room for surprise, whereas when clearly stated, expectations must be met on both your and the partner’s end.

Channel partner training has undeniable advantages. But partner training has its difficulties when it’s poorly implemented. Below are some challenges organizations face with channel partner training. 


Challenges Of Channel Partner Training

Obtaining Organizational Support On The Inside

Partner training can be difficult because most businesses find it challenging to accept it and fail to see its value. The importance of offering training programs to boost your partner channel’s efficiency is underappreciated and frequently forgotten.

Solution: To win their support, you’ll need to persuade your organization’s members and make them aware of the benefits training can have on your business and partner relations. Explain to them how educating your business partners about your goods and services will benefit them in maintaining brand consistency and loyalty. 

If budget concerns you, you can promote delivering partner training using an LMS. With the help of the tool, partners can easily access training materials in their language, which helps improve the completion rates and, consequently, the ROI of your efforts. It makes using an LMS a cost-effective decision.  


Channel Partner Engagement 

Once you have convinced your stakeholders, then comes the main challenge – partner engagement. Keeping channel partners engaged with the courses is necessary to ensure the success of your training efforts. 

Solution: The best way to deal with this is to bring the team members with the relevant experience on board. No one would know your channel partners more than your sales team, so it’s highly recommended you take their opinion and use their expertise when creating a training session. 

In addition, you won’t know what will work unless you discuss your options with your partners. Thus you must consult with your partners about what information they would like, what kind of support they need, and how they would like to receive it from the beginning.

Moreover, it would be best if you also leveraged eLearning technologies. 

A learning management system is an excellent tool to help keep your partners engaged. This tool often comes with features like gamification and certifications and has multi-lingual abilities, which may improve the engagement rate. 


Finance And Funding

No matter the project, funding will always be a major obstacle for most organizations. HR departments are often responsible for budgeting across departments, and convincing them to allocate resources to train external partners is certainly challenging. After all, it is about more than just offering training to partners. It also involves creating the course, ensuring its relevance, finding the right medium to deliver it, and analyzing the results.  

Solution: Using an LMS that easily integrates with authoring tools is all you need to convince your HRs or those who manage budgets in your organization. Using this integration and subject matter experts in your organization helps you create a relevant and engaging course. 

As we discussed, engaging in training courses helps bring improved completion rates and ROI. Furthermore, the knowledge your partners will gain from the training sessions will ensure brand consistency and customer satisfaction. 

All this combined makes investing in an LMS and in partner training a cost-effective decision. 


Data Collection 

One challenge that most organizations face is collecting partner training data. Today, data is extremely valuable. You can direct your training efforts toward success when you have the relevant insights and reports. 

Organizations that still use traditional training methods are often faced with such challenges. 

Solution: This is another challenge a learning management system can easily help tackle. 

Most LMS offers reporting as a feature. You can use this feature to not only personalize your training course for each partner but also to identify completion rates, certifications, and relevance of your course. Most organizations use such data to rework their training program and make them more apt for their partners.  


Bottom Line

While highly beneficial for your organization and network, training your channel partners does present some difficulties. Businesses that are about to start preparing their channel partners—through formal eLearning or a blended learning approach—will run into problems that need immediate fixing. However, the best LMS will assist you in coordinating, planning, and implementing the training that equips your partners to perform excellent work and simplify the entire process. 


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A journalist who interviewed Sam Bankman-Fried about FTX’s collapse said it ‘felt like a therapy session’ for the crypto mogul



This is a photo of Sam Bankman-Fried looking to the side.
Sam Bankman-Fried founded the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.Tom Williams/Getty Images
  • A Good Morning America journalist said interviewing ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried “felt like a therapy session.”
  • “He just had a lot to get off his chest and clearly wanted to get through this,” George Stephanopoulos said.
  • “There are a lot of things that are worrying me right now,” Bankman-Fried said in response to one question.

An Good Morning America journalist said that interviewing former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried “felt like a therapy session” for the crypto mogul.

“He really wanted to talk,” George Stephanopoulos said. “He just had a lot to get off his chest and clearly wanted to get through this.”

Stephanopoulos said that during a short phone call with Bankman-Fried on Saturday, the ex-CEO invited him to fly over to the Bahamas the next day to talk to him. Stephanopoulos interviewed Bankman-Fried for around two hours on Monday for Good Morning America.

“At some level, it felt like a therapy session,” Stephanopoulos said. It seemed like Bankman-Fried “felt that it was really important for him to get his story out,” he said.

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Stephanopoulos added that Bankman-Fried had gone against the advice of his lawyers by speaking to a reporter. He had said on Wednesday at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit that his lawyers had advised him not to speak publicly about the circumstances around FTX’s collapse.

When asked by Stephanopoulos whether he was worried about going to jail, Bankman-Fried said: “There are a lot of things that are worrying me right now, and as best as possible I am trying to focus on what I can do going forward to be helpful.”

“At the end of the day, it’s not my call what happens and the world will judge as it will,” he added.

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