August 20

Double jeopardy is what’s facing the federal government as it tries to juggle the needs of protecting a fragile economy while at the same time dealing with yet another ethics scandal involving its leaders at the highest levels. Both Prime Minister Trudeau and Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau now admit they should have recused themselves from any involvement in the WE Charity due to perception of favouritism in the selection process for a number of decisions that were made within the organization. Members of Trudeau’s family and Morneau’s daughter were both compensated for their participation at various WE events. It seems easier to ignore ethics issues and hope they go unnoticed. If they come to light, then simply apologize – again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Online sales from retail stores were up 99% between late February and May, due in large part to the shutdown of bricks and mortar businesses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the huge increase online, it was not enough to counter an overall drop of 18% in retail sales as most Canadians were cautious about spending money during such uncertain times. E-commerce sales hit a record $3.9 billion in May, marking a 2.3% increase over April and 99% increase over February.

British PM Boris Johnson is banning Chinese telecom giant Huawei from his country’s 5G network. The decision is great news for the United States, which has been aggressively pushing its allies to ban Huawei, primarily due to concerns about potential spying. Huawei has had a presence in the UK for more than 20 years. Huawei and its corporate partners, which include BT, Vodafone and Three, are still uncertain as to how extensive and aggressive the new ban will be. It will certainly be a costly one even in the best of circumstances.

Apple Inc. is once again the most valuable company in the world. The stock hit a record high after reporting very strong quarterly results, helping the iPhone maker overtake Saudi-based Aramco. To get a bite of this Apple currently costs more than $412 USD per share, which translates into a market capitalization of nearly $1.8 trillion. Aramco is right there at $1.76 trillion. Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet round out the top five.

Did you know?… Apple Inc. co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak took their company public in 1980, raising about $100 million at a split-adjusted IPO price of $2.75 per share. Forty years later one share is worth $412. That is one heck of a success story, to put it mildly.

Angus Gillespie
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