Outlook 2009 (Intro)

Leading experts offer incisive commentary and analysis on myriad issues that have altered the world's financial landscape. From the possible end of Chimerica to what fiscal stimulus in Budget 2009 might look like, these six deliver answers on the most pressing questions.

Historian Niall Ferguson ruminates provocatively on one possible consequence of the financial disaster — the decoupling of China and America, and the former’s rise to No. 1 economy sooner than anticipated. Concerning Canada’s biggest trading partner, TD Securities’ chief currency strategist Shaun Osborne says an increase in debt supply is the biggest risk and the U.S. dollar remains overvalued. This year should bring the dollar down and closer to reality.

Here at home, RBC assistant chief economist Dawn Desjardins traces the rise, fall and rise (however modest in 2009) of the Canadian economy. Managing director of IHS Global Insight, Dale Orr, lays out his strategy for fiscal stimulus and cautions against letting any plan run too long. DBRS’ Peter Bethlenfalvy says that while lenders won’t entirely shut out consumers looking for credit, it’s going to be a particularly unpleasant year for small to medium-sized business. Finally, David Wolf, head of Canadian economics and chief strategist at Merrill Lynch Canada, talks bailouts. Move aggressively to rescue the financial system with public dollars, he argues, because the cost of doing otherwise is even greater.