Money Has No Country, Behind the Crisis in Canadian Business


384 words

Title: Money Has No Country, Behind the Crisis in Canadian 
Business;  by Ann Shortell; Macmillan Canada;  Hardcover;
304 pages; 

Reviewer: A.T.Connellan, "Ann Shortell destroys the 
misconceptions that some Canadians have come to accept 
as fact."  

Shortell says Canada can do

This book could also have been titled Money Has No Heart, Loyalty, 
or Conscience. It seeks only safety and profit without regard to 
borders. In an incisive, well researched, readable 304 pages 
Ann Shortell destroys the misconceptions that some Canadians 
have come to accept as fact. 
Chief among these; the Feds are giving away the country; the Free 
Trade Agreement was a bad deal; the wealthy establishment and 
family owned companies [Black, Bronfman or Reichmann] are 
better for Canada than foreign [Hong Kong, Japan, Great Britain, 
France, or American] owners; our banking system puts our interests 
first; these myths and others take their place along with," of 
course I'll respect you in the morning." 
In the process the major sectors of the economy are examined 
beginning with the Canadian banks, their expansion south to the 
US, into new financial services, the resultant change in their 
corporate self-image, and method of operation, from Canadian to 
North American. If there ever was an argument against 
government-run businesses the Air Canada and Connaught 
Laboratories experience is it. Shortell's analysis of the 
tortuous path of these two companies is fascinating. 

The history, motives, and methodology of the Reichmann family are 
examined in detail. Their investment preference for resource and 
real estate paper, rather than research and development or high 
technology companies diminishes their stature. 
In the author's view Hong Kong and Japanese investment is a 
learning opportunity for Canadian managers and investors. 
Particularly patience and the importance of research and 
development. Mindless politicized railing against Free Trade 
[so popular with authors like Maude Barlow] has no place in her 
reasoned analysis of both the existing Canada-US pact and the 
upcoming Mexico agreement. Equally thoughtful is her assessment 
of Michael Wilson's performance and his recovery program.    
Carleton University educated Ann Shortell has written on 
business for Toronto Life, Financial Times of Canada, Macleans, 
and The Financial Post, co-authored "The Brass Ring", and 
"A Matter of Trust", and appears on CBC and CTV. 
This is not a negative book, far from it. It is a "can do" account 
of how we might create a great country from a good country. 
She doesn't say it but a big part of our problem is our national 
inferiority complex, we have to start believing. 

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