Term Mortgage Rates
1 Year 2.45%
2 Year 3.10%
3 Year 3.34%
4 Year 3.59%
5 Year 3.49%
7 Year 4.75%
10 Year 5.14%
ARM / Variable 2.20%
Line of Credit 3.50%
Prime Rate 3.00%
Qualifying Rate 5.19%
The Toronto benchmark, the S&P/TSX composite index, ended down 27.3 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 12,929.0.
After weeks of denying it needed a bailout, Ireland became the second European country to ask for a multibillion Euro emergency loan to help stabilize it’s debt-ridden banks Monday. The bailout could be as much as 100 billion Euro ( $139 billion Cdn) and will be provided by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty represented Canada in discussions at the IMF regarding efforts to resolve the Irish governments debt crisis. Flaherty said that an orderly resolution is important so so there isn’t disruption to the global financial system.
After falling into a financial crisis brought on by mounting losses at three of its nationalized banks, Ireland formally requested help from the European Union Sunday. Irish Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, stressed that the measures are necessary to prevent the collapse of the country’s banking system. Ireland’s finance chief said he agreed with European colleagues that the Dublin banks — which borrowed money aggressively and pumped it into runaway Irish, British and American property markets for a decade. “Because of the huge risks they [Irish banks] took earlier this decade, they became a huge risk not only to this state but to the euro zone as a whole,” he said.
Pressure from the corporate sector also plagues Ireland which became the silicone valley of Europe during its Celtic Tiger days. At 12.5 per cent, Ireland has the lowest corporate tax rate in the euro zone and was mightly rewarded for this by some of the biggest corporations in the world by establishing their head offices there. Google has used Ireland’s favourable tax regime to reduce its tax bill by more than $3.1 billion US in the last three years. Hewlett-Packard Inc. was one of several firms to warn Ireland that a tax hike would be ill-advised.
“HP is very clear, if the tax rate increased we would be relooking at our investment in Ireland,” the head of HP’s Irish operations Lionel Alexander told Bloomberg. “One of the key reasons we came to Ireland was for the 12.5 per cent tax rate, and we think that should stand as part of these negotiations.”
Ireland has faced intense pressure in recent weeks to raise its corporate tax rate as part of a self help program for economic recovery but obviously the country has been bullied by these corporate behemoths into abandoning these measures as Lenihan insisted Monday that such a tax hike is not a condition of the bailout terms.
North American stock markets closed lower Monday amid concerns that Ireland’s application for financial assistance from its neighbors may not be the last bailout needed in Europe.