David A. Rosenberg Chief Economist & Strategist drosenberg@gluskinsheff.

com + 1 416 681 8919

December 1, 2009 Economic Commentary

MARKET MUSINGS & DATA DECIPHERING

Breakfast with Dave
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING Global equity markets are back on track as the “constructive” Dubai debt restructuring plan gets underway. The MSCI Asia-Pac index closed with a 1.4% gain and is now back at a five-week high. Commodities are rallying too with oil up for the second day in a row and copper strengthening on the back of some solid manufacturing PMI data overseas: China’s PMI is hot, at 55.7 from 55.4 in October, the best PMI reading in 18 months; Europe’s PMI is inching up, now at 51.2 from 50.7 — and raising hopes of a similar lift today in the USA. On the economic data front, India just posted a ripping 13.9% annualized real GDP growth rate for Q3. Car sales in France soared 48% YoY in November on the back of the country’s own version of argent-pour-voiture. Germany’s jobless rate fell in November, to 8.1% from 8.2% in October and this came as a surprise too; and retail sales rebounded 0.5% in October (in line with consensus). U.K. home prices rose 0.5% in November (Nationwide survey) — the seventh gain in as many months. Korean exports rose last month for the first time in over year. It’s a boom (not really)! Needless to say, the U.S. dollar is being sold off and the ‘carry-trade’ is back on with the resource-based currencies, each with massive net speculative long positions, rallying hard today (the New Zealand Kiwi is up 1.7%; the Aussie dollar firming by 1.3% as the Reserve Bank of Australia hiked rates again, to 3.75% from 3.50%). The mighty Yen is also being trounced along with the resumption of global risk trades, though the announcement from the Bank of Japan that it is going to provide $15 billion of basically free cash to the commercial banks as a response to the latest bout with deflation has also played a role (the Yen was looking very toppy going into today’s action). Outside of JGBs (6bp rally today, to 1.18%), bonds are giving up a lot of ground this morning. The DXY index is down some 27bps and at 74.527 is closing back in on the nearby low; a break below 70 means there is no support for the U.S. dollar (one reason why gold has tacked on nearly $18/oz today as it pierced the $1,200/oz threshold). The latest tick down, however, in the Baltic Dry Index provides one key source of non-confirmation to this latest upsurge in the commodity complex. We are bulls on the resource sector, but for the time being, we are nervous bulls. IN THIS ISSUE • While you were sleeping — global equity markets are back on track; positive economic data overseas • How can the recession be over? Out of the 4 economic indicators that the NBER uses, only 1 looks to have remotely put in a discernible bottom • Chicago! The Chicago PMI did improve in November, but this diffusion index is spotty at best in terms of predicting the ISM • Some major nonconfirmations; railway carloadings, electricity production, tax revenue, and bank lending, just to name a few are down year-over-year • U.S. retail sales update — chain-store sales in November did not look that great and auto sales appear to be down on the month • Goldberg, not Rosenberg; we remain long-term gold bulls, but we could get a meaning correction at any time • Not a bad time to be thinking income • Strong demand in Canada • Producer deflation in Canada continues

Please see important disclosures at the end of this document.

Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. is one of Canada’s pre-eminent wealth management firms. Founded in 1984 and focused primarily on high net worth private clients, we are dedicated to meeting the needs of our clients by delivering strong, risk-adjusted returns together with the highest level of personalized client service. For more information or to subscribe to Gluskin Sheff economic reports, visit www.gluskinsheff.com

December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

Meanwhile, the markets seem oblivious to the growing crisis in U.S. commercial real estate, where the default rate just doubled in Q3, to 3.4% (and up 52bps from Q2) with vacancies on the rise and rents on the decline. This shoe is already dropping for the banking system. As for residential real estate, the White House is now moving more aggressively to force lenders to modify mortgage loans, which can only mean that principal reductions are coming hard and fast and this in turn means … more write-downs are on there way. Caveat emptor when it comes to the U.S. financials, a sector that already looks very toppy — see page B3 of the NYT — Treasury Presses Mortgage Lenders for Payment Relief. Overseas, the next worry spots range from sovereign credit risks in Greece, to fiscal stress in the U.K. and Ireland, to signs of a property bubble in China, to a severe debt refinancing calendar in Russia and many the Baltic states. In the U.S., try the burgeoning losses at Fannie and Freddie, not to mention the FHA’s razorthin reserve cushion and the inevitable need for a taxpayer bailout. Dubai was very likely NOT the last in the series of post-credit-bubble aftershocks. HOW CAN THE RECESSION BE OVER? There are four items that go into the NBER recession call: 1. Employment 2. 3. 4. Real personal income excluding government transfers Industrial production Real sales

The markets seem oblivious to the growing crisis in U.S. commercial real estate

3 of the 4 economic indicators that the NBER uses to access business cycles are still in decline

Three of these four indicators are still in decline — only industrial production looks to have even remotely put in a discernible bottom. Employment was down 0.1% MoM in October after dropping 0.2% in September; real organic income dipped 0.03% to a new cycle low in October after a more visible 0.2% decline in September; and we just now got the real manufacturing/retail/wholesale trade sales data for September and they showed a 0.2% drop in September after a similar falloff in August. So, it begs the question as to how a recovery has started with just one limb hanging on the body. Just because the equity market is up more than 60% from the lows by no means suggests that this is some official arbiter of how the real economy is shaping up. Remember, it was the same equity market hitting new highs through the first ten months of 2007, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the worst economic downturn in seven decades was merely a few weeks away. HOW CAN THIS NOT BE A DEPRESSION? One in every eight Americans … • With a mortgage are either in arrears or in the foreclosure process
• Are unemployed or underemployed • Are on a food stamp program

So how can a recovery start with just one limb hanging on the body?

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

Wall Street and Main Street are on opposite sides of the planet right now. Have a read of the op-ed article today on page A15 of the WSJ (Working Two Jobs and Still Underemployed). CHICAGO! The Chicago PMI did improve to 56.1 from 54.2 in October (as did New York, Dallas, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Milwaukee!). But this diffusion index is spotty at best in terms of predicting ISM, and ISM itself is currently not reliable given that it is biased towards large companies and it is small business that is cutting back on spending activity and is having trouble accessing capital. CHART 1: SMALL BUSINESSES HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING CAPITAL
United States: National Federation of Independent Business Survey: Percent Reporting That Credit Was Harder to Get (percent)
16

12

8

4

0

-4 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Source: Haver Analytics, Gluskin Sheff

Going back to 1974 (the history for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) optimism index), on average, when the NFIB is around the current level of 89.1 (as of October) ISM is usually at 44.0 (currently at 55.7 in October). So in essence, the NFIB index is currently trading as if ISM is 44.0, not 56.0. Not only that, but during expansions, the NFIB index averages 100.2; during recessions, the NFIB, on average, is at 92.2. The NFIB is currently at 89.1, so this notion that we are out of recession seems to be at odds with a lot of other information out there outside of a 65% rally in the equity market. SOME MAJOR NON-CONFIRMATIONS • Railway carloadings and electricity output down 5.0-7.0% YoY
• Mortgage applications for home purchases down 15% YoY • Tax revenues down more than 10% YoY • Bank lending down 6% YoY • Financials peaking out nearly two months ago and rolling over • Divergences in both the small-cap stocks and emerging markets

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

• Major topping formation in the transports despite Warren Buffett’s foray and

lower energy prices (triple-top in the transports-to-utilities ratio?)

• Bond yields below their 200-day moving average. • Real rates (10-year TIPS yield) all the way down to 1.10% (from 1.5% barely

The U.S. consumer still looks to be on pretty shaky terrain

over a month ago).

• Baa spreads widening 15bps from nearby lows and by 25bps in the high-yield

market.

RETAIL SALES UPDATE U.S. chain-store sales in November did not look that great but we will find out more on Thursday. As for auto sales for the month, Edmunds.com is calling for 10.34 million at an annual rate, which would translate into a 10% decline from October’s tally. The U.S. consumer still looks to be on pretty shaky terrain. The official U.S. retail sales data will be released on December 11. Note that one giant wild card in this Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payroll report (which everyone has upgraded post last week’s claims data) is retail employment. This is the sector’s largest hiring month of the year and if there is anything we know with certainty, it is that merchants went into this season deliberately mean and lean. This may end up being a large swing factor that could cause the data to line up on the soft side, irrespective of the seasonal adjustment factor. Note that while this is still early days in the holiday season, Cyber Monday was very mixed — more eyeballs than a year ago (+16%), but less $$$ per buyer ( -12% per sales ticket). This was much like Black Friday at the malls — total traffic was up but the average purchase was down 8% to below 2007 levels (average of $340 per shopper). Also note that the giving spirit is being negatively affected by the ongoing frugality too — only 21% of business owners are planning to give year-end bonuses this year versus 44% last year, as one example (see Rethinking Holiday Perks on page B7 of the WSJ). GOLDBERG, NOT ROSENBERG Gold just capped off its best month in a year — up 14% in November and 34% so far in 2009. Not even the S&P 500 can compete with that. Helping drive the latest gains was the news out of the China Gold Association that the country’s gold demand is on pace this year to exceed 450 metric tonnes, a 14% increase over the 395.6 tonnes in 2008. (In contrast to India, jewelry sales are up double-digits in China so far this year.) By way of comparison, China, which recently surpassed South Africa as the world’s largest producer, is on its way to 310 tons of newly mined output this year, or more than 30% below its level of demand. It’s not just the middle-class in China that is starting to buy gold, but the central bank, which has very deep pockets, is going to do likewise. We just came across a Bloomberg News article quoting an official from the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Ji Xiaonan, the Chief) as saying “we recommend China increase its gold reserves to 6,000 metric tons within three-tofive years and possibly to 10,000 tons in eight to 10 years.” China’s reserves, after a 76% buildup since 2003, currently stand at 1,054 tons, so we are talking here about the prospect of some pretty heaving buying in coming years.
Page 4 of 11

Gold just capped off its best month in a year — +14% in November and 34% year-todate

December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

If China were to lift their gold reserves to 5,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to about two years of global production, that shift in demand would boost the gold price by $800/oz to around $2,000 ($1,978) based on our models. If China moves towards 10,000 tonnes, well, that would end up taking the gold price to $2,623/ounce if our calculations are in the ball-park. Make no mistake, we are gold bulls. Central banks have deep pockets and production of gold is stagnant so the demand-supply backdrop for bullion is bullish. At the same time, we have to pay respect for market positioning over the nearterm. The market for precious metals is overextended right now after the parabolic move of the past two months. The net speculative long position has swelled to a record 273,552 contracts (100 ounces each) on the COMEX. Open interest has never been higher, at 693,661 contracts. So this is one crowded trade — as is the short-trade on the USD against all the major currencies, especially the commodity-based units. So, we could get a meaningful gold correction at any time, and we are talking about a correction in what is still a secular bull market — the 200-day moving average is $970/oz, which means we could get as much as a 20% pullback and no fundamental trendline would be violated. We remain long-term gold bulls, and our commentary remains fundamentally bullish, but anything that could spark a countertrend rally in the U.S. dollar, which is our principal near-term concern, would put gold at a much better price point for investors than the peak we are at today. CHART 2: GOLD UP ALMOST 70% FROM THE NEARBY LOW
London Gold Bullion, PM Fix (US$ per Troy oz)
1200

Make no mistake, we are gold bulls; central banks have deep pockets and production of gold is stagnant so the demandsupply backdrop for bullion is bullish

1100

1000

900

800

700 NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL 09 AUG SEP OCT NOV

Source: Haver Analytics, Gluskin Sheff

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

CHART 3: RECORD NET SPECULATIVE LONG POSITION IN GOLD
Gold: Reportable Noncommercial Long minus Short Position (number of contracts)
300,000

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0

-50,000

-100,000 95 98 01 04 07

Source: Haver Analytics, Gluskin Sheff

NOT A BAD TIME TO BE THINKING INCOME Steady as she goes — whether it be in the bond market or bond proxies in the equity market (ie, large-cap dividend payers). Treasuries have delivered near 8% returns since the summer (annualized). From the worst levels late last year, corporate bonds have delivered 35% returns. Within the equity universe, total returns in utilities from the March low are close to 40% and in the telecom services sphere, closer to 50%. In both cases, dividend yields are at least double the rest of the market. Over the past six months, U.S. investors have put a net $26 billion into equity funds while plowing $254 billion into bond/hybrid funds, in what appears to be a secular change in behavior — allocating more cash into the fixed-income market. This divergence could persist for some time because at last count, less than 7% of household assets were in bonds and 25% were in equities (and 30% still in real estate!). Institutional demand for bonds has been solid too. The Treasury managed to sell $44 billion of 2-year Treasury notes last week at a record low yield of 80bps. The average bid-to-cover ratio at the Treasury auctions so far this year has been 2.59 versus 2.19 in 2008 despite a record $1.4 trillion budget deficit. Through the first nine months of 2009, foreign investors, public and private, have added more than $400 billion to their holdings of Treasury securities — matching all of the activity posted in 2008. So much for an international buyers’ strike as far as U.S. government bonds are concerned. STRONG DEMAND IN CANADA The Canadian economy eked out a 0.4% annualized advance in Q3 but that masked a huge improvement in final demand, which accelerated at a 4.7% annual rate — the best spending performance since the fourth quarter of 2007. As with the U.S.A., the “post-downturn” rebound in real GDP was extremely tepid by the standards of post-WWII cycles (then again, this was hardly a normal recession).

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

To put +0.4% in Q3 into perspective, a typical quarter that follows a recession posts a 4.3% annualized growth rate. Dare we say that the last time we had such a soft post-recession quarter was in 1980, a double-dip was only a year away? In any case, the only reason why the GDP headline was not an absolute blow-out was because imports surged at a 36% annual rate. But outside of commercial construction, which sagged at a 13.8% annual rate (fourth quarter in a row of contraction) the Canadian economy is humming along:
• Consumer spending +3.1% at an annual rate in Q3 • Capex +25.6% • Exports +15.3% • Residential construction +8.1% • Renovation activity +11.5% • Government +7.9%

So while much of Canadian demand was filled with foreign production with imports soaring, the strength in spending is consistent with improved confidence levels in Canada across the household and business sectors. The improvement in the auto sector from depressed levels no doubt helped underpin exports but this will likely be temporary and import substitution given the strong Canadian dollar is probably going to be an enduring theme — and is already triggering some deflation pressure as the final domestic demand price deflator actually dipped at a 0.4% annual rate after being flat in the second quarter. That was the first decline in two years and is constructive for the Canadian bond market as it gives the BoC that much more leeway to stay on the sidelines for longer. CHART 4: DOMESTIC DEMAND DEFLATOR IS HEADING DOWN
Canada: Final Domestic Demand Implicit Price Deflator (year-over-year percent change)
15.0 12.5

10.0

7.5 5.0

2.5

0.0

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

00

05

Source: Haver Analytics, Gluskin Sheff

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

PRODUCER DEFLATION IN CANADA CONTINUES Industrial prices in Canada, as measured by the industrial product price index (IPPI), which is similar to the U.S.'s PPI index, unexpected fell again in October, deflating 0.3% versus consensus expectations of a +0.2% MoM gain and on top of September's -0.4% reading. It seems that the strong Canadian dollar played a major role in pulling IPPI lower this month as it appreciated 2.6% versus the U.S. dollar in October. Without the effects of the strong Loonie, IPPI would have been +0.4% instead of -0.3% MoM. But this has no bearing on the Bank of Canada's thinking as it already stated that the “persistent strength in the Canadian dollar” is going to “subdue inflation pressures”. Nonetheless, the trend in producer prices in Canada is down. On a year-overyear basis, IPPI is deflating at a 6.3% rate, which is not that far off from the record -7.1% rate seen three months ago. And, excluding energy (petroleum and coal products), which rose 1.6% in October, partially reversing the 2.6% decline in September, IPPI fell 0.5% MoM in October and is now flat or deflating seven months in a row. On a year-over-year basis, IPPI excluding energy is deflating at a record 4.5% rate in October. Of the 21 major groups, over 70% are either down or flat on the month. As for the raw materials price index (RMPI), it rose 2.5% MoM in October reversing the 1.0% decline in September. The increase in this index was mainly due to mineral fuels, in particular crude oil. The year-over-year rate for RMPI is becoming less negative, at -7.6% in October compared to -21.4% in September and -34.5% just three-ago; however, there seems to be no flowthrough to the later stages of production: the price index for intermediate goods is 0% and finished goods is deflating at a 0.7% rate. Overall, all this attests to our deflationary theme for finished goods and hence the income-heavy tilt to our investment strategy; and the inflation that is centered in primary production due to Asia’s secular growth dynamics also leaves us with an overall constructive stance on the resource sector.

The trend in producer prices in Canada is down

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

PRICES OF CAPITAL EQUIPMENT IN CANADA DEFLATING — GREAT NEWS ON A PRODUCTIVITY STANDPOINT Within the IPPI report produced by Statistics Canada, we saw that prices for capital equipment continues to fall, down 1.0% in October, which makes it the seven months of consecutive declines — a streak we last saw in mid-2004. This bodes well for companies to investment in capital equipment, which in turn could potentially increase productivity. CHART 5: PRICES OF CAPITAL EQUIPMENT DEFLATING — GOOD NEWS FROM A PRODUCTIVITY STANDPOINT
Canada (quarter-over-quarter percent change at an annual rate)
40 Industrial Price Index for Capital Equipment

30

20

10

0

-10

-20

-30 Business Investment in Machinery & Equipment

-40

-50 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Source: Haver Analytics, Gluskin Sheff

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

Gluskin Sheff at a Glance
Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. is one of Canada’s pre-eminent wealth management firms. Founded in 1984 and focused primarily on high net worth private clients, we are dedicated to the prudent stewardship of our clients’ wealth through the delivery of strong, risk-adjusted investment returns together with the highest level of personalized client service.
OVERVIEW
As of September 30, 2009, the Firm managed assets of $5.0 billion.

INVESTMENT STRATEGY & TEAM

We have strong and stable portfolio management, research and client service teams. Aside from recent additions, our Gluskin Sheff became a publicly traded Portfolio Managers have been with the corporation on the Toronto Stock Firm for a minimum of ten years and we Exchange (symbol: GS) in May 2006 and have attracted “best in class” talent at all remains 65% owned by its senior levels. Our performance results are those management and employees. We have of the team in place. public company accountability and We have a strong history of insightful governance with a private company bottom-up security selection based on commitment to innovation and service. fundamental analysis. For long equities, we Our investment interests are directly look for companies with a history of longaligned with those of our clients, as term growth and stability, a proven track Gluskin Sheff’s management and record, shareholder-minded management employees are collectively the largest and a share price below our estimate of client of the Firm’s investment portfolios. intrinsic value. We look for the opposite in We offer a diverse platform of investment equities that we sell short. For corporate strategies (Canadian and U.S. equities, bonds, we look for issuers with a margin of Alternative and Fixed Income) and safety for the payment of interest and investment styles (Value, Growth and principal, and yields which are attractive 1 Income). relative to the assessed credit risks involved. The minimum investment required to establish a client relationship with the Firm is $3 million for Canadian investors and $5 million for U.S. & International investors. We assemble concentrated portfolios — our top ten holdings typically represent between 25% to 45% of a portfolio. In this way, clients benefit from the ideas in which we have the highest conviction. Our success has often been linked to our long history of investing in underfollowed and under-appreciated small and mid cap companies both in Canada and the U.S.

Our investment interests are directly aligned with those of our clients, as Gluskin Sheff’s management and employees are collectively the largest client of the Firm’s investment portfolios.

$1 million invested in our Canadian Value Portfolio in 1991 (its inception date) would have grown to $15.5 million2 on September 30, 2009 versus $9.7 million for the S&P/TSX Total Return Index over the same period.

PERFORMANCE
$1 million invested in our Canadian Value Portfolio in 1991 (its inception date) 2 would have grown to $15.5 million on September 30, 2009 versus $9.7 million for the S&P/TSX Total Return Index over the same period. $1 million usd invested in our U.S. Equity Portfolio in 1986 (its inception date) would have grown to $11.2 million 2 usd on September 30, 2009 versus $8.7 million usd for the S&P 500 Total Return Index over the same period.
Notes:

PORTFOLIO CONSTRUCTION
In terms of asset mix and portfolio construction, we offer a unique marriage between our bottom-up security-specific fundamental analysis and our top-down macroeconomic view, with the noted addition of David Rosenberg as Chief Economist & Strategist.
For further information, please contact questions@gluskinsheff.com

Unless otherwise noted, all values are in Canadian dollars. 1. Not all investment strategies are available to non-Canadian investors. Please contact Gluskin Sheff for information specific to your situation. 2. Returns are based on the composite of segregated Value and U.S. Equity portfolios, as applicable, and are presented net of fees and expenses.

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December 1, 2009 – BREAKFAST WITH DAVE

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES
Copyright 2009 Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. (“Gluskin Sheff”). All rights reserved. This report is prepared for the use of Gluskin Sheff clients and subscribers to this report and may not be redistributed, retransmitted or disclosed, in whole or in part, or in any form or manner, without the express written consent of Gluskin Sheff. Gluskin Sheff reports are distributed simultaneously to internal and client websites and other portals by Gluskin Sheff and are not publicly available materials. Any unauthorized use or disclosure is prohibited. Gluskin Sheff may own, buy, or sell, on behalf of its clients, securities of issuers that may be discussed in or impacted by this report. As a result, readers should be aware that Gluskin Sheff may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. This report should not be regarded by recipients as a substitute for the exercise of their own judgment and readers are encouraged to seek independent, third-party research on any companies covered in or impacted by this report. Individuals identified as economists do not function as research analysts under U.S. law and reports prepared by them are not research reports under applicable U.S. rules and regulations. Macroeconomic analysis is considered investment research for purposes of distribution in the U.K. under the rules of the Financial Services Authority. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed constitutes an offer or an invitation to make an offer, to buy or sell any securities or other financial instrument or any derivative related to such securities or instruments (e.g., options, futures, warrants, and contracts for differences). This report is not intended to provide personal investment advice and it does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in financial instruments and implementing investment strategies discussed or recommended in this report and should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. Any decision to purchase or subscribe for securities in any offering must be based solely on existing public information on such security or the information in the prospectus or other offering document issued in connection with such offering, and not on this report. Securities and other financial instruments discussed in this report, or recommended by Gluskin Sheff, are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and are not deposits or other obligations of any insured depository institution. 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