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Canada's Strong Economic Recovery Getting U.S. Media's Attention

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Canada's remarkable recent success in regulating its banks and creating new jobs is finally starting to get the U.S. media attention it deserves.

If this keeps up, U.S. right wingers will start attacking Canada's banking and economic system like they attacked our neighbor's government-run health-care system for years.

As local U.S. banks continue to topple, it's well worth noting that Canada has had only one bank failure in history -- and none recently.

It's long been said that when the U.S. economy sneezes, Canada's catches a cold. But these days, given recent upbeat economic news, more and more of us Canada watchers are saying, "What cold?"

Last week's report that Canada's resurgent economy created 10,000 more jobs -- 93,000 in all -- than its southern neighbors has focused a lot of U.S. media attention lately to just what's going on in the Canadian economy that's different from ours.

My colleague at Dow Jones-owned MarketWatch.com, Nick Godt, in a recent piece, noted that Canada's "boring" regulated economy is working better than ours:

"In Canada, " he wrote, "where a regulated banking system and strong consumer protection laws helped the country weather the globe's worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression, a vibrant private sector is hiring again." He also noted that in Canada, "big money and business interests don't have as much sway over policies as in the U.S."

Badda bing, eh?

There's been strong hiring in the service sector in Canada, and the Huffington Post took note of this in a recent piece headlined, "Need a job? Try Canada, where hiring is booming and home prices are rising."

"In terms of sheer job creation," the HuffPo piece said, "June saw Canada create jobs at five times the rate predicted by economists."

Marketwatch only last week created a special Canada section, which partly includes my Canada blog - another new addition - to let its readers know more about our increasingly confident and noteworthy next-door neighbor.

And Moody's adds that Canada's strong economic recovery is ongoing, even if the U.S. economy falls back into recession. Jimmy Jean, an economist at Moodys.com, says Canada's economic recovery is safe, even if the U.S. suffers a double-dip recession. Jean:

"With the shift toward a service-oriented economy over the last three decades, Canada has grown more immune to U.S. woes. The last two U.S. recessions are solid proof that Canada is now better able to withstand strong headwinds from the south. Should a downside mild double-dip U.S. recession materialize, Canada's recovery would very likely survive.

In addition to Canada's strong commodity sector, Jean said the success of Canada's recovery is also because of policy makers acting quickly in the depth of the crisis, consumers shrugging off the recession and beginning to spend again, and Canadian employers believing in the recovery and hiring again.

MarketWatch's Markets Editor Godt also blasted the U.S. Senate's refusal to extend unemployment benefits thusly:

"Isn't blocking unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans a pretty good attempt to make sure consumer spending will drop, lead to less growth, and further job losses just in time for the midterm elections?"

It is inconceivable to this long-time American Canada watcher that Canadian politicians -- of whatever party -- would ever refuse to extend these benefits to the unemployed.

Many of my Canadian friends are shaking their heads in disbelief at the cynicism of heartless Republican Senators who voted against it.