CEWS - Bay Street Lame Ducks Edition

I am jumping on the CEWS-shaming bandwagon, thanks to a tip by an alert reader, who I can only assume prefers to remain anonymous. The essence of CEWS-shaming is to ask whether financially sound firms should take advantage of a taxpayer-funded wage subsidy program meant to help businesses affected by the pandemic.

The program is officially described as follows:

As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease you back into normal operations.

Here are some notable names that took advantage of the program:

Eyeybrow-raising names:

O'Shares Investments Inc.

GRIT CAPITAL ADVISORY INC.

TRELIVING PRIVATE INVESTMENTS LTD.

MR. MUSTACHE CAPITAL INC.

Hedge funds

-BloombergSen (I wrote about them here)

-Ewing Morris (I wrote about them here)

-JC Clark

-NEXT EDGE CAPITAL CORP.

-JEMEKK CAPITAL MANAGEMENT (2017) INC.

-MAXAM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LTD.

-TIMELO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT INC.

Private equity

-DANCAP PRIVATE EQUITY INC. (this is an affiliate of a very wealthy individual, Aubrey Dan)

-DRI Capital Inc (this is the private equity operation of the son of the founder of Future Shop, they have more than $2b in AUM, and about 40 staff)

-CANADIAN VENTURE CAPITAL & PRIVATE EQUITY ASSOCIATION

Extremely boring companies:

CI Investments

First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc.

CUMBERLAND INVESTMENT COUNSEL INC.

Fiera Capital

PENDERFUND CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LTD.

Here's the full database. I am sure I missed many, let me know.

I am, of course, not judging. In my view, if the government is handing out toasters, it's perfectly OK for you to claim your own toaster. Nevertheless, I don't know if the PR hit is worth it. And as a bully, it's my duty to prey on any perceived weakness, without worrying about the rights and wrongs of it.

In other kompromat-related news, Cormark recently agreed to pay $800k to the SEC in relation to an allegation of having facilitated naked short-selling to the tune of $660m by a hedge fund client. This was on a “no admissions” basis. More info here.

Finally, may I take this opportunity to extend the obligatory year-end greetings to you and the people you profess to love.


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