Geopolitics podcast title card

Geopolitics with Frank McKenna

Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair at TD Securities and former Premier of New Brunswick and Canadian Ambassador to the United States, discusses geopolitical issues of the day in this monthly series.

Subscribe on Spotify and Apple Podcasts for the latest updates on Geopolitics.

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Geopolitics podcast title card

Geopolitics with Frank McKenna

Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair at TD Securities and former Premier of New Brunswick and Canadian Ambassador to the United States, discusses geopolitical issues of the day in this monthly series.

Subscribe on Spotify and Apple Podcasts for the latest updates on Geopolitics.

Share This Podcast

Recent Episodes

September 29, 2023

Unpacking Canada's Diplomatic Row with India

Frank McKenna, a proud Canadian, shows his true passion for Canada in Episode 44 first defending Canada in its diplomatic dispute with India over the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Member of the Sikh diaspora in Surrey, BC, then arguing against Alberta's potential separation from CPP and finally championing the partnership between The Federal Government and Indigenous communities for the soon to be finished Trans Mountain Pipeline. Frank believes Canada's actions are enough following the unfortunate incident during Ukrainian President Zelensky's parliamentary visit in Ottawa that has now been politicized in both Canada and Russia and he touches on the impact of a U.S. government shutdown. The pod finishes up with Frank asking, perhaps rhetorically, for more cheerful topics next month – we make no promises.

August 25, 2023

More of the Same

Episode 43 is entitled "More of the Same" because Frank returns to common threads from previous episodes namely Trudeau, climate, immigration, war, and Trump. Frank discusses recent meetings with members of the Prime Minister's cabinet who stop by Frank's residence in New Brunswick en route to this week's retreat in PEI. Top of mind items for Canada's government leaders include the public's growing belief that Ottawa is the primary cause of inflation, whether it is time to slow down on immigration in response to public pleas, and lack of affordable housing for 25-40 year old Canadians. Frank takes aim at last month's alarming Auditor General's report in Ontario on Greenbelt re-zoning, and the decision by the Ford government to press forward with re-zoning despite a growing outcry from opposition leaders. He also weighs in on Trump, who is again, front and center with a fourth indictment in Georgia. Finally, Frank finishes up talking summits, both at Camp David, and in South Africa, where BRIC members discuss options for reducing dependence on the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.

August 1, 2023

Not So Summer Doldrums

In Episode 42, Frank checks in from his summer location in New Brunswick for a wide ranging discussion on a busy geopolitical calendar. We start close to home with a recap of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent speech to Frank's charity summer golf event on the East Coast. Not surprisingly, Clinton's remarks centered on US politics, including the prospect of a Donald Trump Republican Party nomination and the likelihood of a third party disruptor at the 2024 election. Frank compares the situation in Netanyahu's Israel to a 2nd Trump term in the Oval Office and suggests that no one should take for granted democratic norms in the Western world. After brief remarks on the NATO summit, we pivot to Canadian politics and discuss the Trudeau cabinet shuffle and its potential impact on the next party in power in Canada. Before we finish on the Blue Jays, Frank gets out his crystal ball for a very interesting look at the world from his lens 10 years from now.

July 5, 2023

Breaking Down a Russian Coup Attempt

In Episode 41, Frank breaks down the startling developments that unfolded in Russia over the weekend, with the mercenary Russian army known as the Wagner Group apparently turning on President Putin and leading to a near civil war. We switch to US politics where Frank downplays the risk of an uprising should former President Trump be sent to jail for one of his many legal issues. Other topics discussed include the recent trip to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Canadian wildfires, and David Dodge's criticism of Canada's immigration policies.

June 1, 2023

Rona visits the Pod for a Discussion on the Alberta Election and Federal Politics

Frank is joined by his colleague, The Honorable Rona Ambrose, for a wide-ranging discussion on Canadian politics including the upcoming Alberta Election, where a recent own goal by Rachel Notley on corporate taxes might be the catalyst for a UCP victory next week. Rona and Frank also discuss politics in Ottawa, including the assertion by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien that Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre's policies are even right of Stephen Harper. Rona finishes up with some advice on social media for aspiring politicians, especially females.

May 3, 2023

In Conversation with Chris Krueger, Washington Research Group

In Episode 39, Frank invites his new colleague from TD Cowen's Washington Research Group, Chris Krueger, to the monthly podcast for a discussion on U.S. politics. The two geopolitical experts discuss potential solutions to the pending debt ceiling, how Trump's legal woes work to his advantage and who might be his credible competitors in the Republican Primary. Frank covers some high-level conversation topics with business leaders, and both Chris and Frank provide names of their ideal Presidential candidates.

April 4, 2023

Geopolitics Gone Crazy

In Episode 38, Frank returns from a busy schedule of travelling the world this past month and provides a live eye view on several important hot button geopolitical topics. He has just returned from a visit to the Middle East, where he met with senior political figures in Israel and Jordan, all of whom condemned the move by Israeli leader Netanyahu to condense power inside his government. Frank also shares his views on French President Macron's decision to take on the controversial topic of pension reform which resulted in countrywide protests against a plan that means public sector employees will need to work two more years before qualifying for a full pension. Additionally, he weighs in on government actions to support banks, and also the recent State Visit to Ottawa by President Biden, which Frank argues was a unequivocal success with great tone from the top.

March 10, 2023

Where is Roxham Road?

In Episode 37, Frank deep dives the immigration complexities of North America, in particular the issue of refugees seeking asylum from the USA into Canada via irregular ports of entry not covered under existing immigration agreements between the two countries. He admits there is no easy solution to the US's Southern border refugee problem which is complicated by the fact it is not just Mexicans using its border to enter the US illegally. Frank discusses the rhetoric between Russia and Ukraine at the one year anniversary of the War and explains why an audit of Western Aid during a war is all but impossible. He finishes with a look at the Dominion Voting Machines lawsuit of FOX News, which judged in the court of public opinion is a slam dunk victory for the plaintiff.

February 8, 2023

The Never-Ending Confidential Documents File

Episode 36 returns to addressing the geopolitical topics of the day. The episode begins with a discussion of the document storage security breaches by various important US politicians, a story that is keeping cable television political commentators busy. Frank also addresses the topic du jour at this year's World Economic Forum, geo-economic fragmentation on the back of the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, the declining relations between China, and tensions between the US and Europe over the US's generous subsidies for electric vehicles. We finish up in North America discussing infrastructure investing in Canada, and the US debt ceiling, including talk on Wall Street of a solution that allows debts to be paid to bondholders exclusively while the government works to solve the debate.

January 12, 2023

10 Predictions for Geopolitics in 2023

In Episode 35, we challenge Frank to provide his thoughts on ten of the most important geopolitical matters impacting Canada and the rest of the world order going into 2023. Frank offers candid and realistic insight and while not everything you will hear will make you smile, there is some glimmer of hope on the horizon for both politics and the economy.

November 29, 2022

Donald Trump and His Legal Woes

In Episode 34, Frank breaks down the legal woes of Donald Trump and is left to wonder "is it possible to be President of the United States while in jail?" Of all the cases in front of Trump, Frank believes the innocuous situation of the Mar-a-logo documents may possibly be Trump's biggest legal risk. Frank discusses the implications of a split Congress, indicating that the topic is top of mind with investors and corporate clients post mid-term elections. He is closely watching the Georgia run-off for the 100th Senate seat as a Democratic victory would reduce the influence of Joe Manchin and other senators at the end of the spectrum, allowing the Democrats greater control of Senate Committees. Turning to Canadian politics, Frank contrasts his view against his colleague, The Honorable Rona Ambrose, who believes that the new Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith will win at the next provincial election.

November 25, 2022

Talking Canadian Politics with Rona Ambrose

In Episode 33, we listen in on a special interview with The Honorable Rona Ambrose conducted at our 23rd Annual TD Securities Portfolio Management and Market Structure Conference held on November 3, 2022. Rona tackles several important topics on the minds of Canadians including the leadership race in her home province of Alberta and the 411 on the Federal Conservative Party's new leader Pierre Poilievre. While Rona's Conservative Party background differs from Frank McKenna's Liberal upbringing, the two former leaders hold a mutual respect for one another. That said, we look forward getting Frank's take on Rona's view that both Danielle Smith and Pierre Poilievre are electable.

October 20, 2022

The UK's Lost Trusst in its Leader

In Episode 32, Frank addresses the rhetoric from Alberta's new Premier Danielle Smith who he believes will need to tone down the message in order to be electable next May. The theme of inflation is prevalent, with Frank touching on rising mortgage rates, OPEC's politically motivated decision to cut production and its impact on U.S. mid-terms and the mess caused by U.K. Prime Minister Truss' hugely inflationary and now unwound mini-budget. Frank admits that Russia-Ukraine is at a stalemate with no runway for an off ramp, as they head into winter. Despite all the negative press, Frank talks about his positive outlook on the world as whole, acting as a reminder to take a step back when we are overwhelmed by an endless stream of negative news headlines.

September 28, 2022

Russia's Nuclear Threat

In Episode 31, Frank and Peter catch up on world events, including the war in Ukraine and Putin's saber rattling over nuclear weapons, the changing political landscape in Europe and the U.K., the U.S. mid-terms and the Conservative Party's new leader in Canada. Frank provides a view from Cap Pele of the damage from Hurricane Fiona, which he considers to be the strongest storm to hit landfall in Canada in recorded history. He also shares his perspective on why U.S. leaders are unable to change the narrative on immigration -- from one of vitriol to one of need given changing demographics . Peter asks Frank his favourite fishing story from New Brunswick's famous Miramichi River and the two of them finish up with the Blue Jays as we head into the play-off run.

August 24, 2022

Poking the Bear

In Episode 30, Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Securities, examines geopolitical issues south of the 49th parallel, starting with Nancy Pelosi's controversial trip to Taiwan and the Chinese Government's reaction. Frank also touches on Merrick Garland's decision to search Former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, and how it impacts Republican perception of the Department of Justice. In another take, while it was a good month for President Biden, Frank comments on whether those positive developments will move the needle on Biden's approval rating. Frank concludes the episode with an update on the abortion vote in Kansas, including a surprising stance in a traditionally red state.

July 27, 2022

A Three Foot Putt

In Episode 29, Frank McKenna covers a wide range of topics including the difficulties of air travel and who should be held accountable for Canada's position as one of the worst countries for on time flight arrivals. Frank discusses the peaceful overthrow of the Sri Lankan government and warns that other emerging countries such as Honduras, Brazil and Guatemala are on his watch list at risk of similar uprisings. He discusses Boris Johnson's exit from UK politics and his reaction to the Bank of Canada's 100 basis point increase in its benchmark interest rate. Finally, he weighs in on the January 6th hearings and whether the Department of Justice will in fact charge former President Trump with a crime for his actions surrounding the January 6 riot.

June 29, 2022

War, Inflation and the Supreme Court

In this episode, Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Securities, takes aim at the highly politicized Supreme Court now that the Republicans are holding a supermajority. How will a very right-wing agenda of reforms to climate change, abortion, and gun laws sit with the majority of Americans, and what does it signal about the Supreme Court? Frank also addresses potential land mines that could be triggered in the Ukraine-Russia war, and cites feedback from business leaders and politicians on the hot topic of inflation and the looming threat of a recession.

May 31, 2022

Election Issues in North America with Special Guest: Rona Ambrose, Deputy Chairwoman, and former Conservative Party Leader

In this episode, Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Securities, is joined by the Honourable Rona Ambrose. Together, they cover a host of election issues across North America, including the Conservative Party Leadership Race, the Ontario Provincial Election, and the bombshell announcement of Jason Kenney's resignation as Alberta Premier. Frank also touches on the recent tragic events in Uvalde, Texas. He expresses his views on gun reform in the U.S., and he outlines whether this event will be a ballot issue in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. In another discussion, Rona does not believe the leaked Roe v. Wade decision, or recent gun violence, will impact Canadian elections in the coming months. On the global front, Frank offers his perspective on the war in Ukraine, and megatrends that are on the horizon, including energy, agriculture, and pharmaceutical independence, as well as deglobalization. Inflation is also a main talking point, as politicians everywhere confront this topic for the first time in 30 years.

This long-form podcast contains incredible insights from former political leaders that remain connected to the current geopolitical landscape. It is a must-listen for investors who are trying to navigate critical events in the day-to-day markets.

April 26, 2022

Holding the West together

In this episode, Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Securities, tackles the political implications of long-term inflation. He reminds listeners of the 1970s and 1980s when inflation was the number one ballot issue in Canada. Frank also provides a high-level perspective on the war in Ukraine, indicating that the West is "draining the swamp" by isolating Russia and cutting off its lucrative supply of energy to Europe. Frank goes on to highlight how Emmanuel Macron's victory over Marine Le Pen, the far-right presidential candidate in France, reduces the risk of a split with the West. Frank details how this could also impact the search for alternative energy solutions, including nuclear energy. Frank concludes the episode by offering sound advice to corporate executives regarding the ESG debate, making an important connection to Ukraine's sovereignty.

April 1, 2022

Russia's next move

In this episode, Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Securities, takes a post-mortem look at the G7 Leaders' Summit held in Brussels over the weekend. Frank suggests that Biden's comments on the regime change in Russia were unhelpful and may be forgotten. He also analyzes Russia's retreat from Kyiv, hinting that if Russia is acting rationally, this may signal a potential end to the conflict. With Russia facing ongoing ostracization from the Western World, Frank believes Canada should take a leading role in reshaping the global economy, with an important nod to C.D. Howe. Frank concludes the episode by examining the recent Liberal-NDP deal, and what it means for Prime Minister Trudeau's next move.

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