Harper is great when he sticks to the script, but as soon as he starts freelancing, loosens up, you enter a dangerous place. I almost fell off the couch, when Harper started talking about stock market opportunities. Here we are, in the midst of a historic meltdown, and Harper is chatting it up with some brokers, discussing the buying opportunities. Some of the quotes, which I'm sure many have already heard by now:
"I think there's probably some great buying opportunities emerging in the stock market as a consequence of all this panic." Mr. Harper told news reporters as the S&P/TSX dropped for the fifth straight day.
"We always know that when stock markets go up, people end up buying a lot of things that are overpriced and when stock markets go down, people end up passing on a lot of things that are under priced," Mr. Harper said in a later interview with the CBC. "I think there are probably some gains to be made in the stock market."
Harper's cavalier attitude was astounding. This isn't a market's go up, market's come down scenario, this is unprecedented instability. Whatever good Harper had done himself earlier, completely evaporated and we were left with the clear impression that this guy does lack real empathy, this guy doesn't grasp the gravity. People know what's going on, everybody is talking about the uncertainty, many are resigning themselves to a bleak future. To have Harper, thinking in opportunistic terms, that he would even posit this is time to make some money, it's just amazing. A cold perspective, the last thing Harper needed to convey, it just left a real bad taste, he managed to hurt himself further.