A few weeks ago, in a story on Nortel
Q: How does a lifeguard get 50 rowdy Canadians out of a pool?
A: He says, "Please get out of the pool."
(My addendum is that he then repeats it in French.)
Thanks to all who submitted jokes. They were priceless. I felt like running out for Tim Horton's and poutine afterward.
Canadian banking giant Toronto-Dominion Bank
In a measure that the market is skeptical of either the strategy or the price the Canadian bank is paying, both Toronto-Dominion and Banknorth stocks fell yesterday after the transaction became public knowledge. Toronto-Dominion Bank has previously lacked a banking presence in the United States, though it does own one of the largest brokerages in the country, TDWaterhouse.
In entering the U.S. market, TDWaterhouse follows a number of its Canadian brethren, including the Royal Bank of Canada
Six companies, the four mentioned above plus Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
This transaction comes after a brutal two-year turnaround for Toronto-Dominion. Two years ago the company turned in its first quarterly loss in more than a decade, caused in no small part by a lack of lending discipline to corporations. The interesting thing about this transaction is that Toronto-Dominion is taking a controlling stake in Banknorth, though it is leaving management in place at the company. Banknorth is an interesting story, a Wachovia
Most of the negativity surrounding the deal is based on the fact that the premium on assets Toronto-Dominion is paying is fairly generous. But Banknorth is a true success story, with its stock having risen from just less than a buck in 1991 to yesterday's close of $33.90, providing substantial gains and a juicy dividend to boot. Toronto-Dominion Bank knows its home market of Canada quite well -- it doesn't have much experience in the U.S. By making its foothold in the U.S. by leaving a management team in place that has shown itself to know a thing or two about running a banking corporation, Toronto-Dominion shows that it has learned to recognize the things that it does not know.
The Canadian banks are making strong moves into the U.S. market, and if Toronto-Dominion's latest gambit is any indication, they're being smart about it.
Bill posted all of the other non-vulgar Canadian jokes on the Fool's Humor and Urban Legends discussion board, which you can access with a free 30-day trial .
Bill Mann owns no shares of any company mentioned in this story.