Jeff Rubin, the famously voluble chief economist of CIBC World Markets, has been sent to sensitivity training after angering Canada’s most prominent Islamic lobby group with language he used in a report on the oil market. In April, he predicted that oil prices would double by 2010. Demand will outstrip supply because “this time around there won’t be any tap that some appeased mullah or sheik can suddenly turn back on,” he wrote. While Mr. Rubin used the terms to describe the OPEC-induced price shocks of years past, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) found the language offensive. In fact, CAIR-CAN wrote the bank saying it was “gravely concerned that Mr. Rubin is promoting stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs.” Two weeks after the complaint, CIBC World Markets chief executive Brian Shaw responded. Mr. Shaw said in a letter to CAIR-CAN that the remarks “were not meant to offend anyone” but “in hindsight, the comments were insensitive.” Mr. Shaw went on to say that “we will be providing him [Mr. Rubin] with training to ensure that this situation does not occur again in the future . . . in addition, Jeff has withdrawn the research report from the World Markets website [and] redrafted the paragraph in question.” (MORE)

 

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