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CIBC chief economist resigns to start book tour

TORONTO (Reuters) - High-profile chief economist Jeff Rubin will resign his position at the investment arm of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as he sets out on a world tour to promote his new book.

Rubin will step down from his role at CIBC World Markets on March 31 and be replaced by Avery Shenfeld, currently a senior economist at the same firm.

Shenfeld joined CIBC in 1993 after spending seven years in management consulting. Earlier this year, at an event with other leading Canadian economists, Shenfeld said there was a lot of bad news to get through in the first half of 2009.

Rubin joined CIBC, Canada's fifth biggest bank, in 1988 as a senior economist and became chief economist in 1992. He added chief strategist to his role in 2003.

An internal memo regarding Rubin's resignation said he was named Canada's top economist 10 times. It also said Rubin was leaving to pursue other interests, including his book.

Rubin's book explores the ways in which oil scarcity will lead to the end of globalization. It will be released in May.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Rob Wilson)

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