Here we go again

sales1

Through the course of this year people have accused me of spreading doom. Some political acquaintances suggested one reason (among countless) I lost in the last election was because people were irritated at me for saying their houses would fall in value. Interestingly enough, my former riding is turning into the Stockton of Canada, so I sure hope they listened to me, even if they voted for the other team.

As the year ends, there’s no satisfaction seeing my predictions materialize, because we’re entering a real estate-based collapse just as middle America did. And it will get far worse in 2009.

More evidence of that came Tuesday with the latest Case-Shiller house price index showing real estate to the south is heading for Depression status. Prices fell 18% in the last 12 months, on top of the dive in 2007. Homes in Phoenix and Las Vegas declined by another third in just a year.

This is a disaster. Median prices are crumbling by the most on record. Fully 45% of all sales in the US are now foreclosures and bank deals, and the biggest homebuilder told analysts in a conference call, “we’re in the midst of a downward spiral and the momentum is building.”

It’s building here, too. It’s just that there aren’t too many people saying what I am. And while Calgary is not Phoenix and the GTA is no Vegas, it is folly to think we’re immune from the contagion now sweeping through western society.
But, the dangerous myth lives on. Just hours after the latest US numbers flashed, a story moved to most Canadian newspapers containing this:

“House prices continue to plummet in the United States, but the consensus in Canada remains that the impact of the downturn will not be as severe here…Ted Zaharko, who owns Royal LePage Foothills Real Estate Services in Calgary, said Canadians are following the U.S. too closely and expecting the same market conditions to happen here. While prices and sales continue to fall in Calgary, he figures the market has bottomed out in the city that surpassed Toronto as the second-most expensive place to buy a home during this housing cycle. “We have people putting ridiculous offers in on a home and nobody is selling. People are saying ‘l’ll wait for prices to drop.’ It’s not going to happen,” says Zaharko. “

Well, Ted, I guess we’ll see about that. So will your buyers.

But, such denials are not new. I’ve been showered with them for the past year. And as the ideas contained in my latest book and on my new site seep out, I’m girding for a new chorus of what’s-he-smoking?

Cue the squirrels.

Eric Sprott, of Sprott Asset Management in Toronto is worth listening to. He’s telling clients, “Make no mistake – we are in a Depression. That’s right, it’s the dreaded ‘D’ word. And we are knee deep in it right now.”

Sprott points to car sales (down 37%), housing starts (down 47%), stocks (down 42%) and unemployment (250,000 jobs lost last month in the US, 66,000 here). Interest rates at zero are deathly worrisome, since they show central bankers are all out of bullets. Worse, the US deficit will hit $1 trillion, double any shortfall which came before. Massive bailouts now will mean a crash in the Yankee greenback later, followed by hyperinflation. America may well be in the process of bankrupting itself. And it’s our largest customer.

“This is a depression,” he says again, “one that has only just begun.”  Stocks will fall further. New unemployment will be massive. Real estate’s a rathole. Sprott’s safe havens: cash and gold.

It is against this background – fears of economic Armageddon punctuated by cries of denial – that the new year dawns, and that I raise my voice once again. Eventually opportunity will return. Houses and stocks will get too cheap not to buy. Markets will rally. But that could be a long time coming, and events in the meantime might range from difficult to extreme.

This is why my book deals not only with the growing odds of financial collapse and what to do about it, but also how to position for when morning finally arrives. Doubtless, there will be many ‘experts’ who refute my every word, as they did a year ago.

Finally, xurbia. Now in preview mode, it will be operational next month, at which time I will have more to say. Let me just give this background: It took me months and months to source the tools and knowledge I needed to keep my family safe through the potential events ahead. I wanted to gain more control over whatever might occur, and now I have it. If you share my views, I’m providing you with a roadmap. If you don’t, move on.

And if you think this is survivalist fear-mongering, why not run for the Conservatives?

133 comments ↓

#1 Albert on 12.30.08 at 10:51 pm

YOU ROCK GARTH!
Just keep my mastercard on file and dont ever stop writing the books!

– Cant wait till “after the crash”.

AA

#2 squidly77 on 12.30.08 at 11:06 pm

Edmonton, January 4, 2005: The Edmonton Real Estate Board happily reported that The average price of a single family home at year-end was $202,711, compared to $191,336 on December 31, 2003.
http://web.archive.org/web/20050121082459/www.ereb.com/marketactivity/December2004.html
albertans (insert your own province) were duped into paying bubblelicious prices for shoe boxes in the sky and particle board shacks by being served copious amounts of intoxicating housing kool-aid and watching repeat after repeat of the crooked housing flippers on flip this house

for a while they really did think that money grew on trees
kool-aid is now prohibited and the housing hang over and finger pointing begins

#3 squidly77 on 12.30.08 at 11:09 pm

screwed up my post..its supposed to read

then house prices surged to $451,000 by may/08 then crashed back to $363,000 by dec/09

where the link is

#4 squidly77 on 12.30.08 at 11:10 pm

ok i give up..need a preview button
then house prices surged to $451,000 by may/07 then crashed back to $363,000 by dec/08

#5 9/11 was an inside job on 12.30.08 at 11:17 pm

Thanks Garth for all your hard work. You’re one of the few sources in Canada that has been speaking out about what is happening and what may happen.

Other great sources of information:
http://allamericangold.com/radio.html

And the great patriot Alex Jones at:
http://www.infowars.com

#6 Ruhh on 12.30.08 at 11:38 pm

I’m just putting out this observation to see if I think I somewhat understand the housing bubble in and/or outside the Ottawa market.

About a year ago my girlfriend and I were looking to buy our first home (not a condo) and thinking of only spending around $220K. My friend started talking about your book and I of course was a naysayer up until I started following this site and later being fully converted after watching The Crash Course http://www.chrismartensen.com/crashcourse/

My argument back then was that housing in that price range especially in Ottawa couldn’t feel much of the housing crash. As wrong as I was about the Canadian market crash I think I was right about that price range being stable.

What I’m noticing now is that homes under $250 are getting scarcer. In fact it seems that even all the dungheaps under $200K we looked at or didn’t bother with are nearly nonexistent. What I think this means is that people are getting out of their larger homes and downsizing to homes of my modest desires. Have you noticed this to be a trend?

#7 EJ on 12.30.08 at 11:43 pm

Typical. The crash is just getting started in Canada and already we have clowns like this Zaharko fellow calling bottom.

Expect to see dozens of false bottoms being called by people who have vested interests in others jumping into the pool before the water’s decontaminated.

#8 OntarioHouse on 12.30.08 at 11:46 pm

Garth: People dont like hearing the truth. They want their ears tickled. Just remember that everything you have predicted so far has come true. Those who lived foolishly and made terrible mistakes will hate your words. The truth will hurt them. But there’s a big bunch of people out there who truly appreciate your words. You have opened eyes and given valuable information.
You are the Canadian Peter Schiff. A mans who’s predictions may not always be liked BUT do come true.

#9 old phartz on 12.30.08 at 11:52 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a while and pretty much agreeing with your points but the xurbia thing leaves me scratching my head. Kinda looks like the old school sale person training rule of a good salesman creates a need and then fills it.

Yeah, I engineered this global financial meltdown. Damn, you’re good. — Garth

#10 Signal Loss on 12.31.08 at 12:28 am

Checked out Xurbia – interesting products/packages on the site. As a condo dweller, I’m interested in the small Yamaha generator. Problem with it of course is the fuel. How do you store it? Can you safely store gas for long periods in jerry cans? (i know, i’ve seen vid of the werhmacht in Africa with gas cans tied to the panzers, all in blistering heat, but really, how do you safely store small amounts of gas like this?).

Cool solar stuff, too. Thanks for checking this equipment out. It’s easy to find products on the internets, but quite another thing to actually try to source them, physically inspect them and ensure that they’re appropriate to ontario. Good job.

And MREs – nice one. I doubt i’d be partial to squirrel. MREs for me.

Regarding the whole theory of collapse. I know that we’re all dependent on systems of systems. E.g. just-in-time inventories, the power grid, etc. You are right to point out the weakness and the need to take prudent steps. But I think that systems harden over time. Take the August 2003 power outage. Changes have been made in the grid, control software has improved. Take cars. In the 30’s, you had 20 neighbours with 5 cars between them. Currently, we might not be able to repair our cars, but now we have 100 neighbours with 170 available cars (some amount of sharing assumed). I agree with your general message of caution, but I do believe that improvements accrete into the system over time.

Best for 2009 (no, really…)

#11 nonplused on 12.31.08 at 12:38 am

Interestingly, many of the things you need to start a basic “survival” package are the same things you might stock up on before an extended “dry” camping trip, and available at Canadian Tire, MEC, and other fine soon to be out of business retailers. Instead of buying a new car to bail out the doomed auto companies, why not get yourself a kerosene heater and 4 days worth of fuel? It’s cheaper, and Crappy Tire might last another few weeks. They have workers too.

Of course the cashier has no idea why anyone would want to buy such things, and if she had the money to buy them she’d get a new iphone, so sometimes questions arise. The proper response is “ice fishing”. If you say “economic collapse” or “power failures” she’ll thing you need a straight jacket from aisle 27.

Speaking of CT, the local store had a little inverter generator, perfect for charging the batteries on a standby system or RV (with the proper charger), on for half price. I hummed and hawed for 2 weeks and it was gone. Somebody else is reading this site! I already have a larger inverter generator, bought back when they weren’t nearly so cheap and came from Japan rather than China. I like the inverters because they are quite. Nothing is as irritating when you are camping and enjoying being as close to nature as us city slickers dare to get as when buddy next door has a lawn mower engine strapped to an alternator blaring away for 5 hours every evening because he doesn’t understand the trailer’s on board charger is only 5 amps.

I’ve used the RV to experiment with solar power as well. The panel works great in the summer in an RV type application because the units are designed to be electricity light except the stock lighting (can be replaced with florescent) and the air conditioning (no hope for this luxury going forward). But I can’t figure out how to reliably keep the batteries from freezing in this climate. Replacing your battery bank every 2 years is expensive! But I think that is a major obstacle facing the green home movement. If you get cold weather and low sunlight, you either have to stop using power immediately or the batteries freeze. Then they are ruined. You’d think some sort of antifreeze could be added to the solution. And yes I understand I can take them out and put them in a heated garage, but they aren’t much use in a self sufficient home then are they? You need to be able to draw the power if you want to go of grid and they will freeze when you do so. Lack of battery technology is a major problem for the unplugged home, as with the electric car. Neither can survive -30.

This post probably belonged on the new Xurbia site. What’s the link?

Oh, but as to whether people think you are crazy, Garth, let’s hope they do. Nobody ever got it right by going with the crowd. If you don’t go with the crowd, you will probably still be wrong, but at least you get to make new mistakes instead of old ones!

#12 Justin on 12.31.08 at 12:38 am

Mr. Zaharko will eat his words one day. What do you expect a real estate monger to say? That prices will collapse? Methinks he needs a lesson in supply and demand.

#13 Jeff Smith on 12.31.08 at 1:30 am

http://www.energybulletin.net/node/23259?ref=patrick.net

I don’t see that US being the same as the Soviet Union but this author does make some very valid and scary points. So its worth a reading. If in fact the US does go through collapse as this guy theorize, we in Canada would be in big trouble too. Canada is so integrated economically (I would even say annexed economically) with the US that we will face the exact same outcome, no exception. Scary!

#14 islander on 12.31.08 at 1:57 am

Anyone who chooses not to listen to you will have only themselves to blame when they’re scrounging around for grubs.

Everybody should send a thank you letter to whatever parasite won your riding, because now you’re free to speak your mind and write your books.

You’re more valuable as a free thinker than a party drone.

#15 Downsized and Delighted on 12.31.08 at 2:04 am

Well of course Eric Sprott is telling his clients that “we are in a depression”. He just lost 40% of their money. What the he** is he supposed to say?

We know that you predicted the downturn in real estate Garth. But now you seem to be saying that you were the “only” one who saw it coming? Come on. Everyone over 50 knew it was coming. This is my third real estate bust.

I remain,

Downsized and Delighted

#16 Blacksheep on 12.31.08 at 3:02 am

Garth,

your comments,

“Eric Sprott, of Sprott Asset Management in Toronto is worth listening to. He’s telling clients, “Make no mistake – we are in a Depression. That’s right, it’s the dreaded ‘D’ word. And we are knee deep in it right now.”

Been watching Eric Sprott on BNN for while, he’s been on target for the past six months.

We need more public figures like you and Eric, waking
up the masses.

The more people prepare, the better it will be.

Look forward to your book, when will you be in the Fraser Valley?

take care
BS

#17 real estate expert on 12.31.08 at 3:36 am

…Doug Kass’s 20 Surprises Of 2009…

http://clusterstock.alleyinsider.com/2008/12/doug-kasss-20-surprises-of-2009

…No Growth in China and Other Outrageous Prophecies…

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/106331/No-Growth-in-China-and-Other-Outrageous-Prophecies

…Real Estate Expert’s Lone Predictions…

Lions Gate Bridge will be twinned…North & West Vancouver Real Estate will triple in value.

Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kongwood will divide themselves with Vancouver.

Vancouver will become North America’s Financial/Trade Centre.

#18 David on 12.31.08 at 4:51 am

It is different in Canada, even if there was a global asset bubble in housing, things are different and better here. A good thing that realtors do not collect their commission cheques due to honesty. Real estate pricing is headed for a sharp vertical drop and no amount of wishful thinking or it is so much different here thinking that will save a market so disconnected from fundamentals.
Mr. Zaharko and his ilk have it all wrong as usual.

#19 Future Expatriate on 12.31.08 at 4:55 am

I’ll vouch for Las Vegas. There was a very brief blip upwards last month (dead kitten bounce), and now a straightline down all the way back to late 80’s prices. Will all the foreclosures and impossible-to-get-credit, we may well see a landing somewhere around late SEVENTIES/early 80’s prices, which, allowing for inflation since then, would be a beyond disastrous loss of value and equity never before seen. Not to mention the crisis hitting commercial real estate next year. Much of Las Vegas in the formerly pricey suburbs far from the strip will be abandoned as well as the industrial and mini-mall infrastructure that surround and supply them.

This GreatEST Depression is going to make the last one look like a high-rising bubble. No, REALLY.

#20 HalifaxFamily on 12.31.08 at 5:45 am

Though the stats and media indicate that things are on a downward spiral in housing and other markets, it doesn’t seem to have “affected” Halifax. We were out shopping the other day and there was just as much activity in the malls.

We’re in denial in the Maritimes and the downturn will be soon felt here.

My leading indicators for the downturn?
– went to costco and noticed that the place was packed but that nobody was at the checkout (curious)
– noticed that our neighbors seemed to have picked up their renovation activity at the beginning of every month (likely coinciding with paycheque)
– noticed that Walmart is PACKED all the time
– everybody is bringing their lunch to work again and not talking about their renovations anymore

What is your feeling for Eastern Canada, especially Halifax?

#21 chris on 12.31.08 at 7:57 am

Hey Garth,
It’s unfortunate that people who are honest are the ones not ending up getting elected. People don’t like to hear negativity and gloom because it brings pain. Human nature is to avoid pain. But now everyone’s in pain, especially in the U.S.

Canada, esp. Ontario, will need to monitor the health of the auto sector which should not be expected to survive even after the US bailout that resulted in GM offering 5 year, 0% rate (I guess they never learn…).

#22 realtor slayer on 12.31.08 at 8:08 am

All right then,

May I add a bit more?

Let’s run for the hills because this will happen to Canada soon (2010):

1. No jobs, high rates of bankruptcies, families begging for handouts, food riots.
2. Higher crime waves everywhere, anarchists take to the streets, you are no longer safe in your home as when the power grid shuts down in 2009, homes powered by mini-generators will be looted, owners kicked out by armed mobs.
3. Government will order martial law with curfews. Military and police to patrol streets.
4. Legal currencies will be worth the toilet paper its printed on, gold will be king. Credit cards will be a thing of the past.
5. Jobs are rare, but join the army.
6. Own a gun ASAP.
7. On wider scale: hostile country(ies) will invade Canada to appropriate fresh water reserves and other precious natural resources.

This lifestyle of greed, crazy consumerism and immediate self gratification (i.e. insanity) has come to an end.
90% of folks have tons of debt, no savings.

The life that you know now will mean nothing.

Get ready to scrounge necessities…

#23 mattbg on 12.31.08 at 8:23 am

Garth, I am amazed at the lack of attention the housing issue is getting in Canada. The economic reporting is getting better (although it’s strange how it goes from ultra-positive to ultra-negative), but housing news is limited and seems to mostly be tied to statements from reports or releases from the real estate industry.

I drove through north Milton a week ago and it is a pretty depressing landscape. I don’t understand who would want to live there. Since I live in Georgetown, I’m a bit happy, in a way, that this housing downturn may mean there will be some years of reprieve before the same disaster is duplicated (“completed” is perhaps the appropriate term) in south Georgetown.

Thanks for continuing to summarize this issue.

#24 Kash is King on 12.31.08 at 8:50 am

Happy New Years everyone!

Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1929

#25 OttawaMike on 12.31.08 at 9:25 am

I sold my place last night,(in a country village nr. Ottawa, ) Unfortunately with the condition that the buyer sell his house. I paid 160k$ in ’98 and got 375k$ after putting 40k$ in. Everybody seems to think Ottawa is an immune island but historically this area has never seen such a fast appreciation. Nortel/Bell are large employers here going through some major restructuring that might shock our market. Probably the real estate correction here will lag other major centres by a year or so.

On Eric Sprott, I tend not to take him too seriously after his recommendation of the stock Timminco. They are a purifier of silicone for solar cells with a dubious track record. Eric’s fund is one of the largest shareholders/ cheerleaders and the stock has tanked from 35$ to 3$ after a Bre-X style runup from .25 cents.

Mike(the hopefully soon renter)

#26 young & foolish on 12.31.08 at 10:08 am

In the long run, even Garth remains positive. The “borrow to spend” party is over, and now the well heeled and well connected will move in and pick through the carnage, amassing future fortunes.

#27 Peter Coupland on 12.31.08 at 10:55 am

I spent a week in Vernon on a job last winter,minus 11,snow all the time.I remember sitting in my hotel room thinking,what if the power went out?Middle of no where,food in the stores for 2 days.I would be sol.
I was so glad to get back to Victoria where I live on my sailboat.(complete with battery bank,inverter,propane for 10 months of cooking,diesel fuel good for a month of heating,and about 2 months of freeze dried food.)

#28 lgre on 12.31.08 at 11:01 am

“I drove through north Milton a week ago and it is a pretty depressing landscape.”

I agree that Milton is nothing to look at but Georgetown is no Manhattan. People in Milton are still delusional about RE and their prices, they complain about their 6 month old house loosing its roof after a windstorm and then they turn around and tell you that their $450k shack is justifiable.

#29 ThumbsUp on 12.31.08 at 11:46 am

Let the Market run its course

Garth,

Those who listened to your advice are awarded by locking in their gains or hanging on to their saving; Those who didn’t are punished by being sentenced to pay the extra for whatever term of their mortgage(up to 40 years!); Those speculators/flippers are caught and some will lose their shirt.

While reading your “Greater Fool”, CMHC struck me for what it does – it ‘insures’ the bank’s(benericiary) mortgage payment through charging a premium paid by the homebuyer (premium payer). I’m no insurance expert but my understanding is that the beneficiary of an insurance policy should be (or designaged by) whoever pays the premium.

The business CMHC currently runs serves only one purpose – it fuels/inflates the market by encouraging lenders underwrite loans without proper risk assessment, results in upsetting the market by lax credit and makes homes less affordable.

Garth, we need voices like yours; the system needs review and let the banks do their business at their own risk. With all these bailouts going on at the expense of taxpayer’s $, we are no difference than the Bank of China – it defeats the purpose of ‘creative destruction’ of free market.

What do we do “After the Crash”
Rock on Garth!

#30 Sularezi on 12.31.08 at 11:54 am

# 22: Please don’t be offended, but you need to go for a medical examination. Just before the power is shut down, and the curfews will be ordered.

# 17: You don’t need medical examination anymore, you already live in your own world.

Thanks Garth for making this blog available, it mostly contains interesting comments and resources.

However, the only thing that I won’t do in the near future, is buying supplies. Just because they will be gone in the first week your newer book hits the readers’ fears.

Have a Happy New Year!!! And people, at least attempt to stay focused and as positive as you can.

#31 marlene on 12.31.08 at 12:05 pm

Garth,

This is to add to your green movement…xurbia is coming as a way of life

Green technology is easily accessible:

http://gosolarontario.ca/en/manufacturers_gs.asp

Ontario Incentives:

Solar Water Heater Incentives

More than $1,300 in provincial and federal incentives is available to homeowners that install a solar water heater.

Homes must undergo a residential energy efficiency assessment by a licensed energy auditor to be eligible for grants.

Ontario currently offers $150 toward the cost of a home energy audit. The auditor completes the paperwork to apply for the grants and submits it on behalf of the homeowner.

For installations recommended by the audit, homeowners can receive up to $5,000 in grants from the Province, which match federal grants. In the case of a solar water heater, Ontario offers a grant of $500, which matches the $500 federal grant.

The Province also provides a rebate of the provincial sales tax on qualifying solar (and other renewable) energy systems.

Ontario’s program is based on eligibility for the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit program managed by Natural Resources Canada. To find out more about the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, including incentives, qualified energy auditors, and how to apply, visit the Natural Resources Canada Web site.

To review a list of Frequently Asked Questions about home energy retrofits and incentives, visit the Ministry of Energy Web site.

If you have had an energy audit of your home in the past, through the EnerGuide program or other, you need to have another audit to qualify for this incentive, and all incentives associated with the new ecoENERGY Retrofit program.

Total estimated costs and rebates of over $1,300 are summarized below.
Estimated Costs
Solar water heater: $5,000 – $6,000
Home energy audit: $300
Building permit: varies by municipality
Rebates
Ontario home energy audit rebate: $150 (Ontario pays 50 per cent of cost, up to $150)
Ontario PST rebate: $170 – $204
Ontario rebate: $500
Federal rebate: $500
Total rebates: $1320 to $1354

How to Get Money Back
To access the available provincial and federal incentives, follow these steps:

1. Book a Home Energy Retrofit audit. A list of approved auditors is available at the Natural Resources Canada Web site. The Ontario government will automatically reimburse you for 50% of the cost, up to $150, following your audit.
2. Select and install your solar water heater. The Ontario Government has extended the retail sales tax rebate on qualifying solar equipment, saving you approximately $200.
3. Complete your verification audit. The auditor completes your application to receive your federal and provincial grants.

For more details, visit the Ontario Ministry of Energy Web site.

Energy and Greenhouse Gas Savings
A typical family of four will also save approximately 2700 kWh or $325 per year by supplementing their electric water heater with a solar water heater. If the solar water heater is supplementing a gas water heater, the savings would be $200 per year.

Annual estimated GHG reductions would be 600 kg if supplementing an electric water heater, or 760 kg if supplementing a gas water heater.

Photovoltaic System Incentives

Sales Tax Rebate
The Ontario Government has extended the rebate on the provincial sales tax for PV systems.

The Ontario Power Authority’s Standard Offer Program
The Ontario Power Authority’s Standard Offer Program offers generators of PV electricity that are connected to Ontario’s distribution system 42 cents per kilowatt hour – more than three times the offered price for other renewable technologies. There are costs and fees associated with connecting your system to the grid. This is more suitable to larger systems. Contact your local electrical distribution company for details.

Net Metering
Residents who install smaller micro-generation PV systems who do not wish to participate in the Standard Offer Program can choose to use the electricity generated for their own consumption. Ontario’s net metering regulation allows you to send electricity generated from renewable sources to the electrical grid for a credit toward your energy costs. Your utility will subtract the value of electricity you supply to the grid from the value of what you take from the grid. What you’ll see on your bill is the “net” difference between those two amounts. If you supply power that is worth more than what you take from the grid over the billing period, you’ll receive a credit that can help lower future energy bills.

For more details, visit the Ontario Ministry of Energy Web site.

Toronto SOLAR NEIGHBOURHOODS Incentive

This municipal matching rebate/zero interest financing incentive is available to qualifying homeowners in Ward 30, Toronto’s south riverdale neighbourhood for a limited time only.

If you purchase your solar thermal system outright, Solar Neighbourhoods will match the $1,000 incentive available from the federal and provincial governments for a total incentive of $2,000. If you prefer to pay over time, Solar Neighbourhoods will provide zero interest financing and a $500 incentive. You still receive the federal and provincial payments for a total incentive of $1,500 plus no cost financing.

For more information: http://www.toronto.ca/taf/solar.htm#tsni

http://gosolarontario.ca/index.asp

#32 PTDBD on 12.31.08 at 12:06 pm

Cue the squirrels:

Survivalist preparation is wise considering the times. However, if one is not able to protect one’s fortress it will all come to nought as the rabble breaks down the gates. Unless you live in a secluded spot, or have an army, the pillager villager will steal your goodies.

Would it not be more prudent to organize the neighbourhood or even the town for self sufficiency? Communal gathering places for heat, light, sex, booze and food would be better than everyone vending for themselves.

To take the latter positive thinking on a grander scale. Let’s organize the entire country for self sufficiency and survival. All you need for that is a cooperative and inventive government interested in the well-being of the populace.

Easily accomplished by our current bunch, eh?
:-) going forward in 2009 :-)

#33 marlene on 12.31.08 at 12:25 pm

#32 PTDBD

If you worry about an apocalyptic event where every one fends for themselves and loots and trashes the “prepared few” well have a look at this community in Alberta.

This is something to model. You want communal living and sharing? Here it is! Something for builders to begin…

For those who don’t have this infrastructure…you can begin to create ways to be off the grid and completely INDEPENDENT!

http://www.dlsc.ca/index.htm

Welcome to Drake Landing Solar Community.

photo: aerial viewThe Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC) is a master planned neighbourhood in the Town of Okotoks, Alberta, Canada that has successfully integrated Canadian energy efficient technologies with a renewable, unlimited energy source – the sun.

The first of its kind in North America, DLSC is heated by a district system designed to store abundant solar energy underground during the summer months and distribute the energy to each home for space heating needs during winter months.

The system is unprecedented in the World, fulfilling ninety percent of each home’s space heating requirements from solar energy and resulting in less dependency on limited fossil fuels.

The Government of Canada and its Canadian industry partners are proud to showcase Canadian solar thermal and energy efficient technologies in this one-of-a-kind community.
Project Status

* Solar energy began to flow into the borehole thermal energy storage system as of sunrise on June 21, 2007 – the summer solstice.
* Early performance results indicate that the solar energy system is performing as expected and that the 90% solar fraction will be achieved by year five.
* The final construction of the 52 homes was complete in August, 2007. There are 51 homes currently occupied with the last scheduled for October.
* The Grand Opening was held on September 13th and was well received by a distinguished audience. Representatives from many of the project partners spoke at the event; they included the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources Canada; Simon Knight, on behalf of the Government of Alberta and Climate Change Central; Bill McAlpine, Mayor of Okotoks; Bill Bobyk, Sterling Homes; Brendan Dolan, ATCO Gas; Ken Lesniak, Federation of Canadian Municipalities; and Vicky Sharpe, Sustainable Development Technology Canada. For further details, please refer to the Press Release.

DLSC Highlights

* The largest subdivision of R-2000 single family homes in Canada, each 30% more efficient than conventionally built homes.
* A first in the world, 90% of residential space heating needs will be met by solar thermal energy.
* A reduction of approximately 5 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per home per year.

#34 pjwlk on 12.31.08 at 12:31 pm

Garth with all these websites you’ve got, you had better also add to your survival list, a web server and a good solid connection to the internet… lol Keep up the great work!

#35 PTDBD on 12.31.08 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for that article on Okotoks. I haven’t checked out the link yet, but just going by the name, “Drake’s Landing”, which implies a port or harbour in a body of water. Knowing Alberta, I would guess that the body of water is a small man made storm-sewer overflow pit, adv ertised as “lakeview property”.

Okotoks was advertised by our current PM as one of the greenest places to live in Canada. Which brings me back again to….water

Marlene, what are they doing about increasing the water flow to Okotoks? Didn’t they have water rationing last summer? Even without an ‘apocalyptic event ‘ this would seem to me a number one survival issue for the community to work on. Especially since the town council decided to remove the limits on new construction.

#36 George on 12.31.08 at 12:41 pm

Garth, your like the guy wearing the mattress sandwich outfit who trains those attack dogs for police forces. It has been such a pleasure watching you take the multiple beatings all year long. Saved plenty on UFCW pay per view. Hope credit comes due. It is certainly well deserved. Don’t want to hear about some rumor floating around that you’re holed up in some Canadian Shield cave hooked up to kidney dialysis. Thank you so much for your work.

#37 Roy on 12.31.08 at 12:57 pm

I think the banks need to raise and not lower interest rates. This is the only way to stop this borrow to spend, spend to borrow cycle. I also think the banks might be on to this. We have all gone a bit to far in this borrow to buy over priced real estate, borrow to pay off debt, borrow to buy things we don’t need. I guess we didn’t learn a thing from our friends in the U.S……….Think about it people……

#38 Bobby on 12.31.08 at 1:08 pm

Good article
But if profanity offends you do Not go to this site
http://ashizashiz.blogspot.com/

#39 Kash is King on 12.31.08 at 1:57 pm

From Karl Denninger today:

“Madoff is not what it appears to be. At best Madoff is a 20+ year scam that occurred with not only the intentional blindness of our government but its explicit assistance and cooperation. It is simply not possible for one man to run a Ponzi Scheme of this size, sending out statements every month to hundreds if not thousands of clients and employing a group of people, moving this amount of money around, and have the entire thing be a scam without the cooperation of literally hundreds of accomplices including accomplices inside regulatory agencies and the government itself, along with regulated entities including the banks that lost money. You cannot place that sort of capital as a bank or other regulated entity on nothing more than “trust” – no matter who its being placed with. There is much, much more to this scandal and you can bet the people involved will do their level-best damndest to keep the truth from coming out. ”

also:

“Debt is inherently deflationary. The inflationary impact of additional credit creation is temporary; in the longer run debt always has a deflationary impact. This is obvious and inescapable if you use your head; since debt must be repaid with interest, it therefore must deflate (decrease) the monetary base since interest is a non-productive “charge” against income and (thus) earnings. This, by the way, is the fatal flaw in Bernanke’s Doctoral Thesis; by refusing to recognize that all modern monetary systems (including ours) are debt-based he also fails to recognize that there are limits to being able to “print” your way out of a deflation since what you are printing is in fact debt and eventually you reach an “inflection point” where the spiral tightens – that is, the more “printing” you do the worse the problem gets”

Whole article:

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/689-Where-We-Are,-Where-Were-Heading-2009.html

#40 BG on 12.31.08 at 2:17 pm

Garth,
Just read through your Xurbia pages…..In my opinion, this is what capitalism is supposed to be about: Recognizing a need/market and attempting to meet that need/market with high quality well thought out products that the customer can afford, and which are backed up by a vendor who cares. I am impressed and will be one of your customers in 2009.

Bernard (soon to be resident of Calgary).

#41 PTDBD on 12.31.08 at 2:29 pm

The Magic Confidence Table

“My Paul son what have you brought me?”

Father, I have crafted a TARP, a structure of endless dollars that will flow to the banksters and car companies and homeowners and will buy up all the stock in the world. It never runs out, and is forever refreshed with new funds that are conjured out of thin air.

“Truly, my Paul son, you have crafted a wizardly, magic device to solve all problems, provide undlimited wealth and send stimulus into the economy.”

…..and then the story turns nasty, see Grimm’s Fairy tales to see how it ends

#42 Blacksheep on 12.31.08 at 2:31 pm

Garth & Friends,

I believe we have a major reset/change coming as a society.

When looking at the US 1.5 years ago, it seemed obvious to me we would not get away unscathed.

This will not be the same old, same old recession.

I have taken a very defensive position to protect my family & our wealth.

I found your site after i sold my home and enjoy
the opinions of others.

Just checked out your Xurbia site.

Your new retail site is great & will help many to prepare.

Unfortunatly you expose yourself to:

The more you scare people,
the more they will prepare,
the better your sales.

I have no personal issue with your site, just an observation, i’m all about seeing a market opp. and filling it.

By becoming more self reliant, we empower ourselves,
along with, reducing the chances of having a real problem.

Still looking forward to your book.

take care
BS

#43 Vancouver_Renter on 12.31.08 at 2:40 pm

“I was so glad to get back to Victoria where I live on my sailboat.(complete with battery bank,inverter,propane for 10 months of cooking,diesel fuel good for a month of heating,and about 2 months of freeze dried food.)”

And then one night, after a large quake off Vancouver Island, the tsunami hit…

#44 Peter Coupland on 12.31.08 at 2:59 pm

to #43..We have a pretty good warning system here…I would just sail off shore a bit where the tsunami wave is about 6 inches high…they don’t get big til they get very very close to land.
Another advantage of live-aboard life…I’m mobile!

Also…the MZB hordes on land won’t be able to reach me.

#45 mattbg on 12.31.08 at 3:34 pm

lgre, re: “I agree that Milton is nothing to look at but Georgetown is no Manhattan.”

Some parts of “old” Georgetown are pretty nice, I think. Obviously, the South is as offensive as north Milton. Old Milton has some nice parts, too.

#46 Chris L on 12.31.08 at 3:41 pm

I’m not so sure about that xurbia. While I totally agree we should take back control, I don’t see the solution at that site. Sorry. Growing some of your own food is a great idea and turning some of your lawn back into garden is an excellent idea. However we simply don’t have enough room to do it properly.

A generator is fine and dandy, but I for one could do without electricity forever (basically). Heck, I’d just go over and borrow someone else’s generator. Borrowing, imagine that? How have we lost our lives to stuff. Why do we each need a copy of everything to get by. Borrow, trade, barter. That is what self sufficiency is all about.

Let me see what else is there. Oh yes, solar and wind, but what the heck will you do with that power? Feed it back into the grid at a net monetary loss? That stuff isn’t even close to being efficient enough to be cost effective unless you have 10 years worth of money for power saved up. City folk simply can’t use that power regardless, since it needs to be stored on battery or used right away. The initial investment makes it unfeasible.

Yes, we can all become more self sufficient, but this comes from doing work for ourselves. It means repairing our own things, our cars, shoveling our own driveways, doing our own plumbing, roofing, electrical and so forth. It surprises me how many experts the average person needs to get through life. It is the shaking of the experts that true self sufficiency comes from and this can only flourish if there is pride in doing things for yourself. Being resourceful is what people were before experts showed up. Being a generalist was it when you didn’t have the money to throw at problems.

The xurbia site reeks of doom, but I’m otherwise a fan of what you do. I get the idea, but it misses completely and hits capitalism instead. Yes, with every crises is opportunity, but that idea just sucks and everyone knows that the only ones to purchase from there think that the world is going to be a lot worse off then it really is. If it gets that bad that we all need generators, we simply wont have any fuel left to run them so what’s the point in having them and if home gardens are so important, we’ll have to employ guards to protect them from thieves. Nice idea, but it’s just not going to make a dent in anything but the fearful’s pocket books.

I choose to insure myself and my family against unwanted potential events. Most people (and I guess that includes you) will not make such choices. That does not make either one of us right or wrong, but my goal is to provide everyone with another option for action.– Garth

#47 dd on 12.31.08 at 4:03 pm

Ted Zaharko … “People are saying ‘l’ll wait for prices to drop.’ It’s not going to happen,” says Zaharko. “

I guess I would be saying that too if my livihood was on the line.

#48 dd on 12.31.08 at 4:07 pm

#25 OttawaMike,

Sprott is a smart man, however, he is predicting the end of the world.

However, I do see that gold has been up lately and has kept the value.

Garth was against holding gold. I guess we will see if his prediction holds true.

Gold is a dangerous commodity whose value may well rise. But never confuse it with useful currency in times of real turmoil. That is why guys like Sprott have no widsom for the average person. — Garth

#49 dd on 12.31.08 at 4:11 pm

#4 squidly77,

What R U trying to say?

#50 Gord In Vancouver on 12.31.08 at 4:11 pm

#37 Roy

I think the banks need to raise and not lower interest rates…..

Don’t worry, once all the printing of money is complete and the economy gets a pulse, interest rate hikes are a formality.

#51 squidly77 on 12.31.08 at 4:44 pm

some really good comments posted at the bottom of this article
UK house prices will not be leaping ahead for many years to come
no matter where you read the story is exactly the same
2009 will be tagged as the year that the entire world falls into a depression..

#52 squidly77 on 12.31.08 at 4:54 pm

dd..this

Edmonton, January 4, 2005: The Edmonton Real Estate Board happily reported that The average price of a single family home at year-end was $202,711, compared to $191,336 on December 31, 2003.
then house prices surged to $451,000 by may/07 then crashed back to $363,000 by dec/08

albertans (insert your own province) were duped into paying bubblelicious prices for shoe boxes in the sky and particle board shacks by being served copious amounts of intoxicating housing kool-aid and watching repeat after repeat of the crooked housing flippers on flip this house

for a while they really did think that money grew on trees
kool-aid is now shunned and the housing hang over and finger pointing begins

#53 squidly77 on 12.31.08 at 4:56 pm

dd..i screwed it up again this was supposed to be the link
price chart

#54 John on 12.31.08 at 5:09 pm

This is whole website is a good read. During any time there will always be some people who will be “right” in their economic predictions. Sometimes these people hit gold and their predictions are right and they are held as the new “experts”.

I respect Garth’s analysis on what is happening/or will happen but I’m finding that this whole site is becoming overly pessimestic and Garth’s analysis can no longer be wrong, no matter what.

Also, Garth needs to make a living and pitching his books is one way of doing it. This should be taken into account when viewing this site.

My main point is that I choose not to blindly accept everything Garth says but use it as input to come to my own understanding. It’s easy to get very worked up with the negative possibilities coming our way but everyone’s situation is different and its not wise to blindly accept any ones opinion and let that opinion dictate your emotions and or actions.

#55 westcanguy on 12.31.08 at 5:43 pm

I choose to insure myself and my family against unwanted potential events. Most people (and I guess that includes you) will not make such choices. That does not make either one of us right or wrong, but my goal is to provide everyone with another option for action.– Garth

Garth, if your goal was to provide everyone with another option for action…and the intent was to help us prepare, you wouldn’t have offered those survival packages for sale. Instead, you would have offered those options and then offered your opinion as to where they could purchase these items..Unless of course these “packages” had no profit in them for you, then that would be fine. Otherwise you are profiting off the fear of others which are in part based on your writings.

I have enjoyed your posts in the past. They have not only been prolific but thought provoking so I thank you for that. Having said that, your new site offering to sell survival packages tells me that you are profiting from our economic situation. I think that seriously weakens your credibility with many. Your credentials have given many, reason to place trust in you. How can you even state that a Yamaha generator comes with a 2 year warranty. Are you an authorized Yamaha dealer? People who have bought a Yamaha generator from you and need warranty work can send it back to you for warranty service? I don’t think so.

You are correct in stating earlier that you didn’t engineer this economic meltdown but its becoming obvious that you plan on weathering it by profiting from those who have drank the Turner Kool-Aid and hang on every word. I’ve put the glass down but will still be reading.

I said I was led to this point by being unable to find anyone in Canada who offered such solutions. Believe me or not, your choice. Happy new year. — Garth

#56 ATM on 12.31.08 at 5:53 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, here’s where I think the normal bottom for real estate prices should be:

household income (HI) x 3

let’s say average HI is 70K, thus a bottom for a 3 bedroom home should be $210K. Here in the GTA
I see too many 3-bdrm single homes at $350K minimum.

I’d say we’re far from the Normal bottom.

Since, there’s a doom and gloom and panic scenario in the economy I’d say the bottom will be exaggerated downwards by another 10%.

Garth, tell me if you agree or I’m just smoking dpe.

#57 Bottoms_Up on 12.31.08 at 6:24 pm

There is no end of the world around the corner. I bet the ‘boat people’ from South Korea thought the same, but millions managed to find other countries/continents to live (although millions did die).

The end of the world (i.e. human existence) will occur when we either #1) use so many nuclear bombs that we do not see the sun for years (effectively destroying most sources of food), or #2) the world is fed up with us and fills the atmosphere with poisonous gases starting with volcanic activity in B.C. or #3) a huge asteroid hits and exterminates us just like the dinosaurs.

I’m not too worried about inflation, deflation, hyperinflation etc., I’ve seen how people live in Peru and Mexico and Jamaica and yes, as a species we can and have survived with very little over hundreds and thousands of years. However, we may need to change our attitudes in order to get along with each other and pull together to survive.

Garth, are you ever worried about letting everyone know just how prepared you are for the end of the world? Or does part of the preparation include obtaining a lethal weapon?

Happy New Year everybody!!

If the possibility of something happening is greater than zero, then prudent people prepare. Today the odds of a deflationary spiral are certainly greater than 0%, and far more likely than my house burning down (and yet I have fire insurance. Bet you do, too). Either you prepare, or you don’t. It’s all about personal choices. BTW, where did I talk about the end of the world? Exaggeration doesn’t help your argument. — Garth

#58 Bottoms_Up on 12.31.08 at 6:59 pm

#6 Ruhh on 12.30.08 at 11:38 pm
———————————-
Hi Ruhh,

A bubble-type scenario hasn’t really been established to the extent seen in other major markets. Ottawa’s market hasn’t appreciated at anywhere near the same rate (possibly due to the location?):

http://www.canadian-housing-price-charts.235.ca/

My take on Ottawa is that there are 1/4 of a million government employees in the area making 50+ large every year…makes for a very stable housing market.

However, to illustrate the ‘small’ bubble here, it doesn’t make sense that someone making a salary in the top 10% of canadians (~70g’s) has to live in this small shack:

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=7798955

We can thank speculators and investors and greater fools for establishing today’s current prices in Ottawa.

Personally, I’d be tempted to live across the bridge in Quebec (although the income taxes are higher):

http://passerelle.centris.ca/Redirect2.aspx?CodeDest=ROYAL&NoMls=OU8042451&Source=WWW.REALTOR.CA&Langue=E

Let’s hope prices come down a bit to a more reasonable level (single detached down 1.2% yoy, Ottawa-Gatineau up 7.8% yoy)!!

#59 midas on 12.31.08 at 7:05 pm

Even Jesus, when he spoke about the end of the world in Matthew chapter 24 and 25 did not indicate that it would be the end of the earth or of all life on earth. He did specify that we would come very close to annihilation but there would be a remnant that would survive. End of the world more or less means the end of the SYSTEM that we have become accustomed to and presume is the way life was meant to be: i.e. we are born, we acquire skills to make money; we accumulate things, we die!

The SYSTEM breeds greed and selfishness that lead to very destructive behavior, the evidence of which has been seen throughout history. We are now approaching the climax of greed and selfishness embodied in the BANKSTERS that run the world, namely the IMF, the World Bank, The Bank of International Settlements and all the central banks of the world with the bank of England and the Federal Reserve as the lead players in this game of defrauding the masses of their rightfully earned wealth through manipulation of the money supply. The end of the world is the end of this banking system that will for a short time be replaced by something global and more insidious than each one of these present day entities.

Proverbs 22:3
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

That which is coming upon the earth is evil; something wicked does this way come and to be prepared against the day of evil is both wise and biblical.

Happy New Year to Garth and fellow bloggers.

#60 Peter Coupland on 12.31.08 at 7:11 pm

Garth is right there is a dearth of this stuff available in Canada.

Try ordering freeze dried survival food for example chicken from the U.S. (its not available up here)Canada customs will charge 150% duty or more. This was from a popular freezedried food supplier
in the us.
canada customs is notorious for destroying/shipping stuff back.( or charging pawnbroker rates)

#61 Didn't ya know..? on 12.31.08 at 7:18 pm

FDR stopped gold hoarding last time round – Washington snatched gold away from the people.
So why map that path?

#62 Danny on 12.31.08 at 7:27 pm

Eric Sprott?!?!

IPO of his company was issued last year at $10. Low hit around $3 recently.

Really? You can’t be serious. How can this person be worth listening to when the average loss on funds was between 50-60% as early as last month (top to bottom). If Eric Sprott was so ‘bang-on’, how the heck could this happen? It would be unbelievable that Eric saw this coming and as lead manager and overseer of his funds, allowed his clients to be invested in exactly those instruments that would lose them the most money possible over that time period.

Eric Sprott is simply this century’s version of the 90’s Frank Mersh. Ride the precious metal and resource horse as a ‘guru’ and finally sucumb to the eventually of being labelled a ‘chump’ when the horse breaks it’s legs and the hero has no other horse to ride!

Garth, leave the investment predictions to your broker, and please update your research of those you quote. You may find that you are no longer very impressed with Mr. Sprott.

#63 Gold_Bug on 12.31.08 at 7:45 pm

“Gold is a dangerous commodity whose value may well rise. But never confuse it with useful currency in times of real turmoil. That is why guys like Sprott have no widsom for the average person. — Garth”

Garth,

Why do you think gold is a dangerous commodity? Because there is no dividend, interest, intrinsic value, price-to-earnings ratio, cash flow…?

Thanks and a happy new year.

#64 Ron on 12.31.08 at 8:11 pm

#27 Peter

Hi Peter,

2 months of freeze dried foods will definitely come in handy but you have a far greater food resource available to you. Do you do much fishing, prawning, crabbing, shell fish harvesting etc.?
If not, You should check out the various books written by Charlie White: How to catch salmon, How to catch bottom fish, How to catch shell fish, and my personal favorite, How to catch crabs. These are all great basic reference books.
Also, there are tons of edible native plants and fungi on this coast. Check out books by Nancy Turner and David Aurora.
If some sort of survival situation should arise it is great to have the necessary tools and skills on hand.
I agree that having a garden is a great idea, but if it’s not an option, a knowledge of wild foods will give you access to an enormous, maintenance free garden that produces nutritious food year round.
The more tricks you have up your sleeve the better off you’ll be.
The West coast supported millions of natives for a long long time. Oh yeah, hunting and gathering is fun as hell.

#65 Alex Curylo on 12.31.08 at 8:25 pm

@Bottoms_Up

“Garth, are you ever worried about letting everyone know just how prepared you are for the end of the world? Or does part of the preparation include obtaining a lethal weapon?”

Duuuude … if you don’t have at least varmint, goose, and deer guns (make that bison, if you’re lucky enough to live in B.C.) you’re not merely unprepared, you’re a complete idiot.

Not to mention missing out on delicious healthy food even in good times. Mmmmmm, venison.

#66 Kelowna Gal on 12.31.08 at 8:55 pm

Why don’t some of you people just get over it???? Garth is right about being prepared. He isn’t the only one warning people to be ready should a natural/terrorist/desperate disaster strike. He is however someone who is from CANADA and that makes a huge difference. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Have any of you noticed that Costco.ca is now selling the same 7 day emergency food kits that are on Garth’s site. Why is that? Take the time and look into Info Wars.com and this will lead you to other sites so that you can see what is coming.

Thanks Garth for all your hard work. For those people who believe that Garth is only doing this for monetary reasons you obviously are not getting it. By the way, he’s written enough books, etc., that I don’t believe that he necessarily needs the money. There is however NO harm in being prepared. Look at what happened in Katrina. What happened in Ontario when there were the ice storms???? People were 100% reliant on the government, stores, power grid, etc., to take care of them. When it’s not available than what???? What if there is no food on the shelves in the stores, no gas at the pumps and no electricity? We are not dwelling on the negative we are being proactive and taking back control of our lives. I see this as being a positive. Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone.

#67 bcgirl on 12.31.08 at 10:55 pm

Garth and blog friends,

This article is one of the best I’ve read about economic/social collapse.

http://ranprieur.com/essays/slowcrash.html

I think this is the type of crash we’ll see.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

#68 dd on 12.31.08 at 11:39 pm

#52 squidly77,

True. It was a quick ride up and a quick ride down.

#69 squidly77 on 12.31.08 at 11:40 pm

http://www.realtyexecutivesapex.com/view_listing.php?listing=mls&id=C3349624
all 834 sq ft can be yours for only $543,000 in a crap calgary neighourhood of crescent heights
its at the top end of centre street just up from china town

#70 dd on 12.31.08 at 11:43 pm

#62 Danny,

Eric Sprott is someone to listen to because he is way out there. Not all his predictions hold water today but might tomorrow.

#71 dd on 12.31.08 at 11:45 pm

#66 Kelowna Gal on

… Have any of you noticed that Costco.ca is now selling the same 7 day emergency food kits … that are …Why is that? …

Umm .. to make money?

#72 dd on 12.31.08 at 11:47 pm

#63 Gold_Bug,

Hey, with a name like gold_bug shouldn’t you know the answer to that one?

#73 dd on 01.01.09 at 3:49 am

#17 real estate expert on

“Lions Gate Bridge will be twinned…North & West Vancouver Real Estate will triple in value.”

Hope you are buying …

#74 dd on 01.01.09 at 3:51 am

#16 Blacksheep,

Sprott is also predicting $5000 gold and 300 oil.

Should we believe him?

#75 Alex Curylo on 01.01.09 at 4:50 am

Backing up Ron here:

“If not, You should check out the various books written by Charlie White:”

Most definitely. I’d recommend ‘Living Off The Sea” to start.

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Living-Off-The-Sea-Charlie-White/9781895811476-item.html

#76 Gold_Bug on 01.01.09 at 8:27 am

#72 dd,

It may be easier to calculate intrinsic value of currency than money, what do you think? One of them is getting closer to 0, guess which one.

#62 Danny,

The fact that Sprott funds are currently down means nothing – gold is down from $1,000/oz high of 2008, stocks are down 40%, real estate is (coming) down, oil is down >60% per barrel, Iceland is bankrupt. All this when interest rates are coming down as well…
With equities, Buffett is down, Miller is down,… so what if Sprott is down.
Surely not everything is a bad investment.

On another very general note:
a) it is impossible to accurately predict a time and event, it’s easier to predict one only (similar to the uncertainty principle)
b) not all Black Swans are bad (read Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
c) why not be prepared fand take opportunity for both kinds of Black Swans?

All the best in 2009.

#77 Bottoms_Up on 01.01.09 at 11:40 am

Not trying to exaggerate, just trying to make the post a little more interesting. Also, the ‘end of the world’ comment wasn’t necessarily directed at Garth, but at fellow bloggers whom have mentioned this possibility.

I have (finally) received the Greater Fool from the local library (there was a 30 person line up for it), and I’m loving it. I will also be buying the new book once I secure a steady paycheque…

ps. I’d like to hear some comments from people that have lived in their homes for 10-15 years regarding their perspectives on the current value of Canadian real estate. So far they have been eerily quiet…

#78 dd on 01.01.09 at 12:23 pm

#76 Gold_Bug,

Gold could be $600 within a month. No one really knows.

#79 real estate expert on 01.01.09 at 1:35 pm

Happy New Year

…Prices haven’t dropped here…its too cold to hammer in for sale signs…therefore we go up in price…rich people moving to Vancouver…they are lined up.

Eastern U.S. is imploding…Ontario is a downtrending “Manufacturing” Province…Quebec is Quebec(please, more $$$ Ottawa) and Atlantic Canada is too cold and running out of fish…Plus plus plus, Europe is imploding.

…Leaves Vancouver …which will no doubt become the Financial/Trading centre of North America.

#80 Jason on 01.01.09 at 1:59 pm

Hi Garth,

Just wondering what your thoughts are on the Saskatoon market. I just received yet another rent increase here in town, and as my rent will now be just shy of $1300 a month I am wondering if it is a good time to buy now. Currently you can find a timber frame apartment condo conversion for around the $200,000 mark, and the general consensus is that prices are set to jump quite a bit come spring when the market picks up and oil prices bounce back stimululating our local economy. Do you agree with realtors who say that our prices have hit as low as they will go, and that the only movement we will see pricewise is upwards from here on in?

#81 anon_for_this_one on 01.01.09 at 2:04 pm

GARTH, GARTH, PLEASE READ THIS

Garth, I am going anon for this one but you have my email in admin view.

Xurbia is exactly my point of view. Exactly.

I want to help. For free. Anything you need.

If you can find any use for a mechanical/software engineer who also happens to be a veteran Israeli Paratrooper of 16 years, please email me.

I’ll assist with whatever it is, be it survival training or software development. No charge.

Best regards

anon_for _this_one

#82 Joe on 01.01.09 at 2:42 pm

I don’t see prices falling. In the Hamilton, Burlington , Grimsby (Ontario) area prices have been up every month. Although days on market is incresing. When do you predict declines in this area?

#83 Waiting for a Deal on 01.01.09 at 2:43 pm

To say you are trying to profit from the deflationary fear about to happen is hypocritical when that same person is going to also benefit from what they do day to day.

I for one am also going to work hard to profit from it.

#84 OntarioHouse on 01.01.09 at 3:24 pm

Joe: According to the Hamilton-Burlington realtors website, prices have already fallen in this area. In the month of October prices fell 8.7% year over year. (They havent posted November yet).
Remember that asking price is different from actual selling price.

#85 David on 01.01.09 at 3:38 pm

Jason, one can always count on realtors as an excellent source of dumb and uninformed opinions about future real estate prices. $1300 a month is excessively high rent for a city like Saskatoon, but buying a condo conversion for $200K with almost the equivalent monthly payment will not fix the problem. Oil prices are crashing as you may have noticed of late. Buying a house based on the hopes for tomorrow is a really stupid strategy as you may have noticed by reading on this blog.
No one is buying houses and financing is tough to get even with record low interest rates, so the consensus you speak about is not worth very much.

#86 Joe on 01.01.09 at 4:00 pm

OntarioHouse

October was the only month you are right. Novembers # have been released

“The average price of freehold residential properties sold in the month of November was $302,925, an increase of 7.8 per cent over the same month last year, and an increase of 12.7 per cent over last month.

That means very little. Look at the volume of sales. The traditional pattern is that prices comtinue to rise for a while after sales volumes collapse, as deals close and trading in homes is thin, with the greater fools still doing their thing. Unlike the stock market, real estate takes a long time to reflect change. It is a lagging indicator of economic activity. — Garth

#87 smwhite on 01.01.09 at 4:10 pm

Happy 2009 y’all…

Putting around here for the last 9 months has been a slice… Some diverse opinions but for the most part I’ve been able to get some good info from other like minded souls.

Thanks for the forum Garth.

#88 Blacksheep on 01.01.09 at 5:21 pm

dd #74&78,

Sprott may be over the top, but at least he’s speaking out publicly.

The IMF is promoting the idea that governments experiencing an economic collapse, apply rediculous
sums of money, in an attempt to jump start the economy.

I understand there has been a contraction of credit, but government dollars injected will have to far and away exeed that amount or the desired inflationary effect will fail.

Many people are jumping on the gold spike bandwagon, because it’s easy to predict.

If gold dips to $600, i’ll consider it a gift, and buy more.

The PROBLEM was the expansion of credit.

The ANSWER is the contraction of credit.

take care
BS

#89 lgre on 01.01.09 at 7:57 pm

“I don’t see prices falling. In the Hamilton, Burlington , Grimsby (Ontario) area prices have been up every month. Although days on market is incresing. When do you predict declines in this area?”

I have a friend in Burlington trying to sell his house for 5 months now, he already reduced the price by $30k and no takers..the house is well done and updated tastefully, not sure were you are getting your info from.

#90 lgre on 01.01.09 at 7:59 pm

real estate expert – you sound like a never ending story, STFU already. Sorry Garth but someone has to say it.

#91 poorguy on 01.01.09 at 8:36 pm

http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/rea/

so many power of sales? GTA foreclosure capital of Canada?

#92 nonplused on 01.01.09 at 9:27 pm

#69 squidly77

The appeal of that property is the 50 foot frontage and R2 zoning. You can knock it down and put up one of those huge infill duplexes. Plus it’s waking distance to downtown. But I agree $270,000 per lot plus removal costs for the old structure doesn’t make sense. You got to save a lot on gas and parking to be in $300,000 just for a 25×100 lot.

#93 nonplused on 01.01.09 at 9:39 pm

#90 lgre

Why bother getting all worked up over “real estate expert”? You can tell he is no expert because real experts know better than to tell everyone they are an expert. He calls himself an expert because he knows nobody is going to take what he says seriously.

#94 OntarioHouse on 01.01.09 at 10:11 pm

Joe: I’ve looked at the website and I can’t find this report. Hmm.. I’ll have to look harder.
But one would think that if cities like Toronto, Oakville and Milton are experiencing price declines then the other cities will be experiencing price declines too.
Why would a place like Hamilton Ontario be so different?
Is it really that beautiful or unique?

#95 Foreclosures on 01.01.09 at 10:28 pm

#91 poorguy,

I’m going to admit, guiltily and selfishly, that I felt a bit of glee lately. I’m a renter, watching house prices tumble, waiting for the right time to buy. Now I feel a bit sick.

When I looked at one of those foreclosures, I saw a basketball net hanging in the driveway.

Only at that moment did I truly realize that these are real people with real families and real kids who are losing their homes. For the first time, it wasn’t just a dollar figure on some anonymous MLS listing coming down. It was real tragedy felt by real people.

I’m directing this comment to the folks who comment on this board: We should all consider, in all of our smugness, that there is probably very little that distinguishes us from the people whose houses are being sold out from under them. That were it not for a twist of fate, many of us would be in their shoes today.

#96 Jelly on 01.01.09 at 10:30 pm

Jason,

I concur with David, don’t do it,
don’t believe it.
I have been talking about a real estate crash
in Calgary with friends for over 2 years and
everyone said I was wrong, impossible,
we have too much oil blah, blah blah.
It got to the point where they convinced me
that there was was a 50/50 chance of correction
because oil would save us.
Next time I do my research and believe something,
I will stick to my beliefs regardless of what the
flocks of sheep and hopefuls say about it.

Lesson learned, big time!!
I could have screwed myself over because of them…

#97 Vancouver_Renter on 01.01.09 at 10:49 pm

With regards to gold, there have been 5 great deflationary contractions in the last 300+ years: 1929, 1873, 1825, 1772, 1720. In each case central banks and governments attempted to stimulate the economy with money printing yet were unable to stop the meltdowns. In all cases, after the initial crash (the equivalent of the 2nd half of 2008) where they fell with the rest of the market, gold stocks became the best performing investment class over several years. This is because the gold price held up (money is king and gold is a form of money + gold bullion has no counter-party risk) while gold miner costs plunged (energy costs, capital equipment, labor, etc all fell), resulting in ever-increasing operating margins.

Will history repeat itself? Nobody knows. But as Garth has said in another matter, if the probability of something happening is greater than zero, you should act accordingly.

For those of you who don’t follow gold stocks, it’s interesting to note that this asset class did not really participate in the commodity boom in the last few years. Even though gold went up significantly, the gold stocks did surprisingly poorly. It left many gold stock owners scratching their heads and frustrated. And then to add insult in injury, starting in late summer of 2008 and running through to the end of November 2008, the entire gold stock sector was decimated. This bloodbath has resulted in gold stock valuations that seem ridiculously low relative to earnings. I know of several junior gold producers with P/Es = 2.

So here you have a situation where centuries of history indicates that gold stocks will do extremely well going forward + gold stocks have been beaten down in value more than almost any other asset class. A betting man might see this as an potential opportunity. Again, not a sure thing, but certainly worth considering when looking for a hedge against more economic surprises to the downside.

I read one analysis that showed that a portfolio with 15% of its assets in gold stocks would have weathered the Great Depression without any overall fall in value.

One last comment… In all of those deflationary contractions, there was a meaningful “sucker rally” after the initial market plunge. So perhaps we will witness some good performance on the general markets over the next few months – before the next big leg down.

#98 Seadoo-bear on 01.01.09 at 11:23 pm

For the Gold bugs out there, watch this Senate hearing clip ( if you did not catch it live), Listen carefully to Bernanke’s comments, especially the last sentence.
My opinion is that the US will start dumping gold in the New Year and drive the prices back down to $350.00 . The Chinese & Japanese aren’t buying treasuries anymore, so the US needs to come up with some cash.
They have a lot of gold squirred away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lumsamPlDGc

#99 ATM on 01.01.09 at 11:58 pm

OntarioHouse. I think the increase in price are in the Hamilton area. I think Burlington is on a decline.
Bargain hunters from the the GTA area have been buying in Hamilton because they’ve been historically cheaper than in the GTA.

#100 Steve the Expatriate on 01.02.09 at 6:34 am

#90 Same for me, I completely stopped reading anything from Real Estate Expert. Just a bunch of crap.
Happy New Year to everybody

#101 bob on 01.02.09 at 6:59 am

A very good article by Donald Coxe. I love his line “The idea that real-estate prices will continue to go up is unmitigated idiocy”. http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1133059

#102 Keith in Calgary on 01.02.09 at 9:53 am

#95 Foreclosures…..

I feel no pity for these people whatsoever. Why should you ?

We all have the same amount of grey matter between our ears.

For 3-4 years now there has been a cry in the wildneress from bloggers such as The Aberta Bubble, Condo Hype, Vancouver Condo Info, Vancouver Un-Real Estate, Garth Turner, Housing Panic, Housing Doom, et al, about the lunacy of our real estate bubble. Even without these early prophecies of failure, all one had to do was some simple mathematics, and a bit of due diligence, on what is the biggest financial transaction of your life, to see what was happening.

Each and every one of these people who get foreclosed on are victims of their own stupidity, greed and hubris……not necessarily in that order.

#103 Sm on 01.02.09 at 10:01 am

As a native European, this has been my first deep recession in Canada. I must say it is terrible feeling. In Europe you have at least cultural heritage,nice architecture, “cafe life” , beutiful cities and Mediterranian in the vicinity. Even though the recession is there too, compared to Toronto as it is now, it seems far more attractive. It used to be better here, I mean it’s not only current recession that causes the living standard degradation.
Thank you Canada but it is time to leave now.

#104 Sure - gold on 01.02.09 at 10:11 am

Seadoo-bear , it is one sided logic.
Asians might not buy treasuries, but they might likely buy gold as a way of diversification or security of assets. Predicting gold at $350 – it is bold no doubt, but it is easy to be

#105 real estate expert on 01.02.09 at 10:14 am

Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the three most livable cities in the world…According to a 2008 report by Mercer Human Resource Consulting for example, Vancouver has the fourth highest quality of living in the world, after Zürich, Vienna and Geneva and ranked first in a survey by magazine ‘The Economist’… In 2007, according to Forbes, Vancouver had the 6th most overpriced real estate market in the world and second in North America after Los Angeles…In 2007, Vancouver was ranked Canada’s second most expensive city to live after Toronto and the 89th most expensive globally, and, in 2006, the 56th most expensive city in which to live among 143 major cities in the world…In 2007, Vancouver was ranked as the 10th cleanest city in the world.

The population of the city of Vancouver is 611,869 and the population of Metro Vancouver is 2,249,725 (2007 estimate)…Vancouver is also part of the slightly larger Lower Mainland metropolitan area which comprises a total population of 2,524,113, making it the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada and the third largest in the country. Vancouver is ethnically diverse, with 52% of city residents and 43% of Metro residents having a first language other than English.

…To my skeptical fans…

Right…Zurich and Geneva are not financial centres…they do not have similar winter attractions as does Vancouver…Wealthy Chinese and Iranians don’t live in Vancouver…Retired Cdn. $$$ does not reside in Vancouver/Island.

Right…Vancouver is rated 4th and 10th, yet is only 89th and 56th for cost to live.

Slowly but surely Vancouver will continue to be discovered and will keep growing.

…The Defense rests your Honour…

#106 real estate expert on 01.02.09 at 10:40 am

Further clarification…

“City Proper” Populations

Zurich 370K
Geneva 200K
Vancouver 800K
Toronto >2.5 million
LA > 10 million

…The purpose of Garth’s blog site is how to survive in this world crisis…”where to live” is germane.

just my two cents

#107 Investx on 01.02.09 at 11:03 am

Interesting quote from Coxe (from article referenced above):

“I think it’s important for me to help investors keep their perspective. At some point, we switched from saying this is a downturn to the belief that things are worse now than at anytime since the Great Depression. That’s a great leap, and I reject the analogy. For example, we had 40% unemployment in the Great Depression. Now it’s 7%. So it is neither reasonable, nor sensible to tell people during a downturn like this that it could be the worst thing since the Great Depression. I do believe that it is important to use history, not abuse it.”

#108 Westcoast Girl on 01.02.09 at 11:49 am

#95 Foreclosures…..

Thank you for voicing an opinion that gives hope about the inherent decency of mankind. There by the grace of God could have been my family, which includes a 20-month old and a 3-year old. It’s nice to think that perhaps some on this site wouldn’t be cackling with glee at the thought of us losing what little we have and having to stand on a corner begging for food or depending on the decency of people to ensure our kids stay warm, dry and fed…

and speaking of decency…

#102 Keith in Calgary…nice inflammatory comment. Way to re-instill faith in sense of community, people helping each other out, etc. What percentage do you think of the families losing their homes right now are guilty not of greed nor “overbearing pride” (must admit I had to look that one up, as obviously I’m not as worldly nor upper crust as yourself in…Calgary) but of being uneducated about the global economy (imagine that!) and – god help them – caught up with earning a living, raising kids and trying to survive day-to-day? YES, absolutely, it’s been an out-of-control, over-consuming world for the past few years and most of us (myself included) were insiduously caught up in it.

But back to Keith in Calgary – question for you sir: Would you truly enjoy looking that family that #95 spoke of in the face and laughing at their misfortune, saying it was their come-uppance? If you honestly could….you must be a very…special…type of person.

#109 Just a Girl on 01.02.09 at 12:05 pm

#102 Keith in Calgary wrote: “Each and every one of these people who get foreclosed on are victims of their own stupidity, greed and hubris……not necessarily in that order.”

This is rather heartless, don’t you think? Reminds me of an incident one day, when my friend had some ignorant stranger unleash road rage on him, for driving too slowly …. well, my friend had just lost his wife. So, we don’t actually know what goes on in people’s lives.
That same friend was without work for 2 years, caring for his terminally ill wife. Try being without a paycheque for 2 years, and then using your savings to pay for medical supplies that aren’t covered … or trying to squeeze what is left of your life together, into a short unknown time frame. He didn’t lose his home, he just lost the most important person in his life. And this is just one person’s life, the inner devastation you and others would have no idea about.

No, foreclosures happen to good people, too.

#110 brazer on 01.02.09 at 12:08 pm

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090102/eu_belarus_economy.html

In the past six months the National Bank has spent about a quarter of its gold and hard-currency reserves keeping the Belarusian ruble stable against the dollar, euro and Russian ruble. The bank said its reserves stood at $3.8 billion on Dec. 1…

The National Bank said it spent $572 million supporting the Belarusian ruble in the three-month period of August to October. The bank has not released figures for the final two months of the year, but Bogdankevich estimated it had spent as much as $1 billion in November and December.

“If the gold and currency reserves continued to decline at such a pace, soon the country would have no reserves at all,” the former central banker said.

================

watch while more gold gets dumped into the markets by desperate central banks around the world.

#111 Diabolo on 01.02.09 at 12:28 pm

real estate expert,
According to the defense….

Vancouver had the 6th most overpriced real estate market in the world and second in North America after Los Angeles…

I rest my case… you moron…

#112 Blacksheep on 01.02.09 at 12:35 pm

Real estate expert,# 105&106,

Great posts [honestly] lots of facts about Vancouver.

I agree, many positive reasons to live here.

Most economists now admit, globally we are facing the biggest financial crisis in the last eighty years.

Many popular citys experienced ridiculous gains in RE values, including Van.

Just like the other highly inflated markets, Van. will correct, 40%, peak to trough.

take care
BS

#113 lgre on 01.02.09 at 12:48 pm

93 and 100 – I agree, the guy is living on planet Mars, maybe the Vancouver he is talking about is on the red planet after all.

#114 Future Expatriate on 01.02.09 at 12:57 pm

Some very, VERY scary predictions, and unfortunately, VERY plausible:

http://www.conspiracypenpal.com/columns/wolf.htm

#115 JO on 01.02.09 at 1:09 pm

Coxe was the same guy who launched a commodities fund at the peak in the late spring/summer. You cannot compare the unemployment rate now to the 30’s since the method of calcuation is very different today and, no surprise, the rate today is artifically low. Several quality, contrarian analysts use the U-6 measure from the BLS report which shows a far higher unemployment rate, yet this recession should last longer and come back again after a brief recovery that may happen from spring to fall 09. While we are not yet in a full blown depression, we appear likely to reach that before 2012 the way things are going, and thanks to the shocking nonsense our politicians and central bankers are relying on.
JO

#116 TheComingDepression on 01.02.09 at 1:20 pm

I have the most scary chart and commentary regarding the coming monetary collapse. This is not the depression YET. If you view this chart you will see we are probably months away from a TOTAL MONETARY COLLAPSE:
http://www.thecomingdepression.blogspot.com

#117 Blacksheep on 01.02.09 at 1:22 pm

Investex #107,

Your comments,

“At some point, we switched from saying this is a downturn to the belief that things are worse now than at anytime since the Great Depression. That’s a great leap, and I reject the analogy. For example, we had 40% unemployment in the Great Depression. Now it’s 7%. So it is neither reasonable, nor sensible to tell people during a downturn like this that it could be the worst thing since the Great Depression. I do believe that it is important to use history, not abuse it.”

I agree being overly negative won”t help matters, but lets present the truth to help people judge for them selves.

I searched the net, found these were the accepted
numbers for the depression:

-Unemployment, US 1929, start of the depression 5%

-Unemployment, US 1933, @ peak 25%

-Unemployment, CAN. 1934 @ peak 27%

-Current official unemployment is US 5%/Can. 7%

-Shadow stats.com measures rates the same way it was calculated during the depression.

-Current UE rates are realistically @ 16% + in the states.

Reseach for your self, don,t believe me.

take care
BS

#118 real estate expert on 01.02.09 at 1:38 pm

If you currently live in Ontario….

1/Vancouver…2/Regina, would be very wise choices to live.

Eastern US, Europe, Eastern & Central Canada are dead meat…even Florida.

There is talk in Asia of the Chinese currency replacing the Dollar…How will that help Eastern North America?

Comparitively, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver still have positive economies…which one of these is not American?

(I lived in TO for near forty years, last eighteen in Vancouver.)

#119 OntarioHouse on 01.02.09 at 1:43 pm

Poor guy #91: I was on Craigs list about a month ago and I was shocked by the number of forclosure properties in the GTA. You’re not the only one who’s noticed.
Forclosures #95: While I do have compasson for those who encounter financial troubles, I feel angry at the families who bought more house then they could afford. Were they not at all concerned about the price tag or the amount of mortage they were taking out? All they did was raise home prices and make things more difficult for other young families.

#120 Just a Girl on 01.02.09 at 1:44 pm

#46 Chris L

I have to go back to this post, very practical observations. No, most people do not understand basic scientific principles for electricity.

As for borrowing, you’re exactly right! Heard a very entertaining keynote speaker not too long ago, who commented on our general obsession to have individual copies of absolutely everything. Case in point, he acknowledged he doesn’t actually need to own his own power drill, if all he needs is a single hole drilled! :)

#121 squidly77 on 01.02.09 at 2:05 pm

being foreclosed on does not count as a tragedy
why should i feel sorry for someone who bought a home that they could not afford..what about the guy that buys a car that he cant afford..should i feel sorry for him to
or how about the millions of pensioners who have had there retirement funds disappear by two thirds

i have full respect for families that are cramped up bringing up there young families in 2 bdrm apartments
the same families that are saving up a decent down payment and realize that paying the hardship price today will allow themselves future enjoyments

so when that overstretched family is being evicted from the home that they could not afford lets hope that the family that has sacrificed is moving into it at a greatly reduced and affordable price

home ownership is not a canadian entitle ship
it has to be earned
it took me 7 years of saving to buy my first home
during which time we lived in an old apartment and had 1 old car to share between us

getting all emotional because *heavens forbid* someone is being evicted from a house that they stopped paying the payments on will cause me no grief

#122 Vancouver_Renter on 01.02.09 at 2:48 pm

Over the last few years, several of my friends have bought expensive houses with big mortgages, loaded full of fancy furniture. We can point fingers at these people and say, “You should have known better…” but I know from experience that the pressure to buy a house is tremendous.

Renting was seen as confirmation, by family and friends who own homes, that you are unsuccessful – a loser. I know… My wife, kids, and I live in an older, modest rental house with hand-me-down furniture after selling our 2 Vancouver condos in 2006. I can’t believe the pressure we’ve endured from practically everyone to smarted up and buy a house! When I’ve told them that I plan on buying a house when it is a clear buyers’ market and not an illogical, overpriced mania fueled by easy credit, they’ve looked at me like I’m from another world.

I was definitely viewed as the black sheep for not believing in real estate. There are times when my wife and I almost felt shame for living below our means while others lived well above theirs. My father grew up in the Great Depression. In his day, thrift and prudence were respected. But not today… In the last few years you were a loser unless you maxed out on credit, consumed like a maniac, and bought all the toys.

So, in a way, I don’t fault people who did buy at or near the top. I’m sure their parents, siblings, and friends were all advising them to get into real-estate. And for many with kids, the perceived security of home ownership was important.

Frankly, the people who I chuckle at are the speculators who bought multiple properties expecting to make a fortune. I can’t tell you how many times, in social settings, I was outnumbered 10 to 1 by real estate speculators who thought I was nuts for not diving in feet first.

#123 TheFirstRick on 01.02.09 at 2:49 pm

#14 islander on 12.31.08 at 1:57 am Anyone who chooses not to listen to you will have only themselves to blame when they’re scrounging around for grubs.

Everybody should send a thank you letter to whatever parasite won your riding, because now you’re free to speak your mind and write your books.

You’re more valuable as a free thinker than a party drone.
======
It amazes me how the Realturd tries to change teams and hopes no one notices. Some of us *do* remember your views about 8 months ago, Islander, being quite contradictory to this blog. You are welcome to change sides now, but first you have to renounce your scurvy “profession” and admit that YOU contributed to the problem. (Hey, try to remember now, I’m just exercising my free will!!!) LOL

#124 Keith in Calgary on 01.02.09 at 3:04 pm

#108 Westcoast Girl……

I’d have no issues with standing right in front of them and saying to their face that they bought too much house, or mismanaged their finances, or overextended themselves out of greed. I don’t pity fools…….nor should you…….problem is, our politicians do.

#109 Just a Girl…..

Sounds like your example qualifies under the stupidity clause. I am married, and if my wife had a terminal illness, I would first put our finances in order and determine what to do before quitting my job and keeping a house I could not afford as a result.

Oh, my dog died…….but I didn’t take action that ruined myself financially because of it. Boohoo……use yours brains girls, you’re going to need it…..cause life crushes people like you.

#125 Cara on 01.02.09 at 4:13 pm

I notice that most of the voices of reason and compassion for others tend to be (from what I can tell) the voices of women. Telling.

Equating the death of your dog to the death of a wife after a two year terminal illness is the height of stupidity. If you’re married, I feel sorry for your wife. And I hope she never gets sick, as I do believe you’d put your finances before anything else, given what you’ve said here.

As it comes to either pitying or judging people who’ve bit off financially more than they can chew, I think we have to say “There, but for the grace of God, go I” Some people have never had training in personal financial matters, and are foolish enough to trust the people they are paying (ie: bankers, realtors) to give them advice on what they should be spending/buying. And Lord knows, we are bombarded incessantly with advertising, from marketing firms who’ve spent billions, telling us what we just can’t live without. That isn’t to remove people from the hook of responsibility for the choices and decisions they’ve made… but maybe extend a grain of grace towards them. They’re human too.

This entire thing, whether it turns out to be a recession or Depression, should serve as a lesson to us all: we need to reestablish a sense of common community and a return to the “old fashioned” values of saving for a rainy day, and evaluation things based on “need” vs “want”. Sometimes the hardest lessons are the ones that we need the most. I refuse to allow fear to guide me towards trying to hoard for myself and ignore the hungry and the needy around me. We are not animals.

It’s time to wake up, and if this is what it takes, so be it.

As a matter of a chuckle, pay attention to the commercials (if you even bother watching TV). I saw one the a week or two ago: It was about some brand of new, flat screen television. The last line of the advertisment declared: “Change your TV, change your life”. Can you imagine? How stupid do they think we are, to believe a TV has the power to change anything but the channel?

#126 Makeorbreak on 01.02.09 at 5:27 pm

Cara – ” Some people have never had training in personal financial matters, and are foolish enough to trust the people they are paying (ie: bankers, realtors) to give them advice on what they should be spending/buying.’

You have some people that never had any training in personal financial matters that are prudent money-wise. Yet you have some very educated people that manage mega-million budgets in the private and public sectors and yet their own financial life is a mess: high flyers, drinking expensive wine, wearing expensive clothes and watches, taking expensive holidays and driving expensive cars.

Nobody held a gun to these people’s head to buy property way above their means, with such ridiculous terms as a 40 year mortgage.

So there is no difference between somebody making $20,000 a year buying a $200,000 house and somebody making $125,000 buying a $800,000 house. I don’t feel sorry for neither of them and I don’t pity them. Both of them, as well as the ones who took out home equity loans to finance HD TVs and SUVs, share a common denominator: they want to appear wealthier than they really are. That is their problem.

By the way, I don’t think anybody in this forum intends to ‘hoard’ just for temselves while ignoring the hungry. We all have family, friends and neighbors. It is better to be prepared don’t you think? Otherwise you won’t have anything to share with anybody.

#127 WestCoast Girl on 01.02.09 at 7:43 pm

Ooh this is so telling (and dare I say, typical?)…and so much darn fun.

#124 Keith in Calgary:

I pity your friends and family and hey, quite honestly? I pity you too (and please, if you really need me to explain why, you’re much too far gone).

I agree with what I hope is the INTENT of your value system, not how you’re choosing to parlay it to the rest of us regular common-folk *tongue deliberately stuck in cheek*. And if you truly are as how you’re portraying yourself to be, whatever. I’ll still be the one to stick out a hand and lend a helping hand if necessary to someone that has…wait a sec, let me find your exact vernacular: “bought too much house, or mismanaged their finances, or overextended themselves out of greed”…and maybe I’ll get taken advantage of or maybe I won’t. Oh well. I’m still happy with who I am, what I am and what I stand for. As are you, I am almost 100% positive, lol

Signed,

One of “The Girls”, as per Keith, in the Excited States of Alberta

#128 Just a Girl on 01.02.09 at 11:04 pm

#124 Keith in Calgary

I suppose some people who are terminally ill wouldn’t mind moving, right before they died … on the other hand, there are those who might be too sick to move …. or who might wish to die in the home they adore, surrounded by the ones they love … and there are those who would do anything to grant them that wish.

Hope you feel better for my stupidity clause. Next time I’ll try to say something smart, I try to alternate.

#129 nonplused on 01.02.09 at 11:38 pm

#98 Seadoo-bear

All the world’s central banks currently have a total of 15% of the above ground supply. (Not my figure, quoting Ron Paul as he questioned Ben Bernanke.) Now that’s a lot of gold but they are no longer in a position to unilaterally set the price but for a short time. They have been selling the whole way along 350 tons a year and the price has still continued higher. Fact is whenever a western central bank sells, Russia, a Middle Eastern country, or China buys it up.

Also, your reasoning begs a point. Why would they want to push the price down if they are sellers? I would think they want top dollar. Why would anyone want lower prices for something they are selling?

If it gets to $350 it can only mean a physological attack on the market. Hopefully I will remain sane enough to go all in.

#130 nonplused on 01.02.09 at 11:57 pm

I agree with west coast girl and others that it is very inappropriate to mock most people who face foreclosure. Speculators, sure, scorn away. But ridiculing the average home owner for merely doing what everyone was doing is disingenuous. They didn’t know any better. That’s like insulting someone for getting a C in math when that is the best they could do. Or those irritating soccer moms who think they are better than other soccer moms because their son/daughter is on a tier 1 team instead of tier 2. Yuck.

#131 Foreclosures on 01.03.09 at 9:45 am

Cara said: I notice that most of the voices of reason and compassion for others tend to be (from what I can tell) the voices of women. Telling.

To Cara: First, I’m the one who started this thread. Second, I’m a man.

I take exception to your implication that men are mean-spirited, and frankly, find it insulting.

Men *found* the vast majority of charities in Canada; men *fund* the vast majority of charties in Canada.

When asked, fewer men *say* they’ll donate to charity than women, but when it comes to write a cheque, more men than women actually do it by a long-shot. Actions speak louder than words.

This isn’t he place to be drawing lines in the sand based on sex. Please, don’t start man-bashing here. I, for one, don’t have time for it.

#132 Keith in Calgary on 01.03.09 at 2:07 pm

nonplused said ” But ridiculing the average home owner for merely doing what everyone was doing is disingenuous.”

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And I suppose you’ve never made fun of lemmings at any point in your entire life either……..heh.

West Coast Girl and Just a Girl…..

Did you have the same scorn for the banker who will soon some be telling you perhaps that you’ve either bought too much house, have too much credit card debt and cannot get that car loan, consolidation loan or re-mortgage ? I am delivering the same message, but without the supervisor for you to compain to…..LOL !!!

Cara…..

Read the above.

#133 Cara on 01.04.09 at 12:35 am

Be insulted if you wish, this is simply a blog with some words in black and white, all as a series of 1’s and 0’s. More to the point, this was directed mostly to the men here who gloat about humans, not lemmings, meeting very tough circumstances. Ridiculing them because of a downturn a small percentage of bloggers and rather obscure economists saw coming… sure, gloat if it makes you feel better.

Turning this into a battle of the sexes as it pertains to charitable giving is such a waste of time, better to put up and shut up and remember the human face behind all of this. Instead of bragging about your charitable giving, why don’t you practice it in your attitudes towards those who just weren’t as *smart* as you were.

For the most part, people are decent. They work hard, and (foolishly at times) believe what they are told by those they trust to do their jobs. Everything we saw in the media, heck, even up to the end of Sept during the election when Harper advised us all it was a great time to buy, told us that everything was fine. Unless you have time, and a reason or inclination, to spend browsing obscure blogs (no offense Garth) you weren’t given any reason to believe the sky would come crashing down, as it has, and is. I don’t call people lemmings for doing what the vast majority of humans do: get shelter, eat, drink and be merry.

For the record: we have no debt, simply a mortgage on a decent, 1800 sqft house on which we put over 25% down. So go crow to someone else about the banker telling them anything. My banker and I get along just fine.