Moral Hazard

caucus

I thought I’d share this letter with you. It merits a  wider platform than my email inbox, and provides a fitting bookend for last week’s series on the ethical challenges of selling houses in a horny age. Besides, it fits well into the confusion of this pathetic blog, and reminds us that if anyone knows how badly politics sucks, it’s probably me. — Garth

Long time reader first time responder.  As much as it pains me to suggest that a man with your ego doesn’t fully appreciate his own worth I felt compelled to comment on Friday’s post.

I have enjoyed ‘Ethics Week’ and the morally reprehensible behaviour of all the various players in the real estate industry laid bare in the pages of your blog.  But in Friday’s post, and in other posts in the past, you have drifted in a direction that worries me.  You have done the difficult work of finding the dirt, collating the dirt and then publishing the dirt.  But with all that done, your readers informed and the corrupt elements of the market on notice that you are watching and writing you do something strange…..you check it to the gov’t.  I can only assume that as someone formerly involved in gov’t you feel a nostalgic benevolence toward the coffee chugging, Moore’s suit clad throngs of cheerfully incompetent cubicle dwellers.

Which leads me to the part about your ego.  Surely you must understand that you are doing more than they ever could and that you accomplish it all without laying a finger on the stick of state.  I doubt F and Harpo could find their own asses with both hands even with Trudeau and Mulcair helping.  Their ability to affect things lays entirely in their ability to force the market to move.  You manage your contribution with, in addition to some actual work, lots of potty talk, off colour jokes and tremendous aggrandizement of your own physique.  In case no one has mentioned it let me be the first to tell you that this elevates you to a level of moral purity completely unimagined by most of your detractors.

Now the part that worries me.  When you suggest that there is a role for your former colleagues you lend the considerable weight of your opinion to their misguided and obtuse thrashing about in the market.  As soon as you pick up the stick of state or implore those currently wielding it to do so in your interest or for your cause celebre you relinquish the high ground of economic rectitude and cast your lot with the knuckle dragging central planners who, in my experience, probably couldn’t run a water stand in the desert let alone steer the national real estate market.  Those working at the Department of Moral Hazard Creation are the last people on earth who should try and do anything to rectify the mess they have been so instrumental in creating. And I wonder why you would lend your powerful voice to the chorus calling for them to try.  If people want to know ‘how corrupt the real estate industry is’ they need only type that into Google and read the first couple of links, if they choose not to…well you tried.  The last thing we need is for F to try and ‘fix’ it, you can’t fix stupid which means F definitely can’t fix stupid.  F only has one tool: force; and if there is one thing I know it’s that when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.  The only thing they can do is find some way to relieve of our wealth those of us who are paying attention and are not busy pouring it in bucketfulls into the back of Lamb’s ride.  The last thing we need is for F and the peckerettes to get involved and ‘redistribute’ my kids college savings, or my wife’s salary or the value I have in my portfolio, or what remains of the value in my home into the pockets of those friends of mine (who despite my strident urging to the contrary chose to purchase vinyl sided, sawdust and glue wonder houses at the height of the spring market last April) or more likely the bankers who underwrote their hormone infused rampage.

We’ve already had the party, now comes the hangover and there is precious little anybody, especially F, can do to stop it.  I know it’s going to be an unmitigated train wreck disaster, there are so many red dots on the MLS map of my area that it looks like someone sneezed blood on the screen.  There will be an endless shrill choir screaming for somebody, anybody, to please do something, but I implore you please don’t join that group, you are doing something, you have been doing something and you will continue to do something.  Those that choose not to listen cannot be saved and those that did listen should certainly not be sacrificed in a bumbling rescue attempt.

So in conclusion….and I can’t believe I’m going to say this….you should toot your own horn a little more.  You have shown with scintillating clarity the power of an informed, competent and motivated observer to affect a market and its participants (being ripped and tanned doesn’t hurt either).  Make sure you tell everybody who you can get to listen that what you do is keep the market honest and open and you do it all without force, or fraud.  If you want to ask F and his crew to do something ask them to go on a really long vacation….tax payer funded of course…those are the best kind.

Regards,
CL
Falmouth, NS

122 comments ↓

#1 Adviser on 01.20.13 at 11:20 am

Bravo!!

#2 Buy? Curious? on 01.20.13 at 11:24 am

Wow! What a well written letter! And from Nova Scotia too.

I hope Garth’s right. I want to see the subburbs turn into slums.

#3 Randy on 01.20.13 at 11:28 am

This is why Tigers eat their young…

#4 lilyflor on 01.20.13 at 11:34 am

really enjoyed reading that, yes, let the chips fall where they may at this point.

#5 Mississauga on 01.20.13 at 11:42 am

“How corrupt the real estate industry ” -google in the morning and found out an interesting article: http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/12/19/the-foundation-of-corruption/
And one from Jan 03.-
http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/01/09/crash-and-burn/#more-333013
Enjoy reading!

#6 TurnerNation on 01.20.13 at 11:45 am

Churches have wi-fi? A rare Sunday post. ;-)
I wonder.

#7 Nukester99 on 01.20.13 at 11:47 am

So true, please don’t ask F and the peckerettes to “help” anymore, we all can’t afford their assistance. To the ignorant masses, well like hockey fans that have instantly forgiven the greed in the NHL, they deserve to be herded like the sheep to the slaughter.

#8 Snoop Dawg on 01.20.13 at 11:51 am

I say, send that apple-polisher a free book or something.

#9 Hoof - Hearted on 01.20.13 at 12:07 pm

I’ve had a number of epiphanies in the last 5 or so years, and many of them are mutually complimentary.

Lots of blogs have popped up, and I find the most interesting ones are on Real Estate, but many are local. IMHO, Garth’s is the best of them all.

What is politics really???? No.1 is control of LAND..No. 2 is control of the serfs on that land.

Has it ever changed ? No, its simply manifested itself in different guises….the worst of which is the illusion of democracy.

The FIX? BAN political parties…no party affiliation allowed…that’s a good start.

#10 texpat on 01.20.13 at 12:09 pm

A fantastic letter. My sentiments precisely. Political solutions invariably cause more problems, through unintended consequences, than they solve.

#11 Robert Dudek on 01.20.13 at 12:11 pm

This “letter” is little more than knee-jerk government bashing. Much as I dislike the Harper government, this letter has the feel of an anti-all-government libertarian screed.

#12 Silver on 01.20.13 at 12:15 pm

Smoking good letter.
We have eaten our and our kids future…
It’s payday…
Thank you Garth and Everyone for the sanity of this space…
Mr. Market always wins…
… math always wins,
… moving business out of GVRD……
… sold real estate and with good profit,
… leaving the smoldering ruble that Socialist Vancouver, and the GVRD are to become…
… from the very very far left
Silver

#13 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 01.20.13 at 12:19 pm

CL: Yes, but still…

SOCIAL BENEFITS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP
AND STABLE HOUSING

March 27, 2012,

DELETED. You posted this on the last thread. Respect the blog. — Garth

#14 Retired Boomer - WI on 01.20.13 at 12:28 pm

This post was a great letter penned by a worthy scribe.

Garth, his observations are very sage. I thank you for all the keen observations over the years.

#15 Nemesis on 01.20.13 at 12:41 pm

See? I told ya Economics would become the ‘new’ politics.

#16 jimmypage on 01.20.13 at 12:52 pm

Excellent

#17 Marie on 01.20.13 at 12:53 pm

Wow, he sounds like Terry Fallis, good stuff!

#18 Triplenet on 01.20.13 at 12:53 pm

DA

You may not “dump” grey or black water in any marine environment in BC jurisdictional waters.
Your knowledge of real estate should be equally dismissed.
Too bad stupidity and incompetence are largely not indictable offences.

#19 tomohawk on 01.20.13 at 12:54 pm

Agreed with the sentiments above. Bravo indeed!

#20 CalgaryRocks on 01.20.13 at 1:00 pm

#2 Buy? Curious? on 01.20.13 at 11:24 am
I hope Garth’s right. I want to see the subburbs turn into slums.

In Calgary the slums are downtown where hipsters share the front lawn of their overpriced and undersized properties with homeless people.

Another interesting trend is that companies are moving out of the downtown core close to where their employees actually live.

#21 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 1:04 pm

Fantastic letter!

And, Garth, you keep doing what you’re doing.

You have no idea how much we appreciate it!

The truth is soooo refreshing…

#22 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 01.20.13 at 1:06 pm

Sales people, of all types, are virtually always depicted as being self serving bad people. Yet take a few moments and ponder a world without peddlers.

We are all peddlers if you think about it. Garth is a peddler Of his wears just as you are of yours and I mine. But mine are not the houses people sell. Mine are the services I provide helping people sell them.

Actually, I sell nothing. And this blog, where you advertise yourself daily, is free. Thank me some time. — Garth

#23 guelphstudent on 01.20.13 at 1:13 pm

Kudos to you CL

#24 Ronaldo on 01.20.13 at 1:33 pm

That is an absolutely awesome letter and accurate on every point. Thanks for sharing that Garth and keep up the good fight. Personally I don’t know how you find the time to do all of this but I am certain that it’s very much appreciated by most of the people who come to this site. This real estate fiasco that was created by those in power whose sole goal is re-election at any cost, will turn out to be one of the biggest disasters that we have ever seen in this country.

Many young people are going to lose everything. We are going to see many foreclosures going forward. Lots of bankruptcies. At this moment in time we can’t even provide jobs for all our young people coming out of universities with huge debt loads.

I see many of them working in low paid jobs and more joining them each year. It’s a total bloody disaster. And these are the same people the system is relying on to support the multitude of us geezer boomers who are streaming into retirement at 500,000 per year for the next several years.

Already, up here in the Okanagan there are more for sale signs than I have seen since 2008 when nothing was selling. Assessments are down incredibly. My own assessment is down 38% from 2011. What does this tell you? Houses that were asking $420,000 back in summer of 2008 and listed for below $300,000. And spring is not here yet.

I’ve been in this hot-spot for 25 years and have been witness to the shinanigans by some of these realtors and developers. I won’t mention any names. They know who they are.

http://www.6717000.com/blog/2009/05/discount-pricing-in-the-okanagan/

I’ve been watching this development since it came on the market back in 2007. Units were for sale at over $850,000 to begin with. I almost fell out of my rocking chair. Two years later, still not all sold. A couple years after that, I see a for sale sign asking less than $500,000. I’m thinking, some people took a major licking. But, people got caught up in the hype of the bubble and the banks with their prime minus mortgages and the feds pumping with their 40 year, no down payment policies all helped to create this disaster.

It’s going to be an interesting spring. I hope the realtors have enough signs in stock because they are going to need them.

#25 Hank Stamper on 01.20.13 at 1:41 pm

Can we edit that to read “Central Mortgage Hazard Creation” or “Canadian Mortgage Hazard Creation”? I was so disappointed to see the acronym missed by just one letter.

#26 Hank Stamper on 01.20.13 at 1:42 pm

Uhh… I meant “Central Moral Hazard Creation”. Crap.

#27 William of the North on 01.20.13 at 1:42 pm

That was a well written letter. A lot of valid statements.
That person might have to start their own blog.

#28 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 01.20.13 at 1:43 pm

@#208 Eagle Bay – Parksville

Your comment…

“SNC-Lavalin is one of the best engineering firms in the world. And It’s Canadian.
Bribes are sometimes the only way to do business throughout the world. It’s the way of life in many countries.
Why does Canadian regulations and stupid laws apply outside Canada? Aren’t we acting like Americans?”

…….Smacks of jingoistic naivete’

I, unfortunately, became part of SNC through “mergers and aquisitions”. I lasted aprox 18 months in that mindlessly beaurocratic shithole before taking a job for less pay and benefits. My sanity required it. And interestingly enough, 90%, yes 90%, of the staff who were my coworkers during that transition….have left.
One wonders what the attrition rate is in that company.

Garths’ blog was focussing on Ethics.
Something which SNC Lavalin has proven to be willing to ignore repeatedly. The fact that they are canadian is nothing to be proud of when they are signing major contracts with ruthless ditatorships all over the world. ( Libyas Mohmar Qadhaffi, Venezualas Hugo Chavez, Algeria, and on and on and on.) Canada’s foreign investments have become a sorespot with numerous democracies specifically BECAUSE they are willing to turn a blind eye to human rights and polluting the environment.
I think the final straw for the Americans was when a private “security consultant” with SNC Lavalin was arrested in Mexico with one of Quaddaffis sons. He had fake canadian passports and suitcases of bonds, bullion and cash. They were on their way to canada via Mexico. It wouldnt be the first time a rich, corrupt, evil person used the ludacris Canadian “refugee system” to sneak into Canada and spend millions appealing deportation.
But I digress.
Less than 2 weeks after this Mexico “caper” was revealed …lo and behold SNC Lavalins Head Quarters in Montreal were raided by the RCMP ( with FBI agnets in attendance). Do you think the US finally had enough?
Since the raid, their CEO has been arrested, their foriegn COE has been arrested, the majority of top staff have been moved or replaced with foriegn expertice. The rot at the top was all pervasive…
AND a class action lawsuit by shareholders has been initiated to sue SNC for allowing these things to take place

So if SNC is the “one of the best engineering firms in the world” (in your words) .

I’d hate to see the worst…….

Perhaps a little less “rah rah Canada” drum pounding before jumping on the “canada is the best” bandwagon.

#29 questioning on 01.20.13 at 1:46 pm

hi Garth,

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/no-bubble-no-trouble-200051237.html

is this guy taling BS??

#30 GTA Girl on 01.20.13 at 1:49 pm

My former colleagues have become so corrupt, beyond what AdScam ever was. Daily scandals. Not to mention odd stories that pop unlike Bruce Carson, Dr. Arthur Porter, SNCLavelin, McGill Hospital, F35′s, Jacobson..etc..

The people they now surround themselves with are highly questionable. The PMO is an unelected body which is essentially running the country. The recent threat blasted into a Peterborough local newspaper attributed to the PMO directly was abhorrent. A threat against a national newspaper reporter, Stephen Maher, and a statement claiming documents provided against MP DelMastro are forged. Using power influence as a sword. Any of these scandals, incidents are enough to bring on a royal commission.

The Fantino letters of partisan hate posted on a govt website was no accident. This Harper govt is not only corrupt, itis arrogant and ruthless in its pursuit of absolute power.

To those astonished and claiming it is an overreaction,
rest be assured it will only get worse. People have become accustomed to this. This political situation is not normal, our parliament has become useless and ignored .

Dangerous times.

#31 nocte_volens on 01.20.13 at 1:58 pm

Amen

#32 Ronaldo on 01.20.13 at 1:58 pm

Another realtors take on the Kelowna market. Seems like a decent fellow.

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story–906-.htm

#33 Cici on 01.20.13 at 2:00 pm

Great letter, although I don’t think that Garth was at any time suggesting that F and the Peckerettes put the onus of this disaster on the backs of the minority of Canadians who did not get tangled up in this mess.

I think he has been hinting that they should raise rates as soon as possible to contain it, rather than keep feeding the frenzy by relaxing any measures they’ve already put into place in an effort to try to control it. In short, let it crash and burn now while there’s still a chance to control the downward spiral, instead of letting it take on even more monstrous proportions that will do irreparable damage in the future.
But CL is definitely right in assuming that any government intervention will probably be taken with the intention of getting more votes.
However, this time round I’m not sure that formula would work. There is no way that minority of wise and competent people with strong portfolios could possibly bail out the growing majority of half-baked and horny lumpheads who have brought this house of cards to the brink of collapse.

My guess, they’ll relax the measures some until the shit hits the fan, at which point they will be long gone and some Liberal or NDP government will be left to deal with the mess (just like the Republicans did to Obama).

In the meantime, if things start getting ridiculous, pack your bags and get ready to leave.

#34 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 2:00 pm

22};-) aka Devil’s Advocate on 01.20.13 at 1:06 pm
“Sales people, of all types….”

***************

You are so very tiresome….

Just say something NICE for a change.

#35 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 2:04 pm

“And this blog, where you advertise yourself daily, is free.”

****************

Well, his ‘advertising’ isn’t doing him much good ’cause he’s a pain in the ass and just turns people off. LOL

#36 periwinkles on 01.20.13 at 2:08 pm

CREA’s nothing more than a Tupperware party.

#37 Moral Hazard — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of Real Estate « The Affluent Boomer™ on 01.20.13 at 2:08 pm

[...] via Moral Hazard — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of Real Estate. [...]

#38 Dr. WAYNE on 01.20.13 at 2:08 pm

Brilliant cartoon and brilliant letter !!!! No truer words have been written, excepting those of the venerable Mr. Turner.

The human condition is plagued by:

“The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism”
(William Osler)

The ignorance of what is ‘really’ going on in the ethics field, and the resulting effects on consumers is criminal, in my opinion. However, the overall lack of knowledge breeds further acceptance of the status quo by those least able to afford to indulge in the propaganda of banks, shyster realtors, and the like.

Those of us who are incensed at the lack of understanding of what is ‘really’ going on, as is the case, I would suspect, for the genesis of this blog, should also make efforts to spread the word. I have, for example, passed the URL for this blog to virtually all my contacts … and news outlets (including Global … what the hell, it can’t hurt), particularly when there is an over-the-top discussion by Mr. Turner, including such contributions like the present from ‘CL in NS’.

Inter-poster banter lightens up the atmosphere herein, however, there is definitely serious issues which abound in our real estate market … serious enough to run unsuspecting citizens into bankruptcy. These issues cry out for greater platforms to be heard. Mr. Turner has taken up the torch … we all should do the same in whatever manner is most suited to each of us.

#39 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 01.20.13 at 2:24 pm

Garth;

#1. I was reiterating what I consider relevant matrial.

#2. I sell NOTHING here but my opinion, just as you do yours and everyone theirs. I am anonymous here, in great part, to, respectfully, avoid such personal promotion on your blog.

I do occassionally use that anonymity, however, to take liberties, I might not otherwise, in expressing my opinions in a, on this blog, ‘devilishly’ controversial way.

It is your blog, do as you will.

We are all always selling though Garth. We all have a personal agenda of some description.

#40 Ronaldo on 01.20.13 at 2:28 pm

#40 Dr. Wayne – nice post.

#41 Herb on 01.20.13 at 2:30 pm

Garth,

if you ever feel the need to take a vacation but keep this blog going – and you’re a few years overdue – hire CL as your stand-in.

#42 Rob on 01.20.13 at 2:32 pm

Yes those who took on to much RE debt are screwed and its unfair the tax payers are the hook. But F already bailed out the banks and economy a few years ago, occuring mass national debt. I dont think they can truly afford to do a second round of bailouts. But, they can raise taxes and print money, I guess either way generation X and Y are screwed. Thanks a lot boomers..

#43 Herb on 01.20.13 at 2:32 pm

#22 DA,

Garth is wrong! You’re not advertising yourself, you’re exposing yourself. And what you show is pitiful.

#44 felicopter on 01.20.13 at 2:33 pm

Excellent letter. And I just learned a new term for the government: Department of Moral Hazard. I had never previously been aware that this is a prime role of the government.

#45 coastal on 01.20.13 at 2:38 pm

“Make sure you tell everybody who you can get to listen that what you do is keep the market honest and open and you do it all without force, or fraud. ”

Great post. Ethics and professionalism is not something I see in this new generation of salesmen/agents. They seem to think cockiness and bravado is the name of the game and not substance. Slag Garth, slag potential buyers who speak the truth, close your mind to the big picture of world economics while speaking out of both sides of your mouth seems to be the order of the day. Maturity can’t be taught or learnt early in life like it used to be able to in this social media world. Basic logic is met with the old lines of “he hasn’t been right in 5 years”, when infact he has, as others have who take the time to take off the rose colored glasses and grasp for a mere minute what a mania truly is. If they did, their urge/dream/plans for the instant home in the next few months to a year is shattered. “Lost” sums it up perfectly.

On a side note, a couple I know just got CMHC coverage “without” the secondary persons employment ever being confirmed and they infact have no job in another month. The ponzi scheme is alive and well as we head into the spring shearing.

#46 TurnerNation on 01.20.13 at 2:51 pm

Well the Globalists have “Canada” (aka Low Wage Zone #2 member) under control. They’ve eliminated the middle ground (Liberals) via limp wristed and ineffectual strawman candidates.
Net result, Hard Left or Hard Right. Pick your poison.

Either way, we’ll be reduced to 2nd World Country status.
Global Low Wage Zone #2, Kanada Prefecture reporting for duty sir.
Min wage $10; skilled wages $15 or $20.

#47 TEMPLE on 01.20.13 at 2:54 pm

#22 };-) aka Devil’s Advocate on 01.20.13 at 1:06 pm

We are all peddlers if you think about it. Garth is a peddler Of his wears just as you are of yours and I mine

Is that so? Is Garth selling each of his wears individually, or can I get a whole outfit? I am in need of some new pants. Will Garth start a new website to peddle his wears? GreaterWool.ca, perhaps?

TEMPLE

#48 TurnerNation on 01.20.13 at 2:56 pm

Putting it into perspective, why do you think more bombs than used in WW2 were dropped on the little ‘ole self sufficient Agrarian societies of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietman (aka now part of Low Wage Zone #1, communist slave class). We know he had WMD?

Looks like Mali, Libya got the same treatment.
Today:
“In Colombia, Kopecky roams the slums of Medellín, where thousands of internally displaced citizens wind up each year after being kicked off resource-rich land in the countryside, forced now to survive on the margins of the City of Eternal Spring. These travels and the conflicts he witnessed formed the basis for Arno’s first book, The Devil’s Curve: A Journey into Power and Profit at the Amazon’s Edge.”

http://www.amazon.com/Devils-Curve-Journey-Amazons-Hardcover/dp/1553658973/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358708114&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Devil%C2%92s+Curve%3A+A+Journey+into+Power+and+Profit+at+the+Amazon%C2%92s+Edge

#49 45north on 01.20.13 at 3:02 pm

CL Falmouth: If you want to ask F and his crew to do something ask them to go on a really long vacation….tax payer funded of course…those are the best kind.

we have to live with the world we have, tomorrow morning Flaherty will still be the Minister of Finance, CMHC will still be there and millions will still be paying their mortgages. You are focusing too much on individual personalities, the US did more or less the same thing with a completely different set of personalities. Politicians like to be re-elected.

Cici: But CL is definitely right in assuming that any government intervention will probably be taken with the intention of getting more votes.

Let’s look at the US where the government has cleverly played both sides of the fence. It has delayed and forestalled foreclosures. This has served two purposes – on the one hand the measure promises to “keep families who have worked hard and played by the rules in their houses” and on the other hand the measure has provided political cover for the banks. It has allowed them to claim seriously delinquent mortgages as “performing” and it has saved them from maintaining and paying taxes on the houses.

Now fixing this requires somebody to be actively involved. I suggest that it be us. I mean if you are caught up in the rapture then you are excused but otherwise you do have a role and a responsibility.

#50 TEMPLE on 01.20.13 at 3:04 pm

#11 Robert Dudek on 01.20.13 at 12:11 pm

This “letter” is little more than knee-jerk government bashing. Much as I dislike the Harper government, this letter has the feel of an anti-all-government libertarian screed.

Yes, I agree completely. As soon as I see expressions like “the gov’t” and “the department of moral hazard creation,” I can tell an epic strawman is about to start flapping in the wind. While the letter is on point about F’s role in inflating this bubble, it is infantile to suggest that the solution is more deregulation. Not a good letter.

TEMPLE

#51 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 3:07 pm

#40Dr. WAYNE: “Brilliant cartoon and brilliant letter !!!! No truer words have been written, excepting those of the venerable Mr. Turner….”

**************

Dr. Wayne…is that really YOU? :)

#52 Ogopogo on 01.20.13 at 3:07 pm

#13 };-) aka Devil’s Advocate on 01.20.13 at 12:19 pm
CL: Yes, but still…

SOCIAL BENEFITS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP
AND STABLE HOUSING
March 27, 2012,

DELETED. You posted this on the last thread. Respect the blog. — Garth

Garth, this was a sage decision to delete DA’s second attempt to post this fraudulent “research”.

Allow me to expose DA’s shameless propaganda puff piece. At the end of the litany of reasons why home ownership is “an essential element of the American Dream” DA cites the source as:

On March 27, 2012,
in Economist Commentaries,
by Selma Hepp, Research Economist

A quick search for Selma Hepp reveals this little nugget of truth:

“Selma Hepp
Senior Economist at California Association of REALTORS(R)”
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/selma-hepp/3a/77/11b

How convenient to omit this crucial bit of information about this so-called “Research Economist”. Ms. Hepp is simply another shill promoting the real estate cult that decimated the middle-class in the USA and now threatens to do an encore in our northern hinterland.

DA has been exposed. Yet again. If he had an ounce of dignity or decency he would apologize to Garth and readers of this blog for attempting to mislead them (twice, no less) with real estate propaganda masquerading as research.

The letter writer is absolutely spot-on about the “corrupt” nature of the real estate industry. Thank you for putting it to eloquently.

#53 AK on 01.20.13 at 3:16 pm

#193 Alice on 01.19.13 at 11:03 pm
“To #30 AK, otherwise known as Dr Anus. I’ve had a tough week. I was enjoying Garth’s blog. Then your name came up, reminding me of your other loser identity and perverted enjoyment of being abused. What a bummer reading your name. Really dude, you should do us all a favor and go away. Get some treatment. This is a great blog without you.”

WOW.. You should try to relax, Lady. DR. WAYNE and I are NOT one of the same. I just like to poke some fun at posters who “try” to post “fuuurst”. Why is that wrong?

Having said that, I appreciate the complement as I truly believe that DR. WAYNE has a great sense of humour, unlike a number of dimwits that post on this blog.

Have a great week ahead, and I truly mean that.

#54 Dr. WAYNE on 01.20.13 at 3:18 pm

#30 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 01.20.13 at 1:43 pm

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

Re: SNC-Lavalin … you are bang on!!! I had some corporate dealings with this, so called’, Canadian company, regarding a joint venture. To make a long story ‘very’ short … my company got screwed.

So ‘rah rah Canadian’, is not necessarily tantamount to
‘great Canadian corporate ethics’.

#55 Snowboid on 01.20.13 at 3:19 pm

#49 TEMPLE on 01.20.13 at 2:54 pm…

Good one!

#56 Dr. WAYNE on 01.20.13 at 3:26 pm

#53 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 3:07 pm

Dr. Wayne…is that really YOU? :)

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

Of course it’s me … just because my ’cause celeb’ is that of removing FIRSTS from this otherwise brilliant blog, doesn’t mean I’m a totally ignorant a$$hole. Just watch for the number of posters jumping on that one!!!! … :-) …

#57 coastal on 01.20.13 at 3:28 pm

#25 Ronaldo,

Great points, same can be said for Bear Mountain in Victoria, what a fiasco that has been. You got sucked into buying back in the mid 2000′s because you want to golf on a choice of two 18 hole courses and now there is a battle on to eliminate one of them they just spent millions building ?? As well all the financial shenanigans that have gone on there are still being kept quiet which reeks like fresh cow dung.

On top of that they are promoting more houses in the Westhills area which reeks of the same potential problems and for all the taxes you pay you can’t even get a BC Transit bus to run through the over-priced family neighborhood. This is going to be an ugly spring.

#58 Mister Obvious on 01.20.13 at 3:40 pm

Methinks the correspondent doth protest too much.

Does he really believe the denizens of present day Parliament Hill would take seriously any directives coming from persona non grata Garth Turner?

CL may safely retire to his library, cognac and cheroot in hand, with the comfortable knowledge that Ottawa is entirely in control of its own calamitous journey.

#59 chickenlittle on assignment on 01.20.13 at 3:40 pm

Canada needs to grow a spine.
I’m in college and the theme pretty much is that the solution to everyones problems is more goverment programs, more spending on such and such, etc. When will people realize the less the gov”t is involved the better? People don’t seem to be able to think anymore. They wanted the gov’ts help and they got it.
There also needs to be a sense of personal responsibility. No one MADE you buy that $750k “starter” home.
It isn’t just canada! Its everywhere!

#60 Canadian Watchdog on 01.20.13 at 3:41 pm

#48 TurnerNation

Either way, we’ll be reduced to 2nd World Country status.

That's the plan, but I have a hard time believing this can be accomplished when i) personal incomes account for 45% of government revenue and ii) unions fighting back against low-wage temporary foreign workers and iii) First Nations protests against deregulating resource sector. The latter is the biggest threat to government as First Nations are well aware of their human rights protected under international law. They can literally shut down the country if they wanted to, which is why the OPP backed down last week.

But when it came to law-abiding citizens protesting at the G20, who know nothing about their rights and how to mobilize against government: the police force geared-up and gave everyone one a beating. 

People need to understand their human rights and the international laws that protect them. They are hidden from the public for a reason.

#61 Humpty Dumpty on 01.20.13 at 3:46 pm

Then there’s the cycle of moral dilemma….

Vlad,
Jess,
CW

The fuse is lit part 3 is here gentlemen…
An American Reconking

http://www.youtube.com/user/McalvanyFinancial

G, you ever thought of doing a series like this…
Your shoe-in for someone who is eloquent in there speech.

#62 EIT on 01.20.13 at 3:48 pm

Why would you squander a great opportunity to debase the currency and monetize the debt. These natural resources aren’t gonna buy themselves. BAHAHAHAHA

#63 █ ♣ █ ANONYMOUS on 01.20.13 at 3:51 pm

I have no idea what you guys are talking about, but for anyone who is holding stocks, you might want to lighten your portfolio a little bit as there are quite a few signals that are showing that the markets will start to take a tumble next week, and will probably be falling for a few weeks ( 2 or 3 at least ). Then, around mid-February, buy them back again at prices 15% cheaper.

Here’s proof:
Look at the red line of the ADX plots of these charts, they are all at or below 10. Anything that happens, stocks usually crash for a few weeks.

http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=HXU.TO&p=D&yr=0&mn=6&dy=0&id=p71771990846

http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=xlf&p=D&yr=0&mn=6&dy=0&id=p59871856064

http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=CNR.TO&p=D&yr=0&mn=6&dy=0&id=p59871856064

I’m not saying that stocks are bad, no, they are good, but its even better to sell them high and buy low, and right now they are ‘high’, so sell high, then in 2 or 3 weeks you can buy low.

#64 Don on 01.20.13 at 4:10 pm

Agreed

Nice to know like minded sensible folks live in the same area as me.

Great little summary – yes the new generation have quite the ego’s after reading a couple of books in Uni or not. I have worked with a number of recent graduates who think experience is not needed as the book is right. Oh well they usually find out the hard way. But then again stupid is in all generations.

#65 Don on 01.20.13 at 4:13 pm

Great post Garth – very good read.

To the person that wrote it – Bravo. It troubles me that Canada is one of the last bubbles to burst and Canadians actually watch the US go down in flames and actually believe…”It is different here”.

#66 Don on 01.20.13 at 4:14 pm

oops my #60 post was directed at Coastal post # 47.

#67 James on 01.20.13 at 4:18 pm

Someone posted a couple of days ago about this company, Commission Pitch.

http://www.commissionpitch.com

With all the change going on in the real estate industry, sites like this could take off..

#68 dosouth on 01.20.13 at 4:19 pm

Some entertaining reading for a house FSBO in Victoria. Must be a “long in the tooth” listing as he has since fired his realtor and it is now assessed at $492k

http://tinyurl.com/a4v5r42

Get it before he has to put up the price in the spring!!

#69 chickenlittle on assignment on 01.20.13 at 4:38 pm

To put in a far better way than I ever could…
“If all the economists were laid end to end, they would never come to a concluion.” George Bernard Shaw

“If people behaved like gov’ts, you would call the cops.” Kelvin Throop

“Giving money and power to gov’t is like giving whiskey and car keys to boys.” PJ O’Rourke

“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” Herbert Hoover..

#70 Canadian Watchdog on 01.20.13 at 4:38 pm

#69 James

Excellent find. http://www.commissionpitch.com

Told you DA. RE boards better get with the times or they’ll get crushed by opportunists, one way or another.

#71 jess on 01.20.13 at 4:41 pm

ireland

Mr Noonan goes to Brussels to try and restructure rearrange – €3.1bn/year for 10 years annual promissory note to the European Central Bank

legal challenge to the promissory notes
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/failure-to-do-deal-on-legacy-bank-debt-will-cost-every-citizen-13553-each-3358015.html

“allegedly false financial statements up to 10% of loans sanctioned over a certain period. the bank then clled in kpmg to conduct a national audit of its loan files. gardai irish fraud squad.
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/acc-bank-refers-loans-worth-50m-to-fraud-squad-3358009.html
=
online pay day loan companies uk

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cardsloans/article-2265065/Million-borrowers-Wonga-struggling.html

Wonga has a representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 4,214 per cent, based on a £207 loan for 20 days.
..
Financial Mail has complained to the Office of Fair Trading about the behaviour of more than 80 payday loan firms.

=========

Margaret Hodge MP said she was concerned about the access that companies like Wonga had to bank account details and was also worried about fraud.

She pointed out that many people had been taking out payday loans after fraudulently giving details of the bank accounts of third parties who then find themselves making the loan repayments.

Raine admitted that the online industry had a ‘significant problem’ with fraud and identity theft.
===============================

#72 Dr. WAYNE on 01.20.13 at 4:49 pm

#60 Mister Obvious on 01.20.13 at 3:40 pm

Methinks the correspondent doth protest too much.

CL may safely retire to his library, cognac and cheroot in hand, with the comfortable knowledge that Ottawa is entirely in control of its own calamitous journey.

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

This ‘directive’ smacks of more apathy on the part of those whose intelligence should tell them that ignoring chances to ‘enlighten’, regardless of position in life, should be on the agenda of all concerned/thinking/conscientious members of society. Those in power, whether it be government or corporations, rely heavily on public apathy, and relatively short memories, to continue with the status quo.

Helen Keller – “Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings.”

Society, in general, should strive to alter the obvious … and blogs like this and letters (and attitudes of CL from NS) go a long way to at least get started on the journey:

Dr. Joost A. M. Meerloo, MD – “The continual intrusion into our minds of the hammering noises of arguments and propaganda can lead to two kinds of reactions. It may lead to apathy and indifference, the I-dont-care reaction, or to a more intensified desire to study and to understand. Unfortunately, the first reaction is the more popular one.”

#73 An Importation in Quebec on 01.20.13 at 5:00 pm

#65: Great, we have a chartist. Do you do any rhabdomancy?

Stocks will fall as soon as they start fighting over the debt limit.

#74 rosie on 01.20.13 at 5:16 pm

#41
You, sir, are a , dick,!

#75 geogar on 01.20.13 at 5:20 pm

Lead a horse to water; Teach a man to fish; Throw the dog a bone. The rest is pretty much out of your hands. That is a fairly decent perspective CL. Not bad for a virgin responder.

#76 Saskatoon Housing Bubble on 01.20.13 at 5:21 pm

Garth,
not sure if this was posted.
Demographia is out with their 9th annual report

http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

Canada’s major markets median multiple moved from 4.5 to 4.7 in 2012.

But some of their numbers for some cities are off. For example they have Saskatoon at a median house price of $283,000 for 2012. But the lowest median multiple for Saskatoon for any month in 2012 was in Jan which came in at $307,500. Nov came in at $340,000. Saskatoon still came in at 4.3, which is seriously unaffordable.

Other bubble bloggers may want to check this out.

#77 Ronaldo on 01.20.13 at 5:47 pm

http://forums.castanet.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=11245&start=15

An interesting discussion about Kelowna. And that is going back to December of 2007. Recognize anyone?

#78 jess on 01.20.13 at 5:51 pm

63 Humpty Dumpty

The famous “why democracies fail” quotation is

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Its earliest confirmed use is on page 12A of the Daily Oklahoman on December 9, 1951, which attributed it to Tytler. Later references to the quote specify that it’s from the book “The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic” by Alexander Fraser Tytler. No record of that book can be found, and nobody can find any other work by Tytler with the quotation.[12] Although most of Tytler’s work has been completely lost.[13]wiki

businessmen buying off politicians
http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14011-exposed-how-the-billionaires-class-is-destroying-democracy

#79 TimV on 01.20.13 at 5:52 pm

I would never have thought Garth and the east coast to be the starting point for a Canadian version of the Tea Party.

#80 who cares hockey is on on 01.20.13 at 6:01 pm

It shocks me that Harper is still so popular these days. Lets take a look at some of the accomplishments he has had over the years:

-Decreased funding for environmental scientific research which was highly regarded internationally.

-Opened up our land to the energy sector by cutting restrictions and listening to energy lobbyists. (Never listens to citizens)

-Moody’s has stated that the credit rating of our banks could be downgraded due to records levels of consumer debt.

-Orchestrated one of the worst real-estate bubbles in Canadian history.

-He hurt our global reputation by being one of the only countries that publicly supports Israel and their elimination of Palestine.

-Decreased government military spending but compensated by increasing private military spending.

-Continues to let the Telus/Bell/Rogers triopoly price fix and gouge Canadians while they use the infrastructure previous governments have funded.

-Despite the Canadian economy looking strong in 2008, he has loaded on the stimulus spending and has put the debt levels at a record high.

-Makes budget cuts in the government to areas that do no fit his agenda yet has no problem spending his “stimulus” money on endless commercials (propaganda).

All this after 2008 where Canada looked like a safe haven for investment and business while the global economy tanked.

Its obvious that Harper is an agent of big business and really does seem to hold contempt for the average Canadian. I guess he feels a need to exercise his economics degree and plague this country with a poor model for running a society. He seems to be impressed by really big numbers.

You forgot booting me. But maybe that was destiny. — Garth

#81 TNT on 01.20.13 at 6:07 pm

With the overpriced housing market originally caused by Flahterty & Harpo with the 40 year mortgage during a time when we were already in a economic uptick do to the spin-off from the US credit bubble. Why would they bring in a tool to create a housing boom when prices were already upticking so quickly?
And the last three years have been held at historical interest rates lows? WOW! Are a lot of people ever going to get a rude awakening in the next two years, China’s Economy is still surging ahead with job & wealth creation in ASia tha will put a demand for food, and gas like we’ve NEVER seen before. Expect interest rates to easily double within 24-36 months!

#82 Thinking of buying for the first time in Victoria? on 01.20.13 at 6:14 pm

Don’t. Now is not the time to buy in Victoria or anywhere in Canada. Our country was long overdue for a major housing correction and it has finally started. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of Canada, recently said that house prices in Canada are overvalued by 37%. Scotiabank recently wrote that Canada house prices will drop, stay down for a decade, causing unemployment. Don’t believe the Victoria real estate board when they write that the housing market is stable. Victoria house prices have declined and much bigger declines are on the way. You have probably heard people in Victoria say that their 2013 property assessments have gone down. Houses were assessed in the summer and the market has gone down since then. Victoria is leading Canada in declining house prices on the Teranet house price index.

Victoria and Vancouver are the most overvalued cities in Canada. Victoria experienced a price run-up similar to that of Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In fact, Victoria’s bubble is even bigger than the bubbles experienced in some of these cities at peak. The US housing crash was devastating. Overall, Miami crashed about 50%, Phoenix 55% and Los Angeles 45%.

There have been 48 different national housing bubbles (different countries) over the past 40 years. In all cases, once prices peaked, they always corrected back the same amount. The US housing bubble is only one example among many to do this. Canada is next.

Victoria and Vancouver will be hit the hardest by the correction that has already started. It will take years to play out. If you buy now you will be in a position of negative equity almost immediately, especially with a minimum down payment.

Hold off from buying and pocket the money that you would be losing as the market continues to decline. Renting in the US was not popular either when their market was on fire, but that has definitely changed now. Rent and save. Much lower prices are on the way. You will thank yourself.

#83 Snowboid on 01.20.13 at 6:15 pm

#70 dosouth on 01.20.13 at 4:19 pm…

Interesting sales pitch, here is an update from my post on Jan 13, 2013 about our former neighbours in Victoria…

The home they purchased almost six years ago has been relisted for…

Over $100K less than we sold our more modest home for in the spring of 2011 – even if they sell at asking they will have lost over $50K from what they paid.

At the time we listed they weren’t happy with our ‘low’ asking price, but we told them of our research and the good Professors’ advice – still they thought us crazy stupid.

I am tempted to email to ask how things are going and forward the link you provided, but know they are in enough pain already!

#84 For Sale on 01.20.13 at 6:21 pm

Well done Hants County…

#85 AprilNewwest on 01.20.13 at 6:25 pm

I was talking to a retired female teacher today in Vancouver who owns a leaky condo [costing her $125.000. She says “you wait till spring arrives prices are going up”. She thinks Van will not see any further declines. I asked her where she gets her info from, she said, “experience”. It would seem she doesn’t realize we are in a different world than the one we experienced during the last boom and bust at least as far as I understand.

#86 GC on 01.20.13 at 6:26 pm

Great letter.
I have a 23 year old son. He lives with his house-destitute girlfriend here in the okanagan where prices have dropped 30%.
I feel that by successfully persuading my son to read this blog I have helped him to critically assess the present and plan for the future. I can’t really contribute much parenting “wisdom” at this stage but he does listen to you Garth.
Thanks a bunch for your blog.

#87 Tony on 01.20.13 at 6:38 pm

Re: #85 Snowboid on 01.20.13 at 6:15 pm

Tell them to look at it this way. If they sell now they’ll be making 100 grand because if they wait say another 9 to 12 months to sell in the future prices will have dropped that much on that house or probably more.

#88 Canadian Watchdog on 01.20.13 at 6:44 pm

#82 who cares hockey is on

Harper is a puppet and doesn't have much say in major appointments and policy decisions. This man, however does. That is why First Nations leaders always demand to negotiate with him, the one who appoints positions at the higest level on behalf of her Majesty.

Current Opportunities

#89 Denise on 01.20.13 at 6:44 pm

#59 Coastal & #84 Thinking of Buying for First Time in Victoria: Good posts and I totally agree with you both, from holding off on buying in Victoria, to the fiasco that’s called Bear Mtn, to the Westhills crap.
Coastal: thanks for answering my ? re “834″.
Garth, CL’s letter is great & I’m glad he gave you well-deserved kudos also. Thanks for all you do.

#90 Mister Obvious on 01.20.13 at 7:01 pm

#74 Dr Wayne

Let me direct your attention back to the thrust of the original post by CL.

He fears Garth is toying about with the “stick of state” by suggesting his considerable influence could cause someone in Ottawa to try and actually do something useful, a pursuit they would surely bungle thus making things even worse.

I don’t dispute that our government could easily bungle any initiative upon which it might embark.

What I am disputing is that Garth has even the tiniest grasp on the stick of state given his low regard by the Harper government (see cartoon at top of post).

That’s not apathy, that’s reality.

#91 renters rule on 01.20.13 at 7:07 pm

@#11 dudek and #52 temple

you civil service guys are so easy to spot!!

I have worked in the public sector, in fact started my career there and my old man was a lifer, rising through the ranks to eventually become a provincial deputy minister.

The majority of civil servants just put in their time, doing as little as possible, until the day they can retire and put their feet up ans enjoy their outrageously generous pension benefits. That’s why people resent them, as many were deadwood for their entire careers and they are heavy cost baggage in their retirements.

#92 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 01.20.13 at 7:21 pm

#72 Canadian Watchdog on 01.20.13 at 4:38 pm

Some agents discount their comissions; and so they should. You get what you pay for and no one ever regreted buying quality.

#93 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 01.20.13 at 7:23 pm

If you can’t afford to tip you probably shouldn’t be dining out in the first place.

#94 Ret on 01.20.13 at 7:42 pm

Kyle Bass just called. He told me to hold off on ordering that new Lexus that I have been yipping about. He is buying CYA Japanese bond insurance huge but was positively giddy on long US RE positions. He asked about how to get some insurance on CMHC and Genworth bonds.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100391704

http://www.benzinga.com/markets/bonds/13/01/3256692/kyle-bass-investors-buying-japanese-stocks-are-picking-up-dimes-in-front

Kyle said that maybe we should do lunch sometime in the spring at the ranch and blow up some more beaver damns. It doesn’t get any better!

#95 Doesn't Matter on 01.20.13 at 8:25 pm

Garth you have been up on the hill so maybe you can set me straight.
Post #90 Harper is a puppet and doesn’t have much say in major appointments and policy decisions. This man, however does. That is why First Nations leaders always demand to negotiate with him, the one who appoints positions at the higest level on behalf of her Majesty.

Unless I misunderstand he is suggesting the power resides with the GG. I disagree. My belief is that the government of the day tells him who to appoint and he is really just a figurehead that for the most part follows intructions. The government of the day appoints him to begin with.

What is the correct interpretation?

#96 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 8:30 pm

#67Don: “Great post Garth – very good read.

To the person that wrote it – Bravo. It troubles me that Canada is one of the last bubbles to burst and Canadians actually watch the US go down in flames and actually believe…”It is different here”.”

*****************

What galls me is having the ‘cons’ pat themselves on the back ’cause “we’re doing just great, thank you very much.” Who did they think they were kidding?

#97 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 8:38 pm

#76rosie #41
“You, sir, are a dick!”

****************

How many times does he have to be told? :-)

#98 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 8:44 pm

#82who cares hockey: “It shocks me that Harper is still so popular these days.”

******************

He was NEVER popular. A majority of 38% says it all. What other choice did we have at the time — Iggy? The NDP? He’s actually hateful….

#99 Herb on 01.20.13 at 8:59 pm

#90 Canadian Watchdog,

I can’t believe you wrote that!

The “Governor in Council” is the GG signing something recommended by Cabinet to formally give it the effect of law. In other words, he signs what he is asked to sign by the PM. So who is the “puppet”?

#100 popados on 01.20.13 at 9:02 pm

please every dog,check your bcass .you can compare last year sold to current asking prices.found one brand new build listed 1k below bcass in bpoe land.

#101 popados on 01.20.13 at 9:04 pm

sorry 100k

#102 popados on 01.20.13 at 9:07 pm

mls v985694

#103 Smartalox on 01.20.13 at 9:10 pm

If someone is going to give CL a book, please make it a copy of ‘Elements of style by Strunk & White!

I can’t say to what degree government should regulate the real estate industry, but I suspect that the rule of buyer beware should cover most, up to outright fraud.

Ignorance, lack of due diligence, and laziness are not crimes, and should not be prosecuted by governments; nor should governments be responsible for those that are afflicted as such.

No BAILOUTS!

#104 Freedom First on 01.20.13 at 9:33 pm

CL

I disagree with you. In being a daily reader of Garth’s blog, I think any of the suggestions I have read that Garth has made aimed at F, C, and H, from what I understand of this threesome, would only bring about an extremely poignant reaction from them, carry 0 weight, and certainly no changes in any of their decisions or behavior. I can’t speak for Garth, but I would guess that Garth’s expectations of the chances of his advice to them to even be remotely considered by them, is also close to zero. Or maybe I am wrong and H would like nothing more than to rehire Garth? Keep in mind, this is only my humble opinion.

I would like to add CL, I do agree with you in this free blog being a very valuable purveyor of the truth, for which I too am grateful for.

#105 Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 9:39 pm

“You forgot booting me. But maybe that was destiny. — Garth”

********************

Well, of course, we know why that happened. You didn’t agree with 0/40 mortgages, said it wouldn’t work. And, of course, it didn’t….

You’re far better off. I can appreciate the injustice. But consider the source. And know that you were right.

#106 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 01.20.13 at 10:29 pm

#161Form Man on 01.19.13 at 4:36 pm
#143 DA

#18Triplenet on 01.20.13 at 12:53 pm
DA

You may not “dump” grey or black water in any marine environment in BC jurisdictional waters.
Your knowledge of real estate should be equally dismissed.
Too bad stupidity and incompetence are largely not indictable offences.

Sorry, but it is you who is wrong. In Canada, there is no law against dumping your sewage into the ocean or lake. Don’t you think something would have been done about the City of Victoria doing so if it were illegal to do so?

On matters of real estate… please do tell us oh wise one…

#107 TEMPLE on 01.20.13 at 10:38 pm

#93 renters rule on 01.20.13 at 7:07 pm

I have worked in the public sector…and my old man was a lifer

And yet you are still so ignorant?

The majority of civil servants just put in their time, doing as little as possible, until the day they can retire and put their feet up ans enjoy their outrageously generous pension benefits

You are a discredit to your father. Shame on you. You should be embarrassed by your petulant and ridiculous stereotype of civil servants.

I am a civil servant and rather proud of it. I pay about $15000 a year into a pension plan that probably won’t exist when I retire. My wages are about 40% less than what I would make in the private sector. I don’t have any more job security than people in the private sector. It is a pretty bad deal for me.

Yet, I stay in the civil service because I believe in the importance of what I do. Ironically, what I do includes protecting ungrateful neocons (like you) from dangers they are too uneducated to understand. Even so, I do it happily because I have a social conscience.

TEMPLE

#108 OwlEyes on 01.20.13 at 10:39 pm

Wow! Robert Nozick moved to Nova Scotia, changed his name, and got a crush on Garth!

#109 Snowboid on 01.20.13 at 10:59 pm

#89 Tony on 01.20.13 at 6:38 pm…

Funny thing, we told them that a few months after leaving the island, but their parents convinced them we were ‘losers’ for selling out – told them to hold on because RE was going to take off by mid-2012!

We also lost money selling in the spring of 2011 from the peaks in 2010 – but are so incredibly happy we didn’t heed their pressure to stay on as greater fools!

#110 Soylent Green is People on 01.20.13 at 11:14 pm

That’s what #idlenomore is all aboot, people got fed up with Harpo and the four foot f**k all and took matters in their own hands.

O
O

#111 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 01.20.13 at 11:16 pm

#99Daisy Mae on 01.20.13 at 8:38 pm
#76rosie #41
“You, sir, are a dick!”

****************

How many times does he have to be told? :-)

Oh boo hoo. My feelings are so hurt. The Doomers and Gloomers don’t like me because I won’t agree with them. Oh boo hoo.

What a bunch of narrow minded buffoons.

I warned you several times. I suspended you once. Now you are gone. — Garth

#112 renters rule on 01.20.13 at 11:32 pm

@111 temple

you are ridiculous as you defend your snout at the trough.

same same same

leaches

#113 Soylent Green is People on 01.20.13 at 11:34 pm

‘SHEEPLE’ – Caucus Confidential in Steve Harper’s Ottawa

snip snip: Garth Turner was a freshly-elected Member of Parliament when he was dooced… the first politician in Canada – possibly the world – to be fired for his web-site. For the unacceptably honest and blunt opinions that appeared on his site – especially those critical of colleague Steve Harper – Turner was threatened by party operatives, stripped of his caucus and party affiliation, reviled, shunned and left for dead.

Was his blogging a betrayal? Or the future of a more democratic politics?

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

#114 Cici on 01.20.13 at 11:57 pm

# 51 45 North

You said: Now fixing this requires somebody to be actively involved. I suggest that it be us. I mean if you are caught up in the rapture then you are excused but otherwise you do have a role and a responsibility.

I like your idea, but quite frankly I don’t know where to start. As a generation Xer who has a mere $30,000 in savings because she made the unfortunate decision to get educated and has been a student-loan debt slave ever since ($5,000 to go, phew!), I feel quite powerless. And yes, I’ve passed this URL on to various people who are normally quite smart, but seriously dazed on a sugar high from drinking too much Kool-aid. I just can’t seem to get them to wake up and smell the coffee. Even my boyfriend’s Dad is going in for the slaughter. He’s in the process of getting a divorce, has very little savings, is one and a half years away from retirement, and wants to buy a $250,000 condo way, way, way north of Montréal (Saint-Therèse or St-Canut booneyville). The boyfriend keeps telling him to wait it out and be patient, but he won’t hear it. He wants to be an “owner”.
So, I’ve sort of reached my frustration threshold and am at the point where I just want to invest in popcorn and watch this crash and burn from a distance…like, from another country. Where living is affordable and there’s actually a point and purpose to getting up in the morning and going to work everyday other than paying for the idiotic behaviour of the masses.
Yes, I’m somewhat depressed, but honestly I’ve earned my disillusionment.
Although I do prefer to be proactive and engaged, so if you have any brilliant ideas on anything that I can do to help curb this madness, please fill me in :-)

#115 Mic D'angelo on 01.21.13 at 12:17 am

The business community and businesses say it all the time. The best thing government can do is don’t do anything and stay out of the way. The more government does it just makes things worse. The left are worse offenders trying to make everything more equal and fair. The Nanny state and endless wasting of money is the two greatest examples of the government at it’s worse.

I thought you feed on government bonds. — Garth

#116 Goddess of Kamchak on 01.21.13 at 12:44 am

But what do you think of this?

#117 TGS on 01.21.13 at 1:23 am

This letter is pretty much the sentiment that caused the 2008 economic crisis and why nothing was done to solve it. “Hey deregulation and liberalization led to serious financial crises in Russia, South East Asia, Argentina, then the whole world in 2008, the solution is obviously more deregulation and liberalization!”

Then again, Canadians are notoriously ignorant of basic political economy, so how could anyone know this when a tool like Kevin O’Leary is the closest thing to a public intellectual we have in this country.

The author thinks that government causes the problem, and actually regulating these things would be bad. Same old neoliberal economic ideology which has been hegemonic since the late 80s/early 90s in Canada. Poverty is up, inequality is up, unemployment is up, crazy bubbles are commonplace now. By opposing basic counter-cyclical economic policy (attacked as government interference in the markets) the author is advocating for all these things.

The author of the letter is an idiot (used in the proper Greek sense, as in someone who never leaves their own backyard and is too busy attending to matters of household management-ie oikonomia/economics, to come into the public sphere and think about how these things affect other people.

Furthermore blaming politics, and thus adopting an anti-political attitude, such as the idiot who wrote the letter, only contributes to the same neoliberal economic policies which have worked to systematically dismantle the once proud welfare state in places like Canada and the US. Which through the 60s, 70s, and early 80s which was what developed Canada into a wealthy country, and why all these baby boomers had it so good, and now are fucking the rest of us over by rehashing the economic system that caused the Great Depression. The problem is not that we have too much politics, the problem is that government (especially the dominant Conservative/Liberals in Canada) is explicitly anti-political itself. We need to demand more politics, which means broad participation and legitimate conflict of opinions.

I’m not surprised the sentiment of the letter finds admiration among some of the idiots (again proper usage) in the comments section, but does Mr. Turner believe this too? It would be unfortunately to find an otherwise informed commentator would be so vulnerable to such a vicious and idiotic form of ideology.

#118 Mic D'angelo on 01.21.13 at 3:32 am

Garth, I worked for 38 years in the private sector and I paid at least 1 million dollars in income taxes C.P.P., employment or unemployment insurance including gasoline taxes, property taxes, cigarette taxes, G.S.T., P.S.T.,H.S.T., land transfer taxes,liquor taxes, vehicle registration taxes,pension clawbacks, surtaxes, Health taxes. If I did not pay all these taxes I would not need the interest from government bonds to retire. The government feeds off of me and will always feed off of me. I still am paying all these type of taxes today and the amount of interest that is being paid to me is because I was smart enough to use common sense investing in long term bonds. They pay me interest because they created the current financial system and ultimate tax called inflation that is not reported truly and devalues my money each year. All the people who have subsidized government pensions and income tax free benefits like social assistance, federal supplement payments,childcare benefits, WSIB or workers compensation, child tax benefits, UCC , M.P. and M.P.P. pensions, city councilors pensions,government enhanced healthcare plans, dividend tax credits, low corporate income tax rates ,government subsidies etc. Take some time and really look at the federal and most provincial budgets and you will see that about 60%-70% of all the revenue is collected from personal income taxes and personal or consumer sales taxes P.S.T, G.S.T., H.S.T. I lend my money to the government from my hard work,sweat,blood and it benefits greatly paying a lower interest rate than it could get ever from a bank or private lender. It benefits three ways. 1. much lower interest payments, 2. it collects a minimum 32% of income taxes or more from all income including interest 3. If I was not a responsible adult and did not save and invest my money I would be receiving more government benefits and not paying the personal income taxes of about $30,900 I paid last year. The feeders of society are those that contributed little or nothing and use and get more government services,benefits and income versus the little to nothing total taxes they paid all their life. If everyone was like me the federal, provincial, municipal government would not have a deficit today. Garth, I was not born yesterday. Nice try Garth!

#119 Freedom First on 01.21.13 at 4:01 am

#113

Garth, thank you for removing……aka D.A.
Much appreciated:)

#116 Cici

You and your boyfriend are on the right path. About your boyfriends Dad, and the others that you both have tried to help, perhaps this old saying may help you: “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” All we can do is look after ourselves, and try to help others. For myself, my serenity/well being is not reliant on what others do, or, do not do. I do pretty well at that, and Garth is a great example.

#120 live within your means on 01.21.13 at 9:32 am

#109 TEMPLE on 01.20.13 at 10:38 pm

Great response. I too worked in both the private & public sector. I gave my best in both & brought work home to meet deadlines. Now I’m just happy to be out of the rat race.

#121 Stupesing in Cabbagetown on 01.21.13 at 10:32 am

I had to read CL’s letter three times before it made sense to me. I agree with the author’s concern that when the bubble breaks, those who did not participate in the housing euphoria will be forced to bail-out those who did. However, his beautifully written rant expressed a lot of contempt for others, especially those employed in the public sector. I do not believe that “Moore’s suit clad throngs of cheerfully incompetent cubicle dwellers” are responsible for the disaster about to unfold; that responsibility lies with the Prime Minister himself.

The Great Financial Crisis in the U.S. resulted in the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the über wealthy. The Harper Government wants to accomplish the same result here in Canada. We, the tax-paying citizens, have been complacent in the demise of our own standard of living by giving H a majority government, by cheering the attacks on trade unions, by shouldering the tax burden once carried by business and then blaming public employees for the shortfall, by standing back silently while our natural resources are handed to China, and by acquiring massive personal debt to enthusiastically participate in this artificially created housing bubble.

In the words of Pogo, “We have found the enemy and he is us.”

#122 “I was talking to a retired teacher today in Vancouver who owns a leaky condo. She says “You wait till spring arrives prices are going up”. | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive on 01.22.13 at 10:57 am

[...] “I was talking to a retired female teacher today in Vancouver who owns a leaky condo. She says “you wait till spring arrives prices are going up”. She thinks Van will not see any further declines. I asked her where she gets her info from, she said, “experience”. It would seem she doesn’t realize we are in a different world than the one we experienced during the last boom and bust at least as far as I understand.” – AprilNewwest at greaterfool.ca 20 Jan 2013 6:25pm [...]