Way different.

US housing market lays biggest egg since WW 2

Cracks appearing in Condo Land

T.O. sales crash to 2000 levels (but don’t worry…)

The Vancouver hole where a building should be.

Funny days, these. The dollar falls three cents one day and climbs four the next. The TSX is down 700 points, only to climb nine hundred two days later. The government gets elected saying no deficit and two weeks later there is one. There’s a credit crisis and yet interest rates look like they’re headed for zero.

RRSPs, pensions, nesteggs – they’ve all been violated. Corporations are whining for federal bailouts and saying they can’t afford pensions for retired workers. Unemployment’s rising and consumer confidence is plunging.

Strange times. Deflation is the big story now – falling retail prices, crumbling house prices, cheap cars and Christmas sales in October. But in times to come, it will be inflation – since governments are spending billions they don’t have but will be looking for down the road. Higher taxes, increased money supply, less purchasing power.

The Fed threw another log on the fires of distant inflation Wednesday, cutting interest rates yet again, and taking its key rate down to just 1%. This is scary. You might remember Japan did exactly the same over a decade ago when its real estate market went to hell, forcing interest rates to hit 0% as the government tried to prime the pump. Didn’t work, though. Japanese house prices stayed in the shark fin soup for 15 years, recovered a little and have recently crashed again. An apartment in Tokyo that was $1 million US in 1985 is today worth less than $480,000.

But in Canada, we’ve been told by the prime minister and other less notables, it’s all different. We’re an island of stability. A rock. Northern star. Canadian Shield (not, that’s not a condom).

Maybe not so much.

Close to two years ago I said our real estate market was poised to fall. Said it again in a book six months ago. Now it’s here. This is vitally important because – as in the United States – this is the thing you should most fear. Not the stock market. Not the currency. Not energy costs. Houses.

Residential real estate accounts for almost 85% of all family net worth. Meanwhile the Canadian savings rate – as in the US – is now zero. Once home values start to slide, nothing has more of an impact on consumer confidence and concern about financial well-being. Since house prices rose by more than 73% in the past decade (about the same as the US in the years following Nine Eleven), mortgage debt has exploded. After all, household incomes have barely budged, so pricier houses simply mean more borrowing.

So, never before have we (a) saved nothing, (b) had so much of our wealth in one asset, (c) owed so damn much or (d) shown such appalling financial planning, with a total lack of diversification, as now. It was obvious when the average price of a home exceeded the ability of the average family to buy it, the market was over-valued. It would have corrected harmlessly, had it not been for the geniuses who invented subprimes in the US and 0/40 mortgages here. The boom became a bubble, and now a bust.

It was real estate, after all – not Wall Street, hedge funds or the greedy twits who ran Lehmans or Bear Stearns – that created the mess in America. The middle class there is being dealt a body blow and it seems we’re destined to be smacked in the same fashion.

Officially, home prices have fallen just over 6% nationally in the past year. But that number’s misleading. In Toronto, they’re down 15% from the peak, and an equal amount in Edmonton and Vancouver. Condo projects are being cancelled all over everywhere while home sellers now wait months for an offer and realtors play with their Berries during clientless open houses.

Listings have hit a high point, and sales are off 50% in BC, 43% in Muskoka, 70% in Leaside and by half in Kelowna. Spooked by the times, and rightly so, buyers are staying home in drives, knowing prices will be lower in January than they are now.

There is no option but for the Canadian government to push for lower interest rates, bring in an income tax cut and throw more billions we apparently don’t have at the Bay Street lenders. If that were to happen immediately, in an economic statement, it might help some to keep the real estate melt from becoming a meltdown.

But don’t hold your breath. It’s different here. You’ll see.

(From garth.ca)


#1 Jon B on 10.30.08 at 9:43 pm

Garth, when’s the check list coming? I’d like to hear your thoughts on riding this one out.

From Oct 31 you wrote:
Coming soon: A survivor’s check list

#2 Jon B on 10.30.08 at 9:44 pm

Sorry, meant Oct 21.

#3 905er on 10.30.08 at 9:48 pm

Sorry I really don’t understand the last paragraph. I thought that if:
1. the interest rate goes down people pay more for Real Estate forcing the housing prices up. Then when the rate goes to a more reasonable rate people can’t afford the house and they sell at a too low price. Then we are at the same place we are now. Market meltdown.
2. income tax cut…the government goes into debt and future generations are hurt by cuts to services.
3. more billions to Bay Street lenders more government debt. Once again cuts to services to pay for past debt.

I don’t understand how doing that will prevent problems later. I thought that what you have been saying is that the market MUST come down. It has to crash to bring prices to a more sustainable level.

Another comment I have been meaning to make for quite some time unrelated to the first is this:
One reason housing prices have to fall that you have never really mentioned is this:
As students graduate with more and more personal debt 40K – 60K is not unheard of with the current generation. How are they to secure a large mortgage. They just aren’t. If the current 20 somethings aren’t buying houses because the can’t afford any then less households are being created. Less households less buyers.

**Warning slight boomer bashing ahead**

Once the boomers finished university and college tuitions quadrupled and grants dried up. They did it so that they could afford the big house. Now they’ve got them they killed the generation that they wanted to sell them to.
Hopefully the boomers will begin to invest in the youth soon or there will be no one to work in the companies that their RRSP’s are invested in and pay the government tax that will support them in their retirement. Otherwise things are about to get really bad for the boomers as they retire. Retirement at 70 may become the norm.

Of course markets will fall, and there is no government action which will stop that. But an unfettered freefall will have the same effect here as in the US – causing a multi-year recession whose biggest result will be widespread job loss. So, dudes like you can look forward to 40 big ones in student debt, and working at McD’s. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then you’ll see the logic in a rate dip and a tax break in order to mitigate the market decline. Sheesh, stop being such a whiny house-lusting young Boomer-bashing brat. Every generation has their travails, and if you think guys like me waltzed out of college and into big houses you are delusional. — Garth

#4 theone on 10.30.08 at 10:08 pm


there is the start of a solution,
ONE good news.

#5 Rick on 10.30.08 at 10:27 pm

In Vancouver that Realturd pit can be used as some sort of mosoleum for the homeless. The street people can be housed in that pit, on gurneys, something like a morgue.

#6 JM on 10.30.08 at 10:33 pm

Now that house prices are falling, is it a good time to buy? Would mid 2009 be a better time? Should I wait 2 years even?

#7 Jeannie. on 10.30.08 at 10:41 pm

Must admit it’s hard for me to understand the current gov’t thinking on the economy.
Wasn’t it all the ‘cheap’money,so easily available, and without much collateral to back up the loans, that led to the mess that we’re presently in?
I’m no financial expert, just your everyday retiree from a generation that grew up wih the mantra”If you can’t pay cash,do without’

O.K.old-fashioned and out-of-step with to-days thinking, I know.
But here’s what I’m straining to understand… banks will lend thousands of dollars to risky borrowers at unheard of low interest , and yet pay the thrifty savers a pittance % on their savings.
Commonsense is in short supply in the banking world.

#8 CTA on 10.30.08 at 10:42 pm

#3 905’er You forgot to mention that on top of the student loan, add another $25,000 for a new car to get to that new entry-level low paying job, add several thousand more for accumulating interest costs to service the debt. There is no chance the millennials will be able to afford a mortgage for a very long time…however look on the bright side. Renting makes more sense because it gives you the freedom to relocate quickly and not burdened with selling a declining asset such as real estate.
Boomers should help the younger generation by delaying retirement. In the US, the age of retirement and eligibility to collect social insurance is 66 for those born between 1938-1959 and age 67 for those born in 1960 and later. Eventually laws will come into effect making the age 70 for those born 1981 and later. It is way to prevent the entitlement program from going into extinction.

#9 Joshua on 10.30.08 at 10:50 pm

Wow Garth… You seem to have some pent up wrath after the election… Poor 905er. I know I couldn’t hack a situation where I had to face a popularity contest for my job every few years, so I shouldn’t judge, but I still think you should be a bit more polite to your “guests” :)

#10 dd on 10.30.08 at 10:51 pm


It is funny … three days of gains in the markets and no bad news means all is better? The Fed might have lowered the interest rates however most consumers are cashed out. Jobs losses are going to keep coming. House prices have not yet bottomed in the US or around the globe. Condo project being cancelled by the dozen.

Plus when is the market and the governments going to factor in all the other debt? Consumer loans, car loans, credit cards, equity loans, business loans … a lot are going to go bust. The banks have not even worked this risk into their income statements. This massive sell off in the market is going to hit Canada.

It is like the calm or quietness just before the earthquake hits.

#11 APCM on 10.31.08 at 12:55 am

#7 – Jeannie

I’m 27 years old and I agree with you.

#12 confused and a little crazed on 10.31.08 at 4:34 am

WEll the gov’t in dectreasing interest rates to stimulate borrowing .

But that how so many people got into financial trouble to begin with. How is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome … a solution. Isn’t that a definition of aan idiot?

How far is the Gov’t goingto go 0.25%.
Doesn’t that seriously devalue our dollar internationally?

But somepeople seem to be buying the good news…a lot of people are buying stocks again. But I don’t tink the solved the problem. they are just throwing more water into a leaking kettle and expecting it to hold without fixing the problem.

I ddon’t know what about more regulations for borrowing. I know there some . But is it enuff?

#13 kafka on 10.31.08 at 5:05 am

I dont understand how our situation is similar to Japan’s 10 years ago and yet we will get inflation…
If that is the case, real estate will be on a defalting mode for years and years, look at Japan, they aint having inflation yet!

#14 squidly77 on 10.31.08 at 6:52 am

the biggest fools of all bought in 2007
if hes lucky hell work at micky d,s

#15 brazer on 10.31.08 at 7:23 am

Canaccord sheds jobs, trims pay for top brass

Canaccord Capital Inc., Canada’s largest independent brokerage, cut 10 per cent of its workforce, or about 170 jobs, and reduced executive salaries by as much as 20 per cent as the global credit crisis erodes stock sales and takeovers.

Canaccord’s job losses are the deepest single cut announced this year by Canada’s financial services firms during the worst crisis since the Great Depression. At least 700 jobs have been lost, including about 150 at BMO Capital Markets, 150 at CIBC World Markets and 37 at GMP Capital Trust.

There’ll probably be more, but we’re not going to hear very many more big announcements,” said recruiter Bill Vlaad of Vlaad and Co. in Toronto, who added the next cuts will be “cleaning up loose ends.”

#16 GenXer on 10.31.08 at 8:02 am

Every generation has their travails, and if you think guys like me waltzed out of college and into big houses you are delusional. — Garth

Sure, not every generation can waltz around with flowers in their hair and talk about “sticking it to the man” while driving their V8s around town – only to turn around and create a destructive atmosphere of greed on wall street and main street, destroy the environment for profit and create massive global instability through manufactured war.

I think you’re missing the point Garth. The baby boom generation has taken advantage of our system to benefit people in their age bracket for more than 25 years. It started with a heavily subsidized post-secondary education system OR the ability to walk right into a lucrative career without advanced education. In this way, they avoided the crippling debt that is impacting young workers today. Boomers now demand that their employees have advanced degrees – so much for the school of hard knocks. They want only the best immigrants to come into the country with the very best skills and education, but only provide them with the opportunity to drive a taxi.

Not to mention the fact that today we have to pay ~4.5x our income to purchase a home versus 1.7x income for the launch of the boom generation.

How does the boomer heavy government support young families?

– $100 dollars per month as a child credit to pay for $700+ a month in daycare costs. Oh yeah – this is a taxable benefit too. (Thanks Steven – I guess a $50 non-taxable benefit just sounded cheap)
– daycare expenses are taxable deductable against the LOWEST of two family incomes (imagine the same for capital gains losses- LOL, there would be boomer revolt)
– no income splitting for families with a stay at home parent (but golly, didn’t they just provide income splitting for seniors?)

Honestly, when you look at the data, it’s a wonder that people under 40 can afford a house at all. Forget about having kids if you want to maintain financial stability. Who does the boomer generation think is going to push their wheelchairs around?

Wow. Intergenerational hostility on display. Maybe if you as a younger person were really smart you’d eschew the wealth-destroying habits of the Boomers you dislike and stop lusting for their real estate. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, home ownership is a sink hole and a young family would be immensely better off financially by renting. Unless, of course, you want to just repeat the mistakes of your father. Peace, man. — Garth

#17 pbrasseur on 10.31.08 at 8:17 am

One thing need to be said about Japan since gloom&doomers so often use it as an example of what may come here.

Japan’s population is shrinking. Its workforce is aging and shrinking at a pace that can’t be made up for by innovation or productivity gains.

Therefore it is absolutely normal to see Japan stagnate or decline economically and even to fall into deflation, of course that would include the RE market.

The situation is completely different in the USA where the population is forecasted to grows quite rapidly in the next decades.

Now I’m not denying there is a crisis, but if you really want to understand what’s going on you need to look at all variables, demography is an important one.

#18 brazer on 10.31.08 at 8:24 am

1 in 5 homeowners owe more to lender than properties are worth

Here’s a shocker: almost half of Nevada homeowners with a mortgage owe more to the bank than their homes are worth.

Here’s another: If you add in the homeowners like them in California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Michigan, together they account for nearly 60 percent of all homeowners who are “underwater” on their mortgages.

Nationwide, almost one out of every five homeowners with a mortgage owes more to their lender than their properties are worth. But if you subtract those states, the rate drops to about one in 10, according to a report released Friday by First American CoreLogic.

#19 Peter in Toronto on 10.31.08 at 8:43 am


I think you have one thing wrong.

There won’t be inflation.

Inflation requires there to be demand in excess of supply.

I think we wil experience higher unemployment for ages as the construction industry will be decimated until pricing comes under control.

The interest rates will be rediculously low but no one will be lending for fear of loan default.

The only way there will be inflation is if China and Japan call in their loans in the U.S. (ie quit buying treasury). This will cause a severe adjustment in the price of imports increasing prices.

If China holds the status quota then severe recession and low inflation to deflation.

The only other way for there to be inflation would be for the government to increase their spending by 10-15% during the recession to try to employ all the new unemployed.

This would cause a free for all on the deficit. But the party would be voted out of office by the boomers.

Inflation can happen almost instantly as a function of public policy. If a government decides to increase the money supply, then inflation is created. This is happening now in the United States, as M1 soars. Where are those $2 trillion coming from to bail out the financial and mortgage sectors? Not from a bank vault, but rather from government printing presses, backed by the government’s exclusive power to tax. You are right about the natural forces of supply and demand. But it is the unnatural force of government which we must be wary of. — Garth

#20 pbrasseur on 10.31.08 at 9:34 am

Garth you are getting ahead of yourself, there is no evidence (so far) that governments are monetizing the bailouts or have intentions to do so.

#21 smwhite on 10.31.08 at 9:56 am

#19 Peter,

There already is inflation, fortunately for Canada we’ve been able to mask most of it with our dollar rising against the US dollar; the fact we’ve rich in commodities has prevented us from taking a beating the past couple of years.

Each time there is a drop in the interest rate(aka printing cash) there is inflation.

You wrote “Inflation requires there to be demand in excess of supply”.

What you should have wrote was “Inflation CAUSES there to be demand in excess of supply”.

Lower rates only produces more money to chase the same number of finite assets; this is why we are where we are in housing.

In Garth’s retort to you he mentions M1 soaring, and it has since 2002. In 2006 they stopped reporting M3(guess they don’t care about the guys with more then 100K in the bank).

Whats even scarier is the US dollar is being debased in front of our eyes and people are leaving stocks for the “security” of the dollar( I think we all know what a laugh that is). The USA has now dropped rates to 1%, using the same bazooka that got them into this mess in the first place, go figure, the cure to the financial cancer in the USA is more cancer, setting the stage for potential hyper inflation.

What makes me feel icky is the policy of the Bank of Canada interest rate policy that has been to stay close to the American rates for obvious exporting reasons. I think its time to attach our “Canadian” trailer to a few other ships and do a better job hedging our economy so that we’re not sucked into the USA’s end game of destroying middle class.

#22 Peter in TO on 10.31.08 at 10:00 am

Garth I understand that the US government has plans for financing the huge purchases. Will this be through the printing press or through debt issuance? I do not know. I would suspect the latter as runaway inflation would alienate any president from the middle class.
it is a tough tightrope to traverse. In which case they will be supporting the value of the defaulted mortgages (the extent of gain or loss is unknown but it will be less by far than $2T). I think of this as more of underwriting the loan at a reduce price. How reduced I do not know but that is the trillion dollar question.

The current injection into the M1 system is just a way to try to get spending to occur. The problem is that people are satiated and wary of buying when prices are likely to go down. You can offer people all the money you want but right now I think all are very hesitant to accept. I think most have learned their lesson. And if demand starts taking off the US can always increase rates to tighten the reigns. Consumer spending will not be the source of problems.

I agree though that the US government and ours have screwed up before and will likely do again. But for inflation in this period to occur it will require huge projects on a scale unheard of to date. Not impossible but very unlikely.

If it was massive capital alternative energy projects like (thermal, tidal, wind) they would get my support.

I think one of the big mess ups in our society is saying that growth is good. Growth is just that growth. The more you grow the more resources you consume. Corporations love growth as it is a measurable to which they can give incentives. As far as benefit to society, well I beleive to an extent this causes instability. But this rant will never be taken up as who wants to consider a society where we are happy with what we have rather than the second house /car/….. you choose.


#23 So what on 10.31.08 at 10:15 am

I am renting and with an all cash position, which I really don’t like on the long run so Is it a good time to invest in Natural resources with an outlook for 5 years … GIC type of a thing.
Oil, Gas, Metals, Agriculture or should just wait more, you know these GIC stuff is only issued once a year? and I want to open my very first RRSP account to save taxes.

I can’t invest in any fixed interest stuff, no bonds, no TBills, no saving accounts, no financial stocks… only pure production or retail stocks

#24 bcgirl on 10.31.08 at 10:26 am

Re: GenXer post #16

Your post reflects the thinking that alot of us have about the boomers (when are they going to stop calling themselves “babies”?) I have one friend who describes the boomer relationship to genx as being like that of a surly, privileged older sibling.

What you describe in your post in terms of them being financially privileged due in part to really helpful social policy is quite true.

Garth, it is intergenerational hostility…so what? That is not to say the boomers are not appreciated for their contributions, which are many. It’s just that as a group they have mastered the art of bragging, usually financial, and constant one-up-manship with each other and everybody else. They’re tiresome…and we’re laughing at them behind their backs.

But, I know, I know…they’ll have more money at the end of the day…so they’ll get the last laugh. But will, they? Who is going to buy, for the price they’ll want, their rather large homes before they retire?

#25 Peter in TO on 10.31.08 at 10:26 am

Talk about moral hazard.

if the plan goes forward I would be pissed beyond belief!!!!!.

Hopefully a large portion of the write-off will be taken by the banks prior to the Feds taking over.

#26 Peter in TO on 10.31.08 at 10:33 am

No I meant that demand above supply causes inflation.
Inflation is by definition a function of demand outstripping supply. Printing dollars only has an impact if people are given them by the government and the people choose to spend them.

This requires:

Government spending in excess of revenue without counterbalancing debt issuance.

People spending the money they earn through this.

Currently all that is happening is that government is try to make the system liquid. If they keep this up, it may have an impact, look at Japan where no effect was noticed.

People are full. Demand will not increase. Inflation is dead for now.

Unless Garth is right and the government goes to town inflation is a non-issue.


#27 Peter in TO on 10.31.08 at 10:36 am


One last point.

We are in this state because of changing the rules.

0% down 40 year mortages.

We allowed kids to play with fire.

Those kids are full and are now feeling pretty scared.

Who can be induced to buy now to the extent of recent history?

Not likely!

#28 dd on 10.31.08 at 10:53 am

#23 So what,

Have a plan. I agree on the sectors. This recession might be a long one so take your time. Invest on market dips … say X% of all your cash. Have cash on hand in case you are laid-off too.

#29 Jusuppow on 10.31.08 at 11:26 am

Garth, you got it seriously wrong with this one. As was pointed out in the posts above the inflation vs. deflation dilemma is one to be debated for a while. I think you are wrong, M1 is hardly the definition of inflation (as was pointed out on so many occasions by mish and others) but that is not the real reason that inclined me to reply.

“It was real estate… that created the mess in America”. Ha? That is of course untrue. RE happens to be one of the ugliest and vivid byproducts of the quasi regulated culture of insane greed. The financial crisis would have happened irregardless of any RE ongoing shenanigans. The degree of leverage so boldly propelled by the greenspan swelled to colossal proportions by the time the RE mania switched in full swing. Tech bubble, RE bubble – just side-effects. Although besides the point I am going to add until the banks going to be recapitalized we are indeed going to suffer a-la Japan. And I do not foresee them take on their balance sheets all the crap responsible for the current mess we find ourselves in. So all the responsible folk living within ones means going to be punished (me included – kids, rent, cash). Oh, fuck all that. Getting depressed thinking about it.

#30 smwhite on 10.31.08 at 12:10 pm

Peter, don’t we receive dollars for working? If they(Bank of Canada & the Federal Reserve) print more it devalues our take home pay and purchasing power whether we shove it in the bank, stock or mattress.

Hence the climb of oil and gold, wheat and soy. Did they all really go up(as the speculators have been blamed) or did the US dollar drop in value? Does anyone think that the price to produce the required goods to survive are really going to drop?

I agree in there is deflation of our assets and investments(stocks, real estate) and to some extent because of the silliness of the last month, some of our necessities in the CPI basket(I’d say CORE but government CORE CPI does not include the necessities of life such as food, oil & energy, alcohol and tobacco; the last too being required during times of distress). The drop in inflation has been offset by the lower value of our dollar, the low in commodities is temporary, especially if the USA continues to harbor a low interest rate policy.

0% and 40% was only fuel to the low interest rate fire started by central banks, and printing more money will not fix this problem, it will only be solved by higher interest rates, not printing money out of thin air. We had a world-wide bubble in housing, stocks and commodities because of the magic US printing press and Greenspan’s no (cost) money miracles.

So now, we face recession and the answer once again is print more money? That’s the solution in the eyes of the federal reserve. They are stealing money right out of their own citizens pockets, trading their dollars for goods and the Canadians, Chinese and Japanese get a paper note in return, a paper note that is multiplying like horny little bunnies.

The ponzi scheme is almost up, the US is going broke and the only way out is if they start producing something other then debt. Countries are going to eventually say [email protected] you, we don’t want your “debt obligations” especially when you can’t pay it back.

Do you honestly think if the USA continues to print more money we will have deflation of commodities, the necessities of life? This rise in the US dollar is temporary, people running from stocks to its “safe haven”. Man are they going to get a shock.

Deflation of assets, inflation of life’s necessities, 2009 will be a hard year on everyone, that’s my take, I appreciate yours.

PS Keep on eye on the cost of milk and bread, see if they drop by 20% to 50% like RE will globally.

#31 brazer on 10.31.08 at 1:04 pm

Consumers’ mood posts record drop
Friday October 31

“Consumers reported the most dismal assessments of their current financial situation ever recorded,” the report said.

#32 brazer on 10.31.08 at 1:09 pm

Canada’s economy to get worse, council says

No matter what we do, the economic situation is likely to get worse before it gets better, but governments and business can take action now to minimize the damage and lay the groundwork for early and sustained recovery,” the organization said in a statement following a meeting of the CEOs Montreal.

#33 brazer on 10.31.08 at 1:10 pm

Canadian economy contracts

TD Bank’s Pascal Gauthier was similarly downbeat: “July’s stunning real GDP growth of 0.7 per cent could very well have been, along with a lagging but equally remarkable September employment report (adding 107,000 jobs), the last hurrahs the Canadian economy will see for a while,” Gauthier wrote.

Looking ahead, the Canadian economy is expected to experience a recession in the coming quarters.

#34 brazer on 10.31.08 at 1:19 pm


“Beyond the $1 trillion subprime problem that has been erroneously targeted as the prime culprit behind the credit crisis are more serious financial catastrophes that are barely reported, mostly overlooked and cannot be remedied. The Fed cannot print enough money to paper over the $531.2 trillion in derivatives and credit swaps, the trillions in the overbuilt commercial real estate market ready to collapse, the multi-trillions in leveraged buyouts going bust, and other exotic financial instruments that have turned toxic.

Yesterday’s lowering of interest rates and the continual Fed action to flood the markets with money will lead to an era of hyper-inflation, the likes of which no living American has ever seen. Gold prices shot up some $24 after being down over $20 earlier in the day. We continue to forecast gold $2000. And once again, we urge you to take precautionary measures in view of a worsening global market meltdown.”


first deflation….then massive inflation.

garth is right.

wait and see.

#35 Rob on 10.31.08 at 1:25 pm

#9 Clearly, Joshua, Mr. Turner no longer needs to talk PC as he is no longer a walking target. And this is not hostility on display, it is increasingly confirmed truth that is so threatening that it scares and angers people. Enjoy the ride.

#36 brazer on 10.31.08 at 1:25 pm

He’s the first call on The Street. He can raise $40 million in two minutes. And now hedge-fund superstar Rohit Sehgal is afraid to open his e-mail

“I’m afraid to open my e-mail and see the numbers, because I know it’s fucking bad,” he confides. “If you’re down, your self-esteem goes down. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, but that never helps.”

As he consoles himself with lobster spoons, a ribeye steak and frites, Sehgal confesses that in the course of his long career, he has never seen the markets behave this erratically. And it is getting to him. “I’ve never been more stressed,” he says. “I’m getting tired. I’m getting older. This is the most responsibility I’ve ever had. I can’t fail.”

#37 Pathfinder on 10.31.08 at 1:32 pm

#30 SMWhite, seconded:
–PS Keep on eye on the cost of milk and bread, see if they drop by 20% to 50% like RE will globally.–

That’s what is going on – deflation of assets and price inflation of food and necessities: I often give this example:
Back in 2001, I think, you could buy 16 big donuts (SuperStore) for $3.99 – go and have a look today – It’s less than 12, half-size, double price. Go figure.

#38 gold is money on 10.31.08 at 2:20 pm

I’m going to start a website about negative and disapointing news about the world and see if i get this many hits LOL!! and maybe write a few books about it so i can make big money.

#39 Peter in TO on 10.31.08 at 3:54 pm

SM White

First let’s separate out the U.S. and Canada.

I believe that the ponzi game with the U.S. has to end.

They are way over their spending limit.

They will face an adjustment on prices from exchange rate devaluation.

Local will go down, imported will increase. Currently it is almost like an economic war has been waged by China and Japan without the US populace noticing. They have mortgaged their future.

Canada will face similar pressures but as we are a resource based country they should affect us less.

Though I think we should get rid of U.S. dollars in our federal treasury.

Basics like milk for both should remain unchanged due to local agriculture production but expect imports of fabricated goods to skyrocket. No cheap Black and Decker tools or T-shirts all.

Currency fluctuations will be incredible. Industry erosion will be huge as no one has any clear idea as to where to invest as a safe haven of capital.

Prices of houses will come down as they are hopelessly overpriced.

So the direction of CPI -comprised of cost of living will be questionable.

My guess- down for us, as people will forego the expensive imports and new local industries will be born.

The U.S. where they have no resources and no industry…………… Inflation beyond belief when their lenders pull up shop and refuse more of their trash paper.

#40 905er on 10.31.08 at 4:10 pm

Really did not mean to offend. I was just sharing some thoughts. I wrote the statement in so that people would be warned and hopefully NOT take offence. I am really supportive of the things that you say. I believe that we are of very similar political ideology. I was a PROGRESSIVE Conservative and cannot vote for the new Conservative party. I understand that is must be very tough for you being used as a punching bag by Harper. I am really sorry. I seriously did not mean to get you upset.
The second part of my statement was an observation of another factor that will contribute to the fall of housing prices. I am 40 and graduated before the massive tuition increse. I have my house. The problem is not mine. I really don’t see myself as a “a whiny house-lusting young Boomer-bashing brat”. I was just commenting on an observation that I have made about the young people who are entering the workforce and expressing some of their opinions. I think people (especially boomers) need to be aware that that attitude is out there. If they are not sensitive to it now it may come back to bite them later. That is the point that I was trying to make.
Government cut backs were hard on me as I entered the workforce but I don’t gripe about that, I accepted it and work with what I have.
In rereading my post I don’t believe that it was written offensively. I put the “**Warning slight boomer bashing ahead**” statement in because some people have been what I felt were overly sensitive and hoped that people would NOT take offense. I am sorry if I offended. Really, really sorry.

#41 905er on 10.31.08 at 4:20 pm

WOW. Reading more posts from others and I see some real boomer bashing. I didn’t mean to start that up. I was really calling for intergenerational understanding. Other generations have different problems and I thought that we all need to be more sensitive to the younger generation of people. They will be paying my pension too. I want them to make more than me so I can continue to live comfortable. I didn’t mean to start a fight. We have things to appreciate about all generations.
I really hope the intergenerational bashing stops. We all made and are making mistakes. I am calling on all generations to respect the plight of other generations.
Please stop the bashing. Sorry I said anything. Perhaps it would have been better for me not to have said anything.
I really didn’t want to create a fight. Just raise awareness.

I forgive you! — Garth

#42 Another Albertan on 10.31.08 at 8:25 pm

Forget about Boomer Bashing… Howzabout being in the mid-30s right now – those born essentially through the baby bust of the 70s? We are book-ended in a manner oh-so-perfectly summarized by Stealers Wheel:

“Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.”

Of course, I’m really talking to myself because, macroscopically, my cohort is comparatively miniscule.


Happy Halloween!

#43 Bailing in B.C. on 11.01.08 at 5:58 am

# 42 Another Albertan

I feel your pain. Sort of… Born 1971. Not really seeing how we are disadvantaged, but looking for an excuse

#44 Another Albertan on 11.01.08 at 2:29 pm


We are clearly not disadvantaged. My comment was principally tongue-in-cheek.

I re-read Bust, Bust and Echo a couple of years ago but consciously used the perspective of a 30-something.
When you have a cohort like the Boomers and their offspring (a group roughly ~75% the size), it is easy to be “forgotten”. As my mom refers to it, “it is like being a middle child” (she is a middle child herself).

Because we are a much smaller demographic, there is much less incentive to court us as a whole. At the same time, opportunities are rife for catering to those both older and younger than us.

Having discussed the “issue” at length with others, finally one HR consultant I know chimed in with an interesting piece of demography:

“Many companies in Canada have a hidden resource problem. HR spends inordinate amounts of time catering to Boomers and their wants and needs, in addition to trying to figure out how to ‘talk’ to the 20-somethings. In the meantime, the sweet spot of the employee base is the 30-something. They have a fair amount of experience, are still relatively cheap on the payroll, and are in line to be the next group of managers and executives. People with 7 to 15 years professional experience are the hardest to locate and recruit, if only because there aren’t a lot of them, period. So there is a visible age gap in many organizations, but few do anything about it because it isn’t even recognized.”

I’ve talked with a couple of retired executives in their late 60’s to early 70’s. Generally-speaking, they feel that today’s 30-somethings are “them” but half a lifetime ago. Most admit that the growth of their companies (mostly private; sold in the last 5 years after ~30 yrs in business) had some degree of “catering to the Boomers and their sheer economic force”. Their advice was to mimic those same decisions but to target the Echo.

But like I said, I’m extremely bullish on “our” long-term prospects. I am fortunate enough to work with a number of others like “us” and literally every day we ferret out new innovative-yet-pragmatic opportunities. I firmly believe that this is partially due to the fact that we are not firmly ensconced in the cohorts to our left and to our right.

Flying below the radar can be a significant strategic and tactical advantage…

#45 chris on 11.09.08 at 8:26 pm

I posted october sales for toronto. It is ugly. It must be frustrating to write/assess what you see will happen, only to have media/news continue to deny the housing downturn storm coming to Canada.

The simple fact is that jobs safe guard the demand levels for a home. Take away jobs and the demand falls. Supply is already increasing. Note active listings in toronto. Note the massive layoff for the auto industry. What is that? 1 in 7 jobs in Canada? Take Canadian depedency on US economy…and global economy via resources. The numbers support lower home prices a year from now, and years after.

I’ll blog about it too. I’m not afraid to make predictions either and to stick to that call.