Painful eyes


A lot of emails come my way every 24 hours. Some stand out. Like this one. Not just that she’s a realtor who likes me (most want to drive over me). Not just that she sees the world through new eyes after being part of this online rebellion. Not just that she’s started to think about how vacuous and unwise most citizens have become. Not just because she now laments the influence of cheap credit and easy money, and sees it everywhere. Not just that she worries, and that worries her. But that she took the pill. — Garth

Dear Garth,

As a relatively new inductee ( end of Nov 2008) to your website I had a lot of reading to catch up on fast!  I’ve read your book, Greater Fool, and just received my copy of After The Crash yesterday. Since December I feel like the character in Matrix, and I’ve swallowed the reality pill. I see everything differently now. It’s too late for me, I can’t go back to my  pre-November Pollyanna  thinking, no matter how hard I try. I was fortunate enough to have listened to a wise man who passed away a few years ago. He was born in 1902 in Vancouver, BC and lived through the depression and subsequent economic downturns. As a result I have been more prudent than my peers regarding debt. I may not be in as bad as shape as the people around me, but I still feel uneasy about the future. I have quit trying to tell others, they look at me like I have two heads or wonder if I just started using drugs.

Many of the people that I speak with have no idea that their RSP’s and RIFF’s are not insured by the CDIC, nor do they even realize that there is not enough money to truly insure the savings & chequing deposit in the banks. You should see the glassed over shocked look on their faces when I suggest that. Never mind suggesting that maybe, just maybe, a big Canadian Bank might shut its doors quickly one day. Try that at a party one night to the person that is annoying you, they immediately leave you alone. If I try to explain the Bank of Canada’s change in October to holding mortgage and credit card debt to the tune of 75 Billion, they say well that’s normal that’s what the Central Bank is supposed to do. Yeesh.

I am a realtor, and I have always believed that owning your own home is best, to be the master of your domain. I have always cautioned buyers to make sure they can not only afford the mortgage payment, but to have a plan to pay down the debt as soon as possible. Many buyers are going to buy anyways, so I’ve become known as a picky realtor, trying to find properties that are suitable long term. But the buyers are impatient with that thinking too. We live in an instant gratification society. “Get if for me or I’ll find someone who will”.

In your book you refer to getting out of the cities, as they will become a miserable place to live. In BC our small towns are being inundated with gangs and grow-ops. Nelson BC, a rural country area it is now considered rude to ask anyone there what they do for a living. Kamloops, 100 mile house, Houston, Vernon,( take your pick) all effected by the farms and barns changed from livestock and veggies to drug labs and grow-ops. They camouflage themselves to look like nice farms with active chicken runs and an old piece of farm equipment within eyeshot of the road. They hire our out of work students to be the caretakers of the grow-ops. The caretaker gets caught, but doesn’t really know who hired them.  At my friend’s remote self-sufficient cabin he has a view, tranquil water, forest and also a daily barrage of helicopters flying very low overhead, all heading south. Our society is addicted to credit cards, overdrafts, and equity loans. When those run out, they’ll turn to another false reality, alcohol and drugs. I predict a greater amount of meth labs and grow ops in and around our small towns.

I wanted to thank you for opening my eyes, even if it is painful.



#1 pjwlk on 01.16.09 at 10:53 pm

A friend of mine’s brother-in-law is a cop here in Halton region of Ontario. They say there’s a grow-house in every neighbourhood!

#2 Steve on 01.16.09 at 11:10 pm


I’ve learned a few things about the homo sapien species and it tends to be more on the negative side of life. Biggest truth to it all, and this does sound cheesey and very cliche but Jack Nicholson said it best…”You can’t handle the truth!” You know what, most people want to remain blissfully ignorant in their lives even if it means being in a rut.

Truth hurts but that is the best medicine one could ever take.

The hardest journeys are the ones that going within yourself. I’ve felt for a long time that society is based on instant or near instant gratification. I’ve spent 10 years or so living in Banff/Canmore/Lake Louise and during that time I focused on myself, inward, to see who and what I really am. More often than not it ended up being an eye opening experience.

Word of advice, people do not want to know how bad things are. Most want to stay asleep to the ‘realities’ of what is going on around them. Try if you wish to wake them up but I can say from personal experience, leave them alone. I know it sounds cynical and self absorbed but one can bash his or her head against the wall so many times before it hurts.

If you do manage to scare the shit out of someone and they come back for more, good for you. Personally, I’m keeping my knowledge to myself as it will fall on an unappreciative audience.

#3 Bill-Muskoka (Not Anymore) on 01.16.09 at 11:17 pm


You just made me truly smile. One of the hardest things in life is to think outside of the peer pressure box. You have, and if you can, then others will, and eventually ‘reality’ will return back as the norm.

Congrats, and THANK YOU for your email to Garth.

#4 The Tallyman on 01.16.09 at 11:24 pm

Great post Sondra,

For sure we have become an unwise gotta have it now society but there is hope.
One person at a time doing a soul check and opting for the higher road will get us out of this mess.

Hey Garth… title idea for your next book
“Greater Soul” the road back to a saner world

#5 Midas on 01.17.09 at 12:02 am

Social breakdown is the inevitable result of economic collapse. Mad Max cities will be here soon enough; God help us all!

#6 Jimster on 01.17.09 at 12:09 am

Anyone interested in understand how we got to where we are should check this out;

#7 MRG on 01.17.09 at 12:22 am

Here it is, Global Europe’s latest anticipation bulletin :
The sequence of global insolvency begins.
they show how to make the difference between a crisis of solvency and a crisis of liquidity, the former which we are now entering.!-Phase-IV-of-the-systemic-crisis-The-sequence-of-global-insolvency-begins_a2688.html?PHPSESSID=cdbec0096d0a4e1d45d884c8f2b3986c

#8 EW on VI on 01.17.09 at 12:26 am

Sondra – your eyes were open, you just werent looking.

It is not RRSP itself that is insured, it is the type of investment. Cash accounts and term deposits/GICs of 5 years or less are insured by CDIC. Mutual funds, stocks are not. CDIC has never had anywhere close to the money on deposit, it doesnt work that way. What I cant tell you is how long it would take you to get your money if a bank failed.

Anyways, good on ya for being straight with people when trying to get them started with an affordable house of good value and potential.

As for the grow-ops, check the local zoning bylaw to see if its a permitted use(lol). Maybe the govt should just legalize it and get in on it, just like booze. Hey, its a thought.

#9 Ultraman on 01.17.09 at 12:52 am

Sondra, let me correct you on CDIC coverage. Not only RRSP and RRIF are covered separately but they are covered in addition to your regular savings and up to $100k.

In addition in BC, thanks to Gordo, your deposits at any Credit Union benefit from unlimited coverage

Wrong. Only RSP or RRIF money in interest-bearing assets are covered. — Garth

#10 Observer on 01.17.09 at 2:02 am

You are absolutely correct in that the underground economy in BC has been very strong for some time now. However, the quiet fear is now that as construction will undoubtably dwindle, the underground will take the lead as the largest part of our economy. In real numbers its not far from the lead now. What then, how do you curtail the only sector contributing to the economy?

#11 nonplused on 01.17.09 at 2:17 am

We have a problem in Alberta with rural quansets being converted to grow ops too. There were 4 RCMP officers killed a few years back by an operator taking revenge after he escaped arrest. I’m sure everybody read about it.

Still, I think those operations will be in decline as the economy worsens as well. People need access to a fair amount of money to buy the stuff.

If the government wanted to shut all the grow ops tomorrow all they would have to do is drastically reduce alcohol and tobacco taxes. I know it’s switching one problem for another, but why not go with the lesser evil? One of the reasons softer drugs like marijuana are so popular is they are now pretty cost competitive with legal alternatives. And the drunk driving argument doesn’t work, there are plenty of people driving around higher than a kite and I am not sure I feel much better about that than I do about drunks on the road. At least the drunks get caught now and again. Driving under the influence of narcotics is also illegal but it’s much harder for the police to make that assessment at an accident scene or check stop. People high on pot often appear as if they are just stupid, and unfortunately that’s not a crime. And at least drunks eventually pass out and wake up with a hangover. I am told that pot smokers suffer no noticeable disadvantages even if they kite up every day. They can still go to work at 8:00AM.

They are also all over the ski hills. They kite up in the car on the way out, in the gondolas, on the chairs, and in certain gathering points in the trees. Then they ski/board with abandon and crash into everyone. At least the drunks can’t leave the bar or get going very fast.

Of course that’s not going to get rid of the more serious drugs, which are marketed to people looking for a different experience.

The credit markets may also affect the grow ops. As far as I can reason, the business plan was ingenious. You know you are going to get caught eventually or even if you don’t you completely ruin the house. So get your “maintenance staff” to take out a 40 year 5% down mortgage. In Chestemere, it seemed for a while like the number of grow ops buying brand new houses in this manner was causing the boom in real estate prices! (They love those attached garages. Back in the van, close the door.) So the cost of the structure to them was very cheap, since they had no plans to pay off the house or any silly thing like that. I figure they would even get a second mortgage if the appraisal went up, making the business even more profitable! But now the “maintenance staff” may not qualify for renewal when the mortgage comes due.

So now the operators might have to pay cash for their facilities, which will likely raise a lot of questions. Yes, it seems everyone suffers in a credit collapse.

Oh and if you are looking at buying a house and it has no carpet, don’t. They weren’t renovating. Grow op or dry op. New carpet but no other renovations appropriate to the age of the house, same. Especially if there are no appliances!

#12 nonplused on 01.17.09 at 2:42 am

More unnecessary comments on grow ops in rural communities:

One of the reasons that operators like small towns and farms is that the RCMP presence across these areas is pretty light. They mostly do traffic violations and accidents. How often do you have a real crime? Everyone knows each other.

So the plan is to insert in a low crime area and then, very important, cause no problems for the residents. The residents aren’t suspicious because “nothing ever happens here” so if you keep a low profile nobody is going to suspect anything.

When I was a young lad a couple of biker gang members moved in across the street and down a bit. After that B&E’s and petty theft were unheard of in the area. You could leave a gold bar or an unlocked Jag with the keys in the ignition in the driveway for a week and nobody would touch it. They don’t like to attract attention to themselves. The zone that their “petty associates” (i.e. customers) are allowed to operate in is always at some distance from the club house. Just check it out. Look at the crime rate near a known club house. It’s almost always zero.

The safest place to live is right next door to the Hell’s Angels club house, if you don’t mind the noise, the traffic, and don’t think about what’s going on inside. Until some other gang comes shooting, or the police come in.

#13 Glenn on 01.17.09 at 2:46 am

The gang and drug phenomenon is even more pronounced here in Montana. A state that, even among known drug-infested areas, is head and shoulders above all others. My wife and I lived in a small NW Montana town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains called Cut Bank. I suspected my wife was poisoned back in 2005 (miscarriage, the worst the doctor had seen in 15 years, his words not mine) so we packed up and headed west to Kalispell.

Sure enough, about a year later, a Border Patrol officer made the mistake of walking into the Cut Bank McDonalds, then spent the next 9 months in the hospital recovering from severe organophosphate poisoning (no joke, google it; cut bank border patrol poisoned). A whopping 4 people working at the McDonalds at the time, in a town of 3000 (less then my high school graduating class), and a year later…no arrests have been made. The Cut Bank police department is too busy coordinating the local meth labs in just about every basement in the town, the sheriff is too busy escorting the finished product east towards Chicago and West towards Spokane, and the FBI was and shall forever remain too busy harassing political dissidents to be any more then a STASI wanna-be cult.

People simply cannot wrap their minds around the fact that the CIA is making monumental profits from the Afghanistan opium trade, of which the CIA controls 92% of overall world production. The Taliban had virtually wiped out opium production, but less then a year after the “War On Terror” starts and poof…record crops flood the world!

What exactly do people think the CIA is DOING with all those billions?! They are pouring cash into their surrogates pockets, Hells Angels, corrupt cops (half of them these days), and anyone else willing to do their dirty work (neighborhood watch snitches, etc).

Ive just recently come to the realization that a full 60% of the population in North America is compromised in one way or another and thus completely untrustworthy. If there is a Bush/Harper legacy, it’ll be a pink slip and a dirty needle.

#14 timbo on 01.17.09 at 2:53 am

look at what the UK’s credit/housing bubble has done !!

“Sources said that a bad bank would have to take on about £200 billion of toxic assets. That would take the Government’s total commitment to solving the banking crisis to almost £1 trillion in taxpayers’ money that has either been spent or pledged.

That equates to about £33,000 per taxpayer. The total sum is equivalent to more than two-thirds of Britain’s annual GDP of £1.4 trillion. ”

This is nuts, no one is solvent and throwing taxpayers money down holes to prop up insolvent institutions is bizarre. How can anyone trust any bank when you are not allowed to see the books…

open the books and lets the chips fall and then there will be trust in this very corrupt, closed and completely bankrupt system.

I throw my hands up and pack my mattress with precious metals, only thing that is real now a days.

#15 kc on 01.17.09 at 3:49 am

Do you have the balls to read into what looks like fiction till you peel back the outer skin and actually read deeper into the facts?

this may make you go hmmm “i wonder…”

this is lengthy however, a great perspective into deeper insights.

Orwell’s 2009- United States Big Brother is Watching
By: James_Quinn

#16 kc on 01.17.09 at 3:58 am

hey buddy can you spare a few extra trillion?

Recently Zimbabwe announced that it will issue a new set of notes which will include a 10 trillion, 20 trillion, 50 trillion and 100 trillion denomination. One commentator stated that these notes will be introduced to “keep pace with the hyperinflation that has caused many to abandon the country’s currency.”

Worthless Trillion Dollar Paper

#17 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.17.09 at 4:24 am

What a sad story of rural BC.

…Getting back to CREA’s idea of increasing a swap from first time buyers $20K to $25K applied vs downpayment….excellent idea imo….in fact increase it to $50K.

With banks, mutual funds and insurance companies in rough shape…plus what a poster wrote that not all bank deposits are insured…it seems to me that $50K for a downpayment….into a home at the right price would make a wonderful alternative for first time buyers.

…btw…Gordie Howe in Vancouver…that poster was pullingeveryone’s leg on this site…supposedly he’s been unemplyed for over two years now plus he doesn’t list any particulars of himself.

#18 HalifaxFamily on 01.17.09 at 6:10 am

Watch out! More credit crunch coming!

#19 Sail1 on 01.17.09 at 7:20 am

The saga continues and the casualties are mounting.
We are all waiting for an exceptional bargain. Well, we should be getting one fairly soon.

Mattamy Homes: Between Bricks and a hard place

Monarch Homes searching for buyer

This has been exaggerated by a media that has a death wish for the economy.”

Ontario’s Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman, the guest speaker, got a standing ovation after he urged builders to remain positive.

“In these difficult times we ask you to remain upbeat and resilient, not to hang your heads but rather to raise them up.”
Toronto Star

#20 Lana on 01.17.09 at 8:06 am

#15 kc on 01.17.09 at 3:49 am

Yes I have the balls–have scanned what you sent, bookmarked it, and sent it to my daughter. I am going to read it in detail when I have the time–probably Sunday. Having read 1984 and Atlas Shrugged, (and all the Matrix movies) I know there is a lot of truth in the link you sent.

#21 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.17.09 at 9:34 am

Increasing the numbers of grow ops is cool.

…The supply increases causing the price to drop.

So…Just a matter of time before it becomes another tax grab and is legalized.

Look for a strengthening U.S. dollar vs other currencies.

Look for U.K. and Germany’s economies to implode.

Expect a trade war between China and the U.S.

Look for gold to drop to $400 or less.

Look for Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC statistics underlying they are the safest Canadian Provinces to live in.

#22 eddy on 01.17.09 at 9:34 am

steve posted-Jack Nicholson said it best…”You can’t handle the truth!” You know what, most people want to remain blissfully ignorant in their lives

this reminds me of the classic realtor sales line:
“do you want me to tell you what you want to hear,
or do you want me to level with you”

the seller always answers ‘level with me’
but if another agent tells them what they want to hear, which always involves more money for them, they often believe the lie- witness madoff.
this line may have come from floyd wickman,

#23 Lana on 01.17.09 at 9:41 am

#15 kc on 01.17.09 at 3:49 am

Have you seen this, KC?

Statism is Dead – The Matrix part 3

#24 dd on 01.17.09 at 10:16 am

This gal is worried about “grow-ops.” We should be more worried about the legal pharmasuticals. They are the real killer in the society.

#25 Greg W., Oakville on 01.17.09 at 10:23 am

Hi Garth, FYI

‘Physics for Future Presidents.’
Today on CBC radio, 12:10, Quirks & Quarks Jan 17
or down load later;


‘CLIMATE WARS’ talk by Gwynne Dyer,
on CBC radio’s ‘Ideas’ last week Jan 14th part 1 and the next couple Wed 9pm,
I think you can down load part 1of3 after Mon.
or try

#26 dd on 01.17.09 at 10:23 am

#18 HalifaxFamily

“Tight credit starts to bite consumers”

You would think that the banks saw this coming. Tight credit should have started a couple of years ago when time are good. When time are bad that is when we might need the money. I think that banking systems has the cycle all wrong.

#27 dd on 01.17.09 at 10:28 am

#22 eddy

” if another agent tells them what they want to hear, which always involves more money”

It is the home owner that has to weight it along with the bank. The RE seller is just a sales pimp … willing to do the deal at any price. It doesn’t really matter if it is 10-20k more, the RE seller just wants a fast close.
As for the banks, the business model is broken. If they had to keep the mortgages on the books and were not allowed to sell them off, they would look at the customer financial situation a lot more closely .

#28 Mel Eager on 01.17.09 at 10:48 am


Which Canadian bank has the greatest chance of folding? This is alluded to by Garth and others on this blog but never explicitly mentioned. Can I get a hint, if you don’t want to type it here?

Thanks, Mel.

#29 Bill-Muskoka (Not Anymore) on 01.17.09 at 10:53 am

#6 Jimster on 01.17.09 at 12:09 am

Where did you find that Elmer Gantry opportunistic soothsayer? Sheesh! I’ve seen less fluff at a cheap carny booth!

Self promoting deceivers like him are the REAL problem we are contending with.

The guy is a NUTBAR!

#30 Bill-Muskoka (Not Anymore) on 01.17.09 at 10:54 am

#24 dd on 01.17.09 at 10:16 am

You have that one right!

#31 Bill-Muskoka (Not Anymore) on 01.17.09 at 11:03 am

If we had a brain we would legalize Wacky Weed, export the hell out of it and quit wasting billions of dollars and years of law enforcement time to make the ‘Do-gooders’ happy.

The real reason Wacky Weed is illegal is the competition it gives the pharmaceutical companies who peddle Prozac, and all the other ‘Happy Pills’ costing people billions. It also competes against the LCBO who is raking in billions selling booze that is a fourth the cost in the States.

The rest of the drugs should be stopped, like Salvia, but it is not even classified as illegal. Yet is a true hallucinogen.

Sleep tight tonight. Your government is awake and Stockwell Day is in charge of your security!

ROFLMAO at the very thought!

#32 Bill-Muskoka (Not Anymore) on 01.17.09 at 11:04 am

Oh, and FYI, I do not use drugs, but do this weird thing called THINKING RATIONALLY!

#33 dd on 01.17.09 at 11:19 am

Lai Sing Louie of Calgary’s CMHC,

So Louie is revising the Calgary housing upturn for 2010 instead of 2009. Surprise Surprise.

#34 dd on 01.17.09 at 11:21 am

BMO Senior economist – recession offically to end in September of 2009.

Best thing about a prediction – you can always change it.

#35 dd on 01.17.09 at 11:29 am

Today Calgary Heralds New Home Section Quotes:

“The start of 2009 is poised to signify the end of the downward movement in Calgary’s real estate Market”
– Ted Zaharko – Royal Lepage Foothills

“Slip of 1% in the average price to $402,000” – Royal Lepage

“Prices have bottomed out at $410,000” – Remax

Really … I am not making this up.

#36 jess on 01.17.09 at 11:31 am

Do you think the voucher system of education has also helped to bankrupt middle america?


“Children who do not use the vouchers are still assigned to public schools based on their zip the bureaucrat picks the child’s school not a parent. so the only way for parents to exercise any choice is to buy a different home which is exactly how the bidding wars started. ” Elizabeth Warren -Two Income Trap”

#37 JO on 01.17.09 at 11:57 am

Good to see a realtor speaking her mind. I too (use to work in retail financial services) started preparing my life and suggesting to close friends and acquaintances and co-workers do the same. I was fortunate enough to have the common sense to see the coming deflationary recession and real chance of a depression (thanks to thousands of hours of studying past crisis and history of money, the Austrian school at, and Socionomics). Yet time and again, most people gave me the same reaction this lady got. The majority of the public have in essence become willing debt slaves and are now stuck. What we are witnessing is the inevitable destination of a debt based, fiat money, fractional reserve lending system where our money supply/currency is in the hands of a small number of financial elites via the Federal Reserve: A deflationary depression that will be roughly equal to the preceeding credit inflation/debt bubble. All credit inflations/debt bubbles are a fraud perpetrated by the Fed and the leaders of the commercial banks on the people in coordination with government. The whole scheme only stayed afloat and accelerated in 2001-2007 because consumers and banks were both able and willing to borrow and lend. The Fed got lucky the public bought into the easy credit.

We will see things we never thought possible. Home prices possibly down 50-60 % by 2012, pensions being cut by 30-50 % and a variety of extreme social ills. The bizarre event that has come to light in the last few months is the spreading media myth that our “free” markets somehow caused this mess, and of course, Government (aka taxpayers) needs to step in and bailout/stimulate. Total NONSENSE. The solution cannot be the same as the problem. Excessive debt and spending made possible by distorted money/credit markets (micro managed by the Fed with lack of the few core regulations needed to govern behviours and prosecute fraud and crime) are what led to this. The public was in a massive delusion and spent above their means. Built upon the fractional reserve, debt based, fiat money foundation was a government sponsored architecture (CMHC – NHA, CDIC) whose sole purpose was to create and maintain a massive debt bubble with a warped goal of keeping asset values, consumption, and employment artifically high.

We will need to destroy (default or pay back with losses taken by someone) the excessive debt, save money, and focus on frugality to get out. It will take a few years. Most importantly, I ask fellow Canadians to do the following:

1) Contact your MP – advise them against all bailout and excessive stimulus spending on a huge number of infrastructure projects. We need some infrastructure spending but not 1000 projects which have been submitted to the gov’t. The focus needs to be on reforming EI to improve benefits and re-train all unemployed workers and to cut income taxes for working/middle class and businesses. Once the economy shows signs of stabilzing, we need to cut government spending and balance out the tax system by raising consumption taxes modestly while keeping income taxes as low as possible.
2) Boycott any business that recieves bailout money in any form. Yes, if GM or Chrysler get our money, don’t buy their cars.
3) Sign the Abolish the Fed (by extension the BofC) petitions sponsored by well followed and respected private analysts. Mish’s Global (Google it) is a good start. So is
4)Paydown your debt and save money. Do not become trapped by the credit/consumption system.
5)Tell as many friends and family to do the same.


#38 gloom and doom on 01.17.09 at 12:09 pm

Sondra, let me correct you on CDIC coverage. Not only RRSP and RRIF are covered separately but they are covered in addition to your regular savings and up to $100k.

In addition in BC, thanks to Gordo, your deposits at any Credit Union benefit from unlimited coverage

Wrong. Only RSP or RRIF money in interest-bearing assets are covered. — Garth
They are covered by CIPF. Just don’t keep more than 1,000,000 at any one institution.

#39 confused and a little crazed on 01.17.09 at 12:25 pm

poster 21 NV citizen

Why do you think Germany will implode? Their banks have less write downs than the ones in US or Uk and they did not have a realesate boom like we did. They still have their automotive industry intact :BMW, Benz and volkswagon. Sales may be bad right now but they are defintely not in bailout mode

SAsk, Alberta and BC being the safest provinces to be in. That depends on who you ask. You have heard of van east side, the hastings area. the poorest district in the most expensive( best ) place to live. Alberta and BC has the highest housing therefore abigger corection, a stuation most dire… influencing more people to go the less travelled route

#40 Grantmi on 01.17.09 at 12:45 pm

Suggestion for all posters! (if you don’t mind Garth)

Try using Tinyurl’s for pics and links!



and… no! I don’t work for them! It’s just easier to link to sites.. if you’re using handheld devices that sometimes cut up links!

#41 confused and a little crazed on 01.17.09 at 12:47 pm

To NV citizen and Garth

Check out this,1518,579880,00.html

The germans don’t belive in 0 down mortgages. They insist on 20 % and the reason the econ is doing badly is they are a manufacturer exporter and the US is contracting inits spending big time.

The soln they opted for correcting the finance crisis is good better than the bailout. But I ‘ll let u read it for yourself

thanks for your views

#42 jess on 01.17.09 at 12:50 pm

the idea of creating a government-backed “aggregator” banks

is this not socializing the losses

#43 patriotz on 01.17.09 at 12:59 pm

nor do they even realize that there is not enough money to truly insure the savings & chequing deposit in the banks.

What do you think “fiat money” means? CDIC insured depositors will get their money back. All it takes is a few mouse clicks.

#44 esp on 01.17.09 at 1:25 pm

#26 dd

IMO, the banks don’t really care about the regular folk. The execs needed a way to keep their bonuses up, so they need to keep the bubble(s) from bursting. These days your credit is much more important than money.

#45 kc on 01.17.09 at 1:35 pm

23 Lana on 01.17.09 at 9:41 am

no, I haven’t seen that before, thanks. intersting concepts, new thinking into the same old problem. “he who masters, controls the masses.” no different watching this than a simplified thought process of set us free to be able to be who we are, however, we don’t know what freedom really means with out being told what we need to expect from freedom. the old snake eating its tail problem.


#46 jess on 01.17.09 at 1:48 pm

new coalitions of the willing:

the idea of creating a government-backed “aggregator” banks

#47 Marc on 01.17.09 at 2:43 pm

Sleep tight tonight. Your government is awake and Stockwell Day is in charge of your security!
31 Bill-Muskoka (Not Anymore) on 01.17.09 at 11:03 am

Peter Van Loan is now public safety minister, if that is any more reassuring?

What is Sondras concern of grow ops? If we were to legalize marijuana, the worst thing possible from it, would be excessive loitering around 7-11s, and the occasionlal riot when the slurpee machine runs dry. If pot is such an addictive harmful substance, then logically there should be marijuana detox beds for the users to ween off their addiction? Propose for funding for marijuana detox beds in a city council meeting and report on how many councillors bit their tounges.

#48 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.17.09 at 2:50 pm

“”Whoever controls the money supply, controls the country.”” Rothschild

#39 Confused and a little Crazed

German Banks along with the UK’s, invested huge $$$ in emerging economies which are now broke.

Western Canada is safer. Eastern Canada has a terribly negative outlook because they are overpopulated and a manufacturing based economy…and Ontario is neighbour to Ohio/Michigan…NY City is in the start of huge slump and trade with Europe may come to a standstill.

European and Japanese manufactured goods, even cars, will not be able to compete with China as she is about to devalue the Yuan to even lower levels.

#49 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.17.09 at 3:01 pm


“”Under a bill tabled yesterday, the Quebec Pension Plan (known as the Régie des rentes du Québec) will take over the management of insolvent pension plans and guarantee retirement income for five years to those who are entitled. If proved successful, the measure could be extended beyond the five years and perhaps become permanent, a senior government official said yesterday. The fund could also be transferred to an insurance company.

Quebec companies will have 10 years rather than five years to replenish shortfalls in their pension plans. Currently, the market value of the assets of Quebec’s private pension plans is 70 per cent of their total solvency liabilities, or what they need to pay out in benefits. This represents a $22-billion shortfall to bring solvency levels up to 100 per cent. Many cash-strapped companies face serious problems in meeting their pension contribution obligations.
The initiative was one of a half dozen economic stimulus measures Premier Jean Charest’s newly re-elected government included yesterday in Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget’s economic update. Ms. Jérôme-Forget also announced $250-million in refundable tax credits for home renovation projects, a benefit of up to $2,500 for homeowners.

Other measures included a 50-cent increase in the minimum wage to $9 beginning on May 1, and public investments bringing the total amount in infrastructure and energy development projects to $13.9-billion in 2009.””

…This is one of the dumbest pension proposals to date. Canada should let Quebec go. Who needs it? Maybe it should merge with California. Both seems to have loony ideas. Quefornia any one?


#50 dekethegeek on 01.17.09 at 3:13 pm

Interesting Letter from the Realtor.
Unfortunately the “punishment” for the crimes is sorely lacking in Canada. ( Small wonder that several notorious murderers facing the Death Penalty in their own countries pop up in good old Canada. The Canadian govts policy is ” No deportation to countries with a possible death penalty outcome unless the foreign govt promises the convicted will recieve Life. Murderers please take note.)
I have been in numerous rural communities across Canada where the scourge of Meth Labs have destroyed communities. Grow Ops are another problem as well but the addiction rate for pot isnt as leathal as Meth.
The only question I have regarding the OBVIOUS crimes that these people are committing is.
Where the Bloody Hell is Revenue Canada ? If you or i can be audited to the Nth degree for non payment of taxes or audited to prove you have legally earned your income.
What about drug dealers and their organizations? Hit them the only place it seems to get their attention. Seize assets and only return them when they prove they earned them legally. This avoids imprisoning them in another Canadian “club fed” with the promise of early release garunteed.
Take their money ,take their houses, audit their spouses, parents, friends, gang affiliatesAND their high priced lawyers because you know the lawyers are getting paid in cash. Audit everyone ruthlessly.
Trouble is, Revenue canada would rather chase Joe Public for $500.00 bucks than spend a year crawling through the complex world of scum.
The lawyers and judges and politicians have all sold their souls to the highest bidder and we get to pay the price. hmmmm and Wally Opal wonders why respect for the law and politicians is at an all time low. Look in the mirror you pricks.

#51 Kelowna Gal on 01.17.09 at 3:19 pm

I really enjoyed reading your email. We (my husband and I) feel exactly like you. The blinders are off and it’s like we are seeing EVERYTHING differently. We were just talking about the Matrix pills the other day in reference to how much we have changed.

Glenn #13 – you are so right. I was glad that you had a link to INFOwars. There’s lots of info there. The only only question that I have is where can I find information on where Canada is in all of this mess???? Besides Garth’s sites, etc.

Thank you again for this blog, your books and your ongoing support. We have tickets to see you in Kelowna. I would love to shake your hand, introduce myself to you just to say thank you. Thanks Dorothy for obviously supporting your husband so that he can spend the time that he does preparing everything that he is so passionate about. :) It is HELPING in such a big way.

#52 squidly77 on 01.17.09 at 3:21 pm

That equates to about £33,000 per taxpayer. The total sum is equivalent to more than two-thirds of Britain’s annual GDP of £1.4 trillion.
33,000.00 GBP = 60,675.49 CAD gifted to the banks for every man women and child

#53 PKS on 01.17.09 at 3:22 pm

Grow ops aren’t a problem – “The war on drugs” is the problem.

Look, a drug dealer (street dealer, distributor, grower, whatever) is just like any other businessman. He’s responding to a market demand for a particular product.

The difference is, a “normal” businessman, if he gets into a dispute with someone else, he can sue. But a drug dealer doesn’t have that option for dispute resolution, all he can do is ‘tool up’ and go shoot somebody or have someone beaten or whatever.

Decriminalize, all these problems go away.

#54 squidly77 on 01.17.09 at 3:26 pm

dont forget that the RRSP deadline is march 01
thats just 6 short weeks away
go ahead give your money to the know you really want to

#55 TomOfMilton on 01.17.09 at 3:32 pm

Took my kids to see “Bed Time Story” today and saw an add just before the movie displayed in simple lettering:
“The stock market lost half of its value. Now is the time to invest in realestate!”
I was laughing so hard and wiping tears from my eyes and my kids were asling me why I was laughing when the movie hadn’t even started.
Sadly enough, no one else got the joke. *snicker*
It’s still making me laugh here at home again. And guess who’s asking me what’s so funny again.

#56 Admiral Blanco's flying Mercedes on 01.17.09 at 3:34 pm

#49 Squiddley

A black hole alright.. along with what the RN spends on nuclear submarines to sniff a ‘Putin’ fart leaving harbour.

Nuclear subs totally useless against terrorist box cutters.

#57 TomOfMilton on 01.17.09 at 3:44 pm

“Which Canadian bank has the greatest chance of folding?” from #28

My guess is CIBC only because I’ve heard that t
ey might be in trouble from purchasing some of those bad US realestate debt. I wish it was Royal Bank or TD…I’ve got a real hate on for them. But banks in general are so ea y to hate. :)

#58 you aint seen nothing yet on 01.17.09 at 4:15 pm

The real estate was the start of a huge problem the real problem came from the losses Derivatives.
Read this and tell me what will come when these “loses” are added up and people need 10 times all the cash in existence to pay it back.

#59 TheFirstRick on 01.17.09 at 4:31 pm

#11 nonplused on 01.17.09 at 2:17 am We have a problem in Alberta with rural quansets being converted to grow ops too. There were 4 RCMP officers killed a few years back by an operator taking revenge after he escaped arrest. I’m sure everybody read about it.

Rozco was a nutjob harbouring a decades old grudge with the authorities. The 3 pot plants he had growing for personal use had nothing to do with the cop killings. Nor did the “stolen vehicles” on the property, which ended up being one truck with overdue lease payments. You sound like CanWest Global.

#60 kc on 01.17.09 at 4:48 pm

#55 – did you just wake up and smell the coffee on this one? did you happen to notice that your article was written and last edited on, (what do you think has been transpiring for the past year?) newsflash… the deleveraging of some of these derivitives… why you think the US has to bail out the auto industry? it is to keep the derivitives floating.. there are billions of dollars in bets saying that the US auto won’t go bust… these where written up years back, for (some) a derive to go bust many need 9 negitives in them to all happen at once… and many over many tied this into the bet that auto industry will not collapse….

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:31 p.m. EDT March 10, 2008

#61 dekethegeek on 01.17.09 at 4:53 pm

#50 – Grow Ops arent the problem. . . .
While i agree that the decriminalization of Pot is long overdue. I totally disagree with you statement the Grow Ops growers are a “normal ” business venture.
Whether your “joe Schmo” in Nelson or “Viet Ving” in East Van, your selling your “harmless commodity” to ORGANIZED CRIME. Dont whine to me and all other law abiding citizens who work at legitimate jobs about your poor ,poor “collections problems” If you take the risk, you take the financial reward. And your dealing is “cash only” so chances are you havent paid any Taxes on Income. Enjoy your “victimless” criminal activity, but the next time you jump in your car(if it hasnt been stolen by a drug addict wanting to do a home invasion) and go for a “Drive By” take note of all the broken glass on EVERY street from cars being broken into.
Drugs have ruined a generation of people and for you to stand there and say that it’s”just like any other business” is total BS. Your also the first person who will run to the Police for “witness protection” when things go wrong in your illegal world.
The only other “harmless” businesses that are even remotely similar are Illegal Gambling and prostitution.
Decriminalization will never happen so have fun “livin the lifestyle” cause sooner or later yer gonna get “popped”.

#62 TheFirstRick on 01.17.09 at 4:59 pm

#47 dekethegeek on 01.17.09 at 3:13 pm
Trouble is, Revenue canada would rather chase Joe Public for $500.00 bucks than spend a year crawling through the complex world of scum.
Tell me about it. I’m through the appeals process, ombudsman and ready to file to the tax court. Guess what? Over $68 going back to my 05 tax year. It’s too funny at this point. I’m actually on a mission to see how far they are willing to go.

#63 OttawaMike on 01.17.09 at 5:00 pm

Here is a link to a New Yorker article about hedge fund managers in Manhattan making plans for survival in case the worse happens:
Do these guys have insider info?

#64 Zoronqueen on 01.17.09 at 5:32 pm

Did you hear this over the CBC

#65 O'Ryan on 01.17.09 at 5:32 pm

I found that realtor’s letter interesting,but she’s really only saying what most of them are thinking. However,they are afraid to speak their minds and most make no sense at all. I dread seeing my realtor friends these days.I don’t know what to say to them.We can’t talk about work,vacations,the future,etc.

Garth,I look forward to seeing you in Kelowna next month. Luckily,the husband and I are in between two vacations that week. (Anybody know of good RE deals in Palm Springs or Mexico?

#66 Greg W., Oakville on 01.17.09 at 5:40 pm

Hi Garth, FYI

3min you tube,
Ron Paul: “This is a visual demonstration of what can happen with runaway inflation. It’s entitled ‘German Hyperinflation’.

#67 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.17.09 at 5:52 pm

Van vs TO

…so Vancouver will receive a giant loan for the Village…then it will own it….versus for example Toronto, requiring $$$ to support all its unemployed manufacturing citizens to do what exactly?

No argument there is a V. condo glut…but do you believe Vancouver’s ex pat Iranians and established Asian citizens will sell then pick up and leave back from whenst they came?

Does this board suggest that ex Eastern Canadian Vancouverites will sell their homes(now for less money) and move back east? why…to jump into the unemployment lines there?…imo they may sell, but stay put here and rent.

Does this board forget to give a little insight that Van is a “VERY SAFE TO VISIT” destination city and is the trade middleman between Canada/US with Asia?

Eastern Canada/US is going to suffer big time, trade with Europe is dying.

Does this board forget the world still needs food, potash, uranium and commodities.

Does this board simply underestimate Western Canada and specifically Vancouver?

#68 Strataman on 01.17.09 at 6:13 pm

“Which Canadian bank has the greatest chance of folding?”
Okay it’s not a bank but you can use it’s failure to know that the bank one is immanent! And the bank that buys this one will be okay. I am willing to forecast VanCity Credit Union will not exist in Sept of 2010. HELO’s is all I need say!

#69 gloom and doom on 01.17.09 at 6:15 pm

Here is a link to a New Yorker article about hedge fund managers in Manhattan making plans for survival in case the worse happens:
Do these guys have insider info?
Eric Sprott has a compound up north. Seems like some of the gold bugs like to prepare for the worst case scenario.

#70 lgre on 01.17.09 at 6:21 pm

North Vancouver Citizen – this board does not underestimate anything, this is a RE blog and we are saying that the prices of houses are over priced, especially in Vancouver..people who bought into the hype and cant afford it will have to sell, whether Asian, Iranian or Marshan..makes no difference. Wake up.

#71 prairie gal on 01.17.09 at 6:25 pm

Of all the industries I wish I could invest in legally, the marijuana trade is my first choice. Its practically recession-proof. In fact, I foresee a spike in demand as the newly laid-off will have a lot more time on their hands.

Also, its the only truly self-regulating free market in existence.

#72 john on 01.17.09 at 6:47 pm

#64 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.17.09 at 5:52 pm Van vs TO

…so Vancouver will receive a giant loan for the Village…then it will own it….versus for example Toronto, requiring $$$ to support all its unemployed manufacturing citizens to do what exactly?>>>>>>>>>>
I remember the 80’s when the auto plants shut down and Ontario was suffering–i moved to Edmonton about 1 1/2 years later it hit Alberta–i moved to BC 6 months later it hit there—by this time Ontario was starting to recover.It moved across the country from east to west–so pull up your britches because you ain’t seen nothing yet–Ontario will recover faster than any other province for the simple reason–manufacturing–necessary products! Whats going to save your ass??? :-)

#73 Bill Muskoka (Not Anymore) on 01.17.09 at 7:36 pm

#44 Marc on 01.17.09 at 2:43 pm

Thanks Marc. After I posted that my old brain said ‘Oops! That changed recently.’

Oh yeah, having screaming Petey Van Loon in charge just makes me want to recall the line spoken by Charlton Heston in ‘True Lies’, ‘Gentlemen, that is not blowing my skirt up!’ I am left with such a secure feeling. NOT!

#74 Future Expatriate on 01.17.09 at 7:55 pm

Garth, your book arrived here in the US today. Thanks so much, can’t wait to read it!

#75 confused and a little crazed on 01.17.09 at 8:08 pm

Hi NV citizen,

I agreed with China being a big auto influence on the market but still coomercially unproven and for the most part totally unregulated…remember milk scandal or Viagra subsitutes….would you really buy a car from them…not me

Uk is going to be really but I still do/n’t think Germany wwill suffer too much.

please check,1518,579880,00.html.

they have an alternative for the bailout

#76 Jonathan on 01.17.09 at 8:57 pm

Globe and Mail has recycled some material from the Toronto Star and put together another one of their classic but useless slideshows. However it has one very telling graph from BMO located on slide 4:

The narrative says “Canada’s housing market has softened, but not to the extent of the US.” Well G&M, if that is your argument, the graph you used says the exact opposite.

#77 Third Chimp on 01.17.09 at 10:58 pm

Hey, we know the purpose of the UK & USA bank bailouts is to prop up insolvent banks long enough for the well-connected to re-position their exposed ass-ets out of the risky or worthless stuff were holding. The first big round under TARP has held things together for a few more months, all the time they needed. Now the inferno has leapt that quick firewall and is sucking up fresh oxygen for a truly glorious blaze. 2009 ? bad, sorry to say. They have left a big burning bag of crap on Obama’s new doorstep as a welcome.

#78 go green on 01.17.09 at 11:38 pm

#46 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.17.09 at 3:01 pm

See Harry hasn’t changed except his moniker.

#79 Future Expatriate on 01.18.09 at 7:19 am

Prairie Gal #68, here’s some harsh reality for you. The SECOND either the US or Canada legalizes pot, Big Tobacco will rush in, have machine “rolled” joints in fancy packs and cartons in every convenience market, Wal-Mart, and grocery store, with names they copyrighted for pot back in the SEVENTIES. The paper they will use and the additives they will put in will make pot every bit as carcinogenic as cigarettes; actually more so due to the way pot is inhaled deeper and held in the lungs longer. Also for the first time it will be possible because of the convenience and accessibility to chainsmoke it like cigarettes, and idiots will. Not only will every home grown roller and grower go the way of the “roll your own” cowboy, but massive advertising will make it impossible for “mom and pop growops” to compete.

That’s the nightmare of the legalization of pot. Anyone thinks that it will merely make “business as usual” legal is nuts; legalization will decimate “business as usual” before you can blink.

Which is why EVERY SINGLE POT LEGALIZATION ORGANIZATION IN EXISTENCE is funded primarily by Big Tobacco.

Be CERY careful what you wish for.

#80 Just a Girl on 01.18.09 at 10:35 am

#69 john wrote: “I remember the 80’s when the auto plants shut down and Ontario was suffering–i moved to Edmonton about 1 1/2 years later it hit Alberta–i moved to BC 6 months later it hit there—by this time Ontario was starting to recover.It moved across the country from east to west”

I also remember the 80’s. I remember as a university student, living on my own and self-supporting, standing in line in the rain in Victoria with 200 other students, applying for a part-time weekend job at a hotel.

In the mid 80’s, at another job, when I could no longer take another day of my supervisor power-tripping and yelling at decent hard-working staff, I quit my job, then realized in a complete panic, “It will be impossible to find another job in this town.”

Within a week I had rented a U-haul and drove to Edmonton. I had never been to Alberta before. People there said, “Why did you come? There are no jobs here. Haven’t you heard, we’re in a bust!” But I found work within a week, and have never been without work since.

Now as an employer, after riding this last Alberta boom, I shake my head to reconcile the memory of standing in the rain with 200 other people who wanted the same job, against our organization receiving virtually no applications from students to any of our postings.

Some people are feeling the economic downturn sooner than others. But we are still losing employees to government, who are still (believe it or not) hiring and offering incredible salaries, pensions and benefits.

I have no conclusion to this story, only that I agree, things move east to west to east again, and the cycle of provincial (state, country, etc.) disparity continues.

#81 Kash is King on 01.18.09 at 12:16 pm

For all the dopes talking about pot: one joint contains the “tar equivalent” of 20 cigarettes.
So much for harmless.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

#82 Bertie on 01.18.09 at 5:08 pm

#35 dd “Today Calgary Heralds New Home Section Quotes:
“The start of 2009 is poised to signify the end of the downward movement in Calgary’s real estate Market”
– Ted Zaharko – Royal Lepage Foothills”

From personal experience, and backed up by several others, I can avow he is as untrustworthy as they get. And since he personally put a house on the market the week before Christmas that is unlikely to sell now, I’d imagine he’s quite ticked off. He gloated to people we know just two years ago about how much money he was going to make on it.

#83 Third Chimp on 01.18.09 at 9:38 pm

#76 Future Expatriate “The SECOND either the US or Canada legalizes pot, Big Tobacco will rush in”
Actually, they won’t legalize anything until Big Tobacco is ready, in other words not until all the lobbyists and politicos are solidly on board and also have their relatives primed to invest in the first corps to receive licenses. You think cellular bandwidth auctions get a lot of attention ? Holy Smokes ! …so to speak

#84 ConSon_AbuGraib on 01.19.09 at 1:24 am

#76 Just a Girl – what industry are you in, and how are you advertising for positions?

Usually when employees feel compelled to flee to ‘the government’ and its insufferable claustrophobic work atmosphere, they feel terrorized and financially insecure in their present position.

#85 Just a Girl on 01.19.09 at 11:41 am

#80 Conson_AbuGraib

NGO, education, very stable, happy, well-funded, spacious, better technology than govt, committed to employee happiness org. Advertised in everything you would recommend. Money however, too much of a gap between NGO and Govt … we lose them to the greener grass.

#86 Sondra on 01.21.09 at 2:03 pm


The drug issue. The people involved have a reckless regard for others. To be near these people, or mistaken for these people, is taking your life in your hands.

We have a problem with people who wear bullet proof vests and drive vehicles that are armor plated, They have at their disposal weapons and ammunition, they use the bullets liberally.

In a family neighborhood, a women watching TV in her home received a bullet in the head. She was the receiver of a gun fight gone bad. She had nothing to with drugs or gangs.

Another man, a husband a father of a 10 month old child, was shot to death because his dodge ram pickup truck was the same model as a targeted gangster.

Last night there was a shoot-out in a farming community, the target missed. The RCMP reported that target was wearing a bullet proof vest. The target is infamous, and his family owns a lot of farming property in the area.

In BC on Hwy 7 there was a Hollywood style shoot out between vehicles.

These people are dangerous to be near, or mistaken for. They look just like you and me . They have families, they drive their kids to school. They infect our neighbourhoods, and rural communities. They ruin our communities. Just ask the people who woke up one day and found a dead man with his throat cut on their front porch. Yes it’s true.

I agree with Garth, take control into your own hands, be the master of your domain, look to the future, learn the mistakes of the past. Do what you need to do to protect yourself financially. I would add to that where ever you are,…. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS. If you don’t trust them, move, find good neighbours.

Knowing the truth is better than being lied to.
Thank you Garth. Thank you to all the others that post good information. It helps to make prudent, even if painful, decisions, its helps to see clearly.