Blessed are we?


God descended from Air Force One, climbed into the Beast (even the Deity needs five-inch-thick glass) and sped off to Parliament Hill, where a supplicant nation had blown this month’s defence budget on American flags.

Back in the real world, life was disintegrating at the usual clip.

* Today’s numbers show the Canadian economy is contracting at an annual pace of 9.6%. By way of comparison, the definition of a depression is a decline in activity of 10%, and this week we heard Japan has tumbled 12%. Bummer.
* Today we discovered 6.54 million American are unemployed and 600,000 a week (more) are applying for unemployment benefits.
* House building in Canada will collapse by 25% this year, says CMHC. In Saskatchewan it will crumble by 40%. Sales of existing homes will drop another 15%, too. These, by the way, are government estimates. Hence, you can probably double them.
* Construction of new homes in the States plunged by 17% in January alone.
* Oil prices have dipped into the $30-a-barrel range, and look poised to enter the twenties. At least they can still dig up valuable dino bones in Alberta.
* And new numbers show almost 30% of all American homeowners – 14 million of them – are now in negative equity. Imagine that. A country when one in every three families has a mortgage bigger than the value of their home.

Let’s dig into that last number for a minute.

US home prices (which foreshadow ours), have dropped on average by 25% in the current meltdown. In some markets, the collapse is 50% to 80%, but the median hit is a quarter of value. This will erode further by about 15% before a bottom is reached – hopefully in a year or so. That means another 8 million homeowners could slip into negative equity, yielding the unfathomable result of 40% of American families who own real estate being underwater.

This is what Canadians have to look forward to, of course, as markets here also slide and valuations crack after the faux Spring market about to take place. While we will not have a foreclosure crisis here (due to the differing nature of our financing regs), we will have a negative equity calamity. It will be the first time, ever.

Meanwhile the United States is entering the second phase of its foreclosure mess, as $1.3 trillion worth of Alt-A mortgages come due – loans which were given to borrowers with better credit ratings than those who got subprimes. Many of these folks are self-employed who, in this credit crunch, simply can not get a renewal of their mortgages.

All of this brings us to one inescapable conclusion: God’s mortgage bailout plan announced yesterday won’t work. It’s impossible.

The sum involved – $75 billion – is but a tinkle in the ocean of debt and despair. The plan does not to help most of the families coping with plunging home values and uncertain mortgages, and it gives no hope whatsoever to any of the 6.5 million unemployed people who will be simply unable to make mortgage payments within two or three months.

All the Divine One seems to be doing now is egging on the public with a rolling bailout plan – a financial striptease that throws one more vestment to the throng each week, so they don’t lose patience and start burning down the temple. This plan will not stabilize the housing market, prevent more foreclosures or do anything to stem the horrible slide into negative numbers for millions more people. And with every new home going into negative equity, a bank somewhere gains a new toxic mortgage. All this performance does is delay the day of reckoning.

But, in Ottawa, they do not seem to know yet that God is but a man. Lo, perchance, merely the Holy Ghost.


“This was taken by a friend up on Parliament Hill during the visit of the President of the United States… thought it really shows how much Canadians (especially black Canadians) are into Obama.” – P.D., Ottawa


#1 kc on 02.19.09 at 12:43 pm

Who foots the bill for this royal visit>>??? Tack it on to the deficit, at least the real holy one could walk on water. Not like this one who is walking on bankers…..

#2 Future Expatriate on 02.19.09 at 12:46 pm

So, did his lordship arm-twist Harper to bailout the US and send more troops into the Mideast debacle? Maybe some more Mad Cow in BC, or anthrax in the Prairies, or another SARS and/or bird flu in Toronto, or yet another group of idiot kids egged on by cointelpro with beheading on their minds?

“‘Change’ we can believe in” indeed; “smart” wars instead of “dumb” ones. His lordship certainly has a rather high and unwarranted opinion of himself. Most pets bought solely for prestige and power usually do, until their owners tire of them.

#3 Happy Renter in North Van on 02.19.09 at 1:09 pm

Garth, I do agree… I think Obama is totally over-hyped… This morning, on CBC radio, the normally jaded journalists were giggling like school girls at the thought Obama was visiting little ole Canada…

I think the Obama administration’s housing stabilization program will be like inducing a coma in a patient who has been in a serious car crash… It won’t make them better, but it buys the doctors some time while they try to figure out what do do…

#4 HJD on 02.19.09 at 1:10 pm

I don’t get your reference to Obama as “GOD”, “divine one”, “deity” and “Holy Ghost”. What’s the point? I suspect he’s a very intelligent and talented person trying to do what’s right for the USA. And we in Canada will benefit if he manages to succeed. Your snide descriptions are unwarranted and foolish.

Ever watch CNN? — Garth

#5 Murray on 02.19.09 at 1:10 pm

Mr. Obama may only be a man; but he is the best we have seen for a long time and a good distance ahead of who ever is in second place. Sometimes hope is all one has.

#6 Toronto C9 Renter on 02.19.09 at 1:12 pm

Garth, really like the term “faux spring market”.

If things truly do materialize that way — i.e. I’ll assume you mean small dead-cat bounce and then back to freefall — it will be a strong indication of significant price reductions to come in latter part of 2009 / 2010.

I shall continue to wait patiently, this rental lifestyle has its advantages

Having said that, I must say there is really nothing happening here in Toronto C9. Same 10 or 11 detached homes still sitting since last summer. Prices continually reduced but still nothing selling. Minimal new listings either since fall.

So if your “faux market” is coming, it will need to start soon!

#7 Rhino on 02.19.09 at 1:16 pm

GREAT post!

Do I detect you are slightly less than overwhelmed by Obamamania?

This publicity circus makes “Trudeaumania” look like a little blip.

Maybe too many Canadians are looking for LEADERSHIP – ANY LEADERSHIP – to compensate for the inadequate, incompetent, partisan garbage coming off the Hill.

I, for one, will be more than glad when there is something, anything, newsworthy that does not contain some reference to President Obama.

Don’t get me wrong, I have hopes for his tenure, but I also have some pity for him. Hopes for his administration are way over cooked.

Good luck and God speed, Barak ol’ boy. cheerio!

PS – The GG looked like she was much more the leader of Canada than subPrime Minister Harper… He looked subservient!

#8 beagle on 02.19.09 at 1:23 pm

“And new numbers show almost 30% of all American homeowners – 14 million of them – are now in negative equity. Imagine that. A country when one in every three families has a mortgage bigger than the value of their home.”

That’s even more scary when you consider around 40% of homes have no mortgage.

#9 George Popovic on 02.19.09 at 1:23 pm

Commercial real estate bust about to unfold will make the residential bust seem like a picnic. At least one third of retail space will be closed. Look around and you realize that even with these closures there are still way to many stores around to provide for the dwindling demand. There will be no tenants to occupy these abandoned structures.

The Japanese economy is in a free fall.

Ireland is but a step ahead of where Iceland was a month ago.

Finally, Obama’s or any other government never has and never will be able to fix anything. Only free market forces can do that. Let the asset prices establish their own equilibrium, let the banks fail, let people who made bad decisions go bust and let nature take its course so we can start again after this cleansing. Of course, the boys will not let this happen and we will be facing the same future as the folks of Japan. Those who don’t learn from history….

#10 GSP on 02.19.09 at 1:32 pm

Hi Garth, Where did you get the Canadian figure?

Today’s numbers show the Canadian economy is contracting at an annual pace of 9.6%. By way of comparison, the definition of a depression is a decline in activity of 10%, and this week we heard Japan has tumbled 12%. Bummer.

Stats Canada. — Garth

#11 buy gold on 02.19.09 at 1:40 pm

Watch CNN the most trusted news!! it should be the most untrusted news.

#12 marnic on 02.19.09 at 1:40 pm

Uh, Garth, this is probably your best piece yet. Obama…nice guy, but let’s face it, he’s not even remotely in charge.

#13 Got A Watch on 02.19.09 at 1:46 pm

I am laughing at Harper having to go along with Obama’s “Environmental Plan”. Ha ha ha.

That must go over well with the Conservatives, who have spent the last few years trying to gut environmental regulation as much as they can.

Alberta has a big problem here, unless Harper can get Obama to agree to exempt the Oil Sands extraction from future US environmental regulations. Enviro groups in the US are mounting a big campaign against it, and Obama will have to expend political capital that is in short supply now to over rule them.

The proposed “carbon-reduction” schemes will be a hard sell in Washington with politicians who are under voter pressure from Green lobbies. Greenpeace etc can mobilize vast numbers in support of their agenda, which right now is to ban Oil Sands oil from the USA.

#14 jess on 02.19.09 at 1:47 pm

What global economy?

self regulating/ efficient market hypothesis has been efficiently deficient in RULES!!!!!!!

From Nouriel Roubini’s blog

But the design of the new system should be robust enough to counter three types of problems with rules: A tendency toward ‘regulatory arbitrage’ should be borne in mind, as bankers can find creative ways to bypass rules faster than regulators can improve them. Then there is ‘jurisdictional arbitrage’ as financial activity may move to more lax jurisdictions. And finally, ‘regulatory capture’ as regulators and supervisors are often captured – via revolving doors and other mechanisms – by the financial industry. So the new rules will have to be incentive compatible, i.e. robust enough to overcome to these regulatory failures.

#15 Dave on 02.19.09 at 1:48 pm

I don’t get your reference to Obama as “GOD”, “divine one”, “deity” and “Holy Ghost”. What’s the point? I suspect he’s a very intelligent and talented person trying to do what’s right for the USA. And we in Canada will benefit if he manages to succeed. Your snide descriptions are unwarranted and foolish.


its your ignorance thats foolish. The guy is getting praised like a Messiah. The last time a political leader was treated like this voluntarily, we had a guy named Adolf Hitler. There isn’t a thing Obama could do wrong according to the general public. Thats way too much power for a democracy.

Garth was being sarcastic. I must admit, it is very scary having a political leader receive this treatment-its close to worship. Seems like a bad dream to me.

#16 Motiv8me on 02.19.09 at 1:51 pm

HJD on 02.19.09 at 1:10 pm I don’t get your reference to Obama as “GOD”, “divine one”, “deity” and “Holy Ghost”. What’s the point? I suspect he’s a very intelligent and talented person trying to do what’s right for the USA. And we in Canada will benefit if he manages to succeed. Your snide descriptions are unwarranted and foolish.

Ever watch CNN? — Garth


Consider not being so hard on others. O’Bailout is making earnest attempts to minimize the suffering and he is a welcome visitor to our nation from my perspective.

#17 squidly77 on 02.19.09 at 1:51 pm

citi bank and bank of america will not survive past apr 15
pay-option arm re-sets will be the final curtain to fall on the american financial industry

like a prisoner on death row..theyre already dead but dont know it yet (always hoping for a reprieve)

#18 Jake on 02.19.09 at 1:51 pm

I remember when one of my friends broke down in tears discussing how close he got to Pope John Paul II at world youth day. Weirdest thing about it was that he was Anglican. You put anything in the right package and people get emotionally connected.

#19 Dave on 02.19.09 at 1:55 pm

Mr. Obama may only be a man; but he is the best we have seen for a long time and a good distance ahead of who ever is in second place. Sometimes hope is all one has.


can you please explain why he’s the best? Based on actions, I see he pledged a huge bailout (just like Bush), is offering more troops to Afghanistan, and is staying in Iraq for a few more years (contrary to what he insisted he was going to do).

I don’t believe all decisions rest on his shoulders, which is why i make this argument. I’m not sure what he’s doing that warrants him as being the “best” there’s been in a long time

#20 Jake on 02.19.09 at 1:56 pm

Speaking of the pope, if you continue to grow in fame/infamy it may be wise for you to get a pope-mobile for yourself Garth. I will be willing to run along side it with my earpiece and dark glasses. Got the dark suit in my closet and I will be awaiting your call.

#21 Jake on 02.19.09 at 1:57 pm

ps. Bill, Dave, etc.
Obama burgers for sale at Ottawa restaurants. I will know who you are by looking for the middle aged men with burgers in hands and tears in eyes.

#22 squidly77 on 02.19.09 at 1:58 pm

ottawa gets obama in february
calgary gets bush in march


#23 Jake on 02.19.09 at 2:04 pm

Sorry Dave, I meant Dave in Bakody in post #21

#24 Irene on 02.19.09 at 2:11 pm

Obama may not be god but he sure makes our Pm look quite the opposite “Devil” small, very small and that I like very much. What an embarrassment the PM may prove to be too our nearest neighbor and to our own Country. It doesn’t say much for our citizens who elected him does it.

I agree Garth, we are hoping that Obama will stop the economic disaster in his country and ours and I too don’t see that happening anytime soon but the fact of the matter is that he is trying, doing everything in his power to help his country and that speaks volumes when I see what Canadians politics are stuck with, , a no nothing policy driven PM, giving absolutely no hope with a leader determined to destroy our great country.


#25 David Bakody on 02.19.09 at 2:11 pm

Great posts above …… “Barack the Rock Star” people need hope, of course he can not fix the world nor the US for that matter ….. people do it , millions doing positive things and unfortunately in this day and age it is not people but consumers. As mentioned most have overspent and have all the toys and more most working people never saw until the kids were grown. I was asked why do people not have more money now that gas prices are way down ….. Hello …. when they way up people were charging gas and as most know those gas credit cards are really hard to pay off. I took the long route home from Tim’s via a new area of homes being built …..(Portland Estates) very little going on and sign after sign flapping in the wind. One nice home that Garth has made reference to wrt selling and downsizing has been listed for over a year and this has everything done …. those new ones need it all! $$$$$$$

#26 john on 02.19.09 at 2:15 pm

The heaps of praise Obama gets is just like the heaps of hatred spewed forth about Harper and Bush. Both are from the same kinds of individuals.

#27 OntarioHouse on 02.19.09 at 2:18 pm

#20 Jake
That was funny.

#28 ohyeahrightsorry on 02.19.09 at 2:29 pm

Obamamania will become a euphemism for oh-bummer-man. As in “you just lost your job, oh bummer man!” Where can I get one of those jackets? Next Halloween I want to dress as an Obama sycophant. Whole nations collapse via self asphyxiation holding breath in hope whilst waiting for change. Same old, same old…..

#29 Dean9 on 02.19.09 at 2:35 pm

I have followed this blog off and on for a few months. This is my first post.

I would like to offer a somewhat philosophical perspective, if I may. It is my way of offering something in the way of support for anyone struggling in these times.

What you focus on, you feed. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Perception has the predictable outcome of enhancing the thing it is focused on.
I don’t deny the undesirable realities that many are facing and the prudent courses of action that are needed to address them, but I fail to see how it is useful to one’s own internal states if one were to focus predominately on the “half-empty” part. When you do so, life becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Seeing predominantly the “empty” part is an invitation to fear.
There is only one fear … fear of the unknown. Of unknown outcomes. And when you have a time (like we are in now) where there are many unknowns, fear is on a feeding frenzy. Are you on it’s menu? When we accept that future outcomes are unpredictable and uncontrollable, we feel powerless and are left only to react. Not an enviable position.
On the other hand, when we focus on what we can do (glass half-full) in the present, we become self-enablers and act in positive and productive ways. We feel we can better affect our circumstances rather than be an effect of them. Fear may not be absent, but it is much more of a stranger than an elephant in the living room.
I could be wrong, but my sense is that those that are being effected most by current events are not the ones that post to this blog. If you have lost your job, about to lose your house, you probably have your hands too full to be surfing the internet or writing blog posts. Those that post here don’t seem, to me, to be in desperation (yet).
I have read many thoughtful, constructive posts here by both Garth and others but my motivation to write this is in response to the negative postings here. Their overt preoccupation with “half-empty glasses” cannot, in my estimation, be helpful to the emotional state of their fellow man. Not only is it not helpful, it can further erode any hope or optimism that remains.
I think Garth’s original objective in providing this forum is for the benefit of those in need of constructive advice, feedback, support, information, etc., to better navigate life’s times of turbulence. To that end, let us offer them floatation devices, not anchors.

#30 Keith in Calgary on 02.19.09 at 2:36 pm

Actually Garth, we had a negative equity situation here in Calgary, as well as other cities, back in 1982-84.

Anyways, that is history, and as you know, people ignore history……heh.

But now that “The Messiah” has landed here in Canada I feel “saavveeddd” !!!! What the heck, my taxes just went up !! Oh well, ask and ye shall receive…..or taketh away……

Obama’s mortgage plan will do nothing…….the only thing that is going to stop it all, is when house prices finish falling……and people start getting back to work.

See you in 2020.

#31 TS on 02.19.09 at 2:57 pm

Housing crumbling in Canada…. read more here:

#32 Future Expatriate on 02.19.09 at 3:07 pm

Obama’s already broken more campaign pledges than Bush ever made. And that’s a really sad statement.

Chief among those was “not going to get involved in any more dumb wars.” Hmmm… 17,000 young men and women to Afghanistan and Pakistan sounds like a STUPID war to me. Maybe that’s what he meant… he was only going to get involved in STUPID wars, not dumb ones.

A pox on his clueless worshippers.

#33 David on 02.19.09 at 3:18 pm

Obama really should have spent 4 days in Canada, since Canada is the USA’s most important trading partner. He could have taken in a hockey game and gone to A&W afterward with his kids, had an ice fishing session and plinked a few squirrels. Canada deserves more than 7 hours of Mr. Obama’s time and attention.
Obama still has a large amount of political capital largely due the gross incompetence of his predecessor. He might as well have enjoyed part of his political honeymoon in Canada.

#34 Bonnie N BC on 02.19.09 at 3:38 pm

Look Obama is one man but he does inspire real people all over the world (outside of government circles). Given the rewriting of history yesterday on the environment file by our PM during the last three years – who do you trust?

And that is what I take from this layover (courtesy ITQ) from the President.

My assessment – Mr. Cool meet Mr. Cruel – never trust him Sir.

#35 Jake on 02.19.09 at 3:40 pm

#24 Irene. Don’t make me laugh. Harper is passing bailouts as well. What’s the matter, don’t you find Harper sexy enough? I guess he is a little pale.
(There is an excellent article on why Canadians think Obama is sexy on MSN today)

Maybe we could convince Graham Green to run for PM in 2012. Sorry for making your heart flutter Irene, but it won’t happen. He is a damn fine actor, but probably has better things to do. We’re stuck with boring white guys for a while I am afraid….but don’t worry, in our hearts, Obama is our leader.

#36 rory on 02.19.09 at 3:42 pm

Hi all …75 billion (9 zero’s-right) divided by 5 million (approx. #)(6 zero’s) = $15,000 …I am guessing the $15K will help to subsidize mortgage payments for what – maybe 3 years …then what? …this blog and the visitors to it do not anticipate that kind of turn around …so another $75B pissed into the wind …nice? What has your country done for you today?

#37 JamaicanGirl on 02.19.09 at 3:48 pm


What is the point of constantly bashing Obama? He is only doing the job he was elected to do. He did not create this crisis. He’s got a good heart and genuinely wants to help people. In turn, people react to his energy. Why the demeaning comments?!

This is not about Obama, folks. It’s what he represents. He has smashed a once thought impregnable barrier and given hope to millions — of all stripes and creed. Especially black people, yes.

Now we don’t have to feel apologetic when we tell our children to pursue their dreams – no matter how lofty.

The redneck mentality is trying to stand firm on shifting sands. The economy is crumbling and so must this reprobate way of thinking.

This is not about Barry….

Don’t you get it?!

Harper seems to get it…


<img src=””

This blog is about the economy. So far many are unimpressed with the new president’s plan for reviving it. — Garth

#38 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.19.09 at 3:51 pm

In my very best Donald Sutherland voice ”Stop with the negative vibes Moriarity!’ Sheesh!

People need more than money to have a life. They need faith in themselves, their government, and the future. In other words ‘Hope they can believe in!’

Obama seems to have had a monumental effect on Harper. PM Harper came across as ‘real’, not the robotic, partisan, Liberal hating person we have seen the past few years. One could say he just got the Obama Bump because he scored points here and in the U.S..

Look UP and realize the people are looking at a positive thing, not focusing on all the negatives they can think of. That’s the job of the media types. May I suggest you do a check on your goals Garth? Perhaps your media days are hanging on a tad too tight to the FUD factor.

#39 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.19.09 at 3:58 pm

#33 David on 02.19.09 at 3:18 pm

A&W is an American company, and they made their way selling great Root Beer, Foot Long Chili Dogs, and Onion Rings. As one who loves Foot Long Chili Dogs, I can assure you what we have here in Canada is not the A&W Americans know and love.

President Obama would be more likely to visit a White Castle (A GREAT American burger palace) for the All-American Gut Bomb,. or a Steak & Shake (Another unique American chain not in Canada).

One things is for sure, I bet he really enjoyed the grilled Arctic Char, better known as Sex-on-A-Plate. That was one great lunch menu.

Right now he is having a Beaver Tail. LOL

#40 Sail1 on 02.19.09 at 4:01 pm

#15 Dave

its your ignorance thats foolish. The guy is getting praised like a Messiah. The last time a political leader was treated like this voluntarily, we had a guy named Adolf Hitler. There isn’t a thing Obama could do wrong according to the general public. Thats way too much power for a democracy

Lets all keep in mind, the decades of struggle African Americas had to endure in order to see a black president. I’m sure at some point, this godly vale will vanish, but until then let Americans, Canadians, and media relish in their messiah.

#41 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.19.09 at 4:01 pm

Ever watch CNN? — Garth

Seldom. Very seldom. Faux News NEVER!

Why would we when we have CBC, Global, CTV, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and the internet?

#42 CD on 02.19.09 at 4:13 pm

Obama came to Canada as a test of his team to travel outside of the US. Let’s take a quick half day trip up to Canada and make sure our team has the protocol down for travelling outside of the U.S. That’s the main reason for his trip.

#43 go green on 02.19.09 at 4:18 pm

#32 Future Expatriate on 02.19.09 at 3:07 pm Obama’s already broken more campaign pledges than Bush ever made. And that’s a really sad statement.

Chief among those was “not going to get involved in any more dumb wars.” Hmmm… 17,000 young men and women to Afghanistan and Pakistan sounds like a STUPID war to me. Maybe that’s what he meant… he was only going to get involved in STUPID wars, not dumb ones.

A pox on his clueless worshippers.

And a bigger pox on GWB & his warmongers EXpat. Barak may not be the messiah, but he’s far better than GWB by many brain cells.

#44 JO on 02.19.09 at 4:45 pm

Obama has proven to be a puppet so far. His mortgage plan is pathetic. How in the world will you effectively reduce mortgage payments for the weakest borrowers (most of whom bought way more home than they should have, and some who should never have been approved in the first place) using taxpayers’ money ? The vast majority of mortgage holders are still making their payments on time. What a disgrace. Reward the stupid and weak, on the backs of the prudent and frugal…i was expecting Obama to enjoy a honeymoon for most of 09, but the bank “plan” and mortgage “plan” are simply two bank bailouts in one and will not do a thing to help. In fact, these programs will hurt the very people it is aimed to help, and even more outrageous, it hurts the people who have been living within their means. The good thing is that he is quickly losing support from many people who voted for him. A quick scan of comments below the mortgage plan articles on popular websites has shown a vast majority (at last 8 out of 10) of US citizens expressing outrage at the socialist farce this “new” president is becoming.

By 2011, Obama will be very lucky if he has the “approval” ratings GWB had. In fact, he may well be lucky if he makes it to the end of his term. A taxpayer revolution is afoot in the US and I hope it comes here. Time for the working folks and those who have saved and lived responsibly to stand up against this debacle and farce. Anyone interested in supporting it, please visit:,, or


#45 Apocalypse Now on 02.19.09 at 4:52 pm

Garth: “US home prices (which foreshadow ours), have dropped on average by 25% in the current meltdown. In some markets, the collapse is 50% to 80%, but the median hit is a quarter of value. This will erode further by about 15% before a bottom is reached – hopefully in a year or so.”

Garth, what makes you so optimistic that the bottom will be reached in a year. If 600K workers per month are losing their jobs, how can we realistically expect that they will all be employed in a year and start buying homes again? Even a 50% drop from the 2006 highs leaves prices well above the 90’s average and with at least 10%+ unemployment where will the buyers come from? 12 months for the bottom is way too unrealistic and you yourself have concluded that Mr. O’s stimulus is not going to do anything to stem the tide; therefore a more realistic timeframe for the bottom will be 2011-2012 at the earliest in the US and 2013-2014 in Canada. There’s a ways to go yet folks and who know what else will get up and bite the world – aliens???

#46 Got A Watch on 02.19.09 at 4:58 pm

Some here have raised the issue of just how is it that precious metals are performing pretty well right now in a time of deflation, which is counter-intuitive to most conventional economic theories.

I think Mish of Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis has a pretty good explanation of why that is, as set forth in his Blog post of Feb 12 entitled You Can’t Fool Gold.

Now Mish is a hard core deflationist, but I think he covers all the salient points there. Those of you who were disputing my claims in the last thread should read it.

If you don’t want to read it, here is his conclusion – “Gold is making new all time highs in nearly every currency except the Yen and the US dollar. Moreover, and as shown above, gold has recently been moving in tandem with a falling Euro and rising dollar. This is not a sign of hyperinflation or indeed any kind of inflation. This is a sign of extreme credit stress, in nearly every country in the world.”

Now that is from Feb 12, but not a lot has changed since then.

The goldbugs who bought gold as an inflation hedge should be thankful for this credit crisis, at least they backed into the right trade, even if for the wrong reasons.

Mish’s post of today, Fiat World Mathematical Model is also very good. A strong case for why deflation is likely to continue for a good while yet. He sees inflation eventually returning, but not soon. Read that post if you are at all interested in inf/de flation.

#47 Future Expatriate on 02.19.09 at 5:09 pm

#43… that’s what you think. Obama IS George Bush, only with half a brain and a ton more charisma and in a slightly different color.

And that makes him infinitely more dangerous.

#48 Got A Watch on 02.19.09 at 5:12 pm

Obama has already spent most of his initial credibility, and like virginity, once it’s gone, it’s gone. He went wrong in picking his Cabinet, it is packed full of fools (Larry Summers) and corrupt fools (Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner etc.), and proves he is just an ideological prisoner of the failed establishment – Wall St and Washington lobbies. The sidelining and ignoring of Paul Volcker just proves my point. The mad are in charge of the asylum, and little has really changed except some tasteful re-arrangement of the deck chairs.

Let me be clear, I would have voted for Obama, if I lived in the US and was eligible to vote there. I am a guy who has always voted Conservative in Canada, both Federally and Provincially (and usually been disappointed – Mulroney,Harper, or John Tory, anyone, to name but a few?)

In fact I have the distinction of living in a Federal Riding in Ontario that has voted in nothing but a Conservative MP since before 1867. What that gets you is – being totally ignored by all Parties. Everyone knows how the riding will vote and so no one pays any attention to this area. I doubt we will get more than a pittance from the recently announced “Infrastructure” Plans coming out of Ottawa. We are probably one of the most ignored districts in Canada on every issue.

So I wish Obama well, but based on his performance so far, and I don’t mean how well he gives a speech, he is speeding down the highway to failure. His various “Bailout” Plans are simply not going to correct the problems we have now.

He is trapped and surrounded by clueless Keynesians and Friedmanites, the very type of thinking that has got us into this mess. I don’t know if he actually thinks those policies will work, or has no better alternatives, or just trusts his advisers, but the effect will be the same in the end – this crisis will go on for years.

It takes incompetent Government to turn a recession into a Depression, and that factor is huge right now.

#49 ralph on 02.19.09 at 5:13 pm

I think Dean9 of post #29 is still in denial. And those promoting gold and silver on these blogs actually work undercover for Harold Seigel.

#50 More Jets in El Toro ! on 02.19.09 at 5:13 pm

Nor should any ‘homeowners’ be assisted. No matter what you overpay into, it’s your own choice and your own damn fault when resell prices tank. ‘Caveat Emptor’

Don’t get me started on the illegitimate coercion on single people to pay ‘school tax’, either.

#51 RimmyJ on 02.19.09 at 5:17 pm

To HJD(#4):You say”We in Canada will benefit if he (Obama ) manages to succeed”. Rest assured, one man cannot solve this present economic problem. If anything, Obama will just make it worse. Heck, he just announced a program to bail out millions of Americans who never should have been given a mortgage in the first place. Of course, most people want to blame the lenders for this fiasco when, in fact , it was President Jimmy Carter who enacted the COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT ACT. Essentially, this act forced lending institution to loan money to people who had no business getting a mortgage. And let’s not forget Bill Clinton and people like Andrew Cuomo who fought to make it even easier for these people to get mortgages under this same legislation with the help of FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC.

As I have said before, any time governments try to fix a problem, especially a problem they helped create, the problem inevitably gets worse. Mr. Obama will be no different. By the end of his first term he is going to look like he has no clue about how the real economy works.

Of course, we have so many people today who depend on government to solve all their problems. But what can you expect when our school system teaches our students all about their rights but never talks about responsibilities. “Don’t worry, the government will take care of you when you act irresponsibly”.

#52 Rhino on 02.19.09 at 5:24 pm

Yeah… I know… CNN is as much an editorial as a news agency, but it does have its merits. And, LOTS of Yanks pay a lot of attention to it.

Interesting to note, that while the CBC has had a full day of Obamamania, CNN seems to have given the Pres’ visit about 15 minutes of airtime just after the press conference. I think I will see what NBC/CBS reports.

CNN spent more time asking if the Pres should be putting more effort into Mexico, and showed gun battles between Mexican cops and drug lords – right after “smiling” comments about the visit.

Let’s put some reality back. The system will not allow too much focus on Canada. Nice to have a good relationship, but a run-around day is hardly the momentous event some Canucks believe.

The States have some serious issues to deal with. This visit may mean “we do not have to worry about Canada so let’s focus on some REAL problems”. As long as we stay in Afghanistan, and keep sending “clean” oil south… and not make waves…

#53 Carole AB on 02.19.09 at 5:27 pm

Obama will be good for the environment…he seems genuinely concerned and able to affect change in this area. The economy…I think it is too late for anyone to make any difference at this point.

On another note: banks in Ireland are now renting repossessed homes back to original owners since there is absolutely no one to buy them.

#54 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.19.09 at 5:33 pm

Hmmmmmm. Tomorrow marks President Obama’s First Month in office. In that time he has focused more issues, presented more solutions, and gotten more accomplished than his predecessor (Who’s name will no longer be mentioned) did in 96 times as long in office.

Ironically, as Bonnie mentions, our very own PM has re-written his entire environmental policy, albeit he claims he could have done nothing unless the U.S. did something.

Well, let’s give this historical stew a little more time on simmer and we shall see what is really being served.

Now, I sit and wait to hear Ignatieff’s press conference on CPAC (APPLAUSE for their excellent and uninterrupted coverage all day). Then we shall have, as Paul Harvey would say ‘The rest of the story!’

Regardless, President Obama and our GG certainly had a meaningful meeting and their smiles portrayed a level of competence, knowledge, and class rarely seen.

The President stopped at the By-Ward market and surprised a lot of people as he shook hands and bought Canadian cookies to take back to his daughters. Finally a sentient human being is President. A man normal people trust.

#55 ralph on 02.19.09 at 5:33 pm

To compare Obama to why he is/was adored the same as Hitler is a stretch. But that brings to mind another incident in history that I find bizarre.

After Stalin died and laid in state, huge crowds causing near riots wanted to see their Uncle Joe (as he was affectionately called by F.D.Roosevelt) in his coffin. Maybe it was to make sure he really was dead.

#56 David Bakody on 02.19.09 at 5:43 pm

Obama gonzo from Canada ….. now what? have anyone else noticed that Jim Prentice is standing sideways to the camera …. it hides weight you know. but I digress, what will Harper do now for his next trick? attack the economy? Bigger news in the US is

The Dow Jones industrial average slumped to a more than 6-year low Thursday, as fears of a prolonged recession sent stock investors heading for the exits.

#57 Jelly on 02.19.09 at 6:04 pm


Have you somehow missed how much people think Obama is going to “Save everyone”, how the awful GW is out, and finally someone “Good and Pure” is going to lead the US? You have got to be kidding if you think Garth is the only one that has noticed that Obama is given WAY to much credit for being able to change the terrible financial crisis.
Mark my words, Obama will just delay the pain, not save us from it.
Anyone who has researched economies and anything to do with the current situation knows that ONE MAN can’t do jack shit to stop everyone from paying the piper.
I do not think Garth is saying Obama does not want to help America or is not well-intentioned.
Let’s be honest no president has been able to do much to save the shit from hitting the fan, particularly such a royal mess as this one.
So no,
Pick up a book, anyone who knows history sees the bailouts will not help the economy out.

#58 bertie on 02.19.09 at 6:04 pm

Harper walked awkwardly trying to keep up with the President – my first thought was that he had lifts in his shoes to suddenly be taller.

#59 Ultraman on 02.19.09 at 6:20 pm

On the ongoing debate about deflation/inflation you might want to read the above deep analysis on the matter by one of the most credible analyst.

Short version: Inflation is not a concern whatsoever but Garth told you that right?

#60 Sam on 02.19.09 at 6:43 pm

Now this is one point where I would disagree with you.

Obama is likeable, intelligent and eloquent. I am sure many politicians must be jealous of him .. i don’t blame them as he outclassed all of them. Obama rocks!! (not matter what you say)

#61 ThumbsUp on 02.19.09 at 6:44 pm

Inside the meltdown @PBS (Feb, 17, 2009)

sorry if it had been posted.

#62 Murray on 02.19.09 at 6:49 pm

# 19
If you don’t think Obama is “the best we have had in a long time”, please provide your list of better. Bush, Brown, Harper, Clinton, Dion, Turner?

#63 Barb the proofreader on 02.19.09 at 6:49 pm

With things so screwed up by the powerful influence-meddling by Wall Street & Bank dragons, (whom, our common sense tells us, NEVER should have been trusted in the first place) ….Americans and everyone else can AT LEAST ENDURE this fiasco in a “LESS-PANICKED” state-of-mind just as long as there’s a trusted leader like Obama at the helm.
If Obama can, in his own way keep people calm during the inevitable, at least we got that goin’ for us.
It doesn’t sound like much, but our lifetimes are precious, and easing through long, tough moments in history is favourable to living through dramatic uproar and unnecessary rioting.
You’ve chosen to inform us and supply the gear. Obama badge is crowd control.

#64 Kash is King on 02.19.09 at 6:50 pm

#13 Got a Watch: =====> “I am laughing at Harper having to go along with Obama’s “Environmental Plan”. Ha ha ha.”


Here’s something rich…. a struggling anti-pollution/energy recovery company ignored by the Conservatives, and based in John Baird’s riding no less.

Thermal Energy: Supplying Superior Award-Winning Energy Recovery, Conservation, Bioenergy and Emission Reduction Solutions

I suppose it would be a different story if they were based in Quebec?

#65 nonplused on 02.19.09 at 6:54 pm

“Ever watch CNN?” – Ack! Don’t advise people to do that! Better to be uniformed than misinformed.

#16 Motiv8me

“O’Bailout”, ha ha, I like it. But he’s only easing the suffering of the banksters. Everyone else is going to end up paying more taxes working fewer jobs an living in an economy in ruins.

#29 Dean9

Sorry I ran out of meds…

#31 TS

And if CMHC is forecasting a reduction, yikes! They only see sunny skies so the real numbers are bound to be dreadful.

#42 CD

“Obama came to Canada as a test of his team to travel outside of the US.”

I don’t agree. Whenever a new emperor is appointed he makes a tour of the empire in order of each territory’s importance to the empire. Since we are their largest trading partner and supply them with more energy than anyone else, we always get the first visit. It’s also a good opportunity for briefing the PM on what his policy objectives will be for the next 4 years.


This is funny

#66 dd on 02.19.09 at 7:01 pm

“The sum involved – $75 billion – is but a tinkle in the ocean of debt and despair. The plan does not to help most of the families coping”

75 billion when all others monies paid out are over a trillion? This mortgage mess will add at least another trillion in debt to the US mastercard.

#67 Toronto C9 Renter on 02.19.09 at 7:13 pm

Interesting (and sobering!) piece posted on Roubini’s site today, interpreting recent movements in gold. Sorry can’t link to it but here are a couple of soundbites…

Gold Climbs As Economic Catastrophe Looms by John Browne Feb 19

“…with The latest spending… nearly $5 trillion has been committed … to the financial industry. Rational observers cannot be faulted for concluding.. that the government is merely throwing money at the problem.

…The feeling that the government has no idea how to proceed has created panic. In response, pragmatic investors are seeking the ultimate store of wealth. Thus, whether the Federal government’s interventions will succeed or fail will be anticipated by the price of gold. Right now, the market is screaming failure.

…Congressional rescue packages rarely work. Nevertheless, Congress is turning up the heat with previously unimaginable increases of government debt to fund stimulus and rescue packages.

While Congress claims that the seriously over-leveraged economy is in desperate need of restructuring, it appears blind to the fact that deleveraging will encourage such restructuring. Instead, Congressional leaders actively seek to increase leverage and add debt. They warn of fire, while pouring petrol on the flames.

…The seriousness of the situation is magnified by the rapidly increasing scale of the problem. Just today, the release of the latest minutes of the Federal Reserve confirmed that even that bastion of eternal optimism is sobering. The American economy, which shrank by 3.8 percent in the last quarter of 2008, is forecast to decline by some 5.5 percent in the first quarter of this year.

With bad news only getting worse, investment markets are turning into quagmires. The Dow is testing new lows, commodities show few signs of life. In such times, the price of gold should fall along with the prices of other assets and commodities. But, the reverse has occurred. … the price of physical gold is now some $20 to $40 per ounce above spot. This would indicate that investors are now so nervous that they are insisting on taking physical delivery.

Make no mistake, the economy will not turn around soon. When the recovery fails to materialize, look for governments …. to send another massive wave of liquidity downriver. When it does, the value of nearly everything, except for gold , will diminish. Don’t be intimidated by the recent spike in gold. Buy now while you still can. ..”

#68 Da HK Kid on 02.19.09 at 7:18 pm

Just watched the speech, did Obama almost call Ottawa, Iowa? Check it out!

Anyhow yes, over hyped president, charismatic speaker, can remember his lines as well.

The US people need this type of leadership right now as they squandered all their lunch money rolling dice in the hallway now in typical panic, not taking any responsibility, looking for a higher being to bail them out. “We’re really sorry (with fingers crossed) can we have some more lunch money”. And they”re getting it at a cost to those who spent lunch money wisely who wont be able to eat or place dice in the future.

Obama who stand for hope shows us that his team, even though inherited a mitt full of pain, have nothing to do but overstimulate the economy as most Americans cannot fathom letting the real markets work it out or deal with the denial competently.

The other side weighed is likely human safety as if you let market work, those who rolled dice, if not assisted would revolt in anger while the responsible ones will never fight back, they are too fair, understanding and conservative.

The balancing act has been going on for years and continues today without a solution and the pain of not standing up to your own mistakes will put the US in pain for a decade.

Unfortunately, Canada will follow them most certainly more than any other country on the planet. When Canada wants to open talks at trading resources to China, they should give me a call.

#69 Judy on 02.19.09 at 7:38 pm

Don’t like Obama? Feel free to watch FOX news…you know the fair and balanced ones….I think their scales are out of whack….they are heavily weighted to the right.

#70 go green on 02.19.09 at 7:40 pm

#39 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.19.09 at 3:58 pm

Bill – based on your posts lately I think it’s about time you returned to your good old USA. While I admire Obama & think he’s 100X better than ratshit GWB & our dear leader whose not, I’ve an open mind and can be objective. at least.

#71 nearmilton on 02.19.09 at 7:52 pm

On March 2008 rumors swirl around a blue chip Wall Street bank, Bear Stearns. It’s got huge exposure on subprime mortgages and other toxic assets.

#72 HalifaxFamily on 02.19.09 at 8:13 pm

We are potentially growing our family and will need to buy a car – we’ve been driving the same tiny car for the last 11 years. What would you suggest we do? We will buy our next vehicle with cash – no lease, no loan, no financing. I’ve seen stories that we should wait until the year turns over to buy a vehicle – dealers and automakers are going to liquidate their older models…. would that be a fair say?

#73 Fred on 02.19.09 at 8:19 pm

I saw the pictured couple interview during CBC’s coverage. Indeed they are from Chicago and live in Ottawa. So they may well be Canadian-American’s. The admiration of Obama is in part to the dismal performance of Bush. It’s nice to see a world leader who seems to be in touch with us ‘regular folk’. I was amazed to see Harper talk about how the G8 and G20 countries knew that the integrated economies required integrated fiscal stimulus to get it moving while at the very time he was preaching to Canadians and the Press here that we were ‘different’. I don’t think that the Liberals, NDP, or Bloc have much of a plan to turn the ship around, even so I wish we could have someone like Obama as our PM (and that’s not Harper). A concerted effort from both capitals on ‘saving for a rainy day’, and a re-evaluation of each of our ‘wants and needs’ lists would go a long way. Simpler lives with security is where we will end up the sooner politicians tell us this and we understand the value of that security the better.

#74 Michael on 02.19.09 at 8:39 pm

Here is interesting moral question. I saw a lot of people mentioned that this bailout helps irresponsible people at honest taxpayers cost (who may have mortgage at hands that they pay). Let’s take one step forward. I wonder if 3-4 millions of mortgages at risk of default will be cut to market and get refinanced at chipper price and then in let’s say 10 years RE prices will go up and current owners under water will sell their paid for home for 100K+ profit over today’s “to market” price. That would look like huge gift from taxpayers that worth new BMW or high end Lexus. All of his while honest people will still be paying their mortgages for next 10 years. Could it be?

#75 Sun Yatsen suit on 02.19.09 at 8:42 pm

Well if president Nixon can be immortalized in the arts as “Nixon in China,” grand opera and “Frost Nixon,” the stage play, <> – then why can’t Obama be a messiah..?

#76 Zoronqueen on 02.19.09 at 8:46 pm

Does anyone know of a good rent vs sell calculator?? Or can give some advise about renting vs. selling??

We have a house that had 3 offers so far but none has panned out. ie. preaproved but financing did not go through.
Listing price –299K
First offer–285K
Second offer 295K
latest offer 273K

We have countered offered at 295K, but also we have renters who want to move in on March 1 willing to pay 1550per month, but need to know by Friday. Should we sell at a lower price or rent it out for a year??

#77 David on 02.19.09 at 9:03 pm

I realize your column was about the economy. Why was it necessary to start the column with an uncalled for remark about Obama as “God”.

Also the picture is questionable about black people. There are many people who are excited about Mr Obama and they are not all black. I do not believe one came comment until you walked a mile in their shoes.

What I see is your comments were written for sensationalism. To get a rise out of people. If we had youthful, intelligent individuals as Mr Obama we would find some way to destroy them.

We cannot be too proud of our system. The members of the Senate and the HoC are not reflective of our society.

I felt your opening comment was a very cheap shot !! Regardless what is said on CNN.

Mr Harper and Obama were excellent on the public stage today and both Nations should be proud. They came across as very intelligent and confident leaders. They were an example for the world.

The proof is in jobs. Not on TV. — Garth

#78 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 02.19.09 at 9:12 pm

…More original “outside the box” thinking…

The same dumb choices are being made by Bush / Obama’s Financial Wall Street Puppets.

…Expect to see a “Tax Revolt” ideology begin to swell by millions of U.S. citizens….Washington D.C. may never be the same safe metropolis as it once was.

The Vancouver Drug Cartel continues to clean it’s own house due to the expectation of new heavyweight U.S. partners from Washington D.C.

…Apparently the time is ripe because of the now favourable currency exchange and BC Bud quality.

Barrack Obama was overheard today in Ottawa whispering to his first lady…Darlin, I think North Vancouver Citizen Jr. may know something when he says, Vancouver Proper will become the next Financial/Trade/Leisure capital of North Amerca.

#79 ThumbsUp on 02.19.09 at 9:17 pm

The unsold inventory & new start
unsold inventory TOO HIGHT.

#80 Paul Fist In Your Face on 02.19.09 at 9:20 pm

#62, Murray:

John Howard…….you forgot John Howard.

#81 species_X on 02.19.09 at 9:26 pm

No one man can solve the problem of a world economy. I state the obvious when I say it’s a global problem and no amount of devotion that the Obama worshippers heap upon ‘the great leader’ will help him solve this problem. It will take all of the world leaders’ collective teeny tiny little minds to get this little economic engine going again. BTW. I’ve seen this type of blind devotion before in population towards a leader. It’s in a place called North Korea.

#82 Another Albertan on 02.19.09 at 9:27 pm

Instead of the glass half-full/half-empty dichotomy, I would suggest the following alternatives:

“You have entirely too much glass for the amount of liquid” (i.e. – resize your container).


“What is the value of liquid in the glass?” (clean drinking water would be generally consider to have more utility than salt water)

Then again, I am pragmatic and a realist. Everyone else’s mileage may vary.

#83 Cendrine on 02.19.09 at 9:41 pm

#55 Ultraman thanks for that link!

#84 My_view on 02.19.09 at 9:50 pm

BO is savvy, let’s face it. Soon that will wear thin. If there’s one thing the President has not learned or really can’t do anything about is why in the hell is he giving trillions away to the same greedy knuckle heads that got the states/world into this jam. Its definitely history and its going to be his story.

#85 GrandePrairiegirl on 02.19.09 at 10:16 pm

#38 Bill-Muskoka
‘Stop with the negative vibes Moriarity’.
OMG. One of my all time favorites Kelly’s Heroes.
With Clint Eastwood,Donald Sutherland,Carol O’Connor,Telly Savales,Gavin McLeod & Don Rickles.

Everyone should watch that one.

Obama must be god. One news article described him as
‘gliding’ down the stairs on disembarking the plane.

#86 Bob Bagina on 02.19.09 at 10:53 pm

#72 Halifax – I recommend an older Volvo. We a have a mid-80s wagon that keep going, and going, and going.

#76 Zoronqueen – NY times has a good one, though it never seems like a good time for me to buy.

As for Obama the Messiah, I take the comparisons as metaphor, and the comments as tongue in cheek. Mostly if you’re not looking to get out there and make a difference yourself you’ll end up with pie-in-the-sky wrapped in aristocratic benevolence.

I loath Harper but it’s interesting that both he and Obama grew from populist movements, though from different ideological underpinnings (Substitute Joe the Plummer for Bill the Baptist).

#87 Sam on 02.19.09 at 10:53 pm

>>(especially black Canadians) are into Obama.<<

correct line should be :
especially black, and brown and yellow and yes… in the end the whites too!

#88 Sam on 02.19.09 at 10:59 pm


>>why an uncalled for remark about Obama as “God”.<<

I fully agreee with you.

#89 rory on 02.19.09 at 11:02 pm

#76 Zoronqueen

Take your money and run as in that is what this blog is all about – crashing RE.

Take 1550 * 12= 18600 * 16 (accepted # for investors/landlords) = $297,000 …this # looks good as house is worth about this much in your opinion. Now subtract other costs like prop tax, mtce, etc so let us say $300/mo …so rent is actually only 1250 * 12 * 16 = $240,000 …this number is less than your house sale price …this # says sell.

Lastly, the calc you used earlier (ny times or ???) also implied for you to sell if I am not mistaken … maybe others could chime in if I am off base …this reply is not a recommendation just talk from a novice.

#90 Jan on 02.19.09 at 11:32 pm


They were interviewed on CBC – they’re from Chicago.
Never wise to assume anything.

#91 [email protected] on 02.19.09 at 11:40 pm

Shiller: Obama Housing Plan Too Small But Good Start;_ylt=ApYz6O61U1yh6D2t1pQLK4Vl7ot4?tickers=^gspc,^dji,hd,kbh,tol,ctx

#92 Accremonium on 02.20.09 at 12:07 am

15 Dave on 02.19.09 at 1:48 pm

I think that you are incorrect in your analysis of Mr. Obama. He is not anything like the mentality of the little corporal, but if you were to cite the similarities to JFK then you would be on more solid ground. Time to get a grip on the truth of what history holds for those who make rational assessments.

#93 Accremonium on 02.20.09 at 12:12 am

#28 ohyeahrightsorry on 02.19.09 at 2:29 pm

It maybe true that this is Obamamania, but sooner later he will make a mistake as all politicians do, and that will be called an Obamanation! The job that he has before him is probably the greatest challenge in the history of the Free World.

#94 TAK on 02.20.09 at 12:19 am


Obama is the messenger of HOPE.

You are the messenger of DOOM.

no offense intended.

#95 Accremonium on 02.20.09 at 12:20 am

“All this performance does is delay the day of reckoning.”
Now just what are the specifics that are required to accomplish this “Reckoning”? Why beat around the bush implying and hinting……spell it out man………stand up and declare the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you DAMN IT!

#96 JoJo on 02.20.09 at 12:26 am

Those videos are for Garth and Defflationary company!
The Worst Great Hyper-Inflatory depresion ever in USA and Canada.Watch the Celente,Shiff,Rothchild,Rogers.

Any comments from above listed thrue predictions/facts?

#97 JoJo on 02.20.09 at 12:36 am

#98 Dan in Victoria on 02.20.09 at 12:40 am

#76 Zoronqueen,Rent to buy calculator http://www.ic.gc./eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca01821.html Nice to see Obama in Canada,the inlaws figure hes going to save everybody,I think hes going to have an impossible job unless he hits the reset button.Dan

#99 JoJo on 02.20.09 at 1:06 am

Did you know that Canada was hit hard during the Great Depression between 1929 and 1939 and it was the worst economic collapsse in the world
(ranked top 1) .
The gross national product dropped 40% (compared to 37% in the US). Unemployment reached 27% (compared to 24% in the US),at the depth of the Depression in 1933.
It’s comming simmilar scenario but from opposite side
Hyper-Inflatory Depression which is worst than Defflatory Depression.

#100 Ron S on 02.20.09 at 1:08 am

Dear xxxxx,
We are in the midst of an amazing moment in real estate history. Hundreds of people are realizing that now is the time to invest in real estate! There are three things that you must to know:
1. Interest rates are at a historic low!
2. Rental rates are up 5%! This can mean a positive cash flow on a rental property for an investor!
3. Our homes are selling well below market value!

Prices have dropped an amazing 11.5% to 12.9% since January 2008 in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and we are offering a minimum of 25% off on ALL of our homes. In many cases prices have been reduced by over $100,000. This is incredible pricing.

Both the BCREA Chief Economist and Fraser Valley Real Estate Board President are reporting that now is the time to buy and that the buyers’ market we have been experiencing is nearing an end. The information above is detailed in a survey released by the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA). Do you need proof beyond 300 deals in just 3 weeks?

Click on the links below to download this week’s independently published articles from the Vancouver Sun and Real Estate Weekly:
“Cost of home-buying takes a tumble” – Vancouver Sun, Feb 17, 2009“Buyers’ market window may be closing” – Real Estate Weekly, Feb 20, 2009 We have approximately 60 fantastic opportunities remaining! The time is now. Call us today for more information: 1-800-301-1010!

Sincerely yours,

#101 Dave on 02.20.09 at 2:04 am

On the ongoing debate about deflation/inflation you might want to read the above deep analysis on the matter by one of the most credible analyst.

Short version: Inflation is not a concern whatsoever but Garth told you that right?

from what I understand from that link (there was a lot of info by the way) it continuosly tries to prove that we’re in a deflation rather than inflation- I think everyone gets that!!!! The concern is: what happens when banks start lending again? they go in those links stating “if the banks ever lend again”- i think thats a no-brainer…they’ll lend again.

My question is: what happens when the money those banks have is lent out? isn’t that inflationary? I’m not sure if this was mentioned and I misunderstood. Anyhow, thats my sole concern even if the lending begins in a few years time

#102 Dave on 02.20.09 at 2:34 am

What is the point of constantly bashing Obama? He is only doing the job he was elected to do. He did not create this crisis. He’s got a good heart and genuinely wants to help people. In turn, people react to his energy. Why the demeaning comments?!

This is not about Obama, folks. It’s what he represents. He has smashed a once thought impregnable barrier and given hope to millions — of all stripes and creed. Especially black people, yes.

this is what is annoying. He’s got a good heart and genuinely wants to help people???????? are you serious? how do you know this? I hope with all my heart thats what he wants, but he should be treated like any other political leader because we don’t know him and his intentions. He has all the power in the world and at the same is almost worshipped. I’m sorry, thats a very scary combination.

Look, I don’t know who convinced you you weren’t good enough to “make it”. It certainly wasn’t the same people that convinced Obama. Hopefully you and anyone who supports this belief now believes in themself and can get past those personal barriers.

The people you’re accusing of bashing Obama oppose the worship he’s getting. Don’t you think its dangerous to worship a political leader? The saying is: give a person authority to see who they really are. So this guy is getting the most powerful position in the world and everyone should accept him with open arms because you say “he’s got a good heart”.

Believe me, I hope Obama is a godsend that takes care of the littlest of people. He shouldn’t get bypassed without scrutiny and questioning because he broke an ethnic barrier though.

Right now he’s a politician. In four years, I’d love if we could recognize him as the greatest politician

#103 Dave on 02.20.09 at 2:44 am

Lets all keep in mind, the decades of struggle African Americas had to endure in order to see a black president. I’m sure at some point, this godly vale will vanish, but until then let Americans, Canadians, and media relish in their messiah.

yes, you’re absolutely right. I don’t want to negate that. I’m eccstatic that that barrier is finally broken. My fears stem from the powers all political leaders inherit upon election, which is why I may sound like I oppose Obama in particular.

#104 Dave on 02.20.09 at 2:58 am

If you don’t think Obama is “the best we have had in a long time”, please provide your list of better. Bush, Brown, Harper, Clinton, Dion, Turner?

the difference is: the people listed above can be evaluated- they served a term. Can you wait for more than a month and a half before annointing Obama as the best or better than…..?

#105 Jim Tuba on 02.20.09 at 5:50 am

“A new CBC poll conducted by Ekos Research suggests Canadians are not only optimistic the economy will improve, they believe the federal government will lead the way. ”


#106 Da HK Kid on 02.20.09 at 7:00 am


Have you been living under a rock. Unless you live on the East Coast of Canada you need to sell and rent yourself.

#107 David Bakody on 02.20.09 at 7:32 am

#76 Zoronqueen on 02.19.09 at 8:46 pm

Your nickle shoot! only you know all the facts, no one can make this decision for you …. If you do not need the money and this is second property and the cupboards are bare …. Rent …. if you just want to sell ….. Sell, (at present market value, not last year’s price) …. As Garth has said “Cash is King” if you think you are going to sell High and buy Low and luck is on your side …. I know of a cool cat with a fancy barrow for a free trip over Niagara Falls just to test your luck.

Last year I suggested to a friend that she rent (no good offers on a almost new home ) she rented in a flash and plan to continue until the market turns …. she removed a ton of stress and is now thinking of investments …… your nickle shoot!

#108 sam on 02.20.09 at 7:36 am

Obama is in my opinion is a wolf in sheeps clothing. I could be Obama. How hard is it to come up with plans that do nothing but print money? I would of done a 1.5 trillion dollar bail out to save or create 8-9 million jobs. You see it’s so easy to do. BTW I hate Bush and all his right wing nuts and I was hoping Obama would win. The fact is Obama is just more of the same with NO CHANGE. Look at Obama send more troops to afghanistan. It’s just more of the same but people IMO are stupid clueless puppets. It’s going to take a year or two for them to wake up. It only took me a couple of weeks to see the wolf.

#109 Got A Watch on 02.20.09 at 8:34 am

#101 Dave – Mish is an Austrian economist in the mold of Von Mises and Murray Rothbard. That is his philosophical base, but unlike most “economists”, he actually trades the markets and understands investing very well.

He has been calling almost every twist of this crisis correctly years in advance on his Blog. During that time (I have been reading him since 2005) many, many Bullish market pumpers and inflationista’s have attempted to refute his arguments and disprove his theories, and they (not Mish) have been proved wrong consistently.

In the past there, the inf/de flation debate has reached bar room brawl intensity. I think Mish is just tired of people denying what he is saying, and then having subsequent events prove he was right.

So his is adamant about his conclusions, to the chagrin of the many who tried to say he was wrong.

You may disagree with his conclusions or philosophy, but his eerily accurate track record so far tells me that he is most likely right on, and I would not bet against him.

I go with the forecasters who have got me this far with the correct calls. That list includes Mish, Ian Gordon, Meredith Whitney, Marc Faber, Bob Hoye, Karl Denninger, Bill Cara, Gerard Celente, Robert McHugh to name 10 that come to mind.

#110 JamesT on 02.20.09 at 8:55 am

“Look at Obama send more troops to afghanistan.”

Many people on this board seem to be clueless to the fact that Obama’s platform during the election was always to send *more* troops to Afghanistan.

At least get some facts before spouting off rhetoric.

#111 J.B. on 02.20.09 at 8:55 am

Every time I see Barrack Obama I think of the story of the emperor and his new clothes. The public’s continual fawning over him belies the fact that there is no substance to him. He is in way over his head.

#112 Got A Watch on 02.20.09 at 8:56 am

#76 Zoronqueen – You have much to decide.

If deflation is going to stick around for a while, then the price of real estate will be falling. So from that viewpoint, it is best to sell the house now and invest the money (in something safe like Canada Savings Bonds or other government guaranteed paper) . Before the price falls further. Cash is king in deflation, as the value of almost all “assets” falls. If you wait, you can buy more house for far less money when the market bottoms out, probably in about 4-5 years.

Your prospective tenant may seem solid now, but unless they work for the Federal Government, their employment may be in doubt in the future, and thus their ability to continue to pay the rent. Also, in deflation, rents will fall, so they will be likely asking for a rent reduction next year.

As to the $1,550/mo rent, you can compare that to what a monthly payment of $1,550 for principal, interest and taxes on a mortgage would buy you in your area. Call some mortgage brokers and get some interest rates and mortgage details. Once you have the rate, subtract what you figure the municipal taxes would be on the type of house you would be looking at buying in the area you want to be in, and then you will see what that amount of monthly payment will buy you.

If it was me, I would sell the place for $273K right now, and rent. If you really love that house, you can probably buy it back in the future for much less than that.

I used to be a real estate broker, but I would not, in general, trust anything they tell you these days. They will tell you “It’s a great time to buy!” even as prices are falling. One of the many reasons I exited that business many years ago. I made money at it, but I always felt I was over-charging customers at 6% commission, and the whole industry has an unsavory snake-oil pitchman feel to it.

#113 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 8:57 am

Here is a rather unique principle that is wise ‘Innocent until proven guilty.’

It goes right along with the typical mindless stereotyping people have lazily come to use based on a few general factors, rather than looking at the details and the person.

If, and when, President Obama earns disrespect he will get it appropriate to the act. At this point in time too many are looking to hinder his efforts by seeing whatever pet peeve they can think of and projecting the sins of other politicians on him. It is called Scapegoating.

Try to look at reality instead of seeing a negative look for the positive. Life is much better that way.

It does take one critical item from each of us…Personal honesty. That means we really ask ourselves what motivates our feelings? Is it fear, racism, partisanship, or merely ignorance? Honesty begins inside yourself, then with God, and then with others. When you have achieved internal honesty you have achieved true freedom because no one can take it from you, except you.

#114 Lee MacFarlane on 02.20.09 at 9:11 am

Garth, can you explain a few things?

1.What does it actually mean when you say Canada ‘contracted’?
2. I was watching cnn and they said that 68% of Americans own a home. If 30% are in negative equity, is that not then about 63 million people?

Thanks Lee.

(1) GDP figures form Stats Can. (2) There are just over 50 million American homes with mortgages. Right now 27% are in negative euquity. — Garth

#115 Mike B formerly just Mike on 02.20.09 at 9:12 am

Another opinion of the Obama Housing bailout plan;_ylt=ArpjI5aDzVjnK09Pimztjpu7YWsA?tickers=%5Egspc,%5Edji,hd,kbh,tol,ctx

#116 Mike B formerly just Mike on 02.20.09 at 9:22 am

“We really don’t know how effective they will be” says Professor Schiller when asked about the stimulus packages around the world. That’s unsettling. The funny thing is that the private sector got us into this mess and the government is somehow of the belief that the government can get us out of this. My opinion… let the market run its course and stop trying to play God and fudge your balance sheet digging your country into ever greater pits of debt. What got the US and world out the depression was WWII which is not something anyone wants as a solution.

#117 TUT on 02.20.09 at 9:23 am

Even as a kid I always wondered: Who’s running the show while the “clowns” entertain the public?
May be the “owners”?

#118 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 9:26 am

#85 GrandePrairiegirl on 02.19.09 at 10:16 pm

Mine too! As to President Obama ‘gliding down the stairs’, well, that is called coordination, unlike President Gerald Ford, who had the Chevy Chase stumble gene. LOL

President Obama is also younger than other Presidents, and in good shape. Basketball will do that for you, it keeps one’s body flexible and ready for movement in any direction.

The one I loved yesterday was him offering to pay for the Maple Leaf cookies with a Twenty, the store owner refusing to accept the money, and then he bent over and slid it under the front of the counter, leaving it anyway. That is a man of integrity. You can bet that Twenty will be framed, not spent. ;-)

Back to ‘Kelly’s Heros’, now all he needs is to find an enemy willing to aim and fire his Panzer cannon at the doors of Wall Street. LOL

#119 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 9:36 am

#84 My_view on 02.19.09 at 9:50 pm

Apparently you do not see that the CEO’s have had their salaries capped (long overdue thanks to no regulation from the Rethuglicans), and that the money is being monitored to protect the workers, small businesses, and real people who depend on that income. Likewise, they are the ones who fuel the economy, pay their mortgages and credit cards. Remember them?

That is WHY the money has been spent, not to fatten the Fat Cats. It’s the People who will benefit, individuals, and not their corrupt unions. Everyone has a stake in this and everyone will need to do their part.

In the end, the People will own the corporate stocks as taxpayers. Like it or not the Free-Market, unregulated Error of Greed is OVER. If the failed companies need to be nationalized by the taxpayers, then it is for the people’s benefit. the Greed Mongers had their chance and screwed it up, along with everyone else’s future.

I note, with great joy, the rounding up of the fraudsters. They should be very thankful I am not the Judge, because they would learn what Hard Labour is on a Chain Gang and every penny of their illicit assets would be taken back to be given to their victims. No fancy Club Fed for these arseholes, just a pick, shovel, and sledgehammer. No TV, niceties, they had their day enjoying all those luxuries.

#120 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 9:40 am

#78 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 02.19.09 at 9:12 pm

Washington D.C. may never be the same safe metropolis as it once was. ROFLMAO! Obviously, you NOTHING about Washington, DC either. It has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S..

Barrack Obama was overheard today in Ottawa whispering to his first lady…Darlin, I think North Vancouver Citizen Jr. may know something when he says, Vancouver Proper will become the next Financial/Trade/Leisure capital of North Amerca.

Michelle Obama did NOT come with President Obama to Ottawa. Stop inhaling all that junk into your system.

#121 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 9:43 am

#50 More Jets in El Toro ! on 02.19.09 at 5:13 pm

Funny, I was stationed in El Toro back during ‘Nam and heard it has been closed down?

#122 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 10:00 am

BTW, President Obama came to Canada first because that has been a long standing tradition.

He is the President, not the Emperor, of the United States of America. He must work with all of Congress, as well as maintain with the confines of the Constitution. I find it amazing how ignorant so many Canadians and the Americans who come here are about how the U.S. Government functions.

He, has to answer back to the people, unlike Harper who thinks a minority is a mandate to be ALL the government ALL the time.

No wonder people like Bush got away with so many atrocities. He had a Rethugican Majority of the Executive and Legislative Branches of government. The inmates were in charge of the asylum for almost eight long years. Then the People ROSE UP! They KNEW the only WMD’s were the Words of Mass Deception uttered by the Texass moron and his entoruage of lieing idiots.

Maybe someday Canada will find the will to do the same instead of voting against the in-crowd, they will have someone to vote FOR!

BTW, how many saw the scruffy looking so-called ‘media’ attending the press conference yesterday? These are the people who are feeding you their biased tripe. Would you actually listen to these people in person? I would not. Their so-called questions were self-serving and designed to make more FUD so the masses would continue feeding at their particular trough of dis-information.

I for one, do not need some scruffy jerk telling me what was said because I heard it for myself.

If there is a real enemy to our way of life it is the MSM. CNN’s coverage was basically non-existent, but you can bet the Talking Heads will be blatherring away like monkeys on Crack.

They should shred those transcripts, tapes, and newspapers, spread them on the Sahara Desert and help creat some serious Green Space.

#123 Marie on 02.20.09 at 10:07 am

I’d like to believe in Obama, but I just cant. I cant help thinking that when the US power elites want to really slaughter the lamb instead of just fleecing it, they manage to have a Democrat to do the dirty work.
Clinton managed to get away with stuff no Republicans would have. The guy is likeable, but that’s it. So far, he came with a slogan “Yes, we can!” but not with a vision or a realistic plan.

Getting out of this mess will come from grassroot movement, not topdown, there is too much vested interest for our “leaders” to stray from the status quo. There is a need to realize that the REAL economy is based on natural resources, labor and ingenuity. Money is just paper, its a mean to facilitate exchange. If there is no food, no clean water, no fuel, no tool, no shelter etc…to begin with, money worth squat. Overpriced properties and luxury consumption has drained away capital and resources which should have gone into building a low energy, sustainable, green economy.

#124 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 10:17 am

#120 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 9:40 am

Should have read ‘know NOTHING’

#125 Fitzgerald on 02.20.09 at 10:21 am

I bought your last book and I have been following your insight on TV and here on this website. But now I am getting the feeling you are hoping for things to fail horribly just to be proven right and sell some books. Just like the republicans in the U.S are hoping Obama fails for their own selfish interests.
What is the matter with people having a little hope in Obama. He is a refreshing change from Bush. He is trying to help the best he can. I understand you giving us the reality of over hyped housing market but I think you are now taking it too far. Fine give us the truth about the current situation but don’t stop us from hoping things will be better in future.
If we listened to all you are saying we would be in deep depression with no hope for a brighter future.
Come on Garth try a little bit of balance in between all the gloom and doom

Base hope on fact, or it’s merely wishful thinking. To believe one new leader can or will repair the current situation is folly, and should be no excuse for strenuous personal action of the kind I detailed in the book. But, hey, it’s your choice. Can you hope? Yes you can! — Garth

#126 Dave on 02.20.09 at 10:44 am

You may disagree with his conclusions or philosophy, but his eerily accurate track record so far tells me that he is most likely right on, and I would not bet against him.


i don’t disagree with him, I’m asking what has he said comes after deflation? Once banks start lending again, does he agree that we’ll start seeing inflation? there’s no mention of this from what I’ve read

#127 HalifaxFamily on 02.20.09 at 10:52 am

I walked past the hospital the other day. One of the trendy restaurants on the lower floor of an apartment building is gone. Likewise, down Spring Garden road, there are ‘for lease’ signs. The second wave, with commercial real estate, is coming. I can feel it and see it.

Across the street, they’re digging away at a new – I think – condo complex.

Where the heck is this money coming from?

#128 Increasing that 1% on 02.20.09 at 10:56 am

#76. Zoronqueen

Forget the calculations. Sell it allready.

#129 Ultraman on 02.20.09 at 10:59 am

Got A Watch,
You forgot Nouriel Roubini.

#130 kc on 02.20.09 at 11:00 am

Donkey jumps all over the coach, “are we there yet…. Are we THERE yet….” Stock brokers are running around the floor…. “are we there yet????”

Black friday is looking pretty doomy this morning.

It has to be getting bad GE is tanking and joining the race to the bottom. 5 stocks under $10.00

at present:
ALCOA INC – 6.12
BoA – 3.36
CITI – 2.03
GE – 9.23
GM – 1.18

#131 kc on 02.20.09 at 11:09 am

oops GM was to be 1.78 not 1.18

#132 Ultraman on 02.20.09 at 11:10 am

Dave said:
“My question is: what happens when the money those banks have is lent out? isn’t that inflationary?”

That scenario is so far in the future that it’s almost irrelevant today, I think. But yes lending is inflationary short term but long term it’s deflationary when it needs to be paid back with interest and right now there is a lot of debt to be paid back.

#133 PTDBD on 02.20.09 at 11:13 am

Smoke & Mirrors – who is the fairest Ponzi of them all?

What you heard mentioned yesterday was carbon-sequestration technology…the new Scam. You can blow your smoke down our holes and pay us for it. Expect it to be big.

An example – smoke from Alberta coal fired plants goes down into Montana. Cost – 2 BBBBBillion but you know it will be much more than that.

Alberta professor says “. “Even if you believe as I do that the whole thing is a hoax, nonetheless, from the point of view of doing business I don’t think Alberta can afford to walk away from that”
from Globe and Mail article “Alberta heads into ‘sharp’ recession”

– ok, let’s blow smoke down a hole
– yea, that’s the ticket!

#134 dotava on 02.20.09 at 11:31 am

#79 ThumbsUp on 02.19.09 at 9:17 pm

TNX ThumbsUp – you just answer my question that I posted last week. Math is simple roughly 35M of Canadians need around 10M of units and just from 2006 to 2008 we build/start more than half of that. People who are like my wife and myself planning to give away “unit” in city to live in cottage country (all year long and travel) are not taken in account. We are way overbuild and those people who bought property as “investment” will feel the pain since not enough people will be out there to look to buy or even rent.

#135 Dawn in Calgary on 02.20.09 at 11:39 am

Calgary’s local RE shills trying to pump the market, but if you read the comments, few believe…

Calgary housing market will rebound in 2010: CMHC

Calgary’s housing market is expected to rebound in 2010 after housing starts, MLS sales and average MLS sale prices will continue to fall this year, says a report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The Housing Market Outlook, released Thursday, forecast total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area to drop by 51.9 per cent in 2009 from the previous year to 5,500 units but to increase by 12.7 per cent in 2010 to 6,200 units.

In the Calgary region, MLS sales are expected to fall by 13.6 per cent to 20,000 units this year while the average sale price will dip by 6.2 per cent to $380,000.

However, the CMHC forecast said MLS sales will increase by 10 per cent in 2010 from the year before to 22,000 units and the average sale price will also rise by 2.6 per cent next year to $390,000.

#136 PTDBD on 02.20.09 at 11:41 am


– who exactly has been rounded up? You mean the guy living in his Penthouse and the other Texan fellow that they can’t find? Who else?

– those CEO salary caps that you keep mentioning as if they were all-encompassing. Aren’t they highly restricitve to only a few very high paid individuals who have received “exceptional” TARP funds amd then apply to more? Aren’t most of them subject to a clause which makes them exempt as long as shareholders are notified?

#137 Irene on 02.20.09 at 11:51 am

Jake your # 35 response doesn’t say much about you does it. Excuse me Jake. I did not say anything about Obama being sexy. I will say he is a man little bit of honor as for Harper being sexy, just because you find him so, doesn’t mean that we should as well. I did refer him to being devilish and if you can inturpet that as me finding him sexy your a sick puppy. Harper is about as sexy as my 93 tear old grandfather was when he passed on. I actually agreed with Garth about Obama not being god etc and that bailouts probably won’t work either. But he is a man of action whether its right or wrong and he does give people hope which is more I can say for your idol Harper. What he does most of the time make us embarressed to admit he is Canada’s PM.but seeing as your probably only 12 years old, I’ll forgive you for your blind insite on what I actually wrote on my post. As for Harper, he is passing bailouts because he has no choice and I will believe that when it happens. Has he passed any of it out as yet or is he all talk and no action hoping no one will notice? Just like when he decided to have a chat with the GG. A paid month of doing nothing. Actually Jake, he is joke and his followerrs are gullible. Advice Jake, grow up a little okay?

#138 Just a Girl on 02.20.09 at 11:55 am


IMHO … you need to make a decision, make a plan, and see it through. Deciding whether to sell or rent, should be done first. Are you ready to be a landlord and deal with the issues (and possibility instability) of tenants? Are you ready to sell (perhaps at lower expectations) and get on with your life? You have to approach your life decisions with a greater perspective, not make them based on a single offer to buy, or an offer to rent.

Otherwise you’re likely to take the first superficial gain, and let that decide what your life will be. Steer, don’t coast!

#139 Jake on 02.20.09 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for this insight Bill

“Try to look at reality instead of seeing a negative look for the positive. Life is much better that way.”

Reality is the whole picture. The positives and the negatives. I think everyone on this blog like’s Obama’s persona……I mean heck, leaving that $20 dollar bill while the cameras were rolling took a lot of integrity. I honestly can say that I do like him. He is a likable person. He is sharp and funny and has a lot of energy. His speeches are great. Like Dave, I believe that we have to be careful about letting the excitement cloud our judgement. I encourage everyone to watch Triumph of Will sometime. Even with hindsight, the right propaganda can make people feel like they are a part of something special. Let’s all look at reality, the positives and the negatives. Ps, don’t trust everything you hear or see on the TV. If you want reality you have to dig for it.

#140 Jake on 02.20.09 at 12:04 pm

Oh yeah, this is blog is about a lot more than politics.

My home in Edmonton is dropping in value at a rate of about $5k/month. It peaked around $400k in ’07. Its now at about $320K. I fully expect it to be <$200k when this beast gets turned around. Stay on the sidelines if you can help it buyers. We needed this “correction.”

#141 Jake on 02.20.09 at 12:08 pm

Also, if any of you are looking for food supply ideas. The Hereford brand corned beef is very good. It has a shelf life of 6 years. I have priced it out. ~4.50 at Sobeys and Safeway, $3.70 at Walmart, and only $2.50 at superstore (when you buy 3 or more). 1 can has 700 calories and a tonne of protein. That goes along way…….btw in a depression we will be counting calories the other way.

#142 Sail1 on 02.20.09 at 12:15 pm

125 Fitzgerald

Base hope on fact, or it’s merely wishful thinking. To believe one new leader can or will repair the current situation is folly, and should be no excuse for strenuous personal action of the kind I detailed in the book. But, hey, it’s your choice. Can you hope? Yes you can! — Garth

Garth I have asked this question before. If you were Prime minister or any other G7 leader at this point in time, what would you be doing that they are not? I think its a fair question seeing you do have a political history.

Check out There are a few hundred ideas there. — Garth

#143 David on 02.20.09 at 12:15 pm

The proof is in jobs !! Not on TV Garth

You attempt to make it sound as if no one is working trying to create jobs. We have the federal government and the Premiers and Territories all working towards this means.

If you have the secret of creating jobs I for one would like to hear what your solution is.

It is not difficult to recognize a problem. It takes some deep thought to come up with the solutions.

The recovery is a slow porcess and we all have to be patience. I went to Coles today to look for a financial book. The shelves were almost bare of anything that was worth reading.

I managed to down load the best mutual funds for 2009 for $13.00. It is the best document that seems to be out there to assist people.

Give us something that we can us rather than lots of facts and figures that mean nothing.

We should listen to a guy who spends $13 on advice for his portfolio? — Garth

#144 Greg W., Oakville on 02.20.09 at 12:22 pm

Hi #133 PTDBD on 02.20.09 at 11:13 am,

re: carbon-sequestration technology.

My undersatnding is if you pump CO2 into old, and producing oil fields, you can recover more, a larger %, of the oil that is in the field. That way we have more oil to burn!

It’s that how we got to this piont, needing to try and stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere, in the first place???

And don’t forget about the compound equation.

Just my two cents.

#145 Future Expatriate on 02.20.09 at 12:22 pm

Larry Sinclair. Coming soon to the MSM near you.

With Obama’s crack pipe. And open fly.

24/7. As soon as the opposition feels Obama has destroyed himself and the USA enough.

Unfortunately, you can’t wake up people drunk on Jim Jones Kool-aid.

Or on real estate boards’ slogans.

#146 Jake on 02.20.09 at 12:25 pm

Hukt on foniks werkt fur mee.

#147 Shawn on 02.20.09 at 12:26 pm

From another blogger

“Many people on this board seem to be clueless to the fact that Obama’s platform during the election was always to send *more* troops to Afghanistan.”

It is another “unoffical” method to stimulate the economy in continued defense contracts. The 45% troop build up, fuels the Canadian steel producers who’s largsets customers are the US military
In its hayday Algoma employed about 5000 people.

#148 My_View on 02.20.09 at 12:40 pm

Stock markets are flirting with the November lows, maybe break them soon enough. And this time gold is soaring $1000+, This does not look good……….

#149 Keith in Calgary on 02.20.09 at 12:46 pm

Glad someone mentioned commercial real estate.

Walk thru any Canadian mall and you’ll see shuttered stores everywhere……..

Here in Calgary, the Chinook, South Centre and Market Malls have about 5 – 10 empty stores each, as well as another 5 or so with GOING OUT OF BUSINESS signs in the windows……only a year ago they were full. It’s gonna be interesting……..

As for Barry Hussein Obama, he only got elected because of his skin color (as many a caucasian and asian politician has) it was not because of his policies (he doesn’t have any) nor his stunning political record (he doesn’t have one of those either). Obama is a stuffed shirt, with strings attached to his arms and legs, that lead directly to the democratic party power brokers.

“Hope” is all you’ll have left when he’s taken all of your “change”. The problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money.

#150 Got A Watch on 02.20.09 at 12:46 pm

#126 – Dave – I guess Mish didn’t cover it in that post, but people are constantly asking him when inflation is going to break out big.

IIRC he has said recently that inflation will return when the present crisis wanes, and with the way that is progressing, that could be years yet. Japan has been in and out of recession and deflation for going on 20 years now, so that could be a worst case for the time line.

He has also said that at that point, inflation will not be hyper-inflation, but much more moderate.

That discussion is purely theoretical at this point, as he points out constantly, the debt and destruction ongoing is massive, and will not be easily overcome. See Japan for proof of how difficult it is to re-inflate a burst bubble.

Individual nations may ignite hyper-inflation within their own borders (ie Zimbabwe) via extreme currency devaluation, which is a central theme of all goldbugs.

The USA might be one of the last to that party, as right now it is functioning as a safe haven currency, on the premise that other nations will be worse off than America in the future, and because it is still the global reserve currency with no real replacement in sight.

For now we are mired in deflation. When it begins to turn around, it won’t happen overnight, there will be time to adjust as the economic climate changes.

This crisis took 30 years to brew up, and will take many years to resolve. Constant negative reinforcement from always making the wrong choices, like “Easy Al Greenspan” or “Helicopter Ben” for example, but global.

#151 Got A Watch on 02.20.09 at 1:00 pm

Ultraman – Nouriel Roubini gets full credit for his macro economic predictions. But then I have to mark him down for his proposed “solutions” which seem to be designed to get him a job in the Obama Administration, not to really solve the problem.

He is better than most economists today, but not the best, IMHO. I will give him large credit for going on pumper media outlets like CNBC and being verbally abused by the clueless “media personalities” they have masquerading as “analysts”. Rick Santelli exempted from that, he is about the only voice of sanity there.

Sometimes he talks so fast that I can hardly understand what he is saying, with the accent. He seems to be an OK guy, I could see having a beer with him at the local pub and shooting the breeze about economics.

But yes, I read Roubini, though less often now than I used to. He has also said he does not trade the markets, which, to me, is a huge negative for an economist these days. He has said he has investments, but does not sell them very often, so I guess he is a more traditional long-term buy’n’hold type guy, which does not work well in this environment, unless your definition of that is maybe LEAP puts or gold.

#152 john m on 02.20.09 at 1:11 pm

“the second coming?”..i think not.Obama appears to be a nice man,a very good well seasoned politician,and obviously a very good spokesman. A good combination in the political arena sadly tho all the talk and good dollars thrown after bad do little to change the future,the problem is too big and growing every day. Investments in past failures offer little future.

#153 vtj on 02.20.09 at 1:19 pm

Given that this is a RE forum, I thought I’d submit this in the hopes that someone might be able to help.

I know of an elderly couple in their early 70’s who were duped by a family member into setting up a $180k line of credit (at prime + 2%!) secured against their paid off triplex two years ago. They currently live in this home. The person in question maxed out the LOC & dropped off the face of the earth shortly afterwards – nice. Since their payments were interest only and they are financially illiterate, they asked me for help. They were worried sick and needed stability so I helped them to get a closed 5-yr mortgage at a decent rate (5%) about 2 years ago. I had to set them up with a 25-yr amortization since they are on a fixed income which is supplemented by the two tenants. They can manage well under these terms.

I’m now concerned with their ability to get refinanced in three years time given their age. The triplex is probably worth about $500k at this time and it’s in a well-located area so I don’t see it ever falling in value to below about $300k in value (it was purchased for $240k in the mid-eighties).

Since they shouldn’t be under water and since it is a revenue property, I hope that financing shouldn’t be a problem in 3 years time, but I have no idea what to expect given their age and the economic environment.

Garth or anyone in the banking industry or anyone in a similar situation – I’d very much appreciate your insights.

Thank you

#154 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 1:34 pm

#136 PTDBD on 02.20.09 at 11:41 am

Try being part of the solution not the problem.

People work basically on emotions, not rational logic. That esepcially holds true for gamblers and investors. They, just like a Funnymentalist Religionist ‘believe’ and they put it all on the line based on what? Hope that their belief in a failed system is going to be alright?

The point I keep trying to make is give this some time. We did not get here in a month, and we shall not crawl out of this mess in a month. This is solely due to a lack of realistic regulations on the markets, banks, lenders, etc. by governmentwho are there to protect and represent the people’s best interests for the long term.

Anyone experienced in leadership knows they can only guide, they cannot force, but they must take a hard stand for the principles that have withstood the test of time. Those are, and shall remain honesty, integrity, awareness of others, and a will to not bend to the moment for the sake of comfort. The yoke of leadership is a heavy one most of the time, not merely adornments of grandeur.

Like it or not the Ten Commandments gave the world a set of values and they were tossed out about the same time this mess began.

Now, before you, or anyone else jumps to the conclusion I am a Bible Thumper, I am not. I do know from many decades of life what holds true and what is merely man’s fantasy of reality. Perhaps it should be called the ‘Logic of our insanity’?

The bottom line is ‘Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you!’

The Error of Greed got us here, and the Era of Compassionate Thought and Action will lift us up again.

All the money being expended is like Triage to prevent the injuries from getting worse for the common people. Unsurprisingly, our own House of Commons has forgotten about the Common People and have been more worried about their friends and political futures.

This is dysfunctional at best, economic genocide at worst.

The rants calling everything ‘socialism’ are as ignorant as they come. Apparently many think corporate socialism is just fine (to protect their personal investments), but doing the same for individuals as part of our society and community, well that is just not acceptable. Corporations are made up of PEOPLE! The workers have the same responsibilities as all of us.

Recall, if you are able, the comments made yesterday regarding Single Payer Health Care. PM Harper, if I recall correctly, pointed out that we already have that in our budget, and have for a long time. The U.S. National Health Care Plan is, by the very nature of American thought taught to them by the MSM for decades, parallel with the Cold War propaganda, a mindset that abhors anything even appearing as ‘socilistic’. They simply view socialism as Big Brother, not people pulling together for the common good. Yet Americans will go looney over waving the flag to go to war. No one is asking ‘Why did we get into this conflict to begin with. Just like a dysfunctional marriage, both parties are at fault 99% of the time. Bad or empirical foreign and trade policies have been the root cause of the rise in terrorism. All it took was for a few to start waving a Bible or Quaran and the frustration boiled over. Nothing like having God on your side to do the wrong thing.

The U.S. still is the only major industrialized nation in the West without a national health care plan. They have worked around the core issue for decades and come up with Medicare/Medicade, but the lobbyists, especially the A.M.A. have been pounding on Congress’ door crying about their profits.

Facts are that our system is far more cost effective than the U.S. system It is far more humane as well.

That is but one of the myriad of issues President Obama has to deal with. He has, at least, a Democratic Congress and Senate, but with the way the Senate (especially) is made up, there will still be large mountains to climb to Git ‘er done! I cannot believe, but do, some of the completely ignorant comments I hear Conress and Senate Members make. They are not even in the same century we are, much less the same millenia.

Ironically, the same opponents for human health care would be begging, nay demanding, subsidies to assist the health care of farm animals to keep food prices high.

A country that places more value on profits than human life and decency is not a civilized country. President Obama is trying to change that because he, like myself, has been in the trenches and seen first hand the results. What a wonderful decision millions must make daily ‘Life or bankruptcy?’

I would like to see even one of his ardent critics accomplish anything they BMC (Bitch, Moan, and Complain) about. They would not even know where to start. President Obama realized from experience that unless he energizes the people nothing will change. Hence, ‘Change WE Can Believe In’, that means all the people and himself as well. he, too, must blieve in what he is doing because integrity and honesty demand that of each of us.

Maybe if a few more people had the cajones to stand up against what they know is WRONG, the Power Perverts would slink away back into the darkness and under thr rock they crawled out from under?

It is that hope that keeps me coming back here to comment. That hope that if my words and thoughts motivate one other person to Stand UP and Speak OUT, to share with their friends a vision that ‘Yes We CAN!’ is real, then the world I have known will be a better place for my children, grandchildren,.a nd the rest of the people who are right now scared, looking for hope, and wanting to do the Right Thing!

As the ancient Druids knew well ‘The ability to act comes from God, i.e. the Creator, but the will to act, and the act itself remains our freewill decision.’ We, therefore, choose our own destiny. That is why we have a brain and freewill. Otherwise it would be all God’s fault or the other guy’s. I choose FREEDOM! With that comes RESPONSIBILITY.

Maybe the world will end up like in ‘WALL e’? personally it could easily do so if people do not start thinking. I hope I am NOT around to see it because it would be living in a state of despair from which no escape but death could set us free!

Gotta go.

#155 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 1:38 pm

#149 Keith in Calgary on 02.20.09 at 12:46 pm

His name is Barack Obama, not Barry. You portray a depth of ignorance in stating his name as Barry. What are you doing getting your information from Andrew Coyne’s Blog at McLeans’?

#156 RimmyJ on 02.20.09 at 1:47 pm

Mr. Obama – the voice of ” HOPE AND CHANGE”. Every time he opens his mouth it is nothing but doom and gloom and the stock market tanks again. There seems to be a problem with his ” solutions”, Bill in Muskoka. Why not just face the fact that all bubbles burst and unwind with disastrous results and government tinkering just makes the problem worse. You would be wise to read a little history on financial manias and how they always end. Obviously, a few people on this site have done just that and, like me, have actually made money in this market. So keep talking Mr. Obama.

#157 Carole AB on 02.20.09 at 1:59 pm

Economist Harry S. Dent, author of “The great Depression Ahead,” told CTV’s Canada AM that the large no of baby-boomers who are approaching retirement, and the over-stretched US banking system, means the worst is yet to come. “In mid -2009 it will recover, but it’s the calm before the storm,” he said, predicting that the hallmarks of depression — double-digit unemployment and a falling consumer price index will be seen in 2010.” “It could be 10 yrs before Canada out of woods. “The bigger problem you’re facing is a 29-30 yr.commodity cycle is also peaking here..and that means commodity prices are going to be down so that is probably the bigger challenge in Canada,” Dent said.

#158 Ultraman on 02.20.09 at 2:04 pm

Got A Watch on Roubini,

Fair comment, I appreciate your views and they are definitively better researched than what I could provide. Thanks.

#159 vtj on 02.20.09 at 2:07 pm

#157 Carole AB:

Didn’t Harry Dent also predict (with confidence I might add) that the Dow was supposed to hit 35,000. I believe he made a case for this in his book, “The Roaring 2000’s”.

#160 dodgedabullit in Alberta on 02.20.09 at 2:09 pm

Garth: I have read a lot on this blog and many others about the anger we are feeling as to the Bullshit the MSM is feeding Canadians. Will you be doing a post on ways we can fight back. I have started doing letters to the media when I see this stuff, and to individual business men. Many articles have E mail addresses at the bottom. I would like to hear what other people in all parts of Canada are doing to even the playing field. We have a powerful tool with the Internet; Obama is not the only one who can use “change we can believe in” as a rallying cry. I am sick of media stories exactly opposite of what I see on the streets of my community. I remember having a top that would spin constantly as long as one pumped the shaft, can we not as a group begin to slap the hands holding the knob until they let go?

#161 PTDBD on 02.20.09 at 2:17 pm

@Bill Muskoka…a whole lotta feathers but not enough chicken

did you answer those direct questions?

– how many have been rounded up?
– how many CEO pay packets have been capped?

#162 jaxx on 02.20.09 at 3:01 pm


I think you misunderstand why Obama is god-like to the masses.

It is not his “fiscal stimulus plans” or anything concrete like that. Yes, people are waiting with baited breath for him to “fix the economy”, but this type of anticipation would likely happen with any new President with new ideas and slightly different plans than the old one. Yes, people are currently expecting too much from this new President.

However, the Obama-mania we see at rallies, in the media, etc. is based on a different phenomenon based around the following characteristics and history of Obama: grassroots-based, worldly, seemingly-honest, intelligence–and being black instead of white initially did help a lot too, of course. Being a good orator is not what counts here, although it helps when you want people to hear what you have to say. All this in a POLITICIAN: what are the chances??!

In the last few decades Americans (and other nationalities) have all become used to one or more of the following in their politicians: lying, backroom-dealing, stupidity, elistism.

Could Obama be different? Although it has yet to be proven–the next four years will be interesting–it does seem like Obama is different than politicans I know in Canada and the US.

So, it is the Obama intangibles that people are sensing. I think people “feel” he has greater honesty, is more intelligent, and understands the common citizen better than previous American presidents have exhibited. There is an anticipation that the way government will be run will be different. Obama is not an expert in most fields. He seems to be incorrect in his understanding of the current financial meltdown. However, I believe it is not the fact that Obama is going to save the financial system today that has made him god-like. It is his intangible characteristics that the citizens of the U.S., Canada, and around the world feel are important and will ultimately create a better government they can believe in. No other politician has these same characteristics that people have been craving for decades.

So, no, Obama will not “fix” the economy, although people are looking to him for hope. But even then, that is not why you see the throngs of people at his appearances and hear the giggly journalists. You are seeing the citizenry anticipating an honest, hard-working, intelligent political leader, who can be misguided by the “experts” surrounding him. Four years from now (or maybe sooner) we will know whether the anticipation was warranted.

#163 Keith in Calgary on 02.20.09 at 3:07 pm

#155 Bill……

I have never read said blog you speak of.

How about rebutting my statements about Barry instead of calling me ignorant………heh.

#164 Skeptic on 02.20.09 at 3:07 pm

#24 Irene wrote:
Obama may not be god but he sure makes our Pm look quite the opposite “Devil” small, very small and that I like very much. What an embarrassment the PM may prove to be too our nearest neighbor and to our own Country. It doesn’t say much for our citizens who elected him does it.

Yes, you’re right, our citizens should have elected the “tall” and “impressive” French guy that can’t speak proper English for his life. And his “grand” vision for the economy was to tax gas consumption even more. Now that would have been a PM to make us all proud ;)

#165 dodgedabullit in Alberta on 02.20.09 at 3:23 pm

# 154: Bill-Muskoka {NAM] : I am with you 100% on your post. Back in my younger days as a firebrand union leader, I was faced with the dilemma of getting a union scab his job back, or letting the issue fade into oblivion. I was the only one who knew that company management had purposely violated company policy and the collective agreement, expecting no one would complain. The right thing to do was raise hell, and I did, went to the VP Human resources. The employee was re-instated. Interesting thing, he never ever expressed any appreciation, and I caught a huge amount of flack from the union membership. Leadership is something we are sorely lacking in Canada. It is a sad state of affairs when we turn to other countries for hope and inspiration. The only politicans I can think of who might also have left a 20 bill as Mr. Obama did would have been Tommy Douglas, or maybe Grant Notley.

#166 Got A Watch on 02.20.09 at 3:24 pm

dodgeda bullit in Alberta – You can’t expect an industry built on paid advertising to tell you anything approaching the truth, if that truth would be damaging to their advertisers by scaring away customers.

That’s one reason (among many) why traditional media outlets like newspapers are losing readers and influence rapidly.

I get the most up-to-date analysis and commentary today that is accurate on Blogs. Sometimes they are about 1 minute behind the ‘breaking news’ announcement with analysis and conclusions already done, at least on the market trading Blogs. The benefits of having a Bloomberg data terminal and being able to type fast.

Bloggers can speak the truth without most of the worries that traditional medias are subject to.

Unless a new revenue model can be found for most traditional medias, there won’t be much change there. A TV station or newspaper that told you the unvarnished truth would find most advertisers would go away and not come back.

That’s just the way it is, and why we end up at places like this, instead of some newspaper or TV station website.

#167 ralph on 02.20.09 at 3:55 pm

to Bill-Muskoka:

I find it impossible to finish reading your long winded posts. I keep dozing off.

#168 john on 02.20.09 at 3:58 pm

Here in a nutsheel is what I feel is a key issue often getting overlooked. Most are not motivated to pay off mortgage debt for the following reason:

Life insurance
Mortgage Insurance

I have heard it time and time again. The mentality whether right or wrong is, “why rush to pay off this debt since if one of us should die, this debt will be automatically paid.”

So many go living their lives to meet only monthly expenses and live in that moment. There are many even on this blog that are living this way. I personally have not adopted this principal however I often question whether I have it wrong since those people get to live it up in their youthful years (30-45) rather than later (65).

#169 Jeannette on 02.20.09 at 4:04 pm

It looked like Obama was in way over his head when trying to answer any reporters questions. One term wonder unless he rapidly gets up to speed.

#170 Eduardo on 02.20.09 at 4:08 pm

30 year commodity cycle my ass… why was oil 12 bucks in the 90s? It was booming right in the prime of the cycle?

#171 Skye on 02.20.09 at 4:39 pm

The Obama administration has never claimed the mortgage bailout plan will fix everything. Do you people even watch Meet the Press or Face the Nation? Axlerod said plainly the intention is to take the edge off the knife that is going to fall anyway in 09/10 and if it doesn’t work they will tweak it. This plan does some very positive things like allowing underwater home owners to renegotiate BEFORE defaulting which will hopefully stabilize some of these toxic assets. Oh yeah and maybe help some people stay in their homes. At least it’s something for PEOPLE instead of shoveling more money into banks, at a reasonable cost compared to the ongoing TARP saga.

And IMO its better than doing nothing, which is what I see you complainers suggesting. As far as I can tell Obama is doing exactly what he promised, to make sure what he does has a measurable benefit for the long neglected middle class. He didn’t make this sh*t sandwich but he sure has to eat it. The man has been in office how long again? And this has been brewing since Reagan?

Make fun of Obama’s star power all you want, but you can’t deny that a large part of the market is psychological. Just the face that he is Hopey McHoperson could prevent this catastrophe from turning into a cataclysm.

#172 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 5:15 pm

#167 ralph on 02.20.09 at 3:55 pm

You have already been turned to the Dark Side. They trained you well! Welcome to the Matrix!

#173 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 5:28 pm

#168 Jeannette on 02.20.09 at 4:04 pm

I would guess by your ill-informed comment that you wanted President Obama to feed you some mushy BS instead of being forthright, honest, and saying ‘I do not know yet. I will wait on the report!’?

He answered all the questions with thought and honesty. What did you want the typical Fast Food Drive-Thru answers you have been getting for decades?

#174 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 5:29 pm

#170 Skye on 02.20.09 at 4:39 pm


#175 nonplused on 02.20.09 at 5:30 pm

#76 Zoronqueen

A good rule of thumb is that in normal times residential investment properties should pay about 1% per month. So at $1550 your house is worth $155,000. Sell!

If you are willing to receive much reduced returns due to the economy, which is what is happening to bonds and just about everything else, renting it out at 0.5% per month might be acceptable. That would put the value in the $300,000 range you are asking to sell.

Your price is too high for me. At 0.5% per month renters get such a big discount buying makes no sense.

Plus I think you are walking into a trap. This time next year houses beside yours may be selling for $155,000, and if so your renters will be expecting rent a reduction to resign the lease.

So unless you plan to hold this property into the indefinite future, you might want to lower your list and hit the next reasonable bid. Don’t counter offer thousands of dollars higher, or you might piss off the purchaser who has way more options than you do right now.

PS. When “preapproved” financing doesn’t go through it means either the buyer or the bank decided that they must have bid too much.

“God” haters –

I think you missed the “hero worship” thing.

#96 JoJo

Inflation is probably a certainty down the road once the government gets the hang of it, but for now assets have only one way to go. Necessities I don’t know. They aren’t rising much yet but the trend is still up.

The thing is, if we do get inflation, your house price is still toast. If the bank account is empty after visiting Safeway you ain’t going to be shopping for granite counter tops.

#100 Ron S

That’s funny. Is an agent actually circulating that out there?

#122 Bill-Muskoka (NAM)

The US is a military and financial empire. It’s only within the borders of the US that it operates as a democracy, and that only loosely.

#141 Jake

Ya but it tastes like pasty goo.

An Inconvenient Truth:

C)2 used to be 315 parts per million of the atmosphere, and it’s now up to about 385 parts per million. Trace amounts. Is that enough to cause global warming? I don’t know. But they are going to cap and trade anyway because they need a way to allocate the declining availability of non-renewable resources going forward that doesn’t involve just pricing the poor out of the market.

#154 Bill-Muskoka (NAM)

The “ten commandments” first appeared in a book that also encouraged genocide and slavery. Although I wouldn’t necessarily argue with any of the commandments specifically, we need to find a better moral base.

#176 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 5:33 pm

#165 dodgedabullit in Alberta on 02.20.09 at 3:23 pm

I casn relate. I have belonged to two unions. Some was good, some was bad, but the manglement was always looking for an out, which is why the workers needed the union behind them. Power in numbers. But that power can become corrupt too. The Old Pot & Kettle routine lives on, eh?

#177 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.20.09 at 5:47 pm

#156 RimmyJ on 02.20.09 at 1:47 pm

All bubbles burst. This one should have had a pin stuck in it decades ago.

My parents lived through the former Great Depression and passed on a lot of wisdom from their personal experience.

At 60+ I have lived through them. Want to tell me all about it Kid?

I saw this Bubble start forming back in the mid ’80’s, under the ‘Acting President’, aka, Reagan. Yeah, it sure has worked out great for the normal people. I am sure your love for money far exceeds your empathy for your fellow man?

Trickling down your leg is it?

Wait for the Mask in the Mail to arrive. Either things get dealt with equitably or the people will be marching and those who have hoarded will be meeting a reality they never dreamt of meeting.

We either function together as a society are we will be reduced to what Africa and much of Europe has become. War Lords and gangs. How lucky do you feel?

#178 TheComingDepression on 02.20.09 at 6:22 pm

Obama has LOST 30% of “these” Banks’ value all within 2 weeks! This man will put us into the biggest GREAT DEPRESSION anyone could “never” dream of.

#179 James on 02.20.09 at 7:50 pm

#174 – The “ten commandments” first appeared in a book that also encouraged genocide and slavery. Although I wouldn’t necessarily argue with any of the commandments specifically, we need to find a better moral base. – This is a ridiculous comment/response.

People – Obama cannot fix this. He talks positive because, if he talked truthfully, there’d be riots in every major world capital. The USA does not like violence of this magnitude within it’s own borders. Who does? He must work with this positive spin, this People Magazine/Oprah/Rolling Stone induced “juice”, so the streets of America are not like the streets of Riga or Vilnius. The first people who will take to the streets in North America willv ery likely be the underpaid, unemployed, and those who find Rolling Stone good reading. Why can’t people see this? We are reaping what we sowed, and now everyone wants to point the finger of blame… Amazing, but also quite predictable. No one wants to be held accountable. Even the citizens.

Obama/McCain/Bush/Clintons – all part of the same system that does not work because people are basically selfish. In general, most people pointing blame believed in this system of vanity, greed, convenience, and over-abundance. Again, we reap what we sow.

“From the standpoint of any sane person, the present problem of capitalist concentration is not only a question of law, but of criminal law, not to mention criminal lunacy.” – “A Case In Point,” The Outline of Sanity

“Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.” – G.K.’s Weekly, 4/10/26

#180 Future Expatriate on 02.20.09 at 8:50 pm

#110- Oh, we who were against lord “O” FROM DAY ONE were QUITE aware he was a neocon warmonger in neolib clothing.

And that the fantasies (sexual and otherwise) of his worshippers were the only source of any kind of “peace.”

And now America has put yet another brainless neophyte into office (one, who, instead of “Poppy” carrying him and bailing him out through life, relied instead on affirmative action and a swarmy smile) who will have to prove he really is the President by bombing innocent babies, children, and their mothers.

And make no bones about it, he absolutely will ASAP, if he hasn’t already and his consort press is just keeping mum about it like all his other failings.

#181 RimmyJ on 02.20.09 at 9:23 pm

I knew I could annoy Bill from Muskoka(#176) – Is he still there? The interesting thing is I actually agree with him on many points.

For example, this bubble “should have had a pin stuck in it decades ago”. Unfortunately,your friend Allan Greenspan didn’t have the guts to prick the bubble when he should have. Somewhere along the way he forgot about “irrational exuberance”. And, of course, there was the influence of the Clinton administration. Whoever thought the Federal Reserve was free from political influence?

Like Bill, my parents also lived through the former Great Depression and passed on a lot of wisdom from their experience. Not only did I take their advice but I also took the time to study the reasons that depressions happen. I have been preparing myself, my family and anyone else who would listen for at least the past fifteen years. Unfortunately, the vast majority would not listen except for my immediate family. There are a few more listening now. By the way Bill, at 60+ , I would gladly tell you how to prepare. I never suggested this would be easy for anyone but it’s always a good idea to prepare for what may lie ahead.

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama is taking a great nation down the road to socialism and that road ends up badly (take from hard workers and give to those who will not work).
Perhaps you should move back there soon because it will all end up “equitably”.

#182 Irene on 02.20.09 at 11:13 pm

Sk # 104 Septec;Yes, you’re right, our citizens should have elected the “tall” and “impressive” French guy that can’t speak proper English for his life. And his “grand” vision for the economy was to tax gas consumption even more. Now that would have been a PM to make us all proud

Well sceptic, that french guy could speak English well and if you couldn’t understand him, you just weren’t listening. I think that man would have made a great Pm. He is an honest caring man and he took the time to listen to Canadians. As for his carbon tax, I would bet that you never even took the time to study it let alone learn about it. You just relied on the MSM and the Cons to bad mouth it so you my man are the loser. Won’t you just sh*t if Obama goes this route and Harper is forced to go there to? Now that would make my day.


#183 James on 02.20.09 at 11:27 pm

Quotes in #178 courtesy of G.K. Chesterton.

“Mass-production is the prostitution of the man to economic or other material motives and is spiritually contraceptive. To eliminate the person and say it does not greatly matter what the work may be is degrading and absurd, and provides an opening for all manner of injustice and oppression.” – George Maxwell

“If working people can be encouraged to look forward to obtaining a share in the land, the consequence will be that the gulf between vast wealth and sheer poverty will be bridged over, and the respective classes will be brought nearer to one another.” – Pope Leo XIII

#184 Barb the proofreader on 02.21.09 at 12:59 am

#180 RimmyJ,
Shame on you for linking Obama in some sort of ‘down the road of’ socialism scenario — makes you sound like a Rethuglican on a a tired old soap box. No one falls for that sort of spin anymore in case you haven’t been listening.
Socialism mixed with Capitalism and Democracy is what successful nations practice. Socialize the necessities we need so people don’t lose the basics of life like medicine at the hands of greed. That’s a flaw the U.S. needs to fix.
And Finance should no longer be some sort of insane honour system, because apparently there’s no honour when it comes to others handling your money. Partly nationalized and tightly regulated banks are the way to go. Canada proved that.
And save Capitalism for the goods we don’t “need” … in other words, our “wants” ..namely ‘luxury items’… But don’t let the manufacturers think they can start making unsafe products again, nor start using slave labour like we commonly see practiced wherever greed rears it’s ugly head.
So get off any soap box about socialism being some sort of generalized thing to fear – that is just misrepresentation on your part. Some social responsibly to protect our basic needs is obviously necessary in mass society where criminals hide behind corporate names and medical licenses.

#185 dodgedabullit in Alberta on 02.21.09 at 1:39 am

Greetings: I am presently watching a series of films about the Great Depression in the USA. In one of them there was a phrase that clarifys for me the reason many, many people are grasping on to President Obama, did so with JFK, and Martin Luther King, probably Abraham Lincoln. Here is the sentence: ” He created a pipeline to the people”. This was used to describe Franklin D. Roosevelt, after defeating Herbert Hoover. There is a sad irony in that of all the millions of miles of “pipeline” in North America we have been lacking the most valuable of all, that from elected representatives to the people. I now understand the reason for the record voter turnout in the past American election. It is a tragic shame that in Canada, we have so little to work with.

#186 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.21.09 at 11:57 am

#180 RimmyJ on 02.20.09 at 9:23 pm

Obviously, you have no basic principles, other than regurgitating the same old worn out ‘socialism is bad’ line I and others have heard for decades.

Like Barb TPR pointed out successful countries follow a balanced mix of socialism and capitalism. It is when the Plumb Bob rests over the balanced point of Real Truth.

Change is harder for some than others. To say ‘Yes We Can!’ means change, and that scares people because they love their own little selfish world they created.

They relish in their own glory immune to the plight of others. Then, when fate strikes them down, they like the reformed smoker, drunk, drug addict, are the ones who will rise up and DEMAND something be done to save their own pathetic, narcisstic ass. We are seeing that right now with the investment community of gamblers, the auto companies, the UAW/CAW, etc., all crying ‘HELP ME! SAVE ME!’ The word for such is HYPOCRITE!

We can save billions by ensuring the preventative measures are in place that preserve each member of our society. The alternative is more police, more courts, and more prisons. The U.S. tried that approach and now incarcerate more of their own people than any other nation on this planet.

All because the idiotic Rethuglican type conservatives believe in ‘Pull yourself up by your own boot straps!’ Well, many people do not have those boot straps, they do not even have a pair of boots. They are often the third or fourth (Gee, who made such an analogy long ago?) generational result of the combined failure of no social safety net and the unregulated greed that has brought the House of Cards tumbling down.

Now, who is screaming for socialistic help? The very corporations that caused the mess and stood firmly against having any responsibility to others.

BTW, you did not irritate me, you merely deemed a response to counter your deceptive statement for the good of the other bloggers. Unfortunately for you, this is not a newspaper where the Editor is willing to stifle open thought and comments.

No wonder the news media is being castigated to the scrap heap they created. They are out of date, out of touch, biased and blind. Yet, they still try to persuade the masses they are the ‘Great Seers’ of Truth! LMAO!

Yeah, and if a pig had wings it could fly!

BTW, someone needs to inform the PMO that they do NOT speak for the Governor General. Another case of ego exceeding intellect. One of the most common diseases in our democracy today!

#187 Karmali on 02.21.09 at 4:48 pm

Hi Garth,

I need some serious advice, is Vancouver condo market at its lowest now or is there more downside coming in the near future, my 26 year old wants to purchase something in the dowtown core, should she buy now or wait till next year, what is your expert opinion

(1) The market will continue to erode throughout 2009. (2) The Van condo market could be a decade coming back. This is terrible investment. (3) Stop being a helicopter. — Garth

#188 Jenny on 02.21.09 at 7:55 pm

Hi Garth,
I enjoy this blog. I bought and read your book too – the real estate one. Very good btw. Thanks. But I gotta ask, What’s with the Obama as God thing? Or Superman, or the Messiah. The way you go about mataphorizing (you get my point) Obama makes you sound (despite your intentions) very snyde, crude, and even jealous. Come on Garth show a bit more class!

Show a bit less literalism. But I’m glad you liked the book. — Garth

#189 bob on 02.21.09 at 10:52 pm

Personally, I think Obama is probably the right man for the times in the US; but he’s their guy, not ours. If we want to remain masters of our own lands (or perhaps that’s just a figment that politicos trot out at Vimy Day) then we need to be doubly vigilant about maintaing control of our domain. There are “wolves” at the door eager to strip this country bare; desperate times (and neighbours) provoke desparate acts. If we aren’t prepared to hold the feet of our leaders to the fire (and are prepared to make sacrifices ourselves ), we may find ourselves and our children, like the Scots during the great clearances, little more than tenants in our own land.

It was timely for the President to visit us but I sense in that visit an whiff of an Imperial inspection of the great white treasury to the North. As much as I may have disagreed with Trudeau’s egoism, I respected his patriotism and his vison of an independant Canada. I hope we will be able to say the same for our current and future prime ministers. After all, they are “our guys” at the table.

#190 Skeptic on 02.23.09 at 12:39 am

#181 Irene wrote:
Well sceptic, that french guy could speak English well and if you couldn’t understand him, you just weren’t listening. I think that man would have made a great Pm. He is an honest caring man and he took the time to listen to Canadians. As for his carbon tax, I would bet that you never even took the time to study it let alone learn about it. You just relied on the MSM and the Cons to bad mouth it so you my man are the loser. Won’t you just sh*t if Obama goes this route and Harper is forced to go there to? Now that would make my day.

Yeah, he could speak English very well, almost as good as my grandmother from Croatia :)
Actually, you are the loser because even his own party scrapped the carbon tax so that just show how good it must have been:
“The official Opposition leader also signalled that he will abandon the unpopular policy of introducing a carbon tax. That idea helped push the Liberals to one of their worst ever performances in a federal election last October.”