Tough all over

brokdale1

$1,495,000, and languishing in T.O.

.

Denial. It’ll make what’s coming harder to take.

I have three reports, two as emails I received this day, and one following an extraordinary meeting I’ve just returned from.

(1) The president of an engineering company writes me:

Hey Garth:  Our company just laid off most of our staff and have 1 full and 2 part time left now.  We’ve effectively halved our staff.  I know we are not a very big company but, this is indicative of the overall situation.  We have been getting at least 1-2 small projects a week cancel on us and one major project recently due to financing difficulties.  We are finding some of these projects could have moved ahead no problem last year, but because of stricter lending practices they are not able to receive financing now.  No one is about to avoid this slow down.  Nobody… except accountants that is…

I’ve been telling everyone… we are just entering the worst part of this slow down, we are going to have a much larger unemployment rate for March.  It’s going to be tight for the next 6 months… and those great employees will not be finding work anytime soon.

(2) The owner of a wood manufacturing company writes me:

We saw you in Nanaimo – and found you very interesting.  Coming back to our “small town” and owning  our own wood manufacturing plant – we are absolutely amazed at how naive people in this town are.  Even though the local has just closed its doors indefinitely, Western Forest Products is showing signs of major distress, Hayes, one of the top 10 companies in Canada has folded and sold off all its assets, and while almost all logging trucks sit idle, the people of this town continue – totally unaware of decreases.  Thank goodness I have a brother-in-law in Vancouver who is involved with coal mining  and the stock market- He saw this coming – after reading  your blog – and thank goodness we were able to do some proactive cutting before we really got hurt.  Ya, people know what is happening – but have no idea on the magnitude of the economic state.  Our employees who we have laid off are traveling and entertaining – thinking they have job retention and will be back – uggggH  – NOT – at least no light in the distance for us!

Our sales our half – our overhead is killing us!  Absolutely no relief from any government for tax relief – we are fighters and will continue -  It is really interesting when we are in this state of constraint – how much money we wasted in the good times – Lights are off, washing is done in cold water, no more eating out, no more two vehicles to same job location, no more high quality dog food – chickens are coming back to our back yard and the kids will be selling the eggs – we are selling firewood in our spare time and are being resourceful.  NO sitting around for us – and we are still getting our pay cheques – what happens when they stop – and we don’t qualify for EI –

We will be prepared – even if it means shooting squirrels – we still have lots in our neighborhood!

(3) The publisher and editor of a high-end magazine in one of Toronto’s richest swaths invited me to take part in a real estate roundtable just hours ago.

The event unfolded in a private room in a private club in an oasis of wealth. Among the eight attending was Toronto’s reining condo king, one of Canada’s top economists, the most successful real estate agent in Canada by dollar sales, and a high-end architect-developer. After a lengthy photo shoot we spent two surreal hours on the future of real estate. At least, some real estate. The kind most of us will never live in.

The person to my right had built and sold 1,200 units in the last few years and had another 1,000 on hold for land already bought. His sales this year, he said, are down 70%. The woman sitting across the table sold a house last week for $6 million. But this is awful, she said, “since I have 200 people working for me and they’re selling half what they used to. We’ve never worked this hard.” The architect two places down complained his house had dropped in value from $1.8 million to $1.4 million.

The economist and I were of the same belief, and said so: There will be no real estate recovery so long as people fear the future. And that ignited the room. Everyone else argued passionately all housing needs to recover is confidence – which will come when people stop hearing about damn layoffs and problems. If there is one culprit, they concluded, it is not the realtor, the banker, the developer or the borrower, but the wretched media.

Then, lunch.

About the time uniformed wait staff in gloves were bringing in silver trays of dainties, Chrysler Canada was announcing 1,200 more people would be losing their jobs down the 401 in Windsor. In Hamilton, 1,500 steelworkers heard their mill would be shut for at least a year. Maybe forever. In Toronto and London, TV stations and newspapers shed more workers, as did Conoco in Calgary. And, everywhere, the owners of an unknown number of small companies regretfully told employees they had to go home.

As I left the club and wandered among the Benz and Bimmers, I wondered how this session will be reported. There is no end in sight, just beginnings. But oh, what a nostalgia for those days of greater fools.

161 comments ↓

#1 Monty on 03.04.09 at 8:33 pm

Read a very interesting article on historical values and inflation in Edmonton

http://edmontonhousingbust.blogspot.com/2009/03/historical-prices-and-inflation.html

People who bought in the last boom took 25 years just to see their properties be worth what they paid for them.

Ought to scare the crap out of a lot of recent buyers. Here’s one graph that really illustrates it.

http://dynamic-evolution.com/ehb/090304-3.jpg

#2 KenDaBanker on 03.04.09 at 8:38 pm

Rich only wants to get richer….
and even in those times, they are complaining since they are a little bit ….not poor but less rich!!
Those builders, developers, RE Agents, and big companies and banks Directors and CEOs are to be blamed for this mess. They have been running after the easy money on the back of the populace.
What could the main street people do but follow the bandwagon and try to keep pace by taking more debts to acquire a HOME, a small car and other necessary assets. But those guys above did not know where to stop but they continued to push and push …
now mainstreet is stretched and beyond its limit and yet the RICH are still thinking how to stop being … less rich … instead of trying to find solutions to our impending recession and its layoffs and associated social ills!!

#3 [email protected] on 03.04.09 at 8:40 pm

Garth, last week you confused TV broadcasters’ declining profits with total revenue; this week you seem to be confused about everything. Maybe a good time to take a break and get some distance.

Really? — Garth

#4 Sail1 on 03.04.09 at 8:45 pm

NO sitting around for us – and we are still getting our pay cheques – what happens when they stop – and we don’t qualify for EI –

We will be prepared – even if it means shooting squirrels – we still have lots in our neighborhood!

That’s the right idea, survivor’s big business can learn from this small business. They are not asking for handouts, they are going to grin and bear it.

#5 Investor on 03.04.09 at 8:53 pm

Now as we forward into the future, the last paragraph will read.

As I left the saloon and wandered among the horses and carriages, I wondered how this session will be reported.

#6 Jonathan on 03.04.09 at 9:03 pm

They blame the media.. yet housing started to turn in December 2007. The media was very pro real estate then and it didn’t help. By September 2008, the time the media started on the ‘armageddon’ speak, Canadian home prices had already fallen 5%. The decline in housing prices has not accelerated since September, although the fall in sales and rising inventory levels have. So while everyone likes to blame the media, the decline in housing prices has alot more to do with high prices and removal of speculation from the market.

#7 jeff on 03.04.09 at 9:14 pm

Garth,

I’ve paid very close attention to the Toronto real estate market for the past few years and have noticed a remarkable disconnect in pricing in the last 6-8 months. It seems that high end houses have fallen in price by a far greater percentage than average houses. Tony neighborhoods such as the kingsway, Rosedale, and the Bridle Path look like property garage sales with some listings priced at 40% +below comparables of 2007-2008. While in average locations like Mississauga, North Etobicoke, and Parkdale prices have barely budged(+ or – 10%). This narrowing of the gap seems to defy conventional wisdom. All those conservative investors who followed those famous three rules for investing in real estate, “Location, location, location”, are getting screwed.

Are badges of wealth becoming uncool?? Is this evidence of a trend towards modesty? Will the gap continue to widen as prices fall further? Please give me your thoughts.

THanks

#8 Gord In Vancouver on 03.04.09 at 9:28 pm

#6 Jonathan

…the decline in housing prices has alot more to do with high prices and removal of speculation from the market.

_______________________________________

My sentiments exactly.

Looks like it’ll be awhile before speculation, which fueled markets in Kelowna, Vancouver, and Calgary, emerges again. Low interest rates had better save those who bought real estate shortly before the market collapsed.

#9 Chris in England on 03.04.09 at 9:29 pm

The media has a lot to answer for in my house!

Despite reading this blog for quite a while now, and having ordered and read Garth’s book (and read out loud various juicy bits to whoever happened to be listening), none of these snippets seem to have made an impression on my nearest and dearest.

The other day we received a very low offer on our house which we refused and then forgot about as the potential buyer insisted it was his one and only offer (for those of you working in CAN$ it was 90,000 below our current asking price which has already been lowered by $30,000.

This morning I got a surprise phone call from our agent who says they have now offered another $40,000 but that’s it – no more. This is tantalisingly close to what we decided was our bottom line (another $20,000 more) and my instinct was to ask the agent if he could get them to go up by 10, and we would come down by 10 …. sorted!

Anyway, my dear husband stepped in and said he wanted the agent to try and get the full 20,000 (fine – if that is possible) but then started talking about flouncing off if we didn’t get it. This is the point where I made my speech about all the years (5) we have been planning and working towards going to Canada, all the money we have spent in applications/notary fees/photos/travelling expenses, fact-finding trips and everything else, and would we really imperil our plans for the sake of a measly few thousand quid?

That is when I discovered how he really felt about me reading this (and other) blog(s). He even told me he was sick of my “doom-mongering”!! Apparently, the media here has been telling him that things are picking up and it is a good time to buy, so basically he is hoping that if he is willing to believe it, that everyone else is too, and they will all come flocking to buy our house if the current potential buyers walk.

So there you have it. If someone living with me (or you) who is well aware of the situation – even if second-hand – and is still willing to believe that things are looking up, then THINGS ARE LOOKING UP! We are all dimwits doom-mongering away. So, tomorrow he will reject the latest offer and press for more money. Who knows if we will get it? Maybe we will. I hope so.

Come without him. We need you. — Garth

#10 john on 03.04.09 at 9:31 pm

Hi Garth,

If you could look into your crystal ball…

in one years time the Bank of Canada rate will be=

in five years time the Bank of Canada rate will be=

1 year = same as today. 5 years = at least 400% higher. — Garth

#11 Westcoaster on 03.04.09 at 9:34 pm

Victoria is still in denial Garth. Your visit is a blip in the minds of those who bulls as the media pumps the higher sales this past month as some sort of major turning point in a boom recovery as multiple bids were placed on some mystery house sold by the ex VREB president. First time buyers are also flocking back, and builders are buying up lots.
We may not have any local TV stations left soon but damn it we still have $400,000 crack shacks only minutes from the inner harbor.Maybe thats what these MSM’s are on,too much of the ole pipe.

#12 atrax on 03.04.09 at 9:43 pm

Spam, Guns and Gold being the results of bailout plans is a systemic failure of capitalism.

Things will not change as long as people believe there’s something to reverse these steps that we are having toward a bust. Energy consumption, Growth quantification itself have to be redefine morally and democratically. Global is new to too many, while being primal to life.

“Fair-value measurement standard ?!”
Where’s the equity?

Roosevelt did something with the big shots of $ but currently I see no one being the savior with actual Change!

Let the power flow to new generation that is more Heroic or please stop being Realistic!

‘Dude, Where’s My Retirement?’ or ‘Tax hike’ will be the spark toward revolution.

#13 George on 03.04.09 at 9:55 pm

Garth, I apologize for the times that I goof on you. This is really great information. These are closed doors that your butt is allowed inside and obviously ours are not. Thanks for these many heads up. I’d vote for you in a heart beat. P.S. Garth didn’t write this. George in Southern California heading for Nelson BC and I can’t vote.

#14 john on 03.04.09 at 10:05 pm

Hi Garth,

If your Bank of Canada rate forecasts are as stated would the following be fairly accurate in 5 years time:

Bank of Canada rate = much higher
Home values = much lower
Cash would be the most treasured commodity

#15 Davinci on 03.04.09 at 10:07 pm

How did this happen? Paper money!

You see all paper money comes into existence when some one borrows it. What happens when there is a time when credit is easily obtained with low interest rates set by Central Banks? Well people borrow and spend like mad. I’m sure not you so you don’t understand that but they do. This sends the wrong signals to business men as sales increase because of easy credit. But that’s not money, money comes from real work to produce a product or a service.

So eventually what happens is borrowers can’t pay and the party ends. Business drys up and must cut back to remain economical after expanding during the false boom. Banks lose money from bad debt and thus interest rates must go up. This is a good thing if that was to happen, and in a few years like Garth is saying we would be out of it stronger than ever.

However we have something called government that does not want to cut back it’s spending and wants the party to continue. It has a printing press to do it and is not afraid to use it. (quantitative easing = reducing interest rates = government speak for printing money)

So the best case scenario is a long depression with high inflation. If the government does not come to it’s senses and does not stop the printing presses, well, ether way…

Got gold and silver?

#16 RM in Oakville on 03.04.09 at 10:09 pm

Garth, I thought I was really going to miss your previous blog when you weren’t re-elected but I have to say, this one puts your previous one to shame. This is the blogosphere equivalent of “must-see TV”. I’m sure I speak for many when I say Many Thanks.

#17 CalgaryRocks on 03.04.09 at 10:31 pm

It’s going to be tight for the next 6 months… and those great employees will not be finding work anytime soon.

What is going to happen is that these great employees will become the great competition in the months ahead and will put this dude out of business. When you work for a shitty little business like this you just make the owner rich. Don’t expect any loyalty when times are tough. I hope they walked out the door with his client list and they stick it to him real well.

#18 SP on 03.04.09 at 10:39 pm

While people in the private section are being hammered and humiliated, people in the public section continues to enjoy stable stream of income, generous benefits, job training and promotion all at the expense of tax dollars from the bleeding private sectors which are the true wealth creating engines of Canada. The government and its employee do not create wealth. They are parasites to transfer wealth from the private sectors. It is time to shrink the government and use the savings to relieve the true wealth-creating engines of Canada – the private sectors.

#19 Eduardo on 03.04.09 at 10:39 pm

I really feel that this is a great article, but slightly off-topic. Don’t post if you want.

http://slowsmile.hypocrisy.com/2009/03/03/us-dollar-threats-beating-the-drum/

#20 ThumbsUp on 03.04.09 at 10:47 pm

Negative equity in LA US (CBS)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WHJT1XE_Nc&feature=channel

House price in Canada has a long way to go.

#21 Madame Guillotine on 03.04.09 at 10:49 pm

Speaking of FDR here be your qoute of the day,
“It may appear that what goes on is happenstance, but the gov’t most surely has planned it”.

#22 rory on 03.04.09 at 10:57 pm

Hey all, sitting here reading about how “Tough all Over” is going to get and this got me thinking about squirrel stew and the reoccurrence of this item in this blog space.

Consider the possible plight of our wildlife. Think about the implications of 6 billon people foraging for their protein, everyday. Result: not one wild thing left alive anywhere. Anywhere. And then what?

We joke about the squirrel stew but in reality it is not a joke …if the depletion of wildlife occurs then those that say the earth can only support 500M humans may be correct as a world without adequate species diversity is doomed to oblivion (my thinking)…let us hope for agriculture improvements, the ability to keep feeding the people, at least at subsistence levels, and rain (won’t even touch climate change here).

Maybe this is what all these bailouts are really about …trying to keep us civilized …it is a fine edge we walk …it will be an incredibly stark, depressing and harsh world without our proverbial squirrels … think mad max…think every sci-fi (not including Star Trek) movie then think about what you can do to keep this from happening …from the ashes can rise hope or despair – we get to choose.

Think about the steps to recovery from substance abuse, they may apply here? I hope that people like Garth are more right than wrong, as I am too tired to lead the new global movement…sounds like Bill M (nam) is too and NVA Jr. just wants to be King (great another frickin’ King)…anyone else want to step up – it comes with a pension.

#23 Investor on 03.04.09 at 11:02 pm

Well, they probably read this survey before the meeting.

http://toreal.blogs.com/toronto/2009/03/and-the-survey-says-.html

#24 dmr on 03.04.09 at 11:10 pm

I am a regular working stiff who likes to read, so I thought it was important to bring some attention to this article in the National Post: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1353971

Titled:
Military readies reservists for threats to ‘domestic front’

“The Canadian military has embarked on a wide-ranging plan to turn its reserve soldiers into focused units trained and equipped to respond to a nightmarish array of domestic threats, including terrorist “dirty bomb” attacks, biological agent containment, Arctic catastrophes and natural disasters.”

“The remodeling of the reserves, ordered at the start of 2009, is expected to take two to three years to complete.”

“The creation of seven units within each region of the country — including unusual all-terrain vehicle (ATV) squadrons and perimeter security teams to cordon areas of potential devastation — prepares reserve soldiers for operations on the “domestic front” while freeing regular force soldiers to concentrate on foreign battlefields.” …….

-> The part that bothers me is:

“We are training to establish a perimeter. Do I see a scenario when we might be obliged to keep people in? Probably. You need to be trained to be able to make sure that you don’t become a casualty in the process of doing that security.”
………………………………

Now, the US began a similar program last year as detailed in the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/30/AR2008113002217_pf.html

“The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.” …

“There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement.”
………………………………

I am wondering if there is something that our government is anticipating, along with the US, whether it be a war, or a collapse of the social system?

I am prepared for some tin-foil hat comments, and that is fair given the context of the information I have shared here.

I have to say however that I am growing uneasy about my surroundings, given the current economic climate. There are those who are predicting a collapse of society, and those who are predicting a recovery in the second-half of 2009.

I personally don’t know what to expect. I am certain that things will be rotten, possibly for a couple of years.

My hopes are for a civil decent of our economies, and people returning to priorities that matter like family, friends, and for neighbors to work together.

When things turn positive again economically, I really hope for a sustainable and realistic rebound filled with jobs that manufacture wealth instead of borrowing it.

In the mean time, I guess I will just have to live with this tiny feeling of uneasiness that will keep me alert enough to keep my eyes open to these small shifts beneath our feet.

Best of Luck.

#25 vicguy on 03.04.09 at 11:13 pm

Further to post #10, relating to an optimistic real estate outlook for Victoria, convincingly voiced by a former president of the VREB on Victoria’s local TV station tonight. She also referred to Victoria as a Palm Springs of Canada. I fully agree with her comparisson, although I am not sure she realises that the Palm Springs real estate has dropped 38% from it’s high of early 2006. Only 30+/- % more to go.

#26 thinLine on 03.04.09 at 11:14 pm

“Everyone else argued passionately all housing needs to recover is confidence – which will come when people stop hearing about damn layoffs and problems.”

I don’t get it – this implies that everyone there really believes that the peak housing prices were actually reasonable. I used to say for a few years now, and Garth has echoed this recently, that as long as the average house is not affordable for the average guy, prices are out of whack with reality. Well, I haven’t seen companies rushing to increase salaries in these stressed out times to make real estate more affordable for the average Joe – I, for one, have had a 20% salary cut. I guess that’s better than so many others who have lost their jobs, but even running lean as we are now, I’m not too positive about our prospects.

So, even if things turn around in most respects, how can so many people think that housing costs implying a lifelong mortgage debt are a reasonable level to return to?

#27 nonplused on 03.04.09 at 11:45 pm

#11 atrax

Capitalism, as it is traditionally understood, did not fail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealth_of_Nations

But we didn’t have any of that going on any more. What we have now is something more like “leveraged speculation”, where instead of saving a portion of your own personal profit from an endeavor to invest in new equipment and thereby increase output, screw that I am just going to borrow money and put up a big plant in China to compete with you. That’s what’s failing.

This is also one reason we won’t have a repeat of the 30’s. Depressions happen to productive export driven economies that loose access to foreign markets, like the US in the 30’s and China today. China might have a depression. What happens to import dependant countries who chiefly engage in finance when the money stops working is probably a different thing.

All,

Here is a sad quote from the LOS humor site, although the quote isn’t a joke:

“Obama’s total budget is $3.6 trillion, which works out at $34,000 per household; median household income is about $50,000. Which basically means that for every dollar that a US household earns, the US government plans to spend 68 cents next year. And the ten-year T-bond still yields less than 3%. Extraordinary.
-Excerpt from Market Movers”

http://longorshortcapital.com/short-class-warfare-long-age-warfare.htm

#28 nonplused on 03.04.09 at 11:50 pm

Garth’s interest rate forecast in #9 is probably right for 1 year, but 5 years might be low:

http://brucekrasting.blogspot.com/2009/03/geithner-ducks-big-question.html

#29 Marcus Aurelius on 03.05.09 at 12:03 am

THE HOUSE IN THE PICTURE….

is a great example of where the “Killzone” is, in Toronto. This happens to be a listing in an area that was a prime ‘exploitation’ area. Today, my company laid of 10% of its workforce. I don’t know if that listing is going to get any Offers this year, but I know that none of the folks I let go today are going to pay $1M, let alone $1.4M for that house (the one that sold for under $900K in 2002, or one just like it on the same set of C4 streets West of Avenue Road). This ‘recession’ will wipe out many so-called ‘high-end’ buyers, if they didn’t make much of a dent in their mortgages over the last 4 or 5 years. There goes the neighbourhood!

Jeff #7 has it right – I’m seeing the rock-solid areas – Bayview/York Mills, Lawrence Park, Forest Hill, Rosedale – show way more value that the notorious Killzone areas – areas where small builders bought cheap(er) lots, and got their sales agents to lie about the fundamentally middling-to-trash nature of the ‘hood:

Leaside: Way Way Way overpriced

Bathurst/Lawrence: call it ‘walk to Pusateri’s’ and a sucker may bite.

North Toronto: nice place, but now we’re up to 1.5M for a 20-foot lot infill with mutual drive, Anyone who bought here in the last 3 years should slit their wrists now, and get it over with.

Willowdale/C14: McMansions built by and for expat Iranians. Farsical.

Anything west of Bathurst or east of Bayview: Basically, take a passport and get your shots.

Danforth-Cabbagetown-Leslieville-Corkville: fetid squalor with an authentic Depression-era desperation about it. Anything with a ‘ville’ in its ‘Real Estate Agent Porno’ coined name generally means you’ll feel very stupid in 5 years when you find out that a half-way house across the street is not so much fun after all. Unless you work for the CBC (and therefore don’t understand that people are not admiring your mediocrity when they point and giggle), you probably didn’t believe that Marketing spin about ‘transitioning communities’. Ask Jethro to move his ATV off your lawn so you can shine the (overpriced, leased) Mercedes for a trip to the poorhouse.

Saving the best for last: the Beaches (I refuse to call it the ‘Beach’). Why live in Forest Hill when, for almost the same price, you and your In Vitro-conceived Golden Retriever can wallow in the 7/24 smell of feces from Ashbridges Bay?

#30 Nick on 03.05.09 at 12:07 am

1 year = same as today. 5 years = at least 400% higher. — Garth

Wow, so you’re predicting a prime rate of something like 10% in 2014? What would that put mortgage rates at, like 13-15%? What will be driving the higher interest rates, massive inflation?

The BoC rate is now 0.5%. Four times that is 2%. Calm down. — Garth

#31 Lance on 03.05.09 at 12:20 am

Too many people hear what they want to hear. 10 negative economic stories on the radio, one spin-doctored advertisement by a real estate rep and they are completely convinced that the market will flatten out and we will not see any further price declines… and then, of course, see a wonderful 6% rise in house prices this year.

I run in to only a small handful of people who get it, who know the tough times that are ahead for our country, but most are in denial, because they cannot face the prospect of losing their job or losing a lot of equity in their homes.

It’s too hard for most people to separate their emotions and look at the cold hard facts and act accordingly.

Which is why so many get caught like deer in the headlights when reality smacks them in the face.

We recently sold our home, got a nice place to rent and put the equity money away to wait for an opportune time to re-enter the market. The looks we get from friends and family when they find out we are “only renting” are priceless. It’s as if they are shocked that we’ve allowed ourselves to become second class citizens instead of rushing out to be someone’s greater fool and purchase their horribly overpriced home.

It is going to take quite a long time for this recession to begin to change the attitudes of the masses. We’ve had it too good for too long.

#32 EJ on 03.05.09 at 12:37 am

Expect the RE spin, propaganda, misdirection, sleight-of-hand, weasel words, and outright lies to be coming at you hard and fast through every major media outlet over the next few weeks. I’ve noticed that every time there’s “negative news” about housing, they take a few days to come up with a PR rebuttal about how it doesn’t apply in the area you’re hearing this news in.

People who insist on believing forecasts from those with obvious agendas will be taken to the cleaners, time and time again.

#33 nonplused on 03.05.09 at 12:37 am

One more for Skeptic since he/she doesn’t like it when I summarize:

http://www.howestreet.com/articles/index.php?article_id=8816

#34 Simon on 03.05.09 at 12:47 am

How does a house “drop in value from $1.8 million to $1.4 million”? The house has a value of whatever someone would pay for it if/when it sells.

#35 Sondra on 03.05.09 at 12:50 am

Go Green
Re: Tax time

A good accountant is worth every penny.

Ask around, your friends will know someone. If you are still in doubt and you know a good Lawyer or Notary, they will likely have a recommendation.

3 people I will never give up, my accountant, my housekeeper, and GARTH.

#36 nonplused on 03.05.09 at 12:57 am

More for Skeptic. Seems like in a room full of bloggers my ass speaks at a level higher than his/her mouth. Read the second point:

http://www.howestreet.com/articles/index.php?article_id=8762

#37 Ghost of Tom Joad on 03.05.09 at 1:00 am

All these job losses and talk about eating squirrel…

This is an engineered crisis and the plan is for a New World Order. The money’s moved to Asia and we’re all left with a skeleton of what we once were (thank you globalization).

The destruction of the West is well underway so I personally believe that all we can do now is prepare with the little time we have left. How? The best way I know is:
1) gold & silver coins
2) stock up on food and supplies
3) guns & ammo (I don’t have one myself, but will get want if things start to slide in a hurry)

Garth, you have some great information, but I think you’re missing what’s really going on. Folks need to tune in to Alex Jones, the one who woke me and millions of others up (http://www.infowars.com). In a world where it’s hard to tell who you can trust, I’ve come to believe Alex.

If you have a family, you need to start preparing now … things are going to get bad — even in Canada.

#38 ralph on 03.05.09 at 1:33 am

to Chris in England:

Take the offer! Unload the house. Cut your loses. The longer you wait you will end having to take what was offered anyway.

Remember the prices of real estate are dropping all over so you could sell now and wait. Rent in the mean time. Maybe even stay in your house and offer to pay rent to the new owner.

#39 Sam on 03.05.09 at 1:41 am

Jeff,

I agree with you. Prices in GTA has not budged much. Hardly 10% . GTA market seems to be very resilient..may be the housing bust party is over… ??!!?

I am going home…

#40 gold bug on 03.05.09 at 1:54 am

As a former journalist AND a former realtor, the only thing I hate worse than people blaming realtors or the media is when closeted socialists like KenDaBanker blame (basically) the market with comments like this:

“Rich only want to get richer….Those builders, developers, RE Agents, and big companies and banks Directors and CEOs are to be blamed for this mess. They have been running after the easy money on the back of the populace.”

Look, communists. It’s called the free market for a reason. You are free to choose whether to take out a loan to buy a house. Or not. It’s up to you. No builder, developer, realtor, banker or CEO ever forced you or anyone you know to borrow money. Ever.

So look in the mirror and take responsibility for your own bad decisions.

#41 Mathematically Challenged on 03.05.09 at 2:15 am

… It’s going to be tight for the next 6 months… and those _great_ employees will not be finding work anytime soon.

Could anyone of you recall when was the last time your boss refer you as the _great_ employee?

This is too much like one of those testaments from Tom Vu’s many desciples.

#42 kc on 03.05.09 at 3:25 am

In case anyone has been following anything I said about paper funds being a “bad” idea, here is a nice read for those who question why I said it. here is a part of the article: (don’t expect this recession/D to be over anytime soon)

“The financial sector now represents 40 percent of GDP, which is to say that the exchange of paper claims to wealth is the driving force behind economic growth. The production of useful things, that actually improve people’s lives and raise the standard of living, has been replaced by the trading of complex debt instruments and opaque derivative contracts. Securitization is at the very heart of Wall Street’s Ponzi-finance scam. It creates profits by transforming liabilities into “cash flow” which can be sold at market. Bottom line: Factories and manufacturing are out. Toxic paper and garbage loans are in.”

When Debt Securitization Blew Up So Did the Economy

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article9247.html

#43 Vancouver_Renter on 03.05.09 at 4:09 am

I own a little engineering company. All through 2008, we had 3 major clients responsible for 90% of our revenue. The first client suspended all development projects at the end of 2008 due to the weakening economy. Our second client just stopped all work two weeks ago. (Thus, I have time to read this blog.)

I deposited a check from our third client (a US company) the other day. The teller said, “We better get this processed quickly!”

I responded with, “Yes, this company may be on the edge.”

The teller looked surprised and said, “I’m talking about the BANK. US banks are failing left, right, and center in the US!…”

Several employees in my company have 2nd jobs in engineering. Two of them were just laid off from their 2nd jobs after getting laid off from my business. They’ve gone from dual-incomes to no incomes.

A company in which several of my other friends work just laid off their entire staff last week. Another friend tells me his contracts have all dried up.

I have an interest in another large private company. That company has just cut back to a 3-4 day work week and is also laying of employees.

My best friend’s wife was just laid off from her engineering job. My friend believes he is next. He reported to me that several other mutual friends have been laid off in the last month.

It is all around me. Layoffs in engineering – especially new product development – is a leading indicator for what is coming down the pike for the general economy.

I know many friends who are entering “panic mode” because they are on the verge of insolvency and can no longer pay their bills.

On the other side of the coin, my family and friends who work in the public sector are completely unaware of what is going on. They are happily buying toys, vacationing, and enjoying their lives as if it is business as usual. I’m curious to see if, and when, this contraction will impact their lives. Tax revenue MUST be in free fall right now.

#44 Mike (authentic) on 03.05.09 at 4:23 am

When we look back on this situation 10-20 years down the road it will be interesting what we remember of it, who was “at fault” and what the turning point was.

Greed. Realtors. Media. Banks. Mortgage Brokers. The Average Joe and Government.

These are a few words I believe built the unsustainable foundation of “illusionary” wealth for all of us in different degrees.

#1 Monty “People who bought in the last boom took 25 years just to see their properties be worth what they paid for them. Ought to scare the crap out of a lot of recent buyers. Here’s one graph that really illustrates it.
http://dynamic-evolution.com/ehb/090304-3.jpg

Excellent post! One I will share with many others. It is one of the points I myself have been stressing for the past year that those who buy now will have to wait 20+ years to get their “investment” back to 0 (even).

Frustrating to know that good family people who are buying today maybe ignorant to this fact.

Due-dilligence people.

Mike

#45 Kyle on 03.05.09 at 4:47 am

“400% BOC rates in 5 years” – That’s going to ruffle up the gold nuts here with their predictable chants…

That is a bank rate of 2%. — Garth

#46 Discouraged In B.C. on 03.05.09 at 5:45 am

Garth,
I live in Vancouver where the kool aid is pumped directly into our drinking water. Somehow people seem to believe there is justification for the ridiculous prices of real estate. My question is, do you believe the average family will ever again be able to afford the average house here? Or should I just get out of Dodge now?

#47 Matt Stiles on 03.05.09 at 6:12 am

Ahh, yes. It’s all the media’s fault. If everybody would simply assume the ostrich position, it would all blow over and we’d be fine. Riiiiight.

From a recent post on my blog:

“I want to touch on this issue of “confidence,” and whether the lack of it is the cause for our current predicament. Of course, we know the answer is “no.” But I always find it amusing that journalists, analysts and most economists never refer to the years of excessive confidence, only pointing it out on the way down. It is always assumed with shocking agreement that rising confidence is rational, yet falling confidence is irrational. You’ll often hear guys like Bernanke talking about a “deficiency in aggregate demand.” As if by it’s very nature, demand is lower than it “should” be. How does he know what it should be? He doesn’t, of course.

So can “the news” cause confidence to fall? Think about it. Does one fear losing his job because the newspaper said 120,000 Canadians lost their jobs last month? Or does one fear losing their job because their co-workers or neighbours lost their job last month? What is the reason for the person fearing for their job? Is it job losses or the reporting of job losses? If you guessed the latter, then may I suggest a career with Pravda.

Seriously, the insanity has to stop somewhere. If fallacious arguments like this become acceptable logic in our mainstream media, then the entire institution of a free press is in jeopardy. If we are to vilify people such as myself for making correct analysis of the economy, where do we stop? Do we vilify the person who reports the damage of a natural disaster? How about the journalist that uncovers political fraud? Why not just outlaw any news that could be perceived as negative? Do you see where these arguments are rooted? Do you think it is accidental? If so, you are thinking with a dangerous naivety.”

#48 charles on 03.05.09 at 7:10 am

Our condo corp. is contemplating a $430K cdn. 5 year term loan over 15 to 20 years rather than a special assesment of about $6K per unit owner. The loan payment would see common fees rise by 25% or about $55./mo. in the first 5 years. A vote on wether to finance or not will be held in a couple of weeks.
Any advice for our Board of Directors?

#49 DG on 03.05.09 at 7:43 am

All the talk of guns and ammo… Why is it we’re not talking about helping one another? Don’t get me wrong, I’d do anything to protect my wife and child, but I genuinely believe the best way to do so is to reach out to those around me, and do that even more when times get tough(er).

#50 Matt Stiles on 03.05.09 at 7:50 am

The Ghost of Tom Joad –

Re: Alex Jones. I ignored the guy for years as an “over the top crackpot.” But I kept getting sent back to him when researching things that just didn’t make sense.

Listening to what he says is not easy. But the simple fact is that he has been far more correct on so many fronts than nearly anybody else, that you would have to be a fool to write him off as I did.

Mindlessly believing anyone is foolish. What’s that Chinese Proverb? “If teacher says he has all answers, child should run away.” Something like that.

People need to listen to a wide variety of opinions and then draw their own conclusions. Unfortunately, most are only exposed to one opinion.

#51 Toronto C9 Renter on 03.05.09 at 8:07 am

#7 Jeff said “It seems that high end (Toronto) houses have fallen in price by a far greater percentage than average houses”

Jeff, I don’t have stats on the sales prices on the high end, but have noticed that high-end sales in the neighborhoods you mention have fallen off a cliff.

In Rosedale-Moore park for example, nothing over 1 M is moving, whereas lower priced homes are starting to sell quickly since about mid-Jan. I am aware of over ten homes here at 1 M+ that still show leafy trees and colorful gardens in the listing photos. Also the detailed neighborhood stats from TREB support this.

This is in contrast to last spring, when there was really no distinction based on price — any home that was well located would sell within a few days.

#52 Da HK Kid on 03.05.09 at 8:17 am

Garth, you must have known what was going to happen in that meeting but took it only for the fact you wanted to make an ultimate validation of what we already know about these experts of denial and why we are in this mess which has been created for decades.

I guess you’re no longer on their Christmas Card List!

I have to be honest, I see no value in returning to Canada from Asia, the future is here, capitalism is alive and well and the people are the most resilient I have ever met.

Btw, most have a savings rate of 50%, thanks to the Asian Financial Crisis and SARS.

It’s amazing what going through a crisis will teach you!

#53 Gord In Vancouver on 03.05.09 at 8:22 am

If Vancouver’s real estate market is on an upswing, then why are pre-sale buyers still nervous?

http://www.vancouversun.com/Downtown+condo+project+tries+itself+hole/1354429/story.html

“Attempts to refinance and resurrect construction of the landmark Jameson House condominium project in downtown Vancouver are alive until at least April 30, although a group of pre-sale buyers is fighting the process in a bid to get out of their contracts and recover their deposits.”

#54 AM on 03.05.09 at 8:30 am

To Chris in England

Take the offer if at all possible. If in case you missed it, your hubby may reconsider after reading this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/4942265/House-prices-fall-a-futher-2.3pc-in-February.html

Cheers

#55 David Bakody on 03.05.09 at 8:37 am

For some time now I have said ( and I am not that smart) that no home was worth a million dollars, Estates were ….. looking at the postage stamp lot with that hunk of rock would indeed support what I said. If y’all think what think an Estate is check this out:

http://www.homesinhalifax.ca/listings/Listings_All.html

Just think Barb…. how well 7 enterprising couples left over from the good ode hippy days that are now educated could live here ….. the right combination of cooking, gardening, housekeeping and hard working professional skills would provide a good living …. as opposed to that chunk of rock.

Off to have lunch to chat with on ode sailor who is now working out of his home and will get the scoop on his business ….. think he is doing fine as his business is security based to some degree. Smart small company that had a balanced approach and used this type of people in their overall plan. Will see.

#56 David on 03.05.09 at 8:42 am

It all boils down to confidence apparently. A sad statement from the real estate stars. The same economic fundamentals that apply to shotgun shacks in the outback bushes apply equally to the Persian Palazzos for the architecturally discriminating. To be in line with fundamentals, the family buying the $1.4M “underpriced” home would need an after tax income of $350K. To make a return somewhat above double decimals, rents would have to be above $10K a month.
There is a qualitative difference between confidence and stupidity.
The realities of job losses are hardly linear. Wait for an EI cheque, exhaust all the savings and maybe hope for full time employment at lower pay within a year. The scenarios vary, some worse and some better, but none of them are very appealing. That potential down payment on a house just got eaten up on surviving.
The nothing down, sign here mentality that drove the real estate bubble to ridiculous plateaus in the past will not work in the future.

#57 Contractor on 03.05.09 at 8:46 am

Toronto numbers for Feb were just released.

Sales volume down 32%.

Average price down 5%…

Again!

Ouch!

#58 Avalon Shawn on 03.05.09 at 8:49 am

For “Discouraged In B.C.”

I recently punched 9 years in Vancouver BC and recently sold my house in August, and relocated to the other coast.

In NL currently, looking back I am grateful that I sold in August, have a good job in St John’s, have a house that is twice the size and half the price , same goes with my mortgage ($125k less). Only downside is winter really, and even that is not so bad.

I do not miss hearing about gang violence and gang related shooting on Granville St, and when living out west, I lost track of how many times my car was broken into downtown, not to mention my house in Richmond.

I am grateful for my time out west but also glad it has past.

#59 Debt free on 03.05.09 at 8:53 am

To charles, blog #48:

Pay the $6000. each right away; $6000 is no big deal when you owe it!

Increasing your condo fees decreases your sellability. But the other side of the coin might be that a buyer may fork out the cash for something that should have already been saved for by the seller.

I say, be a man, it is due, take it on the chin, then leave the past behind.

#60 kc on 03.05.09 at 9:00 am

24 dmr

nice links, I am on your side about what is coming and what did the Gov. feel was coming…. did you ever read this one from last year?

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=43de5906-d292-4512-891c-96b0f9de5bbb&k=3514

Canada, U.S. militaries sign cross-border pact

#61 HalifaxFamily on 03.05.09 at 9:04 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN0531966920090305

GM is done. We could see it coming, but now the auditors see it too.

#62 dd on 03.05.09 at 9:13 am

#37 Ghost of Tom Joad

“The destruction of the West is well underway … [to] prepare:
1) gold & silver coins
3) guns & ammo (I don’t have one myself, but will get want if things start to slide in a hurry)”

Ya … thinking behind the curve. By that time it will cost all your gold to buy a gun.

Garth, you have some great information, but I think you’re missing what’s really going on. Folks need to tune in to Alex Jones, the one who woke me and millions of others up (http://www.infowars.com). In a world where it’s hard to tell who you can trust, I’ve come to believe Alex.

If you have a family, you need to start preparing now … things are going to get bad — even in Canada.

#63 Another Albertan on 03.05.09 at 9:19 am

Vancouver_Renter: Amen, brother. I couldn’t have explained things better.

#64 Coho on 03.05.09 at 9:30 am

Mortgage: In the word mortgage, the mort- is from the Latin word mori (via old french mort) for death and -gage is from the sense of that word meaning a pledge to forfeit something of value if a debt is not repaid. So mortgage is literally a death pledge.

When it is all said and done, people have worked their whole life to pay for the roof over their head. Yep, much adieu about a basic necessity as shelter.

The herd flocking to buy houses when the times were pseudo-prosperous made these people at the meeting alot of money. The same herd mentality has now made for slimmer pickings. That’s the way it goes…up and down. Such is the yoyo of life down here. Can’t have gravy every day, all the way because it is already taken by the politicians, Wall Street, Royalty, Central Banks…

Working class get gravy on Christmas and Thanksgiving and we should be on our hands and knees in thanks to our “betters” for that. Remember always that half the world is poverty stricken. I wonder how far a trillion bucks would go to alleviating it. Alas it is not to be because the big banks need it more.

WRT the meeting: Hard to believe they would have such a selfish tunnel vision as to blame the media. If anything, the MSM is their friend. It is pro business. MSM helps keep up the facade that all is well by interviewing politicos and shills of realty agencies, banks and brokerages, who lie, or at best, sugar coat the truth.

MSM doesn’t start to attempt to report the truth until things get so bad that even the family pet is aware of how bad things are getting.

#65 Dead Cat Bounce on 03.05.09 at 9:37 am

‘except accountants that is…’

As a charetered accountant I can say this isn’t true. Myself and my wife (both CAs) were planning to move to Toronto from oversees but there the posted jobs that were there last year are gone. We are thinking about staying for another year or two now.

#66 Kash is King on 03.05.09 at 9:44 am

#40 goldbug. It would be a free market without gov’t interference and distortion caused by CMHC and CDIC.

Without them, banks would be forced into extreme DD on loans/mortgages, and the assumed higher risk would be priced in accordingly. That would be free market, and we would have large downpayments and higher mortgage rates.
On the flipside, without CDIC, folks would be forced to select only the most prudent banks if they wished to have a secure place to hold their money.
In such instances, it is then truly survival of the finacial fittest.

#67 Iain on 03.05.09 at 9:53 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/us/05mortgage.html?hp

#68 Lee MacFarlane on 03.05.09 at 9:54 am

I wrote the letter to garth in (1) and I take exception to:

#17 – CalgaryRocks, and #41 Mathematically Challenged… and I applaude #49 DG

#17 wrote: “What is going to happen is that these great employees will become the great competition in the months ahead and will put this dude out of business. When you work for a shitty little business like this you just make the owner rich. Don’t expect any loyalty when times are tough. I hope they walked out the door with his client list and they stick it to him real well.”
What the *** is your problem??? Our employees ARE great people and they will come back in a heartbeat. Besides THEY DO NOT HAVE THE QUALIFICATIONS TO OWN A BUSINESS. If your in the trades and working in Victoria, I hope I don’t run into you. Go back to your squirrel hole.

#41 -“Could anyone of you recall when was the last time your boss refer you as the _great_ employee?
This is too much like one of those testaments from Tom Vu’s many desciples.”

There’s nothing weird about it… Basically I’ve been training these guys I let go for years. They will be back, we aren’t dead, we just had a slow patch which may be extended for awhile :-)

Our employees ARE great employees. Period. All the ‘bad’ employees have been shaved off the meat earlier… Now we are cutting into the meat.

#49 – “Why is it we’re not talking about helping one another? Don’t get me wrong, I’d do anything to protect my wife and child, but I genuinely believe the best way to do so is to reach out to those around me, and do that even more when times get tough(er).”
Excactly. I couldn’t say it better. My employees who have left:
1- made sure on EI claim, still on extended medical for his family, will look for work else-where but come back for part-time work.
2- on EI claim, extended medical, will work part-time until full time.
3- on EI claim, extended medical, and arranged for him to get his next year of training so he will be out in 2.5 months ready for work again.

Previously had some companies coffers drained to do work around office for 2 full weeks until plans were made.

– You never shrink from responsibility –

Cheers,

Lee

#69 MarKoz on 03.05.09 at 9:56 am

– to Discouraged in BC (#46) – I live in Vancouver too. Colour me more than discouraged. Van has always been over-priced relative to the rest of Canada but people here absolutely believe the market is supported by “strong fundamentals”. At a certain point belief = reality. If enough people believe in RE and are willing (and able) to pay (borrow to pay) extortionate prices for tiny shoeboxes then the rest of us have to jump in and pay the same or sit on the sidelines. If the ability to pay or borrow dries up we would have to have an RE contraction of close to 50% from peak for homes to be affordable (note – I said affordable, not cheap). That contraction would have to be achieved in the context of the Canadian banking system which is far more stable than that in the US or UK. I believe that makes a huge number of foreclosures less likely here. The corollary of that is that we are unlikely to have such a 50% contraction. If, through some miracle, we did have a 50% decline it would be hard to celebrate the hideous position many first-time buyers from the last few years would be in. It would be even harder to celebrate since my wife works as support staff in the commercial lending branch of a local bank and would likely be unemployed. Guns…Ammo… Prosac… I’m ready for the future!

#70 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 10:02 am

Ah, another day of joyful gloom festering everywhere.

Okay, a few little ideas for a real solution to some of the problems.

All land belongs to the Crown, and everyone gets a fair share to use while they reside or produce on it. On moving or death the land reverts back to the Crown or to the descendents of the holder if they currently live on it.

No more Landlords except for the buildings used for actual rental units and those will be regulated. They will operate under a government license and tough building standards.

Lock the doors on the Granite Club and tax the Mercedes, Beamer, and Rolls Royce owners at 30% of the vehicle’s cost for each year’s license renewal.

Turn Park Lane and Bridal Path into housing for the needful masses.

All companies who come to Canada wanting tax breaks and government assistance will be owned by the people until the debt is fully repaid, and the CEO’s will be regulated to modest income level.

Get rid of the Stock Exchanges entirely, they are nothing but gambling halls, i.e., Bawdy Houses anyway.

The Commondities Exchanges will be replaced by nationalized boards that will set the price of our exports to protect Canadians.

The Tar Sands belong to the Canadian people and not foreign companies or Alberta. Everyone gets a fair share and access to this needed resource.

Oh, and I see Iggy is now copying Blagonavitch in ‘selling’ seats for Liberal ridings. So much for them ever getting my vote or a contribution. I expect to see the best candidate supported, not the best Flim-Flam Artist.

This not Democracy, this is political Whoredom and I will not be part of it!

Ignatieff sets donor, member targets for MPs

I may fire up my tools and start building Guillotines! I see a definitely growing market for them…again!

#71 Jon C. Coates on 03.05.09 at 10:04 am

Some beliefs I think we should never forget:
1. over the long haul, interest rates average 6%.
2. The price of gold may rise and fall with scares, but gold doesn’t really provide a good rate of return on your investment in the long run. Some people may think its a great hedge against disaster, but all it really is good for is making jewelry.
3. The housing market is a snapshot of the selling prices of a small percentage of the total number of homes in our society. With people in our society moving more frequently, my guess is that we still never see more than 5% of all houses at play in this market. New homes come on to the market and are a commodity until they are sold. But in most cases, very few people are playing in the housing market.
4. If you worry about mortgage rates, lock the damn thing down and forget about it. If you like to gamble, go for the floating rates and is it looks like its about to climb and you get nervous, lock it down.
5. The best policy on a house is to get the mortgage paid as quickly as possible and don’t use the equity in your home as a credit card unless you have sufficient cash reserves to bail yourself back out of any draws you’ve made on equity. If you want to gamble on house prices, do it on a second, investment property,
6. Being conservative in your investement strategy will always be the best course of action. In 1929, Joseph Kennedy always stopped to have his shoes shined and he would chat to the shoe shine boy about the stock market. When the boy started to make predictions which came true that very same day, Kennedy sold all of his holdings and sat on his cash. He came out of the market with a whole skin because he knew the market was being manipulated and not by the unseen hand.

In a country with great natural wealth, bad financial times should not last long because the world will always need what our country has to sell. That’s the best hedge against long term disaster – that, and the rule of law. The present crisis was precipitated by a government in the US that was a captive of market manipulators, not doers – people who actually made things. When the doers get back in control of our instituations, the slump fades away.
About depressions, you won’t really know you’ve been in one until long afterwards when information becomes available to show you where you were.

#72 Calgary37 on 03.05.09 at 10:14 am

Military Spending and Job Creation

It seems that our PM Stephen Harper has suddenly become enlightened in regards to the true nature of the Afghanistan Operation. It would be nice if he also decided that it was time to bring our Military back home. While we could begin flying them home, they would have to leave most of their heavy hardware behind.

Since India seems to have an interest in Afghanistan, I would suggest that Canada negotiate with the Indian Government to either purchase for cash or barter all of the equipment that Canada leaves behind in Kandahar. Since the Indian Army is short of modern military hardware, they could ship a couple of brigades over to Kandahar in order to train on how to use this Canadian equipment.

Recruitment into the Canadian Military is down and dozens of experienced personnel are leaving the ranks. Once the Afghan War is no longer overhanging the Army, many of our unemployed Canadians may be willing to consider joining the Military in 2009.

Once the DND is no longer wasting resources, money and lives in Afghanistan, they will be able to focus once again on the task of restructuring our military force for the future.

Having 2000 or more new recruits ready to take basic training would open up an opportunity for a private business entity to provide this training. This could open up some new opportunities for ex-military personnel to become trainers.

I would also suggest that PM Harper ask NATO to reevaluate the reasons for its continuance, because right now NATO is not really working. Afghanistan is a “kill or be killed” war zone and NATO is not using the correct Rules of Engagement.

If and when Canada does leave Afghanistan, there is one group of people that Canada can help. There are many women and children who would like to have a new life to look forward to. Canada could put together a program to bring a large number of these people to Canada so that they can have an opportunity to forge this new life. No Afghan men allowed in this program and no religion for the children until they reach the age of maturity.

Power to the People. Let the Revolution Begin.

#73 Blanche m on 03.05.09 at 10:17 am

the media do not make the news,they report it
The problem is so simple, If people do not work,
Lose their jobs, they lose their income. If they have no income, no job, they do not spend. It is not a matter of confidence, it is a matter of food on the table, when you have no money coming in the best you can do is feed the kids, try to pay bills , stay where you are , the house you have if it is paid for or nearly paid,that is a blessing. Realtors who olny think of their sales and their self importance will find in the next while life is tough and about to get tougher

#74 Murray on 03.05.09 at 10:37 am

Subsitance Happens: As someone who has visited Cuba 23 times I have first hand experience on how one lives when all around collapses. There are vertually no wild animals in Cuba. No monkeys, gophers, few snakes, cats or squirrels. When the Soviets pulled out and discontinued subsidies the Cuban economy collapsed. Tourism provides any elevated standard of living. Those who say our cars are too old and will need to be replaced, reviving the auto industry, need to witness all of the pre 1956 cars still on the road in Cuba. We may actually collapse; but do we have the fortiude to survive like Cubans?

#75 Dawn in Calgary on 03.05.09 at 10:59 am

Now the US should find this scary (I’m not there, and I do);

Bair Says Insurance Fund Could Be Insolvent This Year

March 4 (Bloomberg) — Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said the fund it uses to protect customer deposits at U.S. banks could dry up amid a surge in bank failures, as she responded to an industry outcry against new fees approved by the agency.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=alsJZqIFuN3k

#76 Irene on 03.05.09 at 11:03 am

3 people I will never give up, my accountant, my housekeeper, and GARTH. # 36

The accountant can take a hike, he’s too expensive and can’t do any better than I can.I will do my own houswork thank you very much.
but I too will keep Garth. Btw Garth, great car on one of your past threads. Yours?

Cheers

#77 Jeff Smith on 03.05.09 at 11:20 am

Well, lets look at it on the bright side. Many companies have gone through bankruptcy restructurings before and after it’s completed they became better stronger companies. Its not like GM will disappears, all plants will close down, all machinery sold off and all employees laid off. In a way, I think maybe its better that GM should go through a bankruptcy restructuring so that she can cure the cancer that is afflicting her.

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

#60 HalifaxFamily on 03.05.09 at 9:04 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN0531966920090305

GM is done. We could see it coming, but now the auditors see it too.

#78 Keith in Calgary on 03.05.09 at 11:34 am

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Business/Tower+clears+financial+hurdle/1353808/story.html

Here’s an example of how bad the media is shilling for the REIC…….

In this article they trumpet how Encana’s 58 story tower that is still a hole in the ground has now “cleared” it’s financing hurdle. Well….only two of all of the financial institutions in Canada had the cojones to pony up $250MM of the needed $425MM…..they are still $175MM short and have no takers yet they have been begging on the street for months now. Wonder what kind of weak security the greater fools who cough up the remaining $175MM will have behind the banks…..if they are even to be found that is.

Desperate for some sort of good news to appease their advertisers, they hide the reality nicely amongst the article’s bamboozling text so that the unassuming and naive greater fools who live here will feel warm and fuzzy in the pit of their stomachs.

Having been a commercial banker I can tell you that a “letter of engagement” is only good for wiping your ass. It sounds like something Drexel Burnham Lambert used to type up back in the late 80’s when they wanted to do a takeover of a company.

To wit…..

“RBC and TD have received all necessary internal approvals to commit up to $250 million of the financing contingent upon securing commitments for the remainder of the financing and certain other conditions,”

“The marketing process for receiving commitments for the remainder of the financing is currently underway.”

“H&R REIT said if it is successful in signing definitive agreements for the financing it will have satisfied all of the conditions of the private placement”

“on the assumption that the other strategic initiatives which have been undertaken by H&R REIT will be successful”

“H&R REIT believes that the financing (if completed) will allow it to successfully complete construction of The Bow”

They may get the balance of the funding….they may not….but fuck me……if the hunch comes out of my second cousin’s back and the sun shines out of his ass I will win the Lotto 6/49 as well. It is not news until they do…..

#79 RM in Oakville on 03.05.09 at 11:56 am

#68 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 10:02 am

Quite the collectivist utopia you’ve dreamed up there, Bill. Let’s call it The People’s Republic of Kanadastan.

#80 aloha e on 03.05.09 at 11:56 am

GTA Feb numbers are out, and although they’re bad at 31.5% down in sales and 5.4% down in price, they’re not as awful as the few months prior.
http://www.torontorealestateboard.com/consumer_info/market_news/index.htm

Feb 1/08 had lower sales due to the implementation of the land transfer tax, so that probably had something to do with it. Anecdotally i hear people moving out of the stock market into the perceived safety of real estate.

#81 Contractor on 03.05.09 at 12:01 pm

What’s the height of optimism?

An accordion player with a pager!…

or this guy…

“W1549224 – W03 – 7 LAMBTON AVE,TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – $215,900

Price Change. Mar 4: $215,900 Jan 31: $229,000
Detached 2 Storey With 2 Baths ~ 2 Kitchens, Sep Entrance To Bsmt. Steps To Ttc.**** EXTRAS **** Seller Will Not Respond To Offers Before Feb 4/09. Buyer To Verify Lot Size, Taxes, Rental Equipment, Parking, Room Sizes & Any Fees.”

Guess they couldn’t handle the avalanche of offers on Feb 4th.

Couldn’t the listing agent at least have gotten rid of the “Seller Will Not Respond To Offers Before Feb 4/09” bit?

#82 Jack on 03.05.09 at 12:04 pm

I have been looking to buy a house in the Unionville Ontario area and have noticed the price have fallen by a mere 5 to 10 %…. some smaller homes in prime locations have asking prices similar to last years’.

As a potential buyer I am not happy about this. Can someone explain to me why some neighbourhoods are not very much affected by the current down turn.

#83 RS on 03.05.09 at 12:13 pm

Oh Garth you really know how to make my blood boil! The meda to blame? Oh come on. I hope those lunch mates of yours get the worst of what’s to come! Geezs!

#84 maria on 03.05.09 at 12:14 pm

#22 rory on 03.04.09 at 10:57 pm

“Hey all, sitting here reading about how “Tough all Over” is going to get and this got me thinking about squirrel stew and the reoccurrence of this item in this blog space.
Consider the possible plight of our wildlife. Think about the implications of 6 billon people foraging for their protein, everyday. Result: not one wild thing left alive anywhere. Anywhere. And then what?
We joke about the squirrel stew but in reality it is not a joke …if the depletion of wildlife occurs then those that say the earth can only support 500M humans may be correct as a world without adequate species diversity is doomed to oblivion (my thinking)…let us hope for agriculture improvements, the ability to keep feeding the people, at least at subsistence levels, and rain (won’t even touch climate change here).”

#22 rory on 03.04.09 at 10:57 pm:

You are right!

Thank you for sharing your point of view!

#85 Jay Currie on 03.05.09 at 12:24 pm

US Unemployment

• RGE Monitor: 2009 – 9.9% and by Q3 2010 – 10.5%, with close to 4.5 million job losses in 2009;

• Morgan Stanley: 2009 – 10%;

My sense is that this will get uglier faster than many people think. The media, I’m afraid, have nothing to do with it. Rather, the “mark to reality” phase of bubble deflation has to gone through.

This will hit Canada and Canadian housing prices hard. So our own “mark to reality” moment will not be pleasant.

#86 MM on 03.05.09 at 12:25 pm

While people in the private section are being hammered and humiliated, people in the public section continues to enjoy stable stream of income, generous benefits, job training and promotion all at the expense of tax dollars from the bleeding private sectors which are the true wealth creating engines of Canada. The government and its employee do not create wealth. They are parasites to transfer wealth from the private sectors. It is time to shrink the government and use the savings to relieve the true wealth-creating engines of Canada – the private sectors.

———

How can you say that all governemnt employees are parasites from transfers of wealth? It’s the private sector who got us into this mess in the first place. Aren’t all these excutives from the private sector getting hundreds of millions of dollars of bonuses? Are those the people you want to prefer to bailout? There are far more people and companies in the private sector who are making billions off the middle income yet you only prefer to pick on government workers. 90% of government employees make $55,000 or less.

Just because you probably lost your job doesn’t mean that everyone should lose theirs because they are employeed by the government. I have sympathy for those who did lose their job. But for people like you… Hell no.

#87 Munch on 03.05.09 at 12:28 pm

Munch is from South Africa

Munch intended to be annoying, to wake you up

Munch stands in awe of the American people and their “entitlement” culture, and how it persists even as America implodes

Please don’t get Munch wrong – Munch wishes no harm on American (or Canadian) people – Munch just reports on what he see

Munch said it yesterday, Munch says it again today – welcome to the real world

#88 Munch on 03.05.09 at 12:29 pm

PS:

Munch wishes to make the point, again, that you are all trying to blame someone else, instead of taking accountability – by that I mean for you all to stand up and recognise that every one of you had a hand in the mess, like it or not

#89 Toronto C9 Renter on 03.05.09 at 12:33 pm

to #79 Contractor: Hilarious, thanks that made my day! And to think I was planning to offer 10% over list on Feb 3rd! ;)

to #80 Jack — Jack I’m afraid this is one you’ll need to try to figure out on your own

#90 TheComingDepression on 03.05.09 at 12:34 pm

Former US President advisor calling for double digit HYPERINFLATION coming. Garth , your about the only “advisor” stating “deflation”? Who’s right here?
We have Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, many many blogs, President advisors, Government officials all saying the same thing. Print more money you get INFLATION. Print more money you get DEFLATION? Which is it?

Deflation is the enemy. Right now, like the Taliban, it’s winning. — Garth

#91 wjp on 03.05.09 at 12:34 pm

#68 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 10:02 am

Bill…what a great plan…I just love your posts….
You need to stop being so politically correct and tell us how you really feel!!!! LMAO…

#92 wjp on 03.05.09 at 12:35 pm

NO MORE BAILOUTS…READ MY LIPS…

#93 David Bakody on 03.05.09 at 12:38 pm

#9 Chris in England on 03.04.09 at 9:29 pm

Hey Chris ….. me thinks it is an ode British line about a ” Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” now it this latest offer was a clean one ….. all I can say is OMG you may have missed the bus. Think, they may come as a surprise to Mr. El Cheapo …. Cash is King and having sold a house with cash in hand in a buyers market is better than gold.

Great lunch and from my friend he said business is good, real good and thinking about security and security equipment many must protect what they have for a number of valid reasons.

#94 dave99 on 03.05.09 at 12:42 pm

Regarding the recent RE sales numbers & prices, one should keep in mind the effect of the BoC rate cuts over the past year on the cost of mortgages. These rate cuts make owning a house more affordable and have juiced many buyers into the market but will eventually (probably? definately?) have to be taken back.

Now that the rates can’t go any lower, we’ll see prices moving on an apples to apples basis.

#95 Lance on 03.05.09 at 12:43 pm

“1 year = same as today. 5 years = at least 400% higher. — Garth”

And inflation running in the 6%-10% range… but not due to a heated economy… quite the opposite. Commodities increase, wages stay flat, economy grows very slowly (if at all).

We’ve often mused about how long it will be for the wages in China and India to catch up to ours… but maybe we’ll end up meeting in the middle. Food for thought.

#96 Calgary37 on 03.05.09 at 12:55 pm

Job Creation: Law Enforcement Sector

I have a variety of suggestions that could create a variety of new jobs in the Law Enforcement Sector.

The most important solution requires the Canadian Government to pass the appropriate legislation. I have previously submitted the following two pieces of legislation to the Conservative Caucus. They are the:

“Canadian Public Safety and Administrative Detention Act” and the “Canadian Temporary Administrative Detention Act”.

In simple terms, identify the problem and then isolate it. Once it is isolated, you can then choose how best to deal with the problem for the long-term. I can assure you that these Acts would provide a solution to most of the crime problems that we are currently having.

There would be a system of Prison Work Camps starting with some Forestry Work Camps.

Like it or not, Canada still requires one modern Federal Prison to be constructed. Planning and construction should begin ASAP.

In addition to these new jobs, it looks like too many people currently working in the Justice System are incompetent and need to be replaced.

According to the current news, RCMP Constable Millington and his cohorts should be replaced or undergo some serious retraining before they are allowed out into the public domain.

BTW, did anyone notice that Millington resembles an ex-BC CFL Fullback by the name of Millington?

Power to the People. Let the Revolution Begin.

#97 Skeptic on 03.05.09 at 12:59 pm

#36 nonplused wrote:
More for Skeptic. Seems like in a room full of bloggers my ass speaks at a level higher than his/her mouth. Read the second point:
http://www.howestreet.com/articles/index.php?article_id=8762

Yeah, ok smartypants, now all that’s left is to show me at least West European bank that has gone bakrupt BECAUSE of bad Eastern European mortgage loans. Like American banks have. Preferably with a link to bloomberg or reuters cause I don’t give a flying **** what Internet morons write on Internet blogs.

Ah, like you? — Garth

#98 John W. Warnock on 03.05.09 at 1:15 pm

Hi Garth:
Just visited an old friend in Vancouver. He has been running a small company that has been in the construction business, doing a special type of subcontracting work. In the last 18 months he has downsized from 60 employees to one, his office secretary. He is going to fold the company. He has no idea what he is going to do now. Yet the Globe and Mail proclaims that the recession will be over by the middle of this year. No wonder the media companies are in deep financial trouble. People are tired of lies.

#99 Jeff Smith on 03.05.09 at 1:20 pm

I don’t know if its true or not. But going by anecdotal evidence, in certain large cities in China (shanghai,beijing), the wage already caught up with ours. Especially in the upper level types of jobs that requires advanced education.

*********************************************
#93 Lance on 03.05.09 at 12:43 pm

“1 year = same as today. 5 years = at least 400% higher. — Garth”

And inflation running in the 6%-10% range… but not due to a heated economy… quite the opposite. Commodities increase, wages stay flat, economy grows very slowly (if at all).

We’ve often mused about how long it will be for the wages in China and India to catch up to ours… but maybe we’ll end up meeting in the middle. Food for thought.

#100 PTDBD on 03.05.09 at 1:20 pm

Garth, Denninger’s latest two postings make a great
companion for that cartoon “The End” that I emailed.

wowzer!
http://market-ticker.org/

Disclaimer: no bezzels have been exposed, jailed, regulated, or otherwise harmed in the making of this “Stock Market”, going forward

#101 Skeptic on 03.05.09 at 1:24 pm

Yeah Garth, like me, you and the rest of the morons on this blog. All I’m saying is that Western banks won’t go bankrupt BECAUSE of bad Eastern credits if they go down it will be because of their own domestic mess. The exposure to Eastern Europe is not that big like those dumb websites will have you believe. Eastern European countries have much more of their own banks that Western so what those blogger/journlist idiots are suggesting is that somehow all the bad mortgages came only to the Western banks branches, miraculously avoiding the much larger number of domestic banks!

#102 Jelly on 03.05.09 at 1:34 pm

Garth,

I have been a long time viewer and poster on this blog.

It seems to me that in the last year more and more

people have heard of you and I would be willing to bet

you get a lot more traffic on here. It seems like you just

put on a new posting and suddenly within a small

amount of time, there are over 80 postings.

Maybe more people are posting now but it’s probably

due to loads of visitors on this site. Has it doubled or

tripled recently because of all the news?

News be damned. People just love my cuddly nature. — Garth

#103 Calgary37 on 03.05.09 at 1:38 pm

Job Creation: Health Care System

“President Obama pushes community health centers as one focus of his health reform.”

Well, it so happens that I have my own version. It is a Tier 2 Emergency Room and Walk-in Medical Clinic. In Calgary, these centers would relieve the pressure on the emergency room of a nearby hospital. In a rural setting, this could function as a temporary hospital setting.

In general, most of the jobs generated would be new and would be spread out across Canada. This is just one example of the type of facilities that would be required to train the additional medical personnel that we require for our current Health Care System.

Canada supposedly has over 5000 foreign-trained doctors who have come to Canada to live, but have been unable to be certified and accepted into our Health Care System. In essence, Canada has stolen some of these doctors from a nation that still needs them, but we only allow them to drive taxi cabs instead.

I can appreciate that all of these doctors may not be on equal terms with each other and should have some type of orientation before they can be allowed to treat patients on their own. However, it seems that many of these doctors are being asked to take many months of educational training and then if they finish that, they find that there are no spaces for them to take the required additional residency requirement. In fact, it seems that even Canadian trained interns are unable to find a residency space in a Canadian hospital.

I have a comprehensive program to resolve this problem of training and integrating these doctors into the Canadian system. This was meant be part of a Government Program but could be adapted to a Private Enterprise venture.

There are also a number of foreign-trained nurses in the same situation.

Power to the People. Let the Revolution Begin.

#104 jo jo on 03.05.09 at 1:52 pm

‘It’s not that we listened to stupid people, it’s that we listened to the wrong smart people.’

This says it all.

#105 Shifty on 03.05.09 at 1:54 pm

Condos to be auctioned off
Pre-sales didn’t meet expectations at Langford’s Reflections project

http://www.timescolonist.com/Business/Langford+condos+auctioned/1355947/story.htm

#106 smwhite on 03.05.09 at 2:03 pm

Among the eight attending was Toronto’s reining condo king, one of Canada’s top economists, the most successful real estate agent in Canada by dollar sales, and a high-end architect-developer

I was waiting for the punchline, and found it when I read the following, f there is one culprit, they concluded, it is not the realtor, the banker, the developer or the borrower, but the wretched media.

The realtor, the banker, the developer or borrower had no problems when the reports were swinging too far the other way.

Yep, we’re still in denial.

#107 George on 03.05.09 at 2:11 pm

GOT A WATCH,
If you’re lurking this site. Re: Canuckistan Good writing on Mish’s blog. Kudos!

#108 Bruce on 03.05.09 at 2:16 pm

I suggest you all take a look at this and ponder what may lie ahead. I’m beginning to consider the words of Revelation 18 will come true in my lifetime…

http://market-ticker.org/archives/852-Whats-Dead-Short-Answer-All-Of-It.html

#109 Two-thirds on 03.05.09 at 2:17 pm

Garth and all,

I was lucky to have received a modest windfall this week. As an employed renter and a net-saver, I am considering divvying this $ up in the following fashion:

1 – 50% to RRSP contribution for 2009, which I may use down the road for a house downpayment via the HBP

2 – 25% in a savings account (TFSA) or GIC in a bank different than the 2 ones where I currently have savings

3 – 25% in a cash reserve, at home

Now, my question is, since I don’t own my place of residence, I cannot install a safe. Thus, would it be a good idea to buy traveller’s cheques in small denominations for my home reserve? I feel rather uneasy about keeping 2-3 months of expenses in cash without a safe or the possibility to “insure” that $ somehow. In case of a “bank holiday”, would I be able to use CAD traveller’s cheques to pay for daily expenses? I know I can cash them at the airport and currency exchange shops, in addition to banks but in the unlikely above scenario, would my cheques be good for anything?

Thanks for the feedback, and keep up the good work.

#110 Foreign Investor on 03.05.09 at 2:26 pm

C’mon Garth…by what % has your traffic to this Blog increased since January 1? 100% 200% 300%…it’s huge isn’t it….
———————————————————

Garth,

I have been a long time viewer and poster on this blog.

It seems to me that in the last year more and more

people have heard of you and I would be willing to bet

you get a lot more traffic on here. It seems like you just

put on a new posting and suddenly within a small

amount of time, there are over 80 postings.

Maybe more people are posting now but it’s probably

due to loads of visitors on this site. Has it doubled or

tripled recently because of all the news?

News be damned. People just love my cuddly nature. — Garth

#111 CM on 03.05.09 at 2:36 pm

#24 dmr

Reservists to be trained for “domestic threat” – scared the liver out of me, too.

When the U.S. announced the establishment of Northcom, a military unit based in the United States to respond to domestic threats, it passed practically unnoticed, as this one will in Canada. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed a spokes-soldier of Northcom, asking him what his duties would include (answer – whatever the President asked them to do) and if he realized that the use of military force against the citizens of one’s own country, the U.S., would be a violation of “posse comitatus”. He didn’t really sound like he knew exactly what that meant, and again repeated that he would do “whatever he was asked to do”.

The fact that he was breaking the law didn’t seem to be very important. The fact that he didn’t even KNOW he was breaking the law was even more disturbing.

There was also a mention in the paper the other day that the military from CFB might be used to patrol the bar district in Barrie, Ontario. Apparently there have been a few too many incidents of drunkeness and violence from off-duty soldiers in the area. If they were on the base, fine, but I don’t think the military should be patrolling the civilian areas.

Something similar happened near CFB Kingston during one of the holiday blitzes on dangerous and impaired driving, when MP’s from the base joined the local cops for a supposed “training exercise”. It was NOT well received by the locals.

Too much blurring between the military defending us and the military prosecuting us, I think.
—–
Something interesting, if you have the time to read it.

Robert Weissman on “Wall Street’s Best Investment” – how the banksters and corp heads bought the government.

Article here, with a link in it to “Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America””. Its a big 3 Meg PDF file of a 250 or so page book. So much to read, so little time.

http://www.counterpunch.org/weissman03052009.html

When the HarpoCons boast that they have WAY more money than every other political party, all I want to know is, “Where did it come from?”. I’m not expecting anwers any time soon.
—–
And those disgraced Countrywide guys who made bad loans? They’re back at work, buying the the bad mortgages for pennies on the dollar from the government, reducing the rates and getting paid maybe dimes on the dollars from the about-to-be-foreclosed homeowners.

All perfectly legal…but extremely slimy.

Once a crook, always a crook. They wouldn’t know how to operate any other way.

Former countrywide execs back in the game

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2009/03/04/Former_Countrywide_execs_back_in_the_game/UPI-61991236171875/

#112 Puzzled on 03.05.09 at 2:37 pm

So if I sell my home, and I rent, what do I do with the sale proceeds?

It seems everything keeps losing its value, or deflating.

Unless I have somewhere to place and protect my financial assets then I may as well stay where I am, in my own home.

Comments and suggestions welcome

#113 capella on 03.05.09 at 2:52 pm

# 48 Charles re: loan proposal by condo BOD

it depends. Seems like a large amount for a 72 unit condo. Loans usually should only be needed for an unexpected or emergency Reserve Fund project. If not an emergency, hunker down, pay the 55/mo more and do the fix when $ is in the RF. Be very very careful, many condo BODs are being told to do work by biased property managers or co.s selling stuff.

#114 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.05.09 at 2:54 pm

Hate campaign and ‘messaging’ coming from the right wing in the good ole USA. Why, it’s almost like that former Oxycontin addict … You know, the one who mocked Michael J. Fox for his Parkinson tremors. They’re regretting, with deep selfish distaste, the fact of tax cuts to the middle class / and tax increases for the top earners. BEWARE, don’t drop your “cookies” on this site … and have a good firewall program, lest ye be renditioned.

http://www.personalliberty.com/landing/financial_security/financial_security-poll.asp?SC=BLL1002

#115 Chris in England on 03.05.09 at 3:03 pm

ralph #38: “Take the offer! Unload the house. Cut your loses. The longer you wait you will end having to take what was offered anyway.”

“Remember the prices of real estate are dropping all over so you could sell now and wait. Rent in the mean time. Maybe even stay in your house and offer to pay rent to the new owner.”

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

We are selling the house to get out of this country, so the very last thing I would do is stay there and pay rent!

I absolutely agree that getting out quick is the best thing to do, and for what it’s worth – if it was left entirely up to me I would have taken the offer and scarpered on the next boat. But it isn’t entirely up to me so this morning the offer was refused. To my surprise we have not yet had a call from the agent to say these buyers have marched off into the sunset. Perhaps they have been playing a game with us to see if we are willing to finance all their planned renovations and decorations when in fact they can perfectly well afford to stump up the money. Who knows?

One thing has become abundantly clear to me in the past few months. Where years ago we were willing to scrimp and go without in order to find the money to buy a house – and live with the grotty decor, the old carpets, etc. until we could afford to tackle each problem in turn, “youngsters today” have no such patience. They want a house that is bigger and better than the one their parents live in, and they want it show home perfect and they want it immediately. This is the attitude we have seen time and time again, as it is the 20-30 brigade that have mostly come to see the house (with £ signs in their eyes). They are the ones who have been watching all the real estate porn, and they see a big old house they could make “improvements” to and drive up the value.

Even if they pay the current asking price (which is low) they will certainly realise a whacking great profit at some point, but that is not enough for them. They want us to finance some of their planned improvements. We are not priced unrealistically, believe me. Perhaps the older and wiser buyers (with longer memories, who are not seduced by historically low interest rates and media drivel that Things Are Looking Up!!) are sitting on the sidelines a little longer to see which way the wind blows. Interest in our house is starting to pick up now all that weird foreign snow has gone and people are daring to venture outdoors again, but what we have been getting up to now is a stream of would-be Yuppies with not enough money and who think our heads are zipped up the back.

It will be interesting to see how things develop. I’ll keep you all posted.

#116 David Bakody on 03.05.09 at 3:04 pm

#70 Calgary37 on 03.05.09 at 10:14 am

Absolutely and once Mr. Harper moved Canada to the pointy end it opened the door to many more non tendered military contracts that our Auditor General stated on CBC are on the list of spending that they are not directly available for audit if I heard her correctly?

#117 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 3:04 pm

#109 CM on 03.05.09 at 2:36 pm

The U.S. cannot use federal troops against Americans except in time of war and with Martial Law declared. Still, that duty would fall on the State Governor to activate the National Guard (which is what used to be called the Militia).

As a point of interest (and AMAZEMENT) former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day Oconnor was on Jon Stewarts show Tuesday night. She noted the a recent study found that no more than 30% of Americans can even name the three branches of the U.S. Government.

Man, has education totally gone in the crapper since I was in school! We had to know all that, who was who, the Presidents, Geography and all 50 States, as well as European Countries, Africa, and a full knowledge of Canada, its Capitol, all the provinces and territories and their capitols as well. Oh, and I was educated in the U.S. BTW.

No wonder the people are so easily manipulated, they are like the Dark Ages all over again ‘Equally illiterate, ignorant, and superstitious!’

As the CFB Borden MP’s (Military Police) patrolling Barrie, I suspect they have every right to. In the U.S. M.P.’s/S.P.’s are always on civlian area patrol to control the troops. That is especially true overseas as well.

It is usually the result of a mutual aide type agreement between the governing civilian law enforcement and the military base.

#118 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 3:12 pm

One thing I have not seen stated here is the fact that if you already have a home, are able to pay your bills on time, then why move?

Even if your inflationary value based equity diminishes you still have the home to live in and are reducing your debt by paying your current mortgage.

Eventually you will own the home, so even if it takes 1 to 20 years for things to stabilize you will still have paid it off, own it, and be able to sell it for a then real profit!

Otherwise you will take the loss and also have to pay rent to someone whom may be in dire financial straights as well, and who will sell off the rental property to someone who will then evict you for the ability to charge more rent than you are paying. Not to mention moving costs, etc..

Maybe my old fashioned American training will help here ‘A Bird in The Hand is Worth Two in The Bush! Benjamin Franklin

Remember Haste Makes Waste!

#119 dave99 on 03.05.09 at 3:13 pm

#88 TheComingDepression,

Gee whiz, you sound like a petulant 14yr old girl who’s just found out that the handsome qtrback is dating a cheerleader.

Garth likes the non-depressioners better. That’s the way it is. So get over it, he’s just not that into you!

#120 kitchener1 on 03.05.09 at 3:14 pm

RE: Skeptic,

Western European banks were all invested in toxic mortgage garbage that was sold by US banks, if they fail, that will be a large reason for it. But do not underestimate the damage that the failure of one or two eastern european countries would do too them. A failure of one of these countries to repay debt would be catastrophic to any W europe bank already on the edge.

Western European banks are also taking a hit on there forex accounts with the Euro being so low.

#121 Chris in England on 03.05.09 at 3:14 pm

AM #54: “To Chris in England

Take the offer if at all possible. If in case you missed it, your hubby may reconsider after reading this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/4942265/House-prices-fall-a-futher-2.3pc-in-February.html

Cheers”

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

Thanks AM, I just sent the link on to him. He’ll love it (more doom and gloom). Needles to say, I am more than 30 miles away from him at the moment!

Tin hats at the ready.

#122 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 03.05.09 at 3:20 pm

#82 maria –

The majority of typically huntable wildlife has long since moved far away from urban areas where most people live. With the exception of nuisance wildlife, that is.

Nuisance wildlife is that which has thrived and is causing severe imbalance in the biosphere. The imbalance occurs because of too many suburbs expanding into regions where predators once lived.

Certain deer species, wild pigs, and canada geese are the worse, most overpopulated species which have been proliferating out of control. Many multiples more of those exist now, than a hundred years ago. Under proper, ethical hunting laws, huge amounts of these species could be ethically harvested with properly trained, licensed hunters. That would just bring their numbers back into balance. Sadly, the numbers of hunters have been decreasing over the years at a time when these nuisance species have been proliferating out of control.

#123 dekethegeek on 03.05.09 at 3:21 pm

#24 dmr
“Canadian and American military are training for domestic threats.’
I remember OKA back in the day and the Regular Canadian Forces had their hands full with that minor,summer time skirmish.
Lets also not forget in the U.S. the LA Riots when the 6 police were aquitted for Rodney Kings arrest.
Long story short here, ANY major domestic insurrection in Canada or the U.S. would be next to impossible to “control” because
a) in Canada there aint enough troops.
b) Everyone in the US has a gun(or four).
Case in point, Iraq (geographically similar in size to Ontario)has a population of 15 million and there are 250,000 US troops there ready to shoot at anything that doesnt look ok and they still dont have total control,far from it.
Canada’s population is now 33 million and the land mass is 20 times that. The US has 300 million people and 600 million guns. Good luck trying to get a handle on that!
Nothing to worry about. There wont be a junta in the “North of America” yet. Unless of course the population was starving and people WANTED it.

#124 Anxiously Waiting the Housing decline on 03.05.09 at 3:29 pm

Garth,

What do you recommend as it relates to a mortgage rate…

When we buy in Feb 2010, should we do fixed for a longer term… 10 years at a higher rate or should we do 5 years and hope that interest rates are not higher than the 10 year rate that was offered in 2010?

All mortgages all the time should be variable. You can adjust as need be. No need to pay a premium. — Garth

#125 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 3:52 pm

Regarding the Barrie/Border Patrols here is the story Barrie police chief agreeable to having army help curb weekend rowdyism

The military police would deal only with their own personnel and not civilians in Barrie, he said.

That is along standing practice between Military and Civilian law enforcement. It also means those military personnel busted get to spend time in the Brig on their base which alleviates the Barrie Police from housing their immature, drunken arses at taxpayer expense.

And the UCMJ will deal with them much faster and harser than civilian courts will. Then they may still face civilian charges as well. Double hard lesson for those who wear a uniform. They fear the MP’s a lot more than the Barrie Police because they don’t have all the Whiner’s Rights working for them in the military!

#126 Marc on 03.05.09 at 4:09 pm

#115 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 3:04 pm

You were taught Canadas capital city in an American school? I remember watching ESPNs Pardon the Interuption when the hosts were talking about the NHL finals, and said they were tired of anonymous Canadian cities playing for the Stanley Cup. The Ottawa Senators were in the finals that year, so my has the education system changed.

#127 Sail1 on 03.05.09 at 4:22 pm

29 Marcus Aurelius

I see you have done some research. Totally enjoyed the post.

#128 wjp on 03.05.09 at 4:32 pm

#88….Hyperinflation requires demand…there is no demand…people have no money…those who do are squirreling it away…saving in safe instruments (if there is such a thing)for their possible retirement or to buy food in tough times…this after they have exhausted their debt…in 20 years, you may have inflation!
Until then, the economy will be going in reset, GM and others will disappear after draining the taxpayer dry. Banks in the US will be nationalized and Canadian Banks will survive but teeter on the brink…we must all get used to living within our means. We need to stop looking for others to pull us from the abyss…isn’t going to happen…the so called experts don’t have a clue!
BAILOUTS ARE DESTRUCTIVE!!!!

#129 TheComingDepression on 03.05.09 at 4:35 pm

#117 Dave99, Garth allowed that wasted post? Maybe your reading the wrong site perhaps you should be going to this one, you’ll sleep better
http://disney.go.com/index

#130 jess on 03.05.09 at 5:23 pm

daily show: answers that santelli rant on cnbc …very good when you throw the FACTS out….
http://www.thecomedynetwork.ca/shows/showdetails.aspx?sid=3350

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

#131 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.05.09 at 5:40 pm

My God! I didn’t think I would live to see this happen? Harper admits he erred!!!

Conservatives concede error in issuing attacks in DFO’s name

And even more coverage
Tories caught using public money for party releases

Hey Garth, Are you SMILING yet? LOL

Seems Steve also is learning his ability to control the media ends at the border?

Journal attacks Harper over Afghan stance

Darn, he’s blown it now!!! LOL Bet his invite to Bush’s Ranch is cancelled too?

Man, things are truly TOUGH ALL OVER!

#132 David on 03.05.09 at 5:42 pm

One can hope that realtor lady reads this blog. Families unloading inverted mortgages will find much to their chagrin, that they are insolvent. The make believe world of adding granite counter tops and stainless steel sub zero fridges and flipping is over. CIBC issued a press release that the mortgage market is going through a 50% contraction. Occasionally the truth comes out.
Prices will correct to the 1995-96 inflation adjusted levels. Call it reversion to the mean, if you want.

#133 hmm.. on 03.05.09 at 5:53 pm

That is a bank rate of 2%. — Garth

it is amazing how many ‘educated’ bloggers have not got a clue what 400% works out to….

No wonder that everybody is in debt up to their chin.

#134 AJW on 03.05.09 at 5:59 pm

#18 SP
Re: Public Service

SP, I work in the public service and bust my ass everyday. The reason why? Because I believe in this country and the people in it. I could easily transport my skills to the private sector and rake in more cash. There are countless others like me in the public service. We sat by and watched while the private sector reaped the cash over the past decade. Now things are getting shaky and you want us to be the ones that take the cut? Good one.

#135 David Bakody on 03.05.09 at 6:00 pm

Just to let y’all know a drop of 300 pts on the stock market = 600 plus to what it was at it highest peak, on the housing side ….. not many home sales here in Halifax Dartmouth and the banks are still tight with money. I see car loans are around 7% for those brave enough to buy …. was talking with good friend and he is going to buy his lease out as the residual value is 50% less than a good deal on a 08, and it makes good sense to me. A year old car was gift from heaven in my working days. Looking for (no requirement) for a 40″ TV there has been some movement but not much even though I was the only one in 3 stores I walked into for pricing only. They all were willing to throw in a deal on cables and a reduction on extended warranty.

#136 Jake on 03.05.09 at 6:06 pm

Skeptic, Garth totally owned you on #95. You totally called yourself a moron…hahahahaha.

Seriously though, I have been quite impressed by the quality of posts on this blog. I used to frequent 3 blogs but this one is much better.

I also like how this house is not all about real estate. The bears have won, that debate is over. It’s nice to spend some time on other approaching storms.

#137 Jake on 03.05.09 at 6:16 pm

Munch in South Africa,
I think you are totally right man. The rest of the world must be enjoying the collapse of the wasteful west. It’s sad, but true. We have used more than our share of the earth’s resources and it is catching up to us. I am in medical school and dealing with obesity drives me crazy. I know, I know, some people have thyroid problems. The truth is though, most of us consume more than we need. The 3rd world starves to death, while we eat ourselves to death. It’s sad to think that our children may not have the opportunity to be as fat as we are……not.
Sadly, I think the coming storm will be a lot harder on the 3rd world than it will be on us. We will go from good to bad and they will go from bad to worse.

#138 Too Old Bob$ on 03.05.09 at 6:17 pm

“#100 Jelly on 03.05.09 at 1:34 pm
Garth,
It seems to me that in the last year more and more
people have heard of you and I would be willing to bet
you get a lot more traffic on here.”

I’ve known Garth for about 20 years. The other day, the kids were fooling around and knocked some old books off the shelf, behold there was a book about Real Estate written by Garth. I thought what the hell, is he still around after politics or did he retire somewhere exuberant, like Baffin Isand. So after hooking up to the my neighbours Cable box, I logged on to the Internet and found this pent-up optimistic blog. Now I realize that he is still around, like me, teaching, talking and paying the bills.

BTW! Garth I guess with the Internet, there is no need for “The Survival Letter” being paper and all, then again!

#139 rory on 03.05.09 at 6:23 pm

#120 Republic_of_Western_Canada

…That’s because you jackass’s shot all the damn predators (culled is the word some like to use) and besides it sounds like government tinkering …something a republic guy would and should frown upon …as to nuisance – if we let the dogs run off leash most of these nuisances (I call them nice to see) would be long gone into the wild but then again we tinkered with that too (you vote for that one as well) …one more reason to let the suburbs die – more habitiat for wildlife …hunting is not a long term solution to anything…jeez.

#140 Too Old Bob$ on 03.05.09 at 6:33 pm

“#131 hmm.. on 03.05.09 at 5:53 pm That is a bank rate of 2%. — Garth
it is amazing how many ‘educated’ bloggers have not got a clue what 400% works out to….
No wonder that everybody is in debt up to their chin.

So true!. I found out back in 1982 what % means. I bought my house with 25% down and locked in 5 year mortgage. Got my year end statement and noticed how much I paid to the Bank and how much went to the principle. WHOA!. So after losing 9-10 % because it dropped in price due to a correction, I took steps to pay it off. I did nothing but work, when everyone was vacationing. I took no holidays, worked weekends, bought nothing, didn’t do a friggin thing but work. Changed the Mortgage to every 2 weeks, put 10% down every year. Well! persistence paid off. Mortgage free in 8 years. I was still pissed even after that when I realized how much I gave to the Bank, compared to what the House was actually worth, when I first purchased it. Yep! it sucked, but like Munch would say: “take accountability and pain”.

#141 Sail1 on 03.05.09 at 6:34 pm

A Liberal senator is threatening to push for a separatist movement in Newfoundland and Labrador if the Harper government continues to discriminate against the province.

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2199684/posts

Hey maybe this guy should get together with Gilles, Lucien,René and we cant forget good old Jacques Parizeau.

They can exchage recepeis and see how much more money the can milk out of , B.C Ontario and Alberta.

#142 rory on 03.05.09 at 6:35 pm

#132 AJW

Let’s try this one more time (please see the link, refute it if you wish but please send data) …you are not underpaid …you have a pension …we all expect to go to work everyday and bust our asses that is why they (I) pay you …please, please go to the private sector …I will take your job …quit crying and get used to it …the public sectors turn is coming…another jeez.

http://www.cfib.ca/research/reports/rr3077.pdf

#143 rory on 03.05.09 at 6:46 pm

#132 AJW

Since you got me started …lose a job/house/stocks in the private sector = no taxes being paid = less gov’t revenue = less money to pay public sector employees = cuts??? …hello AJW …oversimplified but I though you might need it that way.

The Public Service serves at the pleasure of the Public, not the other way around …you need to get that straight also.

#144 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 03.05.09 at 6:46 pm

This short video may take your attention off the financial junk that’s going on nowadays. — http://www.wimp.com/athiestgod

I posted a couple of Wal-Mart jokes at http://progressivecomrades.blogspot.com/ under the lead story.

#145 Calgary Rocks on 03.05.09 at 7:07 pm

SP, I work in the public service and bust my ass everyday. The reason why? Because I believe in this country and the people in it.

Congrats on being the exception. Most do it because it’s much easier not to worry about losing your job every time the economy takes a dump. Those juicy pensions and short hours are also cool.

I could easily transport my skills to the private sector and rake in more cash. There are countless others like me in the public service. We sat by and watched while the private sector reaped the cash over the past decade. Now things are getting shaky and you want us to be the ones that take the cut? Good one.

No cuts needed. Unless there is no more money or your pension plan is in the hole. Don’t expect the private sector to make up the difference. Not our problem. Pay for your own retirement or get a second job.

#146 Calgary Rocks on 03.05.09 at 7:13 pm

What the *** is your problem??? Our employees ARE great people and they will come back in a heartbeat.

Lee, don’t take this the wrong way. The problem with working for a micro company is that there is no buffer in bad times. We’re 3 months into this and you’re already cutting into the meat, as you say.

If they really are great, I hope for their own sake that they DO NOT COME BACK and they find opportunities where they will not be unemployed every time the economy sputters.

#147 TakingResponsibility on 03.05.09 at 7:27 pm

RE: #128 jess

Hola! That link you provided on Santelli’s rant is freaking hilarious!! “Wall Street is mad as hell … at loser’s bailouts…”

Totally made my day. Thanks!

#148 $fromA$ia on 03.05.09 at 8:12 pm

Garth , the problem with RE agents is they don’t know what it’s like to get their hands dirty nor do they know what it’s like to work 9-5. All they need is a sale a month and they can go play tennis, golf, ski etc, etc.

They are so detatched from reality.

All they need is people to buy??? A$$holes.

As for the Developers that are holding Canada’s majority of the money so that Canada has to print more for circulation.

If this was Russia or China there would be some payback!!!

#149 MikeB on 03.05.09 at 8:24 pm

Here’s a great T.O. real estate story. Saw a house today that the current owners bought several years ago from a builder for about $780K. Last year they put it on the market for some personal reasons at a whopping 1.2 Million. this is a very nice house on a very small lot but has one prob… a leaky basement and zero backyard. Now the house is on the market just under 800K. Sad thing is they were offered 900K months ago and turned it down. … did I mention a leaky basement.
One bonehead buyer was interested but then backed out at the last moment. The moral of the story is that
real estate has no identifiable metric to determine its value…. just what the other house down the street sold for last week or last month, Unlike stocks, except Enron or Holinger, you can look at the books and see what the value is independent of emotion.
The real story though is the almighty G word… GREED.
If you paid less than 800k and now get an offer for 900K in spite of the leaky basement then why not take it. Well the answer is plain straight up.

#150 Boombust on 03.05.09 at 8:34 pm

#67 MarKoz on 03.05.09 at 9:56 am

Where have you been? The slide in Vancouver has already begun in earnest.

#151 dodgedabullit in Alberta on 03.05.09 at 9:42 pm

Greetings: I sure wish we had some of this here in Canada. It might help reign in the lies and spin.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10560334

#152 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 03.05.09 at 9:59 pm

#137 rory

Try real hard to calm down, you’re evidently foaming at your mouth.

The fact is, expansion of suburbs into wild areas paves over areas that all sorts of animals used for shelter, food, water, etc. If you had ever learned to hunt effectively instead of deriding something you don’t know anything about, you would understand that and a thousand times more about wild animals.

Hunting in fact IS a big solution to a lot of imbalances. It’s called the natural order of things. Predators hunt and kill other animals to eat, which in turn proliferate to offset that. Mankind has always been part of that hunting balance, whether your PC-addled mind likes it or not.

Running some dogs after huge numbers of nuisance species is remarkably stupid. First, domestic hounds are horribly inept at fending for themselves in the wild, secondly they would be sliced to ribbons by any enraged deer (up to 300 pounds on the hoof) or tusks of wild boar (whose nastiness, toughness and vindictiveness are exceeded only by cape buffalo). Incidentally leopards have become nuisance species in some areas of the world too because of their adaptability – stray dog populations mysteriously disappear when one moves into an urban area. Dogs don’t fly too well either, nor swim as well as geese, so you’re pretty much pooched if you try to constantly chase those away with dogs. They’re also very heavy, strong, aggressive birds that can break a human shinbone with their wing.

But guess what? The common ones are all great to eat, and a healthy challenge to hunt with any legal weapon. One deer can feed a strong active guy like myself for a couple of months. Wild boar can become huge, but wild pork chops, etc, from an average one will keep you good for a month. Lots of meat on a goose, too. But you have to learn how they live and lots other things about hunting first. Most are very smart, and a helluva lot stronger, quicker, and aware than you’ll ever be.

They only thing you got right is the madly excessive over-expansion of suburbs, AND their human populations. Those are core problems and have to be stopped and reversed.

#153 Taxpayer like you on 03.05.09 at 11:23 pm

1 year = same as today. 5 years = at least 400% higher. — Garth

The BoC rate is now 0.5%. Four times that is 2%. Calm down. — Garth

Garth – you dont multiply by four, you add four multiples
ie answer 2.5%. Back to the REE penalty box. Yeah i
know, its a crummy 0.5%

Hope youre right

#154 rory on 03.05.09 at 11:54 pm

#150 Republic_of_Western_Canada

Hey rowc … sorry I think you got a wrong message from me (my fault??) …I definitely do not condone dogs running wild or be out free without supervision (off leash preferable) or to be used in hunting/running of any kind (except maybe dogs that fetch dead things).

As to hunting …there is just a few of you out in the bush today so really not a huge threat to wildlife …now multiply that number by 10 or 50 or 100, then you get a problem.

Any problems we have are usually caused by us and the wildlife suffers because of it. I see your inventive solution is the same as ever – kill it …no reponsiblity on our end (see a pattern here with our debt crisis)

Seems when we tinker with anything we seem to mess it up … reminds me of the gov’t bailing out the elites at the expense of us – common wildlife …and yeah I get excited on animal issues.

#155 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.06.09 at 10:18 am

#152 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 03.05.09 at 9:59 pm

Hey, if we want to eat Canada Geese then just hang around an airport. They come out de-feathered and cooked!

As to hunting, I do not because I find no real need to do so. Were there a need then I would. What annoys me, and I think many non-hunters are the Macho Morons who do it just to get a thrill from killing an animal. Yes, they do exist, and they are punks in my opinion. They are no different than the kid who tortures a small animal just for the ‘fun’ of it!

As one of my favourite bumper stickers says ‘Vegetarian: Indian Word For Lousy Hunter!’

Or as a pickup truck said ‘PETA = People Enjoying Tasty Animals’

The Arctic Aboriginals have no real choice because darn little else is edible in their very real and harsh world. They are, contrary to popular belief, also capable of abusive over hunting and have needlessly slaughtered large herds just to do it.

The real source of all the imbalance was the moronic teaching by religion that man has dominion over all the earth. The real meaning was man is supposed to be a wise Steward over the earth, not a reckless fool. That is the real difference between western and aboriginal cultures.

The lack of understanding about what an ecosystem is is also a mqjor problem. Everything works together in a complimentary cycle that promotes life. Every time man tries to ‘correct’ something he makes it worse. Ask the Aussies about their little foray with rabbits as one example. We are finally learning, but have along way to go.

The Citiots who complain about wildlife messing up their little running paths make me want to open a season on them. Sheesh, what a bunch of mindless jerks. They want a sterile concrete world and never realize they are damaging not only the ecosystem but creating Urban Thermal Wells that are contributing to climate change.

Progress, as I said, is being made slowly…too slowly!

#156 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.06.09 at 11:06 am

#130 jess on 03.05.09 at 5:23 pm

Stewart did more to explain and expose the fraud of Wall Street than all the MSM combined. The show was dead serious as I stated earlier this morning. Glad you also posted the link.

I especially loved his discussion with the NYT columnist about how the taxpayers are being bilked twice for the bad mortgages these Paper Shuffling Con Artists have Ponzi Schemed.

I am going to have our Financial Adviser transfer all our money into Bank or Government notes and take it away from the Stock Markets Criminals. They are nothing more than gamblers and we can’t afford their habit!

I see that as the Cold Turkey Cure for their blatant greed.

#157 Barb the proofreader on 03.06.09 at 6:12 pm

#88 Munch on 03.05.09 at 12:29 pm

Munch,

I agree with you totally and I’ve said it many times before. Everyone should take their responsibility for their part in what’s happened.. and look retrospectively at what they’ve done wrong and what more they can do. Everyone has their own one six billionth responsibility in the world’s problems. Every Canadian has their one 33 millionth share in Canada, etc.

Everyone needs to ask themselves did you vote for the wrong party, or did you sign up to campaign for a good person to run for office, and do you participate fully toward the solution or just sit back and smugly criticize.. or worse, turn your back or give up in depression over an inability to effect change. No one said life was going to be easy. No one gave us permission to be a lazy member of the tribe.

#158 Barb the proofreader on 03.06.09 at 6:17 pm

Bill Nam, thanks for the link but I disagree with your assessment of it. They need to roll up their sleeves old-fashioned style and stay engaged with their riding. No better measure than to have constituents fork out ten bucks to say ‘yes, you da one, here’s my name and support’. There’s a bigger picture reflected by the grass roots. Measuring the grass roots is an organized way to remind and motivate people that politics is a participatory obligation of all citizens, whether they like it or not.

#159 Barb the proofreader on 03.06.09 at 6:20 pm

#9 Chris in England on 03.04.09 at 9:29 pm

Chris from England,
Your hubby is afraid of moving, or afraid of change. They $20K is a cover-up. Challenge him on that.

You have two options, kind but firm, or, go bezerk until he gives in to the offer.

If you are sure you want to move, then don’t let him get away with a lame excuse like 20K more. That’s ridiculous. Tell him to get a grip and get real and get some guts.

#160 Barb the proofreader on 03.06.09 at 8:09 pm

#55 David Bakody on 03.05.09 at 8:37 am

Are we limiting the commune to 14? :)

I was thinking yesterday.. where can one grow their own food almost year round, but those temperate zones are further south.. oh well, back to Safeway.

#161 robert j on 03.07.09 at 11:34 am

As bad as it is … it could be worse. For a bit of an up-lift read …… http://www.newsweek.com/id/183670