And now the news

vultures1

Ironic, eh?

Just when there’s good news to report, they’re firing the reporters. So, tomorrow morning 24 fewer people will be working at CTV’s Canada AM, and the network is killing off the last urban morning newscast that it had in Canada.

But just imagine if there was still an announcer, instead of  “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The lineup would include:

* Stock markets around the world romp higher, led by a 380-point gain for the Dow. That 6% one-day surge was the best tickle investors have had so far in 2009.
* Are we at the beginning of the end of the banking crisis? Just when everyone was expecting Citibank to put its paws in the air, the place made $8 billion in two months.
* What’s going on with real estate? Resale numbers for a number of major Canadian cities are higher. Is this a dead cat bounce? Or has Fluffy found the Viagra vial?
* Mortgage rates have crashed. Scotia’s just dragged its one-year loan rate down to 3.25%, which means you can carry $400,000 for less than two grand a month. There are more cuts to come, we hear, paving the way for the cheapest money in a generation.
* Bernie Madoff could get 150 years.

Of course, this is but one day. And there’s still an endless stream of bad news. Even while the prime minister was giving a we’re-okay speech in Brampton on Tuesday, his finance minister was warning of god-awful jobless numbers due out on Friday. Oil prices were slumping again and the clock ticked down further on the car business. The number of desperate homebuyers swelled as another 24 hours brought new listings and countless price reductions. The IMF said the next few years will suck.

But it’s all consistent with what you should expect. 2009 will be the worst year in memory for job losses and a trashing of personal finances. This means consumer spending will slow even more and retailers  struggle to survive. Fear of unemployment will also keep the housing market sputtering and prices falling. The real economy – where we all live and work – will take at least three to five years to stabilize before life gets much better. And we might not see 2007 housing prices again until, oh, 2020.

Meanwhile, however, the financial markets will lead the assault higher once it appears the absolute bottom is visible. Perhaps that was last week, but more likely it will be six months from now. In any case, Tuesday’s splendour amid the carnage should give you a taste of what’s coming. And on the heels of bank stocks soaring, but later, will be the relentlessly increasing price of energy as fears of global collapse fade and all those pesky Chinese keep buying new wheels.

This does not mean we will go back to no-money-down real estate, college kids buying new houses, the main drag of Fort Mac lined with $60K pickups, endless credit or unregulated trillion-dollar hedge funds. The good old days of a year ago are gone, replaced with a new frugality – a time in which baby boomer suburban particle-board pleasure palaces may forever go unloved. But it does mean a disturbing and unwelcome interlude of deflation will have succeeded in dropping stock values by half and houses by a third.

Ah, carrion. Shall we circle?

142 comments ↓

#1 Paul Milton - ING may miss interest payments on 03.10.09 at 10:07 pm

Not so fast yongsters, ‘good’ news (not for deposit holders) coming soon:
ING shares fall on bond fears
Concern bank may miss interest payments

http://www.financialpost.com/news-sectors/story.html?id=1313306

#2 Pat G on 03.10.09 at 10:08 pm

Just happened upon this tasty little morsel on YouTube.

Did you watch the Senate Finance Hearings today? Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkk_OR6Dqt8

#3 DG on 03.10.09 at 10:23 pm

It’s hard to think of a politician who is more disingenuous than Harper. At least with Obama there is an air of sincerity and intelligence, and certainty that, in the main, he’s genuinely committed to doing what’s right for the US people.

Will Obama get everything even mostly right? Absolutely not, but in these times Harper feels like such an anachronism by comparison. A mean-spirited, ignorant ideologue whose only interest is holding on to power. Times are too uncertain for the Canadian public to tolerate such a politician.

#4 James Pike on 03.10.09 at 10:25 pm

“baby boomer suburban particle-board pleasure palaces”

I wouldn’t have the guts to write this, but I loved reading it.

I have to ask what makes you think the stock market will rebound so early?

#5 RexallPalace on 03.10.09 at 10:53 pm

“baby boomer suburban particle-board pleasure palaces” Thats awesome!

For those trying to sell now it seems that you either cut your perceived losses, or cross your fingers that spring will save you, risking that prices could fall off the cliff at any point.

http://tinyurl.com/b28epm

#6 No dilemna here on 03.10.09 at 10:57 pm

Even a dead cat will bounce if it hits the ground hard enough! Ever hear of a BEAR TRAP?
That being said, stocks look ahead, not backwards like RE.
Corporations write off everything down to zero in these times as well so they look stronger coming into the next upward part of the cycle.
Nobody expected it to be this bad and nobody knows what happens next or how long it will take.
I am dollar cost averaging as I am positive I will not be able to call the bottom.

#7 dd on 03.10.09 at 11:02 pm

Interesting Post.

Funny. A couple days of good news and oil stocks like Suncor rally to $30 from a low of $18 only about 4 months ago. You would think with all the layoffs and energy distruction oil prices would still be marching lower for the short term.

#8 dd on 03.10.09 at 11:04 pm

James Pike

“I have to ask what makes you think the stock market will rebound so early?”

Come on James, you should know that answer if you have been on this log for a while. The market could have reached bottom last week. If any one could predict it that last thing they would be doing is writting on this blog.

#9 POL-CAN on 03.10.09 at 11:06 pm

Three words: Bear Market Rally

How long will it last?

#10 squidly77 on 03.10.09 at 11:13 pm

stock market bulls are drunk with joy
Stock Market: To the Moon!
click on the chart in the link to get a better perspective it was updated after the markets closed today

i hope that citi guy wasnt lying
thats the kinda monkey business you can get jailed for

#11 Basil Fawlty on 03.10.09 at 11:17 pm

Interesting perspective by Thomas (The Earth is Flat) Friedman, in the New York Times.
“What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall – when Mother Nature and the market both said: no more.”
Who would have expected such talk from Mr. Friedman?
More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/opinion/08friedman.html?_r=2&th&emc=th

#12 Just a Girl on 03.10.09 at 11:27 pm

“Ah carrion. Shall we circle?”

So, you see them too, eh?

#13 Might As Well Be Concerned on 03.10.09 at 11:27 pm

Will these low mortgage rates not cause another blowout when they expire? Just as the rates start not creep but climb up later on when things get better and then the homebuyer is then squeezed again and the cycle starts over again?

#14 Jay Currie on 03.10.09 at 11:30 pm

One sparrow does not make a Spring.

A day’s good news beats the heck out of a week’s bad news but there are still plenty of shoes to drop. The good news for Canadians is more about what we have preserved. We still have banks which make profits. We still have the lowest national debt to GDP in the G7. We still have oil, gas, hydro, gold, potash and a host of other natural resources.

We still have a dollar which is significantly undervalued.

Canada could come out of this – whenever “this” ends – looking like Switzerland in the 1960’s except with actual resources.

Meanwhile, keep your powder dry ’cause this is not over and won’t be for some time.

#15 dd on 03.10.09 at 11:30 pm

Paul Milton – ING may miss interest payments ING
“shares fall on bond fears Concern bank may miss interest payments”

I get that same warm feeling about the banks in Canada.

#16 Nicholas P on 03.10.09 at 11:33 pm

HEY DG!!

IT’S FRIGHTENING TO ME THAT YOU ARE SO NAIVE TO THINK THAT THE JESTER (HARPER) AND HIS SIDE-KICK (FLAHERTY) HAVE ANYTHING MORE TO OFFER THAN A CHEAP LAP DANCE AND A RUB DOWN.

PERHAPS YOU WILL WAKE UP WHEN YOU TURN AROUND TO SEE WHO IS BRINGING UP THE REAR WITH MORE PAIN BUT YOUR PIMP OBAMA.

SEE: THE DESCRIPTION OF PARSONS FROM GEORGE ORWELL’S 1984 TO SEE HOW NARRATIVE LITERARY HISTORY SEES MORONS LIKE YOU…

http://www.enotes.com/1984/q-and-a/who-parsons-what-do-they-represent-3406

I THINK YOU MAY ACTUALLY ENJOY JAIL. GOOD LUCK

#17 tsharpoon on 03.10.09 at 11:46 pm

The good ol’ days are gone??? Whaaaat?? You don’t say…

Garth; I really enjoyed the last paragraph – How about this statement from NYTimes columnist Tom Friedmann:

‘We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese … ”

“We can’t do this anymore. ”

You may have heard this one: Collapsonomics?

Let’s see some real reporting in the media. Not how things will return to our idea of what is normal, but how this whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically.

#18 Grumpydawgs on 03.11.09 at 12:05 am

We were in a bubble. We will not return to the bubble. Theres a lot of desperation , but desperation and wishful thinking doesn’t make a market. If you’re wondering how the market can go up in the face of such bad news then look no further than the vulture analogy. The desperate are trying to make up lost money and buying hoping that the markets roar back and make it right. But..guys like me already have our sell orders in and I’m ready to short all you wishful thinkers out of your shaky optimistic bucks. Did you forget to keep the fundamentals in mind/

#19 Increasing that 1% on 03.11.09 at 12:08 am

These are strange times.
A house on my street, (SW Ont) just over 300k, (more expensive than mine), just sold after only @ 2 weeks.
I had estimates for painting and plumbing help here..insane prices (or criminals). These people were NOT needing work.

#20 mikef on 03.11.09 at 12:25 am

Citigroup healthy and profitable?

Most of Wall Street disagrees
[url]http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/10/news/newsmakers/citi.pandit.fortune/index.htm[/url]

#21 Coho on 03.11.09 at 12:36 am

The financial meltdown has exposed the evil workings of banksters and their enablers (politicians). It has exposed that MPs’ first allegiance is to their party, whose first allegience in turn is to banks, brokerage houses and corporations. MP’s who are sincere in their quest to serve their constituents are told how the game is played while their hands are being tied in the halls of power. Just ask Garth.

However, this exposure seems to mean nothing to 98% of the posters on this blog and others. It’s the same old talk about getting back to the good times when we didn’t know we were getting screwed from every direction.

Is ignorance bliss? The truth can be hard to accept, but the consequences of turning a deaf ear and blind eye to it can be very destructive. Discovering that your spouse is cheating on you is hard to accept. Some people would rather pretend it is not happening and adopt a state of denial rather than confront the one betraying them.

Yes, truth can be disturbing, but it should NOT be unwelcome, particularly if it is a cancerous tumour threatening your life that needs to be cut out.

#22 Bobby G on 03.11.09 at 12:43 am

Citibank 8 billion profit?
Doesn’t take much to fool the herd does it?
LOL

#23 Brian on 03.11.09 at 12:58 am

Garth I respect your opinions with one caveat. Are you putting any money where your mouth (or blog) is? When you make a prediction such as “The real economy – where we all live and work – will take at least three to five years to stabilize before life gets much better. And we might not see 2007 housing prices again until, oh, 2020.” Would you take a $20 bet they recover by 2019. How about $200,000? Wouldn’t a prudent person hedge their bets by factoring in the inflationary effects of all of this stimulus and quantitative easing (gov speak for printing money).

#24 Future Expatriate on 03.11.09 at 1:01 am

Anyone who believes Citi’s fudged figures for a single second is the greatest fool of all; just wait until the real numbers come in.

Hopefully this will be the last suckers’ rally.

#25 Gord In Vancouver on 03.11.09 at 1:01 am

And we might not see 2007 housing prices again until, oh, 2020.
__________________________________

I’ve been one of the biggest real estate bears on this board but disagree with you on this one.

#26 soesoe on 03.11.09 at 1:03 am

The increased housing activity being reported the past two weeks better be a dead cat bounce. The 14-16% decline we’ve seen in Vancouver since peak means nothing!!!!! It frustrates me when I hear sellers crying because they’ve had to lower their price by 20K on a house that they bought 4 years early for about half of what they now ask $1M.
Crappy SFH fixers in Vancouver are still $800,000 and if you want to live on the Westside away from the gangster targeted shootings your looking at $1,200,000 plus.

BTW, I’m in my early thirties and have owned two homes South of the border between 2005 and 2008. We were very lucky to have sold both just before things really went downhill. We made about 35K on one house after closing and lost about 20K on the other :( It could have been much worse.
Now my husband and I are hoping to return to Vancouver (we are both Canadian) and are completely distressed by the rediculous pricing. It’s just irrational – I could never imagine having a $10,000 monthly mortgage payment, especially since the market is expected to stay flat for years to come.

So in the meantime we enjoy a lovely rental home in Point Roberts, Washington (40 min from downtown Vancouver) and will continue to watch the housing story unfold..

Garth you rock!!!!

#27 nonplused on 03.11.09 at 1:05 am

Off topic and probably more appropriate at Xurbia. I don’t agree with it all but it made me think:

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22183.htm

Also read and reading some Taleb stuff. Why not have redundant independent systems? Does it make sense to put our faith in one system and one system only? What happens if it fails?

So my ne theory is “you need 3 ways to get there”. Applied to financials, we should have:

A low regulation banking & investing system where the investors can take their chances if they think the potential rewards warrant,

A government backed, low or no risk banking system (highly regulated) that facilitates day to day electronic transactions, and,

A gold and silver based transaction system where the price is not fixed (no prices are fixed), but the government backed system allows full convertibility at prevailing market rates.

#28 PenGun on 03.11.09 at 1:07 am

Trying to call a bottom are we? I don’t think so. I expect 4000.

#29 nonplused on 03.11.09 at 1:19 am

Circle the carrion? The damn beast is still charging! Bottom pickers beware. A rally is likely, but that’s all it shall be. Good time to unload. The bottom can’t be found by just acknowledging things are bad. The bottom comes when we realize everything we were doing was wrong, and undertake to do something else. Not there yet. Many miles away.

There is a rally coming in stocks. But it will come because every government around the world is committed to foolishly spend their way out of the problem. Trillions. Untold Trillions. We will borrow huge amounts to save us from the problems that arise from borrowing too much. Crazy. The problem is, this time the Chinese aren’t going to be there to lend the money, because they have their own problems. Therefore inflation comes, probably late this year or maybe 2010.

Stocks do well in inflation. But not better than canned soup and whiskey.

#30 Jordan on 03.11.09 at 1:58 am

#3 DG

Check out ‘The Obama Deception’ – Out March 15.

#31 Vancouver_Renter on 03.11.09 at 2:00 am

We’re overdue for a bear market rally in practically all asset classes. The previous five deflationary depressions of 1929, 1873, 1825, 1772, and 1720 followed a similar pattern to the one we’re in now. After crashing in autumn, the markets rebounded for a few months in the new year. After that, the next stage of doom hit.

A true bottom will be reached once everyone has completely given up and never wants to touch stocks ever again. Read this… http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/tuesday-more-bear-market-rally-new/story.aspx?guid={F072CB1B-D990-4D3A-8F45-D92AB9FCCFFA}&siteid=yhoof

I predict that we won’t see a bottom in the stock markets for at least 2 years. And our standard of living won’t recover for a generation.

But what do I know?

#32 Munch on 03.11.09 at 2:23 am

The market will go up, then it will go down – not necessarily in that order, however

#33 Glenn on 03.11.09 at 2:37 am

To #3 DG We stinking ignorant American savages have rid ourselves of the Bush menace. When will you Canadians ditch Harper the albatross?

Anyhow…the bloodbath in Alberta?


Latest release from the Labour Force Survey (PDF)

Friday, February 6, 2009
Released at 7:00 a.m. Eastern time in The Daily
January 2009 (Previous release)

Employment fell by 129,000 in January (-0.8%), almost all in full time, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.6 percentage points to 7.2%. This drop in employment exceeds any monthly decline during the previous economic downturns of the 1980s and 1990s.

My wife and I have officially decided God has indeed protected us by blocking our frantic attempts to escape to Calgary.

Anyone know the unemployment numbers for each province? If not, its safe to assume 7.2% (official) isnt a good thing.

#34 Cendrine on 03.11.09 at 2:53 am

I thought Jim Flaherty was unbelievably condescending and arrogant at the Senate Finance hearing yesterday.

Dang, I just can’t sleep lately….

#35 Da HK Kid on 03.11.09 at 3:44 am

So Citigroup has a profit, excluding what?

Who knows? Pandit did not say.

In other news, I am announcing I have $10 billion in my bank account except for the portion of the $10 billion I do not have.

Everyone is typically now in stage 3 denial, you know the stage where we disparately try and make some money back on DEAD CAT BOUNCING DOWN THE STREET OF WALL!

Higher Lows People, Higher Lows!

#36 rant in Calgary on 03.11.09 at 5:56 am

Citibank is two billion in the black, was that Federal stim or Exec bonus money?

#37 Mike B on 03.11.09 at 6:02 am

Citibust making money… correct me if I am wrong but didn’t citygroup get another pile of money from the govnmt just weeks ago. A 4th bailout making it around 35% nationalized. That’s some interesting accounting they got there.
Sales in T.O. for houses…. I have seen no snapping up of houses just more listings and some super expensive ones to boot… Sellers just don’t get it.
The greed here is just off the charts.
Lots of employment at Filmport because of Canadian dollar and tax credits. Canwest’s backs are against the wall unless they get some sort of extension today.

Agreed Mr Harper is less then genuine
but it appears the liberals are just waiting for their coffers to fill before another election … next year???

As for the stock market… how moronic is that… talk about desperate for good news. While most expected some sort of relief rally this smacked of premature exuberance. We’ll see today and rest of weeks insanity. Grasping at straws rally II. A new reality show.

#38 Mike (authentic) on 03.11.09 at 6:51 am

I really try not to be a “doomer” at all, but I have to go on the record and say, something isn’t right about yesterdays stock market “boom”.

Stock markets do lead the economy, 6-9 months, but does anyone here believe everything will be sunshine and lollypops in 9 months from now? Are tens of millions of unemployed going to find jobs till then? The thousands of bankrupt companies going to reopen their doors for the flood of newly found wealth consumers?

That aside, I agree with #30 Vancouver_Renter. This market bounce is a suckers market to draw in the last of the greater fools out there to part with their loose cash. Check history, Vancouver_Renter is right, it’s a 1929 bounce.

CitiBank makes $8 Billion? How? From what? a few weeks ago they get $25 Billion handout as they “were going to go under”… so they made $8 billion in 2 weeks? Their accountants “didn’t know” they were making money a month ago? Something rotten here.

I’m for ending all the financial pain and suffering. But patience will lead to reward for everyone. It took a decade, (or 50 years depending on how you look at it) to create this financial buffet mess we were in, and people expect it to be fixed in a year?

Mike

Read my piece again. The markets will reound since the destruction has been out of proportion to the economic decline. Then energy prices start another relentless rise. Employment takes three to five years to stabilize and rebuild. Housing values do not recover 2007 levels for a decade. This is a reasonable path forward. There will be no depression. — Garth

#39 OttawaMike on 03.11.09 at 7:25 am

I get all my stock advice from that Fast Money guy on CNBC:(click on video in link)

http://gawker.com/5167171/jim-cramer-lashes-back-at-jon-stewart

I always said it’s time to sell it when that idiot pumps a particular stock…

#40 Riveted on 03.11.09 at 8:13 am

Yesterday’s rally sent me running to buy a Particleboard Pleasure Palace – down payment on credit card, of course – when I saw this:

“Yesterday’s gain was the eighth one-day gain of 5% or more since the S&P 500 peaked in October 2007. None of the previous occasions resulted in a sustained rally.”

Crap.

That’s cool, I’m in Halifax where the RE market is COMPLETELY unaffected by these global economic forces and sales are up! The fog must act like some kind of force field.

Check year-over-year sales numbers, sailor. — Garth

#41 Em on 03.11.09 at 8:34 am

But isn’t it a good thing that housing prices don’t get back to their ridiculous 2007 levels? Weren’t they outpacing salaries too much anyways?

And I think it’s fantastic my generation (27 years old and younger) won’t have the same lives our parents did. Some of my parent’s peers had no business turning into drunken sailors with their credit when they’d lived through though recessions before. If my generation is kept from making those mistakes, maybe it’s a good thing.

My family has a rundown camp in the middle of no where. If worst case scenario is we’re all left there to fend for ourselves, then we’ll deal. It’s everyone’s favourite place to be anyways.

#42 Toronto C9 Renter on 03.11.09 at 8:35 am

“What’s going on with real estate? Resale numbers for a number of major Canadian cities are higher”

This means nothing. Sales activity always increases in late Feb and peaks around end of April in most markets. This relative strength will occur whether the market is strong (like last year) or falling off a cliff (like this year)

Prices however, which is all that matters, are lower than last year and that trend will continue

Having said that I believe the summer of 2009 will be the first REAL buying opportunity, as those sellers who missed the spring bounce will be more motivated

#43 Mike B formerly just Mike on 03.11.09 at 8:48 am

Yes as long as CitiGroup claims it is making money that’s all the market needs.. Whether they are making any money is another thing. On the reality side of the news.
UBS, largest bank in Switzerland, lost 18 B US in 2008 which is the largest corporate loss in Swiss history.
Norway Sovereign Wealth fund takes a 90 B dollar loss,a 23 % plunge.
National Semiconductor to slash almost 2000 jobs, 900 immediately to the tune of 24% of work force, while Air Transat is eliminating it dividend and has lost 36 cents a share.
Plenty of bad stuff happening amidst this BS about alleged profits at CitiGroup, the 35% publicly owned US bank!!!

#44 AM on 03.11.09 at 8:54 am

#10 Squidly 77

“i hope that citi guy wasnt lying
thats the kinda monkey business you can get jailed for”

Who ?
Pandit the Bandit…….naaah…..never

#45 Mike B formerly just Mike on 03.11.09 at 8:57 am

TO clarify the CitiGroup announcement by Pandit. The revenue number cited does not include costs or writedowns. In the last quarter of 2008 revenues excluding writedowns were 13 Billion.

Check out Yahoo Finance

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/205657/Why-the-Pandit-Memo-Is-Meaningless;_ylt=AmUNJopN6DFVpHoccUs6lEi7YWsA?tickers=c,%5Edji

#46 Mike B formerly just Mike on 03.11.09 at 9:04 am

Canadian January new home prices index down into negative territory first time since 1997. From a peak of 12% now negative year over year…
Vancouver down 3.5% Edmonton down 10% Toronto remains flat while St Johns is up 25%.
Conference board says 2009 construction profits to drop 20%…

#47 Chris L. on 03.11.09 at 9:26 am

Read my piece again. The markets will reound since the destruction has been out of proportion to the economic decline. Then energy prices start another relentless rise. Employment takes three to five years to stabilize and rebuild. Housing values do not recover 2007 levels for a decade. This is a reasonable path forward. There will be no depression. — Garth

Rebouding now or in a couple years? Plenty of people on this blog disagree obviously. I certainly can’t see the fundamental changes to warrant any stock increases unless you are saying they’ve overshot the bottom of their value. Is this what you are saying?

#48 dd on 03.11.09 at 9:35 am

#39 Riveted

“I’m in Halifax where the RE market is COMPLETELY unaffected by these global economic forces”

And TOTO if I click my heels there won’t be a depresssion, and it won’t affect the local housing market because … well just because, and Halifax will finally be the envy of Canada.

#49 CalgaryRocks on 03.11.09 at 9:37 am

Re. Citigroup. I would advance that Citi is 40% gov owned therefore these books may me the the most audited we’ve seen in along time.

I’m amused at the people that expect greed to disapear and humanity go back to basics. I don’t even know what those are, really, as most of our history is full of despots, famine, torture,wars. In comparison with the ‘good old times’ even squirrel meat looks like a decent meal.

#50 dd on 03.11.09 at 9:48 am

Gord In Vancouver

“I’ve been one of the biggest real estate bears on this board but disagree with you on this one.”

We are deleveraging, wages will not advance for at least the next 5 years and after that people will be lucky to get a 2% increase. Actually wages are being rolled back now.

So tell me, how is the RE market suppose to recover with level or negative growth in wages? It can’t be done.

#51 dd on 03.11.09 at 9:51 am

#32 Glenn

“Anyhow…the bloodbath in Alberta? … My wife and I have officially decided God has indeed protected us by blocking our frantic attempts to escape to Calgary.”

Calgary is being hit hard. However we will be the first out of this recession. Energy prices will lead the charge and within 5 years will be at $100 a barrel.

#52 smwhite on 03.11.09 at 10:07 am

Canada AM? Say it ain’t so! Funny the CPC did an about face on that “media” won’t get any help bit when it was CBC sticking their hand out. They need the likes of CTV and CanWest to keep pumping out their diarrhea…. CFRA in Ottawa has even reverted to commericals that are about nothing other then, “We’re Ottawa, were different and local and the economy is fine” aka just go back to over consuming to keep our boyfriend Harper in office.

So if the recovery of Canada hinges on the American financial institutions and they depend on the #1 American industry, consuming, the recovery ain’t happening anytime soon.

#37 Mike (authentic)

Exactly, how do you factor Citigroup turned a profit, on the backs of the American tax payer.

So even if you want to cherry pick numbers like our PM, make sure your picking the right ones and not listening to the RE shills, again.

Nobody has a concern that housing starts are at record lows, just the fact a few idiots took out major loans at historically unsustainable rates.

Low housing starts = unemployment, not “low housing starts” = less supply which is good for ONLY RE.

Yeah, that rally yesterday was spawned by the grand news that Citibank turned a profit? [email protected]

If your jumping in, make sure that noose is securely fastened because the next time the market turns south, we’ll be at 1995 numbers…

Garth called it, sucker rally commencing.

#39 Riveted

Check year-over-year sales numbers, sailor. — Garth

Using YOY numbers is so 2008, this is 2009 where MOM is your friend.

When you don’t climb up the ladder as high as the rest of the country, you have less to fall.

#53 David Bakody on 03.11.09 at 10:08 am

Add to this the US Nation Debt just past the $11 Trillion mark …. have your ever seen a money number that high … http://www.zfacts.com and it will hit $12T even faster. Dead cat bounce indeed!

Checking Real Estate here, I was wondering why there are not many quality listings until I checked out Property Guys and the site is full. Perhaps many feel their homes are unique, or just testing the water or need all the cash …. who knows who cares unless your eyes and heart are open to move up. I wonder what the stats are for those who sell their own home buy via the same venue?

#54 jess on 03.11.09 at 10:16 am

Alicia, watch this from a brain scientist who has a stroke and documents her experience

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

#55 smwhite on 03.11.09 at 10:18 am

#38 OttawaMike

LMAO

Seen JS last night, and had to giggle at Kramer’s buy Bear Sterns at $69.

Then again, this is nothing new, have the talking heads on the cable networks are just regurgitating the chewed up slope they receive at the Palm Beach country club.

Ben Stein and the rest of the “bulls” on Fox news were yelling buy buy buy financials last year.

Nothing wrong with being positive about the markets, just make sure your not drinking your own kool-aid. There are a lot of red tounges and lips out there, starting with the one guy that knew better, Warren Buffet in Squanderville.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1053684/posts

#56 Jelly on 03.11.09 at 10:23 am

Glenn,

regarding your generous description of your “factory standard” wife, now tell us about her buck teeth and her excruciatingly boring, zombie-like personality.
Oh yeah, most likely blind as well?

#57 Jelly on 03.11.09 at 10:27 am

There is definitely a lot of renewed positivity and investment rallying out there, wishful thinking most likely. There are condos you can buy, Copperfield they are called, where the builders pay ALL expenses for 2 years, because “They believe in Alberta”
I wonder how many people will bite?
You need a 35% deposit and obviously it is a write off for the builders.
Unfortunately Alberta has a long way to go down but there certainly are still some suckers out there.

#58 Jelly on 03.11.09 at 10:33 am

EW,
I suppose you have never noticed how miserable men are as well in North America? You don’t think that maybe our culture with it’s capitalistic greed makes people unfriendly and unhappy? Be careful about making blanket statements about things, everything has negatives that you can look at. But the fact that PEOPLE are not as happy has a lot more reasons than you have cared to look at. Sorry if raising important issues like racism and sexism, are like sooo boring and 80’s for you, but they still live on, regardless of what you care to believe. They are valid when discussing things intelligently about our countries we live in.
I agree with you though, we should as a society LIVE more, smile more, and care about family and friends more than we do. Every culture has it’s negatives though, don’t you think? It’s part and parcel unfortunately.

#59 jess on 03.11.09 at 10:39 am

if mr. buffet took five years to unwind his deriviative contracts at a cost of 400m. how long will it take for others to unwind?

Depression already going on in some countries…
…the east european countries are in a hard landing…could radical political parties return to these countries?
wasn’t the euro’s purpose to spread democracy ?

#60 Jim Tuba on 03.11.09 at 10:44 am

Oh My!

http://ca.news.finance.yahoo.com/s/11032009/6/finance-canada-s-economy-worse-suggested-gdp.html

#61 linda on 03.11.09 at 10:50 am

Nonplused, I think the link you gave to- ‘Orlov- Social Collapse Best Practices’- is a gem. He shares great insight on many issues we face.

#62 PTDBD on 03.11.09 at 10:50 am

6.66 …..GE closing March 5 – 445.3 Million shares
666.8… S&P 500 low Mar5 –

heh,heh..how the guardians of filthy lucre mock & tease us

#63 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.11.09 at 11:04 am

#11 Basil Fawlty on 03.10.09 at 11:17 pm

I saw it coming back about 1980, and so did the western governments when the U.S. invoked the Credit Control Act (1980) and took the world’s economy down the crapper as the people were soaked by 24% interest rates (at the peak) to pad the banks coffers who made all those bad foreign loans at the behest of the gopvernment’s ‘foreign policy to buy friends.’

We can thank Carter and Reagan for that clusterf**k of economic genius, along with Paul Volker (The FedRes Chairman), followed by Alan Greenspan, and the entire Wall Street bunch of groupies exemplified by the movie of the same name starring Michael (Greed is GOOD!) Douglas.

Ironically, he then made the movie ‘Falling Down’ which portrayed the end game result of what was going on. There is a movie for today’s times for sure.

We have had numerous wise counsel from people like Jared Diamond ‘Collapse; How Societies Choose To Succeed or Fail’, John Ralston Saul’s ‘Collapse: The end of Gobalism and The reinvention of The World’, and plethora of other true thinkers who warned repeatedly, and proved why, that this fraudulent Ponzi scheme cannot do anything but FAIL!

Now to the present, I watched the glory wag of the dog on the news last night and chuckled. One day of gains and everything is now okay! Yeah, like any other cancer there may be periods of remission, but then comes the final death knell.

Meanwhile we have Harper and Dim Jim acting like Alfred E. Newman ‘What Me Worry?’, while Ignatieff tries to figure out how to do the Official Opposition’s duty without letting Harper bring on another unneeded $300 million election. That so sucks it makes a Dyson Vac look pathetic.

The entire system is corrupt and that is due solely to narcissistic human nature and a lack of meaningful regulations.

Will things get better? For some yes, for others no. I like the article the other day in the Star Those poor, persecuted rich people which exemplifies the true thinking of those who have sucked other’s wallets dry.

Maybe we all need to be more compassionate and hand a Loonie or Twoonie to those driving high end cars, especially the OLG Commissioners who just bought Mercedes-Benz’s?

Pretty soon they will be begging in front of the Royal Alex and pricness of wales in their Gucci and Prada gear, eh? They better Buy NOW because the high end stores are going down like lead weights in water. Economy claims high-end stores and I love this statement “We are a victim of the times!” Oh my, poor baby, Mistress of fine whine, and all that Upper Crust Crap!

Don’t we all ‘Feel their pain’?

Btw Old Chap, how are things there at the Towers? LOL

#64 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.11.09 at 11:06 am

#38 OttawaMike on 03.11.09 at 7:25 am

You will LOVE Jon Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show’ from Monday night then. He tore that guy to shreds with his own words. LOL

#65 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.11.09 at 11:08 am

#38 OttawaMike on 03.11.09 at 7:25 am

Ah, missed the link you posted. You already Love it! LMAO!

#66 mattbg on 03.11.09 at 11:15 am

Future Expat (#23), Citi’s numbers may not be fudged. They only referred to an “operating profit”, and it’s not surprising that a bank would have an operating profit… especially now that they are cutting back so much. It doesn’t include writedowns, credit losses, and loan-loss provisions, which are the things that seem to be killing the banks at the moment… I’m surprised there was such a positive reaction to it. It only really speaks to the health of the business machine as long as it’s not losing money from bad debts :)

Also, on the same day there was an announcement that the uptick rule would be restored, which meant that a lot of short-sellers rushed in to cover their shorts, and that must have had an upward effect, too.

It does sound like an effort to engineer a positive market response. In 1929, prominent financial people made an organized big scene out of of going onto the trading floor to purchase shares associated with plummeting commodities — steel, etc — and this led to a temporary rise in confidence. Those folks unloaded, of course, before it came tumbling down again. It was all a big show, and it was organized.

“In 1929” isn’t all that relevant to our current situation at a microscopic level….but I assume the sophistication of the science of manipulation is much greater today than it was back then.

#67 Flip on 03.11.09 at 11:21 am

So I did follow Garth (and this board’s) advice and sold my 1200 sq/ft Edmonton bungalow in an older neighborhood for $435,000 – and got freed from my $2000/month mortgage payment (plus tax).

Just found a 2700 sq/ft -four bedroom – 3 car garage – high efficiency everything – McMansion with fancy hollow pillars (surprisingly not far away) that was built 18 months ago and has remained on the market ever since – unoccupied… with a price tag declining from $850,000 then to $700,000 today – and still no buyer…

Owner is desperate – has a great interest rate on the mortgage (prime minus one) but no bite on the property and equity dwindling away. He now wants to rent and “ride it out”. He was advertising in the local paper for $2900/month – we are still “negotiating” and are down to $1800/month… (he wants a locked-in 24 months… no way… I want to be able to get out of dodge if this thing continues to go south…)

Sure is a fun time for me now.

Thanks Garth!

#68 john on 03.11.09 at 11:23 am

i believe it was in your book “after the crash”, garth, that i read that deflation is bad for gold prices, while inflation is good.

so, if we’re headed for a period of prolonged deflation, do you think it might be a good time to buy some gold? i know you’ve argued here and elsewhere that when things pickup again that inflation will be a real concern. prices seem awfully high to me right now though.

(i’m not a gold bug or anything, but wouldn’t mind picking up some, as you suggest in your book — it’s one of those rare tangible assests that just feels good to hold in your hand!)

#69 Jake on 03.11.09 at 11:24 am

It’s amazing how Obama can criticize Bush while doing the same things. But wait, he is better because he is more intelligent and charismatic. He is genuinely interested in doing what is best for the US people. Man are you blind #3 DG.

http://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-obama-foreign-policy-identical-to-bush/

ps, this is not a pro Republican site.

#70 JoJo on 03.11.09 at 11:27 am

Hi Market Bulls!
TSX will going in 2009 about 4500 points.
DOW will going in 2009 about 3500 points.
Housing prices will going down 10% in 2009.
Gold price will going over $ 1500/oz.
Unemployment in 2009 will be about 10% in Canada to end of 2009.
REMEMBER DOOMS in all Markets APRIL,AUGUST,SEPTEMBER,NOVEMBER 2009.
From November 2009 is coming worst hyper-inflatory depression ever seen.
Game is Over and will going 1929-1932 depression but in opposite way Hyper-Inflatory depression.

#71 Mike (authentic) on 03.11.09 at 11:37 am

Mike “Read my piece again. The markets will reound since the destruction has been out of proportion to the economic decline. Then energy prices start another relentless rise. Employment takes three to five years to stabilize and rebuild. Housing values do not recover 2007 levels for a decade. This is a reasonable path forward. There will be no depression. — Garth”

Sorry for the miscommunication, I don’t expect a 30’s great depression at all with the markets. I am meaning a drop after a raise like this is likely as it doesn’t seem to be supported by facts and fundementals. I think what we will get most likely is a sideways economy, a semi-stangnant type as the “regular folk” get their balance before pulling the general economy slowly upwards in 2012/13. IMHO.

I do agree 100% with your analogy on the times/dates of your forecast.

Love the blog BTW and the topics.

Mike

#72 Herb on 03.11.09 at 11:53 am

Vultures circling or turkeys looking for a tar (“tarnished asset relief”) pond for a soft landing?

#73 Keith in Calgary on 03.11.09 at 12:12 pm

CDS and derivatives are going to sink some of Canada’s big 5 banks and the major US banks this year as corporate bankruptcies and commerical RE cause cash calls to occur.

There is now way to stop this monster from coming out othe closet unless the economy does a 180 at full speed for 24 months….and if that happened, we’d just die from exhaustion in 2011 instead of 2009.

#74 jess on 03.11.09 at 12:12 pm

cnn picked up steward too cramers rebuttle: steward is cherry picking lol…

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/business/2009/03/10/moos.stewart.rips.cnbc.cnn

#75 smwhite on 03.11.09 at 12:18 pm

#65 Mattbg

“In 1929″ isn’t all that relevant to our current situation at a microscopic level….but I assume the sophistication of the science of manipulation is much greater today than it was back then.”

Maybe not, but it all the same from a physcology level, and this is what moves markets, not common sense.

#59 Jim Tuba

Slick, people that take too tight of grip on GDP numbers end up with a bad case of economic arthritis.

This is exactly why all the pundits were yelling buy financials in 2007 and 2008. Their smelling government created GDP, CPI and employment numbers.

#76 TheComingDepression on 03.11.09 at 12:46 pm

There will be no depression? Quite hilarious WHEN this pops, what will you call it a recessionary blip?
http://thecomingdepression.blogspot.com/2009/03/outstanding-derivatives-128-quadrillion.html

Wow. A quadtrillion. I guess we’re doomed now. — Garth

#77 Two-thirds on 03.11.09 at 12:48 pm

“Ah, carrion. Shall we circle?” – GT

Welcome back, Garth.

I would love some lessons on vulture-ing. I’m running out of places to stash my savings (tax free, that is).

#78 Thoreau on 03.11.09 at 1:12 pm

Carrion? New Developments? Out with the Old? Pretty much.

You see, not everything goes the same way for everyone. (Despite the Lie-beral party in ontario’s Detroit North wanting to force a single perverse mindset onto everyone across the country, by stealing away everyone’s legally-owned duck guns for example).

A huge amount of money and ability has been temporarily sidelined nationally and globally. But, much of that will make lemonade out of this lemon. They’ll try to twist themselves out of a tight situation, like a cat or weasel does when it backs it’s way out of a hole that unexpectedly gets too narrow.

When that happens, the lean better-positioned people with better finances and relevant backgrounds will grow again by taking advantage of micro-opportunities unavailable to others. (The rich get richer).

Concretely, for example that means a subdued linear rise in oil prices will re-trigger exponential increases in hydrocarbon infrastructure, despite hitting the brakes just a few weeks ago. Not everyone in Calgary will do well, but those at the cutting edge of demand will be able to get a very nice deal on property over the next few months. Meanwhile the manufacturing infrastructure in Detroit North will continue to be decimated, along with the careers and lives of the victims there.

#79 Vancouver_Renter on 03.11.09 at 1:16 pm

Garth said… “Read my piece again. The markets will rebound since the destruction has been out of proportion to the economic decline.”

Don’t markets reflect the future of the economy – and not the other way around? If the markets have over-reacted on the downside, maybe the economy has got a lot of catching up to do. i.e. Things are going to get much worse for both companies and the average man on the street.

Not only will corporate earnings be falling as consumers continue to tighten their belts, but these high corporate bond yields are causing a problem dividend-paying stocks. Any company that does have earnings will have to cut dividends in order to meet their bond interest obligations.

Don’t forget those who were caught short and were forced to sell, magnifying losses. — Garth

#80 dd on 03.11.09 at 1:29 pm

#74 TheComingDepression

“According to DeMeritt, the majority of the $1.28 quadrillion in derivatives is “owned” on somewhere near 95 percent margin.”

The only way I can wrap my head around this is by the follow: At the company I work at we sell electricity power forward. We do this to lock in the price. However at the same time we have the energy come that forward date. So you could say that we are long electricity. So therefore we are not 95% margined.

I take the above DeMeritt statement with a gain of salt. Yes the number is troubling, however, I would guess that more that 5% of derivatives are long. It would be more helpfull if this was broken down per industry or sector. What really is short? What really is long? And I would further guess that a larger portion of the contracts are energy powered companies with long positions.

#81 Barb the proofreader on 03.11.09 at 1:31 pm

Garth,
Amongst the other good news today I note April 24th you’re baaaaaack with a new release, Sheeple.
Looking forward to it.

#82 Munch on 03.11.09 at 1:31 pm

Canadians are a fairly sheltered, boring bunch

All well behaved

{Y-A-W-N}

Bunch of pansies, eye reckon

#83 R Alton on 03.11.09 at 1:37 pm

There will likely be a suckers rally in the stock markets this year, but the fundamentals do not support a recovery.
I don’t understand how somebody can believe that the real economy will continue tanking for several years, but stocks might rally in 6 months.
All assets, that are in large part purchased with credit – equities, commodities, realestate etc are part of the same bubble.
The stock market might have rallied in yesterday, meanwhile credit default spreads rose to an all time high. The credit market, despite all of the injection of cash, is as siezed up as ever. Governments do not have enough money to organize an orderly de leveraging of credit.
Things will recover – of course, but they will get considerably worse first. The stock market might be the first to recover, especially as the worst performing companies will no longer be reflected on the indices. One has to factor in risk to the downside, which is still enormous.
Garth – as I do respect your views, have read your book etc. I am quite interested in knowing exactly why you have so much confidence in equities markets. (I worked as a financial adviser for years, a trader and even an options trader – I quite like playing the markets and have done well by them, but just can’t see anything but a very brief upside)

Markets are severely oversold. You underestimate how much of your great-grandchildren’s money every politician in the world is now happy to spend. — Garth

#84 Glenn on 03.11.09 at 1:49 pm

dd said oil will hit $100 a barrel in 5 years, but my question is, will Canada (as a nation) exist in 5 years?

Oh, and jelly, wrong topic comment section, please come out from under the bridge and head over to the correct blog entry.

#85 lgre on 03.11.09 at 1:58 pm

the market is nothing but speculation..the average person has no idea how to buy stocks based on fundementals..

lets wait for the next article in the star to come out and then we can see the the chickens scramble again..lol. Pandit might even tell the truth this time without a twist..lets roast our marshmallows and wait.

Interestingly enough, most people will speculate on real estate, which has proven to be more volatile over time, involve the need for huge amounts of borrowed money and then be illiquid. Now, that’s smart. — Garth

#86 Carole AB on 03.11.09 at 2:11 pm

BRACE FOR SHARP SLUMP IMF WARNS CANADA

Canada’s economy will probably contract rapidly in the next few months, putting pressure on bank credit, especially in the West, the IMF warns in its latest report on Canada…

http://www.bnn.ca/

I have also heard the IMF refers to this as ” A Great Recession”.

Historical times we are witnessing.

#87 PTDBD on 03.11.09 at 2:14 pm

Synchronized cliff diving and prestidigitzer money creation is called for. After all, it just wouldn’t do to have a country that is comitted to budgeting a BBBBBBBbbbillion$/DAY and calls it “fiscal responsibility” suffer a hard landing all on its own. Just think what would have happened to its currency if other countries had held their interest rates unchanged.

“Geithner to tell G20 to spend more on crisis ”
“Obama Says ‘Concerted’ G-20 Action Needed on Economy”

Who the hell created & exported this crisis?
Now they want to rain massive Inflation on all.

#88 dd on 03.11.09 at 2:20 pm

#82 Glenn

“Oh, and jelly, wrong topic comment section, please come out from under the bridge and head over to the correct blog entry.”

Per Garth above ” … And on the heels of bank stocks soaring, but later, will be the relentlessly increasing price of energy as fears of global collapse fade and all those pesky Chinese keep buying new wheels’..

You need eye glasses you clown.

#89 Meinertzhagen on 03.11.09 at 2:30 pm

#80 Munch –
At least we can keep our natives in line, you nitwit.

#90 Got A Watch on 03.11.09 at 2:32 pm

Just trade the tape. Trying to “explain” why the stock market does this or that is a waste of time. Psychology of crowds move the market, as all “investors” and “traders” are just human. Even the “black box” trading programs are set up and supervised by humans, who write the software based on their own assumptions and mind set.

There was a years worth of profit to be made in 2 hours yesterday, for those who traded call options in some of the most beaten down US financial stocks, or certain ETF’s.

Take the profit, and run, wherever you can find it.

I did not do much, a minor Index scalp for some profit ( I was busy with other things), but I saw the setups. A day like that comes along mow and then, it pays well to sit in cash most of the time and just wait for the market to come to you.

The stock market does not follow conventional logic, nor can it be explained by it.

As to the “long-awaited rally”, it seems to have fizzled already. See where we are after the close. The real bottom to these stock markets is far lower yet IMHO. Day trading is the way to go here. Especially if you play the 2X and 3X Ultra ETF’s.

#91 CalgaryRocks on 03.11.09 at 2:37 pm

#80 Munch! Panseys!?! Wow, you are using the same language as my 4 year old niece!

No doubt you share the same IQ although my niece is getting smarter by the day wheras your posts, well, not so much.

#92 R Alton on 03.11.09 at 2:50 pm

Markets are severely oversold. You underestimate how much of your great-grandchildren’s money every politician in the world is now happy to spend. — Garth

I do concur that there is a sort of inter generational theft going on, and that there is a great movement to reinflate all of the bubbles, but we will see how long this takes.
I still see a lot of zombie companies that do not really earn money – they exist because they can borrow a little bit more each year – and an alarming number of them are publicly traded.
What I liked about your book is that you analyzed probabilities – resulting in considering several scenarios. It is importat to apply that principle in any analysis. I think you might be severely underestimating how much leverage is in the stock market, and how much of that will be sucked out as credit markets re adjust. There is certainly a significant possibility that credit markets will deteriate further, banks will go down and the stock market with it.

It was a leverage bath that dropped markets in the first place. Bank weakness came later, not before. And there is no way a major US, Canadian or European bank is going to be allowed to fail. Nationalization is all the rage. Did you miss that memo? — Garth

#93 Barb the proofreader on 03.11.09 at 2:53 pm

“OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s economic performance in the fourth quarter of 2008 was actually much worse than suggested by a 3.4 percent decline in gross domestic product, the parliamentary budget officer said on Wednesday.”

#94 rory on 03.11.09 at 3:03 pm

#62 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on class warfare

The link to those poor rich people and class warfare …wonder whatever happened to the idea of a flat tax?

I know Rev Cda and accountants would be against it, so it also must mean that the rich would have to pay more tax otherwise it would be a done deal…right?

Garth, any idea why this has been proposed by good minds but always is a non-starter?

Too easy on the rich. — Garth

#95 jess on 03.11.09 at 3:04 pm

the debt of bailed out bankers – is inflation
inflation rates around the world est. and actual

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=phNtm3LmDZEOLE3kXHaLRaA

the carrions are waiting for the rats to finish

#96 Carole AB on 03.11.09 at 3:15 pm

#32 Glenn

Re: “Alberta bloodbath”

Perhaps ours will not be as long?

Oilsands Deliver Economic Shelter
Living in Northern Alberta best protection from recession’s fallout experts tell council…

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Business/Oilsands+deliver+economic+shelter/1376391/story.html

#80 Munch

We may be a sheltered boring bunch but at least we will help our neighbour when times get tough ie. Alicia’s
Escape plans A,B,C,D…..

(this instinct probably due to survival in harsh, cold, climate…-41c Edmonton International Airport yesterday AM..Yeesh..enjoy your sunshine)

#97 PTDBD on 03.11.09 at 3:34 pm

@ GotaWatch – I usually bow to the wisdom of your remarks, yet your “Psychology of crowds move the market” needs comment.

Crowds, Mom & Pop, and other various small penny-ante contributions have no influence other than to be the wool of the sheeple who is sheared on a regular cycle. The collusion of Big Money controls the horizontal and vertical and makes money on the ups and downs and in between.

For this crowd, shorting a record high market is the caviar of profits, especially when Trillions of taxpayer money can be garnered by the failing venture.

(See my previous posts on greyhound dogs, eating the sausage, and markets)

#98 lgre on 03.11.09 at 3:40 pm

“Interestingly enough, most people will speculate on real estate, which has proven to be more volatile over time, involve the need for huge amounts of borrowed money and then be illiquid. Now, that’s smart. — Garth”

I agree with you Garth, no difference in RE..with the exception of the day to day volatility that you dont see in RE (for obvious reasons of course)..so its not as harmful on the average persons mental state as seeing you gain $1000 one day and lose $3000 the next.

#99 Jonathan on 03.11.09 at 3:42 pm

Pat G post #2

“Did you watch the Senate Finance Hearings today? Check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkk_OR6Dqt8

That video was garbage. Flaherty said noone predicted a global recession (as in early 2008). All the economists the video that were quoted reported after September 2008.

What? Flaherty did not reference this blog? Amazing. — Garth

#100 dekethegeek on 03.11.09 at 3:59 pm

This nothing more than a dead cat bounce.
Lets wait for GM and Chrysler to give their”rescue plans” in 3 weeks. Lets wait for AIG to stop bleeding.
Lets wait for the EU to figure out what they’re going to do with the EAstern Bloc Financial Meltdown.
Lets wait for the MAJORITY of the SubPrime mortgages to come due( yes , we havent seen the worst of that yet.).
Lets wait for the tourism numbers for this past winter to come in.
Lets wait for the til the summer’s tourism numbers to tank.
Lets wait for next October’s (only 7 months away)traditional market meltdown to come and go.

Basically folks, Lets just wait and see.
‘Cause this slide is gonna be a while in the making and a few days of market burps isnt pulling us out of the Trillion dollar hole we have borrowed our way into.

#101 Investx on 03.11.09 at 4:13 pm

Fromm BNN:

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is slashing its Toronto Stock Exchange targets for this year and next, with chief economist Jeff Rubin predicting that “a rapidly deteriorating economic outlook” will push the S&P/TSX composite index down to 7,000 this year.

“Second-quarter [gross domestic product] growth in both the United States and Canada is likely to show further substantial contractions in the economy, while the banking crisis is likely to continue to have spillover effects on Canadian financial stock valuations,” Rubin said in a report Wednesday.

“Both factors will likely push the TSX down to 7,000 before Washington’s massive fiscal stimulus and financial rescue package gain traction,” Rubin wrote.

Full article: http://www.bnn.ca/news/7822.html

#102 Got A Watch on 03.11.09 at 4:15 pm

Munch – from reading your past comments, I think you need to seek help. Really.

People who refer to themselves in the third person are weird anyway. Double for you, after reading what passes for your thoughts.

Do you really believe the crap you write, or are you just posing?

#103 Got A Watch on 03.11.09 at 4:26 pm

I think we will be mired in deflation for far longer than most people think.

Consider Japan, who have been in a “recession” and in and out of deflation for going on 20 years, and starting from a much healthier economic level than we had 2 years ago. A “recession” that lasts 20 years IS a Depression, whether politicians admit to it or not.

Conventional measures of a “Depression” are a recession that lasts more than 2 years OR a decline in GDP of -10% or more in a year. I can see us easily meeting both those criteria.

Canada suffers from grossly incompetent government leadership at all levels. Poster children Stephen ‘Pseudo Economist’ Harper, Jim ‘The Idiot’ Flaherty, Dalton ‘The Dummy’ McGuinty or David ‘Marxist Moron’ Miller, to name but a few of our tragi-comedy set of alleged “leaders”.

If you think these clowns can’t make a recession into a Depression just on their own misguided policies, well, I have a bridge to sell you. Don’t worry, bridges always go up, or at least that’s the type of anti-logic now favored by our fearlessly stupid governing classes.

#104 Ben on 03.11.09 at 4:35 pm

The willingness of global governments to subsidize today’s extravagent lifestyles and issues on the backs of our children and their children absolutely drives me nuts. Does nobody care about the mess that we are creating for them? Sure, we’ll manage to save our houses and cars and cruise ships today, but we’ll leave nothing but massive tax rates for them. Argh!

#105 Mike (authentic) on 03.11.09 at 4:38 pm

#51 smwhite : #37 Mike (authentic) Exactly, how do you factor Citigroup turned a profit, on the backs of the American tax payer.”

Exactly what I was eluding to. The tax payer is being burned x2 on this as well. 1. They bailed out CitiGroup (who wouldn’t do the same for the taxpayer if reversed), 2. 90% of the taxpayers won’t benefit in CitiGroup’s stock rally yesterday to get their “fair share” back.

Mike

#106 Wealthy renter 2 on 03.11.09 at 4:43 pm

#10 Squidly, no the Vikram Pandit wasn’t lying, but he wasn’t telling the whole truth. Excerpt from ‘Beat the Dart’.

March 10, 2009, 5:30pm … Closing Thoughts … The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 43.07 points, or 6.37 percent, to 719.60, exclusively on Citigroup (C) – last $1.54 – noise that it was profitable in the first two months of 2009. Forget the fact the “profit” didn’t come from operations. but TARP money interest. Chief Executive Vikram Pandit also stated in a memo to staff, he was confident about its capital strength — more bullsh*t. That’s why the bank made a request for $50 billion more in handouts? Apparently, that’s how Citigroup will strength their capital position. …

Citi’s supposed profits also don’t take into account the crazy write downs that they will be making in the first quarter.
That was a rally letter, nothing more. Good, Citi should go up some more, so I can short it down to zero.

#107 Darryl on 03.11.09 at 5:02 pm

Munch

Why are you on this blog?

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#108 Too Old Bob$ on 03.11.09 at 5:42 pm

“Real estate market fuelled by first time buyers: REMAX report. 3/11/2009

Despite the current economic crisis, it would seem first time home buyers aren’t shying away from getting into the real estate market.
A report by REMAX confirms first time home buyers are the driving force behind the country’s real estate market – in almost every Canadian city including Calgary.
Regional Executive Vice President Elton Ash says this is the perfect time for people with good credit and a down payment to get off the fence.
He says Canadian banks are eager to lend money, pointing out mortgage applications are rising.
Ash also says a separate survey recently showed that first time home buyers account for 38 per cent of the buying population in Canada.
He predicts that number could rise to as much as 43 per cent.”

Should we tell them….or do they know something we don’t.

#109 Concessionman on 03.11.09 at 5:48 pm

I’m feeling kinda special now on my 3 acres with well and septic , if things go really bad my place will probably appreciate in value! (or get overrun by rabid Torontonians..)

#110 Too Old Bob$ on 03.11.09 at 5:54 pm

Here’s something of interest.

“Former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington arrested in California. 3/11/2009

Peter Pocklington, the former owner of the Edmonton Oilers, has been arrested at his Palm Desert, California home for allegedly concealing assets during bankruptcy proceedings.
In an indictment unsealed Wednesday, Pocklington is charged with making false statements in bankruptcy and making false oaths and accounts in bankruptcy.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
The 67-year-old Pocklington is accused of failing to disclose to a bankruptcy court two bank accounts as well as contents of two storage units. Pocklington claimed to have debts of nearly US$20 million, but assets of only about $2,900.
Pocklington sold the Oilers in 1998.”

Well dam! now that he’s supposely broke (always was) he may get the oppourtunity to retire with Bed and Breakfast, TV, enhance his education and participate in social activites…. all provided by the Taxpayers. Some guys have all the luck. ;)

#111 dd on 03.11.09 at 6:18 pm

#101 Got A Watch

“Canada suffers from grossly incompetent government leadership at all levels… If you think these clowns can’t make a recession into a Depression just on their own misguided policies.”

Watch … if you think governments can get us of out this mess your are mistaken. Period. They could never replace a society that is addited to debt.

#112 R Alton on 03.11.09 at 6:35 pm

It was a leverage bath that dropped markets in the first place. Bank weakness came later, not before.

Really – that’s not how I remembered it. I spent from June/07 to June/08 living in Europe. The European media was full of news about the credit market (leverage) unravelling summer of/07. I was staying with a friend, in Germany, who is a bank consultant – and we were having a lot of discussions about Deutche bank, UBS etc. I pretty much liquidated most of my equity holdings in the Fall/08, based on the credit market deteriation. This might be conceived as a bit premature, but I certainly don’t regret it since I locked in years of profit. When I returned stock markets were still soaring, and people were calling for $200 oil. Lots of people were discussing the apparent disconnect between stock markets and the credit crisis – real estate crashed (In parts of Europe not just US) the banks found themselves in trouble and then, very belatedly the stocks crashed.
Inflation will certainly kick in eventually, but I’m betting not too soon.

#113 R Alton on 03.11.09 at 7:02 pm

And there is no way a major US, Canadian or European bank is going to be allowed to fail. Nationalization is all the rage. Did you miss that memo? — Garth

No I didn’t miss the memo – I consider banks that require government intervention and nationalization as having failed. The fact that they can’t go it on their own despite many years of record profits indicates an failure in the extreme and a scarily vulnerable banking system. The fact that governments need to save banks is percisely the problem. The money injected to take over bad debt has been spent – on big screen TVS , real estate stocks etc. – the money is gone and represents an enormous drain of wealth out of our economy. This is bad for the stock market – not good. That’s why they crash every time anybody mentions nationalization US banks are pretty much insolvent and they are nationalizing them by stealth. Peoples retirement portfolios and houses are worth less then they anticipated, their taxes will be higher, their pensions are underfunded (this is a huge issue we haven’t even begun to deal with) – A lot of institutional investors and individuals will have no money to buy equities – they will be selling to pay out liabilities.

#114 Barb the proofreader on 03.11.09 at 7:11 pm

“… The collusion of Big Money ….”
— #95 PTDBD.

Hi Pecked,

I zeroed in on that one line of yours — because it neatly sums up, what it is, that exacerbates all of the problems on earth.

#115 gold bug on 03.11.09 at 7:20 pm

Muskoka Bill, blaming this mess on Paul Volcker cranking up interest rates is tired socialist rhetoric.

I used to hear it back in the day. The raving commie on editorial row high interest rates for Canada’s obscene debt. He wouldn’t even consider the structural deficits Fidel Elliot Trudeau had gifted us.

Banks make a far better markup in low-interest rate environments.

We are in this mess because banks got fat on low interest rates.

Jeebus, if God is kind to us he’ll bring us another Paul Volcker with the fortitude to guide us out of this mess.

#116 Got A Watch on 03.11.09 at 7:23 pm

PTDBD – The rich and powerful read the WSJ, watch the same TV stations, and read many of the same websites everyone else does. There is no “Club” where they get together to decide when the market rises and falls.

When you have a lot of money, the places you can put it are limited. I know some wealthy, they are far more concerned with preserving what they already have, as opposed to making more on the stock market. So they tend to stick to the big name companies, put their money in the biggest Funds etc. They have little choice, the number of vehicles that can absorb Billions is limited if safety is a primary concern.

So they tend not to be “Market movers”, for the most part. They will buy a stock and hold it for many years, for example. They don’t want to be actively trading. Market today up or down is just noise to them. I have talked to people like this, it is how they think.

See the media stories today talking about how many former Billionaires have lost huge chunks of their money. There are a lot less rich today, and they have a lot less money than they did a few years ago. This crisis represents a direct threat to their positions of power, a time like this is when revolutions happen, governments fall and wars are fought – all of which have uncertain outcomes. Uncertainty is not favored by the really wealthy.

The “market” is just a collection of its individual parts, humans. Collectively, “The Madness of Crowds” rules, the title of a famous book on the subject. I think you need to read that one.

You can choose to believe that a few conspirators control the market. I don’t. If they have any “control”, we would not be in this mess. The wealthiest are being hit the hardest in this crisis, % loss wise. Look at Warren Buffet, the “guru” so many like to point to. He has lost more money in the past 2 years than some small countries have for a GDP.

Shorting a market from a top is just good trading. Everything reverts to the mean over time, short the highs and go long at the bottoms. That is not exclusive to the “Big Money”, some of the trading Forums I read were talking about such a typical strategy years before it came to pass.

If you want to see some over-arching conspiracy behind everything, that is your privilege. I don’t subscribe to that type of thinking. The typical “elite” today is running scared IMHO, looking out for mobs with torches and pitchforks.

#117 ThumbsUp on 03.11.09 at 7:37 pm

Pelosi Bares All for Brad Pitt

http://www.abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7051858

THE FIX: Berman’s 4 Questions
http://www.abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7051858

#118 me.day.trade.only on 03.11.09 at 7:51 pm

#88 As to the “long-awaited rally”, it seems to have fizzled already. See where we are after the close. The real bottom to these stock markets is far lower yet IMHO. Day trading is the way to go here. Especially if you play the 2X and 3X Ultra ETF’s.

<3 dead cat bounces. i’ll take my 21% in 2 days trading ETFs thank ya kindly.

#119 dekethegeek on 03.11.09 at 7:54 pm

Hey Guys lighten Up! Munch is great comic relief in an otherwise serious subject!
Think about it. A South Afrikann telling us we’re all idiots whilst the Rand “burns” down to zero Canadian $.
Yes Munch, Canada is in bad shape with the US right on our border. However ,I would take 5 U.S.’s over one Zimbabwe on my border. ( Can you say Cholera? I knew you could !)
So , in ending.
Me like Munch. Me think Munch funny. Me go back to video games now. Want to practice squirrel hunting.

#120 blacksheep on 03.11.09 at 8:03 pm

A few days ago i read Timmy G. is scared ****less,
because he and many others know to get credit flowing, the banks need ANOTHER two trillion to clean up their toxic assets.

Benny B. just publicly stated, ” No big banks will be allowed to fail”

I don’t think the US sheeple have patience for this.

Sorry, cant remember the source.

Got gold?

take care
BS

#121 Riveted on 03.11.09 at 8:20 pm

dd and Garth,

Sorry…I was being facetious. Irony doesn’t read well, I guess. I’ve checked the numbers and I’m with you.

TOTO the Sailor.

#122 EW on 03.11.09 at 8:27 pm

Jelly:

My male friends in my circle are a pretty happy bunch. They are either men which remained single or men which married foreign wives. Most of my friends now reside in two or more nations. For example, on my next trip home I might meet up with one friend whom lives in Japan, has a beautiful Japanese wife, children and a condo in beautiful Thailand. Other friends live in various nations around the world – some in South America, some in Asia and so on.

The only men I personally know which are miserable stayed in Canada, got married, and ended up with shattered lives due to the many anti-men, anti-father, anti-husband and anti-boy laws and attitudes. You’re right, men face many sexist attitudes and often, their girlfriends and wives face racism issues while in Canada. Perhaps it is the corporate culture – the ones I know seemed to revolve around the unjust child support and divorce INDUSTRY to me.

Speaking of racism, you’re right. It’s a serious issue. I never know when someone might come out with racist remarks, oh say like those, “barefooted and pregnant” comments. Yup, only women in Canada are educated and all other women are just using men to get tickets into the promised land fleeing the hardships of the rice fields.

Yes, you were raising important issues such as racism and sexism and you demonstrated many quite well.

As for negatives … you’re right. I did get quite a few mosquitoes bites last trip home swimming down a local river. Come to think of it, I did also get nasty sun-burn too. Should I have stayed and enjoyed the snow-storms instead?

BTW – When men do date foreign women you can think of it as right-sizing, out-sourcing, off-shoring or whatever you like. I see it as part of globalization, and there is no reason why women can’t do the same – head to South America, Africa or Asia and meet men there. As for myself, what can I say, I picked the Lexus over the Ford. Anyways, my choice, my right, my life & my way.

#123 Jonathan on 03.11.09 at 9:58 pm

Rubin says stocks are heading straight down to 7,000.

With that guy’s track record it’s time to Buy Buy Buy ;)

#124 Jonathan on 03.11.09 at 10:13 pm

“What? Flaherty did not reference this blog? Amazing. — Garth”

Last time I checked, common sense and a some historical knowledge doesn’t count. In our unconcious civilization we look exclusively to partial economists to provide facts about life.

#125 Grantmi on 03.11.09 at 10:59 pm

Please open in this order:

Survey today on buying a home!!! (on Yahoooooooooo!)

1. http://i42.tinypic.com/axclmg.jpg

2. http://tinyurl.com/sheepdip

#126 Jelly on 03.12.09 at 12:33 am

Glenn,

Duhh, of course I realised the posting was today’s.
Just did not want you to miss it.
You actually go back and read all the old postings?
How’s tricks?

Ew,

Of course you have the right to do what you want in your life, I never refuted that. I was hoping for a more balanced perspective from you but instead it is the same old rhetoric. You did not answer my question that is very valid, PERHAPS THE CULTURE IN NORTH AMERICA HAS PRIORITIES THAT DO NOT MAKE THEM HAPPY. Your saying that Canadian women are miserable and most foreign women have it all is not accurate. I know plenty of American and Canadian women that are wonderful wives and treat their husbands like gold. Also, you probably just have experience with women in business which is cutthroat and different to other environments and personalities. You are talking about your little circle of friends, hardly indicative of the total population. I would also be willing to bet that you are of foreign descent yourself so chances are a lot of the couples you know would be from other countries. Families usually seem like they have it all from the outside but you have no idea what they are like behind closed doors. Also how is the “barefooted and pregnant” comment you referred to rascist? It is sexist of course and I used the term as something that another poster would believe in, you missed the point on that completely.
Now, enough of this discussion, it’s getting old and you do not seem to be gaining any perspective from others and think you know it all, hardly worth the debate.

Now let’s go back and talk about real estate maybe you’ll read that with less bias.

#127 Gord In Vancouver on 03.12.09 at 2:17 am

#49 dd

We are deleveraging, wages will not advance for at least the next 5 years and after that people will be lucky to get a 2% increase. Actually wages are being rolled back now.

So tell me, how is the RE market suppose to recover with level or negative growth in wages? It can’t be done.

___________________________

Yes, wages are declining now but by 2020 I think that real estate will be in much better shape – this is just my crystal ball prediction. 11 years from now, considerably more baby boomers will have retired and (we can assume that) credit will be easier to get.

#128 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.12.09 at 7:50 am

NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT / IMPROVEMENT

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/03/11/1831393.aspx

Potential product introduction timeline, 2 – 3 years.

Sure do beat standing in a pool of water and peeing on a ‘lectric fence.

#129 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.12.09 at 9:39 am

#113 gold bug on 03.11.09 at 7:20 pm

I lived through that asshole’s policies. So try telling someone who wasn’t there how smart Volcker was.

Like the say down South ‘Forget HELL NO!’

That SOB destroyed millions of families hard won efforts to protect his welathy banker friends.

You are obviously Part of the PROBLEM! Go cozy up with the other scumbags at your Gucci store!

#130 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.12.09 at 10:24 am

127 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.12.09 at 9:39 am

Well said, me proud hearty … ‘snot Gucci, it’s Gucky, which appears in fetid piles of bovine scatterings a la Schwartzkopf. He don’t be a good news Ali, do he?

#131 Increasing that 1% on 03.12.09 at 11:51 am

#124. Jelly (Re: EW)

“Now, enough of this discussion, it’s getting old and you do not seem to be gaining any perspective from others and think you know it all, hardly worth the debate.”
——————————————————-
Agreed. Unfortunately ingrained prejudices, sexism, racism – are like a wall…quite sad

#132 dd on 03.12.09 at 1:21 pm

#125 Gord

“Yes, wages are declining now but by 2020 I think that real estate will be in much better shape – this is just my crystal ball prediction. 11 years from now, considerably more baby boomers will have retired and (we can assume that) credit will be easier to get.”

11 years is a long time to pay for a asset that is less then the mortgage. All the money going into this debt will not be going to saving or other purchases. It will be a long recovery.

#133 Greg W., Oakville on 03.12.09 at 1:22 pm

Hi Garth,

“will be the relentlessly increasing price of energy as fears of global collapse fade and all those pesky Chinese keep buying new wheels.”

The Chinese seem to be much better at ‘long term planning’ the the short term maximize gain driven capilatist west.

The Chineses are buying more cars and making them for themselves.
There fleet milage standard required for the cars that are sold in China have been very much higher than in North America for years now. Already they can get more done with a liter of gas than we can!

#134 EW on 03.12.09 at 3:30 pm

“… Of course you have the right to do what you want in your life, I never refuted that. I was hoping for a more balanced perspective from you but instead it is the same old rhetoric. You did not answer my question that is very valid, PERHAPS THE CULTURE IN NORTH AMERICA HAS PRIORITIES THAT DO NOT MAKE THEM HAPPY. …”

“… Now, enough of this discussion, it’s getting old and you do not seem to be gaining any perspective from others and think you know it all, hardly worth the debate …”

Which is it? Make up your mind. You want an answer or the end of the discussion? Lol, at any rate, I believe I addressed my previous post to Glenn and not to you.

At any rate I’m here as I am following public moods to time my investments and I am focused on the trends I’m seeing here and elsewhere to make my next moves. Just as it was pretty obvious in 2002-2004 that there was a housing bubble (US) and by 2006 (2008 in Canada) at the latest you should have setup for the inevitable bursting bubbleS, you should now be focused on taking advantage of the many wonderful opportunities which await in and around 2013.

For example I was having a conversation in Asia with a brother-in-law in regards to this back in March of 2006. I suggested he sell his San Diego (California) house, lock in the profits, rent, then buy around 2013. He has about 40 properties in Asia so he’ll be fine, but he like many others, got caught up in the EMOTIONS of the many former G-20 ponzi schemes (residential RE bubble, consumer bubble, credit bubble, commercial RE bubble..).

San Diego peaked a month later in April 2006 and has fallen 47.7% (CAR) during the past 36 months. The state of California is now down 57.44% from the peak reached 21 months ago and some harder hit areas like Monterey County are now down 71.23 % from a bubble peak reached 17 months ago.

As the next BIGGER batch of resets (recast schedule) won’t peak until mid-2010 and will stay high until early to mid 2012 it’s quit obvious that home prices in the US won’t hit bottom until 2013 – a time when 78 million boomers have or are wanting to retire. The US is still early into the declines (timewise) and home prices are off 57.44 %, I stick to my post bubble decline projections of 60 – 90% declines in California –- and the bubble parts of Canada will be no different. San Diego, after all, has nicer weather than Toronto. Btw – If you take into account demographics, the US residential RE market once it bottoms around 2012/2012 should stay low until around 2020 (assuming your borders work, of course, lol). A situation developing in Mexico the past few years may alter this somwhat (ie: a source of 40% of federal revenue is nearing an end (depletion)).

As Canada has heavy exports to the US and the markets here generally lag a year or two, you can expect residential RE prices here decline the same as California, Florida, Nevada and so on. Either the initial declines will be steeper OR it will drag out another year or two longer but what you’re seeing in California and former US bubble areas will – and IS – happening here in cities like Vancouver , Calgary and Toronto. As in the Great Depression I expect up to a 60 – 90% haircut by the time it’s all over (again, the state of CA is now down 47.7% something most people thought impossible just 2 short years ago).

Again, that is ONE bubble of many bursting or about to burst so i hope I have not over simplified things for you. You haven’t, for example, seen the higher value and higher leveraged COMMERICAL RE market blow yet (but you will), the bond markets blow up (in the Great Depression commercial bond defaults peaked in 1935) or the PONZI retirement scheme blow up yet – BUT YOU WILL. These will provide MUCH more fuel for the on-going fires in the months and years ahead.

But…it’s NOT doom and gloom. You live and learn in the present but you forge them, in the future. There are tremendous opportunities and shifts coming, so that is where my focus is rather than debating with you. These are absolutely thrilling times to live in & I intend my family and I to enjoy them to the fullest.

EW

#135 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.12.09 at 4:49 pm

#128 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.12.09 at 10:24 am

ROFLMAO! What a hilarious response. Thank you!

#136 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.12.09 at 5:09 pm

#132 EW on 03.12.09 at 3:30 pm

You metioned Commercial RE? Well, here is some news you might wish to put into your Crystal Ball.

We were taking with a friend who owns a store in a major mall in Barrie, ON today. They have HAD IT with the lease agreements which is sky-high PLUS the MIT (Maintenace, Insurance, Taxes) add-ons, PLUS the owners wanting 3% of their sales. They are moving to far more profitable and less costly digs asap.

The days of the shopping malls is fast either going to change or become vacant. Many stores have already moved or simply cashed out and gone to enjoy life in other ventures.

You can count on seeing many of these ‘investment opportunities’ begin looking like the Bay in downtown Edmonton, AB…VACANT and NO HOPE!

So much for the lucrative future of CRE!

#137 Pud on 03.12.09 at 7:15 pm

#102 Ben –

Your complaints about your kids are fantastically ironic, considering it’s the self-centered married idiots with kids who are the core reason for this whole real-estate mess.

No single person that I ever heard of ever said “gee, how can I find a way to put myself into eternal debt servitude for no good reason, acquire a place which is obviously overpriced and which I’ll never get good use out of, requires 2 days every week to clean and vacuum, is 2 hours away from work in some god-forsaken suburban family ghetto, and will strip away all possibility for me to actually get out and enjoy life.”

#138 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.13.09 at 7:03 am

#102 Ben on 03.11.09 at 4:35 pm

Dear Ben,

I have a degree in psycho-semantics. You’ve stated ‘your case’ very clearly, while wondering at ‘political motivation and business acumen.’

Therefore, I offer you this ‘one last’ opportunity to acquire a ‘commemorative keepsake’ [ Obama coattails version ] for an ICONIC political personality on the Canadian scene.

Better buy now, there are only half a million left, of the original half-million on offer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcOAwb1q2FQ

Remember: The purchase limit is 500 per customer! [ @ $6.99 per ]

I’m currently working [ through distance-learning, ‘cos nobody will speak to me ] on my new psychological thriller, after finishing my sixth module in psychology, which was entitled, “How to whine your way to total alienation.” Sadly, I failed that module, but I’ve applied to be a victim on the Dr. Phil show, in the hope he can intercede with the current government to permit my full post-doctoral accreditation.

What would Bernie Madoff say, in the circumstances?

“Your Honour, I hope I have conveyed with some particularity in my own words, the crimes I committed and the means by which I committed them. Thank you.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090312.wvmadoffvictims0312/VideoStory/Business/News?pid=RTGAM.20090312.wmadoff0312

Curiously, the province of Ontario is now looking at introducing a law which will, if it receives passage, avoid legal action if you apologize. In anticipation, you could tell Pud to go to hell, and apologize later.

#139 Ben on 03.13.09 at 9:27 am

#135 Pud –

Studies might show that single people are more likely than married folk to be self-centred.

I have no kids – I am yet young.

Since it’s the self-centred married idiots who have caused this real-estate mess, and hence the global economic retraction, my modest proposal is to have every couple split up. This law will surely solve the problem because housing demand will double, and prices will soar again.

Eternal debt servitude is for financial illiterates – I will discharge my mortgage in a total of 8 years.

Overpriced it may have been at the date of purchase. Yoda I am.

My drive through the countryside to work is 18 minutes on mornings when I wear my special lead shoes.

I quite enjoy my home actually – beer & BBQ with friends and family on the deck on a hot summer day, sun streaming in the kitchen patio doors early on a weekend morning, rain falling on the roof as I drift to sleep, standing on the roof on a sunny spring morning taking down the Christmas lights and looking down on tulips and daffodils as they poke through the mulch….this to me is enjoying life. I’ve gone to bars and restaurants and concerts and enjoyed the nightlife – I’ve been there, done that, and this my friend, is better.

#140 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.13.09 at 10:00 am

#137 Ben on 03.13.09 at 9:27 am

WOW ! I see NO NEED for you to appear on Dr. Phil!

#141 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.13.09 at 1:08 pm

#136 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.13.09 at 7:03 am

And let us not forget to purchase the ‘Commemorative Obama Inauguration Coin Set for only $19.95’

I can’t remember if it was John Stewart (I think it was) or Stephen Colbert who disclosed this high value opportunity where the vendor took regular U.S. quarters and stuck a sticker picture on them? LOL The total value of the coins remained at $0.75 for the entire set!

Gee, I must go out and buy a Commerative Barbie Doll Set for our granddaughter. She will treasure it for all her life and can use it to buy a small cup of water in her retirement. Such deals should not be passed by.

Remember what Yogurt taught us in ‘Spaceballs’ ‘Merchandizing! That’s the secret!’

#142 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.13.09 at 1:34 pm

#139 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.13.09 at 1:08 pm

Like you, I think both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert mentioned that ‘phoney.’

Jon Stewart is currently involved in a ‘standoff’ with a CNBC financial guru, over the guru’s predictions and ‘buy order’ on his assurances for Bear Stearns.