A week or two ago I described being part of a high-octance panel which met in the opulent bowels of a swishy Toronto private club to discuss the future of  real estate in the city of deniers. That conversation (an edited version of it, anyway) has now been published. You can read it here.

Needless to say, my view that recent buyers will be gobsmacked with reality was not a popular one. In fact, the only person really agreeing with me was Sherry Cooper, the uber-economist with the Bank of Montreal. She practically had little bear ears sprouting through her blondness. And Cooper is even scaring her colleagues. At a speech I gave in Vancouver last week, a senior BeeMo guy came over to tell me that everyone’s a “little concerned about Sherry”. Obviously she forgot to drink the bank’s blue Kool-Aid, which is why I like her a lot these days.

Toronto’s housing market, which has developed a mild case of Spring fever, will not escape the fate of the rest of the country. To wit, a few bear rallies, followed by more declines, followed by several years of flatlining. The reasons are as I have already spelled out – a long, slow and painful reduction in unemployment accompanied by steadily augmenting interest rates. This means 2007 prices will not be seen again until, oh, 2014. Then again, maybe never.

BTW, one of the panelists was TO’s current condo king, who argued that the media are naysaying crapsters and most house-buying consumers are financial illiterates. He may be right. But the counterpoint a week later was, well, over the top. He hosted the launch of a new development, complete with flashing lights, thumping music, beautiful people and his 21-foot, $500K Rolls parked out front. I guess being condo royalty, even in these times, trumps writing about it.


So, if your ship arrives in Halifax tomorrow, sailor, look me up. I’m back in town to give a financial seminar Monday night and I’m sure there are a few empty seats still to be had. Interestingly enough, there is now a net flow of people from the West and the centre of the country to the Atlantic provinces, with NS getting the greatest number. After all, you can buy a boffo house for what a garage costs in North Toronto. And there are very, very few large bald guys driving Rolls to annoy you.

Come on down: Monday 7 pm, Pier 21, Halifax.


For today’s blog, “Refuge” go here.



#1 Bruce on 04.05.09 at 8:26 pm


I am surprised at you, here you are saying that housing prices should remain steady in Halifax (due to influx of returning oil/factory workers). I hope you are not reading the marketing that is being put out? Will you be saying that housing is dropping in price 20% in Halifax too. Or do you agree with the local reports from CMHC that we are “different”. As a side note, I hope you realize they are coming home since they are unemployed… 100 jobs — that should replace those high paying out west jobs.


Where did I say anything about Hfx housing prices staying steady? — Garth

#2 Riveted on 04.05.09 at 8:47 pm

The net flows back from the oily west are becoming quite noticeable. It will be interesting to see if these guys can stand a 50 to 75% cut in their hourly rate…or if there’s work enough for them at all. Rural areas, like Cape Breton, will feel the remissions tap slam shut, and who knows how many families have come to depend on that gravy train.

Looking forward to your visit, Garth. Save me a seat – I’ll be in after my Raccoon Kebab cart sells out.

#3 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.05.09 at 9:06 pm

The high end real estate market in TO is way way overpriced.

…Who in their right mind pays $3-$5 + million for a dump in TO when you can get the same in Hongcouver for less than half of that.

duhhhhh, all of TO’s bretheren cities are dying…..and Mtl already died.

TO no longer has “culture” either….how many times does Les Mis have to play to empty houses before Eastern Canadians admit they live inside a corpse?

Garth, seriously, what exactly is there to drive an ex-manufacturing city while still overpopulated to the gills?

#4 Da HK Kid on 04.05.09 at 9:08 pm

I hope buddy likes living in the Roller!!!!!

#5 rory on 04.05.09 at 9:15 pm

Garth, hi …

(At time of writing there were 59 comments in the previous post)

I was a little surprised that you did not address/confront your hyperinflation comment at 5:28 into the interview in yesterdays post. I can understand if it was a slip or the word ‘no’ was supposed be in front but not to acknowledge it here caught me off guard.

You may have rethought the position, which is totally fine as the environment changes, or you did not, but you had (less than 2 weeks ago) adamantly been saying no hyperinflation going forward. And chastised some of those that might have suggested it. So what happened?

It is kind of a fundamental shift in your macro thinking. Then again, maybe I misunderstood that there is a 20% chance 5 years from now.

I will am sure your reply will be ummmm…appropriate.

There will be no Zimbabwesque inflation in North America or Europe. Period. But inflation and interest rates will rise as the economy resumes any measure of growth. As I clearly stated here two days ago, this will disappoint the gold bugs, the indebted and the house floggers. Too bad. — Garth

#6 lgre on 04.05.09 at 9:30 pm


That was entertaining for sure, Kellas and Lamb are deffinately in a dream world. Kellas is talking about $3+ million dollar houses..hello, was she not informed that the conversation would be about the average buyer and not her hollywood clients.

As for Stinson, they still let him near RE after he bankrupted his Sapphire Tower development and hundreds of people lost millions on that deal.

#7 Mike B on 04.05.09 at 9:35 pm

In spite of all the correct predictions and concerns by Cooper & Turner the Toronto real estate market is very active and I have been sent many many listings from semis to 1mill homes now going over asking. Reason… Idiots playing with cheap money. Will it continue… think so… good quality stuff is hard to find. And some sellers are playing the wait & see game … Better next year… Might be right as you con the little guy with this mark to market charade… what a scam

#8 Too Old Bob$ on 04.05.09 at 9:40 pm

Well Garth, if Sherry likes you, then I like you too. I’ve always enjoyed reading some of her books. She is definitely a smart person. I think her time in the USA gave her infinite amount of knowledge and wealth. Now not to brag her up too much, there have been times where I didn’t agree with her ideas, but that’s just freedom of thought.

About the condo king guy, well if anyone had enough money or people to back you up, it would basically have been impossible to not make money in the last RE market. I know one fellow that breeds race horses, who had spare time and enough followers. He also got into building houses and made a killing. He did this out of boredom. Some people changed their jobs just to get into RE, whether selling, building or anything associated with it. Kinda like the gold rush era in the Klondike days. Hell my brother made money everytime he sold his houses from job movements and pomotions, why, cause it just kept going up.Trust me, he knows very little about markets and timing. Now for Mr. condo king to say “most house-buying consumers are financial illiterates”, yeah that may be true now, but years ago he wouldn’t of said that. His words of wisdom come from a RE rally that bascially sucked everyone in to the market that wanted to be part of the current “can’t lose” game. I guess the same could be said for some of the Bankers that help fuel the fire. The one’s that made him look so smart and thus, made him easy money.

#9 hobbygirl on 04.05.09 at 9:48 pm

How were you able to tolerate the presence of the ‘hoity-toity’ crowd without losing your lunch?

I have a hard time tolerating the phony facade of beautiful people who underneath it all don’t have much in their names. I know because I work in a firm that deals with insolvencies day in day out and I see a lot of ‘beautiful’ and notable people claiming bankruptcies these days. Even they are denial or how else would they end up that way?

It’s a real eye-opener seeing people who appear to be publicly successful trying to drum up business when their own lives are falling apart. They behave like vultures because they have to.

#10 Too Old Bob$ on 04.05.09 at 10:13 pm

“Lamb: It doesn’t accomplish
anything. You know, the average
person doesn’t understand
anything they hear on television.
All these economic facts you’re
spitting out, most people don’t
even know how to calculate
fractions. They don’t understand.
You’re just confusing them and
it’s completely not necessary.”

Ha ha!! Just what a person in RE needs to brag about. How dumb people are when it comes to numbers or stats.
OH! it’s “completely not necessary” good then. Don’t bother teaching it or writing about it in any books or schools. Let’s keep them dumb. Don’t learn about fractions, you may realize what they charge you for selling RE, or what it will actually cost you for your house after 25 years or more for mortgages.
Now there’s a professional.

BTW! Garth! you should have had the last say not Lamb.
What happened, short straw pick.

Edited transcript. — Garth

#11 Got A Watch on 04.05.09 at 10:24 pm

Harry Stinson. LOL. Canada’s answer to The Donald. Except when he did go head-to-head with King Donald, with competing snazzy ultra-lux condo/hotel towers in downtown Toronto, The Hair trounced him handily in short order IIRC. Harry had to fold his condo tower, and find somewhere to put the fancy scale model, all that was left. That and the smoking hole in his balance sheets.

He learned from The Donald, though, on how to go bankrupt with style. It was always somebody else’s fault, of course. Someone as wise as Harry could only be the hapless victim of a series of unfortunate events.

Anyone remember the late-night infomercial with Harry that was on a few years back? Trying to sell memberships in his exclusive Club, and condos, and dispensing pithy pearls of his business wisdom for uncouth Canadians who needed to be shown what success was. All with Harry’s disarming boyish charm and best folksy-but-smart-biz-guy manner.

Of course, bankruptcy and public humiliation were never mentioned as sound business strategies. Good to see he knows no shame. Got to get right back in the saddle after a fall, the world is obviously still vastly under-served with condos, especially in Toronto. What would poor condoless consumers do without him, after all, he is indispensable, in his own mind, where he is truly legendary.

#12 Got A Watch on 04.05.09 at 10:34 pm

North Vancouver Citizen Jr – Didn’t you star in the “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” TV commercial, as the egg?

Forgot to take your meds, or ate the whole bottle?

#13 HJD on 04.05.09 at 10:37 pm

GT: “The reasons are as I have already spelled out – a long, slow and painful reduction in unemployment”……no need to post this, but change “unemployment” to “employment”, or “reduction” to “increase”?

#14 dd on 04.05.09 at 10:46 pm

North Vancouver Citizen Jr.

“The high end real estate market in TO is way way overpriced.”

Same thing can be said about Vancouver.

#15 dd on 04.05.09 at 10:50 pm

Sherry Cooper …

She is not a leading indicator. I remember her call on the CDN dollar back in 2002-2003. She though our currency was going to $0.50 to the US buck. She is smart … but she waits before she makes calls.

#16 Vexed in Victoria on 04.05.09 at 11:06 pm

“Holes in the ground, price discounts, auctions of unsold condos, construction delays — they’re all signs of a worldwide slowdown in multi-unit residential construction that is being felt in Greater Victoria…”


#17 md on 04.05.09 at 11:42 pm

mr Lamb looks a bit creepy to me. actually he looks like lex luthar any way i just think its hilarious that these kind of guys are controling the whole real estate market. No wonder i still cant afford to buy a house in this stupid city

#18 Grumpydawgs on 04.06.09 at 12:01 am

For the ‘condo king’ I offer and old market maxim,

” Never drink your own bathwater”.

by Murray Pezim,

probably the greatest Canadian huckster of all time.

#19 nonplused on 04.06.09 at 12:07 am

#1 Bruce

How many retreating oil patch workers are actually returning east?

I have a friend who is a travel agent. A great part of her business over the last some years has been chartering West Jet planes to bring a full load of workers from say Halifax directly to Fort Mac, where they would live in camp for three weeks, and then fly straight back home for their “off time” with their families. They never bought houses in Alberta and they never sold houses back home.

I don’t know the total numbers, probably small over all, but it had to be in the thousands.

They were also doing the fly in thing with British technical staff.

Needless to say that business is down for her.

Big Sugar had a hit with a song called “All Hell for a Basement” a few years back. It’s about displaced easterners coming west out of desperation and a play on the original poem. Worth a listen if you like blues rock.

#7 Mike B

Dead cat bounce. Prices are not sustainable until wages and prices balance, and wages are headed down, way down. Not say for people who have a job, but on average.

It’s no more sustainable than the current market rally, which is being fueled by congress forcing FASB to throw out mark to market accounting.

Yes! Banks are going to make a lot of money this quarter! Why? Because they will be allowed to mark MBS’s to what they think they are worth rather than what they can sell them for. Big profits, all a lie.

Folks, this is bad news. The reaction by the international community will be to assume all US financial statements are complete fabrications with no verifiable basis. Which is probably right.

#20 Bobby on 04.06.09 at 12:11 am

What other comment would you expect from a realtor. There are some here in Victoria who still believe it is a great time to buy and prices will continue to rise. Yet in todays paper there was a lengthy article about the 20+ condo projects that are either on hold, bankrupt or in limbo. One development is still flaunting auction prices and that sale was a few weeks ago. The units didn’t sell at the supposed great price.
Sit on your money and wait until the summer.
The deals will only get better.

#21 Dave on 04.06.09 at 1:05 am

this will disappoint the gold bugs, the indebted and the house floggers. Too bad. — Garth


I’m somewhat of a goldbug, but I hope you’re right. Gold bugs shouldn’t want what they own to go through the roof- what would come with it would be very scary. So no disappointment here

Whatever the free market says the value of gold is, I’m okay with. Its purpose is in case shit happens. There have been hyperinflations in the past usually triggered by war economies, oil shortages, & overleveraging. In those instances gold/silver showed their worth by means of bartering etc. Prove me wrong

What is so wrong with being careful???

Garth, you really need to read “The Creature From Jekyll Island” if you haven’t already. Inflations do occur unintentionally sometimes. Look past Mugabe

#22 Glenn on 04.06.09 at 3:21 am

There will be no Zimbabwesque inflation in North America or Europe. Period. But inflation and interest rates will rise as the economy resumes any measure of growth. As I clearly stated here two days ago, this will disappoint the gold bugs, the indebted and the house floggers. Too bad. — Garth

Lord, I hope you are right. I really, really do.

But what if you are not?

#23 OttawaMike on 04.06.09 at 6:53 am

Sherry Cooper fawned & cooed over Allen Greenspan ad nauseum in one of her books in the late 90’s.

Greenspan is the father of this financial mess.

What did your book say? — Garth

#24 Livin Large in the Big Smoke on 04.06.09 at 8:23 am

Garth, I’m renting here in the Kingsway, fresh from Vancouver last August where I was able to sell my home for a tidy 33% in just over 18 months. Some of the silly purchasing activity going on here right now boggles the mind. It’s just evidence that people are tuned out from the real economic world around them… what are they watching/reading that’s not causing them to change their buying habits? Even if they think you’re a wingnut (no offense), there are more mainstream, economically respected, prominent minds that are saying the same thing in not as entertaining and blunt a manner!
Kudos to you Garth and keep on keepin’ on….

#25 Patrick on 04.06.09 at 8:37 am

About the tall, bald “Condo King” with the $500K Rolls…

I’ll never forget seeing him in 2006, wearing a track suit and blabbing on his mobile while stepping out of his (then) Bentley, double-parked on lower Spadina Avenue in Toronto outside Diesel Fitness. Dude looked like a Moscow coke lord.

I pointed to him and told my friend: “See? We’ve reached the point where developers PLAY harder than they work. There’s trouble ahead.”

#26 TS on 04.06.09 at 8:59 am

Hi Garth, thanks for posting the transcript. Brad Lamb certainly comes across as just another sales guy trying to bandage over the economic fundamentals so he can pump out more condo units so he can drive around in his Rolls.

There are certainly a lot of hopeful people thinking that the stock market has hit bottom. I’m not so sure – there are simply so many layoffs and people will not get counted in the official unemployment numbers until they apply for EI. For a lot of people that won’t be until later this year. I think the economy is getting softer and won’t bottom until the fall. Everything I hear from clients across the country is that their business has continued to erode. Not one has said anything about glimmers of hope yet.

By the way… did Brad Lamb explain why he took down the marketing signs and vacated his “Leslieville” project a number of months ago?

#27 Darryl on 04.06.09 at 9:00 am

In Mississauga there was much excitement about two very tall towers at Burnhamthorpe and Hurontario that take on a feminine look. I have passed the site many times over the last 6 weeks. The buildig seems to be stuck at the second floor. Does anyone know why?

#28 Investor on 04.06.09 at 9:22 am

“He hosted the launch of a new development, complete with flashing lights, thumping music, beautiful people and his 21-foot, $500K Rolls parked out front.”

This by far could be the best indicator for a top in the condo market. :)

#29 hagbard on 04.06.09 at 9:42 am

#21 Dave – You’re exactly right. I don’t know of any gold bugs who really want to see gold go up to the levels Peter Schiff is warning about.

I own a bit of gold, will likely buy more, but its not to profit, its to survive. Its an insurance policy. Another good bit of insurance is buying food for long term storage, like grains. That, at least, if the shit doesn’t hit the fan you can still eat.

BTW, anyone know where in Ontario you can buy mylar bags?

#30 Dan on 04.06.09 at 9:59 am

What horrible propaganda . It’s was obviously edited for masses . “Lamb: It doesn’t accomplish
anything. You know, the average
person doesn’t understand
anything they hear on television.
All these economic facts you’re
spitting out, most people don’t
even know how to calculate
fractions. They don’t understand.
You’re just confusing them and
it’s completely not necessary.”

These RE agents know the simple truth that people are stupid. Look how he talks about the stupid masses. They know RE is a bubble and they ONLY MAKE MONEY if they sell. Amazing. I wonder if the majority of the masses who read it will pick up on it?

#31 Simon on 04.06.09 at 10:04 am

# 4 Da HK Kid on 04.05.09 at 9:08 pm
“I hope buddy likes living in the Roller!!!!!”

Hey HK Kid don’t knock Brad Lamb, he earns he keep fare and square. He caters to a niche market set of clientele.

As he said in the discussion Re: the media giving them (his customers) clear economic facts on the current state of the economy….

Lamb: It doesn’t accomplish
anything. You know, the average
person doesn’t understand
anything they hear on television.
All these economic facts you’re
spitting out, most people don’t
even know how to calculate
fractions. They don’t understand.
You’re just confusing them and
it’s completely not necessary.

His client base are the greatest fools who at the drop of condo project committed to over priced condo units with absolutely no thought around fiscal responsibility. Hell these people can even do fractions, so what do you expect! I believe his (Brad’s) comment is true to the word. There have been and will still be fools like this out there. If these fools are willing to buy over priced condos while the prices continue to fall and indirectly fund toys like his Roller is not his fault, it is the fault of the ignorant/foolish consumers (a.k.a. “the greater fool”) . Unfortunately the Darwinian rules will still apply to these fools and eventually lead to their demise, if that has not already happened.

#32 Munch on 04.06.09 at 10:48 am

Greetings from Johannesburg.

We are showcasing our 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums right now, probably as a diversion from the utterings of our President-In-Waiting Jacob Zuma (he told a gathering of Afrikaners that they – Afrikaners – are the only “true” white South Africans because they only have one passport) and to get some feel-good going in the hangover of his rape of our justice system (the National Prosecuting Authority has just dropped all charges against him)

Well, Yours Truly was born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), and when my family emigrated to South Africa we fought the apartheid system tooth and nail (my elder sister was the first white women detained in the State of Emergency of 1976, where she spent 2 years of her life), so naturally we are really excited to NOT be Afrikaners {cue sarcasm}.

Our problems seem so large but the pale into insignificance when I read about the troubles going down there – how you guys have not yet hoit the streets with pitchforks, tar and feathers is beyond me – you have endless patience with your glorious leaders, it seems.

That, in any event, is what South Africa looks like from the inside, and what Murrika (and Canada) looks like from the outside.

And that is my contribution for today.


#33 David Bakody on 04.06.09 at 10:53 am

Once again read and think before y’all try and blame some person by name for this segment of world order.

On November 21, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote a letter to Col. Edward Mandell House, President Woodrow Wilson’s close advisor:

“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson… ”

And y’all think the “Big Boys” did not see what a few small time players were doing and knew just how to capitalize on it and perhaps give a push here and there.

#34 Mike B formerly just Mike on 04.06.09 at 11:21 am

Yes got a huge chuckle our of reading this Post interview especially with Stinson and Condo Mutant. Its always a good time to buy a product especially theirs right!!!

#35 Harmonized Tax (HMZ) in Ont.. on 04.06.09 at 11:45 am

I’m wondering if Ontario’s new HMZ (coming in July 2010) will cause a rebound in housing sales in/around Toronto before then, to save addtl 8% tax (on sales >$400k)?

Or will housing continue to drift downward to that date, & severely affect it after July 2010?

No. Yes. — Garth

#36 timbo on 04.06.09 at 11:49 am

Garth, I have not bought “after the crash ” so I will understand if you do not answer this question.

In a simplest form is it not the smart move to stay in a cash position while deflation is at hand and only move over to hard assets(housing) when inflation is at its peak as prices will be lowest and panic selling will be at hand. Is this a good idea or will mortgage rates vs housing prices usually offer no advantage in a swing.

If possible could you put up a simple snapshot calculator offering a glimse at the future inflation hit to a family with a 35 year mortgage at normal inflation and a hyperinflation scenario. This might give readers who are thinking of buying an understanding about what the payment will be when they have to re-fi in 5 years.

again, you saved me alot of grief by making me not jump into a mortgage last year and I do thank you.

#37 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.06.09 at 12:05 pm

Ah, a tribute to the self-proclaimed ‘Movers & Shakers’, eh? ‘YAWN!”

#38 CalgaryRocks on 04.06.09 at 12:09 pm

#26. I believe that the Leslieville project was not approved by city hall. I think it was deemed not to fit within the neighborhood.

Saw that on tv actually last week.

#39 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.06.09 at 12:11 pm

#32 Munch on 04.06.09 at 10:48 am

Canadians do NOT get upset over such matters as how their corrupt government is being run. Now, talk about some inane excuse of a sport like hockey and watch them rise in anger.

To fully grasp the source of the attitude of trivial stress watch Jon Stewart’s show from Thursday night on the protocol violations between Michelle Obama and Queen Elizabeth II. Jon’s resident Brit exemplifies how too many Canadians think!

#40 Wealthy Renter on 04.06.09 at 12:15 pm

Given the state of the economy, it clearly was a good March in the GTA with sales only down 7% YOYTREB

For the first quarter of 2009, sales are down 27% (12,964 sales in J,F,M,) as compared to 2008 when sales were 17,716 for the same period.

BUT what makes me wonder is their extrapolation for the rest of the year. TREB models are forecasting the sale of 65,600 homes in the GTA this year, a drop of 12% from the 2008, when 74,552 homes were sold. Sales dropped 20% in 2008, from 2007 levels With a 27% drop in the first quarter sales, a lot of homes will have to be sold this spring to make that number.

Even if we make the TREB projection, 65,600 homes is a far cry from the 93,193 homes sold in 2007. That is a several billion $ decline in revenue for realtors and lawyers.

According to Treb stats, since 1974, the GTA has never had two consecutive years of home sales declines, and absent the extraordinary “crash” year of 1989, the few YOY declines we have experienced have been small in real and percentage terms.

The glory days have passed us by, and the recession is only starting to impact the GTA.

#41 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.06.09 at 12:20 pm

Forget the DOW. There is a New Paradigmn for the Economic Pulse.

Wall Street Rally Will Depend On These Five Companies: Wal-Mart, Target, Microsoft, Google, Dow Chemical And Citigroup

And furthermore Wal-Mart and the Future of Healthcare

Apparently, WalMart can Get ‘er DONE’ unlike the $647 Million Boondoggle Queen’s Park wasted our taxpayer money on trying to establish EHR’s?

#42 k on 04.06.09 at 12:41 pm

#16 Vexed in Victoria……Yes there is a construction slowdown on Condos in Victoria. However there are no great price reductions .The Mold traps are still selling like mad. Even with the lame discounts offered on these places they are still OVERPRICED Denial runs deep !………

#43 PTDBD on 04.06.09 at 12:46 pm

Brazil March car sales up 36% due to buying on government tax breaks. Same results seen in France & Italy due to tax cuts.

PM Harper….is there anybody out there? Instead of shoveling the money into the bottomless corporate pocket, give the people back some of their own money back and you will see results.

Carney’s yapping about joining the rest of the losers in “quantitative easing” causes a 3% drop in value Canadian dollar. Our strong dollar was previously credited for helping us keep import goods inflation under control.

#44 @Garth 2 on 04.06.09 at 12:51 pm

March number are out at TREB. Garth, you really gotta see the numbers. If this is a recovery, then your book and message wholly missed the point. For you to be right, what has to happen over the next year or so is another major crash in the DOW, taking markets with it, EPS go to hell, and another leg down. Do you see that happening? If not, I think Toronto escapes any major RE downturn. Prices are at the peak so far, and may outstrip 2008 if something doesn’t go out below.

Wait for the main course. — Garth

#45 MaW on 04.06.09 at 12:58 pm

Calgary Update:
Ken has spoken. Apparently, we must buy now to upgrade to the mcmansion.

#46 OttawaMike on 04.06.09 at 1:09 pm

Don’t get me wrong, Sherry Cooper is an expert and I still listen to what she says. She is also a very attractive “mature” woman.

Jim Cramer and our Canadian version Jeff Rubin, now there are two charlatans.

#47 timbo on 04.06.09 at 1:19 pm


is the dead cat bounce over?

Again just looking south and hoping they can level out the insanity. Sooner they do the better for us as they are key to our own health.

TD Industrial outlook

Wow is gold going to go thru the roof when inflation takes hold this year….lol!

#48 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.06.09 at 1:25 pm

Read this, “”New York City set to become a Ghost Town””


…and to my foul mouthed, skeptical friends… I told you so and you can take your Centre of the Earth attitude and put it where the sun don’t shine.


#49 dd on 04.06.09 at 1:37 pm

#34 Mike B formerly

“Its always a good time to buy a product especially theirs right!!!”

Same in Calgary … the C Herald always has the “it is the best time to buy blah.” So would they ever come out and say when the worst time to buy real estate?

#50 Davinci on 04.06.09 at 1:42 pm

As countries including ours start the printing press:

And the exchanges default on small bars of gold (1 Kilo) and silver (1000 oz):

People sit around believing in their paper money and “deflation” the government warns them about is bad but, will save you with a printing press.

You see a low price in silver and gold and think everything is OK.

But I know you are not a fool and you will take the time to learn what is going on! Now listen to the war cry of those in the know!

Just remember Paper is Paper, gold and silver is physical gold and silver, do not get fooled with paper gold and silver. If you still want paper gold and silver, then just hang on to your dollars, they will be worth more.

#51 dd on 04.06.09 at 1:47 pm

#21 Dave

“What is so wrong with being careful” Losing money.

The IMF is selling gold. Why? Governments are telling the market that gold will not be the worlds currency. Governments will sell into the gold market because they need it to be volitile and investors will second guess their purchases of it. With trillions of cash and bonds coming to the market fiat currency has to be believed therefore gold will be punished. I would rather invest in products that people consume everyday – depression or no depression.

#52 dd on 04.06.09 at 1:52 pm

#16 Vexed in Victoria

The Oak Bay hotel project is another matter. Do you know how many hoops the owner had to jump through to get it approved? This project should have been completed a couple of years ago. Typical government red tape in the City. I am amazed that anything get built.

#53 dd on 04.06.09 at 1:57 pm

#19 nonplused

“How many retreating oil patch workers are actually returning east?”

I hear that traffic going/coming from the core is lighter compared to winter because there are a couple thousand less cars on the road. That stat alone will tell you things are not great in this city.

#54 David on 04.06.09 at 2:16 pm

Real estate the last refuge of a scoundrel and renting the last refuge for those among us competent enough to perform long division. The forum made for amusing reading with the realtor flim flam artists reciting their well memorised mantras. Tough to have a rationale dialogue on housing when 4 out of 6 participants are little more than industry shills and pitch men.
The Dr. Evil wannabe misses the point on the “it’s a banking crisis argument”. Duhhhhhhhhh! The banking crisis was caused by cheap money, reckless bank underwriting and a housing bubble. Luckily the worst is over and the cure will be more of the same that created this financial train wreck. Not!
Sherry Cooper deserves kudos for candor, a rare commodity among bank economists these days. The traditional pronouncements are always so qualified and hedged with “buts” and “ifs” and “otherwise” so as to be useless or wildly off the mark.
The crab canapés were probably excellent at the condo launch soiree. Too bad the party had to end on the sour note of reality.

#55 jim tuba on 04.06.09 at 2:19 pm


#56 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.06.09 at 2:23 pm

Aha! Takeover a company, ignore their contracts, hide property that belongs to the customer, and underpay their employees, all to ‘cover their ACQUISITION COSTS! That’s how the so-called ‘Free Market’ works? I don’t think so, and neither does the Court

Chrysler’s Windsor plant to resume production

I hope the braindead in Oddawahaha and Queen’s Park are paying attention. This type of conduct requires REGULATION!

#57 Nanhousing on 04.06.09 at 2:23 pm

I have information concerning Nanaimo price levels updated on my blog. If anyone is interested in Nanaimo stats, click on my name.

#58 60ish on 04.06.09 at 2:37 pm

OT — Gas Price Fixing

In many folks’ opinions, the oil companies in Canada have surpassed the tobacco companies in immorality.

Back when oil was rising to $150 per barrel, the pump price of gasoline instantly rose, day after day. As the price of oil fell, the gas price decreases took days or weeks to show up. They never seemed to come back to the previous levels. If you charge your gas purchase to your credit card, the big name companies automatically charge $100 to your card, earning interest on the difference for several days before crediting the balance. All the oil companies continue to report record profits.

Everyone knows that the price of gasoline at the pump is fixed. In every community across Canada, within hours, every outlet increases or decreases their pump price to the same number. And it is government condoned, as the feds have refused over the years, to do anything about it. But it is a fact of life, and every Canadian knows it.

Well maybe, finally, someone is trying to do something about it.

#59 kc on 04.06.09 at 2:55 pm

Garth, do you place much weight on the case/shiller reports from the states?

here is a shedlock look at case/shiller from march. If we are on the same type of trajectory… wow we haven’t even started anything yet….

U.S. Housing Market Case Shiller March 2009 Analysis


#60 Halifaxfamily on 04.06.09 at 2:56 pm

I missed you the first time in Halifax, but I’ve signed up for this one at Pier 21. I’m hoping I can make it!

I’m in the hall, looking for you now. — Garth

#61 Investx on 04.06.09 at 2:57 pm

There will be no Zimbabwesque inflation in North America or Europe. Period. But inflation and interest rates will rise as the economy resumes any measure of growth. As I clearly stated here two days ago, this will disappoint the gold bugs, the indebted and the house floggers. Too bad. — Garth

So have you changed your outlook in that inflation would not happen anytime soon (say 3-4 years)?

My outlook that you cannot read is unchanged. — Garth

#62 Dan in Victoria on 04.06.09 at 3:25 pm

Post#9 hobby girl,We have those people out here too,in my neck of the woods they are known as all icing and no cake.

#63 Happy Renter in North Van on 04.06.09 at 4:00 pm

Brad Lamb looks like he wouldn’t have wear a prosthetic if he ever wanted to star in a remake of “Coneheads”…

#64 squidly77 on 04.06.09 at 4:02 pm

looks like the calgary market is starting to crack with some communities already showing US style price declines
huge price decline of 30% in Bowness.

exactly as it happened in the US the crash began in the suburbs and crept inward swallowing all communities in its path

looking at the mls in various nw/ne communities there are huge traffic jams of single family homes at the $300,000 barrier..this should collapse by june

and condo carnage can not be far away now..as sellers asking price expectations are totally out to lunch

#65 squidly77 on 04.06.09 at 4:04 pm

tick tock tick tock ti BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#66 timbo on 04.06.09 at 4:23 pm


holy Unemployment rate batman. Prices are going to go thru the roof with those numbers. Everyone laid off should really push up the pent up demand for housing.
Waiting for the spin from the Calgary Herald now, How are they going to spin this?

#67 MaW on 04.06.09 at 4:40 pm

squidly77 –
I’m liking the abundance of interesting stats on the bobtruman website you linked. Can you give us any other Calgary specific sites you visit? Greatly appreciated.

#68 kftcic1 on 04.06.09 at 5:00 pm

Hey Da HK Kid,

You talk mostly common sense but could you please stop quoting directly word for word from Mish’s site, or if you have to, at least acknowledge the fact.

For instance, from comments on Garth’s previous post:

“Unemployment is soaring in 2009 and so will foreclosures, credit card writeoffs, and bankruptcies. That will add to the inventory problems.”


“As much as housing prices have declined, imagine where prices will be if they fall back to 2001 levels or worse yet 2000 levels. Moreover, why shouldn’t prices fall back that far? Finally, how many are prepared for it, if indeed that were that to happen?”

#69 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.06.09 at 5:03 pm

Dim Jim’s NOT ‘Get ‘er Done’ AGAIN! What a surpirse, eh?

Credit card grace period months away: Federal Government

For most people the interest on credit cards is abhorant. Does Oddawahaha care? If you believe they do then you are sucking down the Kool-Aide!

#70 CinToronto on 04.06.09 at 5:03 pm

For those of you saying tht there is a recovery in Toronto, please consider the March sales numbers since 2000. Sales are dismal, despite TREB’s spin.

Year Sales
2009 6171
2008 6631
2007 8518
2006 8707
2005 7904
2004 9076
2003 6986
2002 7602
2001 6328
2000 6133

#71 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.06.09 at 5:04 pm

Good grief! This site looks like it is Gamblers Anonymous most days.

#72 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.06.09 at 5:07 pm

#54 David on 04.06.09 at 2:16 pm

That is because they all use the S.W.A.G. (Sucker’s Wild Ass Guess Method (or should that be Metyhodd?))

#73 Grumpydawgs on 04.06.09 at 5:55 pm

Garth , the situation in Vancouver is deteriorating by the day. The cops are confiscating journalists cameras for filming them after police shooting, for the second time in one week. The cops have become intensly paranoid about getting themmselves filmed afte the truth came out in the Robert Djilanski Inquiry. They don’t like being outed by the truth it seems.

The Olympic fiasco administration is beginning to look like police state tactics.


And this story out of Britian

“From heaven to hell: 18 die as drugs war rages on streets of Vancouver

The Canadian city has been named the best place in the world to live. But those halcyon days are over

Once upon a very recent time, Vancouver had a clean, safe image. Nestled between a spectacular bay and snow-capped mountains, this Canadian city, which is twice the size of Birmingham, was described by The Economist as the most liveable in the world. Not any more. As it prepares to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, what it’s got now is not cuddly, eco-friendly publicity, but blood-spattered streets littered with shell casings and corpses”


On top of the denial and the real estate propaganda Garth I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or pack up and leave before we start seeing mass arrests in the build up to the Olympics over the mass ticketing campaign has been engaged in for the purpose as some surmise to put the ‘dirty people’ in jail for the games.

#74 CalgaryRocks on 04.06.09 at 6:14 pm

looks like the calgary market is starting to crack with some communities already showing US style price declines
huge price decline of 30% in Bowness.

exactly as it happened in the US the crash began in the suburbs and crept inward swallowing all communities in its path

Bowness is not considered a suburb by most but anyways. Lots of infills there meaning extra costs as the old property has to be bought, demolished and a new one built on top.

A friend of my wife’s just sold a 800sqf bungalow there in less than a week. 325K. Oh well.

#75 pbrasseur on 04.06.09 at 6:25 pm

I’m impressed with Sherry Cooper.

Smart women who understands market principles very well. I will check out her books.

#76 dd on 04.06.09 at 6:26 pm

#48 North Vancouver Citizen Jr.

“New York City set to become a Ghost Town” … and Vancouver to benefit from the mass migration …

You heard it here first.

#77 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 04.06.09 at 6:28 pm

#44 @Garth 2 at 12:51 pm — “. . . over the next year or so is another major crash in the DOW, taking markets with it, EPS go to hell, . . .

— and —

Wait for the main course. — Garth
After everyone has thrown up on the appys and main course, what’s for pudding?! TUMS?

#78 dd on 04.06.09 at 6:28 pm

#44 @Garth

Can you say deleverage?

#79 dd on 04.06.09 at 6:33 pm

#54 David

…Sherry Cooper deserves kudos for candor, a rare commodity among bank economists these days…

She is not the first one out of the gate. She is slow to react, however, finally on board.

#80 Too Old Bob$ on 04.06.09 at 6:59 pm

B.C. recreation properties take hit as Alberta economy slows.

Here’s a excerpt from the article:

“What’s happening is that Calgary is starting to do major layoffs,” Brash said, “and though we do have people who are ready to buy, they’re waiting to see if they have a job.”

WHAT!….they are waiting to see if they have a job? OMG! Ok, boss says I still have a job. Honey! lets go by that property now, cause boss says it’s all good. Alrighty then, lets get some debt going here and enjoy the Cottage lifestyle that we crave and deserve cause the city sucks, especially on weekends.
This is too funny. These comments kill me, really.

Boss says everything is good, but can’t really predict the next 1-6 months…. Oops! boss was wrong. Sorry!, job not as secure as I thought. Bye bye job and Cottage.

Well, we knew it was coming eventually, just takes some time. Now just keep dropping because I want to buy one when everyone doesn’t. :)

Here’s the link. Good read.

#81 No Fool.... on 04.06.09 at 7:12 pm

As a loyal Garth follower that only gets annoyed when he brings politics into this issue, I can honestly say you guys are truly a sharp bunch. And I’ll keep monitoring this group for a long period of time….however, there are situations where it DOES make sense to own over renting.

On Friday, my wife and I closed. That’s what I said.
We got a deal that was really too good to pass up here in Calgary. Yes, Calgary. I can categorically say that not everyone is cut out to own….in fact, most are not. But if you got the money, you’ve got job security and are willing to walk away from a deal, the bargains are truly out there.
Our home ends up costing $96 more per month than we were paying in rent over a 25 yr term. [Our landlord wouldn’t budge on the price.] And, frankly, with the lack of rent controls anywhere in the province, renters get the stiff one eye here.

We get 2 more bedrooms and baths, a tonne more storage space and no annoying people below us. Frankly, it’s a steal and somewhere the woman can nest for the next 10 yrs. [Hopefully.] We put 20% down (we’ve been saving for a while), which was about 1/2 our liquid equity (cars not included) and moved into a WAY better neighborhood where renters are as rare as sellers.
The rates are dumb low. This is a win-win.

Buy Low-Sell High also applies to interest rates. The smart ones borrow at low rates and invest at high rates.

It’s true that Calgary goes where the oil goes, and frankly, oil bottomed in the $30’s. Anyone contesting that doesn’t understand the fundamentals of global oil (Alberta oil is much different, I’ll attest).

Anways, the moral of my story is, if you’re mid to long-term, understand the fundamentals, have some equity and are capable of walking away, renting makes ZERO sense in Alberta. Ok, so we represent 5% of the population here. Quit stereo-typing!

#82 WakeUp on 04.06.09 at 7:24 pm

Something is seriously wrong in the world when an obnoxious bald ‘condo king’ is driving around in a 500K rolls while other people in the world are dying of starvation.

Is this what capitalism is all about?

#83 john m on 04.06.09 at 7:26 pm

#58 60ish on 04.06.09 at 2:37 pm

OT — Gas Price Fixing…………your absolutely right! when oil was around $140 a barrel we were paying $1.20 a litre now with oil in the $50 a barrel range we are paying 80 cents a litre……..its a rip off and no politician will challenge the oil companies (wonder why?).Lets not also forget that the oil companies dealt the final blow with their huge price hikes at the time our economy started heading for the toilet…………. no mention of this by our politicians……..i guess they rule!

#84 Eduardo on 04.06.09 at 7:46 pm

Hey squidly77,

Prices are up month over month since January and sales are up as well and active listings are way less than last year. Vacant/new constructions are also down. The % YoY of sales is improving month to month as well and the absorption rate is improving too.


#85 Sun Yat-sen suit on 04.06.09 at 8:00 pm

Squid off topic but is it true that a fair number of big oil employees don’t always measure up to the job?

#86 wellwell on 04.06.09 at 8:11 pm

Brad Lamb’s off-hand dismissal of his customers as financial illiterates was priceless, but these comments were equally good:

Eppel: “I would say that, if anything, the doom and gloomers are actually getting the [most prominent] voice.”

Kalles: “What will that accomplish, all this doom?”

That sort of dialogue was probably heard on the grand staircase of the Titanic!

#87 Herb on 04.06.09 at 8:47 pm

Wakeup @82 –


#88 Bill -we need GW Bush in Toronto on 04.06.09 at 8:53 pm

we need more GW Bush in Toronto – they will not deal with the terorists, let’s move to Texas boys, this city’s RE industry looks monopolized

#89 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.06.09 at 9:00 pm

Never say never, because you have to wait until the fat lady sings…Windsor home prices only have 20% more to fall until they hit “0” and then it won’t make a difference whether you own or rent…will it.

..and how much more for the GTA to fall before “0” is the norm there?

Serious responses only please.

#90 Herb on 04.06.09 at 9:03 pm

60ish @ #

Gas price fixing “is a fact of life, and every Canadian knows it.”

“Every Canadian”, that is, except the deaf, dumb and blind monkeys in the Competition Bureau, who have spent years looking for evidence and can’t find any.

#91 Da HK Kid on 04.06.09 at 9:14 pm

#68 kftcicl, thanks for the note, will do! Mish calls a good one everyday.

#31, Simon, what comes around goes around. I just put an Ikea pillow in the mail for him.

#92 Another Albertan on 04.06.09 at 9:15 pm


A fair number of employees in ALL organizations don’t always measure up. The biggest difference between energy companies and the rest is the level of compensation.

The dirty secret of Human Resources within the energy sector is the concept of “Oil Trash” – employees that would be paid significantly less and would be in lower-level roles if they were employed in any other industry other than the energy sector.

There is always a shortage of competent, innovative and creative employees in every sector of the global economy.

I have a fairly high standard of evaluation, but I have to given the nature of the work I specify. The following will sound harsh to some: Personally, I don’t think the issue is worrying about hitting your forehead on the “qualification bar” but on worrying about breaking your kneecap or, worse, ankle. This applies well outside the oil patch too.

#93 squidly77 on 04.06.09 at 9:20 pm

Bowness is not considered a suburb by most but anyways.

thats news to me..bowness has quick access to downtown calgary

the neighbourhood of bowness in calgary is bordered by the bow river on the north and east, 16th avenue on the south, and Stoney Trail on the west immediately over the river to the east lies the community of montgomery.

#94 MarcFromOttawa on 04.06.09 at 9:26 pm


Sales are up 7% in Ottawa YOY.

#95 Middle Class on 04.06.09 at 9:39 pm

Da HK Kid,

Can I seek your advice about the RE market in Hong Kong? I am very confused. While the HK economy is going down hill, the housing market is moving up after the dip in Oct-Dec 2008.

Apparently, the market is getting hot for small to medium sized apartment (HKD$ 2M to 3M):
– People are buying because the current and projected supply is very limited.
– Weathy people from mainland China are buying with their chump changes.
– Typical local middle class (who still have a job) are buying for the “long term”; given the low interest rate, inflation fear and the reasons above.

I wonder when is a good time to get in. I wonder if the China factor would differentiate HK from the North American RE market…..

#96 squidly77 on 04.06.09 at 9:43 pm


you can cling to your realtor adjusted stats all you want
fact is last month there 3,752 new listing 1,792 sales and inventory grew by only 158 so what happened to the other 1,852 listings ? did they decide not to sell after all

your just too funny man..


#97 Dawn in Calgary on 04.06.09 at 10:23 pm

#53 dd on 04.06.09 at 1:57 pm

#19 nonplused

“How many retreating oil patch workers are actually returning east?”

I hear that traffic going/coming from the core is lighter compared to winter because there are a couple thousand less cars on the road. That stat alone will tell you things are not great in this city.


It’s not a stat — it’s every day. Both my husband and I drive different routes (NW —>NE and NW –>DWNTWN)
and we both have commented lately that there is no traffic to deal with in the mornings, or coming home for that matter.

I thought it was a lagging, staggered March Break running into Easter break, but perhaps not. Time will tell.

#98 Dawn in Calgary on 04.06.09 at 10:26 pm

Oh, and on RE — I just negotiated a $400/month price reduction in our house rental (yes, we were overpaying, but we’re also excellent tenants) starting in June.

Our landlord overshares — and I learned today she bought the house she is living in (NE Calgary) with the equity in the house we’re renting (NW Calgary). Only now because she cannot work she’s living on her line of credit. And refuses to sell the house cause it may sell for less than what she thinks it’s worth.

Time is not on her side. Meanwhile I will bank the $400/month savings.

#99 Eduardo on 04.07.09 at 12:35 am

Re-listing… Those are the same stats I regularly quote.

Where’s all the inventory?
Show me decreasing sales?
Show me increasing vacant homes?

#100 Da HK Kid on 04.07.09 at 2:17 am

#95 Middle Class. The HK RE market moves along with the US and UK markets but much quicker and therefore deflated as such.

Living in HK for the Mainlander is a status thing plus with the strength of the RMB over the last year has seen a large influx.

HKers as you know use RE as a safe haven instead of cash even though the HKD is pegged to the USD.

Since the November crash, affluent HK RE owners have taken a bath by over 30%, have seen their HSI position almost halve, and watched over 30,000 Factories shut down in Southern China in which 80% are owned by HKers.

These guys are now dumping RE all over the place to “Make Their Margin Calls” and keep the family in check.

Many will cash out move the family to AUS or CAN given their pocket change buys a sweet home in VAN or Sydney even if the CAN RE still has a long way to fall.

Just like global markets the low end $2-3M properties have only dropped marginally around 15% while $10M+ over 30%.

If you are looking to invest, in something low end there may be another 5-7% to play with this year. This is the only place transactions are occurring.

For me, I will be looking at a nice $8-10M+ Mid Levels flat that will always be occupied for rental at $25k+/m for purchase early -mid 2010.

The issue for anyone purchasing RE especially in the ZERO risk HK banks is your ability to qualify under these unknowns. Secondly, you are not offered a locked in rate so it runs variable which is fine for now but when interest rates climb you may be overextended.

Since we believe deflation will continue and inflation will be slow paced, it is a good time to buy in HK but location will be everything for rental income.

#101 Future Expatriate on 04.07.09 at 3:38 am

#82: No. Capitalism is when an obnoxious bald “condo king” drives around in a 500k rolls because his masters reward him for, first driving families into starvation, and then, running them down in the streets.

#102 dd on 04.07.09 at 7:17 am

#89 North Vancouver Citizen Jr.

“Serious responses only please.”

Then start giving serious thought.

#103 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.07.09 at 9:57 am

#90 Herb on 04.06.09 at 9:03 pm

No kidding. The Competition Bureau couldn’t find a conflict if it fell on them. Another waste of taxpayer’s money spent supporting worthless, spinless, arseholes.

#104 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.07.09 at 9:59 am

‘spinless’ should read spineless. God knows they can spin the BS without even a tremor of fear!

#105 Middle Class on 04.07.09 at 10:43 am

#100 Da HK Kid. Thanks and very much appreciated for the insight.

I originally came from HK, worked and saved very hard for years in Canada as a middle class.

Planning to return to HK for good within the next 2-3 years, and that’s why I am looking for a property. I was hoping to time the purchase during the current squeeze (apparently it is quite “mild” for the $2-3M low end market).

I can only afford a low end $2-3M property with 30% down payment with my entire saving. According to the RE price chart, the current index has gone off the peak but is still a lot higher than it was back in 2005 /2006.

Assuming that we are going through a deflation, then a slow paced inflation with steady interest rate increase, where do you see the low end $2-3M market going? Would that go back to 2005 /2006 level, or will it likely to go higher due to moderate inflation /China factor?

Do you see a “real” squeeze coming down the pipe in the foreseeable future that will spell problems for the RE market? I am trying to figure out the risk of losing my hard earned saving…..

By the way, you mentioned buying the property in early-mid 2010. Is that when you see the bottom?

#106 Joe on 04.07.09 at 11:11 am

Brad Lamb makes me sick. Pushing condos in this market and saying we’ve hit bottom already???? Sad part is there are tons of dumb buyers that actually get suckered by him. They deserve to lose their shirts.

#107 Marc on 04.07.09 at 12:03 pm

#90 Herb on 04.06.09 at 9:03 pm 60ish @ #

Gas price fixing “is a fact of life, and every Canadian knows it.”

“Every Canadian”, that is, except the deaf, dumb and blind monkeys in the Competition Bureau, who have spent years looking for evidence and can’t find any.

If you file a formal compaint, the Competition Bureau, can help. In lower mainland Vancouver we had a sale of gas for over 4 years. The street sign stated a price, and the pump was 3.5 cents lower. I enquired early Nov. 08 as to how this sale could seem to run indefinatly, and if we were actually saving anything, or was the street sign inflated by 3.5 cents and then given back. I was asked to file a formal complaint, and in Dec 08 after over 4 years, all gas stations returned to street sign pricing. I made sure I would remain anonymous as I did not want my house torched. I hope I helped make a difference in more honest pricing methods.

#108 Colin on 04.07.09 at 12:53 pm

Mr. Lamb makes Al Czervik from Caddyshack seem uber classy!

#109 Bob Bagina on 04.07.09 at 1:09 pm

#52 dd “#16 Vexed in Victoria
“The Oak Bay hotel project is another matter. Do you know how many hoops the owner had to jump through to get it approved? This project should have been completed a couple of years ago. Typical government red tape in the City. I am amazed that anything get built.”

remember you’re talking about Oak Bay, which still considers an English tea and crumpet house to be the center of the municipality, and posted speed limit average around 30/40 km/hr

#110 No Fool.... on 04.07.09 at 4:11 pm

Anyone who’s knocking gas prices (as if they should be linearly related to crude prices) is out to lunch and doesn’t understand the concept of variable and fixed costs

People, the cost of curde is a variable expense and is only a part of thecost structure related to getting gas into your car. Does a company get cheaper to run if crude goes down? Does a gas station? Does financing get cheaper? Answers: No. NO. And NO…. actually, financing actually gets MORE expensive.

Hell, $0.80/L for gas is a bargain. Live with it.
My ’98 civic couldn’t care less whether gas is at $0.80 or $1.20. Get educated, get rid of your as-guzzling clunker or ride the rocket/transit and then come here to post a valid opinion. PLEASE.

As for the comments about decreased traffic in Calgary, I tend to agree. But weather has a severe impact on traffic in this retarded city since we don’t plow the roads.

#111 Kent on 04.07.09 at 5:49 pm

Got the solution to powering cars, wind power. Just put a wind turbine on top of the car and have it recharge the battery. No stealing my idea, btw.

That is exactly the technology used in marine applications. — Garth

#112 Kent on 04.07.09 at 6:15 pm

Might be crazy but I have a vision of how it could work for cars, who would I contact?

#113 just me... on 04.07.09 at 9:04 pm


That’s a sad lineup I must say. All I have to say is look (far right) and you too may feel like you want to vomit.

I am sick of listening to that twit attempt to doom and gloom in one breath and talk about a recovery the following week.

You truly are the ONLY expert in that lineup, if the rest of them are considered experts… god help us all, but at least it furthers my understanding of why we’re in this mess.

#114 kc on 04.07.09 at 9:31 pm

kent 102… dont give the idea to GM they killed the electric car… and besides,,,, it is too late to save their asses anyways

#115 chris on 04.08.09 at 12:35 am

Kent, you are designing a perpetual motion machine. Good luck :)
ps…Garth, you knew that, right?

#116 Kent on 04.08.09 at 10:18 am

Okay, it was a brain fart. My idea involved putting a cylindrical turbine under the hood in front of the grill. It wasn’t to power the car but supplement the systems currently employed to recharge batteries in cars such as the Prius but with plug in instead of using a gas engine to set the thing in motion.

Cars already generate their own electrical power, as you know. — Garth

#117 Sun Yat-sen suit on 04.08.09 at 9:06 pm

#92 AA

I had heard oil employees basically fall into two groups. Those that really know their stuff and truly know what they are doing job-wise and those that think they do.

I suppose the high complexity (science & technology) make it more prone to it than most other industries.

I don’t work in oil but my step-father did.
He worked in product development asphalt & bitchimun for decades.
He started off in the refineries with BP then went to RDS then later IO until his death in 93. For him, it was a real battle getting the projects done. He used to bring it home to the dinner table and I never forget him saying he worked with many who didn’t know the half of it.

I know this is 20 years ago but I wonder if things have changed..?

Other viewers & Garth apologies for being off topic but I am just curious to hear from insiders like AA.

#118 Claudius Emeperor on 04.09.09 at 9:16 pm

Withoud doubt, there is a huge housing bubble in Canada that is about to burst.

So it can burst in the UK and US with home prices declining 20-25 percents in one year. But it can’t happen here, right? Things are different here.

The more brainwashed the people are, the more inflated the bubble becomes. And when it bursts…

My predictions are for at least 40-50 percents decline in the real estate prices across Canada.

I have never seen in my life another country where people live in basements. Not in a single G7, Not G20, not G100 country.
I have never seen in my live such a high condo maintenance fees.

Where is this country going? With all these natural resources and land most people can not aford a home?