Can’t help it

Remember how you felt around February of 2009? The economy was falling apart. Stocks diving. Real estate frozen. Jobs vanishing. A few weeks later – on March 9th – financial markets hit rock bottom. And on that day, massive numbers of investors threw in the towel, and sold off their equity mutual funds. The herd could not have chosen a worst moment.

When it comes to making dumbass financial decisions, human nature is our little friend. We buy what’s going up. Then we sell it on the way down. We want what everybody else wants, no matter the price. We shun the unpopular, no matter how cheap. We vacillate between greed and fear. We heed gossip and ignore news. Usually we fail.

Let me remind you of a few things. Then it’s off to Regina.

The crisis is not over. It’s not even in remission. You should prepare.

Evidence is all around us, of course. Greece was downgraded again this week, and its bonds are now junk. The country is said to have a 50% chance of defaulting. Next stops, Italy and Spain. The US economy is running out of gas, evidenced by the latest dismal jobs and manufacturing numbers.

American real estate is a big drag on everything. House prices have now fallen more (33%) than they did during the Great Depression (31%). In both periods, people who bought during a brief recovery – before the second leg down – got creamed. Worth remembering.

Stocks have tanked again, but bonds soared as investors looked for places to hide. In Ottawa the Parliament Budget Officer now says it will be 2016 before unemployment gets back to the levels of 2007 – pre-recession. And a new study found that Canadians have turned into loan hogs again. Household debt levels soared 4.5% in the first 90 days of this year, making liars out of economists who’d claimed we were paying it off.

And, of course, housing sales are falling in most markets at the same time prices rise – making real estate more unaffordable, leading to even lower sales, which will eventually tank values. And this happens just after we hit the highest home ownership level ever, with the most acute level of mortgage financing, thanks to historic prices.

In summary: did anybody learn anything from the crisis?

Apparently not. We’re still buying high, getting our news from HGTV, hooked on debt and yet living in a world teeming with risk. How dumb is that?

As I’ve told you before, while seven in ten of us own houses, three in ten don’t make enough to pay monthly bills, four in ten have no savings and almost eight in ten have no pensions. The vast majority of Canadians have chosen to borrow to acquire illiquid and costly houses instead of pay off debt, diversify and stay liquid and nimble – which is what we all vowed to do back in the winter of 08-9. Regrets come next.

I don’t expect a crash, but I do expect a lot of surprised people. Even in Regina. Maybe especially in Regina.

Marcel writes:

“I agree 100% about what you are saying about the potential crash in the housing market due to higher interest rates and retiring baby boomers, but it seems in Saskatchewan there is an endless supply of jobs and no-one to fill the void.  Saskatchewan is the one true are of Canada right now where there is a boat load of money.  For instance, I just graduated from University with a petroleum engineering degree and my wife just graduated from nursing school and we both had about 5 different job offers.  I excepted (sic) a job working in SE Sask for as a consultant and my wife took a local nursing position.  My wife will make about 70,000 this year and I stand to make about 160,000, so obviously there is a lot of money around here right now.  With that being said, the housing market has soured in the last 5 years, and we are wondering when a good time to buy would be.  I agree that a housing market correction is coming to most of the nation, I just dont know if it will affect Regina.  We are wanting to buy a house now that we are done our education, but Im not sure if its a good idea.  Do you have any views on the situation in Saskatchewan?”

Of course I do. But you won’t like them.

Saskatchewan is rich in commodities and has been riding a resource boom for several years. Real estate values milked it, and bloated. Then they stalled as average house prices in Regina and Saskatoon vaulted past the ability of people to buy them (not everybody pulls down 160K after finishing school).

Sales have been falling in Regina on a YoY basis now for months (down another 9% in April), but the average price keeps rising. A bigger problem is people. Regina has a scant 180,000 citizens, and the population growth over the last 10 years has been almost zero. Meanwhile the weather hasn’t been getting any better, which just about guarantees those  Mainland Chinese and their bags of money won’t be invading the prairies. Oh, and did I mention what may happen to commodity prices should a new global recession ensue?

So, Marcel, why would buying a house in an over-valued tertiary market, in an uncertain economy during a fragile time be the first investment you make? And one which will probably mean borrowing huge?

Ah, because it’s different in Regina. I see.

Cue the lemmings. I’m done here.


#1 Steevo on 06.01.11 at 9:14 pm

Um. First? Prob not.

#2 Jimmy on 06.01.11 at 9:17 pm

160K for a starting engineer? In your wet dreams!

#3 GregW, Oakville on 06.01.11 at 9:19 pm

Hi Garth, Some might find this 55min talk, by Noam Chomsky at UofToronto April 6, 2011, interesting and informative.
He speaks of not only education issues, but also det trap, the power in the shadows, the true cost of us health care, elections are bot, two tiered society, lack of public education will have economic consequences, corporate power, human rights, freedom and justice, corporations given more rights then persons, and much more. The Question and answers are interesting too.
YouTube seem on TVO television.

Noam Chomsky on Academic freedom

#4 Hoof - Hearted on 06.01.11 at 9:19 pm


#5 BigA on 06.01.11 at 9:21 pm

The Vancouver RE Market Roller Coaster. Fasten Your seatbelts…Enjoy !!!

#6 Tony on 06.01.11 at 9:23 pm

The one.

#7 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.01.11 at 9:24 pm

So, the recommendation is to watch for corrections entering Regina?

That sounds a bit dirty.

#8 disciple on 06.01.11 at 9:25 pm


#9 Candace on 06.01.11 at 9:25 pm

If consumer spending is declining (source: mass media) and Canadians are futher in debted simulataneous with decreased MOM sales, does that mean the loans are going to pay for the monthly expenses??

I’m terrified…

#10 Stretching the Truth on 06.01.11 at 9:25 pm

Perhaps Marcel is stretching the truth a little bit….

A review of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Sask (APEG) 2010 salary review shows that 160k is not even in the realm of possibility for a new grad, even in the petro/consulting sector.

The average salary for someone with 15-17 years experience, in the top 95% of his profession, is 155k.

Why do all the youngins feel the need to lie nowadays…

#11 Harry on 06.01.11 at 9:33 pm

Drum roll for Saskatoon……

Sales up 21% from May 2010
Prices up 8% from May 2010
Average price is $317,000, cheaper than the national average.

There will be no crash in Saskatoon. People are moving here and there are jobs.
Garth you are probably right about Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto crashing, but worst case scenario for Saskatoon is flat growth. But I doubt it, Saskatoon is still cheap compared to other places. There is room for more growth. By looking at sales for May 2011, demand is very strong here.

#12 Duke on 06.01.11 at 9:33 pm

Why oh Why is everyone obsessed with the HOUSE? My mom, my dad, grandma and grand dad?
Brother, Sister, Neighbours & Wife.
Co-workers, Bosses, & Friends.

I just got grilled by grandmother, father and brother to buy property! Why is everyone so god damned brainwashed. I will not buy!!!!

Why won’t they leave me alone? They keep telling me about everyone else in their late twenties and early thirties is doing the right thing!

I seem to be the only one left without my OWN property! I am pissed and want to see them all burn! But then what kind of person does that make me?

What to do….. Don’t Buy!

#13 Mark on 06.01.11 at 9:34 pm

$160k for a “petroleum engineer” in Sask? I call BS. Entry-level engineers in Saskatchewan are lucky to make even $65k/year (see the APEGS salary survey, and U of R grads are not very respected in the industry (U of S mechanical has a much better reputation..and even those guys don’t make anywhere near $160k in their first decade on the job). Jobs are very hard to come by in Saskatchewan as well which is why people traditionally leave the province. Don’t fall for the hype or the inflated claims.

#14 HouseBuster on 06.01.11 at 9:36 pm

Anyone who thinks housing in Canada will not go down is delusional.

#15 Jsan on 06.01.11 at 9:37 pm

Ah yes, let’s pin our hopes on commodities. It’s amazing that after how many Trillions has been pumped into the worlds economies, we are barely crawling forward and now beginning to stall out. That is a very telling sign of what happens when you try to spend your way out of a recession that has been for all intents and purposes, caused by too much spending and not enough saving.

I recently read where someone stated that in past recessions with the amount of stimulus governments have spent and the depth of the recession that we went through, the GDP should be rocketing at around 8%. Let me correct what I just said, the depth of recession the US and other countries went through. After all, Canada never went through a recession, our government created the housing bubble which kicked the recession can down the road. Is it any surprise that our economy driven by the housing bubble and the wealth effect spun off from it is now beginning to run out of steam? I am not surprised in the least.

#16 Mr. Vmax on 06.01.11 at 9:38 pm

This sounds like .com north..11-12 years ago. 70K out of school? 160K out of school? These are probably the same bozos complaining about high CEO salaries etc.

Second, Regina climate sucks!!! Hell…SK climate sucks!!! 9 days of summer if your lucky!!! To pay so much or a house with now view or climate is a mystery to me!

Garth….why are you visiting Regina and where can we see you?

#17 Cory on 06.01.11 at 9:39 pm

It’s all perfect timing. With QE2 slated to end at the end of June, why not release poor economic data to provide reason to keep printing?? Wlecome QE3 or whatever they will call it.

It’s been rare that the third year of a presidency where the markets have tanked. Print in June, extend the euphoric feeling until post election then we’ll talk about what might happen.

Until then this is all smoke and mirrors.

#18 Mark on 06.01.11 at 9:39 pm


See any “Petroleum engineering” jobs on the job board for engineering professionals in Sask? No. Only postings on there that remotely relate to the oil and gas industry are from Alberta companies employing people in Alberta. Not from Regina based firms.

Why, oh why do people make stuff up, like new grads getting $160k in a field where employers get dozens of resumes per position actually hired for?

#19 crabby in mcmurray on 06.01.11 at 9:40 pm

I assume this is also true of McMurray?

#20 SMOKING MAN on 06.01.11 at 9:41 pm

Think I called this a while ago…..

Garth said “Greece was downgraded again this week, and its bonds are now junk. The country is said to have a 50% chance of defaulting. Next stops, Italy and Spain. The US economy is running out of gas, evidenced by the latest dismal jobs and manufacturing numbers.”

Bond rally will make Fixed rate motgages drop like lead on jupier. The mob will be sucked in by the media, The BOC will only push rates down not up. when euro hits the fan.

I expect a 10% to 20% spike in real estate prices this year, on about 80% volumn .

But this blog is the domain of people who missed the boat, or poker players who don’t play the player and wait for pocket aces. I will be laughed and mocked yet again.

But Crash is coming but not till 2014, between now and then you can score big in Canadian real estate.

#21 JB on 06.01.11 at 9:42 pm


This week Saskatoon home sales have rocketed in the past few weeks, prices starting to soar… Yet in the markets it seems as if those safe haven commodities are being traded up for bonds… When there is smoke, there is usually fire… I’m waiting with bush pie makers in hand.

#22 scab on 06.01.11 at 9:42 pm


#23 Mr. Lee on 06.01.11 at 9:44 pm

People’s memories, and tention span appear to be getting shorter as time goes on. Perhaps it is the floridated water or MSG, but one thing is for sure……people keep on make the same mistake to much larger degree. Take the correction of 2008, that was a wake up call that leverage and debt were to be avoided and that real wealth is measured by liquidity and equity. Alas, the correction was nothing more than a blip to the masses and now it is business as usual. News falsh…..another correction is coming, the Fed is musing about QE3…..and Mr. C will hold off on interest rate increases unitil he is forced to raise them fifty to seventy five basis points per meeting. Then the real meaning of the word correction will be realized by those of us who were to ignorant to be prepared.


#24 Frankie on 06.01.11 at 9:44 pm


You don’t predict a crash? That is news to me. I must be reading the wrong blog.

Or maybe the wrong book? I will go pick up “After the Crash” and maybe see what that is about?????

It’s about after the last one. That would be now. — Garth

#25 Feelin broke on 06.01.11 at 9:45 pm

The problem with economies around the world is globalization. I’m not saying trade is a bad thing, but until we stop letting corporations write our laws and trade policies we will never have a real economy. The walmarts of the world have destroyed many economies. There are no more mom and pop stores. Only minimum wage jobs or something to do with re.

#26 Pat on 06.01.11 at 9:47 pm

Marcel writes:

“We are wanting to buy a house now that we are done our education…”

Amigo, judging from the paragraph you’ve written you need more education.

#27 Jsan on 06.01.11 at 9:49 pm

I don’t want to spook anyone in the oil industry, especially those working in the Oil Sands however there could be something coming along that has the potential of making the Oil Sands as extinct as the dodo bird and it could be only a year or two away. This is a potential game changer in the area of energy and it has received almost zero press in North America. It guardedly appears to be legitimate and has been confirmed by a few pretty prominent groups. if it is what the claims are making it out to be, it will usher in a new age of energy and usher out at least less profitable commodities such as expensive to extract Oil sands. There will always be a need for oil but the demand drop would be huge.

They are not calling it cold fusion but they are suggesting it could be the holy grail science has been looking for. It is currently in the testing stage and will have a commercial 1 Megawatt ready for testing by this fall.

#28 Yvr on 06.01.11 at 9:52 pm

Apparently, there’s lots of people overpaying stuff in Saskatchewan. Not only realestate, but also junior experience-less “consultant” engineers.

#29 not asian on 06.01.11 at 9:59 pm

first…first..first…ha! ha!

I was just at a grand opening in Vancouver downtown where they were introducing yet to be built condos (2014) on the outskirts of the downtown area. Hoards of people showed up. In fact, I thought they were giving these condos away for free. On the contrary, 500 sf, no parking, asking $299 – $318,000 not including HST. Buyers were panting with excitement. I heard one person “I just bought a couple of condos the other day at ??? for investment. Great rental potential.” It sounded like they were talking about buying a dress. The other person responded “Oooh, you are so lucky. I really missed out on that one. Hopefully I’ll get a few of these.” WTF!!! There were so many people that my face was pressed against the wall. The sales agent said that the turnout was even more overwhelming than expected. They also expect that it will be sold out in minutes. I can’t make sense of this. Except I did notice everyone was of asian decent.

#30 Mark on 06.01.11 at 10:10 pm

“Apparently, there’s lots of people overpaying stuff in Saskatchewan. Not only realestate, but also junior experience-less “consultant” engineers.

Yeah, no kidding, most engineers I know would be very specific as to their salaries or the number of offers received, if they were offering such stats up in search of advice. Not just generalities such as “about 5 offers”, or a salary that has obviously been padded with a prefix of 1 (as in, 160,000 — instead of a more typical Sask starting salary of $60k/year).

Consulting, BTW, is also usually the least paid flavour of engineering out there, so $60k/year sounds about right. Bigger money typically to be made working for a principal owner/operator of assets in the O&G industry.

#31 Mikey the Realtor on 06.01.11 at 10:10 pm

Commodity prices got nowhere to go but up. Commodities pull back a little with the fear in the markets, big deal. Then they explode to the upside. Natural resources and commodities are the new gold, we don’t need ipads and crackberry’s but we sure need to eat.

A couple making $230k out of school should not be fearing a housing market where the average price is just a bit over $250k. I’m sure everyone would love to be in that situation, then of course this blog would not exist.

#32 Toon Town Boomer on 06.01.11 at 10:13 pm

This statement is from Kevin on Saskatoon Housing Bubble today.What doYou think?

“I have mentioned before that Saskatoon will be one of the last housing markets in Canada to leave the boom.”

So what? All booms end. Every market is unique, for a while. — Garth

#33 NFN_NLN on 06.01.11 at 10:15 pm

Graduated from UofA Eng in 2002 but not a PetE. I have 3 friends in PetE working in Calgary. These are people with ~9 years of experience. The highest base salary is $130K + bonus + stock ~= $180K and they are overpaid for the work they do, and they know it.

Starting at $160K sounds fishy. This must include some living allowance that will get eaten up and some projected stock options earnings that may not happen.

#34 eddy on 06.01.11 at 10:16 pm

interesting 52 min video about the dollar collapse
Canadian content at about the 25 min mark

#35 Ronaldo on 06.01.11 at 10:20 pm
I know how I felt in February of 2009 after reading the above article and that CEO of RBC was going to invest his 2.4 million cash bonus in RBC bank stock. This was at the same time that bank’s Financial Advisors were scared spitless to sell you anything but a GIC for your TFSA. I opened my TFSA and purchased shares in Canadian Western bank at 10.00…..RBC at the time was trading at around 30.00 and doubled from that point and now at around 55.00….Good move on the part of the RBC CEO but a better move on my part as CWB tripled from the time I bought it. TFSA sitting nicely at 150% and a good wad of cash waiting for the next opportunity which should not be too far off. I would be extremely wary buying into the current market. Not certain that there has been much success in getting the herd back into it yet as markets seem to be locked into a very narrow range and could be due for a very hefty pullback. 35% of trading is done by computers (HFT). Personally, I am going to sit back and wait this one out till end of summer and see what October brings. Might be nasty. Back to the hockey game. Go Canucks Go.

#36 anders4c on 06.01.11 at 10:40 pm

Ah. Regina. Lived here all my life. I married a local girl last year and, like most married couples, we began thinking about buying a house. Of course, I was disgusted to see that home prices here had more than doubled in the past five years. And for what? Population growth in this city has been less than spectacular, yet so-called “starter” homes these days are listing for “only” $220-$250K, which forced us to reconsider. Such prices are out of touch with the fundamentals, for if interest rates were anywhere near normal, or if down payments were 10% instead of 5%, it would be a different story. Like elsewhere in Canada, buyers here have been tripping over each other to get into the market for fear that they’ll be “priced out forever.” But I really think people here assume that homes will double in price again in 5-10 years, because housing here has typically been “undervalued” compared to the rest of Canada. What could possibly support such prices if the median income in Regina is only $65K? Will everyone’s wages double, or will banks get back into the business of providing 40+ year amortizations? This is doubtful.

#37 Trailer Park Boys on 06.01.11 at 10:41 pm

We each make $256,000 year from Uncle Willy and shopping cart repair .

What goes on in the trailers stays in Vegas.

#38 Hoof - Hearted on 06.01.11 at 10:45 pm

From previous item

I actually did a bit of homework re: public education system.

Much of it is rooted in American systems and the downfall can be attributed to strong unions featherbedding and gutless politicians capitulating.

BTW I read a stat that 1/3 of NYC public school teachers enroll their kids in PRIVATE Schools.

#39 I'm actually serious on 06.01.11 at 10:49 pm

If you want a real gauge for how much money is floating around from the oil patch there’s no better barometer than this:

Back in the $140bb days the rates hit $300-350/hr. Today $200-260 is normal.

Inelastic goods may be experiencing inflation but elastic goods are deflating.

It may be funny, but it’s true.

#40 Lisa on 06.01.11 at 10:51 pm

Agree, the second shoe has not dropped yet. The mainstream media keeps talking about recovery and how everything’s just dandy. Don’t believe it, folks. The evidence is there for all to see. The foundations of the North American economy have been eaten out by termites and have been slowly crumbling for years. Yeah, this is Canada and everything, but we’re in the same
boat, more or less, as the Americans.

#41 squidly77 on 06.01.11 at 10:54 pm

There will be no crash in Saskatoon

Cause it’s different there right. Or is it because you live there.

#42 BPOE on 06.01.11 at 10:56 pm

Canucks are the Owners
Bostononians the Renters
Folks, there are 2 safe places. Vancouver and Gold. The too are one and the same, a storehouse of wealth and safehaven. I’m tired of all the bull I read on these posts and blogs about sales falling, prices falling, the sky is falling it’s just pure bull and the scaremongers know it. Lineups for condos, bidding wars 300k (no typo) over ask on homes. This is what is happening. The world is faltering. You do not want a diversified portfolio, that path is for suckers. You you will die a slow death as your portfolio crumbles. Gold Producing stocks and Vancouver will weather any storm thrown it’s way. Vancouver and gold have proved this for years now yet the naysayers act like it never happened. Check back in 1 year the price of gold and the price of Vancouver Real Estate compared to your basket of stocks, bonds and the like. Remember 2009 folks. Stocks tanked and Vancouver ROCKED

#43 Ben on 06.01.11 at 10:59 pm

160K for a first year engineer? Ya, right!

#44 Ronaldo on 06.01.11 at 11:03 pm Rapidly rising unemployment and rapidly rising house sales in Canada explained…not a whole lot different than what Garth has been saying…good video

#45 jess on 06.01.11 at 11:03 pm

after effects are never pretty

Narrator: Before the corn and wheat seed arrived, up to five million Russians had starved to death. By August 1922, five months after the corn reached the villages, the ARA was feeding up to 11 million Soviet citizens every day in 19,000 kitchens.

Stephen Shafroth, Son of Will Shafroth: My father said there were a half-million people in his district who faced starvation when he began to distribute the corn. Every household got a month’s supply — two pounds per day. That’s the job that he came to do, and he was doing it, and he was very pleased.

Zukra Ibragimova, Survivor: People used to call that food “America”. So, we were handed out “America”. At home, people cooked soup out of it, fed their children. This, of course, was great help to us. My father used to say: “See, the Americans did the right thing, sent us help.”

Narrator: Every day in his Ufa-Ural Mountains district, Walter Bell fed 1.6 million Russians, Bashkirs, Tatars and Kazakhs in 2,750 kitchens. One was a three-year-old boy.

Khashim Mustaev, Survivor: I still remember they gave us corn and sweetened condensed milk. I was little then but I still remember the taste of that American canned condensed milk. Our father brought it to us. Thanks to this help, I survived and then studied and became a famous dancer.

…”Relief supplies from both the Black Sea and the Baltic to much of the Volga Valley and all of Walter Bell’s Ufa-Urals district were stalled. An estimated 25,000 Russians died in these regions each week. Seventy-five thousand more deaths by the end of March. People had been dying at this rate all over Russia all winter. Will Shafroth described a scene he witnessed in Samara.

Will Shafroth (Ivan Bronevoy): I have seen piles of corpses half naked and frozen into the most grotesque positions with signs of having been preyed upon by wandering dogs. I have seen these bodies, and it is a sight that I can never forget.

Narrator: Shafroth cabled Haskell in Moscow that the body of a Russian assistant who recently died from typhus had been dug up and eaten. Ten butcher shops, he said, had been closed for selling human flesh. Americans read that Shafroth himself had been eaten.

Rashid Latypov, Historian: The government tried to stop people eating corpses. And they led propaganda against this, and they tried to put guards in the cemeteries in order to prevent people from eating dead bodies.

Anatoly Utkin, Historian and Grandson of Survivors: Grandma told me about it. When the dark was coming, they put a huge lock to save children, because children were the main target of cannibals.

Yulia Khmelevskaya, Historian: There were cases of killing children by their own mothers, by their own parents, and eating them. Some mothers did that for mercy. But some mothers killed them to feed other children, especially very small babies….

#46 Carp on 06.01.11 at 11:03 pm

As my mother-in-law boarded the plane back to Vancouver, she says – why don’t you move the family back? I says “why would I move my family back to a place where my hard earn money would go to pay for a mortgage, my wife would have to work, my kids never home, my kids having no education funds and me hoping my RE “investment” keep rising and having nothing else but one house in some swamp like Richmond. That compared to a stable town (ok some jobs are being cut in Ottawa – but whatever) with good school, low crime, decent jobs, and rated #1 in Money Sense.

Her jaw dropped, realizing I would never want to go back to Vancouver – cause it ain’t that great.

Her daughter agreed, they hugged and we bid her farewell, good travel (and good luck with her new house she bought) ….

Now I can go back to my rented hobby farm and look at my potatoes grow.

#47 Hoof - Hearted on 06.01.11 at 11:05 pm

Commodity prices go up….to fool the local fools…buy….market crashes…economy hollows out, and the Bilderbergs/IMF take over…

sheeple to the slaughter

#48 Devore on 06.01.11 at 11:11 pm

American real estate is a big drag on everything. House prices have now fallen more (33%) than they did during the Great Depression (31%). In both periods, people who bought during a brief recovery – before the second leg down – got creamed. Worth remembering.

It’s probably worth mentioning that there will not be, nor has there ever been, a V-shaped recovery in housing. You will have plenty of time to buy, and inventory to choose from, when the time arrives.

#49 Tim on 06.01.11 at 11:12 pm

Why would anyone stay in Saskatchewan if there weren’t plenty of jobs there? He’ll even smog-ridden, traffic-choked, souless Toronto with its endless suburbs is more appealing

#50 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 06.01.11 at 11:13 pm

So the feds. can’t do anything but to paper over the cracks in the wall, other than by press releases that says the sun shines out of our behinds. I guess that’s what doublespeak was invented for, and politicos are really good at making speeches about nothing at all!

“The US economy is running out of gas . . .” — Actually, it’s been running on empty fumes for a few years now. Wars are the only thing which keep the west afloat so — subtract all the wars, and the whole house of cards ends in a damp squib.

Well, declare war and invade someone else, esp. a country which hasn’t done anything to anyone — they’re fair game!
#121 shanks Headline says a lot. Story is pretty good, too. This, too.
Lead pic on rense is good!
Cdn. Dollar and Rare Earths about to become a whole lot rarer. 5:39 clip Creating new wars + increasing homeless = Economic fiasco. Shut It Down “And then there is the money that U.S. taxpayers are forced to give the World Bank and the IMF. Spending on these globalist organizations should be shut down.” Belarus for breakfast, and Libya for lunch.

On the Verge of GD2; Gold — Where is it? Home Prices continue sliding; Retirement? Fuggedaboudid! Eurocrats Tightening the noose (strangle themselves).

Frootcakes Ones and Frootcakes Two. These two Fruit and Nut Bars, when linked together, may culminate in the end of QE2 (June 30) and start of QE5 (skipping past three and four). QE5 And here it is — more money printing.

Failing food system (by design). Food Stamps Move beyond 44 mln. Obama — Change Is Good! Triple D China Wonder if they would use some of their US debt holdings to pay off these debts? Tar Sands Tax? UK says no.

Costs One reason why Japan may cash in on some US debt, and China — going thorium. Further proof that the whacknutz who hand out Nobel Prices (sorry, Prizes) have got a few loose screws upstairs.

Doncha jes’ luv all this stuff? HAARP, NMF etc. “European Parliament Indicates US Caused Jap Quake with HAARP!” More to it than that. Links in (if you can find them). Russia Now Russia hastens the lift-off of a snooping satellite to blanket earth.

#51 hashnugs in da splee on 06.01.11 at 11:17 pm

Um Hey assplows……160K/year guy lives in “the weyb”
Get it right

#52 Snowman on 06.01.11 at 11:28 pm

#12 Duke

” I am pissed and want to see them all burn! But then what kind of person does that make me?”

A loser, just like the rest of the pack.

#53 nonplused on 06.01.11 at 11:29 pm

Word from my “eye in the sky” reporter (lady who works for me that is trying to set her mom up near family in the Shuswap), is that Shuswap list prices that were $300,000 a few months ago are now $250,000, and that the number of listings is rising so fast she’s had to lower her mls criteria selection. But the vacation homes always go first.

For those who don’t remember the trading rules, here they are, all you need to know: Rising prices on strong volume is a bull market. Falling prices on strong volume is a bear market. Rising or falling prices on weak volume is a transition. And most transitions are crashes. The history of markets is not filled with explosions to the upside that lasted. Instead, they march higher over a period of time, and revert in a much shorter time.

#54 Ronny on 06.01.11 at 11:38 pm


I like to read your blog, it reminds me of why I hate Capitalism so much.

But I notice you are having a hard time understanding peoples actions. So I’m gonna try and help you out a bit.

You see the thing is, Capitalism is about exploitation by the individual. It allows the individual to exploit everything, especially people, for surplus value (aka profit).

Humans evolved as social beings. Humans prospers when they work as a group. Henry Ford exploited this fact by assembling people on a single line of production.

So when you say people buy and sell at the same time, in groups, well it’s because survival always depended on being part of the group.

Capitalism works against this basic human function. It does not help the group move forward together. It allows some to prosper and the majority to flounder.


#55 Michelle on 06.01.11 at 11:38 pm

#27 Jsan
Your link to the Italian Scientists who claim to have created a cold-fusion source of power generation unfortunately is one of a long legacy of claims which have not held up to scrutiny over time.

These scientists didn’t get their work published in a credible peer-reviewed scientific journal because they couldn’t explain their methodology in accurate detail (an essential step to any credible scientific experiment).
So they published their results in an “on-line” journal created by, yup, them. Hardly an unbiased publication.

A reproducible method of producing cold fusion generated energy would garner an instant Nobel prize and prestigious journals such a “Nature” or “Science” would be clamouring to publish their experiments. There’s no conspiracy among basic research scientists to supress great discoveries. As a published microbiologist I can guarantee you that we are a maverick (if nerdy) bunch that hate cohersion by big business interests and governments.

(The exception is China, where unfortunately the Communist Party has a tendancy to review and censure any scientific papers which don’t give results in line with their agendas. It’s very sad, as there are many bright graduate students doing research, but without a free and open “peer-review” system, China will never produce any novel scientific breakthroughs. Instead they are better at adapting technology and research developed in other Western countries.)

#56 Siddelly on 06.01.11 at 11:43 pm

Shortly after we sold our house in Feb 09 I was at work and got a call from my BMO lady who said something like ” This one makes me a little nervous, but Teck Resources has some debt problems with Fording coal and we can buy them today at around 3.50 with a P/E of about 3 or 4. This stock is either going to disappear or go to the moon.” I didn’t have the guts and bought Manulife that day instead. Oh well!

While you’re in Saskatchewan Garth maybe you could stop in and check on my Bioexx investment in Saskatoon. They should be squirting out proteins for almost 60 straight days by now!

#57 Utopia on 06.01.11 at 11:43 pm

Too funny Garth. I got my chuckle for the day for sure. You got it all right about Saskatchewan too. We are boom and bust here but it seems most have short memories.

They are foolishly love-struck, smitten and bitten by the current spate of good economic news that swarms around our made-in-the-prairies commodity party. They should check their history though. These parties don’t always end well.

Everyone forgets how dramatic a sell-off in commodities can be when markets turn sour and speculative cash flees elsewhere for safety. Like to dollars or bonds. I am talking hard-landings now. They don’t call these risk trades for nothing.

Anyone who witnessed how fast the bloom came off the resource rose when silver tanked weeks ago knows exactly what I am talking about here.

Big Time Drama.

The nature of investments in the commodities markets can be both fickle and unstable and that means those markets can and do crash sometimes.

Even Potash. Even Uranium. Even Wheat. Watch and wait. If China does go off the rails (meaning they only post half current growth levels) we will see the usual resource price declines that can spell recession for government revenues and lost jobs over here.

Bad news. We are not well diversified as an economy.

I do not see how it can be avoided either. Some of the best thinkers and analysts out there are now expressing grave concerns about the Asian property bubble and the raft of economic distortions that have developed. They cannot all be wrong and I am betting most have already seen the light.

Home buyers in Saskatchewan would be prudent to heed the warnings of those economists.

#58 Winterpeg on 06.01.11 at 11:46 pm

Winnipeg has similarities to Regina. Supposedly a stable economy, with home prices too high in my opinion. Also climate similarities for sure. BRRRR winters, hot summers.
More people in Winnipeg, though: about 750,000 which means we can afford an NHL team again….. NOT!!!!
Speaking of lemmings, I won’t be lining up for the 13,000 season tickets needed to be sold. I like hockey, but not that much! Hope I am wrong. I’ll keep my money out of real estate and glittery franchises for now thanks.

#59 Siddelly on 06.01.11 at 11:47 pm

#5 BigA

Holy cow was that a scary ride. Mandatory viewing for anyone who’s ridden the wooden coaster at the PNE.

#60 Williston Geo on 06.01.11 at 11:54 pm

Marcel can easily make 160K a year oilfield consulting. It’s a field job with a lot of uncertainties, so comparing it to starting wages in an office environment is not valid.

Here are some very realistic numbers for the cynics. After a month or two on the job Marcel’s boss/pimp will be charging him out at about $1300/day. Marcel will be taking home about $1000/day. It’s going to be busy this year (if it ever dries up), so getting 150-200 days in should not be a problem.

#61 New Couple on 06.01.11 at 11:59 pm

“American real estate is a big drag on everything. House prices have now fallen more (33%) than they did during the Great Depression (31%). In both periods, people who bought during a brief recovery – before the second leg down – got creamed. Worth remembering.”

Would it be a good idea to buy a condo down South, collect rent for 3-5 years, and sell it off when things (hopefully) cool off in Canada? The idea is that the rental income would offset the rent we pay here in Toronto while generating some revenue, and by the time we sell in 3-5 years the prices will have (again hopefully) picked up to pave the way for our permanent home purchase here.

#62 rental monkey on 06.02.11 at 12:05 am

Looks like the pooch in the picture only scratched the surface. I’m surprised he didn’t crater into the drywall. Speaking from the voice of experience……sigh. ;)

Perhaps that is Big Daddy G’s metaphor?

#63 Nick on 06.02.11 at 12:11 am

Garth there is this rule of thumb that buying at 10x annual rent is a good deal, and selling at 20x annual rent is selling at the peak. In the US it worked. Would you use that as a way to identify a speculative bubble and guide decisions?

#64 Rich in Calgary on 06.02.11 at 12:17 am

What kind of a stupid company would pay $160,000 to a guy who can’t even spell?

#65 A Man on 06.02.11 at 12:24 am


Take off your color glasses, and stop spreading hatred. Do you know how hard those mainland Chinese have been working to achieve their today’s level? Do you think mercy God just pour the money into their lucky pockets?

Mind your language!

Learn sarcasm! — Garth

#66 Reggie on 06.02.11 at 12:29 am

I don’t know if this video has been posted already, but its pretty cool, and totallly fits with what Garth has been warning us about. Its a rollercoater ride of the Vancouver Real Estate Market over the past 35 years, hope you enjoy.

#67 KindaDifferent on 06.02.11 at 12:31 am

Hoof Hearted, my sister is a public school teacher in NYC and her two kids are in PRIVATE school. She works really hard as an English teacher in Chinatown and her husband is a Doctor, so I don’t blame her for putting her kids in private school. The US Public school system needs to be defunded and then restarted without teacher unions. I’m totally for private vouchers.

#68 reality guy on 06.02.11 at 12:44 am

Regina , nice place to visit for a few hours, but I would want to “LIVE IN IT”

#69 Jane on 06.02.11 at 12:44 am

#74 C on 06.01.11 at 6:40 am and
#49 bcPaul.

I invite both of you to spend a week in my classroom, doing my job, then we will talk compensation. In addition, don’t forget to book Monday night off for parent teacher meetings, and Tuesday night for track practice, and the next two nights you aren’t going home ’cause it is camp, and then you can write report cards all weekend. That will leave you rested and refreshed for the next week.

#70 westopia on 06.02.11 at 12:45 am

CNBC: ‘Sugar High That Has Buoyed US Economy Is Wearing Out’

#71 Van Burbs on 06.02.11 at 1:02 am

A friend has just bought a 25 yr old townhouse in Van’s suburbia. The price is at 2006 level. The reason was tiredness of renting, paying the landlord, and the fact that in 2007 they could not get a mortgage, but now Vancity gave it easily (not much has changed except the savings have been decreasing steadily these 2 years). Vancity gave 35 yrs amortization. They put 20% down and chose fixed 5yr rate as Vancity explained to them that these 2 steps will save them CHMC insurance fee and overall save them about $50 000 over the life of their mortgage. When I asked what will happen if the rates go up, my friend said they will house an international student. And if the prices fall – it is OK, because they will sell low and buy low. With Governments printing money like toilet paper, the inflation will be high and prices will continue going up. I congratulated her on moving to her place, as the deal is done, and there is no point in loosing a friend over the disagreement on RE future.

#72 Thetruth on 06.02.11 at 1:03 am

Garth says no crash.

Either the bubble pops and there will be a crash; as all bubbles pop.

Or there never was a bubble but only supply and demand ratios changing slowly over time which leads to a ‘melt’.

We know where Garth stands on this now. However, Garth’s projections don’t include dynamic gov policy.

A housing correction in Canada is not the same as a new global financial crisis. — Garth

#73 Utopia on 06.02.11 at 1:06 am


“Crash is coming but not till 2014, between now and then you can score big in Canadian real estate”

Sorry, no crash big guy. Anyway, the correction is already in force in much of the country save the major markets. Don’t be misled by the media accounts of big price gains in Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg or Saskatoon.

If I need to repeat this I will.

The real estate market is correcting at this time. Down, not up Smoking Man. There is very limited upside opportunity available for capital appreciation when sales continue to slide into the abyss and many secondary markets are suffering price declines as we speak.

Don’t you follow the news or even this blog anymore?

#74 A Man on 06.02.11 at 1:09 am


Be Objective and mind your own language! I was a mainland Chinese, and I have been all the way working hard as a most respectable and qualified engineer in my current company. If I could have been offered a professional position several years ago in Saskatchewan, I would have stayed there forever.

#75 Utopia on 06.02.11 at 1:25 am

#16 Mr. Vmax

“Hell…Saskatchewan climate sucks!!! 9 days of summer if your lucky!!! To pay so much or a house with no view or climate is a mystery to me!

Are you just saying that to bug me Vmax?

According to Environment Canada, the sunniest cities in the country (excluding Victoria) are all on the prairies. Calgary is first with 2405 hours of sunshine while Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon all top 2300 hours apiece.

Wide open spaces pal. The day starts early and ends late. No mountains or old growth forests to obstruct your view. No rainy days most of the time.

It is paradise for sun lovers, friend.

#76 Jazz on 06.02.11 at 2:47 am

Re: “Remember how you felt around February of 2009?”

Actually, Garth, I remember Feb 1, 2009 when I took notes at your presentation in Nanaimo – two of your comments was that there are “unprecedented debt levels to date and are set to absolutely worsen” and “resale home prices in Canada are tracking the United States with a two year lag”. Nice work Garth either way it is sliced or diced two plus years later.

#77 AG Sage on 06.02.11 at 2:48 am

From last thread:
#157 BigAl (Original) on 06.01.11 at 4:50 pm
#51 Aussie Roy on 06.01.11 at 12:45 am
>>Best way to stop bubbles is to go back to REAL valuations, not simply look at a currents suburbs sold list. At present valuations are really pric-uations a REAL house valuation is how much income it can produce. If mortgage valuations were based on rental return say 8%pa, many million dollar crack shacks whose rental yield is 3-4%pa would be revalued at 50% of their current pricuation.


>Isn’t the real valuation whatever people are willing to pay for it, regardless of its ‘income potential’?
Look to equities for another example of where valuations appear out of whack.

>With all that, and more, who knows what the f*** the thing is worth.


I think the problem is there are two distinct valuations being conflated here. There is the low risk valuation that the bank should be using on their books and the spot price.

The spot price I would think is the “fair” price for the buyer given that any particular household has their own value set, obviously. If the property has a 200 year old oak tree on it and they are Druids, then it wouldn’t be fair to claim (through restriction of credit) that they can’t outbid someone else for the house. Or that seems to be the way the system works now.

The problem comes in when there is explicit (or worse yet implicit) guarantees on the money being loaned out. Then letting the valuation task fall to naive buyers who are being handed leverage in excess of an investment bank is just designing the system intentionally for bubbles to form.

We maybe need to split the difference. Explicit guarantees only on the REAL valuation (and only at something like 60 cents on the dollar) and explicitly no guarantees on the spot price valuation. And force banks to hold all the excess between the two directly on their own books, no CDSs, or other securitizations allowed.

I honestly think we’d be better off with some explicit guarantee, those have ceilings. Right now we have no ceiling on bailouts. But maybe this is just desperate thinking on my part in the hope of ANY reform at all.

If this is rambling, I apologize. It’s the crazy strong coffee this morning…

#78 Jody on 06.02.11 at 2:52 am

Politicians make a killing, CEO’s fleece everyone, the police/nanny state is getting worse, company boards of directors pull in huge bonuses and who do you retards bitch and moan about making too much money? Teachers. Idiots, no wonder so many people are financially underwater, nobody values an education.

As a teacher I should not get a public pension, nobody should get a pension funded by the tax payer, but as to my yearly salary, if you think teaching is so easy then try it, we need more teachers, especially teachers who care.

As for the “you get 8 weeks of holidays every summer, blah, blah, blah.” The first 2 weeks we’re all sick from the stress of babysitting your little darlings, darlings who are sent to school with lunches consisting of chocolate bars and coca-cola, darlings who have been allowed to stay up until 2am playing video games, darlings who come to school and call each other whore and slut (grade 4 kids), because their parents have allowed them to watch an 18+ movie, darlings who are never disciplined at home and when they’re disciplined at school parents bitch and moan that we are too hard on them. We can’t go on field trips without filling out 100 forms because nitwits sue when their child acts like a stupid idiot because they’ve taught them nothing.

“I like to let my child roam free and experience life, discipline will stunt their growth.”

Everyone is to busy living a “lifestyle,” and it seems kids are more of an accessory than anything else. Yea, give yourselves a pat on the back.

The next 4 weeks are spent taking courses, usually mandated/strongly encouraged and then, yea, we take 2 or 3 weeks off for ourselves, after spending more time each day with your child than you do. After going into the school at 7am and leaving at 8pm, after we’ve run craft clubs and coached extra-curricular activities for free, we go home and mark. I’m marking right now, I have been for the past 5 hours, it’s now 1 am. Will I get a bonus? Nope. Will anybody give a sh** that I’m putting in the hours? Nope. Will anyone notice when I burn 2 weekends a month going into school and preparing for the coming week. Nope. Will anyone care or notice when I spend $2000 plus a year on resources so the students I teach can actually do interesting activities? Nope.

Don’t get me wrong, if someone told me I no longer had a teaching job because people no longer had to pay property and income taxes I would be very happy, then schools would be a business instead of a public flogging post that bends over for every stupid special interest group. You would also learn very fast that the crap people pull would no longer be tolerated, you want your child to learn x or do y, you think things aren’t good enough? Go start a school, and if there is no profit in it, guess what, you’re out of luck! Hahahaha! Serves you right! Be very careful what you wish for.

It’s easy to abdicate your responsibility as an adult to take care of your kids, then complain when the government screws up their education. What do you think education would be like if teachers made 50% less than they do now, better? Really? Wow! Duh! Ever heard the saying “Public education, it’s why you and you’re kids are so stupid.”? It’s true, but most people are too stupid to understand that us peons are set on each other, we fight each other instead of the elite who keep taking our power and freedoms away. Who cares right? As long as you have your sofa, beer and hockey game. A cage is still a cage, even when it is lined with gold. Yea, fire dem teachers! Pay dem less! That’s sure to bring caring people into the profession. Guess what kind of employees you get when you treat your employees like crap.

#79 dosouth on 06.02.11 at 4:34 am

Hate to say this (not..) but after 4 months we have unloaded our oversized, financial millstone of a house in …. the Okanagan. Bought in December 2009, no jobs time to move on.

Not gonna tell stories of what it sold for but we will make a few bucks after Realtor, lawyer, taxes and moving. Sorta lived rent free for 18 months but next move will either be into a rental or RV trip for 8 months. We certainly will not be able to replace the style and quality of home we will leave behind but will have cash in our pockets and money to invest (kind of a dichotomy don’t ya’ think?)……

#80 Saskatchewan dust bowl on 06.02.11 at 4:49 am

Marcel is young, he doesn’t remember the dust bowl Saskatchewan was.

Saskatchewan is an exporter of people.

Saskatchewan’s population today (1 million) is almost the same as it was in 1931 of 921,785. Not much growth there.

Garth is right, commodities are a boom/bust resource. While Marcel may be making good money now, if resources bust again, he may be making a lot less next year. So a $400k starter home may be “affordable” now at his wage, but not affordable next year if he doesn’t have a wage.

Saskatchewan greatest GDP contributor is: 17.1% from finance, insurance, real estate, leasing and just 6.8% from agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting which Saskatchewan is setup for.

Just something to think about.

#81 Marcel on 06.02.11 at 5:21 am

For those who think that a new engineer in the Oil Patch cant make 160k/year should step out of their air conditioned office and into the patch for a couple weeks and actually see what the day rates out here are. I started at a day rate of 600 dollars working as a MWD and within 5 months my day rate moved up to 900/day. We also work on average about 24 days a month, so you do the math and figure out what we make. And the reason the money is so good, is because everyone wants an office job. It isnt easy out here being away from your family and working long days, but the money is rediculous. Anyone that disagrees should go look at any local MWD or DD companies and see what there staritng wage is, and then come argue

#82 Marcel on 06.02.11 at 5:23 am

And LPN’s fresh out of a 2 year course are now making 32$/hr and can work as many hours as they want. That adds up to 70k/yr pretty quickly!! I told ya people … Sasky has lots of jobs!!

#83 National Front Disco on 06.02.11 at 5:50 am

I have a dilemma – my wife is actually Chinese but all the mainlanders coming over and buying Canadian property and Canadian companies kinda irks me. I don’t think you should be able to buy property here unless you are a citizen. Thoughts?

#84 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.02.11 at 7:09 am

Someone finally called “B.S.” on Flaherty’s estimates:
Deficits may be $35B higher than Flaherty says

Shouldn’t this happen every single time he speaks? I mean, this was the guy that in Fall 2008 said “we won’t have a recession”!

#85 RentinginRosedale on 06.02.11 at 7:25 am

Regina has existed since the 1880’s or something like that.

Everyone in Canada knows it’s there — heck, we’ve all driven past it on the Trans Canada, flown over it on the way to Vancouver etc. etc.

And yet, after all these years, hardly any of us chose to live there. Not sure what the reasons are, but I doubt very much thats about to change.

In a country of 35 Million, only about 200k choose Regina. Guess it proves that most people know there’s more to life than good starting salaries for grads

#86 fancy_pants on 06.02.11 at 7:32 am

Good investment in a downturn economy…

…it will make all your financial nightmares bright and wonderful.

#87 RentinginRosedale on 06.02.11 at 7:38 am

I think poor old Marcel will be shipping his T-4 to Garth (like that other engineering grad a few months ago) after he reads all these non-believer comments!

#88 munch on 06.02.11 at 7:39 am

yo Garth?

You will enjoy this, really!


Munch from South Africa

#89 BoomerBoy on 06.02.11 at 7:40 am

#82 National Front Disco:

“I don’t think you should be able to buy property here unless you are a citizen. Thoughts?”

Well, my first thought would be to expand on your proposition. In other words, why?

While you’re at it, perhaps you could also offer your opinion on whether or not Canadians should be allowed to buy real estate in countries where they do not hold citizenship.

#90 MikeT on 06.02.11 at 7:41 am

offtopic: Garth, I bet the number of hits on your site increases exponentially every evening around 9 pm when the “first” idiots keep refreshing their browsers to see when you posted a new article and, well, be “first”.

I can hear it groan. — Garth

#91 Love this Blog on 06.02.11 at 7:52 am

#82 No dilemna at all. I agree.

#92 bm78 on 06.02.11 at 7:58 am

This makes me really nervous

#93 maxx on 06.02.11 at 8:13 am

#25 Feelin broke on 06.01.11 at 9:45 pm

“…. I’m not saying trade is a bad thing, but until we stop letting corporations write our laws and trade policies we will never have a real economy. The walmarts of the world have destroyed many economies. There are no more mom and pop stores…..”

Excellent point. However, the quality of human life as it plays out on this beautiful blue orb truly does not factor into the juggernaut of globalization. Pity. All of us.

#94 Jamaican_Gal on 06.02.11 at 8:20 am

Like the “birthers”, the “firsters” are here to stay. Leave us alone…;) We have rights too.

#95 Jim on 06.02.11 at 8:31 am

“We’re still buying high, getting our news from HGTV”

I get my news from bear blogs, and the anecdotes they quote-and I never check the facts or stats.

#96 dave99 on 06.02.11 at 8:33 am

#74 Utopia, you wrote:

“Are you just saying that to bug me Vmax?

According to Environment Canada, the sunniest cities in the country (excluding Victoria) are all on the prairies. Calgary is first with 2405 hours of sunshine while Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon all top 2300 hours apiece.

Wide open spaces pal. The day starts early and ends late. No mountains or old growth forests to obstruct your view. No rainy days most of the time.

It is paradise for sun lovers, friend.”


Regina is paradise for sun lovers???

Uh, maybe, if loving sunshine is different from loving warmth.

Regina is cold – cold – cold. Winter starts in November , ends in April, and routinely hits lows of minus 40.

#97 Jsan on 06.02.11 at 8:47 am

#54 Michelle on 06.01.11 at 11:38 pm

#27 Jsan
Your link to the Italian Scientists who claim to have created a cold-fusion source of power generation unfortunately is one of a long legacy of claims which have not held up to scrutiny over time.


I have heard interviews with the scientist and people who have witnessed his invention. They are always asked why the Main Stream media has not caught on to what would be a game changing discovery. The response is similar to yours where there have been many others that have claimed the same discovery. The one HUGE difference is all of the others have never been able to demonstrate it live while this technology has been demonstrated live to many credible people on a number of occasions.

Andrea Rossi is very low key and almost acts like he could care less that the media has not caught on yet. Why should he, if it is all that he says it “could” be than eventually everyone will hear about it. They are currently building a large scale model which will be tested this fall. He is using all of his own money, has not asked for any during the research and design stage but they are now actively recruiting companies to eventually start large scale manufacturing of the product if everything turns out the way he is hoping it will. Time will tell.

There is also a another huge potential technology that is already proven that could revolutionize the energy industry. It is Thorium reactors which are light years ahead in safety, nuclear waste, cost etc. than present day reactors. Another technology, although not as earth shattering as the Andrea Rossi invention but none the less a extremely good alternative to current Nuclear technology.

I really do believe that the Oil Sands has become old and antiquated before it has even started to pick up steam. Once more and more companies realize this, the desire to invest huge amounts in the Oil Sands could stop overnight.


#98 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.02.11 at 9:07 am

@ #94 Jim:

There are far more links/references to real statistics on than HGTV.

(except for BPOE – who may in fact work for HGTV)

#99 Hoof - Hearted on 06.02.11 at 9:07 am

Global Warming…

Finally. Someone telling it like it is.

All of you out there across the globe who have fought so hard to tackle the hideous enemy of our planet, namely carbon emissions, you know …….that bogus god you worship of “Climate Change” or “Global Warming”……well, I feel it is necessary to inform you of some bad news. It really does pain me to have to bring you this disappointing information.

Are you sitting down?

Okay, here’s the bombshell. The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet – yes, that’s what I said……all of you.

Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesise into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.

I know, I know…. (group hug)…it’s very disheartening to realise that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of Bali, nearly getting wiped off the planet every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your $1 light bulbs with $10 light bulbs ….well, all of those things you have done, have gone down the tube in just four days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just four days – yes – FOUR DAYS ONLY by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time – EVERY DAY. Has a ‘greenie’ ever told you that? Indeed, do they even know?

Oh, I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire 40 MILLION YEARS on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year – think about it.

Of course I shouldn’t spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognised 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.

I’m so sorry. And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate all your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year……are you right there? Perhaps take a seat.

Remember that your government is trying to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus “human-caused” climate change scenario. No mention of a Tax on all the emissions caused by Prescribed Bush Fire Burning?

The Prescribed forest burning in Victoria alone puts more c02 into the atmosphere that all power generation in Australia in one year?

Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention “Global Warming” any more, but just “Climate Change” – you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bullshit artists got caught with their pants down.

And just keep in mind that now the same government is in control, you will have an Emissions Trading Scheme – that whopping new tax – imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting,or bush fires happening that’s for sure!

#100 Trailer Park Boys on 06.02.11 at 9:12 am

Peeeplez that get onz this blogg fiyrzt should get an award or a trofee, maybe run this blogg fer a day, can’t be that hard.

#101 Mackie on 06.02.11 at 9:16 am

Jane:Dont make me laugh. I live across the street from two high school teachers who are lucky to put in an average of 6 hours a day. The guy takes every 2nd monday off on a sick day. Lets see summers off, March break off, Christmas off… You would have to work 14 hour days to make up for all the time you get off from the FIRST day you start teaching. You know many people start with two weeks off and after five years have three weeks off. I have no pity for teachers whose union use our children for leverage to get more pay, smaller class sizes etc etc. And I am a big union supporter. BUT I am also a taxpayer and am sick and tired of teachers feeding off the public trough. Piggy piggy.

#102 Northern worker on 06.02.11 at 9:19 am

For those of you who don’t believe that a 160k a year is not possible for a petroleum engineer in the oil and gas business you are mistaken.

Last year as a new Journeyman electrician I was on The path to make 135k as an hourly employee. Sure I was working 14 hour days and 30 straight without a break but those of us who work away from home prefer it. Now I’m spending well deserved time off in beautiful southern Bc.

Now as a contractor up north you also get to rent hour truck out and person out. So let’s say your going rate is 55 an hour, very common rate, and your truck goes for 25 an hour for a total of 95 an hour. These are both real numbers coming from first hand knowledge.

Now if buddy gets every sataurday and Sunday off and the two 4 day weekends in Bc he would have a total of 116 days off a year. Which never happens, we always seem to work more.

12 hrs x 249 days = 2988 hrs

2988 hrs x $95 = $283,850

This IS a contractors salary in northern Bc for oil and gas. This doesn’t include overtime and as a contractor you generally don’t get it unless you charge shell/encana for it.

The quality of life during these work periods suck. A day for me would be work, gym, make dinner bed. By day 35 last round I was burnt. The two months off I’m taking off now are wonderful, especially since I get to work on my new foreclosed house we just bought.

Don’t believe it then to bad, but these are conservative facts.

#103 kilby on 06.02.11 at 9:25 am

#82 . National Front Disco.

I agree somewhat, all that money is ruining the market for Canadians. June restrictions in China will make things worse here. Mr. Flaherty and cohorts should be upping the ante and making sure these people are contributing to the local economies, not destroying them. Maybe having to reside here full time? We live in a North Vancouver condo that is supposed to be 70% sold but is only about 30% inhabited. Like living in “ghost building”….lots of parking though!

#104 Bottoms_Up on 06.02.11 at 9:27 am

#68 Jane on 06.02.11 at 12:44 am
Sounds like a new tv show: “crash test teachies”

I highly respect public school teachers, many were very good role models for me and played a roll in my academic success (Ph.D.), and they are definitely not over-paid.

Try to lose some of the jadedness and remember why you are doing what you do: for the love of the kids and their education. Your caring will make a difference in many of their lives.

#105 John on 06.02.11 at 9:30 am

I always enjoy the comments section when there is a hate on for engineers and other professionals. Frustrated much? ERTW!

#106 Ronaldo on 06.02.11 at 9:45 am

#77 Jody – Whew, bet you’re happy to get that off your chest.

#107 Ronaldo on 06.02.11 at 9:51 am

#82 National Front Disco – if the BC Gov’t adopted rules like New Brunswick on non-principal residence property like double taxing for instance, this would put a damper on speculation…..

#108 Junius on 06.02.11 at 10:00 am

#20 Smoking Man,

You said, “I expect a 10% to 20% spike in real estate prices this year, on about 80% volume……………. I will be laughed and mocked yet again.”

Everyone knows that as volume slows average prices pick up because activity remains in the upper end of the market. This has been the pattern in Canada for a nearly a year. This is still a sign of an unhealthy market.

However if you think that lowering of bank rates is going to make a new hot market we will be laughing in the aisles.

#109 Mikey the Realtor on 06.02.11 at 10:02 am

#37 Trailer Park Boys

Are you hiring? according to the poodles I’m going to be on the unemployment line soon. I need to set myself up soon because they have been so right in the last 3 years.

#110 Utopia on 06.02.11 at 10:02 am

Seems Standard and Poors has just confirmed my exact sentiments on how even a modest slowdown in China could have a major impact on commodity prices.

Anyone who thinks China needs a recession of their own before the rest of the world feels the pain is just kidding themselves. On the contrary, just a decline in Chinese GDP growth to 6% from the current 9% is more than sufficient for Canada to feel a big sharp kick in the trousers and change the mood in commodity markets.

The thing is, China is simply such a huge market and its demands for resources of all kinds are so incredible that its needs dwarf everyone else. Just feeding it’s manufacturing base which supplies the world with all the goodies we want and need makes that country one of the biggest buyers of,…oh…pretty much everything.

Resource economies are vulnerable to shocks emanating out of Asia. Let’s not forget, the West has already exported hundreds of thousands of jobs to China in search of cheaper labour already.

So all of our collective Western economies, Canada included, are less diversified today then we were in the past and therefore less able to withstand a China slowdown and its effects.

That’s just an expected outcome of globalization. Naturally we do recognize that the good comes with the bad when we interconnect our economies as we have done. We can therefore predict roughly how these relationships will affect us in the future.

So we cannot ever really blame China and its home-grown Real Estate Ponzi for putting us all at risk either. It is clear to all that the globe is settling into a period of very sluggish and slow growth of its own accord.

Any slow down in China though, will unfortunately, just add an element of misery to countries who have already mishandled their balance sheets. Most of Europe instantly comes to mind.

There is a feedback loop coming whereby declining global consumption and demand will eventually show up in the form of reduced activity in China. That in turn will have an effect on everyone else.

Slower growth everywhere else means less demand for metals, energy and miscellaneous commodities. Only food is exempted from the long term growth curve.

Last I checked we were still adding 80 million mouths a year to Mother Earth. We might not buy widgets, car parts and electronics but we all still need to eat.

Here is a very brief analysis of the Standard and Poors report entitled “The Potential Risk Of China’s Large And Growing Presence In Commodities Markets” from Seeking Alpha. The following words jumped off the page for me.

“Standard & Poor’s is naturally concerned that the current situation represents an unsustainable bubble, subject to a sudden correction”.

Those words are just code suggesting the possibility of a”crash” scenario for those paying attention. That is why Saskatchewan residents should exercise caution in home buying at this time as the China-Risk has become a growing threat.

#111 Junius on 06.02.11 at 10:05 am

#82 National Front Disco,

You asked, “I don’t think you should be able to buy property here unless you are a citizen. Thoughts?”

No. However property taxes for foreign owners should be very high. This is what most places do.

The problem or perception problem with the Chinese Mainlanders is that they have the best of all situations with no additional taxes and no residency requirements so they pay no taxes in Canada. Furthermore they are also perceived as cheating the medical system and ever other social program as well. This is the perception and there is some reality to it. How much is anyones guess.

#112 C on 06.02.11 at 10:06 am

Interesting “pop” in listings today on MLS for Burlington, Ontario $300,000-$400,000 HOUSE:

May 18th, 2011 303
May 20th, 2011 297
May 24th, 2011 295
May 30th, 2011 293
June 1st, 2011 290

JUNE 2nd, 2011 313 ????

#113 Dan in Victoria on 06.02.11 at 10:09 am

Hi Jane @ 68.

I invite YOU to come and spend a week running my small buisness.
Make sure you are at the job early and organized.
Hope that everyone shows up because you have to be done on time because the other trades have to start on time.
Be late or hold the project up… sorry we don’t want to hire you next time.
In other words find another job.

Make sure you keep track of your materials and tools because you’ll get robbed blind if you don’t.
Oh yeah keep track of the hours too cause some of these guys always make a “mistake”on adding up their hours, funny how it always adds up to more never less.

Not feeling well today? Want a sick day? Guess what no pay and you hope like hell the wheels don’t fall off at the site. Still better have that cell phone on “Just in case”Take it to the bathroom with you when you are sick.

After work its time to price all those plans you’ve managed to get.
Don’t be tired and make a mistake, cause it comes right out of your pocket.
Not the governments, not somewhere else, out of your hard earned money.
Weekends its time to plan the jobs for next week. Maybe.
Pretty tough when you have contractors that want you on Monday, Tuesday, and Wedsnday but no one wants you on Thursday and Friday.
Guess I better work Saturday and Sunday too make sure I have Those jobs done on time.
Hopefully I can fill the back part of the week up now.
Overtime? Whats that, you bid it its your problem suck it up and pay those guys out of your pocket for working on the weekend…if they will.

Now lets try and get paid…
Our draw hasn’t come through yet.
We don’t have your bill.
My secratary screwed up.
Theres a mistake on the amount you have completed.
We mailed it last week
Wait a few more days I’m sure it will get there.
Oh I thought your address was XYZ not ABC.
I didn’t sign the cheque? you’re kidding.
Oh I folded that company too bad.

Great I got paid, better get too the bank before everyone else cause there may not be enough in the account this afternoon to cover it.

So Jane WE ALL have our issues with our jobs.
I’d sure like to get a steady pay cheque, sick time, holidays with pay, stats off, summers off etc.
Work inside where its warm and dry….say ever been in a trench up to your ass in frezing water with a shovel trying to find a cap on a pipe so you can pop it off to drain the ditch. It wasn’t too bad once we broke the ice up into small pieces.

But I wouldn’t do your job…NO way.
And I doubt you would like mine.

We both love what we do.

#114 Junius on 06.02.11 at 10:09 am

#41 BPOE,

You said, “Check back in 1 year the price of gold and the price of Vancouver Real Estate compared to your basket of stocks, bonds and the like.”

We will pal. We will. Let’s just hope NO one here is dumb enough to listen to you in regards the Vancouver Real Estate.

#115 TS on 06.02.11 at 10:10 am

To: #98 Hoof – Hearted on 06.02.11 at 9:07 am
I love it. Glad to see someone is not drinking the kool aid.

#116 Mikey the Realtor on 06.02.11 at 10:13 am

“I expect a 10% to 20% spike in real estate prices this year, on about 80% volume”

Agreed, some markets will even see 30%.

#117 Mr. Reality on 06.02.11 at 10:14 am

Remember kids. The recent lowering of bank rates was due to weak mortgage demand. They need more fools to stroll in a sign some more 5/30’s. Another sign of a market top……

A shorting i shall go……..

Mr. R.

#118 45north on 06.02.11 at 10:17 am

Hoof Hearted: The volcanic eruption in Iceland has negated every single effort made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet

yeah and Iceland caused the financial crisis in Europe which is kind of strange because Iceland’s not even in Europe!

#119 Cookie Monster on 06.02.11 at 10:22 am

#53 Ronny on 06.01.11 at 11:38 pm

Capitalism is about property rights, meaning ownership and control over the means of production and distribution of the goods and services produced.

To be against free market capitalism is to be against freedom and individual liberty and property rights. By what moral right does one person or group of persons have to take from another person or group of persons just because the other people have more due to honest hard work, smart work and voluntary exchange in a free market? By what right do you have to take what is not yours?

To not be a capitalist means you are a socialist, which means you condone confiscation and control over property including money or wealth from those who created it by those who want it.

Greedy socialists seems to be a very unsocial way of socializing with other social humans.

#120 Hoof - Hearted on 06.02.11 at 10:25 am

Yeah..not doubt big money….but for how long? Boom or bust.

Big money = in – demand skill and/or shitty working conditions. Sell your soul to the company store …

Teachers? Not saying there are not dedicated hardworkers, but tthe overall system sucks.

I had great teachers in the public system….now, as a parent I shake my head at the system. Many of our kids are set up for failure.

The system does not reflect the teachers abilities(accountability) and the students needs/talents .

How the bad apples aren’t tossed is beyond me, lots of examples…

#121 poco on 06.02.11 at 10:28 am

What’s with the Van roller coaster video—a lot of posters wake up from a deep sleep—that was posted here last spring for a two week period–note that 2010 prices aren’t included.

#77 Jody–wasn’t that same rant posted before when teachers were getting bashed by some of the dawgs–sounds very familiar to me

#122 Cookie Monster on 06.02.11 at 10:31 am

#53 Ronny on 06.01.11 at 11:38 pm

You don’t have to buy a car from Henry Ford, you can keep riding horses, in a free market no one is forced to buy a car or to support the production of cars, at Ford jobs and capital formation are voluntary. Remember Ford had to compete against horses, shoes, bicycles and trains and today he has to deal with the rising price of oil and you are free to displace him if you can, put him out of business, provide a better alternative, compete!

#123 Williston Geo on 06.02.11 at 10:32 am

Wow Marcel, you should let others explain oilfield pay rates, you come off sounding like a douche.

#124 BoomerBoy on 06.02.11 at 10:41 am

Ah, teacher-bashing. How delightful.

At the ripe old age of 45, my dear wife decided to leave banking and go to teachers college. It was a tough go for a while getting on contract and the job is no picinic.

However, eight years later, she now pulls down $92,000 annually (virtually indexed with inflation), with 3 months off every year.

All I can say is, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em – if you’re capable, that is.

#125 Hoof - Hearted on 06.02.11 at 10:49 am

China Lending-Binge Hangover Looms in 2013

#126 Cato on 06.02.11 at 10:50 am

Home prices in Sask. should never have risen more than replacement cost. The day fundamentals justify a higher value will be the day they run out of prairie to build on. Given time market will adjust – law of supply and demand will take its course. Give it a little time and there will be plenty of residential construction workers migrating out of Ontario looking to build homes for prairie dawgs.

Recession never ended – it was simply masked by misguided intervention. Central planners robbed from the future, there was no true economic growth. As artificial bounce winds down reality will come crashing down hard. The debt created during the bubble can’t be avoided forever.

Time to start picking which side of the fence to sit on. For anyone who says the intervention must end I say look at perceived repercussions ending intervention will bring. These are political animals, they will choose what is politically expedient not what is prudent.

Its going to be rough few years. Tempted to park myself on a friendly beach with laptop & trading account and spend next 2 years stupefied as politicos drive country into the ground. On a brighter note the end point is now probably no more than 2 or 3 years away.

#127 Utopia on 06.02.11 at 10:50 am

#100 Mackie on 06.02.11 at 9:16 am

“Jane:Dont make me laugh”.

I tend to agree Mackie. Teachers salaries are too high and the demands are growing more excessive all the time. The private and public sectors have diverged where incomes and entitlements are concerned.

Oddly, Teachers and the unions that represent them do not seem to recognize the risk of their growing earning power nor how ridiculous the demands are as manufacturers in this country and those who actually earn the national income go to the wall.

Look at California and other troubled US states for the Zen moment of clarity as some of the very first major layoffs, cuts and firings there were amongst those in the teaching profession. We are not talking a trimming of the workforce either. It has been a slaughter in some places.

Rural schools have been closed, colleges and universities shuttered, educational regions amalgamated, class size increases, major cuts to administrative budgets and the elimination of a substantial portion of program spending for students.

Like field trips, lunch programs, sponsored extracurricular activities, library programs and budgets, investments in teaching aids and technologies and free transportation services.

Teachers seem wholly incapable of understanding the basics of the economics of the business they are in. As they achieve salary growth, Provinces (States) need to make ends meet by reducing staff levels or trimming costs in all the categories mentioned above.

This is fine if population growth and the number of students is falling but the dynamic changes if immigration numbers are up sharply or the birth rate increases.

For us, it only means class sizes will be larger in the future, facilities, educational materials and infrastructure budgets will see reductions to offset the higher wage allowances earned through bargaining and the kids will suffer.

There is no free lunch anymore. Teachers are paid well already. If they want more money, as they are currently demanding in Saskatchewan for example (a 13% salary increase for starters) they will have to accept that the numbers of their positions will need to decline and school budgets will be pared to make up the difference.

I am actually appalled at how selfish and myopic teachers really are. Personally, I would roll back their salaries to reflect the current economic situation if I had any say in the issue.

No need though. If government revenues do indeed drop and an economic slowdown occurs (it will) then the chickens will come home to roost and teachers can start to earn their salary with much larger class sizes and many more hours effort in each day.

#128 Mackie on 06.02.11 at 10:53 am

Jody and Jane have it so tough. Yea blame the parents who are working two jobs each to put food on the table and decent standard of living for their children because their taxes are so high paying your exhorbitant salaries and pensions. No one said you should not get a pension jody, just not one that dwarfs every other pension in Canada. In case you forgot, your pay and pensions come from taxpayers. No private company would ever agree to your benefits and if they did they would be bankrupt. Jody, it’s not just summer holidays, bla bla blah… Its March break, Christmas, an extra day or two at Easter blah blah blah. I challenge either one of you to quit feeding off the taxpayers and get a job in the real world. Take a cut in pay, a severe cut in time off. No job security. A full work day rather than a couple of hours in the classroom. Try that on for size prima donnas.

#129 JeffinPickering on 06.02.11 at 11:01 am

A little off the topic, but Jody definitely hits the nail on the head.

She’s right – a good teacher is worth their weight in gold. She points to numerous things that make a good one.
Sadly, there seem to be fewer and fewer of those these days. I can remember probably at least half to two-thirds hitting the mark when I was in school. Turn to today, and in two years of high school, our daughter has had maybe 2 or 3 that meet the standard.

She’s right about parents too. What passes for “parenting” among 90% of our daughter’s peers is absolutely shocking, apalling…a total farce.

All you have to do to see the result of lousy parenting and teaching these days is look at the culture of entitlement and lack of responsibility among recent graduates, a la ‘I expect to be paid $100k+ out of school, I expect to have a house, I expect to have XYZ. Everything I do is great, I do no wrong, I answer to no one. All of this is owed to me’.

It’s so embedded it’s practically a creed.

#130 Cookie Monster on 06.02.11 at 11:02 am

#77 Jody on 06.02.11 at 2:52 am

Your post is excellent. I agree our school system has turned into a romper room daycare system for wild animals running on hydrogenated fat and corn sugar. I totally support privatizing, this way the worst of the little brats can be refused. You could say we don’t take your kind here, or after trying say this isn’t working out, sorry you’ll have to leave, here’s your money back.

#131 pjwlk on 06.02.11 at 11:03 am

My RE agent friend just told me yesterday that they’ve made the final decision to sell their north GTA home — and that they’ll be renting for some time afterwards. She cited the expense (debt) of renos and the size of the house, which is now “sans enfants” as motivating factors. (She wouldn’t give me the satisfaction of directly admitting that reduced sales are also a factor, but I have other sources…lol)

If I didn’t know better I would have thought she’d been reading this blog because she has also decided to invest the proceeds! Something that was never considered before. Anyhow I am glad to see they are getting finally out, because I am sure that what is to come would have ruined them financially for a very long time.

#132 bee foot on 06.02.11 at 11:06 am

I don’t know about you, I thought the freezing cold weather in SK is keeping the house price from melting :-)

Seriously, for anyone who hasn’t been to the prairies or live in the prairies do not know how to appreciate the sunny days and the blue sky.

#133 Mackie on 06.02.11 at 11:07 am

Jody if teachers made 50 percent less we would be attracting people who do it because they love it rather than a bunch of prima donnas who think the taxpayers owe them millions because they took an extra 8 months of university at teachers college after graduating with a sociology degree. Lol. Teaching should be a secondary income for a family not a primary income. Considering the time off, straight days, weekends off, shortened work day blah blah blah teachers should make tops $40 to$50’000 a year. No more.
Thats all i have to say on this topic. I’ve had this discussion with too many teachers and I know you cant convince them that they are not the chosen ones deserving of lives fit fo kings and queens, princes and princesses.
God help them if taxpayers ever begin to realize who is sucking the most money out of their pocketbooks.

#134 edmonton mortgage broker on 06.02.11 at 11:15 am

sign of the times. stock up the bomb shelter peeps

#135 LB on 06.02.11 at 11:15 am

Thanks for the continued tough-love straight talk,Garth.

#52 nonplused says it all as it applies to what is now happening in RE markets across Canada,to varying degrees and ALL heading in the same direction.

Today’s Times Colonist headlines finally state what has been obvious in Victoria these past few months: that real estate sales have stalled, price reductions are snowballing and new listings are surging.Notably with or without interest rate changes. Many of these are empty “investment” properties.

Concurrently, a growing supply of rentals, of all types, is making for a very competitive market, driving down rents.

A very good time to be liquid and flexible.

#136 Utopia on 06.02.11 at 11:20 am

#98 Hoof – Hearted

That was a pretty good post from you today Hoof. I also have my doubts about the whole global warming and climate change theory.

Not that any of it will make a damn difference in the end analysis anyway though. Simple population growth has put us on the path to purgatory and there is no major slowdown in sight.

Nature always takes care of imbalances in biological excess in the end. Too bad, so sad. As I noted months ago, we have already collectively squandered the opportunity to solve the population growth problem at the birth end of the equation.

We should not therefore be the least bit surprised that Mother Nature will resolve the disequilibrium at the death end in the coming years.

Nobody will be immune.

One way or another there will be a correction to population numbers that sees a new balance evolve in the coming years. It could result from a famine…more likely it will be disease. A pandemic? In all probability, yes, but who really knows the details of the future or what might transpire.

Except that a population correction is guaranteed.

#137 debtified on 06.02.11 at 11:33 am

Garth, please enlighten me…

In a dividend paying preferred shares, will my yield annually decrease when the value of my shares (amount in $, not the shares count) decrease? Or is the yield pegged on the number of shares I own?

Say, today, I bought $100 worth of preferred shares that has an annual yield of 5%. So I expect a yield of $5 dollars annually. However, the day after after buying the stocks the economy went sour and the value of my holdings is cut to $50. Will I now be only getting $2.50 (assuming everything remains the same after that)? Meaning I lose value on my holdings and I also lose income?

Thank you!

Preferreds pay a fixed rate dividend regardless of share price fluctuations, which are far less extreme than those of common stock. — Garth

#138 Fort Mac Flatlander on 06.02.11 at 11:36 am

I don’t understand all the haters with regards to his reported earnings (not salary). I have seen people earn over $200,000 in their first year of work after a 2 year tech course. A petro-engineer working as a consultant in the Estevan area could easily do 170. For someone near the top of their class, even if it is U of R, this is not only a possibility, but a likelyhood. The oil industry in the Bakkens is currently in a boom and every one should get a piece as part of their well diversified portfolio.

#139 This is wonderland on 06.02.11 at 11:39 am

#68 Jane

I’m not trying to be sarcastic but a have to ask… do you spend your 2 1/2 months off during the summer.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t think the job is a walk in the park by any means and some of the crap parents expect teachers to put up with is just insane. However, it’s not the worst job you could get, making that kind of money with full benefits and all that time off with pay….of course not unless you’re a CAW worker; cause that’s were the real hard jobs are at.

#140 debtified on 06.02.11 at 11:43 am

#12 Duke on 06.01.11 at 9:33 pm

I just got grilled by grandmother, father and brother to buy property! Why is everyone so god damned brainwashed. I will not buy!!!!

I am on the same boat as you.

I will only buy if and when I want to. I am happy renting right now. There’s more to life than obsessing on owning a house.

My problem is, and the reason why I come to this blog, that my incentive to save these days is very low. Money in savings account lose value (thanks to inflation and all the inept policy makers!). I’ve also lost trust on the equity market and have increasingly resorted in a “cash” position, which I know is also not a sound long term strategy. This morning I am seriously considering pulling 100% out of equity.

I am looking for investment opportunities that is immune to the effect of debt deleveraging that is inevitably going to happen. This blog, Garth and some of the blog dawgs, have come up with some ideas I am currently studying. Unfortunately, most of the ideas are definitely going to be adversely affected by the slow down in spending across the board because debt has to be paid (or defaulted on).

#141 Justin on 06.02.11 at 11:48 am

How formulaic housing coverage fails to serve home buyers and how it can be done better

#142 Mister Obvious on 06.02.11 at 11:49 am

Although I wouldn’t praise his less-than-academic style of delivery, #98 Hoof – Hearted’s comments (he must be from Calgary) are pretty much on the money.

I am sure there are far better ways to use the world’s finite petroleum resources than driving F-350’s back and forth to Costco. But that type of behaviour is not a significant factor in climate dynamics.

If you want to argue it’s a waste of resources then I’m with you all the way. But if you think it significantly controls the dynamics of climate, I’ll have to differ.

Then we come to that ‘damned science’. We know our world is rampant with innumeracy. In fact, some see it as a badge of honour that they can read but can’t compute. (“Hey man! I’m a people person, not some numbers nerd”). But I’m not speaking of calculus here… just arithmetic, percentages and a basic concept of scale.

So I direct those who want to open their mind to the link below which helped me to permanently change my mind on the matter of anthropomorphic climate change.

A word of warning: there’s some actual science here but if you made it past grade nine physics you will probably be able to follow along. If not, you are a probably a dyed-in-the-wool ‘people person’ and wont ever be able to take it in.

#143 Alex on 06.02.11 at 11:52 am

Just returned from the Okanagan. The wife and I went up there because 1) It’s warmer and drier than this sopping wet, frigid Vancouver spring, and 2) It’s one of the spots where the correction is already in full swing and where you can buy a nice house, with a water view, for less that $400,000.

A couple years ago, that same house would have sold for a hundred grand (or much more) extra – except it wouldn’t have been available because the Okanagan mania in 2007-2008 was through the roof. I remember going up there a few years back, and even dingy little Keremeos – a half hour outside Penticton and nowhere near a lake – was sold right out. It was an incredibly bizarre time.

Shows you what mania does, doesn’t it?

Anyway, this was our second trip up there in 2011. And, from my first-person perspective, the market has only sunk further. We stood on streets in Penticton and Summerland where every third or fourth house had a For Sale sign in front of it. And, unlike parts of Vancouver, there were precious few “Sold” stickers attached.

Prices are dropping substantially, yet very few people are buying. And realtors, for the most part, are pretty much up front about it. We went to several SFHs priced in the $400,000 – $425,000 range where our realtors told us straight up that they themselves wouldn’t pay more than $350,000.

We also found it intresesting that only one of the houses we toured in March had sold thus far. And don’t even get me started on condos. Granted, we’re not interested in condos, but we just couldn’t help but notice how the entrance of each condo development we passed was littered with For Sale signs. Littered, I tells ya.

Everyone in the know knows the Okanagan is quite probably Ground Zero of the correction, but to see and experience it firsthand really makes the magnitude of the collapse sink in. Yes, there is still some activity – on certain homes with absolutely killer lake views or some other special characteristic, but that activity is indeed rare.

Yet the most important thing we took from our jaunt is this: It’s STILL overpriced. Sellers in many cases simply aren’t dropping their prices enough, depsite having their homes listed in excess of 100, 200, and 300 days.

Truly, when housing falls out of favor for whatever reason, it REALLY falls out of favor. It’s a pack mentality on the way up AND on the way down.

#144 MadMan on 06.02.11 at 11:58 am

Yes Marcel, “rediculous” certainly is an adjective that pops to mind after reading your posts…

#145 Utopia on 06.02.11 at 12:08 pm

#77 Jody on 06.02.11 at 2:52 am

“Politicians make a killing, CEO’s fleece everyone, the police/nanny state is getting worse, company boards of directors pull in huge bonuses and who do you retards bitch and moan about making too much money? Teachers. Idiots, no wonder so many people are financially underwater, nobody values an education.

Don’t be so stupid Jody.

We all respect the value of education. We are all just disgusted with your selfish income demands out of the public purse.

Ans since when did teachers rank on par with CEO’s, politicians, police, corporate boards or even nurses anyway?

Since you have not figured it out yet let me fill you in on something important. Education dollars are not a right or even an obligation given by societies to the select few like yourself.

Earning a teachers salary is a privilege.

Now how do I know that Jody? Just take a look at any poor country and you will see how priorities shift when money is short.

Police and the military for national security come first. Business and enterprise are valued by everyone who has a wage earner at home. Health care is essential and we all seek to protect our families.

Only when there is money leftover from the scarce resources are educational services invited to join the list of state sponsored expenses. That is why grade 3 educations are common in poor countries. That is also why illiteracy is common in the Third World.

So while we all respect the importance of education we do not respect the excessive demands people like you seem to believe are entitlements so you can feather your nest and pretend to have the same importance as Police, Firemen, Soldiers and Nurses.

Give me a bloody break!

I lived in Africa for a long time. Full time university professors that I met and know as friends do not even earn 300 dollars in a month. Per month Jody. Primary and Secondary school Teachers often did not make that in a year in East Africa. But you greedy fools want the same thing and more for a single day on the job.

You teachers are PIGS!!!

#146 GregW, Oakville on 06.02.11 at 12:17 pm

Hi #27 Jsan, Thanks for the info links, it would be good news if it’s true, on many levels long term anyway.

#147 Patiently Waiting on 06.02.11 at 12:37 pm

# 20 Smoking Man
Bond rally will make Fixed rate motgages drop like lead on jupier. The mob will be sucked in by the media, The BOC will only push rates down not up. when euro hits the fan.
I expect a 10% to 20% spike in real estate prices this year, on about 80% volumn .

But Crash is coming but not till 2014, between now and then you can score big in Canadian real estate.

I think Smoking Man may be smoking something other than cigs . . .

when the US ends QE2 in June this year it will be deflationary for stocks & housing. At least for a short period of time . . . that is until the sheeple scream for the Fed to take action again . . . then QE3 and inflation returns . . . 2012 will not be pretty . . .

#148 kilby on 06.02.11 at 12:47 pm

#142 Alex. Remember, most people see the Okanagan as kids holidaying with their parents and a place to party when young. We just sold our lakeview 1/2 acre house in Summerland two months ago and are in North Vancouver heading for Qualicum in a year or two. I am greatful for the weather here after 26 years of steady valley cloud cover for 5 months every winter. Yes, it rains here but I will take it as we do get sunshine a few days a week (and there is lots more to do) Spend some time there in January to April before jumping in.

#149 David B on 06.02.11 at 12:48 pm

Greece downgrade …… how about America?

Moody’s Investors Service no longer believes the federal government will go to extraordinary lengths to save major banks, a determination that could lead the credit-rating firm to cut some of its debt ratings on Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.

#150 marcel and the subnormal family on 06.02.11 at 12:50 pm

petroleum engineers are responsible for “fracking” and BP oil spills.

how do you sleep at night, Marcel? oh , i forgot: this is why you get paid so much.

and a nurse making $70 000 a year straight outta school?

with what kind of evil is she involved?

mainstream doctors and nurses are eugenicists.

just ask tommy douglas, the ‘visionary’ behind our wonderful “health” care system: he wrote his final graduate school thesis at McMaster University on it: entitled, “Problems of the Subnormal Family”.

Wake up, Marcel!

#151 Devore on 06.02.11 at 12:59 pm

#77 Jody

Go start a school, and if there is no profit in it, guess what, you’re out of luck! Hahahaha! Serves you right! Be very careful what you wish for.

Why should public schools provide things parents wouldn’t be willing to pay for anyways? “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” One of the problems the western socialist democracies face is that too many people believe wishes and nice-to-haves are something they deserve.

#152 DJH on 06.02.11 at 1:00 pm

#98 Hoof – Hearted

Getting your climate data from right-wing crazies?

#153 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 06.02.11 at 1:04 pm

#39 Lisa — “The foundations of the North American economy have been eaten out by termites and have been slowly crumbling for years.”

Indeed. Everything in its own time. The wheel of life grinds exceedingly slowly, but all dogs have their day.

#46 Hoof – Hearted — Nicely pointed out, and #98 Hoof – Hearted — Global Warming Group Hug — great post! Oil companies paid (and bribed scientists) for all their skewed numbers, to give politicos the opportunity to impose a new tax.

#77 Jody — “Politicians make a killing, CEO’s fleece everyone, the police/nanny state is getting worse, company boards of directors pull in huge bonuses . . .”

Correct. Politicians make an adequate wage, but with lots of other goodies / freebies thrown in, they have a very good life and then, when things go bad, they blame previous administrations for the mess they themselves caused.

As far as CEO’s and boards of directors, well UK corporations have already started handing out exorbitant bonuses while laying off workers and offshoring / outsourcing jobs to cheap labor countries.

Police — NAmerica and the Eurozone are police states now (see the RCMP officer who has lost his pay, and may end up losing his job for kicking Buddy Tavares while Tavares was on the ground, ‘tho the RCMP — taxpayers — still pay his legal bills). Firefighters do have a tough job (witness the Kelowna 2003 forest fire, when 239 homes were lost), so I don’t begrudge them (or teachers) their pay.

#129 Cookie Monster — Agreed. Goes with Jody’s and Jane’s posts.

#78 dosouth — Well done. No jobs — that’s the key. Unless a flood of millionaires come here to live, there will be homes on the market for some time.

#80 Marcel and #101 Northern worker — Thanks for putting many of us straight. Nothing like getting first-hand, accurate info.

#83 T.O. Bubble Boy — Lies, damned lies and statistics. Whenever a politico talks about costs, add $50 billion for a more realistic figure. They are all a bunch of lying whores, fattening their own pockets.

#142 Alex — Very good description of Kelowna and, presumably, the whole valley from Kamloops to Osoyoos.
Critical Update on nothing of any significance.

One Chart The entire global economy on a single chart.

#154 BPOE on 06.02.11 at 1:07 pm

You are slowly getting it. There will NEVER be higher taxes for offshore owners. Another reason Vancouver is unstoppable. There will NEVER be higher interest rates. The Conservative Government guarantees the above stated FACTS

#155 Devore on 06.02.11 at 1:09 pm

#96 Jsan

They are always asked why the Main Stream media has not caught on to what would be a game changing discovery.

Main stream media has nothing to do with scientific discoveries, except to propagate frauds and hoaxes.

If someone has discovered something, they submit their work to peer review journals in their field, and allow other scientists to reproduce their work and validate their methods.

There’s no conspiracy. If someone has developed viable fusion, cure for cancer, or the common cold, they are guaranteed a Nobel and the Time cover.

#156 brainsail on 06.02.11 at 1:12 pm

#117 45north

“yeah and Iceland caused the financial crisis in Europe which is kind of strange because Iceland’s not even in Europe!”

Please don’t take this personally but your statement illustrates that the education system has room for alot of improvements.

#157 debtified on 06.02.11 at 1:12 pm

There is a reason why, among circle of friends, no one should share how much exactly one’s income is.

Case in point, even in this blog where salaries are divulged anonymously, a lot of people cannot resist the urge to focus on that – arguing about authenticity and merit. It’s a shame because the gist of the message is being missed. I think in all occasions when a salary was mentioned in Garth’s posts (that I have read – all of them in over a year), the message was not about the salary per se.

When I hear someone is making more money than me, I congratulate them and then I get motivated. I don’t see how criticizing whether the other person deserves their salary or not will improve my own situation.

It would be nice if only people can find ways to make themselves feel better about themselves solely by their own merits – not by trying to find faults on others.

#158 pjwlk on 06.02.11 at 1:38 pm

#29 not asian ” They also expect that it will be sold out in minutes. I can’t make sense of this. Except I did notice everyone was of asian decent.”

Well if nothing else, it sure is good to see the money we’ve all been sending to China finally coming back to us.

#159 Vancouver_Bear on 06.02.11 at 1:46 pm

#20 SMOKING MAN on 06.01.11 at 9:41 pm

Where do I sign, Mr. realturd? Trying to scrap under the bottom of the barrel?
Better go get some training and some grade 5 math before fifth graders take your realturd’s job.

#160 Thetruth on 06.02.11 at 1:47 pm

Enough of the teacher bashing…

Maybe privatize the entire system where you get what you pay for. Two tiered education. One for the rich….But, be careful what you wish for.

Higher pay would attract the most competent individuals though.

#161 Mark on 06.02.11 at 1:47 pm

“For those who think that a new engineer in the Oil Patch cant make 160k/year should step out of their air conditioned office and into the patch for a couple weeks and actually see what the day rates out here are.”

“Day Rates” and “engineers” do not belong in the same sentence. And if you’re really working that sort of schedule, worrying whether or not you can afford a house with your girlfriend/wife should be the least of your worries, because, trust me, she probably won’t be with you in a year or two of trying to keep up that pace.

Seriously…I know a guy who tried…. It totally wrecked his life, pulling multiple 24-hour a day shifts Most people go to engineering school to get away from having to perform such nonsense in order to make a living. But good luck to you…

#162 Vancouver_Bear on 06.02.11 at 1:50 pm

#153 BPOE on 06.02.11 at 1:07 pm

It’s time to leave this overpriced multicultural sewer with never ending rain.
If you are a young professional starting your career avoid Vancouver at all costs, go elsewhere for better pay, better weather and better quality of life. If you come to Vancouver expect to be paid low and spend all of it on a crack and a tiny shack, there will be no leftover for food and other things. Think about it!

#163 Junius on 06.02.11 at 1:51 pm

#153 BPOE,

You said, “There will NEVER be higher interest rates.”

What a moronic statement. Do you have any idea how interest rates are set? Clearly not.

When they start to climb they will go up swiftly and for many years. This is the historical pattern and everyone who understands interest rates knows this. It is only a matter of when and how quickly they rise.

#164 Bruce on 06.02.11 at 1:57 pm

You are still wrong. A person earning $65,000 in BC has a marginal rate of 29.7%. Plus teachers are required to contribute rather heavily to their professional pension plan, in addition to routine deductions. Suggest you research, then type. — Garth

Garth, you are right about the marginal rate bu I think the poster got confused with terms. His point was based on take home income – the tax rate for that is about 21%. His point is still valid in that with that kind of income and some semblance of common sense, the costs should easily be covered.

#165 randman on 06.02.11 at 1:57 pm


“Yet the most important thing we took from our jaunt is this: It’s STILL overpriced. Sellers in many cases simply aren’t dropping their prices enough, depsite having their homes listed in excess of 100, 200, and 300 days.”

I’ve been noting the exact same thing

#166 Billy on 06.02.11 at 2:04 pm

This week everything is down… tech stocks are down, financials are down, precious metals are down, energy is down, reits are down… The only thing not down are houses. Someone who bought a house or condo 5 years ago saw its value skyrocket, while the canadian, american, and intl indexes are barely higher today compared to 5 years ago. Maybe those who keep a significant portion of their net worth in real estate aren’t such fools after all.

My portfolio made 15% last year. MY GTA-area house made diddly. — Garth

#167 bigrider on 06.02.11 at 2:05 pm

I am currently watching ‘in tune with real estate’ with Rav Toor. His guest is Peter Politis of Grey brook properties I believe. They promise 20 to 30% returns to investors in their development projects throughout T.O. If Garth or any other advisor did the same, that is, promise any return, they would have issues galore with the OSC, another matter altogether. Below is my issue.

What bugs me about the show is that not a minute goes by where Rav Toor, host, does not make silly comparatives to the stock market stating that it is essentially an inferior approach to investing. His agenda against securities investing is made quite clear.

He has said repeatedly that his idea of diversifying is owning one home, one condo, one triplex, one cottage etc. the idea being real estate only.

People listen to this stuff and follow it. It is harmful.

#168 Love this Blog on 06.02.11 at 2:14 pm

FORCED listings!

#169 vancity-renter on 06.02.11 at 2:25 pm

I am in this situation: white dude married to a Chinese-Canadian woman with a large family (all in Vancouver). Several of her family members have 2,3 even 4 condos sitting empty in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, etc., and cannot find renters willing to pay $2000/month for a 500sq-foot box. My wife and I are doing pretty well (2 decent career incomes with much room for increases in the future) and have decided to rent a full house for $1200 in Burnaby – ~$800/mo into investments (for starters) and no property tax, renovations, etc. I feel great about our situation (no debt, looking forward to vacations and increased earnings in later years, lots of room for our toddler to run around in the backyard). My in-laws look down upon us as renters and always say that we are throwing money away with each rent cheque. My argument is that buying with 10-15% down, over a 30-year mortgage, I am throwing money away as interest. The homes in Vancouver and surrounding suburbs are way over-priced for the wages offered in this province. Anyway, the in-laws want to help us out with the down payment to get us into the market (another 10% to put down) and I politely refuse the offer… for a detached home anywhere within an hour of downtown, I’m looking at $700k for a crappy tear-down in New Westminster, for example. To me it is just not worth it. Somehow I want to convince them to give us the cash for a non-RE investment, but I don’t think this will fly. Each and every one of them believes Vancouver will only go up up up and that this will make everyone rich rich rich. I tried to show them your blog (and others) but they just don’t get it. The feeling of having no debt is the best in the world.

#170 Mister Obvious on 06.02.11 at 2:30 pm

#142 Alex

Thanks for taking the time to post, Alex. Yours is the kind of report I find most useful. Actual first hand RE market obsevations from the field. There’s far too few of those here these days.

#171 Kevin on 06.02.11 at 2:34 pm


[Re: Teachers’ 2-month summer vacations]

“The next 4 weeks are spent taking courses”

Bullcrap. Sorry, Jody, you got greedy. I know plenty of teachers, and NOBODY spends a whole month of their summer vacation “taking courses.”

People may not appreciate all the work teachers do, but there’s no need to embellish it with clearly fabricated nonsense like that.

#172 disciple on 06.02.11 at 2:46 pm

Free market capitalism has never existed at any time in recorded history. Most proponents of it have never actually read The Wealth of Nations and are just ignorant of its true purpose. Too bad, because the theory sounds like a great idea,…

Except the part where the final result is a Ponzi pyramid scheme. Oh yeah, and the part where it is based on maintaining inequality through unequal opportunity.

And then there is the fundamental problem of how it relies on the concept of ownership of property, a polite way of abdicating oneself of any responsibility for the welfare of your fellow human being. Polluted oceans, toxic agriculture, dead bodies piled on top of one another in vast pits, has still not been enough to convince us of our foolishness.

I was taught long ago to let go of the “Mine and Yours” childish mentality. If you still believe in these primitive philosophies you are truly lost. Or you just need to grow up.

One of the greatest obstacle to obtaining a truly ethical form of free market capitalism is the ever-presence of the financial parasite class that acts as a third party to the transaction siphoning off the wealth of both producer and consumer. So, the exercise is defeated before it even has a chance to fulfill its promise.

Karl Marx was an agent of the British Crown. Your real rulers play both sides. Public education is provided by your rulers to keep you ignorant. Private education is not that much better, it is designed to be more efficient at producing a good stock of psychopaths who have no conscience and go on to top positions in the government and military.

#173 Mr. Plow on 06.02.11 at 2:46 pm

#144 Utopia

The problem with your analogy is Jody doesn’t work in a 3rd world country, she works here.

So she wants to be paid for her skills, time and contribution to society. Big deal, I can’t fault her for that.

You could take your same argument to a professional hockey player and say, “do you know how little a professional hockey player makes in Europe?” He would say, “who gives a shit, I don’t play in Europe, I play in North America and want fair market value for what I do.”

#174 Bill Gable on 06.02.11 at 2:49 pm

People have a fascinating relationship with money. Try to get someone to honestly explain their ‘strategy’ to safeguard Family and old age needs, and most people will look at you like you are Mr. Smith on “Lost in Space”. (*look it up, kids).

Oy vey, Oy carumba.


Ulan Bator, by another name.

#175 The Original Dave on 06.02.11 at 2:58 pm

of course not unless you’re a CAW worker; cause that’s were the real hard jobs are at.

oh yeah, much better than teachers. The chrysler plant in brampton has two 11 minute breaks and a 19 minute lunch. The actual cafeteria is likely 3-4 minutes away. 2 weeks off a year, boiling hot in the summer….i can go on and on

#176 Lorne on 06.02.11 at 3:09 pm

So Utopia, what is your occupation and how do you contribute to society??

#177 Mr. Plow on 06.02.11 at 3:11 pm

#116 Mr. Reality

Why is it when rates drop the dawgs point to the desperation of the banks needing more “fools”, yet when the rates increase its due to the bond market and the tightening of governments etc… and how screwed the “sheeple” are.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

#178 dddd on 06.02.11 at 3:15 pm

van sales up – prices up – listings down
=demand outstrips supply

Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley monthly reports released Thursday.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver noted that home sales reached 3,377 in May, a seven-per-cent increase over the 3,156 sales in May 2010 and a 4.7-per-cent increase over the 3,225 sales in April 2011.

“With a sales to active-listings ratio of 23 per cent, conditions continue to favour sellers in the Greater Vancouver housing market, but activity has eased away from the near record-setting pace we saw in March,” REBGV president Rosario Setticasi said in a statement.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,931 in May 2011, a 15.4-per cent-decrease compared to May 2010, when 7,014 properties were listed for sale – the second highest total for May on record, a release stated.

#179 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 06.02.11 at 3:17 pm


That would be Doctor Housing Bubble, out of the USA, I’m writing about.

His research over the past years has tracked the tanking US housing market, from which we must CONTINUE to take lessons. What is happening there will inevitably happen here simply because of US economic and empirical superiority.


The good doctor’s latest missive points out how the media are always days late and dollars short in predicting market tops, bubbles, and the ongoing crash that they are now obsessing about, and which only adds to the catastrophe because of the anxiety-ridden public responses now in-train.


“It is now clear that the new bottom in housing prices, both in nominal and real levels is occurring fluidly today. This is now an active cycle low. The only question in doubt at this point is how much further will home prices fall before reaching an absolute bottom?

I don’t think we can answer that question until we figure out how low household wages will go (or move up if the economy turns around). This is really the wild card in how deep this double dip goes.”


The doctor reports:

“–2 million homes are in actual foreclosure (another 4 million are delinquent);

–675,000 loans…are in foreclosure and (“owners”) have made no payment(s) for over 2 years;

–Investors are already losing steam because vacancy rates are soaring in many markets as investors outdo one another trying to flip to others and are also battling for the few renters in areas…”


“The double dip is…Actually…global and we are starting to see cracks in Canada and Australia and these places had bubbles EVEN LARGER THAN THE U.S. in some cases.


“When I say crash I mean a decline of at least 10 percent from where we stand today…a large amount considering over one third of purchases are made with 3.5 percent down FHA (US) insured loans. The drop is sufficient to wipe all equity out and put someone in a 5 to 10 percent underwater situation quickly if we factor in the selling costs as well.”

So, it’s not over in the US. And all those “savvy” Canadians who’ve been heading south looking for deals of a life-time will get what they deserve more than what they want, on average.


Back here on the home front we await further larger economic developments that will propel our housing industry in directions we will not like much, I do believe.

That begins with Friday’s Speech from the Throne, heralding a new era of Conservative rule in Canada, and which may give some hints about next Monday’s apparently revamped budget. Is austerity in our future? Don’t know.

After that, the Bank of Canada, at some point before year’s end, will surprise us all with some stiffer monetary policy that will DEFINITELY get our attention. You can take THAT to the bank!

Advice to the house-horny: You can keep your pants on!

#180 westopia on 06.02.11 at 3:17 pm

Victoria real-estate update: “Sales so far this year are running nearly 21 per cent behind last year’s levels,” [real-estate] board president Dennis Fimrite.

Lot’s of spin by the board (and the Time Colomist to protect their ad revenue), but there’s no hiding the obvious truth in this article. I think the Victoria decline is well underway.

Read more:

#181 Alex on 06.02.11 at 3:22 pm

#147 Kilby: I hear you. And don’t worry – there’s definitely no “jumping in” from our perspective. We sold our home in greater Vancouver late last year because we no longer wanted to be a slave to it. Now we have some money, and will likely end up investing and continuing to rent.

But if we did buy, we’d do so with cash and in a spot where *our* amount of cash would buy us more than some of the absolute sh*tholes that sit at our price point in the Vancouver area. Cough…Langley…cough. Hence our interest in the Okanagan.

And as much as the OK is a cloudy, cold mess in the winter, good lord, Vancouver weather has got to top the list for gloomy. And each year, it seems, it just gets worse. Global warming? I don’t know, but here we are already into the month of June, just three weeks from the longest day of the year, and we haven’t really even seen spring yet. Seems like it’s been this way since October. Depression central.

But that’s just one more reason this is the BPOE. Right, BPOE?

#182 Mr. Plow on 06.02.11 at 3:25 pm

#104 John

You missed the hate on for:

mortage brokers
government workers
the guy at Tim Hortons
Home Buyers
Any dissenters
the guy who pumps their gas
young people
old people
Oil companies
Smoking Man
price of gas
the prairie provinces

#183 BPOE on 06.02.11 at 3:26 pm

Junius, What year? 2015 2020 2030. If your prepared to wait a few decades you might win your arguement. CLearly you don’t have a grasp on world events. Like your views on Vancouver you have been dead wrong. You and pro renter the american should be ashamed
Junius on 06.02.11 at 1:51 pm
#153 BPOE,

You said, “There will NEVER be higher interest rates.”

What a moronic statement. Do you have any idea how interest rates are set? Clearly not.

When they start to climb they will go up swiftly and for many years. This is the historical pattern and everyone who understands interest rates knows this. It is only a matter of when and how quickly they rise.

#184 BPOE on 06.02.11 at 3:28 pm

Folks, like I have been saying all along
dddd on 06.02.11 at 3:15 pm
van sales up – prices up – listings down
=demand outstrips supply

Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley monthly reports released Thursday.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver noted that home sales reached 3,377 in May, a seven-per-cent increase over the 3,156 sales in May 2010 and a 4.7-per-cent increase over the 3,225 sales in April 2011.

#185 Al on 06.02.11 at 3:35 pm

Can’t understand why people line up for hours to save 10c per gallon for gasoline or even run over and kill and elderly gas station attendant for $60 of gas and then go and pay thousands over asking for a house in the burbs.

#186 Fat Carlos on 06.02.11 at 3:38 pm

#112 Dan in Victoria , #68 Jane

AMEN BROTHER! In these past couple of weeks I have been hearing teachers give that same argument over and over again… whining about how overworked they are and how shitty their situation is.

I work at a potash production facility in SK, and right now we’re in the middle of a huge expansion that involves hundreds of construction projects. Days are long and very busy. Lots of planning involved, lots of extra hours and staying late at work. It’s the nature of the beast… what can you do? Most of those situations that you mention in your post have happened at my workplace. I’m also tired at the beginning of the week (can’t get a decent rest with all that extra work right? ), but all of this is forgotten once I get my paycheque (which is always proportional to the amount of hours that I put in every month).

See, I don’t belong to a union. It’s because of your union, Jane, that you – being such a hard working teacher – are not remunerated accordingly. Do you think it’s fair that a good for nothing, lazy teacher has the same wage that you have ? I’ve worked with good for nothing, lazy people. They don’t get raises, they get fired. And the good workers? They get promotions. You should be fighting against your union, which is hindering your professional development and not allowing you to be paid in proportion to the amount of work that you do. Don’t complain about your job. Your argument applies to pretty much every profession out there. Forced coffee breaks !?!?! c’mon man !!!

#187 Cookie Monster on 06.02.11 at 3:42 pm

#171 TheBigLebowski on 06.02.11 at 2:36 pm

I’m a Lebowski, you’re a Lebowski, yes, yes, so what’s this all about?
Well I had this beautiful rug that really tied the room together man… and… and…. ah… well, this guy Wang peed on it and….
Did I pee on your rug?
Did I pee on your Rug Sir?!
Well no… ah.. Wang peed on my rug, thinking it was your rug, and….
Did I pee on your Rug?!!
Well, no.

#172 disciple on 06.02.11 at 2:46 pm
I’m a capitalist, you’re not a capitalist… yes, yes, so what’s this all about?

Dude, did captialism pee on your rug?
No……ah Wall Street man… Wall Street and the government peed on my rug.

Capitalism did not pee on your rug sir. And yes, hopefully one day we will achieve it.

#188 maxx on 06.02.11 at 3:49 pm

#83 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.02.11 at 7:09 am

” Someone finally called “B.S.” on Flaherty’s estimates:…”

I knew I smelled a rat when I heard this on local radio earlier this week.

#189 Mikey the Realtor on 06.02.11 at 3:52 pm

wooohooooo!! woot!! woot!! this blog just made history. Teachers just took out realtors from the number one spot of most hated profession. I’m sleeping well tonight, woot!! woot!!

#190 BrianT on 06.02.11 at 4:05 pm

#154Devore-IMO the whole cancer discussion is silly. Science has already identified many causes of cancer in humans-the problem is that these cancer causes make money, so the science is either suppressed or usually just ignored. You want scientists to develop a “cure” for cell phone induced brain cancer (just one example)-it isn’t going to happen no matter how much public funds are given to these guys. They aren’t going to develop a “cure” for cancer caused by tobacco or a myriad of other known carcinogens.

#191 Ronaldo on 06.02.11 at 4:06 pm

#164 Randman – regarding Okanagan real estate….we are seeing a repeat of what happened in 2008 with the market drying up….houses that were bought 3 years prior for around $160m were listed for $420…1970’s style shacks and some with no upgrades whatsoever.

Delusional sellers unaware of what was happening around them and still thinking that they could get these ridiculous prices and not wanting to adjust downwards.

Greed was operating at full speed. Then came the financial crisis and emergency rates which got things rolling again. Now, even with these still low rates, prices are dropping like a rock and there is nothing that can be done to stop it this time. We are going to see a repeat of the early 90’s where prices remain flat for about 10 years. We will see prices return to their 2005 levels. As Garth said, its a place where people sell stuff to each other. There is a huge tax to live there called the “Sun Tax” and its reflected in peoples wages. Few can afford to buy at current levels.

The migration of geezers from other provinces will come to an end when they discover that they are unable to sell their homes to relocate. This whole thing has been repeated over and over, nothing new here.

#192 Ben on 06.02.11 at 4:11 pm

Capitulation happens when long time renter finally says f uk it, I can’t stand this sitting on the sidelines anymore and watching prices continually go up. I’m losing $10’s of thousands of free capital gain sitting here waiting and waiting.
Long time renter jumps in and then Kaboom!

#193 Steven Rowlandson on 06.02.11 at 4:24 pm

Garth Wrote;
“Then they stalled as average house prices in Regina and Saskatoon vaulted past the ability of people to buy them (not everybody pulls down 160K after finishing school).”
Well it is true that few if any make $160 grand to start on their first job. However given the magnitude of real estate prices something very close to it is required to make first time home buying and starting a family possible. But what the hell if nation and race don’t matter why not bring in a quarter million wealthy foreigners a year to keep the party going? Its worked so far. Who gives a hoot about natural born canadians any way? Let the silly buggers be homeless virgins from craddle to grave surviving on 10 to 30 grand a year if they are lucky. In the grand scheme of things there is no place in canada for them any way.
Just ticked off at being underpaid ,priced out of the country and stymied by insiders every time I invest.
Definitely not of a liberal state of mind.

#194 teachers vs. school board/admin. on 06.02.11 at 4:39 pm

a few things about teachers:

1. they don’t get “paid” 2-month vacations; in fact, they don’t get paid for days when there is no school or “P.D.”.

2. it isn’t the teachers’ salaries you should worry about: it is the school administrators and board “officials”; they are not part of the teacher union (they have their own union)…at least in Ontario–thanks to Mike Harris…and personally get paid a crapload.

3. many of these “officials” make deals with private businesses (like IBM, Dell, Pepsi, Ricoh, Grand/Toy etc.etc..) and spend more taxpayer money than you could ever imagine.

schools, in turn, are forced to order products (and supplies) from favoured “catalogues”…even if the price is triple that (or much, much more) offered by another company.

4. at many secondary schools, admin. (VPs and Ps) spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on fancy, privately catered breakfasts for themselves (and the people they are trying to impress) …while at the same time having “meetings” about reducing student poverty…giving needy students “free” breakfasts occasionally comprised of burnt toast and quasi-expired yoplait.

this is tragic, sociopathic irony.

#195 Junius on 06.02.11 at 4:55 pm

#189 Mickey,

You are wrong. Bankers have always been the most hated profession on the Blog. We just can’t convince enough to come on so we can bash them.

#196 Junius on 06.02.11 at 4:57 pm

#183 BPOE,

As I have stated, rates will slowly begin to rise this Fall. They will pick up steam next year.

#197 poco on 06.02.11 at 5:03 pm

#178 dddd

“With a sales to active-listings ratio of 23 per cent, conditions continue to favour sellers in the Greater Vancouver housing market, but activity has eased away from the near record-setting pace we saw in March,” REBGV president Rosario Setticasi said in a statement.
from what the RE board has pumped out in the past, a balanced market is 35% to 75% sales to listings–quite a wide spread don’t you think

now to say that 23% sales to listings is a sellers market, i would hazard to guess Mr. Setticasi has rocks in his head

and meanwhile in the tri-cities, hundreds of owners can’t sell–listings stagnant for months –many price changes downword—oh ya— it’s a great time to own real estate here

haven’t had much time in May to follow the tri cities market but i have noticed a very wide spread in the asking price of condos–ie: same square footage — same building
downtown poco–2468 Atkins–5 units for sale–4 on mls –1 on
all around 900sq. ft–prices range from 279.9k up to 316.k
2 of these were originally listed over 300k and have had several price drops–the 316.9k is a newer listing

point is, what makes the owner and/or realtor think they can achieve anywhere near asking price for the 316.9k unit???
also check the for 2477 Kelly ave–right behind the Atkins address–wide range of prices for the same type of unit, though many of the sellers in this building are way underwater and can’t drop their price anymore

also Princess Gate (pinetree and guilford -Coq.) 25+ units listed very wide range of prices for basically the same thing–lots underwater

sorry’ but when i can find so many underwater i don’t believe any stats coming from a RE board

#198 Ben on 06.02.11 at 5:05 pm

The last time I made the 160K figure was the late 1990’s dot com era working in the UK making 45 British Pounds an hour and that was when a British Pound was worth $2.16 Can.
Oh those were the days, throw a dart at the stock page in the newspaper and buy whatever it hit, it went up.
Then Kaboom!

#199 jess on 06.02.11 at 5:08 pm

this author states that the american constitution was written because it opposed democracy and the closest americans came in achieving democracy was with Roosevelt…

Inverted Totalitarianism
Sheldon Wolin
May 1, 2003 | This article appeared in the May 19, 2003 edition of The Nation.
” inverted totalitarianism ”

#200 BROMANCE on 06.02.11 at 5:26 pm

As I said last time, and Garth reminded you, watch those falling knives. This is going to take a lot longer, and get a lot worse, than you think. Down here we’re in the 6th year with no end insight. In fact it feels like the implosion is accelerating. It is beyond the even the imagination to grasp. Like they said in the movie No Country For Old Men-you just can’t take the measure of it.

#201 Brett Wilde on 06.02.11 at 5:44 pm

The insanity continues. Regina sales up 11% over last year and a staggering 18% price increase!

#202 BPOE on 06.02.11 at 5:46 pm

Seattle Bubble bloggers buying.

#203 Josh on 06.02.11 at 5:46 pm

I was going to say, I’m an engineer, and #10 Stretching the Truth, is right on. I have been out of school for several years, have some experience, and have a good job. No way I would be making even close to 100k, well unless i was a “Project Manager” with 0 real experience (Reads like a 4 letter word of your choice).

Also who makes 70k a year out of school in nursing?
Wage inflation much?

#204 jess on 06.02.11 at 5:53 pm

96 Jsan
candu’s can burn this also ?
thorium requires a start-up by neutrons from a uranium reactor

#205 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 06.02.11 at 5:54 pm

#171 TheBigLebowski — “. . . the next twists and turns on this path will also be met with mockery and laughter by the majority of people. Yet years from now these too will be accepted as fact.”
— and —
#172 disciple — “Your real rulers play both sides.”

Both excellent posts, and both right on the mark. TBL’s post, saying that sheeple laugh at whacknuts, but he who laughs, laughs last (‘tho it doesn’t really matter who is right or wrong).

Disciple’s post says what most here have known for a long time — the elite fund both sides of a conflict, as it is to their benefit to keep wars going, thus making continual profits from sales of weapons.

#179 VICTORIA TEA PARTY — Great post. See links on GD2.
Blaming China “Hacker attacks against the servers of often come through Chinese computers, but these Chinese machines are being used as “cutouts” to try to conceal the source of the original cyber-crime. I would conclude that this is the case here; China are part of the victims here. Of course, to a US Government desperate to stiff the Chinese for all the money the US owes them, I guess any pathetic excuse will serve.”

QE87 1/2 Apparently, nyet. Instead, the stopgaps (chewing gum) have been pulled out and now the water is rushing in. 2:24 clip Bernanke and Houdini — spot the difference! Plus Hangover GD2 has started, but we’re still in the recession years! “As the mainstream media is finally catching on to the reality of the mirage of the so-called “recovery”, reports are surfacing about a dire global economic situation.” Remember Leap 20/20s second-half of 2011. Could this have anything to do with the preceding? One would have to take the ‘yea’ position. from “Private central banks issuing debt-based currencies are pyramid schemes. They always collapse. It is built into the structure, one that transfers real wealth to the bankers and worthless paper to the people.”

Silver Market update. After the US$ — what comes next? WW3.

Natural Gas Along with hydro rates, water taxes, oil. diesel and gas going up. Stop eating. It’s good for the planet! Greek Food “The IMF is the mechanism for global slavery, using the trap of debt-based currency and corrupted politicians.” Banking It truly is a bank’s life. Borrowing money from the US Fed, lending it to the US govt. — what more can one want? 2:15 clip Wall St. — Joke of the Century!

450K Pink Slips for US workers. 9:59 clip “This is pretty shocking. All you need to see is the first few minutes. Just another day in the United States of 4th Amendment Fascism…” Polio Vaccine doesn’t seem to work. Surprised?

Obama Good. He deserves no less. A bigger war monger than dubya. Frame up “In fact, the warehouse was rented by the FBI, which also owned the truck, and the operation was part of an elaborate sting set up by a confidential informant.”

No Proof But sheeple still believe otherwise. These are the ones who still have their heads buried way up their asses.

#206 eddy on 06.02.11 at 5:56 pm

Retirement Dreams Fade As Home Sales Slide Further

#207 Elmer on 06.02.11 at 5:58 pm

My portfolio made 15% last year. MY GTA-area house made diddly. — Garth

A single year is meaningless. How much did your portfolio return in the last 10 years? An average GTA house increased in value by 10% per year over the last 10 years.

Actually Toronto real estate advanced an average of 8% annually over the last decade, which includes the bubble years, exclusive of entry and exit costs. None of that was paid as income. My portfolio beat it slightly (8.7%), and I spent it on new Hummers. — Garth

#208 nonplused on 06.02.11 at 5:58 pm

This is great. I especially recommend it to BPOE.

#209 randman on 06.02.11 at 6:00 pm

Canadians in Debt

“TransUnion, a Chicago-based credit specialist, said the average Canadian had almost $26,000 on his or her credit card, bank lines of credit and other borrowing vehicles — excluding mortgages — during the January-to-March period. That amount represented a jump of more than $1,200 compared to the same three months one year earlier.”

“Even at these higher levels, however, the company said Canadians were not getting overloaded with too much debt.”


#210 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 06.02.11 at 6:00 pm

#68 #112


It must be contract negotiating time at the BCTF, the BC teachers’ union (although some of its well-tailored members would still prefer to call it an “association”, anything but that gritty word “union”)!

And being that it is contact time, we always get the “I’m overworked” sad yarn and the “we only have the best interests of the children at heart.”

Both quotes explode with hypocrisy.


Because their main demand is always for smaller class sizes; a load of crap.

This demand has less to do with caring for the kids than it does caring for the union’s financial future.

It would look dire indeed, for the union’s well-manicured executive, as union dues decline along with demographically-driven declining enrolments and subsequent teacher layoffs, and pension reductions.

It’s the arithmetic sweetheart!


Fact is that classrooms of BC’s public school system are open for 6 months of the year! That’s it. And that six months is crammed all sorts of educational acitiivties, partly because the school year is so short!

Insulating the teachers from this “burnout situation” are so-called, and included in the school year, professional days off, in which some teachers go away on long weekends, while others do a little shopping, or a few who actually show up at seminars. Whatever. The union makes them strong!

Remember this about that union: it places its own interests before any and all others, especially the kids.


What is it about that self-absorbed union that the government can’t just grab the contract agenda and own it?

A suggestion: Bargain these folks into ground, if necessary, offering nothing new in a future contract. NOTHING.

The public cannot afford it. If they strike, then lock’em out! Make ’em wait. A little Margaret Thatcherism might do, thus bringing economic reality back into play.

Executive members of the BCTF (note I do not include the rank and filers here!), I expect, wouldn’t last five minutes at Dan’s shop. Show some spine Victoria! Represent the rest of us!

#211 randman on 06.02.11 at 6:01 pm


Excellent summation

They will hold out hope until the bank calls in their credit line ( as above)

#212 Imstupid on 06.02.11 at 6:05 pm


Please do not call people sheep. Sheep need a Shepard to feed if the Shepard doesn’t pay attention the the sheep get lost. They are more like goats you let them run freely feed themselves and they return to get slaughtered. I saw this on a vacation once and couldn’t believe the goats return time after time even after witnessing others being killed. I agree with you about capitalism, it does not work. But people are as above as long as the majority don’t get slaughtered it will continue until we can no longer live. All others that read this think about this why if capitalism is so good to they always marry it with democracy? The two are not the same and can exist without eachother. Democracy was established over 2000 years ago in Greece while capitalism was established less than 200 years. I’ll be the first to admit capitalism worked for a while. That time passed the day when new ideas and inventions to benefit mankind were no longer created by one person in a shack. Today we need huge capital and labour. We all contribute but only a few get the benefit. Let me ask this question if the market works, what is the demand for a cure to cancer? I bet it’s more than what is allocated for research and development. But their is plenty for iPods and IPhones. Why?

#213 The InvestorsFriend on 06.02.11 at 6:19 pm

It was a couple years ago now that we heard that a certain young couple we knew were buying a house in Edmonton.

This was a long-time but never married couple that had been living with her parents for a decade or more. Sponging remorselessly. He was never regularly employed.

When I heard this couple was finally buying a house, I said yup, that’s my signal the top of the market is in. And it was. Edmonton house prices reached a peak around then as this last couple emerged from mommy’s basement.

#214 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.02.11 at 6:24 pm

@ #184 BPOE

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver noted that home sales reached 3,377 in May, a seven-per-cent increase over the 3,156 sales in May 2010 and a 4.7-per-cent increase over the 3,225 sales in April 2011.

You forgot to include stats from any other year:

May 2009 had 3,524 sales (4% above May 2011)
May 2008 was lower – financial crisis was happening
May 2007 had 4,331 sales (28% above May 2011)
May 2006 had 4,297 sales (27% above May 2011)
May 2005 had 4,434 sales (31% above May 2011)
May 2005 had 3,916 sales (16% above May 2011)

So, cheer all you want, but May 2011 was NOT a stellar year historically for the Vancouver market.

#215 PortlandBound on 06.02.11 at 6:27 pm

#144 Utopia: You state opinions as fact. I think this is detrimental to any sort of rhetoric, since anyone who notices it will be wary of accepting any actual facts you state.

You’re comparing apples to oranges as far as careers go. As someone with experience working as a teacher and a nurse, I would personally say the more valuable career is… I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. Apples to oranges.

# 173 Mr Plow (love you!) was good enough to point out the lack of logic in your first-to-third world comparison.

Like #176 Lorne, I’m curious what you do for work.

There are a few posters on this site whose intelligence is hard to see behind their poor writing skills, and it’s a shame their insightful comments get lambasted because they haven’t mastered the semicolon. Utopia, you’re sort of the opposite. Fallacious reasoning abounds, but dang if you don’t use commas correctly. (Your apostrophe usage needs work though. Maybe you have a teacher friend that can help you?)

#216 ottawan on 06.02.11 at 6:51 pm

My husband and I have been renting for the past 3 years and this year I have started to look at the situation in Ottawa. From the mls records, I track 7 areas in which we have an interest. I record my own score sheet that includes all the information on MLS. Since May 13 … almost a month, there have been 170 listings and 36 homes have sold. This means that 21 percent of listed homes have sold. 90% are for less than $350,000. This means that nearly 80% of homes listed here with MLS are NOT selling. There is a real shortage of homes listed and some people are picking off the cheapest of an overpriced selection. I notice far more for rent signs this year. GARTH IS RIGHT! We will move elsewhere rather than pay these prices… (we’re retired) and it looks like lots of other people in Ottawa will do the same thing. Our rent went up $9. this year. What’s the rush.

#217 randman on 06.02.11 at 6:53 pm

Another warning shot across the bow!

“Moody’s warned Washington on Thursday it expects to put the U.S.’s perfect credit rating on review for a possible downgrade if Congress fails to make progress on raising the country’s debt ceiling by mid-July.

The notice from the ratings agency serves as a fresh reminder to lawmakers and investors about the high-stakes negotiations surrounding the deeply-divided issue.

While the White House and Treasury Department have warned failure to raise the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling by early August will result in a financial crisis, Republicans have said the U.S. will be able to avoid a default while lawmakers negotiate deeper budget cuts.”

Read more:

#218 Williston Geo on 06.02.11 at 6:56 pm

#204 Josh

This will really blow your mind then: Marcel said he was a MWD hand (Measurements While Drilling) he doesn’t even need a degree for that. Most MWD hands simply have rig experience and know how to run a computer.

These guys make good money because they sacrifice 200 days/year away from home. Not a lot of people are willing to do that.

#219 dosouth on 06.02.11 at 7:03 pm

#142 – Alex

Hopefully you aren’t “Really” comparing Keremeos-Summerland as the High End Okanagan?!?!

We’ve owned and lived in Peachland, Kelowna and Vernon. South of there has always been cheaper even in the “Hay days of ’07-’08”. Penticton is becoming more of a ghost town except for Peachfest.

Apples to apples comparisons are better. A waterview in any town is a waterview. Just depends on what postal code you have/want.

I certainly agree with #147 – Kilby, we too are tired of the all winter valley cloud and are looking at the island for sunnier winters.

Sorry Vlad but can’t agree. Kelowna seems to have it’s own microcosm of a market but I would put Kamloops in with Penticton as a fast(er) sinking market.


#220 Bruce on 06.02.11 at 7:12 pm

#59 Williston Geo

I for one would not be happy if my $1400/day brought in a fresh out of school noob with zero field experience. Consulting companies send out experienced guys – you know, the ones who actually know what they’re doing.

#221 jess on 06.02.11 at 7:13 pm

see if something is said over and over doesn’t make it true

Thanks to Think Progress tweeting this week-end, I was directed to this post at Health Beat:

You may have seen the headline: “DIRE FORECAST SPARKS NEW MEDICARE DEBATE TRUSTEES’ REPORT USED AS FODDER FOR POLITICAL SALVOS BY BOTH SIDES,” but the date may come as a surprise: June 6, 1996.

At the time, the Chicago Tribune warned its readers: “Medicare trustees reported Wednesday that the program’s financial outlook is getting worse, touching off a new round of debate over the future of the federal health insurance system for the elderly and disabled. According to the trustees, who give the program a fiscal checkup every year, the fund that pays Medicare hospital bills dipped into the red last year and will go broke in early 2001. That’s a year earlier than they predicted in 1995.”

Sound familiar? How about these warnings:

Chicago Tribune July 2, 1969: “The Medicare hospital trust fund faces bankruptcy by 1976 and taxes must either be raised or benefits reduced the senate finance committee was told today.”

Washington Post, April 1, 1986: “The Medicare hospital insurance program faces bankruptcy by 1996, two years earlier than projected last year.”

New York Times, January 20, 1985: In the last few years, when it appeared that the Medicare trust fund would run out of money in 1987-89… But the need seemed less urgent after the Congressional Budget Office issued new estimates last September indicating that the Medicare trust fund would not go bankrupt until 1994.

(Hat tip to Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn who culled eighteen stories from the Tribune, the Washington Post and the New York Times over a period of four decades, each predicting that the Medicare Hospital Insurance Fund was teetering on the brink of disaster.)

But of course Medicare didn’t “run out of money” in 1994, and it won’t go belly-up now, in large part thanks to health care reform legislation. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) raises and saves over $950 billion. (Below, I spell out how the legislation generates those dollars). In the process, as the Medicare Trustees’ Report 2011 points out, the ACA reduces Medicare spending “by 25 percent”—without cutting health benefits, or shifting costs to seniors.

More changes will be needed, but Zorn is relatively optimistic. After citing the many times we have been told that Medicare is careening toward bankruptcy, he recalls the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Zorn acknowledges that “just because officials and politicians have been predicting Medicare’s imminent bankruptcy for more than 40 years doesn’t mean that one day they won’t be right, but, more likely,” he suggests, “we will turn the knobs and twiddle the dials in order to keep the overwhelmingly popular program solvent, but not so solvent that, between five and 12 years from now, another set of politicians won’t grimly inform us that it’s going under in between five and 12 years.”…

#222 randman on 06.02.11 at 7:14 pm

Charles Hugh Smith explains it in sheeple tearms…

“The Federal government borrowed and spent $5.1 trillion over the past four years to generate a cumulative $700 billion increase in the nation’s GDP. That means we’ve borrowed and spent $7.28 for every $1 of nominal “growth” in GDP.

In constant dollars, GDP is flat: we got no growth at all for our $5.1 trillion: zip, zero, nada. In constant dollars, the GDP in 2011 might return to the 2007 level, if the economy continues “growing” at the same pace reached in the first three months of 2011. If not, then the GDP will actually be lower than pre-recession levels.

If you borrowed $7 to get $1 in your pocket, would that strike you as a good deal? How long do you reckon you could borrow $7 to get $1 of “growth” in your finances?

Let’s say you need $3,000 a month to pay all the household bills. No problem, just go borrow $21,000 and your household economy will “grow” by $3,000. If this isn’t the height of fiscal nonsense, then what is?”

#223 kilby on 06.02.11 at 7:24 pm

#191 Ronaldo. Very apt description of Okanagan real estate. We listed our house which was professionally appraised at $619K. We listed at $597K and came down 20K a month until we did sell this spring for $497K….All the other similar lakeview houses in our area are still for sale, the owners will drop $5,000 at a time and no action. I’m glad to be out and not following the market down.

#224 American Werewolf on 06.02.11 at 7:28 pm

Im on vacation in the US.

I picked up the paper in my small native Oregon hometown (which is very comparable in size & economy of Nanaimo, BC–and it had similar housing prices a few years ago). There were 3 separate sections for foreclosures. ~300 in all. Median monthly payments were about $1200-$1400 a month.

300 listings, of which, about 75 were new this week. At this rate, in this town of 75K, 4000 homes are being foreclosed.

There is no recovery. There will be no recovery. There will only be a lost decade. Next stop for the crisis: Canada

#225 No_delay on 06.02.11 at 7:31 pm

The herd nowadays thinks that prices will go up forever. In my view this is a failure of basic financial knowledge and history, which ironically is first taught in school or definitely ought to be.
I make 150k, young professional and am renting.

#226 Devore on 06.02.11 at 7:37 pm

#190 BrianT

It’s just poetic license.

My point was, you discover something important, your first call isn’t to Larry King.

#227 Trailer Park Boys on 06.02.11 at 7:38 pm


I’ll try not to rag on teacher per se..but a few observations.

I went back to my old high school, GRAD 77 , and the shop teacher who was there is STILL there, said he’s almost 70, and will retire in 3 years. He’s a good teacher…and I think he feels an obligation…he has an awesome shop ….but I could tell he wasn’t happy with what he sees as future replacements.

Unfortunately, with budget cuts , the woodwork teacher won’t have their contract renewed and this older teacher will have to take on that class as well

At contract time???
……one should see the critical mass of “near” retirees. Those in public service have their pensions based on their BEST (5) EARNING YEARS, which is usually their last 5 working years.

If they get a raise….that will certainly figure in a pension. Also my understanding is that if they get a Masters degree, this also boosts their salary by several grand…and thus affects pensions(upward).
You often find ” 5 year” Principals then retire…same gig.

I saw a lot of teachers later in life go for the me its simply featherbedding and trickles down to suck the budget dry.

Some of their thesis’s I’ve seen are so retarded it looks like a mutually symbiotic scam between Education Faculties and Masters candidates.

I have been in 3 unions, and the only ” brother hood” I saw was shaft the younger guys..the senior guys are gravy suckers, cover their asses and sell the rest out…, the junior members just act as “last hired first fired” buffer.

#228 Daisy Mae on 06.02.11 at 7:44 pm

randman on 06.02.11 at 1:57 pmAlex…

“Yet the most important thing we took from our jaunt is this: It’s STILL overpriced. Sellers in many cases simply aren’t dropping their prices enough, depsite having their homes listed in excess of 100, 200, and 300 days.”

“I’ve been noting the exact same thing…”

An agent in West Kelowna listed her home awhile back — she’s had open houses but nothing has transpired to date. She dropped her price $10,000…then another $10,000…then she raised it again, partially. She’s digging in her heels and her price is firm.

#229 Hoof - Hearted on 06.02.11 at 7:49 pm

#40 squidly77 on 06.01.11 at 10:54 pm

There will be no crash in Saskatoon

Cause it’s different there right. Or is it because you live there


Not if you keep flying horizontal

#230 BoomerBoy on 06.02.11 at 7:50 pm

“Actually Toronto real estate advanced an average of 8% annually over the last decade, which includes the bubble years, exclusive of entry and exit costs. None of that was paid as income. My portfolio beat it slightly (8.7%), and I spent it on new Hummers.” — Garth

You forgot to mention that any gains in T.O. real estate over the last ten years (if realized) were tax-free as a principal residence. Oh yeah, and it also provided a roof over one’s head. Bonus.

Did your portfolio provide any sort of shelter as well as an investment? Didn’t think so.

No, but it paid me. My house cost me. Fortunately, I had both. — Garth

#231 Mr Buyer on 06.02.11 at 8:10 pm

I left home at 16. Not long after I went into debt and spent the next 25 years in debt. I have to say that is not independence. As a result of my debt I will have much less money to pass on to my children when I die. I did a huge disservice to them through my self indulgence. My kids can live with my wife and I as long as they and their families can stand us. They will be staying with us until they finish University (debt free) and well into their working lives so they can save cash. If there is anyway that I can secure shelter for them (debt free) I will do so. That includes building on my own property (either an addition or a separate dwelling). Entering into debt is not independence. I used to chant “it takes money to make money” but I have changed my tune to “it is not what you make but what you spend.”

#232 Trailer Park Boys on 06.02.11 at 8:12 pm

#108 Mikey the Realtor on 06.02.11 at 10:02 am

#37 Trailer Park Boys

Are you hiring? according to the poodles I’m going to be on the unemployment line soon. I need to set myself up soon because they have been so right in the last 3 years.


Yo Mikey..

well, only because yer Garth’s friend…..but we have separate line-up for realtors…its huge’s past Lahey and Randy’s love nest..Bubbles is renting out his shed.

They look rather dishevelled, like zombies..chanting 0/40…0/40….buy now before you are priced out forever….brains brains….the lease for our brains ran out…no more leased BMW’s…..brains brains….

#233 Robert on 06.02.11 at 8:30 pm

#211 – T-Party, not sure what your rant has to do with irrational “free enterprise” policies fuelling real estate bubbles but I’ll take the bait. Speaking from experience, some of the jobs I’ve had that were less stressful and much more lucrative than teaching teenagers include construction welder in -30 in “Cowtown”, commercial diver, sales rep, military (navy). Before you wade in with both boots, keep in mind that society expects schools to both teach and parent now. It wasn’t always so. Schools are loaded with kids that have fragmented homes; are required to retain kids who, in a less inclusive time, would have been expelled or kept apart from the mainstream. I betray my age when I recall that we were terrified of the call home from the teacher or principal due to some youthful misbehaviour and were much happier just to take our lumps at school. The caring professionals that fill our schools are being asked to take on society’s burdens even though the remuneration is practically the lowest of all comparable professions. There was a time when a teacher could support a family on a single income; even purchase a reasonable home in a modest neighbourhood. T’ain’t so anymore is it? And no, the class size concern is no red herring; there is nothing more painful to a teacher than to step into a classroom day after day knowing that each student in the room will not get their fair share of the learning experience. “Grinding caregivers into submission” is hardly the way to motivate them to do the job well (which, oddly enough, is the preparation of young minds for learning and life – a modestly important task).

#234 Mr Buyer on 06.02.11 at 8:35 pm

I was talking to a businessman on a flight from Ottawa to Toronto a few weeks ago. I was saying to him how much my wife did not want to go into debt to buy a house. The guy replied “she is going to have to face reality.” I understood exactly what he was saying because that was my reality for most of my adult life. This guy was on the ball and has done very well in the current RE bubble (he is sitting on something like 300k equity in his current home after a few up trading iterations in the past few years). I have to hand it to the guy, he has done well for himself. I was not in the position to take advantage of this bubble. Instead I took a much slower and labor intensive path stretching out over a decade. I can not say that my way was better, it was just that I had little choice. Any self employment activities I have entered into provided me cash within a week or two (a month max) and I saved the cash with an eye on making purchases to make more cash. I kept it small and that was what I could manage (but it has been a slow climb). I am now thinking of “investing” but it really seems like a mine field. I will take a slow and sure path there as well. To say I am risk adverse would be a huge understatement.

#235 BrianT on 06.02.11 at 8:45 pm

#227Devore-I know-I just wanted to rant-this whole “cure for cancer” thing just seems like a big scam sometimes. The brain cancer/cell phone linkage is quite strong and if Sweden and a couple other jurisdictions didn’t exist these grifters would keep the info from us completely.

#236 Cookie Monster on 06.02.11 at 8:50 pm

#213 Imstupid on 06.02.11 at 6:05 pm

Capitalism does not need democracy to function by majority rule, it needs a constitutional republic. See the difference here.

Captialism does work, think of it this way. Say an individual works on a farm for an empoyer and saves for 10 years on the side by purchasing his own property, house, barn and woodworking equipment and lots of choice cuts of wood, cherry, maple, oak, mahogany etc. by exchanging years of his labour on the farm for property plant and equipment plus materials. Also during this same period he crafts his skills as a woodworker and fine craftsman constantly adding to his repertoire, with his capital and knowledge of woodworking he crafts beautiful furniture and creates wealth, he creates value, he processes the materials to increase their utility, he then sells his goods for a profit in a free market in competition with three his fellow townsman, consumers freely choose what to buy, when and at what price, everybody is honest and happy.

This is capitalism, this is what prevailed longer and stronger in the USA from 1780 to 1980. What’s wrong with this story?

And gold was money used as a store of value, no government FIAT.

#237 Cookie Monster on 06.02.11 at 8:53 pm

Damn, my here link path was incomplete.


#238 BrianT on 06.02.11 at 8:54 pm

#223randman-It is actually even worse than Smith explains-the US GDP rate itself is dramatically overstated by the dramatic understating of inflation. The actual productive US economy is contracting at an unprecedented pace. This is why the US real estate market cannot recover overall-the minority of Americans who are thriving are government employees, subcontract to the guv or are wealthy enough to benefit from fed equity pumping. The vast majority of Americans are beaten to a pulp by the grifters at this point.

#239 Siddelly on 06.02.11 at 8:56 pm

#187 Cookie Monster

Lebowski: Hello! Hello! So every time a rug is micturated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the–
Dude: Come on, man, I’m not trying to scam anybody here, I’m just–
Lebowski: You’re just looking for a handout like every other–are you employed, Mr. Lebowski?

#240 BrianT on 06.02.11 at 8:58 pm

#216Portland-You should ask yourself why you give a hoot about semicolons on a blog.

#241 Cookie Monster on 06.02.11 at 9:13 pm

(Your apostrophe usage needs work though. Maybe you have a teacher friend that can help you?)
Pay here a nickel for every apostrophe and $20 to suck your …HONK..!

#242 Ronaldo on 06.02.11 at 9:31 pm

#218 Randman – and in the meantime this is where the U.S. Gov’t is getting the money to pay their bills…..

#243 Marcel on 06.02.11 at 9:36 pm

#204 Josh

This will really blow your mind then: Marcel said he was a MWD hand (Measurements While Drilling) he doesn’t even need a degree for that. Most MWD hands simply have rig experience and know how to run a computer.


Williston Geo – As far as I am considered, a field Geo job and A MWD, DD, Consultant job really are not that much different. We all work the same hours in the same shacks and more or less get the same day rate. So why, is it your degree of “rocks for jocks” that much better out here then my engineering degree? And to inform you, I have also seen wellsite geo’s that dont have any education!! And also, if you work for any of the big 4 service companies like I do, you will need a degree or a 2 yr tech course to get the job dipshit.

With that being said, I never said this was a career job for me as I still have an engineering degree to fall back on. I saw the opportunity to make a pile of money in a short time span and put my family ahead financially. Plus, I already live in the area and can be home every night.

#244 betamax on 06.03.11 at 3:56 am

#156 debtified — well said!

#245 goldilocks on 06.03.11 at 4:16 am

You sound like a small man.

#246 Future Expatriate on 06.03.11 at 4:20 am

The dog has better taste than his owners. Anyone who put that horrific Victorian print over even solid salmon needs their wallpaper shredded off and the sooner the better.

#247 Kaganovich on 06.03.11 at 7:30 am

Cookie Monster

You forgot to include a couple more key tenets in your string of explanatory comments, such as; ‘there is no such thing as society’ and ‘greed is good’.

#248 disciple on 06.03.11 at 9:49 am

Kinky Monster – I’ve hardly read more ignorant comments on a blog, keep ’em coming, I need a laugh every so often…

Save for 10 years “on the side”. You mean the 1 hour a day you have after your commute home and before sunset, after getting all the household chores done, after caring for your children, after caring for your own physical needs etc…

Yeah, that’s plenty of time to invent your own little cottage industry…

“Work for an employer” – yeah, that’s my dream in life. ROTFLMAO…

You are clearly a hypocrite, would never do yourself what you propose, and enjoy deluding yourself.
I enjoy poking holes in your childish logic, only as a lesson for others who may be similarly self-deluded.

#249 pjwlk on 06.03.11 at 12:05 pm

#99 Hoof – Hearted

Global Warming…

Finally. Someone telling it like it is.
Amen brother ! Thanks for sharing.

#250 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 06.03.11 at 4:43 pm

#236 Mr Buyer


This was a bad week at Black Rock, stock markets everywhere, I mean.

Lucky for us, and for today, our Toronto market was down by only one point because commodities did OK.

But the US, Europe, and Asia all had a rather bad time of it today and all week long.

So, if you are reticent about where to step next in the investment minefield, don’t worry.

Getting into the markets at this time is just about the same as getting into the Vancouver real estate market with nothing down.


Although Garth recommends various investments, bank preferred shares being the best idea at this time, there is nothing wrong with keeping your powder dry and building up more cash.

Yes, inflation will start nibbling away shortly, but there is nothing wrong with parking that loot for a month or two in a T-bill or two, to see what happens NEXT.


Why? Because, the investment world is waiting word from the US Fed to see if it launches QE3, yet another money printing exercise sometime after the end of this June, when QE 2 expires.

Some market watchers say QE 3’s advent has already been discounted by the market in recent weeks, with the lower stock prices, and higher bond prices, we’ve been seeing.

Others think that QE 3 will happen but only after a further market swoon.

And there’s yet another opinion that says the Fed will not have a QE 3, which will be followed by a market “correction” thus forcing investors into low interest, long-dated US T-bills.

That, perforce, is just another way of “raising money” to pay for US government expenditures through more and more debt.

If that happens, then the big question is, who’ll buy 10-year US treasuries with yields of less than 3 per cent?

The Chinese and Indians? Naw.

Then who? Probably the Yanks for reasons of patriotism.

No wonder it’s a minefield out there!


#251 Imstupid on 06.03.11 at 6:19 pm

Cookie monster if you read my post carefully you would realize that what I am saying is that capitalism worked in the past but we have cone to far now for it to be effective and efficient way to use resources. The farmer in your example is only relevant before the age of telcom. Look at it this way the system your defending is not logical in principle. Let’s take your farmer example, and a basic supply and demand curve. Now if we were all farmers the best thing to do is destroy his crop their by reducing the output and increasing our profit. Or we can just kill him and take his feild to increase our profit. The two are the same and would be beneficial to us. We only care about profit. So since profit is our only concern tomorrow you may poision my feild or kill me or I to you. It all ends the same way 1 person eventually controls everything and tried to eliminate all others by what ever means necessary.

Let’s look at growth as long as their are enough resources to satisfy the masses then capitalism works. Since everyone has the basics of life. Eventually growth will not be possible (human or resource) to continue producing and their will be 2 options war or starve. We both know the one that will happen. The same as us with the farmer. The more I have means the less you have good for me but not for you. Do you really want to live in that world if you had the choice?