The no brainer

Who needs reporters, anyway? Apparently not the Toronto Star, since they just run Re/Max press releases and stick a byline on. This might explain why the country’s biggest publishing outfit is getting rid of 1,050 employees – a whopping 17% of its workforce. A harbinger?

Yes. Get used to it. Better, get ready.

Fabled Queen’s University announced the end of its fine arts program. It’s out of resources. Toronto, drowning in $2.6 billion of debt, will be carving a big hunk out of its 22,000-person workforce. Plus selling off the municipal electrical grid. The Coast Hotel in Kamloops has gone belly up. Composites Atlantic days ago axed 12% of its workers in Lunenburg County. Game developer Silicon Knights just threw 75% of its employees overboard in Niagara. Last month stuff like this added up to 71,700 full-time jobs. All gone.

Down the road from the Bunker a guy with a Porsche started building his dream home two years ago. Then one day the Cayenne was gone. His chain of stores went bust. The builder finished the place and put it on the market for $1.2 million. That was nine months ago. Yesterday the latest realtor was fired, after three price drops. No offers. Hell, no showings. Granite, stainless and hardwood up the wazoo.

This week Washington gave the back of its hand to the Canadian oil industry. The $7 billion Keystone Pipeline snaking south from Alberta was a ‘no brainer’, said Stephen Harper. But the US iced it for two years and, possibly, forever. Now, just imagine the White House run by a protectionist Republican, instead of a scared Democrat.

These are snippets of news from the day just passed. And I didn’t even mention the roustabouts in Greece or Italy. Or the Canada Pension Plan losing $1.3 billion in the latest quarter. Of course, Rick Perry suffered a brain fart, so there’s some good news.

For months I’ve argued here that (a) the economy will turn glacial, (b) deflation’s as big a threat as inflation, (c) the cost of living will go up while assets decline, (d) Canada won’t escape lost jobs and sinking houses, (e) most families will hurt, but (f) the 1% won’t. Sadly, seven in ten households have married themselves to real estate, which is about to enter its worst period since the early 1990s. It wouldn’t matter if interest rates went to zero. There’s no altering the fact debt will do to Mississauga what it did to Athens.

Regular visitors will have noticed over the past year all of the incredibly boring, pedantic, tedious, hectoring posts I’ve written on corporate and government bonds, perpetual preferred shares, ETFs, diversification and balanced portfolios. There was a reason. I wanted you to wean off drywall and get liquid.

Soon you will know why.


#1 [email protected] on 11.10.11 at 10:20 pm


#2 meslippery on 11.10.11 at 10:27 pm

I just bought 4, count them 4 loafs of Italian bread.
that should help Italy.

#3 Dylan on 11.10.11 at 10:27 pm

Another good post.

#4 Helpful Advise on 11.10.11 at 10:28 pm


#5 LS in Arbutus on 11.10.11 at 10:28 pm

As the prophecy comes true, I keep thinking how fun writing this blog is going to be for you in the next few months/year/years.

#6 Keeping the Faith on 11.10.11 at 10:35 pm

Classic Post Garth!
Short, concise, to the point!
Incredibly clear and prophetic.

I’m going to renew my subscription to your blog for 2012 and by the way, when’s that new book coming out so I can show you my support in real dollars?

Keep it up, the end is nigh.

#7 Will on 11.10.11 at 10:35 pm

Can’t speak for the rest of the country, but in Winnipeg retail development still seems to be going full steam ahead. Were even getting an IKEA!!

The jobs that build those shiny buildings, and employ store clerks will become harder to come by. Nevermind finding stores to occupy all that retail space.

#8 Sean on 11.10.11 at 10:38 pm

Great post.

I am sitting on a bit of cash, and looking to invest. Bank preferred shares are looking expensive, stocks are hyper volatile and I think bonds will get whacked when interest rates rise. Is this a time when cash is king and it makes sense to wait for a country to collapse before investing?

Stop trying to time things. That’s why a balanced portfolio. — Garth

#9 B in Van on 11.10.11 at 10:42 pm

Thank you Garth for continuing to blog about this very important topic. It’s very much appreciated.

Nobody knows exactly what will happen, but look around you. Look at what’s happening everywhere else. The world’s a mess right now and things are bound to change here. Listen to what’s been written in this blof and keep your money invested and diversify those investments. If things go bad, you’ll be glad you stayed liquid. Maybe things won’t be as bad as everywhere else, and in that case you would have still made money by investing.

One ting is certain. Nothing goes up forever. What goes up will come down.

#10 NYCer on 11.10.11 at 10:46 pm

Im so excited for all of this and I am certain this blog will get better as things get worse.

#11 enjc on 11.10.11 at 10:46 pm

Keep it up Garth. Once in a while I’m sure it’s good to hear you’re doing a good job.

Talked to a few people at work the other day who love houses (they never decrease in value, etc) – sent one the link to the ‘capital management firm’ analysis from a few days back. Claimed he had no time to read it but hasn’t mentioned real estate since. He was planning to buy, hope it gave him something to think about.

You bad. — Garth

#12 Cowboy Pete on 11.10.11 at 10:48 pm

Stop trying to time things…… — Garth

The rhythm method isn’t reliable. Just ask Jen, Jo, Frank, Steve, Bonnie, Carl, Betsie, ….can’t remember all the grandkids’ names.

#13 Ted23 on 11.10.11 at 10:54 pm

Everything’s real good.

#14 sutluc on 11.10.11 at 10:56 pm

Another day another buying opportunity.

#15 Marc L on 11.10.11 at 11:03 pm

10$ for Westerman. It’s a start.


#187 Marc L on 11.10.11 at 5:45 pm

I am collecting some money to send Westernman to therapy. I know that no one likes him. But perhaps we can save this blog from all of the hatred, destructive comments and cynicism.
Anyone want to pledge?

I’m in. — Garth

#16 Smoking Man on 11.10.11 at 11:05 pm

Obama and Sarkosy basically let the world know who runs their show all over main street media, yet can know one put 2 and 2 together………Benje wheels some serious power, that even the president of the USA fears……………..

My problem with Harpo ……..He is cool with it…..That lap dog and his religious twisted disposition will obediently do what he is told based his guarded religious extremism ………….Amen

More Prisons, Warrrentless surveillance, all in the name of finding a some fantasy brown buggy man. Is a scam………….

Your pensions are going to be raided, your standard of living is going to get decimated not by accident but by design, the rug will be pulled under you and you wont know it till it’s to late……….

And you bubble heads are too consumed with punishing your rivals who made a few bucks buying Gannet.

My crystal ball says …

WE are doomed…….Except for me . Smoking Man is Diversified, if there is one thing I have learned on this pathetic blog don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

#17 amazing on 11.10.11 at 11:19 pm

Today I watched “hot property” on citytv. It is moronic and cynical the way those real estate expertises were talking. In this economical climate and talk that way, make them more evil…… including the tv host.

#18 JohnnyBravo on 11.10.11 at 11:25 pm

Just caught a bit of “Til Debt Do Us Part”. Young couple, deep in debt doodoo, and they go and buy a bigger house. According to the show they already bought the house, and NOW they have to scrape together a $15,000 down payment. You’d think the bank might want to make sure they have the money first, no? Then again, what do they care. They’re covered. Which is also why they are popping steam valves cooking up new-fangled mortgage products to keep stuffing Queen E’s into people’s pockets.

I wouldn’t care if others were financially reckless as long as the rest of we the people didn’t have to pay for it with our own hard-earned money. I feel like Major Clipton at the end of The Bridge On The River Kwai, frustratingly uttering the words: “Madness… Madness…”

BTW: Excellent post, Garth. Neat little summary that exemplifies why the financial, fiscal and economic illusion we call “Canada” is soon going to hit reality. Hard.

#19 noodles 79 on 11.10.11 at 11:34 pm

An artless society?The powers that be dont want art, culture and imagination, they want clones in the image of their choosing.Go to wotk keep your mouth shut, pay your taxes, and stay frustrated, and in debt for the rest of your life! If you keep people hanging by a thread, you keep them under control.They have alot of people hanging today,and soon the thread will be cut,and many will fall.If the fall is as bad as1990, it will distroy many lives.I fell hard in the early nineties and it took many years to get back to zero.Now I sit with my pen and pad, and draw, as the clones chase dreams they’ve been told about, not thought about .Here I am trying to figure out what to write next and something enterd my wandering mind.Where are all the Chinese artists?

#20 HouseBuster on 11.10.11 at 11:36 pm

I’m seeing listings in the GTA go down in price.

In the summer $1.26 million – Today – $969K and falling

#21 OttawaMike on 11.10.11 at 11:38 pm

No worries about that Keystone pipeline. It is just as easy to load ships of crude to China from the BC shore.

Do you really believe that pipe or some version of it will not be built to the USA and China will be allowed the spoils?

#22 Peakoilist on 11.10.11 at 11:39 pm

#15 Marc L
Forget therapy for westernman..that would take years. I think the money would be better spent on a one-way ticket to a cabin in the remote wilderness of the Yukon. I think westernman is a sociopath and is more suited to be a hermit. oh,and it’s not that we don’t like him..he doesn’t like anybody…must be a thrill to live with if he actually has somebody.

#23 OttawaMike on 11.10.11 at 11:42 pm

#15 Marc L on 11.10.11 at 11:03 pm
“I am collecting some money to send Westernman to therapy. I know that no one likes him.”

No need to collect money. A good socialist like Westernman probably has a benefits plan card to pay for the sessions.

#24 Soylent Green is People on 11.10.11 at 11:48 pm

Stop Harper’s expensive and unneeded crime bill

Posted: 6 November 2011
In days, Harper will try to push through a crime law that could drastically raise our taxes and dole out harsher punishments for pot smokers than pedophiles — but Quebec and Ontario have refused to pay for the bad law. Together, we can stand with them and call on every province to ditch the crime bill and protect Canadians from useless expenses.


#25 OwlEyes on 11.10.11 at 11:55 pm

Garth, if you’re right about deflation being as big a threat as inflation, then we will have a big, big debt problem on all of our hands, no? Have you done a post on that? I stumbled on this neat interactive tool at the that lets your enter your own GDP growth, prime rate and inflation (deflation) values for just about any developed country. Watch what happens!!!

#26 Marc L on 11.10.11 at 11:55 pm

#22 Peakoilist on 11.10.11 at 11:39 pm

#15 Marc L
Forget therapy for westernman..that would take years. I think the money would be better spent on a one-way ticket to a cabin in the remote wilderness of the Yukon. I think westernman is a sociopath and is more suited to be a hermit. oh,and it’s not that we don’t like him..he doesn’t like anybody…must be a thrill to live with if he actually has somebody.


Would explain the missing pets reported by his neighbors.


#27 AWD on 11.10.11 at 11:57 pm

The Star is only offering buyouts to 1050 people. They aren’t getting rid of that many.

A staff reduction is a staff reduction. — Garth

#28 T.O. Bubble Boy on 11.11.11 at 12:20 am

Speaking of the top 1%, I received a flyer in my mailbox for this $10M house.

Is this really the type of thing that you advertise alongside flyers for Painting, Housekeeping, and Eavestrough cleaning?

#29 Flint on 11.11.11 at 12:24 am

Garth, what would you recommend for people with low incomes and similarly low job security? I know a few people, myself included, who are savers but earn below average income because of our choice of profession.

#30 T.O. Bubble Boy on 11.11.11 at 12:28 am

A Chinese property developer is now offering BMWs for buyers… are these leftover from the “businessmen” who disspeared to escape loan sharks?

#31 Gord In Vancouver on 11.11.11 at 12:38 am

Great post, Garth.

#32 Stevenson on 11.11.11 at 12:42 am

Soon? As in soon mentioned few years ago? Winter’s here and RE prices flatline and hey let’s all believe the sky is falling again.

#33 NotAGreaterFool on 11.11.11 at 12:48 am

Off topic for today’s blog, but interesting read:

#34 Timing is Everything on 11.11.11 at 12:48 am

Marc L

Therapy alone will not be sufficient. Psychiatric medication and ECT will also be required. The probability of remission will be high regardless.

#35 sven72 on 11.11.11 at 12:49 am

“Or the Canada Pension Plan losing $1.3 billion in the latest quarter”

keep in mind, this was only 0.8% of the entire plan. they could gain it all back next quarter.

#36 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 11.11.11 at 12:50 am


Twice in 20th Century Europe it was bullets and bombs that destroyed people and property.

Just once, so far, in the 21st Century Europe it’s bonds (not bullets/bombs, just yet) which ARE destroying people and property.

Bullets/bombs and bonds. Kinda has a relationship of some sort?

Why, sure!


As Remembrance Day dawns, yet again, we stand and remember the 11th hour of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918. We remember Canadians killed, wounded and missing in action in all “our” wars.

But it is the images of the so-called “Great War”, in the trenches of Flanders Fields in Belgium and France, that provide the foundation of our national collective war consciouness forever.

All those who survived the embattled trenches of Vimy, the Somme, Paschendaele, and Ypres are all dead now. We have to make do with those pictures and thousands of printed accounts of that hellish period to honour those brave souls.


WW 2 followed 1918 by 21 years, begun by an evil and failed Austrian artist, ginned up in part by the Weimar Republic’s lost battle with hyperinflation, thanks to post WW1 painful, imposed-by-the-“victors”, war reparations.

The outcome of WW2 was a respite, the longest peace-time Europe has seen in literally centuries. I’m not kidding here. Study your history!


Now, the worm is turning AGAIN.

Europe is falling off the wagon.

You can tell, because military conflict starts with monetary conflict; it’s ALWAYS the money that gets things “warring” again in downtown Europe.

While it was printed money in 1923 Germany, that began the road to war, today’s destructive seeds prosper within trillions of euros-worth of broke and busted sovereign bonds; blizzards of them clouding the autumn skies of fat-cat Frankfurt, Paris, Rotterdam, Rome, Athens, Madrid and Lisbon…


So, my message going to today’s Europeans, whose towns, farmlands and freeways pollute the hallowed ground of Our Glorious Dead, is this:

Shaddup already! Go away! Get your acts together! Stop whining! IT IS YOUR FAULT, you dolts, that your continent is a cesspool of Ponzi practices, hard-edged corruption and inveterate laziness.

While we find similar monetary and fiscal dross elsewhere, Europe bothers particularly for a number of reasons, including:

— Europe, the world’s premier trading bloc, makes it a tinderbox right now, for trillions of reasons. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE “MONEY”!

— Did Europe learn ANYTHING from the 20th Century? Do they care that thousands of Canadians, and other allied nationals never returned to THEIR hearths and homes?

— Those wars needn’t to have happened; they COULD have been prevented by smart people. But NOW as THEN, Europe is run, once more, by a toxic brew of political keeners, financial industry grifters, assorted other arrogant, imperious poodles and too many perfumed whackjobs and hookers;

— SO; modern Europe, bailed out from itself by the 1948 Allied Marshall Plan, HASN’T LEARNED A BLOODY THING! Why? Because it wants, nay needs, to be bailed out once again!

A pox on your house, Europe. Don’t call us, for we won’t answer you, in your approaching desperation!

Have a nice war.

Lest WE forget.

#37 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.11.11 at 1:20 am

“Soon you will know why.” — Actually, it’s quite clear already. see response to #5 LS.

#5 LS — “As the prophecy comes true . . .” — Not sure what the prophecy is, but from my POV it is one of the normal cycle changes in the five root races.

As the Wheel Of The 84 grinds slowly round, it must carry humanity with it, kicking and screaming. However, you do pose a decent offering

There is a reason for all of the wars started by the US – UN – NATO, etc. — the west is on the ropes, going down for the count. They have no other way to pay deficits and debts off, so may as well go out in a whimper of gory-glory.
3:59 clip Riverview, Fla. sorriest subdivision; Global Ultra Rich Wouldn’t it be funny if a being from space came down and gave us a completely new economy to work with; Everything You Wanted To Know About Debt, but were afraid to ask; Geopolitical Madness Redraw the EU into half a dozen countries; France – Spain As said earlier, once Italy stumbles, France and Spain could be next; EU Implosion and UK prepares.

Forbes on Ron Paul; BoA dumps US$75 tri. derivatives on to taxpayer (the govt.); California revenue lower than expected, France new white elephant, Beware the Borg, IMF begging Please sir, can I have some more? Confusing to say the least;
China – Iran – Russia The Axis of Good vs. The Axis of Evil — US – NATO – UN. Subtract China and Russia’s IOU’s from the US, and the west is toast; 90 foot wave, and surfer rides it. Short clip, massive wave; China – Iran “Another reason to attack China with a weaponized stock market?” Chances are that Chinese stocks are tanking because they are bankrupting themselves, then cash in all their IOU’s on T-Bills, thus bankrupting the States (then switching to the Renmibi or Rouble). Life is always a two-way street; 10:03 clip Libya, Quatar, etc.; 11-11-11 Egypt closes Pyramid (scandals) for tomorrow; 13:26 clip Landscapes without light (caves, etc.); The Bionic Man can see again; Oredama Yep, he’s a commie as is Soros.

3:40 clip Still a great tune, wacky video. Land Down Under; Smoking Man Backs up your theory re: bad teachers; Russia Not their fault, but just to add fuel to the fire; Putin While other leaders bitch and complain, he upgrades military; Three Wheels On My Wagon Jet loses wheel; Soros and Obama Headline covers it; Double CME’s with love from Da Sun.

#38 Carp on 11.11.11 at 1:23 am

My Wife is a smart cookie.

She noticed all these new strip malls being built and new businesses starting up in Kanata (Ottawa West). All these around new developments with young families. Meanwhile 2 minutes down the road, where the boomers live, the mall has vacancies … hmmm. Could it be that older folks are starting to reduce spending while the younger folk don’t get it yet and keep building more debt?

Well, I have plenty of acquaintances in the area and I think most have 30+ year mortgages but still have awesome 100K boats. So I think plenty of those businesses are a ticking time bomb to happen.

#39 Mel on 11.11.11 at 1:28 am

Hey Smoking Man, don’t you get it! If our Prime Minister is of religious mind, then everything in Canada should be fine.

As for me, I am watching the storm coming closer and closer to our shores. Better have your possessions well protected.

#40 kc on 11.11.11 at 1:36 am

“but (f) the 1% won’t. ” <<< nice placement. lol

#41 meslippery on 11.11.11 at 1:57 am

Oil as of this post $98.22 yet oil stocks ?
There is a disconnect ?
Garth Anyone.

#42 Michelle on 11.11.11 at 1:59 am

“I just bought 4, count them 4 loaves of Italian bread. That should help Italy.”

Meslippery, you made me chuckle… Thanks for the comic relief :)

#43 Crash Callaway on 11.11.11 at 2:06 am

I’m a late 50’s dude and I came into a substantial amount of money today. I was wondering if the blogdogs have some investment advice for me.

Should I use the money for the down payment on 3 KARMA condos I’ve been eying or should I use that $39.23 Calgary Co Op member cheque to begin paying off that student loan?

#44 squidly77 on 11.11.11 at 2:25 am

Blunt and straight to the point, great post man, great post.

#45 Mike Hunthertz on 11.11.11 at 2:30 am

Vancouver prices are dropping fast right now. I do not give a flying f*ck what these reports say. You just need to watch and you will see prices are falling. These realtwhore reports are fudged every month to benefit their industry and make believers out of everyone. Been reading the blog lately and funny how some people think Vancouver really is the best place on earth. It isn’t. Get real. It isn’t even close to the best place on earth. It is a totally small town, backwater shitbox of a rain ridden hell hole. Nothing to do there, boring people, uneducated, and no real business or industry. How about places like Honolulu or Niece? Yes those are really spectacular places. Vancouver not so much. I’ve never met a dumber group of people in all my travels with nothing more to do that sit around and talk about the false values of their property. Shallow, stupid, moronic, and short lived. Vancouver is going to be nailed hard and it is starting to already happen.

#46 Rob in Madrid on 11.11.11 at 2:42 am

Yes Garth you’ve been repeating the same thing over and over but as another PF blogger said, it’s wash rinse, repeat. People need to hear it over and over, but over time it does sink in.

In particular your investment advice is very good and different from what folks usually hear

#47 Tim on 11.11.11 at 3:24 am

If the market is a pessimistic as you are, then your advice won’t work to well. Preferreds and Bonds have no where to go but down with rates as low as they are

Wrong. Preferreds have remained rock-solid in value and churn out dividends. Bonds have returned handsomely and negatively correlate to equities. Stop embarrassing yourself. — Garth

#48 Tim on 11.11.11 at 3:31 am

Rick Perry’s moment:

Hilarious… another George Bush….

#49 westopia on 11.11.11 at 3:37 am

“Regular visitors will have noticed over the past year all of the incredibly boring, pedantic, tedious, hectoring posts I’ve written on corporate and government bonds, perpetual preferred shares, ETFs, diversification and balanced portfolios. There was a reason. I wanted you to wean off drywall and get liquid. – Garth”

Yes, it’s a time tested strategy to be sure. The only problem is, you can’t diversify away from systemic risk. The system is broke.

Maybe yours is. I’m making money. — Garth

#50 Slopetester on 11.11.11 at 4:08 am

One man stands alone in the Republican race. He believes in limited Government, Liberty, and Sound money. He voted against the Patriot Act. He will bring ALL of the troops home. He will abolish the Federal Reserve (the planet’s monster squid) and the Income Tax. His message has been consistent for 30 yrs. He is raising money hand-over-fist, and winning every debate, at least until the poll get pulled its as it was (again) last night. Get to know Ron Paul!

CNBC Cans Debate Poll Because Ron Paul Was Leading (by 68%)

He bombed. — Garth

#51 Calgary Bubble on 11.11.11 at 4:49 am

Things in Calgary are starting to flatline, and its starting with the condos. Everyday you hear stories from speculators and people who bought during the boom a few years back having trouble selling these overpriced concrete boxes.

So what do you do to make a half a million dollar priced concrete box look better?

Get creative with the pictures…make it look like its a bigger box for half a million dollars:

There is no way this condo is going to sell for that price…and there is no way that a possible buyer who is able to dish out that money won’t be able to senses the desperations of the seller in this case, unless this person currently lives under a rock.

#52 johnny C on 11.11.11 at 6:14 am

First of all lets gets things clear. People in Canada have not been buying homes. Buying refers to actually having funds to purchase something. They are renting homes from Banks and CHMC. The Big 5 banks and CHMC own more real estate than anyone on the planet.

#53 billy contore on 11.11.11 at 6:19 am

Research form Bank Canada Equity Site.

Research illustrates that as employment possibilities decline, mortgage arrears rise and, reversely, as job availabilities open, mortgage payments are made on time and arrears decline.

In the last twenty years, mortgage arrears reached their highest peaks, nearly 0.7 per cent, coinciding with the country’s highest periods of unemployment.

Mortgage specialists believe that employment is the single most affecting factor concerning mortgage arrears, out-influencing even soaring interest rates.

#54 Linda on 11.11.11 at 6:27 am

We bought a fixer upper back in 2007 with a sizable (35%) downpayment and sunk another $30K into it.

Last fall, my husband announced that he’d received a new and better job offer that required us to pull up stakes and move.

We ultimately had to sell at a loss just to unload the place.

So, now we’re back to renting. It might surprise most of you to learn that it is my husband, an engineer, who is house horny again. Not me.

#55 Young Old Fart on 11.11.11 at 6:49 am

A year ago Garth, you told us to load up on bonds. So, on Nov 9,2010 I put 50k into a premium bond fund. As of Nov 9,2011 that fund is up 7.73%!!

All I can say is thank you. Thank you very much! :))

#56 Van guy waiting on 11.11.11 at 7:25 am

#226 BPOE on 11.10.11 at 9:59 pm
The reason some townhouse sales were slower than usual to start was because of the HST debacle.

See how you get sucked into RE. You’re an idiot. There is no hst on resale homes. These units were purchased by flippers. Do you really think that a healthy sustainable market can skyrocket in 1 year without risk? That just blew this bubble to the point that it will pop just as fast. Like I said before, Richmond is toast before any other city in the lower mainland. If you really think that this place is the bpoe, go ahead and buy them all

#57 David B on 11.11.11 at 7:47 am

Good overview Garth ….kinda sums it up …. Things are not good in Honda Land, 20% of their market is underwater in Thailand, speaking with my friendly salesman he said he soon may have to look for another job. Of course others who depend on imports are in the same boat. So if there are others like me who drive quality used cars, live in small paid for homes and took Garth’s balance approach wrt to finance.

Note: Too bad about the pipeline perhaps it should have been invested with the Canadian Shield just like all those cool cats in the In and Out game were. LOL!!!

#58 bigrider on 11.11.11 at 7:55 am

GTA Girl from yesterday. “Maj mack and islington”

hwy 7 to maj mack along yonge st.

#59 I'm stupid on 11.11.11 at 7:57 am


Give me a break, your last comment made absolutely no sense. So let me speak with you in language and at a level you can understand.

I’m rubber your glue everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

You have koodies so circle circle dot dot now I have my koodie shot.

#60 Keeping the Faith on 11.11.11 at 8:03 am

#32 Stevenson

I warned you buddy.
You’re about to write you own “Fools Epitaph”

Keep writing, it’s akin to the typewriter salesperson in 1988 telling customers “this machine has been around since the beginning of time, it can’t change, it’s different this time”

Good luck buddy, I’m already starting to store your comments in a special file, you’re making history.

#61 bigrider on 11.11.11 at 8:05 am

Garth, you have never really chimed in on your opinion of CMHC.

Should it be allowed to exist? Or, would you dismantle or change it?

Later. — Garth

#62 househornyhousewife on 11.11.11 at 8:07 am


I am now confused.

If, as you say, companies are doing so well then why all of the lay offs ? Are you perhaps referring to people who are employed by government backed institutions (like universities, utility companies etc..) ? Seems to me that if trade is going glacial then private companies won’t be doing so well either .. that is unless they are in good shape and can weather what is to come. Anyway, I am confused and would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Also, if our economy will be deflating, wouldn’t that bring the cost of living down and not up ? Do you mean that perhaps the cost of living is going up simply because goods relative to decreasing incomes will go up ? whereas in fact the cost of goods will go down ?

I frankly think that we have been in a recession for some time now. I don’t quite understand all of the talk about IF we MAY be going into a recession. Wake up and smell the coffee people. I guess the government and media are trying to keep public confidence up in order to keep us from dropping into an even deeper recession by making us believe that we’re not there yet (you’re getting veerrry sleepy). Consumer confidence really is everything but I think they have run out of time and dialogue. Everytime the stock market manages to recover a little, another country goes belly up. They are all dropping like flies .. under masses quantities of debt. What the ?%$#@!! Let’s just forget about it and start behaving as if we are in a recession, OK ?


#63 bigrider on 11.11.11 at 8:08 am

#32 Stevenson.

You should really learn to speak Italian and Mandarin and go ply your bag’o’ RE sales tricks with those people.

You’re wasting your time on this blog

#64 bigrider on 11.11.11 at 8:16 am

Excellent discussion with a mortgage broker friend of mine yesterday at a mid town restaurant. He really is a good guy even though we don’t see eye to eye on anything.

Proceeded to tell me that the stock market ‘everywhere’ was way over-valued. So I asked by how much and he said he believed that ‘they’ needed to fall by 75% or more from here, all of them. I told him it was possible ,because after all, I guess it is, think the 1930’s , although incredibly unlikely.

When I told him that he should pray that it does not happen because the soup lines around the empty condo towers in T.O will be so long they will be throwing bread down to the masses from the all the empty units a blank look fell over his face.

RE sales people of all sorts just don’t get it.

#65 Marc L on 11.11.11 at 8:28 am

#34 Timing is Everything on 11.11.11 at 12:48 am

Marc L

Therapy alone will not be sufficient. Psychiatric medication and ECT will also be required. The probability of remission will be high regardless.


This is proving more complex. Although we could always say we tried. And think of the hope would bring to the abuse victims in his life. Shall I put you down for 10$. Towards the meds?

#66 young & foolish on 11.11.11 at 8:50 am

terrific post Garth …. why we love to come here!

gosh, how did Canada Pension Plan manage to lose so much money?

#67 TS Harpoon on 11.11.11 at 8:52 am


Great post as usual.

For those fortunate to have the day off with pay today, and would like to read some relevant information (perhaps after today’s Remembrance Day ceremonies) see below.

The Future of journalism.


What caused the financial crisis? The Big Lie goes viral. Barry Ritholz writes in the Washington Post about the story (the “Big Lie”) that it wasn’t irresponsibility on the part of the banks that caused the crash–it was really misguided government policies.

(via Metafilter)

#68 Hammer1 on 11.11.11 at 9:05 am

thanks for the very insightful post on this Nov.11
lest we forget

#69 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 9:06 am

#51 Calgary Bubble on 11.11.11 at 4:49 am
lol, the first picture of the actual unit is the 5th one, and it looks like the unit pics were taken by reflecting the rooms in a convex mirror lol

#70 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 9:11 am

#41 meslippery on 11.11.11 at 1:57 am
There is worry there will be a significant slowdown in energy consumption, but in my mind with oil at $100 those oil stocks are undervalued. I think proof that the market is inefficient?

#71 mackie on 11.11.11 at 9:14 am

There is no way this condo is going to sell for that price…and there is no way that a possible buyer who is able to dish out that money won’t be able to senses the desperations of the seller in this case, unless this person currently lives under a rock.

lol Gotta fix those weird walls before he sells anything. I think it’s built for fish. Imagine swimming around all those weird, rounded rooms. :)

#72 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 9:17 am

#38 Carp on 11.11.11 at 1:23 am
The ones with the $100,000 boats are the ones who bought their houses at $200,000 that are now worth $400,000.

The average young family is buying their first (town)home in the Kanata area for around $280,000, and likely will not be purchasing big boats.

And there is a lot of growth in terms of families moving to the Ottawa suburbs, hence the mall developments etc. as families typically spend money (yes, believe it or not it does take the spending of money in order to raise a family).

#73 John on 11.11.11 at 9:19 am

Hi Garth,
Keep up the blog and the good fight.
One suggestion/question: can you insert a search function on your blog so that new readers can find your past articles on said ETF, preferreds, bonds, etc.?

No. Read them all. There will be a test. — Garth

#74 jasonandjoshturbo on 11.11.11 at 9:35 am

Keystone cancelled, great for alberta, think about it sending diluted bitumen to the USA ( aka sending jobs to the americans)…… now they have to buy upgraded oil from Canada therefore creating more jobs in Canada. Besides that, oil is currently 97** a barrel and keystone xl isnt built i doubt this will have any impact on the oil sands with the exception of TC stock,

Suncor voyageur is moving ahead 2012,
Surmont phase 2 has starting construction
Kearl Lake is going full tilt,
Kearl lake Phase 2 is out for tender
Husky is going full tilt
Totel has started clearing land
Shell has approval for perrier mines and JP 2
Fort Hills has started

Alberta is going to be a busy place regardless of XL, if you dont believe me visit

as for housing thats not doing so well in alberta…..garth can fill you in

#75 Incubus on 11.11.11 at 9:41 am

You are 100% right (c) the cost of living will go up while assets decline.

This is called biflation:

#76 Work & Tumbel on 11.11.11 at 10:28 am

I observed a 4 bedroom 2200 SF home 8yrs old for sale Kitchener ON. standard build lot 50×120.
Asking price 10 months ago $580,000 the Agents changed three times with each Agent the price came down asking finaly $499.000. Sold this past week 480,000 still to high$$, in this town if you ask me? But you can ask what ever you want as long as someone is willing to PAY………. What a deal Honey” they where asking $580,000.

#77 dodgedbullet on 11.11.11 at 10:34 am

With the balanced portfolio approach I have seen my money go up and down like a yo yo.

At the moment, 3 months in from investment day, I am:

SPY + 3.65%
SHY (should have bought corp bonds) -0.52%
VNQ -1.57%
QQQ +4.99%
PSK -2.86%
XCS -3.55%

Different values of cash in each – up as of yesterday, $110 US on a 30K investment.

I’ve been up more, and down more.

The above represents 1/3 of my investments.

It has been interesting learning about the stock market – I look forward to your book so as to apply a little more experience to my understanding.

All the best.

First snow here today.


You are judging returns over 90 days? This is investing, not caring for a Chia Pet. — Garth

#78 rusty1 on 11.11.11 at 10:43 am

#74 @jasonandjoshturbo

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

We shouldn’t be exporting bitumen or iron ore or bauxite to anyone. We should be shipping gas and diesel, iron and steel and aluminum.

#79 jess on 11.11.11 at 10:47 am

broken chains and shells
unfit for intense military use well what about civilain?

The Senate committee’s investigative staff amassed a database with 1,800 cases of counterfeiting totaling about 1 million parts. It scrutinized 100 cases and found that 70 percent of the suspect parts were traced to Chinese firms, according to the memo.

“Nearly 20 percent of the remaining cases were tracked to the United Kingdom and Canada — known resale points for counterfeit electronic parts from China,” it said.


city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, as the primary source of counterfeit electronic parts,” Levin said.

Government auditors and industry officials said “criminal enterprises” inside China often strip electronic components off decades-old computer systems, then doctor them to resemble new parts. Those counterfeit items are then purchased by firms that supply such niche components to major defense contractors that work on U.S. military systems.

#80 Peakoilist on 11.11.11 at 10:48 am

#62 househornyhousewife
Also, if our economy will be deflating, wouldn’t that bring the cost of living down and not up ?
please see #75 Incubus for your answer. This has been Mr. G’s main mantra like forever now, but I don’t think he ever referred to as biflation..does that mean it’s sitting on the fence?

#81 bigrider on 11.11.11 at 10:49 am

#61 Garth to Bigrider on CMHC- “later”

Looking forward to hearing what your point of view is.

I’m sure you will offer backup that I can use with my ‘discussions’ with others.

#82 Ret on 11.11.11 at 10:57 am


CPP has reported assets of $152.3B as of Sept. 30, 2011.

The Ontario Teacher Pension Plan with approx. 100,000 pensioners (150,000 total members), has assets of $96.4B as of Jan. 1, 2011 and a $17.2B shortfall. They have reduced indexing exposure and raised contribution rates since 2009 for current contributors.

Looking at the numbers rather simplistically, it would appear that CPP has barely enough current assets to fund pensions for Brampton or maybe 2 quadrants of Calgary at most.

The real news is that CPP is grossly underfunded and that a billion dollar loss here or there really means nothing.

General tax revenues and CPP premiums will have to rise significantly to cover shortfalls. CPP benefits will have to be clawed back or reduced.

Oh well, time for lunch. A Greek salad and some crusty Italian bread perhaps? Yummy. Turn that frown upside down. Party on Canada!

#83 Linda on 11.11.11 at 10:59 am

Busy week, so I’m behind reading all the comments.

However, the difference between responses #173 by Disciple and #174 by Westerman (11.10.11) to Dorothy’s original post says it all, no?

Hmm…Disciple, been reading Gregg Braden much? Or, am I way off?

#84 Devil's Advocate on 11.11.11 at 11:09 am

Received this in my email today. Thought I’d share it.

Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high Gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — Merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labor. This Year will be different. This year Canadians will give the gift of genuine Concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift Giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadians hands. Yes There is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in A shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates From your local Canadian hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some Health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Canadian owned Detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a Book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the loonies on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift Receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or Driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift Certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about A half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this Isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Canadian with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or Motorcycle, done at a shop run by the Canadian working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a Local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is Struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin Their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery And beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave Your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at Your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese Lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about Fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to Burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Canadian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about Us, encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow Their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our Communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new Canadian Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion Groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in Your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, And TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, And isn’t that what Christmas is about?

BUY CANADIAN – BE CANADIAN – The job you save might be your own

#85 dodgedbullet on 11.11.11 at 11:22 am

You are judging returns over 90 days? This is investing, not caring for a Chia Pet. — Garth


scribbles down extra line to Santa.

No complaints squire. Just sharing.


#86 Herb on 11.11.11 at 11:24 am

#36 Victorian Tea Party,

don’t know where you studied your “history”, but here is something you shouldn’t forget either:

If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.

– Rudyard Kipling, Common Form

#87 JohnnyBravo on 11.11.11 at 11:33 am

#62 househornyhousewife on 11.11.11 at 8:07 am

One of the reason’s so many people don’t understand what’s going is because they are mentally stuck in the old economic paradigm in which the US economy was 50% of global GDP and the Western world used almost all of the world’s resources. This is no longer true. The US economy is now only about 18% of global GDP and the “developing” world is growing much, much faster than the West.

One reason for high unemployment is because low-skilled workers are becoming superfluous. Companies are finding ways of becoming more productive without proportionately increasing labour. Other reasons include: labour shifting to emerging markets; competition.

Prices for goods are going up even though the economy is stagnating for a couple of main reasons:
1) competition for global resources (Westerners now have to compete on price with Asians, South Americans and others);
2) monetary inflation. Governments are devaluing currencies to service debt obligations. This makes your money worth less against goods and services (i.e. higher prices).

Another theme is that we have collectively spent too much of our future wealth (i.e. assumed too much debt). When you take on too much debt you burden your future income with both the costs of today and tomorrow and you have interest on top of that. At some point, it becomes unsustainable. The West has reached that point.

Growth in the US probably peaked in the ’60s or ’70s. Since then the rate of economic growth has been slowing causing a gap between productivity and wages which was filled with debt rather than wealth. Again, we’ve reached the end of this game. The bill has come due. How do we pay for it? Write down debt or inflate it away? Probably both and both are going on at the same time.

People argue over deflation and inflation. But that is binary thinking. We are actually getting both at the same time. It has not manifested in Canada as much as it has in the US. We had our own government deficit/debt crisis in the ’90s, but we have not yet had the consumer debt crisis. What’s happening in Canada is kind of the reverse of what happened in the US and other countries. The only way out is MASSIVE real growth, but that’s not likely. Pay attention to energy prices. Energy is the fundamental input. If costs are relatively high or climb faster than incomes (like now) it means energy is dear, which puts the brakes on the economy, hampering growth and our ability to get out of debt gracefully.

#88 Timing is Everything on 11.11.11 at 11:36 am

#65 Marc L said – “Shall I put you down for 10$.”

Is it tax deductible as a charity donation?

#89 Devil's Advocate on 11.11.11 at 11:36 am

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain…

and most fools do.”

Dale Carnegie

#90 jess on 11.11.11 at 11:43 am

cost of money
interest, risk premiums, inflation adjustments , liar loans , where breaking the law and paying a fine is profitable. Too big and complex to regulate ? could it be why 14 states have bills pending to create public state owned banks .

#91 Tim on 11.11.11 at 11:45 am

Re#45 If inbred idiots like you left, BC would be a better place. For starters, you can’t even spell Nice correctly lol

#92 JohnnyBravo on 11.11.11 at 11:45 am

#84 Devil’s Advocate on 11.11.11 at 11:09 am

I thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of Christ and, you know, peace on Earth, good will toward others.

#93 Beach Girl on 11.11.11 at 11:47 am

Garth, I am only 54 years young. Worked forever, except for now, is my pension from the government going to be there?

Paid in at one of the top rates. Till I went self-employed. Still paid. I want my pension.

#94 Tim on 11.11.11 at 11:49 am

“Wrong. Preferreds have remained rock-solid in value and churn out dividends. Bonds have returned handsomely and negatively correlate to equities. Stop embarrassing yourself. — Garth”

You are about to be wrong. Several advisories have stopped recommending preferreds, due to the interest rates. As for bonds, how much lower can rates go? These same advisories are recommending that most people trim or minimize their bond holdings

Rubbish. Rates are quite stable at the moment in North America and preferreds will continue to hold their value while kicking out tax-efficient, fat dividends. You have no idea what you are talking about. — Garth

#95 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 11:52 am

Thanks kids,
Thats 30 dollars so far…it’s a start – keep going and I’ll give the P.O. box address whem we get to about 1200.
I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again… there is no better value for one’s entertainment dollar than an indignant Canadian.
On the subject of the Keystone pipeline: did anyone actually believe that was going to be built? Just more pie in the sky bull from politicians to keep the masses supplicated. You bozo’s fall for it every time.

#96 Linda Pearson on 11.11.11 at 11:52 am

#82Ret on 11.11.11 at 10:57 am
Ret, you might search out a recent report authored by Josh Rubin on the current state of CPP. What follows is just a smidgen from the article. It quotes former PM Paul Martin and, more significantly, the Chief Actuary of Canada, who says the plan is sound for the next several decades. Perhaps you are being an alarmist.

…besides, says the former prime minister, the proof is in the pudding. The pudding, in this case, being a report from the Chief Actuary of Canada projecting that the CPP Fund will have enough money to pay out pensions until at least 2086.
“It’s actuarially sound for the next 75 years, which is as far out as they go,” said Martin.
Still, warns MacKinnon, there are no guarantees.
“They don’t know what their rate of return (is that) they’re going to get on their investments, and they don’t know for sure what they’re going to have to pay out . . . You can never say with 100 per cent certainty that any pension plan is fully funded.”

#97 Q on 11.11.11 at 11:52 am

‘morning Garth, have a storey you may find interesting. Last Sunday, my wife and I went to look at a farm in Flamborough, which we have been watching for a while. The original asking price was $1.8 million. That was dropped to $1.4M, then $1.2M, then $1M and as of Sunday $970,000. By the time we arrived to see the place, the price was at $929,000 and offers were being encouraged. Tuesday evening, I received a call encouraging any offer in the $850,000 range. Think I’ll wait a few months and get the airmiles when I buy it with my mastercard…..

#98 Q on 11.11.11 at 11:53 am

ps – sorry for the typos…

#99 #84 DA on 11.11.11 at 11:53 am

Good post.. At Xmas I go to a local potter here in the Okanagan and buy all my Xmas gifts.. Nobody has told me they are sick of pottery yet so I will do the same this Xmas..The earth is being polluted with that ****ing Chinese garbage.. Buy it ,use it for a year or so then to the garbage can and then to the land fill.. Canada sells their precious resources to China,, China uses sweat shop labour to turn it into cheap garbage and sells it back to us which fills up our landfills..

#100 robert james on 11.11.11 at 11:54 am

oops ! LOL Good post #84 DA

#101 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.11.11 at 12:14 pm

#66 young & foolish on 11.11.11 at 8:50 am

CPP did not lose 1 billion $. This is only a paper loss.
With the markets up in this 4th quarter, so far, CPP could possibly be up, on paper, by as much as 3 to 4 billion $. Still a very small percentage of their holdings.

#102 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 12:15 pm

Beach Girl,
So you want your pension,huh? Well, there is a damm good chance you won’t get it.
It might help if you hold your breath till you turn blue and kick over a couple of garbage cans for effect.
Don’t forget the Canadian way… scream “it’s not FAIR!” at the top of your lungs for effect.

#103 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 12:16 pm

And you are probably the first one in line at your local Wal-Mart, aren’t you?

#104 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.11.11 at 12:20 pm

#74 jasonandjoshturbo on 11.11.11 at 9:35 am

You may add that China and other Asian countries will gladly purchase our oil.
The US sure knows how to screw themselves.

#105 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.11.11 at 12:26 pm

#78 rusty1 on 11.11.11 at 10:43 am

Easier said than done.
If we do not export some raw materials someone else will.
Reality isn’t always ideal.

#106 Ex-Cowtown on 11.11.11 at 12:37 pm

OttawaMike on 11.10.11 at 11:38 pm No worries about that Keystone pipeline. It is just as easy to load ships of crude to China from the BC shore.

Do you really believe that pipe or some version of it will not be built to the USA and China will be allowed the spoils

Good luck with that one. Build an oil pipeline acrosss the maniacial self-absorbed navel gazing tofu humping land of BPOE?

Never happen.

Well maybe it will. Just after they start drilling for the huge amounts of oil and gas that exist in the Queen Charlotte basin.

Never underestimate the power of special interest eco-groups with no interest in the truth. They mesh ever so nicely with politicians who are unwilling to take the risk to decipher truth from fiction.

#107 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.11.11 at 12:41 pm

#84 Devil’s Advocate on 11.11.11 at 11:09 am

Sounds nice but this is only shuffling money around.
This is local money that would probably be spent by the consumers anyway.
Not very productive.
Money should be spent on additional Canadian services not presently used or Canadian manufactured goods.
How about a TFSA account or a gift of Canadian equities. This would make people think outside the box.

#108 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.11.11 at 12:49 pm

#94 Tim on 11.11.11 at 11:49 am

Who are those so called “advisories”?
I’ve only ever made money after I got rid of my “advisories”. So much for that.

#109 Aussie Roy on 11.11.11 at 12:49 pm

Aussie Update

Back in August this year I highlighted one of my pet peeves, which is the utter contempt the media and real estate industry seem to have for basic ethics by using real estate industry participants in news stories as first home buyers without declaring their interest.

A HIGH-PROFILE New Zealand property developer who owes at least $100 million to Australian banks has been declared bankrupt by an Australian court five months after he was declared bankrupt across the Tasman

#110 robert james on 11.11.11 at 12:50 pm

#104 Canada is much better than the US at screwing ourselves.. I remember being in Ladysmith back in 1970 and seeing raw logs on ships being shipped to Asia.. I guess nobody ever thought about selling them 2×4 s.. If they didn`t want 2×4 s ,, just wait,,they will..

#111 syd on 11.11.11 at 12:50 pm

its boring when you give the example of u.s real estate market. if the two were similar we would have seen the bubble burst here. i do not think there is any bubble.

#112 jess on 11.11.11 at 12:51 pm

what about Spain?

The prosecution claims Urdangarin and his associate Diego Torres created a network of societies with which they diverted public and private funds received by Instituto Noos. (daily mail)
Experts said housing had become too expensive for most people to afford.
experts – someone who can see the result after the fact.


#113 Peakoilist on 11.11.11 at 12:53 pm

#102 Westernman

I can’t believe I agree with you today, but good luck to Beach Girl in collecting that pension. Let’s raise a toast to everyone that feels entitled to their entitlements. yeah!!

#114 Linda Pearson on 11.11.11 at 12:54 pm

#93 Beach Girl

google John Rubin CPP and follow up the article ‘Weathering the Storm’

Unless you plan to live longer than the next 75 years, you’re probably okay.

#115 Linda Pearson on 11.11.11 at 12:55 pm

Sorry, Beach Girl – that should be Josh Rubin

#116 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.11.11 at 12:58 pm

#99 #84 DA on 11.11.11 at 11:53 am

Some is garbage, some is good. The Chinese produce what they’re being told. Be it Walmart, Canadian Tire or IBM and Apple to name a few.
I have more money invested in my electronics than most people have in their investment accounts.
Most of it is manufactured in Asia, computers (4), iPads (3) and so on including my vehicles. They sure last many, many years in my case.
Buyers beware, I guess.

#117 Echo on 11.11.11 at 1:03 pm

For anyone not connecting the immediate visual dots to the job losses that have been going on for some time across Canada and will keep getting worse…. most of those people, regardless of sector, have mortgages, huge ones, extreme credit card debt, a car loan, and no savings. There’s no equity to use consolidation as a respite and relatives can’t lend a hand due to also living beyond their means and just getting by.

Welcome to the domino game of the early 90’s, times 10.

If you have a house and no other savings, sell.

If you’re in front line retail, go work for a trustee, a Sheriff’s office, or a bank’s recovery Dept if you like
having a paycheck that isn’t going to stop.

This is not going to be a “correction”, over the next 5-10 years this is going to be devastating and world wide news. It will expose the Cdn govt and the Cdn consumer for who they really are. The first- greedy and manipulative, the second- greedy and unbelievably

Set up 10 dominos on end close together, push the first one over, and watch what happens. Welcome to a mismanaged economy, brick thick, vulnerable consumers, and the day of reckoning.

Get rid if debt, get more frugal, and pull up a lawn chair either in the backyard, or on the balcony, of your rental. Peace of mind? FREE.

#118 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 1:24 pm

Exactly – this is not your father’s recesssion… this is a fundamental change in the nature of economies and our way of life.
Due to normalcy bias ( think frog in pot of water, slowly being brought to a boil ) most people won’t recognize it until they are neck deep in the financial quicksand.
I would add that anyone who has prepared themselves for the slow downhill slide coming… your biggest problem won’t be surviving and prospering but the chore of keeping the needy and willfully unprepared and ignorant off your doorstep.
At first it will be requesting…. then it will be DEMANDING…

#119 spaceman on 11.11.11 at 1:41 pm

“If the market is a pessimistic as you are, then your advice won’t work to well. Preferreds and Bonds have no where to go but down with rates as low as they are

Wrong. Preferreds have remained rock-solid in value and churn out dividends. Bonds have returned handsomely and negatively correlate to equities. Stop embarrassing yourself. — Garth”

This is the one thing people have to get, balancing a portfolio and keeping you bulk of equitys in Preffered/Dividend Stocks, preferrablly Canadian, but not 100%. A simple spreadsheet works great, I keep all my investments listed, and can easily see where my balance is. I have used a simple Dividend Fund as my equity investment, as I don’t have enough money to direct invest. I get my statements from the bank on the main account and have averaged 6% over the last 10 years or so, including the decline of the last 6 months. Remember a compound interest of 7% doubles your principal every 10 years. I have made some mistakes but even so, I am a) preserving capital b) seeing growth in retirement savings. Garth is a millionaire (I think) Listen to him… He’s given it away for free…

I’m even thinking of plagerizing his blog and writing my own get rich book… (ok I’ll give you a royalty…)

Its called, “Good Dad, Drunk Dad…” like it?

PS I don’t own a house, not yet…

#120 Devore on 11.11.11 at 1:41 pm

#70 Bottoms_Up

There is worry there will be a significant slowdown in energy consumption, but in my mind with oil at $100 those oil stocks are undervalued. I think proof that the market is inefficient?

Proof that companies are valued along more than one metric.

#121 jess on 11.11.11 at 1:47 pm

“In the usa money is created, not by the government, but by banks. Many authorities have confirmed this, including the Federal Reserve itself. The only money the government creates today are coins, which compose less than one ten-thousandth of the money supply. Federal Reserve Notes, or dollar bills, are issued by Federal Reserve banks, all 12 of which are owned by the private banks in their district. Most of our money comes into circulation as bank loans, and it comes with an interest charge attached.

“Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher who has studied this issue extensively, interest now composes 40 percent of the cost of everything we buy. We don’t see it on the sales slips, but interest is exacted at every stage of production. Suppliers need to take out loans to pay for labor and materials before they have a product to sell.

For government projects, Kennedy found that the average cost of interest is 50 percent. If the government owned the banks, it could keep the interest and get these projects at half price,That means governments – state and federal – could double the number of projects they could afford, without costing the taxpayers a single penny more than we are paying now.
July 2010 Number 458
JEL classification: G20, G28, G01

Shadow Banking

#122 David in Oakville on 11.11.11 at 1:53 pm

Hmmm… this realtor in Hamilton begs to differ. In fact, she thinks this place ( ) is “the best investment you could ever make”.

Even Hamilton has it’s share of overpriced nonsense and the realtors to match.

#123 Devore on 11.11.11 at 1:56 pm

#65 Marc L

Shall I put you down for 10$.

I’ll put you down for 10 bucks.

Is there a point to this thread, other than smugness and superiority?

#124 Living in AB on 11.11.11 at 1:58 pm

Regarding the comming correction. I strongly believe there is a correction coming, but, i belive it will not obliverate the price of homes but simply make them iliquid (if thats a word). I think Canadians simply will not walk away from homes but the impact will be severe on our ecnonomy. People will be stuck paying off their huge debt loads and home builders will go belly up. Comments??

#125 This is Wonderland on 11.11.11 at 2:01 pm

To all our young soldiers you have my heartfelt gratitude.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lest we forget we have a great and free country because of our Vets.

Say what you will complain and B… but no matter what happens to Realestate or our Economy because of them we can have this pathetic Blog and free speech; for that I am grateful.

#126 Suede on 11.11.11 at 2:03 pm

In the not so distant future, the House Hunters, Renovation and Flip This House tv shows will be replaced by shows documenting how lusty homeowners buried themselves in debt and how they plan to get out.

#127 Beach Girl on 11.11.11 at 2:20 pm

Thank you Linda Pearson, will check that out. I plan to check out in the next 20 years anyway. Anything over 70 is just down right ugly.

And Westernman, I don’t think you need mental help, so there. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, unless they are deleted. LOL.

#128 gtrz4peace on 11.11.11 at 2:45 pm

For the poster who said “Too bad about the pipeline,” NOT. Visit the Gulf of Mexico to see why the pipeline is a horrific idea because you cannot clean up the mess it will leave, or unpollute our fresh water aquifers.

For the Ron Paul folks, Paul has good ideas on the Fed and bad on everything else. Like destroying all social programs. If any of you Canadians really want to trade places and trade your healthcare for the US Pirate Plan of 100% For Profit Medicine where having asthma is considered “uninsurable”, I personally can find you lots and lots of takers.

Democratic Socialism is a nice form of regulated capitalism, and the best system in terms of being sustainable for the majority of society. The less inequity you have in a society, the more sustainable and productive a society you have overall. There are still plenty of rich people, they just don’t need to spend their riches on gated communities with electric fences and guard dogs to keep the masses out. Generally history bears out that the more inequality in a society, the less stable it becomes.

Here I see many people bashing the Europeans, but perhaps you should all read the journalistic work of Matt Taibbi, or best yet, the new book “Vultures Picnic” by award-winning journalist Greg Palast. This will give you a more balanced view of how a relatively small group of powerful financial criminals are able to bring down countries – when regulations that safeguard against such crimes are gone.

For all of you gleefully salivating at the thought of a collapsed society, my money says it’s not going to be as much fun as the brochure says.

#129 Stinky the Fish on 11.11.11 at 2:51 pm


You can expect the same economic consequences that happened in the United States to happen here during a housing correction. Last time I checked, the US housing-related employment is what really got killed. Our last month employment figures are because of loss of housing related employment mostly in BC. 52,000 without permanent jobs might sting a bit. Keep the good times rolling

Like it or not, this is a credit bubble – and most of that credit is mortgage debt.

How can you explain that the average individual in Canada owes 150$ for every 100$ they make? Please explain how this can logically go to infinity.

Like it or not, there will be a period of deleveraging happening in Canada and most of the world. The big limiting factor that debt cannot continue to be accumulated forever.

I just bought 20 cans of chunky soup. I’m going to sit back, eat my soup, and watch some fireworks explode. Real estate is the worst “investment” you can make at this point in time. And spread the word to your friend Harry Potter –

#130 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 2:57 pm

Beach Girl,
I may or may not need mental help but if I do I’ll have lots of company on the phyciatrist’s couch from what I’ve read on this blog…wink,wink,nudge,nudge.

#131 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 2:59 pm

Congratulations on taking my advice and focusing on real-world, practical utilitarian concerns as demonstrated by your last post…keep up the good work, you’re on the right track now.

#132 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 3:03 pm

Yes, there is a point to this thread with Marc L – it is a contest of wills and testosterone driven smart-assery. A guy thing, in other words. Also referred to in street lexicon as a ” pi$$ing contest ” Great fun, don’t you think?

#133 Harlee on 11.11.11 at 3:05 pm

This Is Wonderland -124.
One of my favourite poems. Elegant and moving in every way. Thank you for posting it today.

#134 pjwlk on 11.11.11 at 3:13 pm

#73 John “One suggestion/question: can you insert a search function on your blog so…”
Dude, all you need is Google! Enter your search terms then a space and “” (without the quotes) at the end. Google will then return everything that matches your query from this site only.

In my experience Google usually works better than most site driven search engines. You can even use phrases and exclude or include any of the terms you like. Check out their tips for searching page.

#135 live within your means on 11.11.11 at 3:14 pm

#73 John on 11.11.11 at 9:19 am
Hi Garth,
Keep up the blog and the good fight.
One suggestion/question: can you insert a search function on your blog so that new readers can find your past articles on said ETF, preferreds, bonds, etc.?

No. Read them all. There will be a test. — Garth


Read Garth’s response to my DH. He had a great laugh.

Friend in France that I correspond with (in English mostly) wondered whether I had a pancake recipe so I sent her a link to one. It called for baking powder. I gave her the French Canadian translation. DH said it’s a different name in France – levure and then called it baker’s Viagra.

#136 Devil's Advocate on 11.11.11 at 3:21 pm

#103Westernman on 11.11.11 at 12:16 pm
And you are probably the first one in line at your local Wal-Mart, aren’t you?

Yes Westernman… if you try hard enough you can find me somewhere on the pages of this site too;

#137 disciple on 11.11.11 at 3:23 pm

#121 jess… exactly. I have no problem with creating money out of thin air, every one of us does it everyday just by breathing.

It’s the interest that is the root of all evil-pound of flesh-monkey on our back-ball and chain-thorn in foot-water boarding torture-dropped my keys in the gutter-people who sit in the passing lane-… type of annoying blackmail extortionist fraud that I have the problem with…

#138 Beach Girl on 11.11.11 at 3:24 pm

#130 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 2:57 pm

Beach Girl,
I may or may not need mental help but if I do I’ll have lots of company on the phyciatrist’s couch from what I’ve read on this blog…wink,wink,nudge,nudge.


Is this covered by OHIP, then it is game on.

#139 Bill Gable on 11.11.11 at 3:24 pm

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.


#140 triplenet on 11.11.11 at 3:30 pm


HST may be applicable to resale homes.
Do your research.

#141 jess on 11.11.11 at 3:41 pm

outside the box idea MMT
It is possible to have truly full employment without causing inflation?

banks as a utility

#142 robert james on 11.11.11 at 3:51 pm

Now this is cool..

#143 OttawaMike on 11.11.11 at 3:56 pm

#106 Ex-Cowtown on 11.11.11 at 12:37 pm
Here is the proposal from Enbridge but yeah I would say you are on to something. The EA for that pipe will be brutal.

The US govt actually funded a pipe from Ft St. John BC to the Alaska coast during WW2. It was 4″ diameter and although completed never moved a drop of oil.They chose canyon routes to run it and ran into major glitches with the technology then.

#144 OttawaMike on 11.11.11 at 4:01 pm

#93 Beach Girl on 11.11.11 at 11:47 am
Garth, I am only 54 years young. Worked forever, except for now, is my pension from the government going to be there?

Never mind those pictures I requested Beach Girl. Sorry not want, too old.

But you can count on those pensions. The govt. gave its word. hee.hee..hee

#145 monte in van on 11.11.11 at 4:02 pm

so an old tear-down house in our van, westside neighbourhood went up on the market about a year ago for 1.08M. (people always have a list price with an 8 in it – good luch for the HAMs) Took about 2 months but eventually sold for around asking. 3 month later, the RE market heated up again and an equally old and ugly house right across the street, listed for 1.08M sold for 1.6 in a bidding war. It was the news all over the neighourhood. The initial house that sold for 1.08 was quickly relisted with the same RE agent that had just sold the 1.6M across the street. That house then sold for about 1.4, so someone made a 300k profit in a short time. Both houses were torn down around the same time. The 1.4M house is now a brand new thing that just listed yesterday for $2.6M. To my knowledge, no house in this ‘hood has ever sold for that much. The market is very flat right now and I somehow have my fingers crossed that this flashy new house sits for a long time. (I’m a renter.)

#146 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 4:06 pm

Bill Gable,
Those five points should be required reading… especially by people who believe that government “creates” wealth.

#147 OttawaMike on 11.11.11 at 4:07 pm

I am so sure that a version of the Keystone will be built, I would be willing to wager on it.

After the next US election is over the political charades will end and it will be built. Those SUV’s down there don’t run on love and foreign oil just leaves everybody too vulnerable.

Were we just not talking about the invasion or bombing of Iran on here?
What will that do to the price of Brent crude?

#148 Stevenson on 11.11.11 at 4:07 pm

Choose what you believe instead of following your sense of vision is a problem. Blind leading the blind. Many say speculators who buy RE are idiots, but what about the speculators that are following the othernway? Well so far the buyers are ahead if you bought since the beginning of the warnings. Do you all believe bigfoot too? Or how about conspiracy theories?

#149 ron on 11.11.11 at 4:25 pm

ron paul bombed?!!?

i think more like rick perry bombed!

hehe like you said, brain fart…hehe.

#150 Devore on 11.11.11 at 4:27 pm

#140 triplenet

HST may be applicable to resale homes.


Do your research.

Post one link proving your contrary assertion.

#151 The Original Dave on 11.11.11 at 4:30 pm


#214 Italian Crybabies

Oh no, peer pressure!

Thanks for the insult Devore. My parents are choosing to hold property worth over 8 figures here at the peak. They bought many moons ago. I assume you wish you had that problem?

#152 WI BOOMER on 11.11.11 at 4:33 pm

Sounds like Reality with Realty has arrived in Canada.

Sorry, you didn’t read the poisoned Tea Leaves from the United Snakes. but that is your tough Sh*t, I guess.

I think it wiull take another 5 years here to grow out of the dam Bailout Inspired Debts we have accumulated trying to save our worthless Banks. Don’t worry you bought some of those Turkey’s like Wisconsin’s M&I.
5 Years if we are lucky, and don’t get an idiot for President next year, and we have a full crop running.

So, when your version of our Fannie & Freddie Mac go belly-up WHO is going to be on the hook? I believe it will be the Canadian Tax Payers. Neat!! We have about 45% of the US population that ends up paying no Federal Taxes. I really wish I knew how that worked, it doesn’t in my case.

Does Canada have anywhere near that percentage of non-Federal contributors? I do not now.

Garth’s advice to be diversified is quite correct. We’re talking about investmenrs here not debt.
Diversification does not mean a real estate loan, a car loan, a student loan, and credit card debt.

Good Luck trying to balance that budget, see how well our ” Super Committee” is progressing on cutting the US Budget Deficit. Stand By the Downgrade in rating of US Debt can not be far off…unless their is a Greater Fool

Depressions can be such GREAT FUN!!!

#153 disciple on 11.11.11 at 4:36 pm

#139 Bill Gable… none of that is true. The faulty premise is the assumed myth of scarcity. Wealth is limitless, and has no bounds. There will and always must be… a buyer. The problem occurs when we are forced to “buy” money as a commodity. Ludicrous in theory, and in practice, for money is a utility medium of exchange, and not a store of wealth.

#154 AG Sage on 11.11.11 at 4:40 pm

>1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

Free education for all to produce qualified workers and informed citizenry for a healthy democracy. Essential foodstuffs for all children so they can actually succeed at getting educated and become productive adults. Those things are useless to promoting the prosperity of a nation? Really?

Not to mention vaccines and safe drinking water and all the other things private industry has zero economic incentive to provide that prevent economically crippling mass disease that would sicken and kill even the wealthy, about every 7-10 years, if history serves as a model.

#155 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 4:53 pm

Sorry, you are wrong AGAIN. It is precisely true. You are correct on one point-wealth is limitless. What you can’t get through your thick skull is that is must first be CREATED by productive people doing or inventing productive things. It CANNOT be conjured out of thin air by a bureacrat in cubicle somewhere.
So put down the bongpipe,turn off the Tibetan chanting music and try very hard to think logically for a brief period of time. You can do it if you try…

#156 Timing is Everything on 11.11.11 at 4:54 pm

#118 Westernman

We’re fairly self-sufficient on our small acreage now. All the basics for a fairly long off-grid experience. [water well, gen-set, 4×4, propane, wood heat, irrigation for veg garden, septic system, camper trailer (Back up accommodation) modest-sized house, plus other ‘essentials’] 250 amp electrical service is our only grid hookup.
We’ve ‘invested’ in that infrastructure at our bunker. (Skatch farming background—> ‘insert joke here’)
Even here in C. Saanich, Victoria, we’ve been without power many times during wind or snow storms. (3-4 days a couple times.) We are in an earthquake zone too, after all. We are more ‘prepared’ than most, but there is always room for improvement. The ‘preparedness’ of our bunker evolved over the last 10 years. After waiting a few days for BC Hydro to hook-up power, yet again (No water with out power here) we got the gen-set installed. It’s really a necessity for us. One thing lead to the next.

We’re not ready for TEOTWAWKI by a long shot, but can sustain a 30 day ‘situation’ if needed.

BTW, you sound much better today. All winky and nudgey. I don’t really think you need ECT.

#157 Devore on 11.11.11 at 5:10 pm

#151 The Original Dave

Oh come on, that was funny. You and bigrider should start a club for Italians (with honorary membership for Chinese) whose families taunt them mercilessly with their lifetime of real estate success. Of course, buying low selling high helps.

And not an insult, read again what you wrote, just pointing out the truth.

#158 brainsail on 11.11.11 at 5:15 pm

I couldn’t resist this one…

“Edmonton real estate market weekly update, Nov. 11/11”

“Homes 4-week running average: $265k ($372k, $376k, $379k)”
“Condos 4-week running average: $231k ($217k, $219k, $213k)”

“Interesting the average price of single family homes took a pretty big hit this week, while condos rebounded. I’ll have a look into it and see what I find next week. In the meantime, happy Remembrance Day, and have a great weekend.”

Real estate agents are professionals? I hope there are no suicides in the meanwhile.

#159 Sue on 11.11.11 at 5:27 pm

My Dad is an annoying stock market timer and is constantly telling to sell! buy this now! we’re gonna crash! I have told him that I’m balanced and I don’t want to hear any more Elliiot Wave Theory instructions… a little tense over dinner esp when I ask him how he’s doing…lost a bundle on the USD and now he’s shorting something and waiting for his ship to come in…sigh.
I’m a happy, renting, diversified chick. Thanks to Garth.

#160 Jay Currie on 11.11.11 at 5:35 pm

Building Keystone may make sense – certainly the environmental CO2 scare arguments have little merit – but I think we might ask why we want the US to have the economic activity associated with refining our oil?

Meanwhile, in Victoria, the melt continues. Houses just sit on the market. Sales occur when motivated sellers are willing to knock 25% off the asking. There is a condo glut. The high end has become a renter’s paradise.

I was out raking leaves last weekend when a very nice real estate agent asked if she could put an open house sign on my corner. Sure.

“I’ve never seen so many homes for sale in the Uplands. (the nicest neighbourhood in Victoria)” she said.

“Well, I replied, to afford to live in the Uplands you have to be smart with money and the smart money is not buying, it’s selling.”

#161 Gord In Vancouver on 11.11.11 at 5:39 pm

2010 Olympics Euphoria Returns to Vancouver?

Are interest rates about to drop?

#162 jess on 11.11.11 at 5:57 pm


Cutting the funiculus umbilicalis of ODIOUS debt created by corruption or tax tricks of multinationals are the real world .

Whether one lives in Jefferson County where a string of elected officials, public employees and business people were convicted of rigging the transactions or Liberian women who risk life not a risk premuim.

I disagree with the thinking of Murray Newton Rothbard or ideas in this book

MMT Theory has it merit but faults as well

#163 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 6:13 pm

AG Sage,
You suffer from liberal myopia…let me help.
The poor are (in general) poor because of the way they think and their self-destructive lifestyles.
The rich are rich (in general) because they have discipline, clear goals, resourcefullness, and a unwavering commitment to become wealthy.
This is why the world you see all around you is the way it is. Not because yet ANOTHER tax needs to be slung upon the producing members of society. The next time you need your roof fixed,plumbing repaired or your house wired trying calling your local bum and see how that works out.

#164 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 6:19 pm

Timing is Everything,
Congratulations! Sounds like you could sustain quite a bit more than a 30 day “situation” Well done…

#165 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 11.11.11 at 6:22 pm

#86 Herb

A timely truth behind empirical wars are Kipling’s wrods indeed, Herb.

And here are a few more. Rudyard Kipling was one of many Victorian-era writers and poets who became eventually critical of the British empire’s aims and ambitions.

Common Form is such a work.

Another great Kipling poem is Recessional, to which I transcribe these few lines all of which, including your’s, are entirely appropriate on this day 11/11/11, especially as we remember the Great War, an imperial death-binge if ever there was one.

(A Victorian Ode)
God of our fathers, known of old —
Lord of our far-flung battle line —
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine —
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget — lest we forget!

…Far-called our navies melt away —
On dune and headland sinks the fire —
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget — lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe —
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law —
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget — lest we forget!

…For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!


On another issue, Italy this day; its senate has approved new austerity measures which, according to crazy investors everywhere was excellent news! Why? Because now everything is OK in Europe! Right.

Anyway, “investors” drove markets way to the upside, under the tremulous assumption that all Italians will take to these cost-cutting measures like ducks to water.

Some duck, some pond! Ducky indeed. Bound by bonds of unknown value, Europe continues to stumble ever onward and downward, today’s exhibition of investor hubris included.

#166 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 6:32 pm

You sure do have a hangup over “Liberian women” lol

#167 NorthOf49 on 11.11.11 at 6:39 pm

#122 David in Oakville

Nice find, that ‘s laughable. This house is in the Longwood Westdale area of Hamilton near McMaster U. A mixed area of middle class and student housing. Nothing in this area should be selling for more than $300-350K. This will be fun to watch, no one in their right mind would pay asking for it. My bet says it sits all winter.

Here’s an overpriced flip just like it a few minutes south.
First listed in June 2011 for $524K, reduced to $499K a few weeks later. Off the market and sitting empty since September.

You really have to know what you’re doing to property flip in Hamilton or you could lose your shirt.

#168 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 6:54 pm

On the subject of the European “situation” I can’t help wondering what Germany expected to get out of getting tangled up with a bunch of Mediterranean bums like Greece,Italy and Spain. I thought the Germans were more clever than that. I guess that one could be filed under the “seemed like a good idea at the time ” catagory.

#169 Victoria on 11.11.11 at 6:55 pm

Off topic but I had to get this off my chest ….

Okay my rant. Drove by a mall full Full full – apparently downtown is also buzzing with shoppers. North Americans can’t even take a day off from their favorite past-time “Shopping” even for Remembrance Day? Canadians have the highest personal debt than any OECD country and 65% (if not more) don’t have any money for retirement and they can’t take one day off from shopping for cheap Chinese crap to add to their homes which are already full of stuff. It is Remembrance Day. What is wrong with this country? Why are malls open in the first place? Priorities are so screwed up. Something is very very wrong.

#170 live within your means on 11.11.11 at 6:59 pm

Beautiful photo at the end Garth.

This is totally OT but such a wonderful video. Meant to post it days ago.

When my sis and I painted we’d listen to Demis Rousous on an old 8 track. Turn on your speakers.

A must to see – dolphin & dog

#171 triplenet on 11.11.11 at 7:04 pm

#150 Devore

You can start by reading the HST/GST legislation.
Then review related stated cases and CCRA faqs.

#172 Q on 11.11.11 at 7:07 pm

#139 Bill Gable

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Isn’t that a description of what happens when we all give up and become civil servants and politicians?

Good points, Trudeau should have read them….

#173 Echo on 11.11.11 at 7:17 pm

#118 / 163 Westernman:

You said “anyone who has prepared themselves for the slow downhill slide coming, your biggest problem won’t be surviving and prospering but the chore of keeping the needy and willfully unprepared and ignorant off your doorstep.”

I think that you are assuming that the needy and willfully unprepared will be the poor. Oh, you are so misguided if that is your angle of thought. Many whom you consider not to be “poor” are about to lose everything. Money doesn’t beget intelligence, it never has. Lots of “wealthy” people have no idea how to prepare for what’s coming. I was the sweeper in the early 90’s.

As for the “poor are poor” and the “rich are rich”, you read too many “investment guru” books it seems. They never discuss child abuse or being born into money. Go figure. They make their money from the middle of the herd, most of which they misguide and ripoff. Hey, but they’re “rich”!

I’ve known many truly wealthy people and they would never make the types of comments you are.

…and spare me the “general” save, it doesn’t count.

Who is this guy? I have to come by more I guess!

#174 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 7:35 pm

I have never had a rich person come to my door with their hand out for a freebie – never. You sound like you are envious of the rich-why else would you try to degrade them?
Believe me, the truly rich will glide through the upcoming financial turmoil like they were on roller bearings. Thats what being rich allows you to do – effortlessly glide over lifes problems… and as for the herd – what always happens to herd animals? Thats right – follow the herd and see where it gets you… a good shearing or worse.
And as for who am I? Well lets just say I’m a guy who understands human nature and isn’t afraid to speak the truth…even though speaking truth has become a revolutionary act in itself in Canada these days.

#175 live within your means on 11.11.11 at 7:36 pm

OOPs should have included the following cartoon in my last post.

#176 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 7:44 pm


#177 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 7:57 pm

#137 disciple on 11.11.11 at 3:23 pm
If there was no interest, then there would be limited or no lending. With no lending, yes houses and cars would be much cheaper, but there would be less innovation, and our standard of living would probably not be recognizeable (people would have to pay cash for everything).

And if we did live in a society that paid cash (savings) for everything, I bet there would be an underground black market for lending with interest. It’s in our DNA.

#178 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.11.11 at 8:05 pm

Navel-gazing and contemplating surfing that 90-foot wave in Portugal this morning.

The clip shows the rider just in front of the huge wave. If he had lost his balance and fallen, the wave would have crushed him, and is why the wave reminded me of the mess in the west, as it will just peter out into a tiddly little nothingness.
Thought For The Day! (

“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”- emeritus professor Daniel Botkin. Well, 9-11 worked well, and now Fukushima. The only way govts. can bring in police states, martial law, etc. is through fear. Once people start reading between the lines and realize they’ve been duped for a decade or more, they will ignore TPTB.
Gadaafi Just as Sadaam was on the verge of breaking free from the petro-dollar, so Gadaafi’s gold-backed money would have also killed the US$; Obummer Has to make himself look good, berate other people to give himself a fighting chance at the election; Rethink If banxters start wars, this day should have a new title; 30% and rising Unemployment in young vets.; 6:31 clip Eddie Hobbs on the euro collapse; Misconceptions Bernanke is a misconception; Expensive Meal Food costs up 20%; California Good for California. They and Texas may be the two apples that start the ball rolling via secession.

5:39 clip The EU, via Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece may go down anyway, taking the UK and NAmerica with it; US Bancorp sued by pension fund; Economies suck, pets are the first to go; HSBC sheds several hundred bank jobs.
Pentagon Can’t forget a new cold war against China. All the more reason for China to cash in its IOU’s; Radiation in Europe? The UN has said don’t worry, be happy but the UN spews trash out; 14:57 clip The truth about Libya; 5:23 clip Obomba’s agenda to destroy freedoms and civil liberties.

Disinformation “To understand who is lying you into war with Iran, study who lied you into war with Iraq. Iran is not the problem. Since becoming an Islamic Republic in 1979 Iran has not tried to conquer anyone. The same cannot be said for Israel and the US!”; 2:56 clip War is highly profitable. Just ask the UK, who are now rebuilding and re-arming Libya; Big Fraud IAEA report on Iran’s non-existent WMD; Fracking There is a definite link between fracking and ‘quakes.

#179 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 8:06 pm

#128 gtrz4peace on 11.11.11 at 2:45 pm
You didn’t really just compare a pipe (that may leak a few hundred gallons of oil onto land, can be easily contained and the site cleaned, and where the flow can be quickly shut-off) with a 2 kilometre-underwater well spewing crude into ocean currents for months?


#180 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 8:08 pm

#124 Living in AB on 11.11.11 at 1:58 pm
Well word on the street is that prime is going down 0.75%, which should effectively keep the housing bubble humming along nicely and consumers borrowing…

The word is wrong. — Garth

#181 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 8:13 pm

#122 David in Oakville on 11.11.11 at 1:53 pm
lol, that place is walking distance to nowhere.

But, for a potential $7,500 payday (yes, believe it or not each agent actually only gets 25% of the commission) I’d say anything too.

#182 Marc L on 11.11.11 at 8:18 pm

#123 Devore on 11.11.11 at 1:56 pm

#65 Marc L

Shall I put you down for 10$.

I’ll put you down for 10 bucks.

Is there a point to this thread, other than smugness and superiority?

Once you get to know Westernman, you’ll understand.

That’s why people are pledging, including Garth.

Ironically, Westernman is the one with a superiority complex and smugness.

We are up to 20$. Plus a couple of others with worthy recommendations.

#183 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 8:20 pm

#104 eaglebay – Parksville on 11.11.11 at 12:20 pm
Especially given the difference in price between Brent (European) and WTI (North American) oil prices. $20-30/barrel savings adds up quick!

#184 Kris D. on 11.11.11 at 8:21 pm

Article on HAM from a generally well-informed British newspaper.

#185 TurnerNation on 11.11.11 at 8:23 pm

Map of downtown Toronto condo developments.

You can double the number of dots, as just as many buildings were completed within the past 1-2 years!

#186 jess on 11.11.11 at 8:24 pm

the government can produce wealth by protecting health

Senate defeats Rand Paul’s resolution to kill EPA cross-state rules

Read more:
health groups cheered Thursday’s vote.

“This vote is a clear rejection of efforts to block commonsense clean air health protections,” Paul Billings, vice president of national policy and advocacy for the American Lung Association said in a statement. “With six Republican Senators and 50 of their Democratic colleagues voting against this outrageous attack on public health, we are encouraged to see a growing number of legislators on both sides of the aisle recognizing the importance of putting clean air ahead of corporate interests.”

EPA Finds Compound Used in Fracking in Wyoming Aquifer
by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, Yesterday, 1:10 p.m.
After years of complaints from residents about foul water and health concerns, government investigators have found chemical compounds consistent with those used in natural gas fracking

EPA has been careful to consider all possible causes of the contamination and to distance its inquiry from the controversy around hydraulic fracturing.

produced from drilling processes, a solvent called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) — The agency said it had not found contaminants such as nitrates and fertilizers that would have signaled that agricultural activities were to blame.

benzene at 50 times the level that is considered safe for people, as well as phenols — another dangerous human carcinogen — acetone, toluene, naphthalene and traces of diesel fuel.

The EPA said the water samples were saturated with methane gas that matched the deep layers of natural gas being drilled for energy. The gas did not match the shallower methane that the gas industry says is naturally occurring in water, a signal that the contamination was related to drilling and was less likely to have come from drilling waste spilled above ground.

#187 Devore on 11.11.11 at 8:31 pm

#171 triplenet

That’s what’s wrong with kids these days. They would rather go back and forth insulting others’ intelligence than provide a single actual piece of information.

Read the HST/GST legislation and cases? Yes, let me get right to it.

I only get so many vacation weeks in a year, would rather spend them on something else.

Informational site from our beloved government, authors of the HST: no HST on resale house.

#188 Peakoilist on 11.11.11 at 8:49 pm

#134 pjwlk
thanks, I tried that and by golly , it works like a charm .
I typed in “deflation” and up popped all of G’s former posts about deflation. cool.

#189 wtf????? on 11.11.11 at 8:52 pm


#190 martin on 11.11.11 at 9:11 pm

best post so far!!!

#191 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 9:20 pm

Marc L,
In response to your compliment about me being smug and having a superiority complex we used to have a saying in the old days that applies… “it ain’t bragging if you can do it”

#192 Peakoilist on 11.11.11 at 9:21 pm

Hey Westernman, this one’s for you. You’ve been a busy boy today.
just havin’ fun !

#193 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 9:21 pm

Why deleted? Not allowed to mention Trudeau or Deifenbaker on this blog? WTF?

Keep it in your pants. — Garth

#194 Echo on 11.11.11 at 9:37 pm

#174 Westernman:

I certainly never degraded the wealthy. Nice try. In fact, I spend a lot of time in here trying to get people to do exactly as Garth says, i.e. “A” game investing strategies, so they can become independently “rich”, “wealthy”, “well off”, etc. I teach this constantly and have been immersed for years. I therefore know and understand all about intelligent investors not feeling much of a pinch in the coming years.

The issue is you demonstrating how small your mind is,
essentially how ignorant you are, by thinking that the “herd” are all “poor”. In fact, most of the “poor” have nothing to lose, except for ever increasing inflation affecting their tables. Perhaps, if you are noble enough to stop stereotyping their causes and circumstances, you could donate to a food bank, and not just at Christmas. I’m guessing by your attitude and level if ignorance that you’re one of those people who would bark “Get a job!” to a homeless kid.

Keep it real, and keep it separate.

As for the lower income masses, yes, it’s an issue but there are many good people among them as well as aholes, just as in ANY class level. Just take care of your
own crap and stop being an ahole yourself.

Your soapbox has a crack in it.

#195 ottawa pete on 11.11.11 at 9:49 pm

“Dollar Libor Rises to Highest Since July 2010; TED Spread Widens”

Does the LIBOR rate really affect mortgage market in Canada/U.S.?

No. — Garth

#196 Westernman on 11.11.11 at 10:09 pm

Well Kids,
It’s been great fun but it’s past my bedtime so I’ll bid you farewell and adieu for the evening. I know, I know, you’ll miss me but I’ll be back to try and enlighten you on the facts of life another time.

#197 MM on 11.11.11 at 10:30 pm

“You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!”

Clever play on words but wtf does it mean?

“[wealth] must first be CREATED by productive people doing or inventing productive things.”

By this logic, if you only speculate in those productive things, there is no wealth being added, it is simply being moved from someone (productive people) to someone else (?? people)

We all benefit from a stable, safe, and prosperous society. But guess what, it doesn’t come for free.

#198 René Kabis on 11.11.11 at 10:41 pm

#184 Devore – Yup, stands right there in black and white under the fifth question: “substantially renovated homes”. So yes, HST can in fact apply to a previously owned and lived-in home, provided that the home was substantially renovated prior to sale.

I mean, that’s also the really big rub – how do you gauge what constitutes “substantially renovated” if it isn’t clearly spelled out? But still, the proof is in the pudding. And it pays to do your research, least you be hoisted on your own petard (as well as the very link you posted!!).

#199 René Kabis on 11.11.11 at 10:43 pm

Whoops, Garth – please modify my last comment. I meant to say #187 instead of #184 for Devore’s comments.

#200 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 10:52 pm

#82 Ret on 11.11.11 at 10:57 am
Isn’t CPP a pittance compared to the teachers’ pension?

Teachers can max out at around 70% of top pay (which puts the pension payments at $50-60,000/yr) whereas CPP tops out around $10,000/yr? And then, those that receive good pensions, such as the teachers’ pension, get their CPP clawed back? So, CPP in fact isn’t underfunded when these other factors are considered?

#201 The thing in the basement on 11.11.11 at 11:19 pm

Beach girl – for you and others enquiring abot the CPP

Despite the doomer sounding title, it is a brief summary of how the reserve fund is growing, with predictions of
hitting $600B by 2030 and $1T by 2050. Keep in mind contribtions rates are still rising and will max out about 9.9%. That’s an ouwee for those of us who are self-employed.

OK so that’s the good news. The bad news is the CPP has no silver bullet to guarantee these returns. They buy
investments like every other pension or institutional

#202 disciple on 11.11.11 at 11:49 pm

#177 Bottoms up… nope. Obviously, you have never heard of IRAN, or the entire Islamic world, which was directly responsible for modern Western civilization, and does not entertain the notion of interest.
And please don’t confuse Islam with Arabs in any potential response to me, you would embarrass yourself even further…

“lending” – not necessary in the least. No need for individual retail debt. One shouldn’t need to “borrow” to buy any asset, including a house. Borrowing should be done by corporations alone, again, no interest is necessary.

Greenbacks: the main reason for 11-22-63. The act of printing money should not entail debt to private banking families. Central banking, like universal healthcare, should be a public utility, free of interest, for the benefit of all, not a trickle-down mode of debt indentured servitude.

For a PhD, you are starting to disappoint me. Oh wait, too late.

#203 Herb on 11.12.11 at 12:18 am

#189 Rene Kabis,

“substantial renovation” is defined in subsection 123(1) of the Excise Tax Act as follows:

“substantial renovation” of a residential complex means the renovation or alteration of a building to such an extent that all or substantially all of the building that existed immediately before the renovation or alteration was begun, other than the foundation, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof and staircases, has been removed or replaced where, after completion of the renovation or alteration, the building is, or forms part of, a residential complex;

#204 Devore on 11.12.11 at 12:58 am

#198 René Kabis

Hoisted by my own petard? Hardly.

Like you ask, what is “substantially renovated”? Who is to determine this and how? If “substantially renovated” means “gutted and refinished”, then it’s practically a new house (this is often done in places where it may be very expensive to tear down and build a new house, like in Victoria), and all you have to do is live in it for some time, and voila, it’s previously owned again. Then again, who is to say when renovations were done anyways (as if the CRA will be pulling city permits, assuming there even were permits).

#205 Tony on 11.12.11 at 12:59 am

#8 Sean on 11.10.11 at 10:38 pm

Wait for the baltic dry index to turn upward. Unlike America they can’t lie.

#206 Nemesis on 11.12.11 at 10:13 pm

Thanks for the concluding illustration, GT…

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”