Careful what you wish for


When I first met him, he was living in an uninspiring cubicle with a corridor view near the photocopier station on a middling floor of the Royal Bank building in downtown Toronto. Today Derek Holt is a vice-president over at Scotiabank, an emerging media darling in the flower of his career as a big-time economist. He also has some sobering news. Not that the masses will see it.

Yesterday we talked on this blog about the poor people at Best Buy, Future Shop and Sears now worried about their mortgages after having been laid off thanks to slagging sales. Those sales are down because incomes have swamped at the same time real estate debt’s washed over family finances. It’s called a vicious cycle. When house prices stop going up, everything looks different.

It’s worth noting the slump in house sales across the nation, the squishyness of prices and all this babble about a crash has happened when you can still get a mortgage for less than 3%. That’s about equal to the inflation rate in most cities, which means money is as close to free as it will ever get.

Not only does this make accelerating mortgage payments a bad idea, but it shows we’ve reached such a point of real estate saturation that interest rates don’t actually matter. In other words, leaving rates at the crazy-cheap levels of the past four years is unlikely to get many new people buying Montreal condos or bungs in Red Deer.

holt So back to Derek, the soft-spoken, 905ish, hairless oracle of Bay. He’s just scored more attention with a heavily revised forecast for interest rates and the Bank of Canada. The latest: no hike this year. No hike next year. The central bank’s key rate at the end of 2014 will be exactly what it is now – 1%.

This, of course, is not good news. It’s why you can’t buy a 60-inch TV at a Best Buy store in Victoria this weekend, and why all those kids who bought downtown Toronto condos last year can’t sell them without a loss. Sustained low rates mean the economy continues to teeter on the knife edge of inflation and deflation – something Ottawa thought was impossible just a year ago.

The reasons Holt cites are stark. Our weak economy cannot withstand the higher dollar a rate hike would bring. This could, “prompt sharp currency appreciation which we do not believe the economy could handle without encountering further downside risks to both growth and inflation via imported pass-through effects of a stronger Canadian dollar.” In other words, fewer jobs and higher prices.

Second, there is “sharply cooling credit growth and housing markets.” F’s virgin-sacrificing rule changes have already whacked real estate, Holt says. Hiking rates now could be fatal. Third, idle factories – which economists call “spare capacity.” Says the economist: “We see spare capacity persisting into 2015 at a minimum and therefore do not anticipate that the BoC’s malleable 1-3% inflation target band within a flexible framework will be significantly challenged.”

Finally, a special caution for all the cocksure cowboys in Calgary – an “unwelcome weakness in the crude oil-producing sector with an emphasis on heavy oil.” It’s the same message the Alberta preem had days ago when she warned of falling government revenues and the potential for retrenchment. A rate hike boosting business costs when the oil sands’ future is clouding is the last thing Alberta needs.

What does all this mean? Slow growth, more layoffs, less investment and downward pressure on house prices – almost the mirror image of what’s expected in the US. Things will limp along here, Holt suggests, for the next two years. Maybe then, 2015, something like normal will return.

This is more dire than I’d expected. It’ll be interesting in the coming weeks to see if other mainstream economists come to the same conclusion. Certainly recent events suggest all those debt chickens are screaming home to roost, as people curb their spending and stop shopping for trophy houses. Rising interest rates are a sign of growth, activity and expansion. Mired rates mean the opposite. Just ask Japan.

By the way, here’s fresh evidence. From Victoria, where everyone thinks it’s different. Like Toronto.

Compared with January of 2012, last month sales of single-family homes tanked 19.8%. Total sales fell by 20.9%. And the median price of a SFH dropped 7%. Yes, and during all this time you could get a mortgage for less than 3%.

But try getting a job.



#1 Randy on 02.01.13 at 9:47 pm

Will my pile of cash ever be worth anything again ????

#2 Proud Musty Basement Dweller (WestCoast) on 02.01.13 at 9:54 pm

Thanks for the graph on Victoria prices Garth. I was just looking at it when your post came up. I loved how the Victoria Real Estate Agent Cartel chose to describe the prices: This is a quote from their opening paragraph.

“Sales Down but Prices Hold in Greater Victoria Real Estate Market

February 1, 2013

“VICTORIA BC – A slow start to the year in Victoria’s real estate market is evidence that buyers are continuing to wait for prices to drop. Although January 2013 sales are 21% lower than January 2012, the six-month average price for a Greater Victoria home is only down 1% for the same period.”

The spin doctoring from the Cartel in Victoria is priceless. Average prices are 50k lower than ANY month in the last two years.

#3 bobby on 02.01.13 at 9:56 pm

you can get a 2 year for 2.4% looks like rates are staying low for a long time.

#4 DJ on 02.01.13 at 9:57 pm

So, Canada on the way down, the U.S. on the way up.
Where does that leave the Euro-zone? Too soon to jump back in the water?

#5 DaleFromCalgary on 02.01.13 at 10:01 pm

In today’s Calgary Metro newspaper (Feb 1), the giant University City condo towers project continued its two-month series of full-page ads offering discounts in the tens of thousands of dollars off it units. The people who lined up overnight six months ago must be feeling angry and/or sick to see others paying so much less.

#6 Realistic realtor GTA on 02.01.13 at 10:02 pm

Multiple offers are back in the prime neighbourhoods of Toronto. I keep hoping for buyers to stop paying these crazy prices but there seems to be a lot of them out there needing to move.

#7 Smoking Man on 02.01.13 at 10:02 pm


#8 Pr on 02.01.13 at 10:11 pm

Oh no! USA is now back with this:
No-money-down mortgages

They are cook!

#9 a prairie dawg on 02.01.13 at 10:14 pm

Take a mental break from your stresses and worries.

From night to day to night, in about 2.5 minutes.

The International Space Station.

Pretty damn cool.

#10 Taco Bell on 02.01.13 at 10:15 pm

Here in Thornhill, Willowdale area of Toronto, the Iranians are desperate. These “investors” bought many bungalows and converted them to McMansions. Now they are trapped, can’t sell and the prices, signs and RE agents are changing every week.
To make things worse, the chinese suckers are gone, I guess they can read English newspapers and discovered they can buy Florida and California for much less.

#11 Hate condos? on 02.01.13 at 10:15 pm

Calgary: Windowless bedrooms in new condos draw fire at city council

Read more:

#12 Shane on 02.01.13 at 10:17 pm

Garth, so no interest rate hike this year then?


#13 claudius emperor on 02.01.13 at 10:17 pm

Randy on 02.01.13 at 9:47 pm
Will my pile of cash ever be worth anything again ????
No, specially with the declining Ca $.

But my international dividend paying stocks, and Precious Metals would be.

#14 prairie person on 02.01.13 at 10:18 pm

Bought a TV at Best Buy a few days ago. It was too big for the room. Had to take it back to Future Shop to return it. Wanted to buy something a bit smaller. They didn’t have what I wanted, 37 or 39″ LG. Asked if they’d be getting some in. The clerk hesitated, then said, I don’t think we’ll be getting any new TV until late spring. There are empty spaces on FS’s shelves. I worked for a credit reporting company at one time. Empty shelf space usually was a warning sign that suppliers were holding back. Overheard a person ask “Will FS try to absorb some of the employees from the three BB stores shut down on the island?” “No,” the answer was.
Jobs are hard to come by on Vancouver Island. Always have been but it’s worse now. All those employees are paying rent or a mortgage. Sears has just let people go. The worst case scenario is occurring. House sales slowing, house prices dropping, jobs disappearing. There may be jobs across the mountains but if you own a house you may be in a difficult situation. Can you bring a cheque to closing to cover the cost of selling? New jobs? Fort McMurrey? (sp?) Calgary? Edmonton? Saskatoon? Sure wish there were statistics on how many people retire to Victoria in a year and the likelihood of it staying the same, lessening, or increasing?

#15 HDJ on 02.01.13 at 10:23 pm

Our local bank in Victoria used to make 40 mortgage loans per week. The number is now down to 4. Something’s happening.

#16 HDJ on 02.01.13 at 10:24 pm

Sorry – make that 40 mortgages per month.

#17 Big Sexy on 02.01.13 at 10:24 pm

Hi Garth, first time poster, love the blog.

If Derek has such a bad forecast, does that change your predictions for 2013 that you made at the beginning of January?

Also, I guess this means that this is probably not a good time to change jobs, especially in a cyclical industry?

#18 Just Jack on 02.01.13 at 10:26 pm

That graph is just for the urban core of Victoria. The Western Communities have over 12 months of inventory now. If it wasn’t for the provincial $10,000 incentive to buy new, I would think that most home construction workers would be collecting E.I. or loading up the U-haul and moving to Alberta. How can it get worse?

Oh yeah! – an election in May.

#19 luke8929 on 02.01.13 at 10:27 pm

1% is supposed to be a short term emergency rate to boost economic growth. 3-4 years isn’t short term, better hope there isn’t another downturn because the CB has no tools to help if it comes.

The stimulus is supposed to be withdrawn once the economy improves which isn’t happening. There is IMHO no way the CB’s can withdraw liquidity and raise rates without everything blowing up, it will eventually be forced on them with dire results.

I like this little quote from Kyle Bass

“Zimbabwe’s stock market was the best performer this decade – but your entire portfolio now buys you 3 eggs”

Better hope these bright bankers are as smart as they think they are.

#20 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.01.13 at 10:27 pm

Looking back, it seems rather silly that everyone got worked up over BMO’s 2.99% special 5-year fixed mortgage last year.

You can get a 30-year fixed rate in the U.S. for about 3.5% these days, so there is definitely room for Canadian rates to fall below those “special discount” levels of 2012.

#21 Tim on 02.01.13 at 10:29 pm

Since when could anyone working at Best Buy or Future shop afford a mortgage?

#22 Hate condos? on 02.01.13 at 10:31 pm

Dow closes above 14,000 for first time since 2007

#23 Rob on 02.01.13 at 10:33 pm

What I would like to see is the rates drop but the lending regulations to be more strict. That way when we the voltures move in when homes are cheap the interest rates are cheap too. Ideal situation just look at America.

#24 Proud Musty Basement Dweller (WestCoast) on 02.01.13 at 10:35 pm

“Since when could anyone working at Best Buy or Future shop afford a mortgage?”
probably since Carney and F brought in easy financing. I know two different hairdressers (it just so happens, even though I am bald) who both bought houses based on their incomes alone. (and help for the “downpayment” from grandma or mom or dad.

#25 maria on 02.01.13 at 10:41 pm

Oh my goodness. Was walking around my neighbourhood and saw these townhomes being built on a tiny patch of land near Islington and Bloor:

They are soooo narrow. Who on earth bought these things thinking they were a good idea??

There are some really stupid people out there…

Especially the developer who claims this area is “Bloor West Village”. It isn’t.

#26 neo on 02.01.13 at 10:49 pm

“Rising interest rates are a sign of growth, activity and expansion. Mired rates mean the opposite. Just ask Japan.”


That pretty much sums up what I have been saying all along doesn’t it. Glad you finally agree interest rates aren’t going up at all. They can’t because deleveraging has to occur in Canada first, which is the opposite of what has happened the past several years, and in the U.S. the develeraging was halted prematurely and artificially inflated again. Moreover, bloated spending on both sides of the border by governments need to continue to be funded by cheap money to maintain a lifestyle the west can no longer afford or deserve. But hey, the last time the Dow was at 14,000 unemployment was 4.7% not close to 8%. Nominal growth is like empty calories aren’t they. Pass the nachos.

#27 Inglorious Investor on 02.01.13 at 10:51 pm

A Sweet Spot With a Sour Aftertaste

It’s very important to understand what’s happening here.

As the ‘price’ for money, interest rates reflect demand. So when rates are at rock bottom, but demand sags, you know you are at the end. Maybe the gov will actually start paying people to borrow money to buy houses. But I digress…

The way I see it, over the past several years, Canada experienced a kind of ‘sweet spot’ for RE. But this sweet spot falls under the heading: ‘Be Careful What You Wish For.’

Due to our dependence on the US and because we need a cheap Looney to keep jobs in Canada, Canada is a rate taker, not a rate setter. The low rates induced by the economic and financial troubles in the US (which began long before 2008) imported super cheap rates into Canada at a time when the commodities boom kept our economy stronger than most in the Western world, and immigrants were pouring into Toronto and Vancouver.

Then our wise leaders decided to enforce some ill-conceived central planning to goose markets higher by changing mortgage regulations. (Will they ever learn? Sigh…) One can only wonder at the logic. Of course they did it to largely to keep money flowing into the banks. Also, this and other policies (like tax credits) indicated a rather unhealthy reliance on real estate markets and its knock-on effects to the Canadian economy.

This confluence unleashed the property mania and drove Canadians mad with desire for granite and stainless steel, with little regard for personal debt levels, because, well, house prices always go up. As prices climbed, and government policies helped to push people into city centres, prices climbed so high that a tiny concrete box in the sky became the new standard in home ownership for a growing segment of the population.

As always happens in property booms, supply eventually overshoots demand and can remain too high for a long time due to construction lag times. Because building ‘up’ is much easier and cheaper than building ‘out’, condos are the most susceptible to over supply.

So now, housing is suffering, which is sure to impact the economy huge if it continues on trend. Oil is likely to get much cheaper, which can significantly hurt demand for our tar, and put an even harder squeeze on Alberta. BC nat gas has been in the doldrums for years and Vancouver is threatening to fall into the sea. Manufacturing is dying in Ontario while the public sector prepares for war with the province. Potash is moribund in Sask. Quebec? Are they still here? The East? Nice people, but who cares really.

All in all, woe is Canada.

#28 Proud Musty Basement Dweller (WestCoast) on 02.01.13 at 10:53 pm


Yeah right, things are different here.

How many times have I heard that. Yeah we have government jobs, students, and everyone from everywhere else wants to live here. So real estates only going up.

Sorry that’s not enough with what’s going on in todays debt ridden, low income, boomered world.

Victoria also has a massive concentration (biggest in Canader perhaps?) of wrinkly, saggy skinned boomers (and I’m one of them) who will all be looking to bail from their houses at the same time to go into medical care, finance their retirement, or just croak.

Yep, it’s different here alright.

#29 Mark on 02.01.13 at 10:58 pm

Debt deflation is likely to give Canada very high dollar anyways (ie: $1.2-$1.4 USD). After all, with Canada’s exports still going relatively strong (ie: oil, potash, etc.), but with the RE bubble deflating, Canada will be importing very little but the exports will still remain. The market will attempt to correct this imbalance through a higher Canadian dollar, independant of any rate hikes. Plus the US economy remains on a downward trajectory with no recovery in sight until they finally figure out a way to devalue their dollar.

The BoC’s next move, clearly is to lower the rate 25 bp, ultimately down to 0% just like the Federal Reserve of the USA. “Economists” running around claiming that rate hikes were in the near-term future in Canada now pretty much have egg on their faces. CPI readings are coming in negative month-over-month, and the BoC is nowhere near its 2% inflation target.

Don’t know how you can claim that inflation is anywhere near 3% in Canada’s major cities. Real interest on mortgages are expanding at the moment. Quite beneficial for the banks actually which is why RY, among others, have recently been breaking through new all-time highs.

#30 Dave on 02.01.13 at 10:58 pm

Interesting comments from VP of economics at Scotia.

Your comments about the recent layoffs at Future Shop, Best Buy and Sears are misleading. Canada just hit a 4 year low in unemployment.

#31 Mark on 02.01.13 at 11:03 pm

“Canada just hit a 4 year low in unemployment.”

If you really believe that, then I got some swampland in Florida to sell you.

My professors in Electrical/Computer Engineering at a major research University in western Canada can count on two hands how many of their students have been able to find jobs in the past 5 years. And things are even worse in many other occupations. A declining labour participation rate tells the story generally.

#32 Teresa on 02.01.13 at 11:04 pm

I agree with you Garth that we should bet on America. But, what has happened with the US budget sequester? I know the voted to move the debt ceiling to April, when does the sequester kick in? Suddenly there is nothing in the news, and I’m looking for a buying opportunity.


#33 AK on 02.01.13 at 11:05 pm

“The latest: no hike this year. No hike next year. The central bank’s key rate at the end of 2014 will be exactly what it is now – 1%.”

2 years is a very long time. It all depends what happens in the US. The US and European Stock Markets are telling a different story. We will have to wait to see how the story unfolds.

#34 Mini Garth on 02.01.13 at 11:06 pm

Garth, I think I have drunk your Koolaid and am intoxicated.

Thank you so much for your efforts, I think you are right on target with your opinions and entertainment value also.

#35 Mark on 02.01.13 at 11:06 pm

“Dow closes above 14,000 for first time since 2007”

Big deal. There’s 6 years worth of retained earnings embedded into firms that are part of the Dow index now. And after-inflation, investors are still down significantly. With dividends, an investor is, at best, flat. With substantial underperformance relative to bonds. Eventually the Dow will be much higher, but to suggest the economy is ‘good’ because we’re back at a nominal level reached 6 years ago is hardly a stellar argument.

Actually it is very significant. — Garth

#36 gladiator on 02.01.13 at 11:10 pm

Funny… In a meeting that my team had with Derek Holt, when he was asked “when” something he forecast was expected to happen, he said “I’m just an economist – I can say what will happen, but not when”, so it looks like now he also said WHEN things will happen… Interesting change in his actions.

So, it looks like the word on Bay street is that rates will stay low for some time. Not what you expected, Garth, but this won’t save the RE market, because even with these low rates there are price reductions in many areas.
I was wondering, when will the crash in RE materialize, and the main hurdle to this crash was the fact that people still have jobs, so they have the money to cover their mortgage payments and the only catalyst to a crash would be mass layoffs. Well, that is already happening, and not only at retail stores – TD had layoffs, Manulife is having them now, I know of at least one American company that laid off all staff from its Canadian head office and now manages everything from the States. This is the rock that will trip the cart – layoffs. RE is a marginal market – it’s enough to have one house in a neighborhood sold at reduced price, and the whole neighborhood suffers. Layoffs are spotty right now, but they already are happening and soon enough they will accelerate the long-expected drop in RE prices.
I was skeptical to accept that RE prices will fall as long as the economy kept humming along (up until early January of 2013, before the flood of layoff news). Now, I can say with confidence that the crash is very clear ahead of us… Hold on to your seats! 2013 in Canada will have to be the year of Garth ;)

#37 John Tivoli on 02.01.13 at 11:14 pm

This is how money dies. ZIRP and QE to infinity are the immediate future.

#38 DreamingInTechnicolour on 02.01.13 at 11:17 pm

USA ? Seriously ? All bets are on China – the world’s financial superpower

#39 Jounce on 02.01.13 at 11:23 pm

“This is more dire than I expected.”

Hmm. Is the Garth getting more alarmed? Are we starting to smell the beginning of a deflationary bomb fuse being set off.

This is the same thing the pilot said as he turns the plane … just before he hits the mountain.

I suspect there will be many more disastrous surprises ahead for all … recent Garth prognostication aside.

#40 a prairie dawg on 02.01.13 at 11:23 pm

#11 Shane

Garth, so no interest rate hike this year then?

– — –

If true, it would stall any increase in variable rate mortgages.

While the bond market controls fixed rate mortgages.
(keep an eye on that)

I’d be a little more worried about the slowing economy and the job layoffs. It will feed into and accelerate a RE decline.

No more ‘sunshine and ponies’ for Canada.

#41 a prairie dawg on 02.01.13 at 11:27 pm

#21 Tim

Since when could anyone working at Best Buy or Future shop afford a mortgage?

– — –

About 2008 in Canada. A bit earlier in the US. ;)

#42 Mississauga on 02.01.13 at 11:28 pm

“the poor people at Best Buy, Future Shop and Sears now worried about their mortgages after having been laid off thanks to slagging sales.”

I doubt very much the backoffice folks were let go…just the “poor” sales people and, yes, they are poor making minimum wage and commission – – if any those suckers bought a $500K condo then they will lead the foreclosure pack

#43 Good authority on 02.01.13 at 11:29 pm

As one involved in a deflating business (clothing), I cannot imagine the carnage resulting in terms of lost jobs if deflation became widespread across the land.

Deflating RE will be destructive to our general economy in many ways.

#44 Marnic on 02.01.13 at 11:31 pm

Dow shoots above 14,000, the day after unemployment actually ticks UP in the US. What does that tell you? It should probably tell you that the conjuring into existence of $85 billion by the Fed every month will not be stopping any time soon…and the banks who shovel it all up have to put it somewhere. As someone here is fond of saying, this can not end well.

It tells me investors made money. — Garth

#45 a prairie dawg on 02.01.13 at 11:33 pm

#14 prairie person

Bought a TV at Best Buy a few days ago. It was too big for the room.

– — –

Just buy a bigger house. :)

#46 earlybird on 02.01.13 at 11:37 pm

Real Estate saturation is a fantastic description, low rates aren’t enticing anymore and have lost their effect, and its causing harm now. Just get the deflation over with….

#47 Smoking Man on 02.01.13 at 11:38 pm


#48 Wally Wingnut on 02.01.13 at 11:38 pm

What does it mean that the chickens come home to roost? Could it be that they have finished eating and are ready for the final phase of digestion?
F claimed that his health issues won’t affect his genius as finance minister. What genius? It couldn’t be all that tough to be a corporate puppet. Lobbyists have always dictated policy. He claims that H requires performance from his ministers and he still has what it takes. Just look at the mess he has created and now trying to fix.What a genius! NOT!

#49 Ydnew on 02.01.13 at 11:48 pm

#25 Maria

Those skinny townhouses are in “Etobicoke’s Bloor West Village” !!!!

Who knew that there was any such place! Lol

#50 earlybird on 02.01.13 at 11:48 pm

Demographics are forcing a paradox of thrift, from my observations. Slow/no growth will be the new normal for mature economies. Interesting times!

#51 Tyrell Pronghorn on 02.01.13 at 11:50 pm

Yep, not much selling in Victoria. I counted a 10% YOY decline. Man I’m lucky to have found this blog. I’d be stuck in a 2 bed apartment that I can’t sell, and potentially couldn’t rent.

Nice to be waiting around till RE hits my affordability price point.

Based on return to means it seems like we’re heading to circa 2007 assessments, likely lower then to flatten out back at 2007 levels. Just seems like where its going.

If a place is a dump or dated, take another 10-20% off that.

And jobs, yeah, they suck. My wife is in government, everything about the work sucks, but it’s a good paying job in these tough economic times, and we count ourselves lucky.

Overall job stats seem misleading, as most job creation tends to be of the McJob, don’t steal plastic crap from Walmart variety. Part-time, no benefits, no sick days, just a job, selling or peddling junk that no-one really needs.

#52 ozy - Unfortunatelly on 02.01.13 at 11:53 pm

-Unfortunatelly top economists are konnected to the masters and they regurcitate what it’s in plans
-Unfortunatelly if you wait for demand areas, home prices will spike one more time in spring.
-Unfortunatelly govt and korpo worlds are the cause for people realizing they should never expect them to do something good for the people
-Unfortunatelly rates will stay down like I said, and consumerist type will triumph once again
-Unfortunatelly we have not nationalized the private oligarhic FEDS neo-banks on this planet yet, so we bear the pumping effect of fractional-reserve system
-Unfortunatelly we have nothing better to do that clog the pipes on this BLOG, but we accept nothing from others’ ideas, we do not have the capacity to pass enough judgment

#53 ozy - dilema - whom to believe on 02.01.13 at 11:58 pm

the guy with tiny crowded face and no hair
the guy with large relaxed face and only hair

I can’t trust 1st one at all
I can semi-trust the 2nd, but not fully

#54 not 1st on 02.02.13 at 12:13 am

Garth, an interest rate rise will have a unforeseen effect that you are not considering. Not only will it dampen the economy, reduce consumer spending and make it harder for people to pay mortgages, but it will also crash the bond market cause there is a whole generation of wrinkly boomers who remember 1980 and would sell bonds to park cash in interest bearing savings accounts, even if its only earning 3%.

The snowball effect on sovereign debt would be huge and feedback on the economy in other ways we can’t imagine.

Have you heard of the black swan?

Of course rates will eventually rise, and the bond market will be fine. Worry about yourself. — Garth

#55 Mr Buyer on 02.02.13 at 12:19 am

#36 gladiator on 02.01.13 at 11:10 pm
The crash is upon us

#56 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 12:19 am

#30 Dave on 02.01.13 at 10:58 pm
“Interesting comments from VP of economics at Scotia.

Your comments about the recent layoffs at Future Shop, Best Buy and Sears are misleading. Canada just hit a 4 year low in unemployment.”
Most economists and especially the “pretend” ones are usually wrong and much too pessimistic.

As for the retail business, it is obviously changing.
The Source, owned by BCE, will be opening 20 new stores in Canada and watch Target, Walmart and other retailers that are better managed and understand the consumer much better.

This blog is loaded with pessimists.

#57 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 12:22 am

#31 Mark on 02.01.13 at 11:03 pm

There’s always a job for talented and productive workers.
You may need new professors.

#58 neo on 02.02.13 at 12:24 am

It tells me investors made money. — Garth

The ones that sold at 14,000 unequivocally made money. The ones that bought on the other side of the trade? Well, we will have to wait to find out won’t we.

#59 DonDWest on 02.02.13 at 12:25 am

“This is more dire than I expected.”

I called this a while back Garth. In economics, timing is everything. Our government should have allowed real estate to crash in 2009 and they shouldn’t have lowered interest rates. That was a FATAL error. Real estate will now crash at the exact same time the tar sands will collapse.

I remember a lot of people were yelling at me during the time I made this prediction. People need to understand the tar sands are only profitable at over $100 a barrel. Plus demand will shrink as the USA finds more and more oil in Alaska.

We cannot absorb both these hits as a nation simultaneously. If we let real estate slid in 2009, kept the same interest rates, and then come 2014 accept the fact the era of the tar sands is now finished – we could have absorbed a long drawn out recession at best and a depression at worst.

Now, with both hitting us at the same time, prepare for the worst. You were right about America, but make no mistake, Canada will experience a complete economic collapse. It will happen fast, nobody will see it coming. . . Real estate and tar sands make up 1/3 of our economy. . .

#60 Mr Buyer on 02.02.13 at 12:36 am

How is any of this a surprise? What is surprising to me is how many times in my life common sense dictated to me eventuality A is most likely yet I usually ascribed to the unlikelihood of eventuality A as everyone around me did not expect such an eventuality to transpire for a host of often vaporous reasons. Time and time again I abandoned reason. The only thing that saved me this time was the fact that I was not in the midst of the frenzy but rather in an environment in which eventuality A did indeed and continues to transpire

#61 Timing is Everything on 02.02.13 at 12:39 am

Wanted: Interest rate prophesier. OJT provided.

#62 InvestX on 02.02.13 at 12:41 am

“The latest: no hike this year. No hike next year. The central bank’s key rate at the end of 2014 will be exactly what it is now – 1%.”

I asked years ago why rates couldn’t stay low for a while… longer than what this blog predictedhad.
Did people in Japan expect rates to stay low longer than usual? Why is it “different here”?

Well, well, well…

No, it’s not Japan. — Garth

#63 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 02.02.13 at 12:46 am

#268 Eaglebay – Parksville on 02.01.13 at 10:08 pm

#261 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 02.01.13 at 9:15 pm
#242 marco on 02.01.13 at 6:32 pm wrote
remember the Romans are the only successful race to conquer and over take Britain . Sorry I forgot William the Conquerer.


Don’t forget the French !!!

Where do you think the Vikings, aka Normans, came from?


Vikingland ?

Normanworld ?

How many guesses ?

#64 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 02.02.13 at 12:47 am

New Thesaurus:

Smoking Man: = DELETED = Redundant

#65 LEAFSBIG FAN on 02.02.13 at 12:57 am


#66 DD on 02.02.13 at 12:59 am

No money down loans back in vogue in US. Lol. They learn nothing.

#67 Basil Fawlty on 02.02.13 at 1:00 am

The bond market is the biggest bubble in history. Think about the systemic financial risk associated with the extreme debt levels of all western nations. Now ask yourself how can interest rates be so low? We are stuck between a rock and a hard place, since increasing interest rates will crush nations ability to service the debt. There is a reason the Federal Reserve is printing $85B per month.
Anyway, at least one mainstream economist is waking up to part of the problem at hand.

#68 Dodged-A-Bullit-in Alberta on 02.02.13 at 1:21 am

Greetings: Announcement in todays paper, Medicine Hat, will be losing its’ flour mill in May. Has been operating for 100 years, 40 jobs, many with plus 20 years service will be out of work. Not a very big city, and not easy to find new jobs. Target is supposed to open up vacated Zellers store, cannot imagine they will be successful going head to head with Wal Mart and Canadian Tire. I can see writing on the wall for Sears, Best Buy and Future Shop. With disposable income shrinking, priorities will focus on food, utilities, and shelter.

#69 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.02.13 at 1:38 am

Who can spot the difference?

“This is more dire than I expected.” — Garth (realist)

“As for the retail business, it is obviously changing. The Source, owned by BCE, will be opening 20 new stores in Canada and watch Target, Walmart and other retailers that are better managed and understand the consumer much better. This blog is loaded with pessimists.” — #56 Eaglebay – Parksville (Sunshine and lollipops, with those new jobs paying around $12 – $18 / hr. so they are able to handle $350K mtgs., aka living in dreamland.)

If I were a betting person, I’d say that C, H and F’s handling of our economy has gone precisely the way H said it was going to go. We won’t even recognize Kannaduhhh shortly.
Oil Prices creeping up; Bridge Over Troubled Economies Is the US in good or bad shape? Cdn. Friday links; HP cuts 1,100 jobs in Germany, and HP could have been Apple; Google stock higher; Seven Habits of frugal people; Ten Most valuable actors of all time; Credit Suisse Gold bugs are toast; France, Italy and the EZone drop their drawers; David Cameron pledges to keep spending billions overseas while Brits. are taxed even more; Living A Great Life because taxpayers subsidize them; Red Arrows going?
1:01 ad Samsung’s Superbowl ad; Torture A new form of it; Allergic Reaction to fruit; 2:27 clip Al the Goredmeister is gored iver the sale of a TV company to al Jazeera; Stalin and Roosevelt Interesting article; Four Volcanoes in close quarters erupting simultaneously; CC and UN About time they came out with truths, but Arctic <cite?". . . growing 175,000 Manhattans of new ice over the last four months."; Chicago Gun control doesn’t work; 4:28 clip New hybrid grill; Erupting The road to WW3, started in the MEast; Aspartame in That will be good for kids in their school lunches.

#70 DJB on 02.02.13 at 2:06 am

ZIRP will be in place for years to come in the States.
$85 billion a month, Ben is doing a great job at with forcing bond holders into equities.

I am lovin it

#71 Mic D'angelo on 02.02.13 at 2:21 am

Garth, you said interest rates will eventually rise. The bond market will be fine because any rise in bond yields will be small and temporary. I said it over and over, bond yields make new lows over the years. In 2007, 30 year U.S. treasury bond hit a high of 5.55% but in 2000 it was 6.74%. This was with a U.S. 3.90% unemployment rate and NASADQ 5100 and Dow Jones 11,300, S & P 500 at 1528. The U.S. 30 year treasury bond is now 3.23% 13 years later and at one point reached 2.30% to 2.50% at least 3 times in the last 5 years. This is just another short term blip again.

#72 robert on 02.02.13 at 2:46 am

I cannot imagine what the RE market will look like if the oil sands takes it on the chin. Massive layoffs will cripple Alberta overnight and Edmonton will be one of the first to go. The interior of BC is absolutely depressing as Court Ordered Sales continue to multiply and employment worsens. I am convinced that 50% of the residents are working in Fort Mac and should Fort Mac start serious layoffs the sudden lack of dollar flows from Alta will put huge pressure on the Economy and RE market in the Interior of British Columbia. Prices here are down at least 20% and to make matters worse there are no buyers and I mean no buyers. For the entire year of 2012 you can count on one hand the number of properties that sold for $400k and above in the Shuswap. This is serious and if the spring market does not pickup the fear phase will set in and prices will collapse very quickly. The best way to invest in this market is to go short and that means sell now while there is still a bid as IMO we are heading towards a no bid market and this will be painful!!!

#73 Quebec is Great on 02.02.13 at 3:22 am

Missing property developer found 8 months later wandering on side of road had “thief” carved into forehead…

Story : Irish Independent

“During the boom, he ran a successful property business selling luxury homes in Dubai to wealthy Irish and British clients”

#74 Humpty Dumpty on 02.02.13 at 3:29 am

Are we going to ignore the obvious?

Another obvious problem is the liabilities of the Federal Government. The current cash reporting basis that the Department of the Treasury uses, vastly understates its deficit and future liabilities. Some estimates put the current unfunded liabilities of the Federal Government at about $222 Trillion and show an increase in the deficit from 2010 to 2011 of around $11 Trillion, which represents about 70% of the U.S. total GDP.1

#75 JuliaS on 02.02.13 at 3:39 am

#57 Eaglebay – Parksville

Correct. People need something to stand out from the crowd. When everyone has a post secondary degree of some sort, having one simply makes you like everybody else with a degree.

When businesses are strapped for cash and don’t want to take risk hiring interns, you better have “guaranteed return on investment” written all over you.

Part of the problem is that kids graduate into their 30’s getting an absolute standard education matched by many, yet with no real world experience to back it up. Instead of getting the basics and then spending a decade in the real world, developing a unique set of productive skills.

Also, like with housing and money, you supply too much of something and eventually it becomes worthless. We have too many educated kids. Not enough street-smart ones.

When I was graduating high school, they didn’t even ask whether I wanted to go to college or university. The question was: “Which one are you going to attend”.

Only kids that didn’t go to universities did so because the parents could not afford their tuition. Well, how about valuing time and money on par with unproven guarantees supplied in return. How about managing risk from the get go?!

Time for kids to wake up. The bubble economy path to success is gone. Working in retail, taking out a mortgage, getting married and having multiple kids – forget about it.

Either be an absolute best by the time you’re in early 20’s. Spend your every waking hour perfecting whatever it is that makes you valuable to others, or settle with the idea of living in your parents’ basement into your 40’s… if they choose to hold onto their underwater mortgage for the sake of your sorry ass.

#76 Michael F on 02.02.13 at 4:09 am

Who says money printing isn’t good for stocks. This year to data Zimbabwe had the best performing stock market with a 20.3% return so far.,d.dGI

If you metalheads can make a cogent point without reference to the absurd, more people might listen. — Garth

#77 Derek R on 02.02.13 at 4:13 am

Yes, the mainstream economists are coming round to reality as it’s just about to bite. Kudos to my Scotiabank namesake for being ahead of the pack. But anyone paying attention to a slightly less mainstream economist, the Australian, Steve Keen, was able to predict this months ago.

Of course Steve only predicts the Australian economy (and his predictions for 2012 interest rates and inflation in Oz were almost spot on) but he has made his methods public and anyone can apply them to the Canadian situation. For those of us who did, Derek Holt’s prognosis is just a confirmation of what we expect.

#78 Careful what you wish for — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of Real Estate « The Affluent Boomer™ on 02.02.13 at 4:54 am

[…] via Careful what you wish for — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of R…. […]

#79 Deb on 02.02.13 at 6:56 am

Emergency interest rates. That is what we were told they were. That’s what we are told they are. Randomly ask ten people today to define what the emergency was and what the emergency is?

As more time passes, the use of the term emergency tends to lose more and more of its initial punch. If 1% is to continue into 2015, we will need a new term, but what? All of the lexicographers have been laid off. But Garth nailed it when he said, “Just ask Japan.”

#80 charles on 02.02.13 at 7:40 am

Keep talking your book. We get it. Those silver spurs on your boots will continue to out perform everything you endorse.

#81 lawrencej on 02.02.13 at 8:34 am

Derek Holt is right. But anyone who thinks this means 5yr fixed rate mortgages stay at low levels might be missing the bigger picture. The interest rate curve in Canada is not an independent thing; rising longer dated global yields (happening now) will push up most rates in Canada beyond the front end. And in the past, reserve diversification from central banks in favour of Canada has given a good bid to the currency and bond market; with oil falling apart, China rebalancing, and the US financial system much stronger, diversification no longer suits. Particularly when the major banks are being downgraded.

Who is going to buy Canada’s bonds as GDP surprises south of the border and Fed speakers continue to suggest the tapering or wind down of QE? Not those that have done so in size in the past. And once the broader market realises that the Government of Canada is on the hook when the wafer thin capital of the CMHC is exhausted, look out bond market – there’s a lot more issuance coming.

The BoC may not hike, but mortgage rates are going UP.

#82 rosie "moving forward" on 02.02.13 at 9:06 am

Just ask Japan.
When you consider the alternative- a 30’s style deflation- turning Japanese is preferable, moving forward.

#83 Gypsy Kid on 02.02.13 at 9:10 am

Overpriced home in my neighborhood sold in two days…i’m not even happy about it really. I know our neighborhood will hold it’s value, but I still feel uneasy as a Torontonian.
Garth, can you be our mayor??

#84 maxx on 02.02.13 at 9:15 am

Dicking around with interest rates and seducing people to gorge on RE and other debt will prove to be the most economically destructive force ever.

Economic damage due to governments having been seduced by the money-spinning whims of FIRE is the main cause of continuing job loss, divorce, lost generations with ever-dimming future prospects, disappearing social programs (most notably health care and pensions) and a cohort of seniors mired in stress due to imposed debt and poverty.

World economies are entering a self-cannibalizing phase, whereby balance sheets are propped up by constantly cutting people and quality.

If this is allowed to continue, I cannot imagine what the world will look like in 5, let alone 10, 20 or 30 years.

#85 espressobob on 02.02.13 at 9:23 am

#73 Humpty Dumpty

It’s funny that Sprott has been pounding this drum for years. If you examine his funds (inc. hedge) you might not like what you see? I won’t even get started about those outragious performance fees.

Sprott, Embry & Rule (goldbugs) work on retail investors fear and convince the weary to invest in the “safety” of their funds. That should be obvious.

#86 Babblemaster on 02.02.13 at 9:58 am

“Those sales are down because incomes have swamped at the same time real estate debt’s washed over family finances.” – Garth


It’s for these reasons (stagnated wages and people being massively in debt) that the rates cannot rise. Not for a long time. It seems that Garth finally agrees.

Mr. Holt agrees. — Garth

#87 nutty squirrel on 02.02.13 at 10:03 am

I was wondering what the lowest HELCO is avaialble right now. THE RBC is offering me 3.5 %. They also want to charge me about $750 for admin fees – appraisal of the house etc). Don’t worry it is for investing not granite counter tops.

#88 Incubus on 02.02.13 at 10:04 am

“The central bank’s key rate at the end of 2014 will be exactly what it is now – 1%.”

Derek is right, there will be no hike as far as you can see.
The reason, debt saturation everywhere. Actually, interets rate in Canada might match USA rates in the future with the present economic slow down.

All economic might eventually look like Japan, interest rate ~ 0%, no grow with stagflation.

#89 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.02.13 at 10:04 am

DOW 14,000…. TSX still in the mid-12000’s (from a peak of about 15,000).

Here’s a crazy thought – if not for 70%+ of Canadians stuffing all of their $ into RE and 1.25% “high interest” accounts, would the Canadian market be closer to regaining its peak?

Yes – the banks have benefitted from the Canadian debt slaves, but what about the rest of the economy?

(yes, I’m aware that m

#90 AK on 02.02.13 at 10:04 am

#56 Eaglebay – Parksville on 02.02.13 at 12:19 am

“This blog is loaded with pessimists.”

You are correct. However, there are some optimists outside of this blog.

The US will throw out some positive surprises during 2013.

#91 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.02.13 at 10:09 am

whoops – fat fingers on the iPad…

I’m aware that energy and materials *prices* are set in the global market, but the *costs* are local. If not for over-priced homes and consumers drowning in debt, would our energy and resource companies be more profitable?

#92 Nodebt on 02.02.13 at 10:18 am

#72 Robert
Exactly what areas of the interior of bc are you talking about?

#93 CalgaryRocks on 02.02.13 at 10:43 am

Haha, someone working for fs or bb being worried about a mortgage.

I worked at fs straight out of college for one year. After expenses I would have made more money staying home. Of course expenses included drinking in Hull bars and frequenting strip clubs with my buddies from the video department.

A wonderful life experience but I could barely afford my bachelor appt much less get approved for a mortgage.

#94 Babblemaster on 02.02.13 at 10:50 am

#43 Good authority

“Deflating RE will be destructive to our general economy in many ways.”


Wrong! What was destined to be destructive was the artificial inflating of RE prices to unsustainable levels via stupid shortsighted government policies that pandered to bankers interests. That destruction was set in play years ago. The current deflating of RE is just the inevitable consequence of unsustainable RE prices.

#95 drydock on 02.02.13 at 10:56 am

“To preserve our independence we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.”
Thomas Jefferson.

“It’s getting exciting now.”

Tyler Durden.

#96 hangfire on 02.02.13 at 11:05 am

Best Buy wasn’t the victim of the real estate collapse by any stretch of the imagination… it the ‘buggy whip syndrome’ instead. If we look at last Xmas’ stats it is easily discernible that bricks and mortar are having their lunch eaten by on line shopping giants. I sent something to TO the other day through Sears and it only cost ZERO for shipping….I didn’t have to pay $50 dollars for gas and parking….nor drive through any Canadian cities pathetic infrastructure for hours to get there……retail big box is dead…..toast….shazaaaam!!!

This is what we get for allowing city councils to design our cities …for the least convieniance to the retailers and buying public….like Vanc and TO…everything is a-hole backwards…..pathetic

#97 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 11:26 am

#272 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 10:51 am

I am going to buy some lawn ornaments that are short and name all 7 of them Garth. And, of course I would expect you to get the door, for me. And you actually know me. And this won’t get through. Beach Wonderful Girl.

#98 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 11:34 am

In a very bad mood today. Some young friends had a baby last night. They attempted to dump a 2 year old off on me in the early hours. I do not like little people. They stink, their noses run. Just a major ICK factor. I gave them a $100 bucks and said the obvious. I do not like my own grown children, some people just do not get it. Of course, I am not looking after it. It is Saturday. I am trying to hire people to look after me.

#99 Rand man on 02.02.13 at 11:39 am

Come on Garth….
Why are you so stubborn?

On one hand you understand that excess credit and cheap money have fuelled the housing boom to overpriced values….

This we all understand and agree with….thank you

But then you turn around and imply that a 14,000 Dow
Is not due to massive cheap money and leverage?
The very same debt and issues!

You can’t have it both ways!

Or have I misread you?

No, you’re just confused. A Canadian credit bubble and robust US corporate profits are not exactly correlated. — Garth

#100 Rob in TO on 02.02.13 at 11:48 am

Not to forget what’s happening in Toronto and nearby…

Condos and Townhouses

Over $330,000

Under $330,000

Condo prices are dropping, but still insane.

I recorded CP 24’s “Hot Property from this past Thursday and there were the same property and mortgage pumpers. Big Al said that there are still 100,000 people moving here every year. He also said that you should buy – NOT rent. It appeared that he had trouble keeping much of what he said with a straight face.

When watching this infomercial, I had to fast forward through a lot of it, didn’t want to lose my dinner.

Be careful out there folks.

#101 TrUth TellER on 02.02.13 at 11:57 am

Garth: “Finally, a special caution for all the cocksure cowboys in Calgary – an “unwelcome weakness in the crude oil-producing sector with an emphasis on heavy oil.”
How bright is Albertas future?
The fairly recent advent of “deepwell drilling” and “hydrofracking” are surrendering enormous amounts of Oil (e.g. Bakken Formation – North Dakota) which were previously unaccessible.
The associated costs of retrieval (extraction) appear to be much less than Bituminous Sands extraction (Alberta). Both methods however are ecologically unfriendly.
Notes: 1. The Earth still holds (vast) enormous amounts of Hydrocarbons. 2. Oil does not originate from decaying organic material.
I would suggest that as the U.S. and other countries adopt and then expand these new technologies Alberta’s Oil Sands will be far less important and therefore less lucrative as this decade moves forward.
Expect many changes as we move forward.

#102 Patiently Waiting on 02.02.13 at 12:03 pm

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board stats for the month of January show sales are down 23% year over year.

FVREB STATS – 22 of 22 Working Days January 2013

JANUARY 2013 Listings 2643 Sales 609
DECEMBER 2012 Listings 871 Sales 662
JANUARY 2012 Listings 2753 Sales 796


#103 INTERESTING TIMES on 02.02.13 at 12:11 pm

Garth another Great Post Today!!

A very hard landing is coming for many, make sure you protect yourself!!! Big Negative Feedback Loop coming to Canada’s Economy Soon.

Look at LINKS below and learn my HGTV Virgins!!!!

HGTV Virgins get out there and start low balling these realtors by 50 percent. Don’t waste your time going to open houses when you could just sit on the MLS and low ball these used car salespeople by email. Get out there and get your revenge. Show them that you are not as stupid as the show portrays you!

– Europe already in recession/depression, Japan and US right behind them with anemic growth.

– Jobs being lost everywhere and the Canadian economy is slowing down. Watch BNN and learn about the layoffs happening every day or just read the business section it is all there for you my virgins. Educate yourself!

– Austerity starting already in Canada. Many in government jobs will be bye, bye. Federal gov’t firing 20,000 alone in Canada. All gov’t jobs under attack.

– Manufacturing jobs have moved to Asia and back to the US. Canadians can’t compete with the New America where the factory worker now makes $12.00 to $15.00 an hour, with no benefits and new Union Breaking Laws in many States. The New US can now buy a nice home for $100,000K-$200,000K. You are so screwed in Canada! Latest victim is Sears Canada & Best Buy Canada who are closing stores.

– Big Bad Alberta is in big danger now. They cannot compete now in the global marketplace with their overpriced Oil and are losing money on every sale now. They are being taken to the cleaners. Not good for our economy. I guess this is why President Harper & CON government have started throwing a lot of money back into Ontario Car Plants. I guess they realized there mistakes that you can’t only have a 1 trick pony called Alberta Oil but need a diversified economy. Poor management on their end and more job losses to come.

– 70% of CDN living pay cheque to pay cheque and have no savings and over 70% have no pensions

– 60% of boomers 60 years and older entering retirement in a lot of debt. Also, a lot of these boomer fools co-signed for their kids $800,000 Mc Mansions. The banksters will wipe the floor clean with both the kids and parents after this 50% RE Crash when they both lose their homes!

– Empty condos being built everywhere and will be going for 50% off soon. HGTV Virgins will be crushed!!! Many HGTV Virgins are going bankrupt at Trump Towers, what happened to RE only goes up? Many in the Construction Trades will be soon unemployed. They have already started calling begging for any kind of work. I feel sorry for them as it will be a tough times for them and their families. The only thing Canada had for the last 10 years was construction jobs and this is go bye, bye as well.

– Empty homes all over the MLS, can you say power of sales have started, soon 50% off will be coming to Canada

– For lease signs everywhere in business districts and commercial areas, I guess business has moved out of Canada

– Canadians are 164% in debt! More than the US, Ireland, Spain, and UK when they had there RE Crash.
– Over 8 months of dropping RE sales. Next thing to drop will be prices by 50%.

– Over 70% of mortgages in Canada are 5% or 0 down CHMC mortgages. Can you say high risk and backed by the taxpayer. When this baby blows up kiss your social services good bye. This is what the in action plan looks like. We supported our banks with free taxpayer dollars to give out loans to people with no money creating a RE Ponzi scheme 10 times bigger than the US, Spain, Ireland etc. Even Brother Carney is bailing out of Canada and going to the UK after his poor policies of 1% rates have enslaved Canadians with unrepayable debt at record levels “What a Rock Star”. See you later fools he will be saying.

– And remember a home is only worth what a buyer will pay.

– The realtards, brokers, banksters and builders are in full out panic mode. They have already enslaved 70% of Canadians with RE Debt and there is no more FREE Money to give to the other 30% HGTV Virgins.

The 50% crash is here my virgins. Get out there and start low balling as the time is now for your revenge. Don’t sign up for bank slavery like the other 70% of the HGTV Virgins in Canada. They are screwed for life now as they were sold the Kool-Aid by the RE industry!

Get out there and start Low Balling by 50% as you have the Power Now.

#104 Stickler on 02.02.13 at 12:16 pm

“no hike this year. No hike next year. The central bank’s key rate at the end of 2014 will be exactly what it is now – 1%.”

…ooh there is a shocker.

3 weeks ago. the World bank again revised its world growth forecast down & now expects the world economy to grow by only 2.4 percent in 2013, down from its June forecast of 3 percent.

Would you be surprised if this gets revised down again?

Canada’s Balance of Trade reached a record low of -2530 Million CAD in July of 2012. (YES A RECORD LOW)

International trade makes up a large part of the Canadian economy. Exports amount to more than 45% of its GDP.

Tick tock…

#105 futureexpatriate on 02.02.13 at 12:18 pm

#38 What part of the boom and bust cycle are you not understanding?

#106 futureexpatriate on 02.02.13 at 12:20 pm

#96 Retail big box will be here as long as people want their items TODAY, and are willing to pay a premium for immediacy.

#107 coastal on 02.02.13 at 12:23 pm

Best Buy should have never opened in Victoria with Future Shop right underneath them. It was a predicted disaster from day one, there is only so much consumer cash to go around in this town . That new plaza is still under development which scares off buyers with the major parking issues. Another sign of things to come when small businesses are having a tough enough time as it is.

#108 coastal on 02.02.13 at 12:37 pm

#18 Just Jack,

The shocking part of the VREB that is now showing severe signs of desperation touting a couple sales in Sidney as their lead in excuse for tanking prices and sales, which is over half an hour outside of Victoria. Give me a fricking break. What’s next, a couple of barns in Sooke ? These are not central Victoria areas and have no true bearing on the core.

Just as VREB includes Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands in our numbers. Total joke, one needs a ferry to get to and the other has to go over the death trap Malahat highway which also takes 40 minutes to an hour or more depending on traffic. As Mellencamp sang “and the walls, came tumbling down”.

#109 Musty Basement Wannabe on 02.02.13 at 12:37 pm

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Agent Cartel Stats show that Nanaimo prices are down 12 percent from this time last year. If they are saying that then that gives you a rough idea how serious the price decline is. All with “Emergency” interest rates in effect and wrinkly people still hanging on to their houses for now. Hmm.

#110 Keith in Calgary on 02.02.13 at 12:43 pm

The banks “economists” lie to us at the command of their masters because…………

The politicians DO NOT WANT to see the long overdue natural correction to occur on “their” watch.

The banks DO NOT WANT to take the financial hit for their egregious and negligent actions during the boom, from which they profited handsomely.

The sheep have been shorn, there is no more wool left, and they are pissed because it is getting cold and there is no sun in sight for a few decades at least.

The blog is going Biblical. — Garth

#111 jess on 02.02.13 at 12:50 pm

regarding your link and zero down
see the changes to net worth calculations

“Accredited Investor” Net Worth Standard
A Small Entity Compliance Guide1
On December 21, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the accredited investor standards in its rules under the Securities Act of 1933 to implement the requirements of Section 413(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the Dodd-Frank Act). Section 413(a) requires that the value of a person’s primary residence be excluded when determining whether the person qualifies as an “accredited investor” on the basis of having a net worth in excess of $1 million.

What are the “accredited investor” standards?
The accredited investor standards are used in determining the availability of certain exemptions from Securities Act registration for nonpublic and limited offerings, including most offerings under Regulation D. The accredited investor concept identifies investors who are eligible to participate in those offerings of unregistered and illiquid securities. In order to rely on investor status as an “accredited investor,” issuers must know or have a reasonable basis to believe that the investor falls within one of eight categories.2 The individual net worth standard is one such category.

What are the requirements for an individual to qualify as an “accredited investor” based on net worth?
read more

#112 Alex n calgary on 02.02.13 at 12:57 pm

Their isn’t much on the rental market here in Calgary again, tons of out of province plates flooding the streets as people run to the tip of the sinking ship. As Harper has massivly expanded the number of temp. immigrant laborours allowed, AND the tons of confused people coming to AB for work, what is going to happen exactly when they all leave when the jobs are gone? (apparently this is already happening as my wife who works at the city of Calgary gets like 600 applications per job, and has lots of friends who are out of work for a while now) All those disgusting, hollier then thou 30 yr olds who bought first house at 22 and upgraded at 28 keeping the one as an investment house. OR took out a 2nd mortgauge to get an investment house, nobody to live in them.

All those empty houses, all the new houses being built on the fringe of the city, all the people leaving the province, Calgary might have sorta withstood the drop, but it will drop the Hardest like CRAZY soon enough.

After our last house was torn down to put up a horrible duplex we had to find a rental, I can’t tell you how disgusted I was meeting these landlords, so arrogant about how great their Rathole rental house was, how 2nd class citizen we are….payback is a bitch!!!

#113 Spiltbongwater on 02.02.13 at 12:57 pm

the guy in Vancouver who went on a stabbing rampage Thursday night, turns out he worked in the Toronto real estate industry. Things must be worse then they are forecasting.

#114 jess on 02.02.13 at 12:58 pm

vacancy rate low but plenty of empty

-homeless taking over the vacant office buildings in France ?
1m. behind in rent
DAL France

#115 Deb on 02.02.13 at 1:01 pm

There is a very good piece in the G&M this weekend on the dividend tax credit (DTC). The benefit that the DTC offers in tax-efficient investing is huge, especially if someone’s income is, like mine, in the lowest tax bracket.

In fact, depending on which province you live, you could actually have a negative tax rate on your dividend investment income. How cool is that? Whoever said that tax policy wasn’t sexy?

#116 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 02.02.13 at 1:05 pm

I have tried explaining the current real estate correction to coworkers, friends etc. “Asian buyers are only a small percentage of the market, Canadians are heavily indebt, aging pensionless boomers selling their homes to live, over abundance of condos, and on and on and on.

Sheeple dont want to hear bad news. Period.

Leave them in denile and prepare for the coming “deals”…

#117 Timing is Everything on 02.02.13 at 1:09 pm

No room for BestBuy…

Victoria has…

2 Futureshop
6 The Source
2 Walmart (one is massive, so they say)
6 Canadian Tire
2 The Bay
2 The Brick
2 Home Depot
2 Rona
1 Costco
1 Sears Dept Store
1 Sears Home Centre
6 Home Hardware

2 Targets opening (Hillside and Tillicum)

Marshells moving in too

‘bricks vs. clicks’

What’s the big surprise about BestBuy?

note: No Ikea (That’s a good thing)

#118 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 02.02.13 at 1:22 pm

@#73 Quebec is Great

Perhaps this is a trend we should start in Canada?

#119 jess on 02.02.13 at 1:25 pm

Tax Evasion Wiping Out Real Estate Market
taxes on home up 600%
Greek Reporter

Greece eyes accounts of suspected tax evaders Huffington Post
The Greek government wants to give tax authorities the power to empty the bank accounts of accused tax evaders, even if they have not been convicted

why would mr. conservative want to privatize olg at least the moola stays in town.
…UK: Jackpot! Bookies avoid £1bn tax The Independent
Big gambling firms are using tax havens – and Treasury still hasn’t closed loophole
Antigua, “Pirates” & Poker?
What do Internet gambling, a small Caribbean nation and “piracy” have in common?
WTO just authorize Antigua to violate U.S. copyrights? Welcome to the world of WTO “cross-retaliation.”
On Monday the World Trade Organization (WTO) officially authorized Caribbean nation Antigua to sell $21 million in “pirated” U.S.-copyrighted music, films and computer programs in retaliation for the United States failing to comply with a 2005 WTO order to allow online gambling here.

#120 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 02.02.13 at 1:25 pm

#69 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.02.13 at 1:38 am

Who can spot the difference?

“This is more dire than I expected.” — Garth (realist)

“As for the retail business, it is obviously changing. The Source, owned by BCE, will be opening 20 new stores in Canada and watch Target, Walmart and other retailers that are better managed and understand the consumer much better.

Re Target :

A family member works for one of those companies that provides telecom and mobile phones, act as an agent .

They have won a contract to have space in every new Target store that opens in Canada. That’s good for them but how much can this business grow..someone will get knocked out.

#121 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 02.02.13 at 1:27 pm

I think Best Buy/ Future Shop is a victim of their own greed.
The majority of people that I spoke to about these two companies immediately related stories of annoying sales people pushing “extended warranties” that were either ignored or became so convoluted to get repairs done they were virtually useless.
And in this day and age with instant internet feedback available online 24/7

They “earned” their downfall

#122 Timing is Everything on 02.02.13 at 1:33 pm

Victoria…Forgot about that ‘Real Canadian SuperStore’ thing too. One those too.

#123 happy renter on 02.02.13 at 1:42 pm

The truth is many young and older people are leaving Victoria.I know a CGA and his son left for Alberta and his other son will to in the summer.The CGA said he was offered a job but the wage was way to low.All trades pay under$16 for 1st year apprentices because they can and Alberta pay over $25 for the same worker.
I’m getting my class 1 drivers licence and my instructor said all his past students left Victoria because of low wages.Unless your a high income earner,Victoria sucks because of the high cost of living.I’ve seen 10-15 young people waiting outside for a part time position at a gas station.

#124 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.02.13 at 1:43 pm

Went on-line to check out property taxes …..

Out local Home Depot paid almost $380,000 last year. So each day they open the doors they have to make at least $ 1000 day profit to pay Local Gov’t .

A few weeks back, a Starbucks in downtown Vancouver closed, mainly because it couldn’t negotiate a lease. However, they revealed their lease was $375,000 per year. for 1500 sq. ft……but again huge overhead

I think what we are seeing is delusional Local Gov’ts expecting the Golden Goose to continue and ignoring the writing on the wall. We see a lot of growth but I do not see it trickling down to benefit the other words where the F#$% is all the money going?

#125 The Prophet Elijah on 02.02.13 at 2:11 pm

US GDP moved into negative territory for the 1st time in 3 years, unemployment inched up and the DOW hitting 14,000 – can you say QE money printing by the Fed, as usual Peter Schiff explains it well:

#126 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.02.13 at 2:11 pm

Fail !

Ad Campaign for “The ROLSTON” :


Now far be it for me to suggest nearby buildings be named “Le Doggy Style”….” Le Missionary”…..

Could this building stand up to the seismic impact of the Starbucks starts making out ?..or the McDonalds start humping the ground floor? …OMG if the Home Depot gets drunk….

#127 Ronaldo on 02.02.13 at 2:14 pm

#75 JuliaS –

#57 Eaglebay – Parksville

“Correct. People need something to stand out from the crowd. When everyone has a post secondary degree of some sort, having one simply makes you like everybody else with a degree.”

As this high school principal pointed out as well.

#128 The Prophet Elijah on 02.02.13 at 2:15 pm

#116 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 02.02.13 at 1:05 pm

I have tried explaining the current real estate correction to coworkers, friends etc. “Asian buyers are only a small percentage of the market, Canadians are heavily indebt, aging pensionless boomers selling their homes to live, over abundance of condos, and on and on and on.

Sheeple dont want to hear bad news. Period.

Leave them in denile and prepare for the coming “deals”…
This is my experience exactly, sure creates a strange awkwardness, it’s not stuff people want to here, and most are homeowners and enjoy the thrill of telling people on facebook they just got a home and getting the stamp of approval – “like”

#129 FRANK SIMON on 02.02.13 at 2:19 pm

As a former mortgage broker in the Western Communities of Victoria, I posted this back in October 2010 at

The day after I originally posted this, I was fired.

Instead of heeding my own advice however, I held off listing my own home until June of 2012.

Originally asking $479,900, it was reduced 90 days later to $449,900. After another 90 days it was reduced to $429,900, where it sits today with no showings in the last week.

Silly, silly me…

#130 jess on 02.02.13 at 2:35 pm

Will rising interest rates will reveal massive fraud in the interest rate derivative market?

#131 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.02.13 at 2:52 pm

Widespread price-fixing alleged in Toronto home construction
Competition Bureau accuses concrete contractors of colluding since 1997

A construction-industry conspiracy to inflate the price of building foundations for houses has been operating for nearly 15 years in the Toronto area, Canada’s Competition Bureau maintains in a 120-page search-warrant application obtained by CBC News.

The bureau says some of the biggest companies that pour concrete basement foundations for new homes have:

— Agreed to fix prices.
–Established agreements not to compete.
–Attempted to stifle smaller competitors.

With more than 330,000 new houses built in the Greater Toronto Area since 1997, the alleged price-fixing could have added hundreds of millions of dollars to the total tab for home construction — or several thousand dollars per house.

McGill University competition-law expert Richard Janda says the case has some similarities to the Quebec construction industry, where a public inquiry has unearthed pervasive collusion. McGill University competition-law expert Richard Janda says the case has some similarities to the Quebec construction industry, where a public inquiry has unearthed pervasive collusion. (CBC)

“It’s pretty striking,” McGill University law professor Richard Janda, an expert in competition law, said after reviewing the documents obtained by CBC News. “It’s fairly weighty evidence.”

Those documents allege that up to 10 companies in the concrete-forming business — those who assemble the moulds for basement foundation walls, pour concrete into them, then dismantle the frames — either orchestrated or abided by the price-fixing scheme. They supposedly crafted their arrangements through the Residential Low Rise Forming Contractors Association of Metropolitan Toronto and Vicinity and pressured rivals who tried to undercut their fees.

“The alleged co-conspirators allegedly participated in, and may be continuing to participate in, meetings, telephone conversations and other forms of communication among themselves and/or with their competitors for the purpose of exchanging competitively sensitive information, fixing prices and allocating customers,” the warrant application reads.

So far, no charges have been laid and none of the allegations in the search warrant application has been tested in court.

Several industry insiders told CBC News it’s “common” that concrete forming companies discuss their prices with each other.

“It’s the way business is done. This is very common,” said a veteran construction manager at a Toronto-area homebuilder, who asked to remain anonymous, citing concerns about compromising his business relationships. “They have a coffee … they talk about suppliers — and eventually there’s a typical consensus of where prices should be.”
Homeowners possibly stung

The Competition Bureau court documents suggest the cost of pouring the foundation of a new home in the Toronto area might have been inflated as much as 20 per cent in most cases. CBC News crunched the numbers and determined that represents between $1,500 and $4,000 per house, depending on the size and height of basement walls. The total tab to all affected homeowners would be between $363 million and $969 million.

“We’re talking some really big numbers here,” said Steve Silverberg, a forensic accountant who verified CBC’s calculations.

He also said that in cases where a contractor has an established relationship with a homebuilder, rival formwork companies will rarely try to snatch away that work. “They’ll say, ‘Either you’re going to get the contract or I’m going to get the contract, but at the end of the day, you know, we have to help each other out and we shouldn’t price below this level.’ ”

But the construction manager said he doesn’t believe that the consumer suffers. “I don’t think that it has enough of a bearing on the end price,” he said, adding that he would rather companies talk among themselves about their prices than have one bid so low that it ends up losing money.

Competition-law expert Janda, however, said the whole idea of a free market that yields better service and prices “disappears” when companies collude.

“Who loses is the public,” he said. “It’s pretty similar to theft, in the sense that rather than having prices that are set according to who can offer the best service and who can do so most cheaply, prices are set according to, basically, a monopolist.

“When allegations of this kind started to emerge in Quebec in the construction industry, people started paying attention to the possibility that the entire structure of the industry was problematic.”
Decade-old concerns

Concerns about concrete formwork in the Toronto area first surfaced more than a decade ago, according to the Competition Bureau warrants and other documents obtained by CBC News. In 2000, the warrant application shows, the owner of a concrete-forming company wrote to the industry association worried about measures he thought were “illegally restricting competition.” Two years later, a letter from another concrete-forming contractor cited “what I seen and heard at the meetings … fixing prices to $32/foot.”
Real Estate Mapping average home prices across Canada

#132 Derek R on 02.02.13 at 2:56 pm

#124 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.02.13 at 1:43 pm wrote:
Went on-line to check out property taxes …..

Out local Home Depot paid almost $380,000 last year. So each day they open the doors they have to make at least $ 1000 day profit to pay Local Gov’t .

A few weeks back, a Starbucks in downtown Vancouver closed, mainly because it couldn’t negotiate a lease. However, they revealed their lease was $375,000 per year. for 1500 sq. ft……but again huge overhead

This is at the heart of why businesses prosper or fail. The combined bite taken out of profits by taxes and rents.

It needs to be fixed but it needs to be fixed right.

The simple answer is to reduce property taxes. Trouble is that the simple answer is simple and wrong because of the law of unintended consequences.

It was tried in the UK during the 1980s. Enterprise zones were set up where property taxes were reduced to zero. The intended consequence was to reduce business costs in the zone. The actual consequence was that rents rose by the same amount that taxes dropped. So business costs were unchanged but landlords made a fortune and as a result property prices inside Enterprise zones soared making it even more expensive to invest for any business which wanted to own its premises instead of leasing them.

So experience shows us that reducing property taxes may look good but longterm it’s actually business-unfriendly.

#133 GregW, Oakville on 02.02.13 at 2:56 pm

Hi #69 Nastra, I thought you might be interested in this.

Silicon Valley start-up Solar Junction has raised the bar for solar efficiency to 44 percent, and even higher values are in the cards: The company has a road map for reaching 50 percent efficiency and beyond.

And here another article about it or simmilar advances.

#134 AK on 02.02.13 at 2:57 pm

#125 The Prophet Elijah on 02.02.13 at 2:11 pm

“US GDP moved into negative territory for the 1st time in 3 years, unemployment inched up and the DOW hitting 14,000 – can you say QE money printing by the Fed, as usual Peter Schiff explains it well:”

Peter Schiff sounds like a broken record. He says the same thing over and over again. “Buy precious metals”. blah, blah, blah and blah.. :-)

He just likes to hear himself blab away.

Maria is the only one that made any sense in the video.

#135 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 2:57 pm

Ya, I am back. OK sometimes I can be oppressive. But, seriously, Big Box Stores. I would actually pay for the Penguin Art (that is coming) and put in my backyard, where the 30 x 40 salt swimming pool is. The poor unfortunate employees of these stupid establishments are more dilusional [sic] than the stockholders.

OK, I know Ed, he is the meat manager at Wal-Mart. We talk. I do not cook ever. But we are friends. He tells me a turkey is on sale. Seriously, buddy I do not care.

#136 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 2:58 pm

Why am I in Wal-Mart?

#137 Bottoms_Up on 02.02.13 at 3:03 pm

#31 Mark on 02.01.13 at 11:03 pm
Your evidence is called anecdotal, and is actually specific to a certain training/educational background (how many VHS repairmen are being hired these days?), thus doesn’t hold a lot of water.

Best to look at and use actual data on (un)employment:

Unemployment rate is 7.1% in Canada as of December (the link also gives participation rate and was unchanged month over month).

And here’s a chart of Canada’s unemployment rate, which shows that is actually IS the lowest it’s been in quite awhile:

#138 franke le skank on 02.02.13 at 3:08 pm

#134 AK on 02.02.13 at 2:57 pm

Peter Shiff owns a companie that sells gold. I was listening to him on newstalk radio and he preached gloom and doom and ended his segment with a shameless promotion of his gold company.

#139 daystar on 02.02.13 at 3:09 pm

I’ve been on sabbatical:

(liked it that way) but I can’t help myself on this one (the letter by a nurse a few days back almost had me wanting to talk about the need to be ready for prosperity as far more important than the need to understand economics and investing, horse before the cart sort of thing but anyhow).

Firstly, people who attack Mark Carney as being responsible for the creation of a housing bubble and household debt while ignoring the consequences of what higher interest rates will do to our currency which has been at or near par for more than 2 years now, ought to rethink BoC policy with currency in mind. One cannot read an economists words like Derek Holt explaining why BoC rates will remain low in Canada and agree, while in the same breath blame Carney for Canada’s housing bubble. It simply doesn’t work that way.

I’ll say it again and again until people finally get it. Government regulation is the cause of Canada’s housing bubble specifically in the way CMHC was regulated and automatically you have 2 people to blame in federal government (and then some). F and Harper, the guy that put him there. They both did it do appease our banks (we can blame the CEO’s and directors involved there as well who of course, were hansomely awarded with self appointed stock options for jobs so called “well done”) in the bid for a majority government through a wealth effect, effectively buying our votes with our own borrowed money…. and it worked. So if people want to crucify Mark Carney, find a better reason than “he worked for Goldman” or “he lowered interest rates for 4 years”. What has the U.S. done with their rates? What have currencies done? Think! Try, oh, say, “his testimony concerning income trusts” and then we can all play out the pygmalion effect from there, predictably and accordingly but try a reason that has reason:

Secondly, Derek Holt is now able to predict low rates coming from the BoC for years to come as a result of how U.S. fiscal policy is shaping up in the U.S. . Lets look at how media packaged the fiscal cliff to begin with shall we? To raise taxes is to go over a cliff. Devastation, destruction, chaos, no, we can’t go over cliffs, we can’t have that. What we’ve witnessed was one of the finest propaganda campaigns you’ll ever see. And it worked. Maybe this is why?

Big oil, big pharma, defence, finance, the link missed one. Media. Media has the power to influence like no other and if all 5 are working together for the same common goals (like keeping corporate taxes low and spending high), you can bet its going to happen unless a large social movement suggests otherwise.

For the U.S. to get at all serious about their fiscal deficit or Obama to have any truth to his election promise to steer the U.S. towards balance or anything near it, they needed at least in my opinion, to chop their deficit by half or $550 billion. What did they accomplish? Maybe $50 billion chopped off their deficit annually through meagre tax increases. The tax bill they recently passed included 68 Billion worth of new spending offsetting tax revenues generated by tax increases to the rich, negating the effects of increased taxes to 2% of the population to a whopping $60 billion or so annually off the deficit on the revenue side. In the corporate world, shareholder’s gains are still largely untaxed, now at 20% (and thats where the real money is made folks, if you thought the rich got hosed, think again).

I could go on about the process. In some social circles, its called an old boys club:

… where politicians, royalty and the worlds most powerful shareholders get together and assess leadership strength and weakness and plan out what must be done to rule the world but is there a need to use the word conspire to describe it? We know the most powerful meet and talk to each other sometimes daily to run things accordingly. To manage self interests, the interests of others, the rest is a guess but we know or should know that they meet and plan. Politicians meet, central bankers meet, CEO’s meet, sometimes they all meet because they have to. There is a plan or manifesto and now the masses (if they choose to) including Derek Holt know what is truly on in the minds of the rich and powerful concerning fiscal policy and as a consequence, where central bank rates will be going forward.

Simply put, the U.S. is going to continue to fund close to a third of its spending through sovereign debt. Not taxes, not spending cuts, but more debt. A good chunk of treasury bonds are accumulated as a result of trade where other nations have no recourse but to buy, hold or be paid in government bonds concerning trade. Its no accident that all commodities are, for example, traded in U.S. dollars. Its not like interest rates are attracting investment into U.S. treasuries here from retail investors, far from it. There is an angle with currency related deriviatives should the dollar continue to fall, and it will and it will have an impact on future debt but other than that, Bernanke, as well as the brain trust of both political parties heavily influenced by corporations and the power behind the media to do their will, has relied not on tax increases or meaningful spending cuts to fix fiscal policy but with Q.E. and as a consequence, Q.E. is their future going forward and that means cheap rates for years to come from the feds (rates will creep up in the bond markets however in Canada, as a consequence of CMHC hitting its $600 billion limit and bond markets having to price in greater risk):

Japan first introduced Q.E. in 2001 as a consequence of a grotesque real estate bubble gone bust with successive governments who would not raise taxes or cut spending to adjust to the fiscal imbalances and as a result we saw annual gross public debt to GDP ratios in high single digits since the late 80’s in Japan. Where is the U.S. right now? Where Japan was in 2000. What have I been saying about so called irrelevant gross public debt to GDP ratios reaching 100% to 150%? Its fundamentals. Right…

With the U.S. now Q.E. financing their spending since late 08′ (MBS bailouts as the initial trigger) and with present fiscal policy coming to light, it looks like the U.S. doesn’t even want to begin to try to fix their fiscal imbalances. Someone needs to remind U.S. politicians that their job, their careers are finite and do it fast. They all have one of two ways to go out. Its either on their knees or on their feet and the way they are choosing to be remembered has do massively disappoint anyone in the know.

So sure, the U.S. will have an economic “recovery” and corporations will make money but its on borrowed money that isn’t sustainable ok? Its like looking at an economy and all the indicators look good except for the indicator of where the money comes from to pay for it. The U.S. could have tried an NAU like Europe did to fix their problems which is find another layer of financing with a new currency and central bank where each nation chips in 15 pennies to borrow a buck with another mystical lender popping out of nowhere poof, just like that but never mind smart Canadians who don’t want an NAU (its still fixable in Canada even after what our traitor Harper has done), Americans don’t want unions. Their corporate “unions” work for them just fine. Q.E. is their future now, their strings pulled by the sons of perdition, (names without a soul) and unions of corporatocracy and we ask, how much can the system take?

As I’ve suggested in the past (that too, went over some heads), its a question not so much of fundamentals, but of confidence. The U.S. economy is still the largest in the world. It still has, in terms of nominal dollars, the largest manufacturing base (albeit, multinational base) in the world. Most if not all commodities still trade in U.S. dollars for a reason. 1 out of every 4 nominal dollars are american. We are talking about an empire here and predicting the collapse of an empire is like trying to predict the end of the Roman empire if one understands what I’m saying but I believe at this point that the U.S. will shoot well past fundamentals on this one, confidence in america is that strong… until say… they lose their icon city of finance to a natural disaster or something similar, the numbers are cheezy B movie horrific regardless of the thickness and color of lipstick and that confidence is quickly gone.

I can’t say when. Garth is 63. I’m 47. Maybe not in his lifetime, but possibly within my own and the subject of loss, well, that one can wait for a more serrendippidous time. Just know that it should not shock us dumb when it does come is all I have to say.

#140 richmond bc on 02.02.13 at 3:15 pm

You’ll really enjoy this Rick Mercer 77 second video skit on housing referencing Jim Flaherty. It was a hoot:

#141 Old Man on 02.02.13 at 3:20 pm

This is off topic, but untold millions have been hacked inside the Hotmail system, and the reset is too busy, but keep on trying, and on the forum nothing will work for them, so here is the real problem. When the reset comes up be prepared with a surprise, as one must now establish a password with 8 digits, so do not mess this up. You must make a combo with numbers and upper and lower case letters to make it work, or all will be a waste of time, and you won’t know why.

#142 JuliaS on 02.02.13 at 3:22 pm

#127 Ronaldo

I live in Vancouver where the Asian population makes up at least half of all the people. At least that’s what it appears.

Traditional Asians have much stricter discipline. They learn from an early age, don’t take breaks, the kids’ parents don’t give them any slack. I have 4-year olds in my community that can do math multiplication in their head and speak better English that some high school locals.

When I was in school, I finished Math 2 grades early. It was my thing. However I was nothing compared to Asian immigrant kids that were not only ahead, they had perfect precision in every course other than English. They were getting 100% marks on all of their tests – never below 100%.

And guess what? They weren’t special back home.

In a country of one billion people you know that in order to make it you have to be better than your neighbor, better then the kid in the next town, better than any kid on the goddamn planet.

Here we are just discovering what competing against the rest of the world means.

I can understand why Asians always rush to the bus door at the bus stop, even though there is hardly anyone in line and plenty of spare seats. They’ve got competition burned permanently into their brains. They live in the land of relative plenty, but they still act as if there were 1 billion people rushing to outpace them.

I both, dislike and admire them for the trait. On one hand, their behavior seems to be impolite, on the other hand, knowing where they’re coming from, I sympathize with them. Our kids need to know who they’re competing against in the real world. Same rules apply. Be not just your personal best, but an absolute best, and finding a job will never be an issue.

#143 Van guy on 02.02.13 at 3:26 pm


If the bond market is going to move the fixed rates in the near future, where will that put the variable rate at?

Is it still safe to lock it in long term now or do a 1 year fixed and see where it goes after?

#144 Mister Obvious on 02.02.13 at 3:32 pm

#123 happy renter

“Unless your a high income earner, Victoria sucks because of the high cost of living”


But not compared to Vancouver when it comes to rent. I’m a happy renter too, right here in Vancouver. I was born here and I’m glad to call it home in spite of the copious bad press we receive.

To be honest, I also bad mouth my hometown from time to time for all the usual reasons: inadequate road system, incessant rain in winter, tedious artsy-fartsy civic government, self absorbed yuppies and the stupidest house prices on the planet.

But I do know Victoria very well. I have friends there and I love the place. It’s my ace in the hole. If rents rise beyond my tolerance level in Vancouver I am bound for the Island where a retiree can secure very comfortable, well located places for about two thirds of the rent one would pay in Vancouver.

#145 Norm on 02.02.13 at 3:33 pm

Kelowna developer seems to be having $$$ problems. I thought BC was booming, you would think so according to the govt. and the leftist Kelowna Courier.
Another reason not to watch Global National. I was at my Dad’s apt. and they did a new segment on the stupid IKEA monkey, but not one word about the Israeli attack on a Syrian convoy. They had a lead story last week however about real estate. I guess they want to appease their “sponsors”.

#146 Taco Bell on 02.02.13 at 3:39 pm

Thanks God for the Globe and Mail. They just rescued the Toronto Real Estate market LOL

#147 S-J on 02.02.13 at 3:45 pm

Why is Target so keen on moving into Canada? Isn’t their timing a bit off?

#148 HAWK on 02.02.13 at 3:46 pm

#73 Quebec is Great on 02.02.13 at 3:22 am

If that story is true, I am delighted that once in a while there is justice in this world. Now if only the bankers would get it ——–(with compound interest).

#149 The Prophet Elijah on 02.02.13 at 3:58 pm

#134 AK on 02.02.13 at 2:57 pm

#125 The Prophet Elijah on 02.02.13 at 2:11 pm

“US GDP moved into negative territory for the 1st time in 3 years, unemployment inched up and the DOW hitting 14,000 – can you say QE money printing by the Fed, as usual Peter Schiff explains it well:”

Peter Schiff sounds like a broken record. He says the same thing over and over again. “Buy precious metals”. blah, blah, blah and blah.. :-)

He just likes to hear himself blab away.

Maria is the only one that made any sense in the video.
Yep and he sounded like a broken record on the housing crash and we know how that ended.
Truth is people need to be told things repeatedly to sink in…..The Greater Fool is been running since 2008 and people are now just starting to get it, HA!

#150 Ronaldo on 02.02.13 at 4:03 pm

57 Eaglebay – Parksville –

“There’s always a job for talented and productive workers.
You may need new professors.“

Or a new computer screen. The prof of the future. Why have 10,000 of them when you may only need a few of the better ones. Yep, be careful what you wish for. On-line schooling. The way of the future.

#151 Mike on 02.02.13 at 4:07 pm

here is some good news for you Mr Turner

a headline out of the Okanagan

‘Valley-wide reading project launched’

hopefully they can reach the comprehension challenged people that populate the blog here

thanks for the post, things are un-folding pretty much as I thought, un-fortunately


go Niners

#152 HAWK on 02.02.13 at 4:11 pm

#103 Interesting Times:

– 70% of CDN living pay cheque to pay cheque and have no savings and over 70% have no pensions


Where’s the evidence for this?

#153 Richard and Zeus on 02.02.13 at 4:18 pm

“Dow closes above 14,000 for first time since 2007″

Actually it is very significant. — Garth

Yes and no……

No…..the Govt lies about everything. I dont trust anything from Wallstreet or the govt. Especially their phony made up numbers HOWEVER….

As pointed out by people here…call it good or bad….jobs are returning with lower wages in the US but better than being in China. I am staunchly anti-china and only buy N.American. I am buying more and more quality well priced (lower) goods from Canada and the US. Bought a beautiful purple maternity dress made of bamboo made in Canada in mouldcouver……80 bucks. Cheap. Exceptional quality.

We are in manufacturing. More jobs are being done here….but it’s going to take time and lazy pencil pushers need to start using their hands and learn a trade or at least be part of the manufacturing industry (sales, R&D etc). This will bring us back…..

#154 Old Man on 02.02.13 at 4:25 pm

#152 Hawk – I will be your evidence as am running to the bank all the time for more cash, as there is never enough. Goods and services are costing more all the time, and have never seen this all before, as the dollar that was is no more. Things are a changing.

#155 Old Man on 02.02.13 at 4:49 pm

#147 S-J – agree with what you said and will explain this all, as when the US dollar was bought at a premium paid as high as $1.52 CND to buy $1.00 USD because was sending banker cheques to USA that had to be signed by two officials. Now why did not the US companies come to Canada with that buying power?

The USA was booming, and things fell apart, so too many retail stores lost markets, as there was an excess, and many had to consolidate with closures, so looked for a new market, and even with the CND close to equal value decided that Canada would for corporate profits became a target, as too much excess in USA existed.

#156 DM in C on 02.02.13 at 4:52 pm

Calgary is operating in micro-climates these days. Our NW neighborhood is now so lacking listings that new lists are going in days — often with multiple bidders. Quite a change from last fall.

BUT that’s only with well priced, well finished places. Anything that’s 15 years old with an unfinished basement and no garage will sit there, and rightfully so. Lazy bastards expect to cash out without doing anything.

Oh, but the grow op place with 2bdrms and unfinished basement that’s been empty for 3 years is still empty — the bank wants $367k for it.

Should be an interesting spring market. I’m just glad my job and income do not depend even remotely on Oil/Gas.

#157 AK on 02.02.13 at 4:59 pm

#149 The Prophet Elijah on 02.02.13 at 3:58 pm

“Yep and he sounded like a broken record on the housing crash and we know how that ended.”

Everybody and their uncle, including me :-), predicted the downfall of the US Real Estate Market back in 2008.

Peter Schiff is now predicting the end of the world and pushing Gold at it’s all time high.

#158 Junius on 02.02.13 at 5:17 pm

Re: Big Box Retailers,

While it is clearly a sign of the times that Best Buy and Sears are shutting down it is not all about the poor economy. Long term the Big Box retailer business faces growing competition from online Retailers such as Amazon and a growing host of others.

Zappos has single handedly changed the shoe business in ways that make it very hard for big retailers to compete.

In addition, long term trends in manufacturing will undermine the competitive advantages of the Wal Marts and Targets in many product categories. Chris Anderson’s new book “The Makers” is worth checking out if you are interested in the changes in technology that are having an impact on manufacturing.

#159 Tony on 02.02.13 at 5:29 pm

6 buys, 7 sells for the coming 2013 recession

Nice. But there will be no recession. — Garth

#160 Junius on 02.02.13 at 5:34 pm

James Kunstler’s blog post is interesting today.

“What’s obvious to me is what I have been fearing about this country for some time now: that all the disorders of our time would prompt a campaign to defend the status quo at all costs and to sustain the unsustainable. That is really the master wish behind all the political hijinks of the day, especially the pervasive accounting fraud in all high-order money matters.”

Here is the full link:

#161 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.02.13 at 5:47 pm

#132 Derek R on 02.02.13 at 2:56 pm

We have the Olympic Oval…we are now going to add a $ 5 Million museum….

The biggest Museum in BC is in Victoria, it still cannot break even and requires subsidies. Our Council keeps spending on the F$%& oval trying to fool us that the bigger the investment, eventually it will be world class.

I could go on and on….and I am sure others could to. It happesn all over…the gooses last feather gets plucked. It will implode….but the average citizen will be left holding the bag.

#162 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 6:00 pm

I missed a show, I wanted to watch. On the National. Now Peter and I have a past. But it is about no jobs in 2030. I think it aired Friday. HELP. Am so hungover. Some man knocked on the door this morning looking for his brother in law. I lied and told him I only sleep with girls. He was not here. Bad day. New babies, dead friend. Not a great day for Beach Girl.

#163 MoneyMyHoney on 02.02.13 at 6:17 pm

Interest rate not going to rise is nothing new. Garth, you were, time and again musing about the ‘potential of higher interest rates and the implication’. Some of the readers (some, out of pure ignorance) said it is never going to happen. They turned out to be true.

This was the very reason I predicted long, long back: Carney the Goldman is here to bury Canada.

The Mortician finished his Canadian mandate. To the British he looks like a Magician.

Again, I stand by what I said earlier, you don’t have to wait for the never ending mirage. It is around the corner, just around May 2013.

Higher rates ‘will never happen’? Hope you don’t have money riding on that. — Garth

#164 Old Man on 02.02.13 at 6:29 pm

#162 Beach Girl – you need a break so go to the ROM for a few hours, and enjoy the greatest museum in Canada, and then off to 142 Cumberland down the street to a place called Hemingways; recommend the top level, and the Tai chicken fry is a winner. This in the in place in Yorkville, and do not be concerned that hundreds of people will be there.

#165 Musty Basement Wannabe on 02.02.13 at 6:36 pm

“Derek, the soft-spoken, 905ish, hairless oracle of Bay.”

Man that’s an awesome photo and vivid description Garth.

Derek, and that photo exemplifies an economist/ banker type cast. I think there is a future there for TV commercials.

Good stuff Derek, have fun.

#166 Burnt Norton on 02.02.13 at 6:39 pm

#142 JuliaS on 02.02.13 at 3:22 pm

What an inane, stereotyped comment.

#167 Westernman on 02.02.13 at 7:19 pm

Can this thing known as Beach Girl really be an actual person? I mean his/her/it’s posts are so bizarre and disjointed I wonder if it’s just Smoking Man being his usual idiotic self…

#168 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.02.13 at 7:25 pm

Super Bowl….

Tough Call…..

…..But I’m going Ravens…they gotta win it for Ray Lewis….
They got the offence fired up…..Good Defences like the Ravens will have the 49 ers figured out.

The only 100% winner is the Harbaugh parents…can’t lose, the family gets a Super Bowl ring.

Smoking Man is buying drinks….Beach Girl will cook appies.

#169 Denise on 02.02.13 at 7:38 pm

Beach Girl: Love your posts, don’t quit this blog.

#170 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 02.02.13 at 7:40 pm


#171 claudius emperor on 02.02.13 at 7:41 pm

Peter Schiff predicted the US housing bubble at a time when very few did. I can proudly say that I did predict it independently as well. He was ridiculled as well as I was, but on different level. He is a public figure and was called crazy on national TV by ignorant and uneducated people.

Peter Schiff is advocating for investing outside US. He is not a pure gold bug. You can ignore him at your own peril. He has a point though. The significant and unreported inflation could go wild.

I personally agree with Garth that US can not be ignored and some companies with international exposure in the states are very good investment.
But macroeconomically I am afraid Peter Schiff could be correct. It might take time but the more we slide on this downhill the more we acelerate and I am afraid there would be an unavoidable tick wall waiting for some of us at the end of this slide.

#172 claudius emperor on 02.02.13 at 7:53 pm

Higher rates ‘will never happen’? Hope you don’t have money riding on that. — Garth
Not in the near future. And yes, one can safely bet on that and invest wisely. Until debt becomes inflated and can be serviced again there would be no interest rates rises. At some point I saw that coming but was hoping for some sanity. I was wrong. M.C is a very good deceiver. Now I am invested appropriately.

I thought that the best way to stimulate the economy was to reduce taxes on the middle class and the poor and stimulate spending and investing that way. I think that F and M.C. orchestrated the worst possible scenario shooting the bullets too early and misallocating the stimulus (no doubt in order to benefit the big banks). This is why F’s kids have no problem getting lucrative aprenticeship at Bay Street.

#173 brainsail on 02.02.13 at 8:00 pm

The closing of stores has only just begun.

#174 Smoking Man on 02.02.13 at 8:03 pm

Go Ravens!!!!!!

and two deleted, don’t remember writing one…… Hum?

#175 Nodebt on 02.02.13 at 8:13 pm

I think beach girl is a guy!

#176 Devore on 02.02.13 at 8:15 pm

#98 Beach Girl

This is what Twitter is for.

#177 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 8:33 pm

#164 Old Man on 02.02.13 at 6:29 pm

#162 Beach Girl – you need a break so go to the ROM for a few hours, and enjoy the greatest museum in Canada, and then off to 142 Cumberland down the street to a place called Hemingways; recommend the top level, and the Tai chicken fry is a winner. This in the in place in Yorkville, and do not be concerned that hundreds of people will be there.


Sweetheart, I nearly own Hemingways. Owned 36 Lowther Street in the Ville. Come on dude, buy me a lobster, extra butter please. I feel like shit today. And I donate to the ROM, but dislike them now cause I dislike Mr Suzuki. Private female bodyguards. Give me a break. No one wants that old carcass. I preferred the Plaza, top floor. Nice drinks, pleasant people.

#178 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 8:38 pm

And Claytons’ office is on Prince Arthur. Seriously. I am not Westernman. Can you afford a lobster? I am lonely tonight.

#179 Derek R on 02.02.13 at 8:40 pm

#161 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.02.13 at 5:47 pm wrote
We have the Olympic Oval…we are now going to add a $5 Million museum….

The biggest Museum in BC is in Victoria, it still cannot break even and requires subsidies. Our Council keeps spending on the F$%& oval trying to fool us that the bigger the investment, eventually it will be world class.

You got my sympathy on that, HH. That’s stupid spending pure and simple. The average citizen should be voting the bums out.

#180 Daisy Mae on 02.02.13 at 8:50 pm

#145 Norm: “I thought BC was booming, you would think so according to the govt….”


Those commercials are ludicrous. According to the BC Liberals, BC leads Canada and the entire world. We’re just SO great….doing everything right.

Personally, I think they’re nuts…but hey! That’s just me.

#181 Ogopogo on 02.02.13 at 8:54 pm

#138 franke le skank on 02.02.13 at 3:08 pm
#134 AK on 02.02.13 at 2:57 pm

Peter Shiff owns a companie that sells gold. I was listening to him on newstalk radio and he preached gloom and doom and ended his segment with a shameless promotion of his gold company.

I still have a lot of respect of Schiff because he accurately called the US housing crash when all the real estate scumbags were laughing at him on national TV. But now he’s going too far with his own self-promotion. Even his blog is nothing but a thinly disguised infomercial.

#182 Big Ben on 02.02.13 at 9:11 pm

at least todays thread has not been hijacked by smoking idiot

#183 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 02.02.13 at 9:19 pm


One of my posts got deleted…

Should I change my name to “Smoking Beach Girl Man”?

All I said was Bald heads from top look like a$$ cheeks.

(PS: Good thing CRa$$ takes deleted posts as tax deductions )

#184 franke le skank on 02.02.13 at 9:20 pm

#181 Ogopogo on 02.02.13 at 8:54 pm

I remember watching Peter shiff get hammered by 4 or 5 douchebags on fox regarding US housing. The great thing about youtube is we can all go back to see who those scumbags are, as we will do after Canadian RE explodes.

One thing smokingman and perhaps beachgirl, I grew up surrounded by alcoholics and I can tell you none of them brag about drinking. If there’s anything more pityfull then being an alcoholic, its pretending to be one.

#185 franke le skank on 02.02.13 at 9:24 pm

I take that back, being an alcoholic isn’t pityful, its a disease that needs counceling and support from friends and family in order to cure it.

#186 Devore on 02.02.13 at 9:27 pm

#142 JuliaS

I can understand why Asians always rush to the bus door at the bus stop, even though there is hardly anyone in line and plenty of spare seats. They’ve got competition burned permanently into their brains.

I don’t know that I agree with your conclusion exactly, but this seems to be very cultural behaviour. In some places people almost naturally form up into a line when more than 2 are waiting for something, elsewhere not so much. I think it’s more representative of the level of law and order (and by extension fairness) afforded to the masses.

I was in Hong Kong last November, and people there don’t line up for anything, except transit, which is very orderly. They will crowd and rush even when there are more than enough resources for everyone.

Went to The Peak on my last day with a buddy, which is serviced by a special tram that goes up a 30+ degree hill for a few minutes. There was a big line up of course, but the boarding platform was specifically counted out by the attendants to the man. No matter, when the doors opened everyone pushed and shoved to get on. My friend and I just went whoa! stood back, chilled for a minute, and got on at the end without risking bruises or ripped hair.

On the way back instead of waiting over an hour for the tram, we took the bus; zero wait time.

It’s a different world out there. Been there, got the t-shirt.

#187 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 9:33 pm

#103 INTERESTING TIMES on 02.02.13 at 12:11 pm

And you watch BNN, wow.
Anybody looking for positive news?
You sure don’t.
Sorry, couldn’t read your complete post, too boring and full of your pessimism.

#188 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 9:39 pm

#112 Alex n calgary on 02.02.13 at 12:57 pm

Exaggerate much?
Do you know what a flood is?
Greed is good. Envy and jealousy not so good.

#189 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 9:51 pm

#121 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 02.02.13 at 1:27 pm
“I think Best Buy/ Future Shop is a victim of their own greed.
The majority of people that I spoke to about these two companies immediately related stories of annoying sales people pushing “extended warranties” that were either ignored or became so convoluted to get repairs done they were virtually useless.”

So, Best Buy and Future Shop are supposed to look after people like the Government?
Can people make up their own minds and shop wisely?
Greed is good and it works both ways.
The relationship between the consumers and the retailers is changing.
Who do you blame next?

#190 Nixon on 02.02.13 at 9:55 pm

Without prejudice Garth if prices drop across Canada to the tune of 35-40 percent. Ok, now how many of those boomers/fools that held these assets called homes will end up getting burned? That prices drop to the tune of 35-40 percent and all boomers put their houses up for sale at the exact same time contributing to more deflation and stalwart real estate is in fact more likely? I’m really confused, because as you say the only thing keeping the hubris porn housing market alive is cheap money from the big banks. Like what scenario are you conjuring when you proclaim that Canadian households are all under water. You assert that Canadian interest rates (short term rates) will inch upwards this year. In the fall I think you mentioned more than a few times. What compels you to say that? Because you’ve been saying this for years, and nothing has changed since, well you said that interest rates were going to move up?Moreover that interest rates go up and that lots of Canadian households list their homes on MLS and contribute to further deflation of assets held? How do you know for sure that there exists a “fire sale” mentality, because I get that. I understand why someone would. But that is a guaranteed likely outcome amongst all Canadian households? Just want to understand your position better than what I surmise to be or in fact not be your position. I understand the United States is printing money like it’s going out of style thus contributing to further inflation. And that’s dumb, but like how does the American and Canadian government rescue the economy? Freedom for what? Freedom from what? More liquidity and short term risk in the equity markets? More of the same asset inflation in housing where markets ought to have corrected to more than 50 percent by now. Look at Scamcouver. Complete bulldoze jobs are fetching $800,000??? Are Vancouverites dumb? Are Torontonians dumb? I say it’s time to move to Saskatchewan?

#191 Dr. WAYNE on 02.02.13 at 9:58 pm

188 posts and not an a$$hole in the bunch … good going … perhaps self realization that ignorance ‘isn’t’ bliss has set in.

#192 Nixon on 02.02.13 at 10:00 pm

Like wages have not kept up to the rate of housing inflation here in Canada. Why would anyone put 94 percent of their median pre tax household income to merely have a roof over their moldy heads in Scamcouver? What’s so special about that market? I’m completely dumbfounded. Might it actually mean that the major banks risk losing the most in Scamcouver on tax payer securitized high ratio mortgage debt? Even the average ordinary home in Scamcouver is a garbage. Who in their right mind would want to make a home and raise a family there?

#193 claudius emperor on 02.02.13 at 10:01 pm

# 181 Ogopogo
What is wrong with promoting one own’s business specially when the guy was correct and almost everyone else was not?

Peter Schiff employes 150 people. He has every right to ask to be paid for access to his wisdom.

And he eventually would be right again to some degree.
There is no smoke without fire.

Alan Greenspan still ‘consults’ for fee…

#194 Smoking Man on 02.02.13 at 10:10 pm

:) yes beach Girl is back. Old Man she would destroy you….

#195 periwinkles on 02.02.13 at 10:20 pm

Sino-America recovery.

#196 jess on 02.02.13 at 10:30 pm

i am sure the shark tank wouldn’t have went for the pitch

#197 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 10:31 pm

Smokie, this has been an aweful day. No one seems to love me. Except the dog. Miss Daisy. People are looking for there husbands, who I guarantee are not here. If she does not want to engage in you, why would you think I would entertain that idea? G. not happy, someone say something nice.

#198 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 10:38 pm

I know why the phone is not ringing. All you retards are watching Foot Ball. And no, Clayton did not get me off prostitution charges. It was attempted murder. BS. Cost me 70,000 large. I have no criminal record. But Clay said do not go to Mexico again.

#199 hangfire on 02.02.13 at 10:40 pm

Somehow economists like Mr Holt can’t see the forest for the tree’s. That there will be no rate increases is not because of the strain he says it may pit on the CDN dollar ( the reality is that a strong dollar is the best thing thats happened to manufacturing for decades as they are able to upgrade plant and machinery at competative prices allowing them to finally step up and produce as international businesses…only the unions wioll tell you otherwise) …but because the national government and local governments are so far in debt that any raise in rates will swamp the revenue and kill the boondoggle policies on both sides of the 49th parellell.

Canadian governments ( local, city, territorial, crown corp etc etc etc) are trillions of dollars in debt…a raise in rates will be devastating…..they simply cannot survive even a quarter point increase.

Here in the USA it is public debate that a 1/4 rise will cost hundreds of billions p/a……money that the balance sheet cannot hide or support…..and the US is the reserve currency…Canada is just screwed if rates go up.

Look behind the scenes and you’ll find that a movement has been afoot to expand the structure of including several currency units in the ‘reserve sysytem…Canada has been active in promoting the CDN dollar into the mix…..why????…so that we can start printing even more money than we do….which is currently 15% p/a……and this is being used to repurchase the bonds that we have issued so that we can print more bonds………the fed admits to a national debt of 800 billion…but this is nonsense……the Liberal Party under John Turner foisted the debt onto the local governements……..with the hope of hiding the real debt….now in the trillions when every debt is accouted for…….so……the high CDN dollar is a red herring that Mr Holt is obviously either ignoratnt of or…..under orders not to rock the boat by telling the truth to the public.

#200 Beach Girl on 02.02.13 at 10:59 pm

I am bored, I am a woman, WANT to hear me roar. I am not Smokie, I love Herb, could really hurt that. Old Man, you owe me a lobster. LOL. Garth, really does not like me. And my other sweethearts here, I miss you, am lonely. Does not happen to often.

Oh, I really screwed up a telemarketer from India. He said his name was Cory. I told him I was 97 and no one ever phones me. I told him I will buy everything his is selling, just stay on the line. I am old and lonely. They hung up on me. ya, I am so hungover.

Was suppose to go to a Passion Party. Can not move.

#201 Coho on 02.02.13 at 10:59 pm

“To preserve our independence we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.”
Thomas Jefferson.

Ah, where are the Jeffersons today? Could you imagine a leader that is actually FOR the people today? It’s all gone to hell. There are no Jeffersons in politics. Jefferson knew all about ‘the establishment’ and the tendency of governments to become despotic over time and thus ordered Madison to tack the American Bill of Rights onto the Constitution. And we can see the full on assault against the American Bill of Rights by the majority of politicians and their talking heads on the airwaves. These of course sponsored and supported by the establishment.

The more ignorant and poor people are the easier it is to control them and keep them in place. Governments tend to keep acquiring more power for themselves by disempowering the people and making them dependent on handouts. Of course, governments are merely extensions of those behind world affairs (the establishment).

What is happening is like hiring an accountant to manage YOUR money and instead of managing it he mismanages it to disadvantage you all the while living quite well and giving big chunks of YOUR money to his controllers. In other words, the party is on your tab. Eventually you lose sight that it is YOUR money rather than your accountant’s. Then you are told there isn’t enough money for this or that and that he needs to borrow money from there very ones she/he’s given your money to.

This is not an anarchy blog. — Garth

#202 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 11:04 pm

#150 Ronaldo on 02.02.13 at 4:03 pm

Absolutely right.
Check out the Khan Academy and Coursera.
Coursera produces courses from some of the best universities in the world including the U of T.
I take courses on a regular basis just to stay sharp.

#203 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 11:16 pm

#156 DM in C on 02.02.13 at 4:52 pm

Calgary NW… What a place. Over priced.
Most houses have a garage build right in front of the house. On the side of the garage the ‘front’ of the house has a door and a small window.
Not a tree in sight. We used to call the NW ‘boring town’.
The only good thing about the NW is it’s proximity to the Cowboy Trail. Fast way out.

#204 Coho on 02.02.13 at 11:21 pm

Yes, it seems Jefferson would be viewed as an anarchist today. He’d be very unwelcome by politicians and central banksters alike.

#205 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 02.02.13 at 11:24 pm

Sure glad Garth recharges his batteries by allowing Interns to moderate his posts on weekend.

I heard that. — Garth

#206 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 11:31 pm

#173 brainsail on 02.02.13 at 8:00 pm
“The closing of stores has only just begun.”

How about the opening of new and different stores?
You have a one track mind, the pessimistic mind.
Nordstrom, Target, The Source… A few that comes to mind.
And others that you haven’t heard of yet. The North American entrepreneurs will surprise you.
It will be much more than just brick and mortar.

#207 DonDWest on 02.02.13 at 11:40 pm


#208 Eaglebay - Parksville on 02.02.13 at 11:43 pm

#180 Daisy Mae on 02.02.13 at 8:50 pm
#145 Norm: “I thought BC was booming, you would think so according to the govt….”


“Those commercials are ludicrous. According to the BC Liberals, BC leads Canada and the entire world. We’re just SO great….doing everything right.

Personally, I think they’re nuts…but hey! That’s just me.”

Take away the tree hugger minority running the province and turn the entrepreneurs loose and watch the richest province bloom.
Either that or join Ontario going Greek with the help of the NDP.

#209 Smoking Man on 02.02.13 at 11:47 pm

Beach Girl, love your writing style, you should write a book…

Any topic won’t matter, your good…..

#210 Junius on 02.03.13 at 12:04 am

#201 Coho,

Madison, Jefferson and Adams would all be horrified by the political system today. They were deeply concerned with concentrations of power and its corrupting ability. They would shudder at the control of the large corporations, our media, money in politics and our banks. All for good reason.

And not an anarchist among them.

Yes, I miss the 1780s, too. Rugged individualism, rifle justice, slavery. What a paradise we had (for rich white guys). — Garth

#211 Don on 02.03.13 at 12:09 am

Went to two rental house showings in both cases they were young families fixing up the rental house, but not yet finished. Two houses in both in their early 30’s needing to rent them out for 2K. I take it most wanted to sell but the buyers dried up and now there are over 502 houses for rent in Victoria, that’s just one website. Most families are willing to pay between 1200 – 1800 as per their posted wanted ads. All over Victoria even the upper hoods.

#212 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:16 am


#213 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.03.13 at 12:16 am

#110 Keith in Calgary — “The politicians DO NOT WANT to see the long overdue natural correction to occur on “their” watch.

“The banks DO NOT WANT to take the financial hit for their egregious and negligent actions during the boom, from which they profited handsomely.”

Indeed, but note the heading in current post — “Careful what you wish for”.

Sooner or later, all debts / deficits accrued must be paid for, it doesn’t matter where, when or whom is running the show, those currently in charge will be the ones remembered as the ones who couldn’t manage what they were doing properly.

If politicos / banxters hurt others to get where they wanted to be, then karma is a bitch as it will give them the same treatment in their next lifecycles what they doled out in the present one.

#120 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator — “That’s good for them but how much can this business grow..someone will get knocked out.” — Interesting with Bell, Telus, Rogers and Shaw, plus a few smaller ones, a couple of the US bigwigs could move here and swallow Rogers and Shaw. We recently switched to Comwave ($14.95 / month, compared to Shaw’s $30.95 / month), service is the same but price is a lot cheaper.

#124 Dr. Hoof Hearted — “. . . is delusional Local Gov’ts expecting the Golden Goose to continue and ignoring the writing on the wall.” — A fair description of what’s happening. Fed., Prov. and Muni. govts. are all running short or out of cash, and other than cutting services plus raising property taxes, there ain’t much they can do.

#133 GregW, Oakville — Hi Greg! Long time no see! Thx. for the links. Keep well!

#163 MoneyMyHoney — “This was the very reason I predicted long, long back: Carney the Goldman is here to bury Canada.” — Along with Harper’s “You won’t even recognize Canada . . .” chant. You and Harper are right, of course with the NAU / SPP taking shape.

#168 Dr. Hoof Hearted and #174 Smoking Man — “Super Bowl…. Tough Call….. But I’m going Ravens…” — Agreed.. Good defence always trumps offence, so Ravens minus the points.
US$150 tri. in gold Under sea bed? Probably closer than landing on asteroids, and Goldfinger Bond’s DB5 is up for auction; 1:30 clip Gas went up 39 cents in Miami Valley; Pipeline in Alberta heading east, not west; Gold and Silver miners doing well; Argentina “Czechoslovakia is the only country ever to be kicked out of the IMF.”; Chipotle No college necessary; Bubble Bursting “Remember the “Greenspan Put?”; Robot Rulers = Surplus humans; ObombaCare Retail jobs galore; 7:09 clip Fed prez. explains why he wants big banks broken up; Ghana “And I did tell you Ghana was next. Ghana and Mali together account for 7% of world gold production.”;; Five min. clip China Uncensored: US up for sale.
9:04 clip US soldier says we (the west) are the terrorists; Iran’s new stealth jet; 22:54 clip Friction to mess the machine up with; Death by Doctors And people think Sandy Hook was bad? Obomba’s Smoking Gun Two faced? Plus Sandy Hook conspiracy theories; Space Shuttle Columbia It’s been a decade now; Chinese Cyber Crime Lots of nasty little grunties here, and Twitter hackers Chinese or not, could be a psyop; Stem Cells Rebuilding hearts; Sony’s new PS Lotsa speed; 5:55 clip ‘Net kill switch; Glaciers What lives under them? The Mushroom being used to suppress cancer tumors; The Penguin’s Club Crowded place; Highway to Hell Fireworks killed 26; Movers and Shakers or things that go bump in the night; The Cat Came Back again; 1:36 clip Rapper Ice-T defends gun rights; Shenzen, China Nice city doing quite well (+ pix); Male Soldiers Don’t thump your chests too frequently; 5:58 clip HR 5736 — govt.’s new powers over media; Decentralized ‘Net being built; DIY Home Remedies feat. Baking Soda and other stuff; 39:35 doc. Kannaduhhh — clamping down on raw milk places; Monsanto and Synthetic Genomics More chemicals.

#214 neo on 02.03.13 at 12:18 am

No, you’re just confused. A Canadian credit bubble and robust US corporate profits are not exactly correlated. — Garth


You do realize Q3 profits were flat to negative and Q4 S&P 500 EPS is also tracking slightly negative YOY so far. How exactly does that qualify as “robust”? Remember when Q4 was suppose to bounce back to 10% growth and support the move on the Dow and S&P, well that hasn’t materialized, yet here were are at 14,000 anyway. Even margins are going to be under pressure going forward in the face of sluggish top line growth. I think you’re confused.

Q3 profits were up 12.6 per cent. Now address my point. — Garth

#215 HAWK on 02.03.13 at 12:19 am

#201 Coho on 02.02.13 at 10:59 pm


There is a decent leader alive today.

Ron Paul,……but the Americans were too stupid to vote for him. The rest are all politicians ….the usual vegetables.

RP = nutbar. — Garth

#216 stop lying on 02.03.13 at 12:22 am

predicting no rate hike for 2 years is going to help the market bubble burst… if people think these low rates are going to last forever (2 years is forever for those who want a house) then what’s the incentive to buy now when the MSM is now talking up lower prices to come…

#217 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:34 am

No one really likes rich, good looking people. Brian fell of his yacht. His sister wants me to look after him. He is a good looking drunk. That does not look to good to me. This weekend coming, before my facelift I have invited 6 young women over and we are going to make a cake and get drunk. Brian is paying. It will be 7 layers of just prettiness. I just so love my life. G.


#218 Smoking Man on 02.03.13 at 12:35 am

RP = nutbar. — Garth

You do know that In making a statement like that, will keep you off the machines shit list.

However this comment will put you on the loony shit list.

Just saying……

BEACH GIRL deleted. Your looped, know the feeling

#219 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:41 am

All I said was a politician ran over a cyclist. The cyclists are annoying somewhat. They can be offensive. I did tell my driver because I am so hungover to run him over. Of course, we did not do that. And my driver is Native American, his name is Roman. We are friends. This is not offensive. But also this is not the Tour de France. They are annoying. Will this get through.

#220 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:50 am

Smokie, do you think I am a loon? I never feel insecure. But the lawn ornaments are turning on me. Might have to dump them. Feel lonely tonight.

#221 brainsail on 02.03.13 at 1:04 am

#207 Eaglebay – Parksville on 02.02.13 at 11:31 pm

“How about the opening of new and different stores?
You have a one track mind, the pessimistic mind.”

Sorry, and not to battle with you, we with live south of the border and within a mile and a half from our home in about a 60 degree quadrant we have access to several of the major stores. Home Depot, Lowes, Saks Fifth Avenue (three blocks away and just announced it’s closing), Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Walgreens, REI, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Barnes and Noble, Petsmart, about 60 restaurants, five major grocery stores, three liquor stores, etc. All within walking distance. Walmart, Sears, Harbor Freight, and Kmart are a little further away.

Other than gas, groceries and other basics the majority of our purchases are made over the internet. Better prices, some times free shipping and no sales tax, plus better selections. We live in a small cul-de-sac with 15 houses and FedEx, US Postal Service and UPS make several deliveries to our neighbors every day.

Times have changed.

#222 Com Wave-oh oh! on 02.03.13 at 1:41 am

Hi Nost, thinking of switching from telus but comwave not so sure

#223 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 1:52 am


#224 John Winters on 02.03.13 at 2:10 am

>>same time real estate debt’s

There should not be an apostrophe in ‘debts’.

#225 222 on 02.03.13 at 4:05 am

You can’t imagine but the amount of radio advertising of debt restructuring and bankruptcy help trustee offerings here in Vancouver is rampant…. Lots of foreclosures etc


#226 Lmao on 02.03.13 at 7:38 am

Thanks for the public meltdown beachgirl(boy/it). Good to see the rich(bahahahahahaha) folk aren’t immune.
This is what Facebook is for, or have you been banned. Garth really does have a heart as well as financial acumen.
Good luck with your private(public?) bits. LOL.

#227 Lmao on 02.03.13 at 7:42 am

The real smoking man doesn’t want you either.LMAO!
Better to reconcile with your offspring. Wishing you well.

#228 Anonymous on 02.03.13 at 8:40 am

#57 Eaglebay Parksville

“There’s always a job for talented and productive workers.
You may need new professors.”

I disagree. I know lots of talented and productive people who are unemployed or underemployed. The problem is very big. The problem is not with the professors, aside from the fact that so many of them refuse to retire.

#229 TurnerNation on 02.03.13 at 8:50 am

Beach girl for mayor??

And why do Ford Bros. need to be running Toronto?
Are they not content to sit back and enjoy their multi millions in dollars? Makes little sense.
Unless they are being guided and inserted into public office for the gains of a few.
Not the first time a ham-fisted hard scrabble elite-in-disguise is used to ends.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

#230 Anonymous on 02.03.13 at 8:59 am

#101 truth teller

“The Earth still holds (vast) enormous amounts of Hydrocarbons. 2. Oil does not originate from decaying organic material.”

Your first point is true. But humans are also consuming vast amounts of hydrocarbons. Much of the remaining supply is the stuff that is difficult to extract like the oil sands and the Bakker formation and fracking. It costs a lot of money to separate oil from sand. It also consumes a lot of energy to separate oil from sand. You have to think about net energy produced after you subtract the energy that went in to extract the oil. The cheap easy supplies of oil are just about spent. So we are left with these more difficul sources like the oil sands. Oil sands are only economical if oil prices are over $100 a barrel– that’s because it costs so much to separate sand from oil.

Your second point is utter nonsense. If oil does not come from decayed organic material, pray tell, where does it come from?

#231 HJ on 02.03.13 at 9:23 am

–> #21Tim on 02.01.13 at 10:29 pm
Since when could anyone working at Best Buy or Future shop afford a mortgage?
They can’t, but they rent the basement apartments that the home owner relies on to help cover the mortgage.

#232 Anonymous on 02.03.13 at 9:41 am

I really enjoy the posts by Junius and Coho and I am not an anarchist.

#233 EIT on 02.03.13 at 10:29 am

RP = nutbar. — Garth

lol. Garth, your such a pompous jerk

#234 ChickenLittle on 02.03.13 at 10:37 am

Dr Hoof Hearted:
Could this building stand up to the seismic impact of the Starbucks starts making out ?..or the McDonalds start humping the ground floor? …OMG if the Home Depot gets drunk….

You kill me! Best thing I`ve heard all week! :)

I can`t believe someone thought that would be good advertising…at least it`s memorable.

#235 LP on 02.03.13 at 10:38 am

#220Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:50 am
(and several of your most recent posts)

You said a couple of days ago that you’re recovering from surgery. If so, and you are still on meds for pain or infection then, for Pete’s sake, stop drinking. In the past you haven’t sounded so completely off the rails as you have these last few days.

You’ve got lots of pals on this blog (Smoking Man & Herb to name only two) who don’t want to see you injure yourself by combining booze and medications. Take better care of yourself so you can continue to offer your unique opinions and sense of humour.

#236 Smoking Man on 02.03.13 at 10:51 am

Beach Girl you are a loon,, welcome to the club..

Sane people are boring and stupid, they are owned, always self conscious of being judged…. Us loons, well we are judge….

We act to our own script, the normals play act out someone else’s story.

#237 Pr on 02.03.13 at 11:22 am

#111 jess
You said : Read more.

USA real estate market is still cook any way. If you, investigate more, you will find theirs is a chance of a inveteory of house, hidden in the books of the banking system, at about 20-25 Millions house reposes not showing anywhere.

#238 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:05 pm

OMG. it is only Sunday. Brian can’t board the plane as he is too drunk. And we all have special passes at the airport. Suppose to zip you through. I said Roman, drive to St. Louis and get him. He threatened to quit, and said this weekend is a cf. Now, I have to be careful. The Natives are getting restless. I got kinda mad, now his wife is coming over. He got us poor people food last night. KFC. My feet are swollen. That is not right with me. That stuff tastes great, but is SHITE.

#239 hangfire on 02.03.13 at 12:11 pm

Will there ever be a reason to invest or live in Quebec?….nothing on the horizon would make any reasonable business person or individual decide to make a mistake as big as that. So…in order to support the idiocy that is Quebec…we taxpayers have to continue to hold our breath and hope they can settle their issues amicably… are talking to a culture of mafia style corruption….talk to the Italians how they have had to bite the bullet…faace the issue head on…admit that nothing works until you rout out the corruption and cut the head off the snake. Sovereignty is an excuse to suck billions of hard fought gain from the rest of the country….and ask yourself…what does the mafia contribute to the benefit of society?

Jail time is the answer…..stop holding the taxpayers prisoner for the sake of political correctness….send in the troops……and ban dissent the way Trudeau did when he introduced the Charter of Tears……it took a single generation to cow the population into subserviance with the complicit media at his beck and call….the same will happen in Quebec after a time.

Mullah Mulcair is back to trying to shred Canada for the sake of his own intersts…ban him….break the NDP….for the good of the many…the one must be sacrificed.

#240 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 02.03.13 at 12:13 pm


#241 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:19 pm

Can this weekend get any worse. My youngest, I hate him, phoned and said he got a job in Guelph, welding. Are you really trying to hurt and embarrass me? Has anyone heard of Skyjac. I am so upset. I only like my dog. Looked it up, Linamear, some Magna like thing. Also, one old flame is going down large. Took a bunch of wrinklies to the tune of 50 mill. Too funny, nearly married that, back in the day.

#242 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 02.03.13 at 12:21 pm


#243 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.03.13 at 12:31 pm

Beach Girl:

Looking to do a photo shoot:

“The Ladies of Wal Mart” (braille edition).

Are you in ?

#244 HogtownIndebted on 02.03.13 at 12:34 pm

Eaglebay-Parksville, Mark, Julia S, Ronaldo et. al.

It’s interesting to see your various discussions about professors, post secondary learning and online education. As a way to deal with the pressures of our current skill shortages and economy issues, however, I believe that online alternatives to education are largely a red herring and a dead end distraction. Doubling down on distance education to move your life forward is about as risky as doubling down on another condo investment, in my humble opinion.

In my experience, online learning has serious limitations and does not currently pose much of a threat to current education models, only to students’ bank accounts. And if people have less money to spend in the future, how can that continue?

I have had some part time gigs teaching post-secondary students in business and other subjects for a few years. In my latest class, for fun I asked my group of thirty students how many are also taking online classes. Not a single hand went up. I then followed up by asking how many had ever taken an online class. Again, no hands. This group was not a bunch of old farts, but mostly aged in their early to late twenties. Unusual to have no one doing online learning, but in my recent experience pretty normal to have only a few. Why?

The dirty secret of online education is how huge the dropout and failure rates are. Dropout alone is often close to 50%, and of those who remain the failure rate is higher than normal. Of course, the institutions charge the same amount whether online or in class (which supports the ‘legitimacy’ of the online versions) so their profit margins are huge in online learning. Few dropouts get any refunds, since they beat themselves up with false hope and guilt for not doing the work and hang on just past the full refund drop dates. No wonder these departments are growing everywhere. But do they really work?

College bureaucrats are in love with online learning of course, and their true belief in it is reminiscent of the lust of house-horny property virgins and realtors with their frankenumbers. (Turner, 2012 – gotta do my references right in a pseudo-academic screed, eh!)

A recent experience shows something else. Last summer, a Toronto college for the first time published its continuing education calendar (paper version) with course descriptions, but no course dates. The tech-horny bureaucrats thought they’d saved a few bucks in paper costs, and after all, students would be happy to go to the website to find out petty details like dates and times courses would actually be held.

The result? Enrolment for September 2012 crashed by almost 35%. For the first time in five years, I had a class that was cancelled due to lack of enrolment. This is especially bad since colleges have had booming enrolment since 2008 – it is an inverse economic indicator plus the offshore students have been growing steadily. This little venture into full dependency on tech has been a total #fail. Administrators have wet their pants and will now return to the old way of promoting their courses in the paper calendar.

In also taking courses myself, I have found the online versions have big challenges. I have dropped a few myself, as well as succeeding in most others. In a current class I am taking, 25 students have ‘introduced’ themselves to date, but only about 5 have made any kind of online contributions so far. The course is five weeks old and the first test is next week. The drop date has passed and the names are all still there. Pretty typical in my experience.

Another problem – there is so much writing typically expected of online students, often based on commenting on what other students write. Way more than in an in-class course. With falling literacy levels among post secondary students, this is also a greater challenge. (Most colleges and universities have had to really beef up their entry writing courses for students of late)

Some of this, as a student, I have found quite excruciating. Even in the masters level courses I have taken, many student posters have not done the readings, and simply blather on, and you are expected to respond. (Imagine, if you will, having to not only read but thoughtfully respond in 1000 words each week to some of the ill-informed smoking conspiracy idiots on this pathetic blog – no offence to you, Garth – it would drive you nuts! That is what online learning can descend to in too many cases.)

There may well be better success where online learning includes synchronous teleconferencing, as is practiced, for example, by the Queen’s distance MBA program. But at $85,000 + such courses do not present much of an option for most. And synchronous distance learning is not nearly the same cash cow for the instos, and is not really what they have in mind. Pity the students who get enrolled online nowadays, for they will likely be taught by dead-end, non-tenured part time instructors who also work at Best Buy (oops, better make that Target, for now…) or sell essay services. (see this website below for how prevalent THAT is, btw)

Online learners today are still being sold the kool-aid just like house-horny condo buyers are being sold on the investment value of concrete boxes in the sky. When debt-fuelled cash flow dries up, online learning with its high attrition looks less and less attractive.

(Professor Garth – I know the assignment called for 1500 words and I am sorry I did not make that length but my grandmother has been very ill – I will bring you a note)

#245 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 12:38 pm

The surgery is next Monday, not this Monday. And did I partake of the nectar of the Gods this weekend. Yes. Mostly, I don’t. Hits me harder than most. I am going to the Scandinavian Spa today. With my peeps. Yes, now I am going to get in trouble. I want to find IGOR. LOL. Roman is mad, but his wife is my guest. Screwing with his head.

#246 Junius on 02.03.13 at 12:41 pm

Garth at #210,

You said,”Yes, I miss the 1780s, too. Rugged individualism, rifle justice, slavery. What a paradise we had (for rich white guys). — Garth”

Isn’t it accurate that the ideas of Jefferson, Madison and Adams would contribute to making the world a different place than it was in the 1780s? Weren’t they part of the solution?

In any event, my point was more about their understanding of the corrupting influences of concentrations of power. They understood better than we do today these corrupting influences which is why they worked so hard to balance power in the structure of the US government.

No, they represented the tribalism that led directly to the Civil War, and would have been quite at home in Yugoslavia three hundred years later. There is nothing holy there. — Garth

#247 The Prophet Elijah on 02.03.13 at 12:57 pm

RP = nutbar. — Garth
This supports what I’ve suspected all along….Garth works for the establishment.

As opposed to the nutbars. — Garth

#248 The Prophet Elijah on 02.03.13 at 12:58 pm

Beach Girl = Smoking man. Pretty obvious

Agreed. It’s almost over. — Garth

#249 LL on 02.03.13 at 12:58 pm

worth the read.

#250 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 02.03.13 at 1:04 pm

@#189 Eaglebore-Parkshisazz.
Your comment about BestBuy Future Shop not honoring warranties……..
“So, Best Buy and Future Shop are supposed to look after people like the Government?
Can people make up their own minds and shop wisely?
Greed is good and it works both ways.”

Wow! So you equate consumers that pay good money for an extended warranty and expect it to be honored as fools that are no better than some layabout waiting for the govt to help them.
Again. Wow!
Nice to know that legally binding contracts dont exist in your world….
But then again you thought SNC Lavalin is a “great” Canadian company. The same company that has been accused of bribery all over the world. Apparently “honesty” and “values” arent in your dictionary spellcheck.

and Judging from the amount of posts you rattled off in rapid succession….you should avoid taking benzedrine with coffee….
You’re starting to sound like a squirrel on crack.

#251 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.03.13 at 1:07 pm


Last October, Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE: D) announced it would be closing its Kewaunee nuclear power plant. Located in Wisconsin, this small, 566-megawatt (MW) unit is the first nuclear plant to succumb to cheap natural gas.

The boom in U.S. shale gas production has natural gas prices at 10-year lows. It’s thrown an interesting curve at the domestic power market. Many utilities are retiring old coal plants in favor of natural gas. Are nuclear plants right behind?

We’ll analyze where the industry is today and where it’s going. First, let’s take a look at coal plants versus natural gas-fired ones.

Going… Going… Gone?
Many coal-fired power plants in the United States are being retired, in some cases long before the end of their useful lives. How many of the 1,169 currently operating in the United States are on the hit list?

etc etc.


BOTTOM line:

My working premise is that Western Countries are being plundered to wipe out the middle class.

The US is slowly being turned into the old Russia. Neo Cons and Communists are the same thing. China is becoming the old U.S. China is now doing what happened in Europe in the early 20th century…no more credit, swapping for real assets without much resistance.

Natural gas seems to be the future ?

By taking out Nuclear Coal plants, you loose the diversity of these options. You then create a reliance on a single fuel source. History has shown that then one gets royally screwed with market manipulation. (i) Abundant reserves and (ii)actual supply to the consumer are (2) distinct things.

Like Alaska, which apparently has enough known oil reserves to provide the US domestic needs for 200 years. So why are they fighting in the Middle East ? Lots of reasons, but its not based on securing oil supplies, but manipulating prices and making sure no country can be an example of a sovereign state.

In addition,all this fracking is driving people off the land by poisoning their water supplies. The Neo Con /Communist are fully aware that the rural class of citizens and their fierce independence and self reliance is a threat to their goals (GOOGLE Kulaks and Russia).

Once the Land is taken over…then people are herded into the thinly veiled FEMA camps we call Urban Cities .

Once upon a time this was a useful blog. And the hammer is about to fall. — Garth

#252 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.03.13 at 1:19 pm

Future Shop ….Best Buy etc.

Here in HAMville, and within a stones throw of these Big Box Stores, we have a small Ma and Pa TV sales and repair shop….been around since 1956.

Since they fix them, they know what is quality versus junk. They won’t sell junk having stated there are only about (3) good brands left…and (2) of them are Japanese starting with “P and “T” .

They also have access to a major wholesales buying power and can match any advertised price.

I never buy extended warranties…

Computers? I have a person with a small shop build them(and repair) for me..been doing business for 12 years now….

#253 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 02.03.13 at 1:20 pm

@#245 Hogtown Indebted

Excellent comments! You get an “A”!
But you’re wasting your time……………………… Eaglebore-Parkshizazz is ALWAYS right! Dont waste your time. He’s brilliant, takes online courses to ‘stay sharp”. Keeps the alzheimers at bay……….
Cue outraged Eaglebore. 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3

#254 Cecil Henry on 02.03.13 at 1:25 pm

Who puts up a sign indicating that they sold for UNDER the asking price.

Not good advertising for the Real estate agent.

Is it???

Nor the seller, not that it matters at that point.

And bad for every one else in the neighborhood???

#255 Smoking Man on 02.03.13 at 1:28 pm

Lighten up Garth its super bowl weekend…. Obviously you’re a 9er fan. Your team is going lose……

#256 The American on 02.03.13 at 1:29 pm

At#215: hawk, shows what you know… Ron Paul is a freaking lunatic. You support him? Probably means you’re a radical, narcissistic, bigoted idealist crotch, who is out of touch with the general population too. Unreal.

#257 DM in C on 02.03.13 at 1:30 pm

Beach Girl = Smoking man. Pretty obvious

Agreed. It’s almost over. — Garth

Thank goodness — the comments section really needs a tiered area where we can vote agree/disagree and respond to threads – -that way the loons can stop taking over the site.

Oh and HAHAHAHAHA to DA — you forget you were banned? Go troll some other site.

#258 Don on 02.03.13 at 1:37 pm

@#251 CrowdedElevatorfartz

Don’t be too hard on EagleBay Parksville. is now loosing equity in the Parksville house. Old people cannot sustain the year over year price increases. An area that is traditionally based in forestry etc. Now it is a retirement town, but you where people go to live for a short time.

#259 Just thinking on 02.03.13 at 1:38 pm

Once upon a time this was a useful blog. And the hammer is about to fall. — Garth

I was just thinking the same thing… this weekend seemed like a lot of therapy going on for people on the blog instead of focusing on the purpose of the blog. For the record Garth, I enjoy reading your blog, so please don’t stop… I just have no idea how some of these people get through posting this stuff. Housing and investments people… stick to the subject at hand. North America is not falling apart.

#260 Just thinking on 02.03.13 at 1:39 pm

Also.. clearly beach girl and smoking man are the same person… people have a lot of time on their hands obviously.

#261 Don on 02.03.13 at 1:42 pm

Once upon a time this was a useful blog. And the hammer is about to fall. — Garth

Agreed, I wish the posters could keep to the subject of housing/economy/human nature or at least provide information from their respective geographic areas. It seems that some are using this site to date/bash each other or just post crap. All I want to hear out of them is nothing.

Now back to the housing party.

#262 AK on 02.03.13 at 1:55 pm

Are investors sacrificing safety for higher income?

#263 45north on 02.03.13 at 1:59 pm

Hoof Hearted: Once the Land is taken over…then people are herded into FEMA camps.

and Garth: Once upon a time this was a useful blog. And the hammer is about to fall.

well maybe it is but we are at a crucial junction – credit has been tightened, sales are falling, prices not yet. We are at the point where falling prices and government policies are about to impact the vast majority.

here’s another dark moment: here I was last night, hurtling through the prairie blackness, as the wind and snow gathered force against the hulking grille, trying to find Weyburn. (Saskatchewan)

the people in Weyburn may have been guarded in their thoughts and muted in their welcome but they did present themselves as reasonable people. I mean you didn’t rush out on foot into the prairie blackness just to get away.

#264 oh oh bpoe on 02.03.13 at 2:12 pm

Anyone seen BPOE? I getting worried as nobody is buying my house it’s been on the market for 4 months and has had 2 reductions….here’s hoping. he will save the day and buy my overpriced pos Vancouver house

#265 bc north on 02.03.13 at 2:17 pm

What is happening to Best Buy is happening to every retailer in small towns. People check out the merchandise and comparison shop on line. What I fear for small towns is that we will get what we wish for. The smaller retailers will close down because they cant compete. The consumer will have no face to face contact with the retailer and the online companies will have litte accountability for service. In Smithers BC the Zeller is closing in 2 weeks and it is not being replaced, with anything. The only larger store we have access to in town, is the Sears outlet store. There is nowhere else to buy affordable clothes and shoes for the family that are half decent quality, unless you go online.

#266 McLovin on 02.03.13 at 2:22 pm

241 };-) aka Devil’s Advocate on 02.03.13 at 12:13 pm

Why is that goof banned when Beach Girl and Smoking Man use this blog as their own personal Twitter acct ? At least he posted some useful stats once in a while.

There is more and more “noise” on this blog and it’s taking longer to get through it.

Looking forward to seeing the “hammer fall”

#267 squidly77 on 02.03.13 at 2:26 pm

231Anonymous on 02.03.13 at 8:59 am

Your second point is utter nonsense. If oil does not come from decayed organic material, pray tell, where does it come from?

Wasn’t the Earth on fire at one time?
When a Volcano blows does not molten rock shoot out?
We know that yes is the answer to both questions.

So riddle me this. Pray tell me how organic life fuels the fire that lye’s within the Earth.

As far as the peak oil rhetoric goes, forgeddabout it. Not gonna happen for generations and generations as there’s far more Oil around than your led to believe or do you really expect the hydro-carbon industry to reveal what an absolute energy glut they have on their hands presently.

The only reason that high gasoline prices exist today is through restricting (manipulating) refinery capacity.
Refinery closures.

Colorado has more Oil all of OPEC combined. Colorado Oil shale.

The largest cost of turning Tar into refinable Oil is Nat Gas by far (besides infrastructure costs), checked the price of that lately?

Both Syncrude and Suncor remained viable when a BBL of Oil cost $20 BBL, they fell into trouble when Oil hit $10 BBL about 13 years ago.

Judging by some of the commentators on this blog lately, I have a question, do mental health facilities allow in-patients excess to the Internet?

#268 Mister Obvious on 02.03.13 at 2:38 pm

#204 Coho

“Yes, it seems Jefferson would be viewed as an anarchist today. He’d be very unwelcome by politicians and central banksters alike.”

Nor would John Lennon and his silly “beetle band” have had a ghost of a chance today.

Producer George Harrison asures us that in today’s era of manufactured music, he could never get past the reception desk of any record company with or without the help of Brian Epstein.

Extremely famous, talented (and indeed lucky) people are products of the times in which they arise.

#269 squidly77 on 02.03.13 at 2:39 pm

The Oil industry will always tell you that everything they have to expense is extremely or insanely costly and that they are not viable unless Oil and its by-products costs as much as they can possibly charge you for it.

There’s nothing wrong with there philosophy as every single industry in the world sends the very same message. Fear just spices it up a little (OMG we are running out of Oil!!).

#270 HAWK on 02.03.13 at 3:06 pm

#248 The Prophet Elijah on 02.03.13 at 12:57 pm

RP = nutbar. — Garth
This supports what I’ve suspected all along….Garth works for the establishment.

As opposed to the nutbars. — Garth


Establishments will always exist in any society, …….what is important is that they don’t quash individual liberty, freedom of speech, dissent and civil rights etc.

It is difficult for people born in Canada to understand why others are deeply suspicious of Big Government, simply because, relative to most of the world Canada has a some what benign one.

Those that come from other parts of the world (like me from Pakistan) understand these realities better simply because of experience, than many native born Canadians.

A conservative’s commitment to small government, individual liberty, and empowered citizenry is thus often misunderstood to be “anarchist”, “waco”, “anti-social RW loon”, “metal-head” etc but these silly characterizations do nothing but stifle independent thought and diversity of opinion.

Let’s take Dr. Paul for example. He’s not a nut-bar, but rather the rare elected representative whose voting track record has proved that he consistently stands by the positions he has taken over the years.

Let’s hope the owner of the blog does not shut it down. It’s a good blog, there is nothing “anarchist” about it.

In a world where freedom of speech is increasingly under attack that’s the last thing we need.

And there is nothing learned anyway when people simply “agree” with each other, they learn much more when they disagree and explain their point of view.

#271 AprilNewwest on 02.03.13 at 3:19 pm

#262 Don. I totally agree. Hope the “hammer” soon falls.

#272 AprilNewwest on 02.03.13 at 3:30 pm

Re ” hammer will fall”. Garth, hope that doesn’t mean your about to stop writing. So many of us look forward to your interesting, educational , insightful and very creative writing.

#273 Junius on 02.03.13 at 3:40 pm

Garth at #247,

You compare Jefferson, Madison and Adam’s to the tyrant and thug Slobodan Milošević?

John Adams, “Power must be opposed to power, and interest to interest.”

James Madison, “[a]mbition must be made to counteract ambition.”

Thomas Jefferson, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Frankly, you have lost me on this one.

Tribalism. The hallmark of the US con-right you obviously envy. — Garth

#274 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 02.03.13 at 3:41 pm

I like being BANNED ;-)

#275 Smoking Man on 02.03.13 at 3:43 pm

Mc loving, Just Thinking…….

Just thinking, you should spend time observing.. No even me Great Smoking Man could pull a Beach Girl = Smoking Man. Shtic. Two distinct writing styles.

Every now and then usually during the week, I offer great insight with
amazing contraren pucks and wins. Check the Archives dog……

Why should I offer this up for free, lucky for you and other dogs I drink then share…

And I can assure you that I have more than 4 fans on here. Do you not think it’s selfish of you to want me band.

What make you more special than some of my fans. Some folks are left, some are right.. It’s a democracy here man.. Tolerance.

Mc lovin, why did you copy your name from a move, no imagination.?

#276 Humpty Dumpty on 02.03.13 at 3:43 pm

This is an age where our central bank sets interest-rates at artificially low levels, while monetizing Trillions of federal (and mortgage) debt. It is worth noting that today relatively little flows from the Treasury to the holders of federal debt

#277 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 3:47 pm

Big retail, collapsing. Zellers, the store for the poor. They apparently feed people lunch. Is going under a revitalization. I forget what they are going to call it. Oh, yes Target, or Targay. So not cool. When I actually venture out of TO, the suburbs suck. It is all the same. Clapboard houses. Penguin Art abounds. I don’t know people who have mortgages. and why would you? I am so with Garth on that one. See I can be nice.

#278 Junius on 02.03.13 at 3:49 pm

#271 Hawk,

You said, “A conservative’s commitment to small government, individual liberty, and empowered citizenry is thus often misunderstood to be “anarchist”, “waco”, “anti-social RW loon”, “metal-head” etc but these silly characterizations do nothing but stifle independent thought and diversity of opinion.”

The problem isn’t with the notion of small government but the role of government and what replaces it. The fundamental problem of the entire libertarian movement is that is clings to the naive belief that human relations – be they political or economic – will sort themselves out when left alone. Clearly we can see that is idea is an absolute failure over the past few decades when we see the toxic combination of corporate and political power.

The problem always has been in regards to concentrations of power. When it is left uncheck power always moves towards consolidation and self protection. The public good is almost always served when power is diffuse and checked. This creates an opportunity for new ideas, innovation and competition.

The challenge is not about smaller or larger government but the proper role for government and how it best defends the public good. Big questions – for sure – that will never end but if we look to governments more as a referee than either Big Brother/Nanny (the so-called Left) or being extraneous (the co-called new right) then we solve the dichotomy.


#279 JuliaS on 02.03.13 at 3:50 pm

#245 HogtownIndebted

To me “online learning” is not an online program offered by a university or college. It’s gathering information on your own.

I was laid off for about 4 months during the financial crash. I spent that time learning electronics – not from a single source, but from all over the place. By the end of it I was etching my own circuit boards, programming microcontrollers and making simple autonomous robots. The whole process wasn’t free. Even though I spend nothing on the information itself, I had to actually go out and buy equipment and parts to build circuits with, but that is something I would have done anyway – what would’ve been incorporated into the tuition. I dug through electrical trash and disassembled electronics I no longer needed. When I was finished, I not only knew how to make and repair things, I also had a complete toolset to use later.

Even though electrical engineering is not my primary career, I now make devices specifically for the company where I work. I make custom camera controllers for photographers and conditional actuators (gadgets that activate appliances when certain criterias are met). It’s extra money on the side and an asset that makes me stand out in other technical areas of work.

It’s not a straight path to employment in my case, but it’s that extra skill that the school didn’t give me that I can now use to my advantage. It also didn’t cost me a tuition and didn’t leave me with a loan. I had to figure out how to get the most out of the least amount of money. I had to learn without a person standing over the shoulder, putting pressure on me. I had to judge results based on their practicality as oppose to hypothetical marks.

Some professional skills are worth every penny. There is no way to study medicine online. Some engineering equipment costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Universities will offer access to devices you won’t be able to go out and buy.

Most importantly, a university will teach you to speak the common language with other people in your profession. It’ll teach you standard practices and terminology.

In some professions standards are important, in others self taught people are as good as anyone with a bonafide certificate. All depends on an occupation.

Still, the fact remains is that before school was “the only place” to get information interactively other than from your parents. The current day internet offers not only information but an ability to interact with others. Instead of talking to a professor, you can talk to an actual employee working at a company where you want to be working. You can do many things that weren’t possible 2 decades ago.

One of my former instructors used to joke: “The only thing a professor can teach you is how to become a professor”.

#280 Junius on 02.03.13 at 3:53 pm

#268 squidly77,

You asked,”So riddle me this. Pray tell me how organic life fuels the fire that lye’s within the Earth.”

You are not suggesting that burning fossil fuels are responsible for the hot core of the Earth are you? This is elementary (as in school) science. What is your point?

#281 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 4:01 pm

And the Dollar store. Do not get me started, is owned by Middle Eastern people based out of Montreal. They are very clever. My newest flame Chuck is 71 and we watch the stock market everyday. And his salt water heated swimming pool is in his house. Got me beat on that. Miss Daisy likes to swim. His dog is called 6-pack. Fun.

#282 Junius on 02.03.13 at 4:13 pm

Re: Super Bowl,

Seth Godin’s Blog today is about America’s obsession with Football but it is really about Mass Media and the changing nature of mass and the diffusion of interests into tribes.

Relevant to this Blog in the discussion on how mass media has helped the Real Estate business manipulate the public and how Blogs like this one have allowed diverse opinions to flourish. Interesting.

#283 Smoking Man on 02.03.13 at 4:21 pm

#245 HogtownIndebted on 02.03.13 at 12:34 pm

949 words, to tell us your a prof of some kind, and you are threatened by online competitors…….In the schooling business.

Course are not required to learn, just a good understanding on keyword searches. critical thinking skills to avoid the bs…

The whole system of university schooling is on its last legs…Crazy expensive, with jobs being off shored, just student debt left. Model is broken……

Hope your older cause you will be out of a job soon. Might I suggest, Sales. Only way you will make an above average living in the years to come.

Nice effort 949 words. Typical academia…

#284 Junius on 02.03.13 at 4:22 pm

#269 Mister Obvious,

You said, “Nor would John Lennon and his silly “beetle band” have had a ghost of a chance today.”

True but for different reasons. The Beatles launched at a time before large record companies and mega media corporations. At the time the music business was relatively small so Artists had more time to grow and learn their craft.

This is why the 60s and 70s were generally so much better for music. The 80s brought video which killed the singer song writer and gave rise to the Video Music artist – Duran Duran over Christopher Cross. This became big money and with it corporate consolidation and growth into the financial hay days of the 90s and the compact disc.

Now the industry is evolving into something else as digitalization destroys the Album revenue model but also gives more artists a chance to make music. In fact, there are more people making money from music now than ever before. It is just a lot less money on the average basis.

The next time a Beatles can hope to emerge would be 10-20 years from now. Even then there is never going to be such a Mass phenomenon again because central control has been lost.

#285 Smoking Man on 02.03.13 at 4:24 pm

#280 JuliaS on 02.03.13 at 3:50 pm

Prefect nice job………………………

#286 Junius on 02.03.13 at 4:24 pm

#274 Garth,

You said, “Tribalism. The hallmark of the US con-right you obviously envy. — Garth”

On the contrary, it is what I fear the most.

All done now.

#287 45north on 02.03.13 at 4:27 pm

Beach Girl: I don’t know people who have mortgages. and why would you?

pretty funny

#288 squidly77 on 02.03.13 at 4:29 pm

At the center of the Earth lies a two-part core. “The inner part is about the size of our moon,” Marone says, “and has a density of essentially steel.” The outer core surrounding it is an ocean of liquid metal 2,300 kilometers thick. The Earth’s rotation makes this ocean flow and swirl, and the moving metal generates the planet’s magnetic field.

Most of Earth’s heat is stored in the mantle, Marone says, and there are four sources that keep it hot. First, there’s the heat left over from when gravity first condensed a planet from the cloud of hot gases and particles in pre-Earth space. As the molten ball cooled, some 4 billion years ago, the outside hardened and formed a crust. The mantle is still cooling down.

I’m way off subject with this. Apologies.

#289 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.03.13 at 4:31 pm

Err uh…..sorry Garth…..

How’s the Bunker….any update ?

#290 Denise on 02.03.13 at 4:34 pm

Smoking Man & Beach Girl are the same person? I’m so disillusioned, why do people do that?

Anyways, back to real estate talk. In my neighbourhood in one of the core municipalities of Victoria (regular middle-class family area) we have a house that’s been for sale since April 2012. The sellers keep dropping the price, it is now $90,000 below what they originally listed it at. Yes, it was ridiculously over-priced to start with. I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for them because they stupidly bought a house further out of town BEFORE they even listed this one! Crazy-crazy.

Garth, please don’t shut down this blog. We need your sane, savvy advice & information. We need your fearless honesty. Plus we like to read the reasonable, normal posts that provide others’ real estate/financial experiences in their local areas.

#291 claudius emperor on 02.03.13 at 4:43 pm

They called Galileo nutbar as well.
And Jordano Bruno.
And Karl Marx. Garth, have you read Das Kapital?
Very interesting parallels with the world this days.
BTW some conspiracy theorists are real nutbars.
One wonders where that is by design…
RP seems a decent and honest, not like many other lowlife lyiers. He for sure is sincere. Not that I agree with him on many of the topics.

BTW Garth, is your position on PMs influenced in any way by the establishment? Just wondering if there is any ‘official’ warning out there on not to elaborate on the topic.

My position on PMs is the same as housing: put too much net worth into either, and risk swells. People smart enough to rebalance can own whatever they want. Doesn’t seem to included the bullion set. — Garth

#292 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.03.13 at 4:47 pm

Entrepeneurs and sweat equity.

We were at this place we had heard about called GUDRUNS in Steveston.

Quite impressed the minute walked in.

Unique furniture made from old growth fir….neat layout. etc. Had a friend design the rest of the place.

The owner , an Asian fellow (born in Vancouver)came over and chatted with us. Said never had cheese before when growing up, but a friend introduced him to “good European cheeses”.

Anyway put a lot of his own sweat equity into building the furniture and the renovations. The kitchen is in the front, by the bar , U – shaped maybe 8 X 8 very clever efficient design.

Good food good service and we will be back.

This is the type of ” Old school ” entrepeneur that will succeed.

#293 HAWK on 02.03.13 at 5:00 pm

#279 Junius on 02.03.13 at 3:49 pm


I would be interested to know how you concluded— (the libertarian worldview)— that a smaller role for government in society has proved an absolute failure, particularly with regard to economics and finance.

My observations would lead me to the opposite conclusion. If we observe societies such as………. Switzerland, Singapore, HongKong, Dubai, S. Korea all of which have less government intervention and more freedom …………than say Greece, Serbia, Belarus, Cuba, N. Korea we note that freer markets and freer societies always outperform others.

PS: Note that freedom is not an endorsement for lawlessness, all the examples I have given are of lawful societies, ………but ones that facilitate freedom.

#294 claudius emperor on 02.03.13 at 5:04 pm

My position on PMs is the same as housing: put too much net worth into either, and risk swells. People smart enough to rebalance can own whatever they want. Doesn’t seem to included the bullion set. — Garth


I agree, I am thinking more on the commodity side of the PMs , their industrial use vs. potential monetary use (the nutbars view). While I invest mostly in stable dividend paying stocks and ETFs I am thnikning on eventually expendng the commodity part of my portfolio. I have currently less than 10 % in PMs or mining stocks.

Too much. — Garth

#295 Nodebt on 02.03.13 at 5:38 pm

Hey Garth ! Love ur blog! But quite a few clowns posting crap ! Such as smoking girl and beach boy! Please ban the clowns!

#296 Junius on 02.03.13 at 6:04 pm

#294 Hawk,

I guess it means what we mean by “less” government. I am not an advocate of “less” or “more” because I think that is the wrong way to look at it. What I am advocating is that we understand that there is an important role for government that has to be done effectively. What I meant was that a failure was the absolute notion of less government is better and that it means more freedom.

The best example over the past few years is the deregulation of the banking system and how it lead directly to the financial crisis. The overall deregulation of the system led to the collapse. Less government led to less financial freedom. All of this came as a result of more control of government by large corporations through their lobbyists.

I don’t know where you get the idea that each of the governments that you listed are less government but there are vast differences between them and it is hard to see how “less government” is the thing that drives them.

Switzerland has a highly effective government not because it is less hands on but because it is great at planning. Look at the Swiss education system and its ability to graduate a more employable work force. It is more interventionist than Canada.

South Korea is legendary for its policies towards directing money to develop large scale industries and responsible for developing companies like Hyundai and Samsung.

Hong Kong sits as an enclave next to China. Dubai? Really? How can anything compare to Dubai?

On the other hand, what about Norway or Denmark. Danes are the happiest people on Earth and the most taxed. Norwegians are among the highest per capita income earners in the world mostly because they have done a much better job at standing up to the multi-national oil companies and not getting ripped off (ie like we have).

What is clear is that many of the people who promote “less government” starting with the Koch brothers just want to shift more power to themselves and away from the rest of us. It should be no surprise that as the “less” government movement has gained traction over the past few decades we have seen wider and wider gaps in income.

The better question is – what role should government take in promoting the overall good of our society? It is a question that goes back to the origins of political ideas but the answer is not smaller is always better.

#297 Canadian Watchdog on 02.03.13 at 6:19 pm

#295 claudius emperor

BlackRock Global ETP Flows by Exposure – PMs 8.5% as of Dec.

What do large institutional money managers know that Garth doesn’t? Fundamental Based Indexing

That they can withstand risks individuals cannot, and rebalance professionally. Grow up. — Garth

#298 Herb on 02.03.13 at 6:28 pm

#294 Hawk,

your comment reminds me of a teaching example I ran across in a Symbolic Logic course 50 years ago –

A researcher wanted to find out what made people drunk. He tried scotch on the rocks, rye on the rocks, vodka on the rocks etc. etc., and invariably got drunk. So he concluded that it was ice cubes that made people drunk.

The “freer markets and freer societies” you cite have the logical weight of the ice cubes in my school example. They are there, but there are other reasons that are far more operative in national economies.

#299 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.03.13 at 6:33 pm


Next thing they’ll build is robot realtors and condo pre sale line up androids.

#300 JustTryingToProtectEquity on 02.03.13 at 6:33 pm

Always remember, Mr. Turner, you don’t owe any of us anything. If this blog continues to venture so far off topic and continues to act as a “soap opera like” twitter account for Smoking Man and Beach Girl, why on earth do you bother with it? How do you benefit from any of this?

That said, thank you good sir. Your blog was instrumental in convincing me to sell my home last June and rent. My wife and I could not be happier with the decision, as we got more than asking price and we still live in the same neighbourhood with an exta million dollars in the bank and invested.

You have selflessly served so many people. Why put up with the nonsense?

All the best.

#301 TurnerNation on 02.03.13 at 6:33 pm


Globe and Mail’s weekend edition headline: “Get into stocks…Now!”.

Gee where were they 4000 Dow points again. Sure SPX may gift 50 more points – to ~1550. But it’s heady.

#302 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.03.13 at 6:34 pm

#221 brainsail — “Times have changed.” — Have they ever, and if we don’t change (and adapt) with them, we’re going to be tossed aside like a rag doll, which is where retirement comes in really handy, as neither of us is concerned with labor disruptions, layoffs or any of the like.

Interesting that this morning (PST), we Skyped my mother, who lives in Jersey, Channel Islands (14 miles off the north coast of France).

She said the downturn has hit the Channel Islands hard as well, with high unemployment and businesses closing. If the UK ever decides to join the EZone, the Channel Islands could lose their tax-haven status (20%), or they could leave the UK and join up with Monaco or somewhere, by having their own referendum.

Yep, the times they are a’changin’!

#222 Com Wave-oh oh! — Hi CWOhOh! When we joined, we didn’t have to pay anything, got six months’ free and the only one we wanted was the second lowest in price. Only the two of us now, and because of all these telemarketers, we let voicemail take messages — don’t answer the phone at all. But thx. for the info.!

#230 TurnerNation — “Beach girl for mayor??” — We could handle that here in K-Town!

#237 Smoking Man — “We act to our own script, the normals play act out someone else’s story.” — Better to be part of the small group of society’s rejects / castoffs. At least the dumbass ‘establishment’ ignores us, lets us get on with our own lives!

#252 Dr. Hoof Hearted — “My working premise is that Western Countries are being plundered to wipe out the middle class.” — That would be along the same lines as #221 Brainsail’s POV, ‘tho using different mechanisms for different places / peoples.

#266 bc north — “What is happening to Best Buy is happening to every retailer in small towns.” — Yep. See response to brainsail.

#303 rosie "moving forward" on 02.03.13 at 6:38 pm

In the interests of continuing to enlighten the converted and also to encourage new bloggers to stay engaged in the discussion and also become enlightened, the “hammer” should fall with a mighty crash. When the dust settles I trust we can all continue to move forward.

#304 Herb on 02.03.13 at 6:39 pm

#297 Junius,

you said it!

#305 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 6:42 pm

DELETED. This is the end of Beach Girl, and Smoking Man. If their comments add to the discussion here, I will include them. Otherwise, get a room. — Garth

#306 Thankful for the little things on 02.03.13 at 6:48 pm

AKA DA Wrote:
I like being BANNED ;-)

And the forum appreciates the fact that you are banned. Textbook win-win.


#307 Brico9 on 02.03.13 at 6:51 pm

Over 300 comments. No gold or PM in the \GT post. RE downturn is for real now.

Last week I sold my old tires off my 6 year old Mazda 5 to a guy with a newer BMW. He could not afford new tires so he bought old ones with 50% tread left for $120.00. Not for a lease return either.

This was my personal “Best Buy” sign here in Calgary. Cash is scarce. Debt is high.

My mortgage broker acquaintance is starting a huge advertising campaign – refinancing has stopped – no new RE sales – no more referrals. He is the owner of the business. He is very good at his job & has years of experience. Not at all a bottom feeder.

It’s for real now.

#308 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 7:01 pm


#309 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 7:03 pm


#310 Beach Girl on 02.03.13 at 7:12 pm

I did nothing wrong, and I admire you. Liked you when you wrote for the Sun. Before you became a politico. You were always for the little guy. No pun intended. Really I could use more friends, don’t dump me. Very contrite Beach girl. It has been a really weird weekend. So sorry.

#311 Dr. Ralph Cramdown, FRCS(C) on 02.03.13 at 7:14 pm

What do large institutional money managers know that Garth doesn’t? Fundamental Based Indexing

That it’s more profitable to create a highfalutin’ concept fund that you can charge 110 bps on than to create yet another straight cap weighted index fund that can only charge 6 bps due to competition?

Think about it. The concept underlying an index fund is that you can’t beat the efficient market, so accept market returns and keep expenses as low as possible. The concept underlying “Fundamental based indexing” is that, um, cap weighted indexes overvalue and undervalue some stocks (i.e. the market is inefficient). But the “indexing” part suggests a purely mechanical selection and weighting system which should cost very little to implement.

Maybe I’ll start the Cramdown Select “One Man’s MER is Another Man’s Alpha” Fund.

#312 Richard and Zeus on 02.03.13 at 7:43 pm

RP = nutbar. — Garth
This supports what I’ve suspected all along….Garth works for the establishment.

As opposed to the nutbars. — Garth

If Dr Paul is a nutbar……what does that make the establishment? Psychopaths?

#313 Herb on 02.03.13 at 7:54 pm


thanks for your decision at #306. That is the action I was going to ask for to get us out of yesterday’s freak show. Love Beach Girl, but … Now back to the Superbowl.

#314 HAWK on 02.03.13 at 8:11 pm

#297 Junius on 02.03.13 at 6:04 pm

I think I should clarify here that I don’t disagree with your larger point that we should look at the role of government in society in terms of what it ought or not ought to do.

I do however stand by my point, that in general, when they get involved in the affairs of the marketplace it’s less beneficial than otherwise.

As far as the banking crisis is concerned, rather than regulation, I see the worst of it as pure absence of any meaningful punishment for the banking community, so I’d have to disagree there. It’s almost universally acknowledged now that banks were guilty of gross negligence and in many cases outright criminality in the sub prime fiasco. It is claimed by some among them that the government pressurized them to make loans non-creditworthy parties, if we accept that as partial defense of their conduct, it only strengthens my point. What the government should have done is to have held them meaningfully accountable, including in a criminal capacity. They didn’t, and it’s almost certain we’ll see this mess happen again.

BTW: I was told by a Canadian banker who specializes in analyzing mortgages in the capacity of a consultant that our banks are almost as bad.

Regarding the Scandanavians, I’d agree that they have made socialism work for them to some degree (although the Norwegians are oil rich) but there are far more examples in the world, including the ones I gave where the free market has performed better.

#315 HAWK on 02.03.13 at 8:18 pm


That is your conclusion, you’re welcome to it.

I notice that you certainly didn’t provide any counter examples of successful state managed societies, and those that I have observed have left me a trifle unimpressed with the virtues of “central planning”.

#316 LS in Arbutus on 02.04.13 at 1:55 am

I was enjoying the romance blossoming today…. some of us like to live vicariously! I also get a kick of out all the people who waste their time to write “FIRST” and all the people who complain about it.

#317 M on 02.04.13 at 2:50 am

..yees Garth…:) BINGO baby !
..and that’s exactly why it’ll be much much worse than you expect right now :)

This 1% rate means that our #$$#@!$ continue printing money on the same scale as the cousins down south (respecting the proportions that is).

You see Garth… in a normal world you would be absolutely right: interest rates can’t go but UP (and they will…eventually). But these #$%$#@@$%^ continue printing crap and the six pack will borrow it. At 1%. And they’ll keep it like this until the wheels will fall off.

That’s the reason for which the “metal heads” are right.

Not that you , Garth are wrong. You just have the mind set that fit a normal world. Which is not. Since the LTCM bail out.

Cheers budd.. and keep it comin’ . Some more juicy pics would be much appreciated !!

#318 gtrz4peace on 02.04.13 at 3:59 am

Raincouver is in a real mess, real estate wise. We live modestly in a townhome near Lions Bay that we bought in 2004 and have a $250K mortgage left on. We are able to make our living expenses here, and love it here. Our son has friends and likes his school very much. We have a beautiful view, and are in a rainscreened unit that we’ve fixed up exactly the way we want it. We also have a large dog.

That said, we wanted to SELL. We wanted to walk away with our $400K profit and recapitalize. We figured we would “just rent” in the area.

People who have bought at the top, with expensive mortgages, seem to comprise the people renting their homes. We looked in shock at rental prices within 30 miles of us, and realized that there was literally nowhere we could rent a house within 30 miles without paying double what we do now in monthly living expenses.

We could not believe rental prices of $3500 to $ 5000 for 2500 square feet, not even counting utilities!

Still, we kept our home on the market for nearly a year. It did not sell, even though it’s a really good deal for our area. And Rents just kept going up! That is what I see as a big red warning — for people who want to live anywhere around here — rents are going up, up, up and home prices are still too high for anyone to buy.

We ended up deciding to stay where we are, in a home that at least we can afford the payments on, and we love. After all, a house is a residence, and you have to live somewhere. You might as well like where you are.

But what about all the people who sold their homes at the top and wanted to stay in the area? Are they all renting at $5000/month? Or did many have to consider buying back in to the market they just left?

Prices here have a long, long way to fall before middle class people can afford to buy anything.

Vancouver is losing its diversity becoming a city of the few rich and the many poor.

But we see many disturbing signs that the crazy real estate market continues to erode a great city.

#319 Dupcheck on 02.04.13 at 10:20 am

At least the boomers can do for the youth is to retire, so the youth can start working and kick start the economy again. There are a lot of gov working 65+ boomers that are waiting to die at their desk, they refuse to retire. Please don’t die there, give the youngsters a chance too, after all they will keep paying for your pensions.

#320 Leo on 02.04.13 at 2:29 pm

I believe TREB will soon release its data for January, and I wouldn’t be surprised if if was showing a significant increase in average sales price of SFH… And I’m sure the RE lobby will do its best to get it advertised on newspaper !
The issue is : the stats are not telling the whole story. On the Toronto districts I’ve been following for a year or so (C01,02,03…), I’ve recently seen a high increase of sales of large, expensive houses (1.2M+) and a significant reduction of transactions of so-so or average houses … These two very different segments are currently behaving in opposite ways. My explanation would be that we might be seen the average people be affected by the new rules (or waiting for the dust to seetle) whereas richer ones might be benefiting from an increase in some other assets (investment portfolio)…. Another possibility, might be this last increase before the full dive, as some people have delayed their acquisition, grew frustrated and will now buy, pushing the market high a last time, before it can slow-down steadily for the years to come…

#321 Brian Poncelet,CFP on 02.04.13 at 5:40 pm

Hello Garth,

I don’t know if you like Rick Mercer, but he has a funny clip on You Tube. Flaherty’s mixture! Like Buckley’s mixture…it tastes awful, but it works!