Fear appeal

Some people worry about a shock to the markets that will erase savings and investments or screw up their retirement. In fact, it paralyzes them.

What if Putin goes rogue and grabs Greenland? What if some loonie shoots Trump? What happens if the Big One sends LA into the Pacific? An Amazonian climate change emergency? Civil war following the 2020 Presidential election? What next if terrorists bring down the Internet, crash the power grid and freeze financial transactions? Or maybe China just dumps US Treasuries and undermines the global currency system? Is Hong Kong the trigger? Iran? Kim?

Well, life happens. Nothing’s predictable. But fortunately we have history to guide us.

It was one fine morning. Sun. Clear skies, cloudless and sparkling as I stood looking west through the plate glass window on the 65th floor over Bay Street. My meeting with a bank economist just finished and we headed for the elevator. Aboard the car we watched the TV news feed and learned some kind of plane had plowed into the WTC in New York twenty minutes earlier. Then, suddenly, another. Everything changed in the space of a few floors.

The elevator doors opened in the concourse level to a surreal scene. Hundreds of people were gathering in front of several giant screens that normally flashed inane commercials for Scotiabank. This time they showed pictures of the iconic towers burning. Gasps and tears. Shock and disbelief.

I climbed the stairs and emerged into the sun at King & Bay, in the womb of the bank towers. Police vehicles were screaming into the intersection. They mounted the curbs and parked on the sidewalks and plaza areas in front of the main entrances. I called Dorothy. She’d just seen people jumping to their televised deaths from the World Trade Centre towers. “I have no idea what this means,” I told her. “But I’m coming.”

It took little time on the morning of September 11th for stock exchange officials in New York to decide markets would not open that day. America was under attack. The enemy was shadowy, lurking anywhere. Within hours the skies were empty of planes, three thousand people were dead and an age of innocence over.

Markets hate uncertainty and investors fear the unknown. Nine Eleven delivered not only a massive shock, but panic at the potential scale of unraveling events. There was now a smoky hole where the heart of America’s financial establishment once beat. The vulnerability of modern life came into clear focus. A bunch of dirtbags from the desert had brought the emerald city to its knees. How could that be?

The New York stock market stayed closed until September 17th. Not since the dark days of 1933 had that happened. When trading resumed, the selling wouldn’t stop. The market fell 7.1% – equivalent to a crash of over 1,900 points today. At the end of the week the index had shed 14%. The S&P dropped 12%. Almost a trillion and a half dollars was gone. Airlines, banks and insurers were especially punished.

So what happened then?

America bounced back, as it always does. The economy was still there, after all. People still needed airplanes, mortgages and cars. The market losses were reversed, and a month after Nine Eleven all major US markets were back at pre-September 11 levels. Those who panicked and sold in a falling market lost. Buyers scored. Investors who took no action were unscathed.

Eighteen years later the world has changed. But not human nature. Greed and fear continue to move markets. People rush in to buy what’s going up (lately that’s been gold) and scramble to unload what falls. Because fear is the strongest emotion, it dominates retail investors. You can see it ripple through the steerage section of this blog daily, even as financial markets make new record highs – as they did last year and the one before. When it comes to being terrified of loss, apparently Millennials lead the way. Some people say that’s because of Nine Eleven.

History suggests there are some things you should expect. Chaos, change and events that scare the crap out of you are among them. That will be normal. But so will be markets that rise over time. In the last century they’ve grown 73% of the time. Every single correction or bear has been followed by a rally or a bull market. People who invested in a diversified way then forgot about it have done well. Market timers have usually perished. Those who thought it was different this time learned the hard way. It’s never different. Not even when airplanes turn into bombs and Wall Street blows up.

So turn off BNN. Stop reading the doomers and scaremongers. Quit cruising the chat rooms full of fear appeal. Don’t flatter yourself that you live in unique times. You don’t. Not even close.

83 comments ↓

#1 confident on 09.11.19 at 4:19 pm

I remember in 1999 when the DOW was hovering 11,000, a coworker was panicking that it was time to sell. Well since then its gone up , its gone down, its gone sideways and all around. Today it’s 26,000+++.

Productivity and technology improvements. Save, invest, engage. repeat.

#2 Beagleface on 09.11.19 at 4:20 pm

Garth, thanks for all you do, and for continuing to be the voice of reason. Peace and love to you, Dorothy, Bandit and all the blog dawgs.

#3 leebow on 09.11.19 at 4:23 pm

A horrible event with profound and lasting repercussions, well beyond a one month portfolio drawdown. What would the world be if they didn’t board the planes?

#4 tccontrarian on 09.11.19 at 4:36 pm

DELETED

#5 Mr. Nirp on 09.11.19 at 4:43 pm

I told you so…

https://www.insider.com/negative-interest-rates-explained-what-they-are-why-they-matter-2019-8

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/trump-calls-on-fed-to-cut-interest-rates-to-zero-or-less-1.1314416

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3ojdzEbjF4

https://www.investing.com/news/economy/newsbreak-trump-says-fed-should-cut-interest-rates-to-zero-or-less-1975329

https://canoe.com/news/world/trump-calls-federal-reserve-boneheads-urges-zero-or-negative-interest-rates

#6 The Wet One on 09.11.19 at 4:54 pm

That was the best fire sale of fine securities I’ve ever seen in my life.

I regret that I didn’t make the most of the opportunity that presented itself shortly after 9/11.

It was EPIC. Just EPIC!!!

Hopefully when the next such event occurs (and it will), I’ll have some money available to take advantage.

Oh yeah. Too bad about all the people that died, but y’know, thoughts and prayers and all that, right?

Sigh…

#7 Smartalox on 09.11.19 at 5:00 pm

… Aaaaaaaand cue the 9/11 ‘truthers’ who’ll come here and spout Putin’s propaganda that it was all an inside job.

One lasting, though indirect effect of 9/11 was how Russia leveraged the emotion of that day to (years later) use the internet to sow disbelief and disagreement amongst Americans, ultimately culminating in the election of Donald Trump.

#8 Damifino on 09.11.19 at 5:00 pm

Where I worked on that day was right under the flight path for YVR. I saw so many American planes coming in because USA airspace was closed. The planes had unusual logos and colors you’d normally never see here. That really disturbed me. I knew it must be bad.

Days later, I recall George Bush thanking almost every western nation for their help and support during America’s time of great distress.

Except Canada. I suppose that went without saying.

#9 Tannhäuser Gatekeeper on 09.11.19 at 5:01 pm

The Shanghai Stock Exchange closed in 1949. It didn’t reopen again — under new management and without the old listings — until 1990. Adjusted for inflation, Japan’s Nikkei index today is 52% below its 1989 peak, excluding its puny dividends…

I’m what Garth would term a ‘cowboy,’ but there’s no sense only remembering the markets that bounced back. Fear is what keeps asset prices reasonable, usually. And the reason retail investors are affected the most is because they’re the only ones investing their own money.

#10 Brett in Calgary on 09.11.19 at 5:03 pm

1) It’s not different this time
2) Reversion to the mean
3) Everything in moderation
4) Time is the ultimate currency
5) …

Lessons never learned.

#11 mitzerboyakaQueencitykidd on 09.11.19 at 5:06 pm

Imagine there’s no heaven it’s easy if you try

#12 Linda on 09.11.19 at 5:07 pm

I’m not sure if there has ever been a generation that didn’t have some ‘scary monster’ issue to deal with. World War 1. The Great Depression. The Dirty 30’s. World War 2. The Cold War, with the threat of atomic weapons being used. Terrorism, ditto. Climate change.

Despite all of the above, daily life continued. Keep calm & carry on. Hopefully one day people will learn from previous mistakes & stop repeating them.

#13 Rogue on 09.11.19 at 5:18 pm

Talking about death and destruction. Is anyone else surprised by all the health issues starting to arise from vaping and other forms of smoking.

As a Gen X, I recall those beautiful Peter Stuyvesant commercials in the 80s and those thrilling Camel adventure ads. I think it all went down hill from there. I even used to go into the store and buy smokes for my parents when I was 10. For the last 30 years they have been tightening the noose on smokers. A modern cigarette smoker probably feels the same shame in public as a Trump supporter. Caveat, I am a Trump supporter; not a smoker.

Now how is it we (they) got it so wrong over the last 10 years with legalizing marijuana, vaping and all this other crud that seems so hypocritical when we (not me) spent so much time and effort killing off smoking to save our kids, our health and so much more.

It all seems ass backwards. God help my kids. It’s all in the hands of POTUS and BOJO now.

#14 HoweStreet.com on 09.11.19 at 5:18 pm

Ross Kay on HoweStreet.com Radio:
Tinker Toy Housing Analysis and Policy.
CPPIB Misses a Housing Windfall.

https://www.howestreet.com/2019/09/10/tinker-toy-housing-analysis-and-policy/

#15 tccontrarian on 09.11.19 at 5:22 pm

DELETED

#16 Eric Brazau on 09.11.19 at 5:39 pm

DELETED

#17 Rargary on 09.11.19 at 5:39 pm

Who can forget that day… best site of my trip to NYC was Ground Zero. It was humanizing, haunting, magnificent, tragic and mysterious all in one. Told my sister-in-law who lived there all about it. I didn’t know she watched the towers go down through her window. And that she had never been to Ground Zero as it was too painful for her as she lost 2 friends when the planes hit. My brother told me after I flew back to Canada, she fonally went there to gain closure.

#18 Stone on 09.11.19 at 5:40 pm

So turn off BNN.

———

Just curious. Has BNN ever sent you a cease and desist? Or at least beg that you to stop including them in your blog?

Has Adele?

#19 yorkville renter on 09.11.19 at 5:52 pm

“Quit cruising the chat rooms full of fear appeal.”

I guess I’ll quit coming here then…

#20 Nonplused on 09.11.19 at 6:16 pm

It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years already. I got to work a bit late, so the first plane had already hit. I worked in a trading room so we had lots of screens everywhere. Needless to say trading had stopped and everyone on the floor was in the trading room watching the screen, which had all been flipped from their normal feeds to CNN. Then the second plane hit and all conversation stopped. After the first plane you could kind of say “well maybe it was some kind of accident or one-off attack”. After the second plane hit people were just in shock. But nobody could imagine what happened next. I sort of figured if they hadn’t collapsed right away they probably weren’t going to. I assume that’s what they fire department thought too or I doubt they would have been sending firefighters into the buildings.

In retrospect it is amazing that the buildings stayed standing as long as they did, which saved many lives. Had they collapsed shortly after impact the death toll would have been closer to 10,000, maybe more. So the buildings were well made. But there are some things that are outside of the design parameters, a 400,000 lb plane hitting them probably being one.

#21 Juve101 on 09.11.19 at 6:30 pm

Spoken like a leader.

#22 Barb on 09.11.19 at 6:31 pm

A horrible morning 18 years ago.
Watched TV in shock as the twin towers fell.

Horrible images, not during a war when one could expect such carnage. It was peacetime.

The world is an entirely different place since Sept.11.

#23 Basil Fawlty on 09.11.19 at 6:39 pm

We do live in unique times, flattery or not. Never in the history of finance have interest rates gone negative. This turns the time value of money on its head. If interest rates normalize, bond prices will plummet.

#24 Yukon Elvis on 09.11.19 at 6:40 pm

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

#25 conan on 09.11.19 at 6:48 pm

I will always remember the moment when the second plane hit. My heart sent a message to my brain. Strange feeling when that happens.
I think everyone felt “it” that day.

#26 Damifino on 09.11.19 at 6:49 pm

#20 Nonplused

there are some things that are outside of the design parameters, a 400,000 lb plane hitting them probably being one.
——————————————-

Quite true.

It wasn’t the planes that brought down the buildings so much as burning jet fuel. As I understand it, intense fire melted the steel structure leading to both collapses.

Although, you couldn’t design for that either.

#27 Doug t on 09.11.19 at 6:52 pm

Actually times are unique right now – there has never been a time in human history that has seen such a rapid expansion of technological advancements in such a short period of time – we are in a “shift” period for the human race and civilization – read Sapiens : A Brief History of Humankind – it will make you question everything

#28 Reximus on 09.11.19 at 7:07 pm

9/11 I’ll never forget. I had lost a job a week before and had a telephone interview scheduled for 9am that day. I was up and had heard on the radio that something major had happened in NYC. I put on the tv and saw that a WTC tower was on fire.

At exactly 9 the interview lady called and I muted the volume to talk to her. And then the second plane hit, while I was trying to answer some question. And I stopped and just said to her Do you have a TV in your office?

She said yes…I said maybe you should turn it on..
she said why? I said because the WTC is getting hit by planes. She politely suggested we do the call another time

didnt get the job

#29 Out Of Work CEO, Will Travel on 09.11.19 at 7:13 pm

The big heads are all referring to “negative rates” in Europe and Japan which don’t affect the debt levels on your credit cards or line of credit. Imagine if the financial supervisors and regulators in Canada really were serious about “debt levels” and unleashed “negative rates” for “Payday Loan Outfits and Credit Cards”. That’s where your 4% Trumpian Growth can happen.

#30 gimme stuff on 09.11.19 at 7:25 pm

Then they started to cut rates down to almost nothing over the years and never looked back.

Remember?

#31 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.11.19 at 7:28 pm

@IHCTD9

I was driving to victoria today in a 1992 1 ton van.
127,000 originage kms on it.
Its worth nothing if it gets hit or, in todays case if i smashed into the fat kid zipping in and out of traffic in his BMW i8 cutting me, and everyone else off.

I have no “Collision” insurance on the company van because ICBC might, MIGHT give me $500 for it.
I have basic public liability insurance, no fire, no theft, nothing.
It runs flawlessly, new tires all around, brakes redone last year, new starter, but its a dependable dented, rusty , ugly old dog.
I’m the only driver so the company gets the 43% “discount”.
Basic , bare bones insurance…… $3000/year.

ICBC is a cash cow for the province…they will never , ever go back to private insurance…..

#32 YVROptimist on 09.11.19 at 7:33 pm

#8 – Damfino.

I heard an interview with David Frum about that speech. He was Bush’s speechwriter. Apparently Clinton would re-work speeches right up to the moment he gave them. Bush would not, under any circumstances, change a speech once it was finalized.

Frum realized he had forgotten his own country after the speech was done. He begged to be able to include Canada but no dice. The speech was final.

I was bemused by Canada being missed in the speech but I didn’t really see it as a slight. Of course Canada helped the USA. One need only watch ‘Come From Away’ to understand that. Canada and the USA are great friends, even if we often behave like spoilt siblings.

#33 Lawless on 09.11.19 at 7:46 pm

Hey Garth,
While I get that timing the market is more likely to cause harm to a portfolio, I would be curious to know what you think about focusing current purchases where one sees value. for me, I like the ~5.5% dividend my bmo laddered diversified preferred is giving me right now with potential upside in share price and not liking the high overall market valuations. Preferreds are one of the only places I’m seeing value right now. I’m planning to rebalance my portfolio with more preferreds with each monthly injection of new $$$. Bad idea?

Good idea. – Garth

#34 Chilliwacked on 09.11.19 at 8:14 pm

I watched the second plane hit, and spent the day with clients from Amex who were evacuated and made it to our offices.. Chase bank locked down in tower next door, and they watched the scene up close. None ever came back to work there. Changed a lot of how I felt about America and I still remember getting off the train every day after in Grand central.

Day never gets easier, and I still feel the sadness of the signs looking for lost loved ones. Will never forget, and am happy to be in small town Canada now, enjoying life with no worries. We are living in best of times.

#35 marcus on 09.11.19 at 8:17 pm

In 1943, Henning Webb Prentis Jr. wrote what was later called the Prentis Cycle which describes an eight step cycle of civilization:

1) Bondage to Spiritual Faith
2) Spiritual Faith to Courage
3) Courage to Liberty
4) Liberty to Abundance
5) Abundance to Selfishness
6) Selfishness to Apathy
7) Apathy to Dependency
8) Dependency to Bondage

And the cycle thus returns to the beginning. Canada and America are moving from #6 to #7. Plan accordingly.

#36 Deplorable Dude on 09.11.19 at 8:36 pm

New York Times tweet this morning (now deleted)…”18 years since planes took aim at the World Trade Centre”.

….yes it was the planes themselves taking aim..

..or maybe it was as Congresswomen IIham Omah said “Some people did something”…

#37 acdel on 09.11.19 at 8:58 pm

The thing is about 9/11;what an awfull day! Since that day; we have lost so much. Gone are the freedoms we use to have; any of us prior to that time understand that! We know longer have that, everything is monitored, scrutinized, analyzed, or whatever else they are doing. They won, we lost what we use to have and for what?? Power!!!

#38 mark on 09.11.19 at 9:14 pm

Horrible event, but really what do you expect when the USA sticks there nose in every war that pops up.
Of course at some point radicals will retaliate…..

#39 TC on 09.11.19 at 9:20 pm

I’ll join the SU brigade for you today Garth. You are 100% dead on accurate about the markets and human nature. Market behavior will never change because human nature never changes. When you truly understand that then you will ALWAYS make money!

Regards,

A member of the millionaires club.

#40 Man of the Cloth on 09.11.19 at 9:42 pm

First time I went to Manhattan was the last weekend in July 2001. My pal said, if we come to New York, we have to go up to the top of the World Trade Center. I had heard about it, but had no appreciation of what it represented. So there we went, the two of us, and he and his bride. Got there at about 9:30am or so, just after it opened, to beat the crowds. Standing on the rooftop deck. Couldn’t believe how high we were. Six weeks later, the world changed. Dodged another bullet. Figure I have used eight of my nine lives.

#41 Sunburned canuck on 09.11.19 at 9:44 pm

I will forever remember that day and it’s chilling effects. My exact words to my colleagues as we watched the TV was- “This will change the world forever” and it did.
Subsequently, Trillions of US dollars from one country alone and thousands more deaths in overseas wars. Interest rates plopped as nervous bankers tried to stimulate the economy.
The USA was unified for a short time with feelings of anger, disgust, sorrow and patriotism for this senseless act from a group of Saudi Muslims.
My how things have changed since then!
The USA now has a congresswoman who regarded the catastrophic event as nothing more than “ SOME PEOPLE THAT DID SOME THINGS”.
How lovely is that?
My heart goes out to all the families who lost friends and family and had to hear the callous Congresswoman say garbage like that.
Yet in today’s times she is a celebrated superstar by some as a progressive member of society.
18 years later, I was right, the world sure did change.

#42 SoggyShorts on 09.11.19 at 9:48 pm

#96 Tater on 09.11.19 at 2:45 pm
SoggyShorts on 09.11.19 at 1:18 pm

If someone has ACTUAL PROOF of loan rates under 4% all-in for investment purposes I’d love to see it.
The only thing I can find would be to take a maximum credit card cash advance (nasty double-digit interest) and transfer it to another credit card when you get those “zero-interest for 6 months on transfers” offers.

Instead of paying interest and fees to leverage your investing, why not just buy leveraged ETFS? the MER on those is around 1%
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SPXL?p=SPXL&.tsrc=fin-srch

—————————————-
Because levered ETFs fall apart when volatility and returns are close to historical norms?
*****************
Is it worse than borrowing to invest when returns are close to historical norms?
Seems like borrowing is around 6.5% and so are historical returns, so unless your MER is zero….

I’m too close to pulling the FIRE trigger to do either BTW, just curious to compare the 2.

#43 Deplorable Dude on 09.11.19 at 10:08 pm

Very sad fact about those rescue dogs. Apparently I think only 21 people were pulled out of ‘the pile’ alive. The dogs were getting depressed at not finding anyone, so their handlers took turns at being ‘found and rescued’.

On that fateful day I was in meetings all day. Came out of my last meeting with a couple of Americans who were due to fly back to the US that evening. I think it took about a week for them to get home,

#44 Democracy Is Mob Rule on 09.11.19 at 10:24 pm

In 1943, Henning Webb Prentis Jr. wrote what was later called the Prentis Cycle which describes an eight step cycle of civilization:

1) Bondage to Spiritual Faith
2) Spiritual Faith to Courage
3) Courage to Liberty
4) Liberty to Abundance
5) Abundance to Selfishness
6) Selfishness to Apathy
7) Apathy to Dependency
8) Dependency to Bondage

And the cycle thus returns to the beginning. Canada and America are moving from #6 to #7. Plan accordingly.

——————————————————————-

I would say that Canada and America are already at #7. Many people are dependent on government handouts. When the Roman Empire collapsed 30% of citizens were on welfare. They tried to stimulate the economy by dropping interest rates to zero but it didn’t work. The Roman Empire was heavily in debt and they defaulted on all of it.

At one time the Roman Empire invaded Britain. Later, the British Empire became the greatest empire the world has ever seen. Everything goes in cycles, not in a straight line.

#45 Lest we forget on 09.11.19 at 10:38 pm

9/11 was horrible and unjustified by any standard of human behaviour towards innocent people. But we should never forget what the allies did to end world war 2 “The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.”
Neither should ever happen again. Peaceful existence is the only way.

#46 GBiddy on 09.11.19 at 10:53 pm

One of your better posts Garth and that’s saying much. Excellent.

But, um, the twin towers were in fact designed to withstand impact from jet airplanes and the temps caused by jet fuel, aka kerosene, burning. Look into it.

And why does looking to shed light on the many dark corners of the official story (no plane hit the pentagon; watch the video yourself, buildings don’t fall in controlled demolition unless they’ve been demolished with explosives…etc.) why does that earn one the pejorative ‘truther’ label.

Isn’t seeking truth a good thing? Does the possibility of more truth–evidence–make folks too uncomfortable?

Critical minds want to know.

#47 Alex on 09.11.19 at 10:54 pm

9/11 was a terrible thing to happened to the US people. Reminds me of cowardly usage of depleted uranuim bombs, causing civilian casualties (e.g. hitting the train full of civilian, hitting hospitals, hitting national civilian headquarters where 16 people were killed, guided bombs struck the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Belgrade, killing three Chinese diplomats and injuring 20 others. Since that day we have all lost so much, self respect and the respect of the international law! We also gained something, new meaning of the world collateral damage

#48 cramar on 09.11.19 at 11:14 pm

#26 Damifino on 09.11.19 at 6:49 pm

It wasn’t the planes that brought down the buildings so much as burning jet fuel. As I understand it, intense fire melted the steel structure leading to both collapses.

“Although, you couldn’t design for that either.

——————

Now they do! I saw a documentary on constructing the new One World Trade Center tower. They said the concrete specified was unique in that it was the strongest ever made, to help prevent another plane from destroying this structure.

#49 cramar on 09.11.19 at 11:17 pm

CTV just ran a 2-hour program on the background for “Come From Away.” Those folks from Gander showed generosity, compassion, and love to almost 7000 Americans stranded on 9/11. They did Canada proud and Makes you real thankful you are a Canadian.

#50 Waldguy on 09.11.19 at 11:21 pm

It’s not 9/11 events that rattle me, it’s the spectre of ZIRP and NIRP with gov’t financial recklessness.

The fixed income of portfolio returns may not resemble the past for some years to come if that unfolds.

Some things may bounce more like a dead cat and by systemic in nature. Pad that portfolio and stress test for low returns in the bond portion.

#51 Sax on 09.11.19 at 11:22 pm

Meanwhile GT keeps ranting against the best president the US has ever had. Chinese are good people, the Chinese Communist/Socialist government is evil.

#52 PastThePeak on 09.11.19 at 11:36 pm

As an investor, of all the items that Garth listed, only perhaps a trashing of the power grid I consider a significant event (and by that, I mean an event like an EMP or CME that fries a large portion of transformers). Without power for a couple of weeks, civilization will collapse.

What I consider the greatest wealth risks:
1) The spiralling-out-of-control global debt, led by China, Japan, USA, and Europe.
2) Negative interest rates and QE/MMT/money printing.

The first leads to the second, and the second may start independently, and both will destroy peoples real wealth.

#53 bankish on 09.11.19 at 11:40 pm

DELETED

#54 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.12.19 at 12:48 am

Sept 11, 2001
I woke at 5am to the radio clock and immediately the news was talking about a plane hitting the WTC.
i got up to check it out on tv and that when the second plane hit.
“Holy Shit! This is war!”
Was my immediate thought.
18 years later and the bog mire of Afghanistan still lingers….

The only other thing that day that sticks out
.
I had to go to work and was standing on a street corner in downtown Vancouver at about 11am (hours after the terrorism act in New York) and a complete stranger walked up to me and asked,
” Has something happened? People are acting really strange. ”
I said, ” You haven’t heard about New York?
“No. What about it?”
“Two planes intentionally crashed into the World Trade Center Towers and there may be thousands killed…..”

She looked at me in disbelief and laughed.

I said nothing and pointed to the tower of tv’s in a TD Waterhouse trading Center across the street endlessly repeating the tragedy ad nauseum ……and walked away

#55 Russ on 09.12.19 at 1:04 am

Good one Garth.

Nothing like an open discussion about the ol’ 9/11, loss of freedoms and all.
Gov’ments brought the eager citizens into that all the way.
Like, who doesn’t appreciated all that airport insecurity does for (to) us?

What about the insurance payouts for WTC such a short time after it was renewed for substantially more and building 7?

Isn’t there hundreds of architects & engineers still questioning how building 7 could free-fall hours later… the building is rumoured to have contained sensitive files?

Questions in life are boundless.

Cheers, R

#56 DON on 09.12.19 at 1:31 am

#13 Rogue on 09.11.19 at 5:18 pm

…. As a Gen X, I recall those beautiful Peter Stuyvesant commercials in the 80s and those thrilling Camel adventure ads. I think it all went down hill from there. I even used to go into the store and buy smokes for my parents when I was 10…

**********

Ha ha good one … I remember that – thanks for the hard laugh. The time before car seats.

Can you imagine it that was attempted now?

#57 DON on 09.12.19 at 1:34 am

#12 Linda on 09.11.19 at 5:07 pm

I’m not sure if there has ever been a generation that didn’t have some ‘scary monster’ issue to deal with. World War 1. The Great Depression. The Dirty 30’s. World War 2. The Cold War, with the threat of atomic weapons being used. Terrorism, ditto. Climate change.

Despite all of the above, daily life continued. Keep calm & carry on. Hopefully one day people will learn from previous mistakes & stop repeating them.
***********

Hopefully, evolution is inevitable?

#58 DON on 09.12.19 at 1:45 am

#25 conan on 09.11.19 at 6:48 pm

I will always remember the moment when the second plane hit. My heart sent a message to my brain. Strange feeling when that happens.
I think everyone felt “it” that day.
______________

Yup…utter disbelief. Watching that second building being hit live. The gym went silent…late getting to work on the 26 floor downtown Vancouver. Could see all the planes coming in to Van.

#59 DON on 09.12.19 at 2:04 am

#31 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.11.19 at 7:28 pm

@IHCTD9

I was driving to victoria today in a 1992 1 ton van.
127,000 originage kms on it.
Its worth nothing if it gets hit or, in todays case if i smashed into the fat kid zipping in and out of traffic in his BMW i8 cutting me, and everyone else off.

I have no “Collision” insurance on the company van because ICBC might, MIGHT give me $500 for it.
I have basic public liability insurance, no fire, no theft, nothing.
It runs flawlessly, new tires all around, brakes redone last year, new starter, but its a dependable dented, rusty , ugly old dog.
I’m the only driver so the company gets the 43% “discount”.
Basic , bare bones insurance…… $3000/year.

ICBC is a cash cow for the province…they will never , ever go back to private insurance…..
************
Two things:

1 – $3000 is excessive, that needs to go down to lower costs for small and large businesses especially if a good driver is at the wheel.

2 – Did you get a Visitors Visa to come to Victoria?

3 – And you got cut off by young liberal.

#60 Nonplused on 09.12.19 at 2:31 am

#26 Damifino

You can design for a 400,000 lb plane hitting it and you can design for kerosene fires, but then you don’t end up with a 100 story building. What happened here on that fateful day is that something that had a near 0% probability of happening by accident happened because “some people did some things” (yuck) that were not in the realm of the probable in terms of statistics. Ya sure, the Empire State building got hit by a plane, but it was much smaller and they don’t fly such planes around buildings anymore. It became apparent to flight controllers that planes should not fly near tall buildings. This was something different. Somebody meant to mess with the idea that you don’t fly near or into tall buildings.

#61 Ponzius Pilatus on 09.12.19 at 2:47 am

Almost 70% Richmonites think racism is on the rise.
this can’t end well
https://www.richmond-news.com/poll?pollId=poll_7_44422&questionId=0&forward=/richmond-racism-7.44422?ot=gmg.PopupPageLayout.ot&cookieSet=true

#62 Ferdinand McMillan on 09.12.19 at 5:54 am

A nice little layman’s primer on Preferred Share ownership.

https://www.mauldineconomics.com/the-weekly-profit/now-is-the-time-to-buy-preferred-stocks

For many of the holders of Canadian Pref ETFs who lost money on two popular ETFs, the smoke might be ready to clear. As rates shot up last year prices fell. However, Trump has beat back the globalist lickspittle and he’s brought the internationalist left to heel.

Bottom line, rates are lower for longer and capital gain is likely going forward. Europe is back into a big bond dump. Germany is the EU canary in the coal mine and top government has announced that climate craziness has killed the German economy. Great news.

Preferred are a good bet for people who don’t understand risk. My work on CPD and ZPR show a potential 20% ++++ pop. Don’t forget that both were higher at the end of ’18.

Either that or buy gold.

#63 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.12.19 at 8:06 am

@ #61 Ponzie Pilot
70% believe racism on the rise…
*******

We need more Pink T-shirts……..

#64 dharma bum on 09.12.19 at 8:38 am

“A bunch of dirtbags from the desert…” – Garth
——————————————————————–

Priceless.

Those should have been the words on every news anchor’s lips that day.

I love it.

#65 Debbie McClintok on 09.12.19 at 9:31 am

DELETED

#66 Ferdinand McMillan on 09.12.19 at 9:34 am

Proviso. Preferred share ETF’s are displaying two distinct profiles. The macro is one thing, the technical chart pattern seems to be showing something else. I would ask you to present the two most popular CPD and ZPR for analysis. The head and shoulder pattern may worry some investors until it breaks. Timing this may whipsaw a new investor.

#67 Ride Higher on 09.12.19 at 9:44 am

#46 GBiddy on 09.11.19 at 10:53 pm wrote
“But, um, the twin towers were in fact designed to withstand impact from jet airplanes and the temps caused by jet fuel, aka kerosene, burning. Look into it.

And why does looking to shed light on the many dark corners of the official story (no plane hit the pentagon; watch the video yourself, buildings don’t fall in controlled demolition unless they’ve been demolished with explosives…etc.) why does that earn one the pejorative ‘truther’ label.

Isn’t seeking truth a good thing? Does the possibility of more truth–evidence–make folks too uncomfortable?

Critical minds want to know.”
————-

Well Said.

Very Well said.

Far too many are willing to adopt pejorative narratives instead of looking at cold hard facts.

It’s so much easier than thinking after all.

#68 IHCTD9 on 09.12.19 at 9:48 am

#31 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.11.19 at 7:28 pm
@IHCTD9

ICBC is a cash cow for the province…they will never , ever go back to private insurance…..
____

I’d guess the rates will keep climbing until there is a voter backlash – then the stupid will enter stage right, like, …maybe forming a public corp to take on debt in order to subsidize rates while hiding the debt… (**cough**).

They’ll probably end up having to declare bankruptcy like any other government run monopoly that finds itself hated enough by the public to become a lightning rod for voters.

Hydro One/OPG here in Ontario is heading down that same road.

They gonna take that horse to the big debt road
They gonna ride ’til they can’t no ‘mo

#69 Keyboard Smasher on 09.12.19 at 9:51 am

So wait, PLANES plowed into the WTC towers in this interpretation of history!?

Why would planes do that sort of thing? Was it some sort of aviation blood lust?

#70 mike from mtl on 09.12.19 at 10:03 am

#62 Ferdinand McMillan on 09.12.19 at 5:54 am

A nice little layman’s primer on Preferred Share ownership.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

That’s a write up about US preferreds which are a completely different market and animal than Canadian – not at all comparable.

#71 Tony on 09.12.19 at 10:11 am

The biggest threat to the U.S. stock market is the central bankers starting to see themselves as the bag holders. Watch the inflows and outflows into the market knowing the American central bankers are still holding all their positions and have yet to unload anything. We know the Swiss National bank unloaded most of their American holdings in September last year but that was a foreign bank.

#72 Tony on 09.12.19 at 10:24 am

Re: #34 Chilliwacked on 09.11.19 at 8:14 pm

I woke up at 10:10am that day and put the tv on at 10:20am. I thought the cable company had loused up everything again as all I saw was burning buildings as I scrolled through all the channels. I remember all the people jumping from the windows while I ate lunch.

#73 IHCTD9 on 09.12.19 at 10:27 am

#59 DON on 09.12.19 at 2:04 am

3 – And you got cut off by young liberal.
___

You don’t get cut off when driving a 1 ton Van – you do the PIT maneuver!

#74 Randy on 09.12.19 at 10:53 am

Vaping…just another Progressive vehicle for drug distribution…they were using doctors to distribute opioids.

#75 Stan Brooks on 09.12.19 at 10:57 am


https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/supreme-court-canada-not-hear-144037531.html

……
Documents allege the country’s largest bakery wholesalers and grocers conspired to artificially bake at least $1.50 into the price of bread and related products from 2001 up until as far as 2017
……………


That is pure theft of something like hundreds of dollars per household per year, probably something around 10 k per family for the duration of the price fixing.

Will somebody return these back?
Of course not.

Did the price of bread decrease after the scandal?
Of course not.

==========================

Strongly negative interest rates coming.
Combined with even higher banking fees.

Savers and retirees, taxpayers have to pay for bank profits, government deficit and debt and for the follies of the debt slaves. Good luck in managing that.

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/ecb-cuts-rates-for-first-time-since-2016-as-recession-fears-grow-114702200.html

and Euro rises right after the rate cut when measured in loonies.

Cheers.

#76 Don Guillermo on 09.12.19 at 12:11 pm

Sept 11 2001

I was working on an Oil project in the Orinoco basin of Venezuela. As soon as the NYC chaos began to unfold our already feeble site internet service was bogged down to almost a standstill but our email was still coming through. My wife was continuously emailing me updates throughout the day which I which I would printout and pass around to our team, Terrible day when I first learned the word “Bomberos” in Spanish. My first thought was they were the villains. When I looked it up I quickly realized they were the heroes.

#77 Stan Brooks on 09.12.19 at 12:22 pm

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/inflation-data-surge-shouldnt-derail-another-fed-rate-cut-economists-say-154526811.html

Grossly underestimated inflation numbers:

Inflation data surge shouldn’t derail another Fed rate cut, economists say

The core consumer price index, which doesn’t account for food and energy prices, rose 2.4% year-over-year as of August, exceeding the Fed’s 2% inflation target. Within the CPI, prices for used cars and medical goods and services all increased.

But the consumer price index isn’t the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation – the personal consumption expenditure price index (PCE) is. That index calculates inflation differently.

“Healthcare is important; medical care services surged 0.9% in CPI but that won’t happen in PCE,”

but expect further rate cuts, along with exuberant bank fees.

Bankers want to eat too. You don’t need to.

#78 Damifino on 09.12.19 at 12:28 pm

#32 YVROptimist

Thanks for the backgrounder. I know David Frum is a smart guy. So one wonders how, while composing a list of sympathetic nations, he managed to miss the most obvious ally of the USA, and his own country to boot.

One also wonders if George Bush ever read a prepared speech before delivering it. If he had done so, I’m sure the embarrassing omission would have jumped right off the page and he would have insisted on a revision.

#79 N on 09.12.19 at 12:49 pm

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau said if re-elected his government would introduce new measures aimed at improving housing affordability, which would include a federal speculation tax on non-residents.

Trudeau said the one-per-cent annual levy would be modelled after the foreign buyers’ tax already in place in British Columbia. Ontario also implemented a similar tax under the previous provincial Liberal government.

In the announcement made from Victoria, B.C. on Thursday, Trudeau also said he would increase the value of a qualifying home in certain markets for the First-Time Home Buyers Incentive that was implemented earlier this month.

The cap on a qualifying home under the plan would increase to about $800,000 from $500,000 on homes in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria if the Liberals win their re-election bid and would take effect in November.

Trudeau’s announcement came one day after he officially triggered the election campaign.
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/trudeau-promises-to-add-speculation-tax-on-foreign-buyers-if-re-elected-1.1315217

#80 SoggyShorts on 09.12.19 at 1:23 pm

#13 Rogue on 09.11.19 at 5:18 pm
I even used to go into the store and buy smokes for my parents when I was 10.
********************
Yup, the late 80s somewhere between 7 and 10 years old. I remember dad ripping off the top of the pack for me to use as a shopping list.

Later I smoked 1.5- 2 packs a day for almost 20 years until vaping became a thing. Then I smoked and vaped for a year, then just vaped for a year, and now nothing for a couple of years.

Honestly vaping makes quitting smoking much easier since it checks all the same boxes and you can reduce your nicotine as slowly as you want.
That said, it’s no surprise at all that inhaling vaporized propylene glycol and vegetable glucose plus additives is causing health issues but cigarettes set the bar pretty low.

What we need is a Russia style plan: make all smoking(and vaping) illegal starting with anyone who is under 18 today.

#81 Jesse on 09.12.19 at 3:29 pm

#39 TC on 09.11.19 at 9:20 pm
I’ll join the SU brigade for you today Garth. You are 100% dead on accurate about the markets and human nature. Market behavior will never change because human nature never changes. When you truly understand that then you will ALWAYS make money!

Regards,

A member of the millionaires club.
*****************************

How do people get into the millionaires club?

I’d like to get in…

#82 Tyberius on 09.12.19 at 6:48 pm

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#83 Aperson on 09.13.19 at 1:36 pm

I remember that sad and shocking day. I also remember that the Toronto Stock Exchange made the decision to open trading that day. Not sure why but they did. It didn’t last long before they stopped trading but I will never understand why.