The homewreckers

“Never,” says Sam, “did I think this would happen.”

He’s been a car guy for years. These days he flogs used vehicles at a big Toyota dealership in the stormy heart of Mississauga, the city-burb of Toronto with a population of about 800,000. And lately, not much traffic.

“Normally a Corolla flies off this lot as soon as it gets here,” he told me this week. “It’s the perfect second car. But now most of our business is just taking them into inventory as people give up their extra cars. They’re not driving them. And we can’t sell ‘em. Never happened before…”

Welcome to the WFH world. Bit by bit, store by store, Corolla by Corolla, it’s an economy-killer. There are about four million folks who haven’t been in the office or at the workplace in ten or 11 months. They don’t buy gas or trade in their vehicles for new ones. They don’t shop for work clothes because they live in sweats and hoodies. Besides, the stores are shut in most places. They don’t eat lunch down in the food court. In fact, the bulk of those mom-and-pop franchises have closed or failed.

As WFH continues, we have the weird dichotomy of more savings and more debt. Consumer spending has crashed while real estate transactions have bloated. New mortgage debt is running at billions per week, while $104 billion sits in chequing accounts. The distortion is epic. And, sadly, none of it is good. On one hand almost 200,000 indie businesses are failing, we’re told. On the other hand, house prices have inflated to the point where average families can never afford the average property. Something has to give.

Benny Tal, CIBC’s urbane economist, agrees. “I believe the trend is unsustainable.” He says. (It should be noted his bank is building a gleaming new headquarters/skyscraper in downtown Toronto where the commuter trains dock, also to be the head office of Microsoft).

Tal says, yeah, WFH will carry on until the herd is vaxed, but after that many employers will become the same hard-ass, inflexible overlords they were pre-Covid, expecting workers to be around at least a few days of every week. So, two concerns: “yes, your current job allows you to work full-time from home,” Tal says. “What about your next job?”

And then there’s the big real estate question. Tal figures some people who moved to the distant burbs to get a cheap house, thinking they’d never commute again, “may also need to invest in living arrangements in the city that would provide them with a base much closer to work.”  The suburban housing market – where prices have escalated far faster than in the urban core – could be impacted. “To what extent,” the economist muses, “are prices in those remote places rising way too fast?”

Indeed. Look at the Zoom Town where the unloved Toyotas are piling up. The benchmark price for a detached house in the soulless hinterland where nobody can walk to a store and whole families have gone missing in endless cul-de-sacs is $1,123,600. That’s up 13% during the year of the virus. Last month house sales in this city were 87% above those in December of 2019 – a record.

So, families can afford $1.1 million homes, but need to trade in a five-year-old Corolla worth ten grand? Sounds scary.

And what about incomes? Government largesse will end when the virus fades. The feds are already pickled in their own spending and things like additional child pogey payments will have to end. As for employers, a survey just found more than a fifth plan (like Facebook has decided) to trim the wages paid to WFHers. The logic is this: if you’re working from a location where people make less money because living costs are lower, you shouldn’t get the same as people in high-cost urban locations.

No surprise that while 44% of workers would consider relocation, that drops to only 16% if a pay cut is included. What a shock.

Naturally, the biggest WFH whack has been to cities and those who scratch out a living in the swirl of urbanity. In Toronto, for example, a 90% drop in ridership for the TTC and GO transit is devastating. Downtown business have been shuttered, locked down, restricted or starved for customers for most of a year. Wander through the underground PATH and see for yourself – literally miles of empty storefronts. Business taxes have plunged. Cities are bleeding red.

WFH may be making Amazon and the liquor store guys rich, but the economic toll’s ugly.

Good thing it ends soon.

158 comments ↓

#1 the insanity of it all on 01.26.21 at 2:36 pm

i don’t see this as a problem.

no need for a second car. get a nicer home 2 hours away from the GTA..

get onto Reddit Wall Street Bets…. make 600% on gamestop in two weeks…

do that over and over

what’s the issue?

#2 Linda on 01.26.21 at 2:38 pm

Well if one believes in MMT, there is no end to the gravy train. Just print more money, UBI will replace the need to work at all so who cares if businesses shut? Plus thus far housing has indeed gone up ‘forever’. So why worry about taking on epic debt?

The crazy continues…..

#3 UCC on 01.26.21 at 2:38 pm

Finally, some good news. I want a new truck. Hopefully the price of those goes down soon…..

#4 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 2:42 pm

“Could be more than 17,000 illegal Airbnbs in Toronto right now”:
https://www.blogto.com/real-estate-toronto/2021/01/17000-illegal-airbnbs-toronto/

#5 Samuel on 01.26.21 at 2:45 pm

The ‘1%’ are the main drivers of climate change, but it hits the poor the hardest.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/26/oxfam-report-the-global-wealthy-are-main-drivers-of-climate-change.html

#6 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 2:45 pm

“Real estate prices are high because Canadians want to pay, more, says BMO economist”:
https://betterdwelling.com/real-estate-prices-are-high-because-canadians-want-to-pay-more-says-bmo-economist/

#7 BlogDog123 on 01.26.21 at 2:48 pm

The pandemic can’t end soon enough!

What business will schedule a large in-person meet up in 2021? Nobody’s planning a convention this year unless they are nuts. Who’s going to let their employees fly from all over Canada/USA for a convention in Toronto or Toledo?

Now we get into the grey-zone months of:
– many are slowly vaccinated, but infections still happening
– Those who’ve been vaxed becoming loose with the masks/distancing
– the odd news story of an outbreak at a gathering
– is it safe to have a big wedding, party, beer-after-work?
– Who’s been vaxed or not sitting beside me on this plane, train, automobile…?
– when can an outdoor concert happen?
– What happens when the new strain hits someone who’s only had one vaccine shot?

It’s not so clear what 2021 will look like. I’m not betting on music venues opening anytime soon !

#8 "NUTS!" on 01.26.21 at 2:49 pm

Garth, as you know, I emphatically agree with your assessment of the future of WFH. There is a strong narrative that this past year’s impact will forever change the workspace. While I understand the recent bias of people loving the benefits of this new (temporary) arrangement, they are not thinking this through. Businesses are already realizing the benefits they have when given an ultimatum of having to hire someone who does not participate in person. If I’m hiring someone who is remote, it doesn’t matter if they are 2 hours from the office, or in another country. You can see the benefits now open to the employer. In fact, I can now hire more people (lower wages) and perhaps benefit from coverage with different time zones. You can see the impact on the local workforce this will have.

The WFH campaign will bring many surprises to those not thinking this through.

#9 NorthOf49 on 01.26.21 at 2:54 pm

Everyone unloading assets they don’t need with nowhere to spend the proceeds. Instead they’re all at home on reddit /r WSB conspiring to destroy the short game. Going all in on GME, up another 70% today. To the mooooon!!!

#10 Eco Capitalist on 01.26.21 at 3:05 pm

Our latest internal newsletter included three points about WFH.

1. They have no intention of bringing us back before the fall.
2. When they do bring us back, it will be in a hybrid form.
3. No position is expected to be 100% WFH (any such request will be evaluated based on “the needs of the business”).

While I agree with the general prognostications of the blog on things returning to normal, I think your timelines (for Canada) are optimistic. Unless this country gets its vax plans in order, change all your 2021s to 2022s.

#11 VladTor on 01.26.21 at 3:06 pm

Garth, I’m absolutely agree: …Good thing it ends soon. ….
Instead will start something what WFHers don’t like. Five years ago when I applied for IT job in CIBC, manager told me that my job is temporary b’s they moving this part of business in India within 6 month. It was 5 years ago!
Those time many companies just thinking (between lunch and cup of coffee) may be not too bad idea to move this or those in cheap countries. But they didn’t put too much efforts in this dream – scare and need to reorganize business. Lazy! Virus changed everything! Companies was pushed to do this now and have good time to test it with WFHears and government support. WFHers doing same job like somebody in Asia for triple more salary here. So, WFH folk too optimistic when they thinking that WFH forever or they can work in future in office 2 days from 5 and live in Niagara Falls. In one-two years companies, which now intensively testing WFH and working to change business model (I’m sure they doing it!), clearly realize what part of job can be moved out of country. They will also save money on office space and not only salaries , but on other hidden expenses when they have full time employee. WFHers will be in tear losing they lovely WFH job in suburb or small cities. Who of WFHers care now, buying 1 million house in Saint Catharine!

#12 Peter McLean on 01.26.21 at 3:06 pm

I like going into work. I like to find new and creative ways to waste company time while at work.

#13 wallflower on 01.26.21 at 3:07 pm

Crappy shitteee townhouses moving into the $700K range in Barrie is very scary.

Births down, deaths up, immigrant numbers down.
Epic RE bust.

#14 Doug t on 01.26.21 at 3:08 pm

WFH is the new norm – UBI will cement it – people have become scared of their own shadows, let alone bugs you can’t see but are told daily are gonna kill you – we are being rewired to live in fear – populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented mental health crisis and its only starting – the futures so bright I gotta wear shades

#15 Comments! on 01.26.21 at 3:10 pm

Nothing makes sense. What would the value of homes, stocks and bonds be if we actually had free markets? My real estate holdings and stock portfolio up 7 + figures combined in 8 months for doing nothing, and I do not feel good about it at all. Tells me something is horribly wrong and we can’t just pick on 1 sector. It’s all rotten and broken. This crisis should have at least allowed all the gas out of stock markets and real estate as some kind of positive outcome.

Stop feeding all drug (created money) addicted markets with central planning. Allow a crisis or downtown to play out or what comes after will be infinitely worse. Since when did that become illegal? 8 trillion dollars in 12 years with most of it pumped in since last March with no end in sight in North America alone. It doesn’t take a genius, all BS papering over the gangrene that lays beneath it all.

#16 CJohnC on 01.26.21 at 3:10 pm

With regards to the odd poster enjoying Pierre Poilivier yesterday, keep in mind he is Harpers pit bull and out of the commons he makes the former GG look like Mother Teresa. All attitude. He’s got a reputation.

#17 Islandgirl on 01.26.21 at 3:10 pm

I’ve been working from home for about 19 years now, and that likely won’t change, but I miss people. Anyone who thinks that working from home is the best doesn’t know that it’s not for everyone. It can be isolating, and tedious some days, and makes you crave the every day interactions in the rest of your life. When you can’t bump into friends at the coffee shop, or head out for the occasion social gathering it can be mind numbing or stop and chat with other parents as you drop your kids off for school or afterschool activities because adults are not allowed to mingle there anymore it sucks.
I can’t wait until this is over in some form. Bring on the vaccine and let’s get into those small businesses!

#18 Matte on 01.26.21 at 3:16 pm

Funny the sensible corollas are piling up because I’m hearing that the gm dealerships in BC can’t get full sized pickups and suvs. Even the price of used trucks is going through the roof often more then they cost new if kept in good shape and low mileage. This whole recovery is crazy, at first the K shaped recovery graph appeared as a meme but it’s super true and gives me this sinking feeling in my gut. I can literally feel the buying power of my 6 figure salary slipping away as my house and portfolio skyrocket. I feel dirty given the hardship of others right now and the unfairness of it all especially to those younger than me (an 80s born millennial).

#19 Dogman01 on 01.26.21 at 3:17 pm

Look at Calgary Office vacancy rates….

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/vacancy-rate-calgary-office-space-avison-young-report-1.5886557

Add in Covid related WFH, real estate disaster.
That is why I am a bit wary of REITs, someone owns this empty space.

#20 Mississauga ... on 01.26.21 at 3:18 pm

can you get there from here?

#21 Samuel on 01.26.21 at 3:22 pm

225 million jobs were lost worldwide in 2020.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/225-million-jobs-were-lost-worldwide-in-2020-thanks-to-the-pandemic-report-finds-1.5281152

#22 Doug in London on 01.26.21 at 3:23 pm

Well look on the bright side. If YOU are looking for a Toyota Corolla, new or used, now’s the time to buy one. There’ll be many to choose from and you’ll probably get a better price. Don’t wait too long, once the economy starts reopening and your boss wants you back in the office, it will be almost impossible to get that Toyota Corolla. Take a number. It will be like getting a boat, jet ski, or snowmobile in these recent times. Everything goes full circle.

#23 KNOW IT ALL on 01.26.21 at 3:24 pm

“Good thing it ends soon.”

What makes you so sure?

#24 JSS on 01.26.21 at 3:30 pm

When i turned 40, my back started to hurt. I have a sit down desk job, and i think my back is messed up from sitting down for too long and not stretching enough. Some mornings I didn’t feel like going to work. But i had to because i had to pay those debt bills.
You debt lovers better hope your back doesn’t begin to hurt soon because you’ll have to work a long time to pay that debt back

#25 SunShowers on 01.26.21 at 3:30 pm

“The logic is this: if you’re working from a location where people make less money because living costs are lower, you shouldn’t get the same as people in high-cost urban locations.”

I would love to see this same logic used to punitively tax the pants off any firm that outsources operations to developing nations that pay poverty wages, and/or incorporates in a tax haven like Ireland.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and all that.

#26 Felix on 01.26.21 at 3:32 pm

Thank you for the honesty and clarity of your photo message today, Mr Turner.

Canines are, indeed, homewreckers.

Nothing will harm the sanity, sanctity and sanitary safety of human homes more than having a useless, dogawful mutt on the premises.

Please pay heed to this message, everyone. Get a cat.

#27 Prince Polo on 01.26.21 at 3:32 pm

Those endless cul-de-sacs are no joke! They are also where homeowners are too arrogant to haul junk to the dump, so they put out free toilets/broken furniture on the curb. Bravo, you cheapskates!

#28 Doug in London on 01.26.21 at 3:35 pm

@Matte, post #19:
If The Michigan Government is successful at shutting off the pipeline that goes under the Mackinaw Strait, there will be shortages of fuel in Ontario and Quebec. That’s bound to jack prices up and many of those truck owners will want to trade it in for a fuel sipping Toyota Corolla or other econo car. It could end up like the fuel shortages in 1973-74. Here comes the time tunnel again. Say, has anyone heard that new tune Star Baby by The Guess Who? How about Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks or Dark Lady by Cher? How about Benny and the Jets by Elton John? I think I’ll drive off now in my brand new restyled fuel sipping 1974 Ford Mustang 2.

#29 Inequity on 01.26.21 at 3:36 pm

additional child pogey payments?
Is child pogey = CCB? Was there more than just the one additional “Covid” payment made last year?

#30 S.Bby on 01.26.21 at 3:40 pm

“Good thing it ends soon.”

How soon ?

#31 Howard on 01.26.21 at 3:40 pm

#24 KNOW IT ALL on 01.26.21 at 3:24 pm
“Good thing it ends soon.”

What makes you so sure?

——————————————

Even absent a vaccine, all pandemics burn themselves out. The current wave seems to have peaked. Might be a third wave in the fall (and from my understanding, pandemic third waves are almost always far weaker than second) and then that should be it.

But society will likely never return to 2019 norms. Too many changes have occurred. Some for the better, some not so much.

#32 Dolce Vita on 01.26.21 at 3:46 pm

Pandemics bring about social and cultural upheaval.

The pandemic, Black Death of the 14th C, gave the World the Renaissance, Christopher Columbus and the Gutenberg Press to name just a few outcomes from that (and Luca Pacioli’s double entry accounting…Cosimo de’ Medici could of use that).

Mind you, wealth concentrated in the hands of Black Death survivors back then as many, many died so Covid thus far not as ambitious…a good thing.

So far WFH is watered down social upheaval when compared to the Black Death outcomes but it may well stick.

I mean if you had told some monk toiling away by candlelight in some dingy monastery, producing 10-15 books in a lifetime, that this thing called a printing press can rattle off his lifetimes work in no time at all…well, incredulous, disbelief the answer.

Incredulous. Disbelief.

Coming to an Office Tower near you?

#33 First time poster on 01.26.21 at 3:48 pm

Agree! Why sell a depreciating asset (a crappy one at that) just to have to go buy it again in a year when you have to go back to commuting! Not just car sales, service too! Brakes on my car have been low since May but I don’t drive 1,500 kms a month anymore; maybe 300km now so replacement can wait. What a distorted world we live in right now from real estate to boats to pools! Will I be able to buy a new bike this year or will they be out of stock by February!?

#34 Blacksheep on 01.26.21 at 3:49 pm

Garth,

“until the herd is vaxed”

“Good thing it ends soon”
————————————
I’m all for optimistic thinking but I keep reading this here, that we just need to get the vaccine, then the economy can / will come back to life.

What activity that we are currently restrained from doing do to Covid, will be opened up again, once vaxed?

People will still catch the Corona Virus because that’s not what the vaccine is designed to stop (the vaccine is to hopefully not develop the actual Covid Disease and if so, lessen its severity, saving lives.)

They will still be, asymptomatic / contagious, require social distancing, wearing of masks and no confined (office?) workspace or group gatherings.

How will this work?

People get the flu at work, too. But they don’t end up on ventilators. That’s how it works once we’re vaxed. – Garth

#35 Stone on 01.26.21 at 3:52 pm

#13 Peter McLean on 01.26.21 at 3:06 pm
I like going into work. I like to find new and creative ways to waste company time while at work.

———

Thanks! I needed that.

#36 Squire on 01.26.21 at 3:54 pm

I would like to think it may end soon. However, we really don’t know how it’s going to play out for sure. There are a few potential wild cards still to be revealed. The EU might start hoarding vaccines which delays our return to something normal. Now is not the time to spend and spend. What a knee jerk reaction buying out in suburbia. Nothing beats spending money on gas, tires and long commutes. What a great way to save time and money.

#37 Yukon Elvis on 01.26.21 at 3:55 pm

CMHC says by the end of June, 17.9 per cent of people with outstanding homeowner mortgages insured by CMHC had exercised payment deferral options and the bulk of those people seeking deferrals were in Quebec, Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.

#38 alexinvestor on 01.26.21 at 3:58 pm

WFH is great. I got rid of my second car. Having a second car to drive to work, spending all that time and money on fuel just isn’t efficient or good for the environment. I can then allocate that spending to other wants … that’s a good thing and that’s how capitalism works. And maybe some of the FB work can come to Canada instead of being in expensive SF. Canadians should compete with the rest of the world. I used to worry about offshoring, but I realize that talent is hard to find anywhere.

#39 cuke and tomato pickere on 01.26.21 at 4:00 pm

Number 13 Peter McLean thanks for the laugh you must have a government job.

#40 Guelph Guru on 01.26.21 at 4:00 pm

“So, families can afford $1.1 million homes”
During saner times, 3x the family income was the norm. So to afford 1.1M you need an income of 300k+. Even the rich dudes of this blog will find it hard to qualify. But that rule book can now be found only in history text books.
Hope saner times will come back, but that will hurt a lot of people in Canada. Real bad.
It’s better this way than to face the music. Mr. T, pl warm up the printing press. We need 2k of stimulus checks like our neighbours pl.

#41 Basil Exposition on 01.26.21 at 4:01 pm

A one hour train ride east of CIBC’s impressive new headquarters lies the virtually empty parking lot of Oshawa’s Via/GO train station. A commuter parking lot that pre Covid was jammed by 7:00 am to overflowing. GO Security, the dreaded GO-Stoppo, ticketed cars parked on boulevard lawns and surrounding streets. This is partly because GO removed a sizeable amount of free parking and now charges about $98 per month for premium parking. Add this to $25 daily for a return trip to downtown and a commuter can easily shell out $600 a month. And you still need your Corolla to get to the station.
The City of Oshawa has experienced historic growth this past year as it barely clings to its status as one of the last affordable places in the GTA to purchase a home with some dirt around it. The pandemic will pass likely by the third quarter of this year and the lots will fill with commuters once more. My hope is that WFH remains and frees families from this dreadful experience for even a few days a month.

#42 Bob Loblaw on 01.26.21 at 4:10 pm

I’ve only got 3 more bi-weekly payments left on our second car, a 2014 Corolla. Barely drive it now because of WFH, but it’s a great car. It’s never needed any work whatsoever..only oil changes every 8,000 km (full synthetic) Even the brake pads are original. Saving it for my Daughter when she turns 16 in 2.5 years

#43 Billy Buoy on 01.26.21 at 4:11 pm

Funny, Mr “Car” guy is pretty inflexible to date about moving used cars at a “discount”.

“We have to make up for the lost sales somehow.”

I’ll wait you out bit longer. They always have an excuse.

#44 Dolce Vita on 01.26.21 at 4:12 pm

EU vs. AstraZeneca Brouhaha?

The outfall may affect Canada.

Basically AZ shortchanging EU by 60% of doses. EU not happy as they take note UK not shortchanged by AZ. Hope you are following along so far.

Oh ya, EU EMA has not approved AZ yet (supposedly this Fri).

EU, which has countries with gobs of Customs people (AZ does not) has told them they will start issuing EXPORT PERMITS ON VACCINES made in the EU (UK took note of that today…not happy).

Seems AZ makes their vaccines in UK, Belgium and other bits and pieces in Germany.

Back to the export permits – they may use them on Pfizer doses to the UK as leverage on AZ to get their fair share, though EMA has not approved AZ yet.

What’s Canada got to do with AZ, UK, EMA, EU?

Well Beavers, Pfizer Belgium is one of your 2 vax suppliers and you have a 20M dose contract with AZ.

I think you can put 2 and 2 together as to what might happen (Hint: short end of stick, again).

Anything significant I will let you all know. Hopefully just a tempest in a teapot.

[Italia unswayed, suing both AZ and Pfizer, cut and run Hungary buying Sputnik V vaccine…I could go on but that’s good enough for now]

————————

Yup. Just another Covid day in the EU.

#45 Fake Name on 01.26.21 at 4:12 pm

Seems to me that houses are just keeping pace with inflation. Anybody who actually lives their life knows that the posted inflation rate is nonsense. Tomatoes are more than a dollar each now. $2 per chicken thigh at Safeway.
Big Mac > $5 (and going up again soon). Chicken nuggets are a dollar each now too (almost, $5.59 for 6)

I remember when $5 pints were considered expensive. $10 became the new $5 pretty damn quick.

In what make-believe world is inflation under 2%?

#46 Millennial 1%er on 01.26.21 at 4:17 pm

>getting paid less if you work from home (on facebook)

This is only as true as long as the engineer doesn’t apply for other tech jobs. Only the naive think that job pay reflects the cost of living.

It’s undoubtful that remote engineering jobs might actually increase salaries in our humble Canadian towns. As highly sought after software engineers who chose to stay close to home get the choice to work for FANG (or one of the many mutli billion dollar remote startups), they will hop from their jobs like lemmings. Mostly because Canadian companies pay like crap compared to their American counterparts. Companies like IBM are already being forced to increase their engineer band salaries in Canada because they keep on bleeding Canadian engineers to remote american jobs, worsening the drought.

Also, getting paid less when you move is a direct result of less hiring competition. Facebook can’t afford to pay engineers less while they live in silicon valley, because they might hop to the big goog. However, if they live in Ajax, their options shrink (comparatively to the silicon valley) – so they can afford to decrease the salary. Well, until google wants to hire them for remote work.

There is a misconception: people do not get paid in accordance to their cost of living – they get paid in accordance to their scarcity. The reason FANG engineers make a shit ton is because there are recruiters blowing up their phones all day long. The cities they centralize in become expensive because they make so much money, not the other way around.

The driving force behind the remotification of tech companies is not the pandemic, but the absolute lack of skilled engineers combined with the insurmountable mountain of work for them to do. It’s not trivial to keep this pretty-alright blog indexed on google & keep anti-vax shitposting facebook groups running. The pandemic just increased the speed of this remote revolution.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m long on cities too. Software people are a small portion of the population, not enough to upset markets the way they’re upset right now.

#47 Howard on 01.26.21 at 4:23 pm

#12 VladTor on 01.26.21 at 3:06 pm
Garth, I’m absolutely agree: …Good thing it ends soon. ….
Instead will start something what WFHers don’t like. Five years ago when I applied for IT job in CIBC, manager told me that my job is temporary b’s they moving this part of business in India within 6 month. It was 5 years ago!

————————————–

Another person who thinks corporations just recently discovered the concept of offshoring.

#48 Squire on 01.26.21 at 4:24 pm

https://globalnews.ca/news/7597523/biden-buy-american-canada-2/

And sock boy was all excited about Biden not realizing the business of America is business. Trump or no Trump. Sock boy has alot to learn. Oh boy, we are in so much trouble with junior at the wheel so buckle your seatbelts for the bumpy ride this year.

#49 Smartalox on 01.26.21 at 4:33 pm

This is the defining factor in the K-shaped recovery: the difference between workers who have to be ‘on site’ to do their job – and who have to risk exposure to the virus while commuting to work and back home – and those that can literally ‘phone it in’.

If you’re compelled by your employer to ‘go back to the office’ when the pandemic is all over, you really need to ask yourself “what side of the ‘K’ am I on, anyway?”

I don’t understand the impetus for employers cutting wages for those that work from home.

My employer, for one, has either provided equipment for me to work remotely, or has required me to expense equipment that I have purchased locally (with prior approval, of course). Services that facilitate that work, like high-speed internet installations, are also compensated.

In the 5+ years that I have been at this job, my work has been mostly intellectual – crunching data, writing reports, proof-reading others.

Not as much hands-on design and development work as I would have liked, but then again, that isn’t what they pay me for anymore – the younger, less-experienced staff, do the hands-on work.

I don’t see that value proposition changing much for my employer, at this point. And if it were, what would stop me from taking my experience and applying it for the benefit of a different employer? Perhaps with a home office in some other city that I am not currently living in?

What’s the solution? For governments to legislate people back into their old workplaces? Return to the ‘old ways’ pre-pandemic, and support the food courts and the Toyota dealerships? (Note that it doesn’t even feel right to say ‘Status Quo’ anymore, it seems like too much time has passed).

It seems unlikely. And for what benefit? I am sure that I am not the only one that doesn’t miss a 45-minute commute crawling along in traffic, just to sit in a sterile suburban industrial park for 8 hours a day, so that I can fight my way home in time to whip up dinner and see my kid for an hour before he goes to bed?

At home, I can take an hour or two for dinner and family time, then log back in and finish up to make a deadline. I can do a load of laundry between calls on a Tuesday, or set a pot of stew to simmer all afternoon instead of stopping at the mini-mall for pizza.

In the old times, I’d never go back to the office to work late – the work would just take more working days to get done, or the job would require a major upheaval to work late at the office and ‘get the job done’.

#50 John Doe on 01.26.21 at 4:38 pm

Next up… thousands of sellers on Kijiji / Craigs and Ebay all madly trying to sell their stuff for “top dollar”. All of them jumping over one another to list higher and higher. Continually jacking up prices on unsold goods not wanting to be to one to “miss” that sucker.

None of them are selling anything. And so the backlog builds. Creating a huge backlog of unsold overpriced items.

So, nobody sells anything, they “hold” their sky high prices expecting us to “bite the bullet” and buy. Items that normally sell in hours, at regular market prices, now list forever. It’s the new “stock market” and the listing are growing daily.

Covid people with no jobs and no money are getting in on the “action”. Listing their junk at top dollar and claiming “big discount” or “huge price reduction”. Problem is, we’re all watching and there has been no price drop. Unless you consider a $5 drop from $1000 to $995 a “huge price drop”. AND… it’s already 200% over priced. LOL!

News flash…. Nobody is going to “bite the bullet”. I’ve other things to spend my money on, and I’m doing so. Not a collector and not a fool. I know market price, and yours ain’t it!

Enjoy your totally inflated markets. And remember… you can’t keep it up forever.

#51 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 4:40 pm

ADVICE, PLEASE: DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO BUY A HOUSE FOR 5 YEARS?
My spouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is being evicted next month because his landlord is selling the house. (No eviction protection unless a person loses a job due to covid.) Does it make sense for us to buy a house in Pittsburgh for $200,000-$300,000 USD, which we would spruce up then sell when he retires in 5 years at 65? A 55-year-old Canadian, I live in the Niagara Region and will work in Niagara for another decade+. I want to buy a house in Niagara but have been priced out of the local market. After retiring, my American husband would move to Ontario to join me. We are both professionals, but my spouse is paid badly, has no savings, and still has student loan debt ($38,000 USD); however, he has a good retirement investment plan through work ($550,000 USD, plus US Social Security). I am paid better, have reasonable savings ($320,000 CAD stockpiled), and a good retirement investment plan through work ($350,000 CAD and climbing, plus $50,000 RRSP). No kids. Any advice?

#52 Armpit on 01.26.21 at 4:45 pm

WFH – be careful what you wish for. On Sunday night, I had some internet problems and spoke with a Bell Technician who finally diagnosed I had a Modem problem.

New one was dispatched to me.

While speaking with him… I asked if he was WFH. He replied yes. I could hear a ROOSTER in the background and surmised he was at a Farm When asked – he said he was in the Philippines and it was 9:00 am next day.

Again… becareful what you wish for.
——————————-

Btw… decided to postpone my travel plans to Hawaii…. ( I know.. I know..) Too many unknowns – and once T2’s VIPs return, he will shut down the Border.

#53 JSS on 01.26.21 at 4:47 pm

CN Rail +7% dividend increase

BTW today i’m learning a lot about corolla’s

#54 Howard on 01.26.21 at 4:50 pm

Benny Tal, CIBC’s urbane economist, agrees. “I believe the trend is unsustainable.” He says. (It should be noted his bank is building a gleaming new headquarters/skyscraper in downtown Toronto where the commuter trains dock, also to be the head office of Microsoft)

—————————————–

Microsoft has had plenty of its workforce WFH for years. As anyone who knows people who work for Microsoft will tell you, WFH is baked into their corporate culture. People easily transition between departments and move up the ladder remotely. A very forward looking company.

The downtown office will be a nice swanky venue to receive clients and host monthly meetings, but won’t impact the many staff who WFH.

Microsoft is moving into 132,000 square feet of new space. You are so full of crap. Go away. – Garth

#55 Billy Buoy on 01.26.21 at 4:53 pm

Since the FED has our backs..

ALL IN Gamestock or Bitcoin?

;)

#56 The Woosh on 01.26.21 at 5:02 pm

Benny Tal, CIBC’s urbane economist, agrees. “I believe the trend is unsustainable.” He says. (It should be noted his bank is building a gleaming new headquarters/skyscraper in downtown Toronto where the commuter trains dock, also to be the head office of Microsoft).

——————————————

There’s a big difference between “I believe” and “I know”. When Benny Tal says “I believe”, it means he has no clue and is pulling his comments from his *ss.

#57 John Pickett on 01.26.21 at 5:05 pm

From what you have written today, Garth, Toronto is well on its way to becoming another Detroit: empty stores galore, no one venturing downtown, 50 thousand people moving out of Toronto, GO trains abandoned. Maybe race riots in Toronto are just around the corner. So far Biden has proved to be a disaster for Canada and Justin a wuss. I also am looking to a 30 cent a liter increase in gas prices if the Democratic governor of Michigan closes Line 3 (or5?). Funny how all of these environmentalists can create so much economic devastation with a smile on their faces. Makes the ISIS crowd looking like boy scouts. PICK

#58 NorthOf49 on 01.26.21 at 5:16 pm

#57 Billy Buoy on 01.26.21 at 4:53 pm

Since the FED has our backs..

ALL IN Gamestock or Bitcoin?
———————————————

GameStop all in. Elon just tweeted support. After hours now trading at $230. Shorts will be destroyed by Friday.

#59 Kilt on 01.26.21 at 5:23 pm

No plans on going back, vaccine or not. Only on special occasions. The whole WFH thing has proven that I can work from home. Pay cut, I’m game! But they may be playing a dangerous game there. You cut wages, but what if your competition that allows WFH doesn’t cut wages. You may start losing your better employees. Gig economy.

Kilt.

#60 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 5:24 pm

@#25 JSS
“You debt lovers better hope your back doesn’t begin to hurt soon because you’ll have to work a long time to pay that debt back…”
++++

My back hurts from the weekly whipsaw action of sitting bolt upright when I see how much the govt takes on my pay cheque…..

#61 Rainman on 01.26.21 at 5:25 pm

WFH is here to stay Garth. It’s more profitable for large companies when they need less RE and the new young workforce will demand it. You’ll eventually get this.

So will you. Buy some pants. – Garth

#62 Penny Henny on 01.26.21 at 5:29 pm

#29 Doug in London on 01.26.21 at 3:35 pm
I think I’ll drive off now in my brand new restyled fuel sipping 1974 Ford Mustang 2.

///////////////

1974 Mustang II. so sad for you Doug.

#63 CJ on 01.26.21 at 5:29 pm

The Globe says cars are selling like hotcakes.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/personal-finance/household-finances/article-demand-for-new-and-used-cars-surging-as-covid-19-changes-how-we-live/

#64 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 5:31 pm

@#56
“Microsoft is moving into 132,000 square feet of new space.”
+++

Microsoft was a tenant in a building that we rented.
They had several floors of office space.
Apparently their business strategy was to move into a city. Buy up all the small competitors, hire the good staff, cut the crappy staff…… and a few years later.

Close the office down and offer relocation to Redmond for the excellent coders, all others were generously severanced off then turfed with a non disclosure agreement hanging around their necks.

We had a call one day from the tenant beneath their floor . Loud banging , thumping , etc.

The few employees left were playing hockey on rollerblades in a large empty portion of the floor.
Microsoft eventually nuked those staff and paid the rent on 3 empty floors for two more years….
Thats how they beat the competition.

#65 Blacksheep on 01.26.21 at 5:32 pm

Blacksheep # 35,

“People get the flu at work, too. But they don’t end up on ventilators”

” That’s how it works once we’re vaxed. – Garth”
————————————
This rational makes sense…unfortunately, that’s not the plan.

Because there are many unknowns as to the heath impacts of just being infected with this Corona Virus, forget actually developing Covid Disease.

No Doctor can claim, you’ll have zero long term damage from an asymptomatic or mild case (feels like a Flu) because they simply wont know for years. So which employer is going to order (liability?) their people back into the office once vaxed?

1) Little is going to change until this Corona Virus makes its way through a significant portion (75%?) of the population, so heard immunity can be reached or we can get the R-naught below one, with out masks?

OR:

2) A vaccine comes along that stops one from catching this Corona Virus outright to begin with, so they simply are unable to develop, Covid Disease. Rational: All people whom developed AIDS, had HIV first, but not all people that catch HIV, develop AIDS.

I have yet to find any Gov. backed info / docs, stating otherwise? If you have a source, please share…

#66 Blacksheep on 01.26.21 at 5:34 pm

Herd…not heard

#67 Penny Henny on 01.26.21 at 5:36 pm

#35 Blacksheep on 01.26.21 at 3:49 pm
Garth,

“until the herd is vaxed”

“Good thing it ends soon”
————————————
I’m all for optimistic thinking but I keep reading this here, that we just need to get the vaccine, then the economy can / will come back to life.

What activity that we are currently restrained from doing do to Covid, will be opened up again, once vaxed?

People will still catch the Corona Virus because that’s not what the vaccine is designed to stop (the vaccine is to hopefully not develop the actual Covid Disease and if so, lessen its severity, saving lives.)

They will still be, asymptomatic / contagious, require social distancing, wearing of masks and no confined (office?) workspace or group gatherings.

How will this work?

People get the flu at work, too. But they don’t end up on ventilators. That’s how it works once we’re vaxed. – Garth
///////////////

I’m with Blacksheep. Everything I’ve read says that for the next while ( 2 plus years) this is the new norm with social distancing, masking, testing before and after flying, quarantining, limited seating in restaurants.
The vaccine will change less than think.

I like your optimism though!

#68 Sail Away on 01.26.21 at 5:40 pm

#53 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 4:40 pm

ADVICE, PLEASE: DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO BUY A HOUSE FOR 5 YEARS?

————

No, no it doesn’t. For these reasons:

As presented, your husband seems to have finance issues. A professional with no savings and debt at 60 is suspect, in my book.

A US house and renos would all be done with your money, not his nonexistent money. Then markets might drop when it’s time to sell. Big logistics, carrying costs and risk (all your risk, not his). Then if it’s in your name, which it should be if you’re paying it all, more logistics when it’s time to sell. 5 year home purchases rarely make sense even in a slightly rising market due to logistics, taxes and fees.

I imagine there is at least one other long term rental available for a single adult in Pittsburgh.

Think simplicity

#69 IHCTD9 on 01.26.21 at 5:42 pm

No surprise that while 44% of workers would consider relocation, that drops to only 16% if a pay cut is included.
— ———

Depending on how much that cut is, those 16% of WFH’ers could be the smart ones.

#70 Moonshine on 01.26.21 at 5:43 pm

GME, Gamestock with the wallstreetbets on Reddit board. Another tulipomania…

#71 Classical Liberal Millennial on 01.26.21 at 5:43 pm

The more people get vaccinated and critical care numbers decrease, the less likely people will be to comply to the more extreme measures. Ironic though, that our Dear Leader has taken a year to get serious about the border just as vaccines start flowing. The feds have only had to really deal with three issues: securing the border, providing financial supports, and ensuring the flow of vaccines. They’ve failed 2 of 3 but the grovelling masses (like Millennial Realist) continue to worship at the altar.

#72 Penny Henny on 01.26.21 at 5:48 pm

#57 Billy Buoy on 01.26.21 at 4:53 pm
Since the FED has our backs..

ALL IN Gamestock or Bitcoin?

////////////////

Bitcoin is so three weeks ago, Grampa ;)

#73 cramar on 01.26.21 at 5:49 pm

#25 JSS on 01.26.21 at 3:30 pm

When i turned 40, my back started to hurt. I have a sit down desk job, and i think my back is messed up from sitting down for too long and not stretching enough. Some mornings I didn’t feel like going to work. But i had to because i had to pay those debt bills.

You debt lovers better hope your back doesn’t begin to hurt soon because you’ll have to work a long time to pay that debt back

————–

I know exactly how you feel. At age 40 I was going to the chiropractor sometimes twice a week. Lower back problems were painful. Back problems were the norm from my 30’s into my 60s. At age 62, all that changed. Back pain vanished–never to return! What happened? I finally decided after decades of procrastination to do strength training again. I.e. as in lifting weights. Ten days after starting deadlifts, I noted my back pain had vanished. That was 11 years ago, but I also now do a lot of extra back-friendly exercise.

I think you know the answer to your situation. Build stretching and hopefully proper exercise into your daily routine. Learn to do stretching, yoga, and other forms of movement that are good for your back. Google the best stuff. Then take a work break every hour to do them for a few minutes. You might also consider a standing desk, which is what I’m using. I have no chair.

I read somewhere that 80% of back pain is caused by weak muscles, and my personal experience is that this is so.

#74 IHCTD9 on 01.26.21 at 5:51 pm

#1 the insanity of it all on 01.26.21 at 2:36 pm

…get onto Reddit Wall Street Bets…. make 600% on gamestop in two weeks…
——- ———-

Or, blow your brains out in less than an hour:

https://www.reddit.com/r/PersonalFinanceCanada/comments/l4skfd/lesson_learned_dont_fomo_into_the_market/

#75 Sail Away on 01.26.21 at 5:51 pm

#60 NorthOf49 on 01.26.21 at 5:16 pm

GameStop all in. Elon just tweeted support. After hours now trading at $230. Shorts will be destroyed by Friday.

———-

The funny thing here is that this is being pumped up on social media as the disenfranchised taking it to the man, so millions upon millions of retail investors are slamming in their ‘fun money’ of $100, $500, $1,000.

But… and here’s the thing… this pumping is supported and promoted by big boys… who are actually the ones buying large ITM and OTM calls and cashing in huge.

So, in the end, a few of the retail Robinhooders will make money, but the vast majority will be fleeced by professional shearers, either on puts or calls when it all explodes. I predict.

#76 IHCTD9 on 01.26.21 at 6:01 pm

#3 UCC on 01.26.21 at 2:38 pm
Finally, some good news. I want a new truck. Hopefully the price of those goes down soon…..
—— – —-

Good luck with that one homie, they’re still selling out of those sweet new damn trucks.

#77 BlogDog123 on 01.26.21 at 6:05 pm

re: WFH is here to stay permanently 100%

Some employees are good talkers, either performers or bullshitters who can either deliver or deceive…

Bosses will re-calibrate to weed out the bad from good employees in the WFH world… But face-to-face meetings will help a little when it comes time to promote from within.

One guy I work with on Skype, I didn’t see what he looked like until MONTHS after we started working together… Never shared his camera until then. No avatar with his picture.

#78 Faron on 01.26.21 at 6:10 pm

#60 NorthOf49 on 01.26.21 at 5:16 pm

#57 Billy Buoy on 01.26.21 at 4:53 pm

GameStop all in. Elon just tweeted support. After hours now trading at $230. Shorts will be destroyed by Friday.

What happens Friday?

If only bitcoin had a twitter account…

Efolding time scale of these bubbles is getting awfully short. I wonder what that means?

I wonder why VXN was up the past few days?

I wonder why market breadth is in the gutter?

Anyone have any spare bags? I need something to hold onto in these trying times…

#79 yorkville renter on 01.26.21 at 6:21 pm

The Underground Mall (PATH) is really sad these days… two or three (sometimes 1 or 0) restaurants open and literally NO ONE there.

I feel bad for them, but I can only eat so much.

Lots of struggle at the moment

#80 Shirl Clarts on 01.26.21 at 6:32 pm

No gas shortages. No one is driving. If anything there is a fuel surplus, but guess what fuel costs here on the West Coast? $1.31. I wonder how/why the competition bureau has not found anything suspicious. Are they paid not to look?

#81 mike from mtl on 01.26.21 at 6:52 pm

I don’t know. Remember back last year, was floated around that June July some kind of normal would be back. Well nope not even close, goalposts moved again, we need to vax everyone with an experimental ‘cure’ that is at scale looking not much different to the flu cocktail.

So here we are nearly 1 year later and no change. I would be seriously impressed if we properly dose all the oldies by summertime. What if that does not work because well.. they’re old.. or the current formulation is useless? Forget this year I’d say 2021 will be exactly like 2020 just worse.

T2 even hinted at the goalposts moving again.. one case imported is too much. Yeah good luck securing the largest land border on earth trucking nearly everything we need to survive and hundreds of flights per day.

Though if not for our temporary communist experiment there’s a lot of real angry CRE not getting paid, cities not getting property taxes, no revenue transport with union employees at full pay, the entire Hotel, resto, cafe, sporting events, shows industry dead, and so on. Those are problems not going away and would be a huge driver to get back to normal.

That or the Magic Money Tree continues for years and we keep the debt bomb going until we can’t.

#82 Shirl Clarts on 01.26.21 at 6:52 pm

#53 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 4:40 pm

So basically, you want to “invest” $300K in a house for 5 years. First, add up all the transaction costs. Now compare to investing that money (it’s called opportunity costs). The sale of the house, minus all costs must exceed a B&D return of 6%, or about $100K. So if you can sell it in about 5 years for about $450,000, you will probably break even.

Of course, “Living” inside your investment means you don’t have to pay rent. But you do have more insurance, utilities, ppty taxes, and maintenance to worry about.

In my opinion, 5 years is too short a window. Anything can happen in 5 years, so I’d rent and invest the $300K.

Remember, with renting you have mobility. Not so with a house.

#83 Howard on 01.26.21 at 6:53 pm

#66 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 5:31 pm
@#56
“Microsoft is moving into 132,000 square feet of new space.”
+++

Microsoft was a tenant in a building that we rented.
They had several floors of office space.
Apparently their business strategy was to move into a city. Buy up all the small competitors, hire the good staff, cut the crappy staff…… and a few years later.

Close the office down and offer relocation to Redmond for the excellent coders, all others were generously severanced off then turfed with a non disclosure agreement hanging around their necks.

We had a call one day from the tenant beneath their floor . Loud banging , thumping , etc.

The few employees left were playing hockey on rollerblades in a large empty portion of the floor.
Microsoft eventually nuked those staff and paid the rent on 3 empty floors for two more years….
Thats how they beat the competition.

————————————

Yup, it didn’t become one of the world’s successful companies by looking backward and prioritizing face time over results. My cousin is a Microsoft team lead and has mostly WFH for years. She went into the office rarely so for her, Covid lockdowns didn’t much change her daily life.

#84 VladTor on 01.26.21 at 6:57 pm

#49 Howard… Another person who thinks corporations just recently discovered the concept of offshoring.
—–
Sorry,
You probably didn’t understand my idea.
Of course it was…. but it will be from now hundreds times more in just couple years.
Not tomorrow of course! Do you know that, for instance, in USA existing companies which provide this service – creating offshore teams particularly for your business. You just need to let them what do you need with details. Second, companies which never do it – after testing WFH will do.
One year ago office towers was full and overfilled even. Now – empty. Ask Garth how empty? Who used offshore before virus – generally banks and some big IT companies. Now – 90% (may be!) companies using domestic offshore! I mean all of them using OFFdowntownShore, OFFcityofficesShore etc. WFHers. Again – this is for companies good testing ability to do some job off….offF… offFF…offFFF… finally offCanada.
In MILD scenario will be like Garth telling – decreasing salary b’s …read Garth because.

BUT!!! In Canada companies not practice next – Boss: “You know Mike, I can’t pay you more than you have now. Are you agree discussing to decrease salary?” Never ever happened! Instead they fire you and hire somebody on yours position with less salary.
So, in 6-10 month too many WFHers will be fired and instead will be hired NEW WFHers with much less salaries. With so big unemployment rate it will not be a problem. Pray for this mild scenario! At least this is better compare to offSomwhereCanada for Canada b’s people and companies will pay taxes here and buying everything here and supporting our economy.

#85 Drill Baby Drill on 01.26.21 at 7:05 pm

My son in law works for Hines the owner of both CIBC towers. They have several big name tenants moving in at completion. WFH is so overdone.

#86 Hilroy on 01.26.21 at 7:06 pm

“The logic is this: if you’re working from a location where people make less money because living costs are lower, you shouldn’t get the same as people in high-cost urban locations”

That’s Communism – Employers should expect a performance reduction if they play this.

#87 the Jaguar on 01.26.21 at 7:07 pm

Has there ever been a bigger media hound than Benny Tal? So very ‘unseemly’ for his profession. He should act more like a demure Victorian socialite, his name only showing up in the newspaper at birth, marriage and death, instead of some gypsy-like tarot card reader at a Carnival.

A very close co-conspirator and collaborator of the Jaguar’s told me he was part of an anonymous survey by his employer ( a very large corporation where many are currently held captive at home). Subject matter- WFH. Lots of interesting ‘touchy feely” questions about whether he felt the company had his best interests and welfare in mind, etc. But also some very direct questions relating to return to the office. Seems like some of these companies ‘playing possum’ on the issue of RTW ( that’s ‘Return to Work’ for you slow types) are exploring the details behind the scenes..
What kind of details, you ask? The usual ones that involve any big heist. Motive, means, opportunity, who benefits most, and especially how to get away with it. Mercy.

#88 SOMETHINGS UP!! on 01.26.21 at 7:11 pm

I thought Julie Payette was a female until I saw a picture.

Doesn’t he know the BON JOVI era is over?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/julie-payette-treatment-staff-rideau-hall-1.5887108

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 7:14 pm

@#53 Niagara Region
“Any advice?”

++++

Push him over the Falls in a barrel?

#90 S.Bby on 01.26.21 at 7:14 pm

Re. GME:

Elon loves to play head games with the unwashed masses.

#91 God on 01.26.21 at 7:22 pm

The only reason I would dare venture into the steerage section is in search of Garth”s burns…sweet

WFH is here to stay Garth. It’s more profitable for large companies when they need less RE and the new young workforce will demand it. You’ll eventually get this.

So will you. Buy some pants. – Garth

#92 The West on 01.26.21 at 7:24 pm

#46 Dolce Vita on 01.26.21 at 4:12 pm

England and the continent not getting along? Heavens, no! That would be unprecedented in history…..

I mean, after all, a strong US kept that quiet for 85 years……

#93 Bolt Upright ... on 01.26.21 at 7:30 pm

#62 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 5:24 pm
My back hurts from the weekly whipsaw action of sitting bolt upright when I see how much the govt takes on my pay cheque….
—————————————-
was one of Elly May Clampett’s suitors … along with Dash Riprock …

#94 The West on 01.26.21 at 7:30 pm

#88 Hilroy on 01.26.21 at 7:06 pm

And it all comes into focus……..

#95 Diamond Dog on 01.26.21 at 7:31 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez90rXhMWjE

What the world is learning from WFH is that if individuals make a living behind a computer monitor, they can WFH anywhere. We are seeing significant movement of businesses and personnel from Cali to Texas for example. Why? Taxation. Cali has a 13.3% personal income tax rate, the highest in the U.S. while Texas has no taxation on personal income other than taxing interest and dividends.

So, maybe corps pay less for WFH employees but employees still take home more either in lower taxes or lower costs of living or both and we are seeing this migration play out during this pandemic specifically as as WFH plays itself out. Couple WFH with cheaper housing and the argument to live away from the inner city becomes more compelling but this doesn’t work when everyone is doing it and the market prices it in. At some point, the pandemic will end and ,more WFH gets called back to work at the office then expected and…

This bug really has disrupted economies the world over. Lower income workers have been hammered in some service sectors. WFH has disrupted employee incomes and ways of thinking. Investors and sellers of real estate have done well but markets RE values and debt private and public has gone up and with it, comes elevated risk.

Governments can paper it over only so long with real estate and borrowed money. At some point, either organic growth and innovation kicks in or it crashes. In the near term, corporate incomes will likely tail after mid Feb and a mediocre March correction makes sense followed by a recovery in April but some time around summer or fall, we may see the inevitable occur, a good old fashioned crash. Would it come as a surprise if it did?

#96 Nonplused on 01.26.21 at 7:35 pm

Went to Lens Crafters today with my son because he needs new glasses and can confirm that most of the mall was shut and hardly anybody was there. Mind you this isn’t a very popular mall, but it was kind of eerie. Walmart and Best Buy were open though. And EB Games. I understand they have been doing brisk business.

#97 Faron on 01.26.21 at 7:43 pm

#77 Sail Away on 01.26.21 at 5:51 pm

#60 NorthOf49 on 01.26.21 at 5:16 pm

It’s even more devious than big fish swimming with the little fish. Essentially, the market maker Citadel has an HFT preview of what retail is up to and amplifies their work. Then, Citadel swooped in and bought out a hedge fund knowing that their short was going to swallow them and thus got a sweetheart deal on an otherwise strong fund. Startling that this is legal. Read this thread.

https://twitter.com/toxic/status/1353890766800621569

This same dynamic can and will work on the downside as well.

#98 DON on 01.26.21 at 7:43 pm

#26 SunShowers on 01.26.21 at 3:30 pm
“The logic is this: if you’re working from a location where people make less money because living costs are lower, you shouldn’t get the same as people in high-cost urban locations.”

I would love to see this same logic used to punitively tax the pants off any firm that outsources operations to developing nations that pay poverty wages, and/or incorporates in a tax haven like Ireland.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and all that.

****************

There was a recent (last two days) article in Bloomberg talking about companies social pledge in light of the layoffs that are happening. I agree fully with you.

#99 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 7:45 pm

@#95 Bolt Upright

I remember Dash Riprock.
Classic.
Dont remember Bolt Upright.
A name like that.
I’m surprised it made it past the 60’s censors

#100 TurnerNation on 01.26.21 at 7:51 pm

What this weblog describes can it be known as anything other to a Financial Reset? And the same gameplan, in every (former) First World Country.
Ending soon? They are locking down Kanada anew with more travel restrictions/virtual Berlin Walls.

It’s for our health! As the old saying goes those who believe in absurdities can be made to commit atrocities.
1.5 generations ago Japanese-Canadians were stripped of their assets and placed into Interment Camps. In this country. Because they “might be the enemy” during WW2.
Today in WW3 healthy people are going into Quarrantine Camp because “they might be sick”.
If CV is everywhere this makes as much sense as quarranting people for the common cold. But wait, they got something for that. The endless ‘mutations’ and ‘variants’. Go ahead and get the jab. It’s not about that. Rights are not coming back.

Beyond Meat (BYND.US) up was 40% today. All the big players are into this fake mean. And much of it is not “plant based” it’s plain out synthisized in a lab. We are to be left eating bugs and soylent green. We are animals to our elite rulers.

Back to WW3 and the camps:
Life living in an our open air Kamp. Guards with dogs patrolling you. Everything old is new again.

“The Miami Heat will begin utilizing canines to protect in-house spectators from COVID-19 transmission.
According to The Associated Press, “the Heat will use coronavirus-sniffing dogs at AmericanAirlines Arena to screen fans who want to attend their games.” The outlet reports, the policy is set to take effect before Thursday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, when the Heat hosts its first game of the season with fans present. Attendance will be limited to about 1,500 season ticket holders.”

“The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that the federal government is getting ready to impose stricter travel rules as it tries to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by new, more transmissible variants. A triple-bylined item led by Marieke Walsh says that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet debated new measures at its Monday evening meeting. Options on the table ranged from relatively small changes, such as increasing the number of people dedicated to enforcing the 14-day quarantine, to requiring all returning non-essential travellers to quarantine at a government-designated hotel at their own expense © 2021 Canjex Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved”

#101 VladTor on 01.26.21 at 7:52 pm

Folk!
Don’t be so serious!
30 seconds joke just for good sleep:

Relaxed b’s 2020 gona?

DO NOT RELAX! We have now 21 year of 21 century

#102 IHCTD9 on 01.26.21 at 7:55 pm

#75 cramar on 01.26.21 at 5:49 pm

I read somewhere that 80% of back pain is caused by weak muscles, and my personal experience is that this is so.
— ——-

Weak core. So squats, deadlifts, rows etc…

#103 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 7:57 pm

Thanks, Shirl Clarts (84) and Sail Away (70) for the very helpful advice.

Re: Sail Away’s comment: “As presented, your husband seems to have finance issues. A professional with no savings and debt at 60 is suspect, in my book.”

If you’re curious, my husband is a well-published tenured professor who chairs his program at the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh pays extremely exploitive wages. More generally, the days of professors at high-powered American universities being well paid ended decades ago. Also, my spouse’s student loans when graduating with a PhD was about $150,000 USD. He exemplifies Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s claim that the debtload of working-class students destroys their financial futures.

#104 TurnerNation on 01.26.21 at 8:07 pm

No no no. It’s not going away. This is a never-ending control mechanism. For the new global order.
Your proof? Rights are stull suspended. Better luck next time. Tell me there is not a plan and a timeline.
If a UBI is the plan this will surely do it.

https://nationalpost.com/news/alberta-delays-lifting-lockdowns-now-that-covid-variants-have-arrived-on-the-scene

Alberta delays lifting lockdowns now that COVID variants have arrived on the scene

……….

8 months ago I wrote this and what has changed??

#41 TurnerNation on 05.12.20 at 4:42 pm
So much going on all affecting the economy and cancelling the old culture. It’s being replaced.
Anyway, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) was cancelled for this year. The last time that happened was…WW2.

We are in WW3. They have us using weapons terms like Vector. We are all bio-weapons according our elites. Guilty/unhealthy until proved innocent.

#152 TurnerNation on 07.03.20 at 7:07 pm
In a medical dictatorship everybody is guilty until proven innocent. And there is no proof.
They designed the perfect mind trap for us
Even if you are perfectly healthy you still might be sick. Anywhere on earth.
Once again this global Ww3 is for our minds.

……………

But the SPOILS of WW3! Learn how the game is played lads:


The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that more than 100 licensed cannabis companies and their subsidiaries have received tens of millions of dollars in payments from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, raising new questions about the policy intentions of the program and whether it meant to subsidize a sector that was already in the throes of consolidation. The Globe’s Vanmala Subramaniam writes that at least 20 publicly traded cannabis companies cumulatively collected more than $40-million in CEWS payments, while dozens of others received the subsidy but chose not to disclose the amount in their financial filings.
…..”

#105 Next Future Ex-GG on 01.26.21 at 8:17 pm

Track pads are ruff when you got big paws.

#106 binky barnes on 01.26.21 at 8:38 pm

There is much uncertainty out there right now, but Canadians can sleep easy in the knowledge that Mr. Justin Trudeau is on top of things. See!? Not a thing to worry about.

BB

#107 Flop... on 01.26.21 at 8:40 pm

#97 Diamond Dog on 01.26.21 at 7:31 pm
What the world is learning from WFH is that if individuals make a living behind a computer monitor, they can WFH anywhere. We are seeing significant movement of businesses and personnel from Cali to Texas for example. Why? Taxation. Cali has a 13.3% personal income tax rate, the highest in the U.S. while Texas has no taxation on personal income other than taxing interest and dividends.

/////////////////////////////////////////////

Hey Crazy Fox, when I read your opening paragraph I recalled reading this Howmuch article back in 2016.

It only focuses on startups but click on the link and you’ll see some of this sort of stuff has been going on for years…

M46BC

“San Francisco is Not the Queen of Startup Land, this Map Shows Why.

Although most Americans might think that San Francisco is the hub of job creation from startups, 2014 data from the United States Census Bureau shows otherwise. Rather, the epicenter of job creation from startups in the U.S. is in the heart of Midland, Texas.”

https://howmuch.net/articles/start-up-jobs-across-america

#108 Nonplused on 01.26.21 at 8:48 pm

#82 Shirl Clarts on 01.26.21 at 6:32 pm

“No gas shortages. No one is driving. If anything there is a fuel surplus, but guess what fuel costs here on the West Coast? $1.31. I wonder how/why the competition bureau has not found anything suspicious. Are they paid not to look?”

You can thank your friendly BC government for that. They tax the hell out of it. They have done multiple so called “studies” to determine where the manipulation was coming from but always with the instructions not to bother looking at the taxes.

Most of the gasoline/diesel/jet fuel used on the west coast comes from Alberta via the Trans Mountain pipeline. So the pump price is pretty simple, Alberta “rack rate” plus a pipeline charge plus delivery (the trucks that haul it from the terminal to the stations) plus station mark up (which is pretty small) plus taxes. Lots of taxes.

You can see the effect driving across the boarder between Alberta and BC. There is a 30 cent per liter difference between Coleman and Sparwood, even though the gasoline came out of the same tanker truck out of Calgary. And it is not like Alberta is without its own fuel taxes, they are just less. HST is less too.

#109 Neo on 01.26.21 at 8:55 pm

#67 Blacksheep on 01.26.21 at 5:32 pm

You won’t hear the doom and gloom media ever mention this good news but starting this week the R naught is already below 1.0.

It is sitting at 0.87 which we haven’t seen in Ontario since early August. R value peaked at 1.4 this 2nd wave on September 13th and has been bumping around 1.0 ever since until this week. So the virus right now isn’t spreading exponentially.

For comparison we peaked at R naught of 3.0 last March. Pass on the good news Garth. You are in the media. Sort of.

#110 Lovedowntown on 01.26.21 at 9:03 pm

@63 Rainman
“ So will you. Buy some pants. – Garth”

LoL i just did, 4 pairs. Izod has them on 75% storewide sale :-)

#111 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 9:13 pm

God bless ICBC ( govt car insurance in BC)

A new website to tell you how much you will “save” after May 1st under the new rate plan.

https://www.icbc.com/insurance/costs/Pages/Discounts-and-savings.aspx

Unfortunately , no numbers. Just more baffle gab.

ICBC made $410 MILLION in profit last year.
No covid rebates as of yet…unlike private insurance companies.

#112 Tyberius on 01.26.21 at 9:24 pm

New partner at Turner Investments? Looks like a keen canine! I wonder what his investment style is? I certainly hope he doesn’t chase trends (or sticks)!

Anyway…
We tried to sell my wife’s car a 2-3 months ago:
a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, top trim level. Only 15,500 km.
No serious enquiries at what we thought of ‘fair-market’ value – (~$30k). A couple nuisance calls/texts (via Autotrader).
Decided to just keep it instead of giving it away.
She only needs it once or twice a week – and we could probably make do with my car, but…

Catch 22 sometimes – to sell or not to sell.

#113 mark on 01.26.21 at 9:33 pm

Freedoms lost!

#114 Danger Dan on 01.26.21 at 9:40 pm

I’ve been job seeking in a field where WFH is common and found that I’m not even getting acknowledged by local employers, even for jobs I’m perfectly qualified for.

Meanwhile, I’ve had a number of interviews with companies outside Canada.

Why would I go back to an office in Canada if accepting remote work means I can work for employers in the U.S. or EU, possibly being paid more by a more future-friendly employer?

I can’t speak for all industries but my feeling is that businesses here will feel pressure to allow WFH in response to the changing paradigm providing employees with more bargaining power.

#115 Job#1 on 01.26.21 at 9:41 pm

#112 Neo

Yes 0.87 Ro is good news.

Have you noticed?, they used to have daily test volume graph at the bottom of page. Now it’s hidden, you have to click an extra button to view. A few days ago, over 70K tested; last couple of days have dropped way down, yesterday barely over 30K tests.

I wonder if the decrease in cases might have something to do with number of tests? Are fewer people showing up? Are they turning people away?

#116 Frodo Bigguns on 01.26.21 at 10:08 pm

DELETED

#117 Doug in London on 01.26.21 at 10:21 pm

@Penny Henny, post #74:
I actually had a 1978 Mustang II. It served me very well for 10 years, and it would have easily served me for many more had someone not hit me and brought it to an untimely end. It was quite reliable and needed very few repairs, but when it did it was quite easy to work on.

#118 Sail Away on 01.26.21 at 10:27 pm

#115 Tyberius on 01.26.21 at 9:24 pm

We tried to sell my wife’s car a 2-3 months ago:
a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, top trim level. Only 15,500 km.
No serious enquiries at what we thought of ‘fair-market’ value – (~$30k). A couple nuisance calls/texts (via Autotrader).

————–

Let’s see: a 2021 Limited Crosstrek retails new for $34,495.

You wanted $30k for a 2yo car with 2yo tech and smaller engine.

I may be able to help solve your mystery!

#119 IHCTD9 on 01.26.21 at 10:30 pm

#114 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.21 at 9:13 pm
God bless ICBC ( govt car insurance in BC)

A new website to tell you how much you will “save” after May 1st under the new rate plan.

https://www.icbc.com/insurance/costs/Pages/Discounts-and-savings.aspx

Unfortunately , no numbers. Just more baffle gab.

ICBC made $410 MILLION in profit last year.
No covid rebates as of yet…unlike private insurance companies.
———

Damn, I am glad we don’t have bullshit like government auto insurance in Ontario. I did get a COVID rebate earlier this year, and that knocks insurance for my 3/4 ton down to 550.00 year.

ICBC should be a lesson to all about what happens when you let government look after you. You get basically get robbed, and for what? SFA is what. What a ******* gong show. Seriously, if I had to pay 5X more for auto insurance, I’d probably make arrangements to just do without it. I haven’t had to provide proof of insurance since I was a teenager…

#120 Two-thirds on 01.26.21 at 10:37 pm

Meanwhile, Autotrader data points to a hot market for used and new cars, today:

“According to research by online marketplace autotrader.ca, the pandemic has caused a surge in demand as people avoid public transport and ride-hailing services.

A survey released by the company in December showed 46 per cent of people who were interested in buying a new car listed the pandemic as a direct reason for their purchase. The website also saw a nearly 28 per cent increase in traffic from May to December.

But the demand was underpinned by supply shortages in both new and used car markets, since some manufacturers stopped production at the start of the pandemic and continue to deal with supply chain issues.

Baris Akyurek, Director of Marketing Intelligence at autotrader.ca, said a lower number of new car sales at the start of the pandemic translated to fewer vehicles being traded in, leading to tighter supply in both markets before an increase in demand.

As a result, the average listing price of a vehicle on the marketplace in December was 5.2 per cent higher than the previous year, now sitting at $19,888.

Akyurek said used cars are a particularly hot commodity because they’re an economical option at a time of financial uncertainty, and depreciation isn’t as much of a concern.”

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/new-used-vehicle-demand-surges-amid-pandemic-lockdowns/ar-BB1d6J7M?li=AAggNb9

If the current semiconductor chip shortage is not alleviated pronto, more car production will stop, and then… big squeeze to supply so prices could go higher in 2021.

https://www.dw.com/en/computer-chip-shortage-disrupts-global-car-production/:~:text=The%20world's%20biggest%20carmakers,%20including%20Toyota%20and%20Volkswagen,,to%20the%20car%20industry%20by%20the%20coronavirus%20pandemic.

Perfect storm approaching for car prices: supply squeeze, pent-up demand and household savings at historic prices. Next 6 months?

The dealers with used inventory in good condition could make a killing, assuming they survive until the spring.

Calgary car guy – thoughts?

#121 Nonplused on 01.26.21 at 10:44 pm

My prediction: Biden will go down as the most dangerous president ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-v76kM0gWo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1lq8A_J2Nw

The days of free commerce and freedom of expression are over. 1984 is on the way, to the extent it isn’t here already.

‘Free expression’ like 1/6? – Garth

#122 willworkforpickles on 01.26.21 at 11:00 pm

I said it years ago at the start of the last economic upheaval and right at the start of this one…invest in a good distillery.

#123 Sail Away on 01.26.21 at 11:08 pm

#106 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 7:57 pm

Thanks, Shirl Clarts (84) and Sail Away (70) for the very helpful advice.

Re: Sail Away’s comment: “As presented, your husband seems to have finance issues. A professional with no savings and debt at 60 is suspect, in my book.”

If you’re curious, my husband is a well-published tenured professor who chairs his program at the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh pays extremely exploitive wages.

—————

Hm. That info is actually readily available. Full professor at U of Pitt (2019) salaries ranged $136-$276k, with median of $156k.

I’m not judging, but wouldn’t necessarily classify that wage as ‘exploitive’, since the 2019 US median household income was $68,703.

#124 IHCTD9 on 01.26.21 at 11:12 pm

#82 Shirl Clarts on 01.26.21 at 6:32 pm
No gas shortages. No one is driving. If anything there is a fuel surplus, but guess what fuel costs here on the West Coast? $1.31. I wonder how/why the competition bureau has not found anything suspicious. Are they paid not to look?
—- ——-

You’re not talking about BC? Evidently the new, most ******-up Province in Canada? Shocker, who’s running the joint over there anyway? I used to think the last Province I’d ever live in is PQ, but today, it’s BC, 110%.

Government is bleeding everyone over there like a 19th century Doctor. Dealing with Trudeau is enough work without getting your sphincter muscle blown into bacon strips by an equally brain dead Provincial government on top.

I am damn glad Horgan didn’t hang around here in Ontario after finishing school.

#125 45north on 01.26.21 at 11:23 pm

CJohnC With regards to the odd poster enjoying Pierre Poilievre yesterday, keep in mind he is Harper’s pit bull and out of the commons he makes the former GG look like Mother Teresa. All attitude. He’s got a reputation.

guilty as charged

we need a pit bull right now. Justin Trudeau has fundamentally changed the composition of this country. Wealth is being transferred from those who earn wages to those who earn capital gains through their assets. Justin Trudeau has put this process in place with a smirk. Pierre Poilievre is brilliant, incisive and articulate. My prayer is that he will be considerate and kind to the people with whom he has contact.

#126 mark on 01.26.21 at 11:29 pm

Things aren’t turning to normal soon scary information on the new variant over in England .

https://youtu.be/uMSeiNqOfjg

#127 LandLord NO More on 01.27.21 at 12:03 am

Colleagues of mine were grousing about their union brothers in Northern BC getting the same salary as they were getting, in the lower rainland. Having lived in the north, I spoke up and defended the good salaries those in the north were receiving by saying, “Wait a minute! Their heating bills are higher than your mortgage!”

There was stunned silence as they had never been beyond Hope!

#128 Bileth on 01.27.21 at 1:02 am

In my anecdotal experience, the used car market is quite hot right now. No rentals mean supply is low. No desire to transit means demand is high. People still need to get around.

#129 Diamond Dog on 01.27.21 at 1:25 am

#110 Flop… on 01.26.21 at 8:40 pm

No doubt about it Flop, Texas is draining the brain out west but even so, when we look at SPAC’s launched over the last year and the startups involved with EV’s where the Nasdaq’s latest mini tech bubble has been, there were lots of startups from Cali. EV manufacturers, Lidar, charge stations, batteries, Cali dominated the startups related to EVs and the majority it seemed, came from the sunshine state which really isn’t all that surprising.

When we look back on the EV NASDAQ mini bubble, the timing of EV’s on the heels of incumbent auto manufacturer EV lines, coupled with higher quality launches of startups concentrated in a burgeoning sector played major roles and the tech coming out of the sunshine state led the way.

Shell corps are from all over (seems like a quarter to a third are from overseas anecdotally) and there’s lots of suitors out there, but the startups involved with reverse takeovers (SPACs), California keeps cranking them out! It seemed like the majority of them were from Cali over the last few months and investors were rewarded handsomely for their efforts.

California is no doubt expensive and overtaxed relative to the rest of the pack, but govy at the state level gets behind startups there in a big way. It’s that “give everyone a good equal start” mindset with $ behind it from state government coupled with strong education systems and incumbent tech employment that makes for California dreamin’. Canadians need to take a good long hard look at what California is doing right and try to run the same model here where we can.

It’s not just the incumbency of silicon valley experience and employment and the mindsets geared toward innovation (which is substantial, California has the world’s 5th or 6th largest GDP in the world, its largely high tech driven and that’s just one state), its Cali’s schools and secondary education and govy help with startups. It’s cohesive. Startups aren’t succeeding in spite of high taxation and over regulation etc. the way some critics portray it to be but in some large ways, because of it. So, while the Elon Musk’s and Rogan Shapiro radio talk show hosts have taken flight to Texas and the trend to move is growing, I don’t see the end of California’s dominance in high tech any time soon.

I’m with Garth when it comes to WFH. Some WFH employee’s can do what they desire if their reputations with production are solid. I would think however, that this a minority, possibly a small one. If the number is true that productivity has dropped 20% from WFH employee’s overall, its all the more reason to call them back to the office.

Working in proximity to one another isn’t just more productive overall, it forms stronger social relationships outside of work. The social aspect working at the company digs might be underrated but good management knows it’s value.

Human beings are social. A pandemic cuts us off from socializing the way we have in the past and we get used to our introverted lifestyles and start to drift away from past connections and trains of thought. I definitely see good management wanting to put the brakes to that vibe once vaccines get in arms and for good reason. What will presumably follow is a less transient vibe than the WFH energy we are witnessing right now. Less turnover, higher productivity, good managers will no doubt reverse WFH when and where they can.

#130 Bdwy on 01.27.21 at 1:48 am

115 Tyberius on 01.26.21 at 9:24 pm

Whats wrong with this one?

2019 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Touring, Only 15000 KMS – $20,990 (Surrey)
https://vancouver.craigslist.org/rds/ctd/d/surrey-2019-subaru-crosstrek-awd/7265846485.html

#131 Flop... on 01.27.21 at 2:55 am

Thor, been thinking.

Always dangerous for your blog.

Circling back to your great-grandfather Ebenezer Bodwell, someone put up a link the other day that mentioned the cemetery I live next to.

I reported the other day that I went to the cemetery website and realized I had walked past his grave inadvertently near 33rd Avenue several times.

I have not been able to go since learning of your connection to have a look, but I will when the Lepage liquid nails finally sets hard on my new foot.

The cogs got turning.

If he died in Morley, Alberta on October 18th how was he able to be buried in Vancouver on October 20th 1889 as the records indicate.

Maybe no railway protesters way back then?

Anyways, couple of my nieghbourhood features.

About 500 meters away from where he is buried is a structure known as The Bodwell Sub-Station.

Your Super Pop died in 1889, this structure was built around 1910.

The other thing of note is his grave is probably 50 feet from 33rd Ave, which back in the day used to be called Bodwell Road.

Apparently there are other Bodwells buried there, but he was obviously a mover and a shaker of the day, I guess my main curiosity is did these things get named after him because he is buried there, or is it because Ebenezer once lived in my neighborhood?

Here’s a photo from 1912.

Men taking a break from road construction on Bodwell Road (33rd Avenue)

Don’t worry the roadworks are just as crappy nowadays…

M46BC

https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/men-taking-break-from-road-construction-on-bodwell-road-33rd-avenue

————————————————————–

“Tucked in a residential neighbourhood on 33rd Avenue, the Bodwell Road Rectifier Station has long served the public transit network in Vancouver.

Back in the early 20th century, the building was built to serve the rapidly growing streetcar network that was pushing out from Downtown Vancouver. At this time the Municipality of South Vancouver was quickly becoming urban along Main and Fraser streets. And people needed a way to get to Downtown Vancouver.

At this time 33rd Avenue was known as Bodwell Road until it was numbered circa 1912 to be a part of the Vancouver postal delivery system.

Just west of here a spur line ran from Main Street to the Little Mountain Quarry along Bodwell Road / 33rd Avenue. This quarry was in active use until about 1930s provided volcanic basalt to many of Vancouver’s early street surfaces. When the quarry shut down it was turned into a park that was ultimately named Queen Elizabeth. And the quarry was turned into a garden.

Today the Bodwell Road Rectifier Station is still in active use supply 600-volt electricity to the city’s trolleybus network.”

https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/wm1066Q_Bodwell_Road_Rectifier_Station_Vancouver_BC

#132 Jane24 on 01.27.21 at 3:35 am

How old is Benny Tal? I ask as his thoughts are the exact opposite of my four WFH 30 + something children. Benny obviously has skin in the game of working from downtown. His opinion may be clouded by his own wishes for the future as are yours Garth.

Obviously one needs to move with the times and invest in sweats and hoodies delivered to the customer’s home! With an open mind there is always a way to make money.

The key thought that I take from today’s post is that people in 1.1 million dollar homes needs a measly 10 grand from the sale of their car to pay the bills. Now this is frightening. The toys are starting to go.

#133 BillyBob on 01.27.21 at 5:47 am

GME hit $340 in premarket at one point. Up 130%. hahahah!

Gonna be mayhem at the open.

—————

#106 Niagara Region on 01.26.21 at 7:57 pm

If you’re curious, my husband is a well-published tenured professor who chairs his program at the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh pays extremely exploitive wages. More generally, the days of professors at high-powered American universities being well paid ended decades ago. Also, my spouse’s student loans when graduating with a PhD was about $150,000 USD. He exemplifies Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s claim that the debtload of working-class students destroys their financial futures.

———————

I don’t mean this unkindly, but was any sort of analysis whatsoever done on the possible ROI of a $150K education? Knowing the “exploitative” wages, some sort of plan with hard numbers and timelines on how this could/would be repaid?

I get that the future isn’t knowable, but it’s a lot easier to face with a plan…

I just can’t get behind the meme that Sanders and Warren perpetuates that all indebted students are victims. Selling a lie is one thing, believing it another.

#134 BillyBob on 01.27.21 at 6:10 am

#46 Dolce Vita on 01.26.21 at 4:12 pm
EU vs. AstraZeneca Brouhaha?

Basically AZ shortchanging EU by 60% of doses. EU not happy as they take note UK not shortchanged by AZ.

————————————-

I agree that the EU has every right to take steps against AstroZeneca. If AZ isn’t fulfilling their contractual obligations, they get what they deserve.

But what you gloss over is that the UK is getting what they ordered because they a) approved the AZ vaccine and b) contracted with AZ months before the EU did.

Trying to frame it as somehow unfair that the EU is in the supply line behind the UK is dishonest. They acted sooner, they get whatever supply is available first. The fact the supply is constrained is the EU’s problem. Trying to make it the UK’s is blatant cheap payback for Brexit. Other Eurosceptics will take note.

And I say that as someone who was adamantly opposed to Brexit, and an EU resident potentially impacted by the shortage.

#135 KLNR on 01.27.21 at 7:37 am

Used to be that we liked to head out the the cabin every once in awhile. Well that’s been reversed. Maybe permanently.

#136 UCC on 01.27.21 at 8:00 am

#133 Bdwy on 01.27.21 at 1:48 am
115 Tyberius on 01.26.21 at 9:24 pm

Whats wrong with this one?

2019 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Touring, Only 15000 KMS – $20,990 (Surrey)
https://vancouver.craigslist.org/rds/ctd/d/surrey-2019-subaru-crosstrek-awd/7265846485.html

——

Other than color? This is in the ball park for what I would pay for a two year old car. Depreciation is 25%-30% year 1 and 15% each year after–depending on the driver….and this is why leasing is expensive…..

#137 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.27.21 at 8:20 am

@#136 Billybob

“I just can’t get behind the meme that Sanders and Warren perpetuates that all indebted students are victims. Selling a lie is one thing, believing it another.”

+++
True.
A PhD in a subject that potential students aren’t interested in….. or required to take…..

I think in the Niagara region there is a shortage of Cooper’s ( barrel makers).

Perhaps he could be retrained?

#138 Dharma Bum on 01.27.21 at 8:32 am

#13 Peter McLean

I like going into work. I like to find new and creative ways to waste company time while at work.
——————————————————————–

Hahaha! Yes.

That’s the only part of work that I miss, now that I’m in retirement.

Wasting company time.

In any given week, I figure I only did about 15 minutes of real, actual work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rWP_PGfiow

#139 millmech on 01.27.21 at 8:34 am

It is good to see that the RCMP has disbanded their financial crimes unit, money launderers unite!
https://globalnews.ca/news/7593255/ottawa-must-crack-down-on-toronto-underground-banks-community-leaders-say/

#140 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.27.21 at 8:42 am

@#135 Jane24
“With an open mind there is always a way to make money.”

++++

Marry into money?

#141 Capt. Serious on 01.27.21 at 8:55 am

@ #8 “NUTS!” on 01.26.21 at 2:49 pm

As someone who has working with people in all the time zones over the past 15 years, I can say workers all over the world is no panacea for whatever business problems one might perceive that solves. You still need locally grouped teams focussed on specific work items to make it work. Those local teams work better when people are clustered. There are likely degrees of work from home remoteness that are possible, depending on the business. Net, I don’t think you’ll find a trend towards everyone working a home, nor everyone going back to the office. We’re going to land somewhere in between. Also, depending on the business, as you add workers in other countries, surprise you start to need local legal and HR people because (surprise) those people are still subject to local laws. Let us note that rules in Germany are not the same as rules in India.

#142 Dharma Bum on 01.27.21 at 8:56 am

Can Garth or any blog dogs chime in on the issue of whole life insurance as a vehicle for accumulating tax free investment growth?

At 60+ years of age, if one is maxed out on all registered accounts (RSP, TFSA), is fully invested in an unregistered B&D portfolio, and has a term life insurance policy about to expire, does it make sense to convert the term life policy to a whole life policy and pay the new hefty premiums out of one’s unregistered investment income in order to build cash value tax free over the next 20 years or so, while retaining a death benefit for one’s heirs?

Does the tax free growth of the “investment” side of the policy have advantages over the traditional idea of paying lower term insurance premiums and investing the difference on one’s own? The tax free investment growth within the policy sounds enticing. Like having a second TFSA.

Too good to be true?

Asking for a friend…

#143 neo on 01.27.21 at 9:03 am

#118 Job#1 on 01.26.21 at 9:41 pm
#112 Neo

Yes 0.87 Ro is good news.

Have you noticed?, they used to have daily test volume graph at the bottom of page. Now it’s hidden, you have to click an extra button to view. A few days ago, over 70K tested; last couple of days have dropped way down, yesterday barely over 30K tests.

I wonder if the decrease in cases might have something to do with number of tests? Are fewer people showing up? Are they turning people away?

********************************************

I think it’s a combination of a couple things.

1.) Less people are going to get themselves tested because less people are experiencing symptoms. Which is actually good news again.

2.) With first responders getting the vaccine. Less of them are now being tested daily for Covid.

#144 Capt. Serious on 01.27.21 at 9:07 am

@ #117 Danger Dan on 01.26.21 at 9:40 pm

Beware that if you work for, say, a European company they will just use local comparable salaries for your role for your salary range. That’s just how this global stuff works. Your mileage may vary depending on the type of company and need for your role, but for larger corporations this is standard practice.

#145 Neo on 01.27.21 at 9:08 am

@Job#1

Also, we were still getting over 3,000+ new cases a few weeks ago even with 35,000 tests but then the same 3,000+ cases with 70,000 tests. That’s why it’s better to look at hospitalization and R naught data. Also, since Jan. 11th recoveries has been outpacing new cases. That was the tell things were turning around. Again, not mentioned much in the media until recently.

#146 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.27.21 at 9:17 am

Hmmmm.
Who will blink first.
The IOC?
The insurance companies staring at a 2 -3 billion dollar claim?
Or the govts that accept money from insurance company lobbyists?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-insurance/insurers-face-mind-blowingly-large-loss-if-olympics-cancelled-idUSKBN29W1OL

#147 Elon Fanboy on 01.27.21 at 11:34 am

Damn….one sub-Reddit broke the stockmarket.

The little guy giving one to the hedge funds….and they don’t like it.

#148 Job#1 on 01.27.21 at 12:01 pm

#148,150 Neo,

Thanks for your response. Good points.

I can think of other reasons as well, but might trigger some, so will call it a day.

#149 Sail Away on 01.27.21 at 12:21 pm

#147 Dharma Bum on 01.27.21 at 8:56 am

Can Garth or any blog dogs chime in on the issue of whole life insurance as a vehicle for accumulating tax free investment growth?

At 60+ years of age, if one is maxed out on all registered accounts (RSP, TFSA), is fully invested in an unregistered B&D portfolio, and has a term life insurance policy about to expire, does it make sense to convert the term life policy to a whole life policy and pay the new hefty premiums out of one’s unregistered investment income in order to build cash value tax free over the next 20 years or so, while retaining a death benefit for one’s heirs?

—————-

No. If maxxed on everything, comfortable and well-diversified… and the spouses each have equal access/capability with family finances, life insurance of any kind is less effective than putting the money to work. Your friend would pay a handsome premium to get that ‘tax free’ growth. There could possibly be a case as a wealth strategy for very high income earners, but in general, it’s an extra level of unnecessary complication.

My wife and I haven’t carried life insurance of any kind for the last ten years or so

Although my company carries a term policy on me in right of the company to cover disruptions when I croak…

#150 Sail Away on 01.27.21 at 12:25 pm

#152 Elon Fanboy on 01.27.21 at 11:34 am
Damn….one sub-Reddit broke the stockmarket.

The little guy giving one to the hedge funds….and they don’t like it.

————

Don’t believe it for a second. A few hedge funds are in trouble, yes… but many more are feasting as they use the unwitting millenial minions as cannon fodder.

Brilliant strategy. Take notes.

#151 Dmitry on 01.27.21 at 12:28 pm

“Good thing it ends soon.”

Not a chance. It does not end soon. Too many people are very comfortable with the way things are.

#152 SHANE GALLANT on 01.27.21 at 1:00 pm

Garth, so much for your prediction of being vaccinated by September 2021. Now we have to wait till mid 2022.

I only believe what my prime minister tells me. – Garth

#153 Goober on 01.27.21 at 1:33 pm

Don’t think the higher ups in the financial world aren’t concerned about a bubble in a certain “tulip” stock? Got this note in my trading account this morning:
GME (Gamestop) – Margin requirementsEffective after market close on January 27th, the margin requirement on long positions of GME (Gamestop) will increase from 30% to 100%. Margin requirement for short positions will increase from 130% to 200%.

#154 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.27.21 at 1:39 pm

Is that a Covid Test?
Or are you just glad to see me….

https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/china/china-rolls-out-anal-swab-covid-19-tests-saying-it-can-increase-detection-rate.html

One billion swabs…….

#155 SoggyShorts on 01.27.21 at 1:48 pm

Yesterday I was annoyed and feeling a little FOMO on this Gamestop nonsense. (up another 120% at this moment)
This morning I bought a little bit of PSYK @9.90 in case shrooms become the new weed stock.
Then I bought some NOK @5.07 because apparently, it’s the next target of those Reddit dudes

As of this writing, Psyk has gone exactly nowhere and Nokia is up 50% but changing by 3-5% up/down every time I glance at the tab.
40% by the time I finished this paragraph.
47% after I counted 10 Mississippis.

So I’m sad I didn’t put significant money into it.
But I’m glad I didn’t put significant money into it.

Sticking with safe and boring from here on out. Probably.

#156 Sail Away on 01.27.21 at 2:26 pm

#160 SoggyShorts on 01.27.21 at 1:48 pm

Sticking with safe and boring from here on out. Probably.

———–

Uh huh. Sort of like just trying crack cocaine once.

#157 Penny Henny on 01.27.21 at 2:32 pm

#133 Bdwy on 01.27.21 at 1:48 am
115 Tyberius on 01.26.21 at 9:24 pm

Whats wrong with this one?

2019 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Touring, Only 15000 KMS – $20,990 (Surrey)
https://vancouver.craigslist.org/rds/ctd/d/surrey-2019-subaru-crosstrek-awd/7265846485.html

///////////////

I thought that looked too cheap.
See the ad? Rebuilt title.

#158 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.27.21 at 3:11 pm

@#146 IHCTD9
“Definitely not the demographic whose opinion the Libs care too much about.”
++++

Ya did it wrong amigo.
Fill out the survey as you normally would with comments and then enter your
personal info as male/ female, mid 20’s , etc etc etc.

A critical survey result from their politically correct, fiscally oblivious, voting cohort?

THAT should have the Liberal alarm bells clanging at Social Warrior central.