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October 22, 2018 | Stung

Lately some readers have accused me (among other things) of a political bias. That’s interesting. I was an economic nationalist/commie in my youth. Then a Tory. Elected as a PC in 1988. Lost a party leadership bid to Kim Campbell in the summer of ‘93 when Mulroney left. Ran again as a Con in 2005. […]

October 21, 2018 | The Manipulators

On Wednesday the central bank will raise its key rate. The third time in ten months. Three more to come by late Spring or early summer. Tomorrow (Monday) mortgage brokers expect to see one or more major banks jump the gun and add a quarter point or so to their five-year home loan rates. Mr. […]

October 19, 2018 | The Legacy

It’s been four and a half years now since F passed. The elfin deity, as he was fondly called in this space, perpetrated some very good and very bad stuff as Harper’s finance guy. Among the awful things (his boss made him do both) was a treasonous attack on income trusts, and bringing in 0/40 […]

October 18, 2018 | Careful

“So,” she said, after wading through 200 comments, “why do you put up with this crap?” I examined the toes of my cowboy boots, stared out the window, smiled weakly and tried to change the topic to the dog. Didn’t work. “I read the piece on weed,” Dorothy continued. “Okay, you made maybe one dumb […]

October 17, 2018 | Weed deeds

As you know (how could you not?) this week our Dominion joins mighty Uruguay, a Third World, barely industrialized country (pop 3 million, average annual family income $10,000 US), in legalizing weed. Since only Stoners and knuckle-dragging MAGA believers read this blog, we will refrain from passing any judgment whatsoever on the idiotic, populist idea […]

October 16, 2018 | The Wrong Guys

So how much stress is the stress test stressing stressed-out mortgage dudes? Oodles. Enough to have a small army of them swarming over Parliament Hill today (Tuesday), bombarding 50 MPs and policy poohbahs trying to get B-20 gutted. The damage they see being done to their business is palpable. Mortgage originations have plunged, credit has […]

October 15, 2018 | Gravity

Well, remind me to never again write about climate change. Or Trump. Cannabis. The stock market. The UN. Bonds. The Fed. Gold or guns. Dogs seem okay, though. Plus hormones and real estate (sometimes). If I stray into other subjects and I’m sure to be ripped a new one by all the macroeconomists, political scientists […]

October 14, 2018 | The Future

James, brilliantly, sold his house last year and invested the money – about a million. Since then the value of the old digs has gone down and his portfolio’s gone up. “I’m okay,” he says. “Even learned to live with that up-down stock market volatility thing. Selling was the right move.” In fact he and […]

October 12, 2018 | Stressed

Most major banks hiked mortgage costs this week. Not a huge surprise. It’s interesting, though, that the jumps were in their ‘best, discounted’ rates, not the posted ones. For example, at RBC the five-year fixed popped up 15 beeps to 3.89%. At BMO the best fiver also rose, but sits at 3.59%. Of course, this […]

October 11, 2018 | The Blind

Brenda and Khira, her partner, tried to buy four little houses last year. Failed every time. “Yeah, okay, I know we were kind of emotional,” says B, “but after losing out on the first one – it was perfect – we started to panic and just kept offering more, even though it was stupid, because […]

October 10, 2018 | Plop

Markets are funking out this week. Why? Topping the list is interest rates. As explained here earlier, the benchmark US Treasury swelled to more than 3.25%, the highest in seven years. When investors can scoop that return with no risk, money flows from stocks to bonds. Equities drop – especially the over-valued ones (think Tesla). […]

October 9, 2018 | To the Rescue

Well, time to don your Melania® pith helmets! The debt market’s in convulsion as yields shoot skywards. Big US government bonds are at the highest level in seven years, while our five-year Canada bonds (which dictate mortgages rates) are bumping up against a key level last seen in 2011. Hmm. Not good for borrowers, with […]

October 8, 2018 | The rules

  There are many things to be thankful for. Missing yesterday’s comment section on this pathetic blog, if you were so lucky, is one of them. Unlike the thousands of other people who read those words, I had to wade through all the trash that didn’t make it public. It’s amazing the vitriol that humans […]

October 7, 2018 | Delusional

Gerald is a psychiatrist, semi-retired. “So,” I said last week, mocking him, “how does it make you feel, Gerry? Angry, hurt, bitter, resentful? Let it all out. You can share with me, in this safe space.” “I’m pissed,” he said. “Now knock it off.” We were talking about Comrade Premier Horgan’s plans to steal $3,600 […]

October 5, 2018 | The Thankful One

Stocks plopped a bit Friday after the latest jobs numbers. No wonder. This is big stuff. In Canada a wave of part-timers surged the employment stats skyward. In the States, it was all about wages. They’re up almost 3%, racing past inflation, making people feel silly and richer. The jobless rate in America is 3.7% […]

October 4, 2018 | Stimulus

Okay, the class will come to order. Put down your vapes and pay attention. Let’s review the difference between fiscal and monetary policy. The F-thing is what governments do. Like when Comrade Premier Horgan in BC decides to levy a special tax on people with two houses, just because they have two houses. That’s fiscal […]

October 3, 2018 | The Reset

Poor moisters. If they didn’t have five or six decades of life ahead of them, you could almost feel bad. But here’s a new survey from the orange fruit people saying 70% of Mills “are worried about their financial future” compared to ‘just’ 48.5% of everybody else. Worse, only a third of the kids say […]

October 2, 2018 | Punched in the Gut

First, a moment to reflect on poor Harrison Houde. This wounded dude scraped together every cent in the world to buy a Vancouver condo, which he then leased to some substance-addled pimp who turned his space into a wild brothel littered with sex and drug droppings. At least that’s what H’s mom said when she […]

October 1, 2018 | Tough

Thirty years ago I packed up my laptop computer (it weighed about 20 pounds) my Canada-US Free Trade Agreement draft text (300 pages) and Dorothy, and headed to a swishy lakeside resort. “This is work,” I said to her, gravely. “It will not be pleasant to be with me. So we might as well be […]

September 30, 2018 | Envy

Sunday midnight’s the drop-dead date for USMC – the successor to NAFTA. As this is written, our earnest little beavers are squabbling with the weasels, trying to do the deal which will (a) save T2’s political butt, (b) not screw up Monday’s election in Quebec and (c) prevent a Biblical Trumpian tariff on maple-made cars […]

September 28, 2018 | ‘Until it Bursts’

The good news? The economy’s steamy. Our GDP just blew past estimates. Factories humming. Eighteen months of consecutive gains. Despite grief with oil. The bad? Growth means inflation. And higher rates. Given what the Fed did this week, rest assured our guys will repeat. (Markets figure an October hike is 80% done.) Regardless of what the orange guy does […]

September 27, 2018 | The Mother Lode

This week the high-end house floggers at Sotheby’s said the GTA luxury market was rocking. (Vancouver’s is crashing.) Meanwhile Re/Max’s latest ‘market report’ claims everything’s peachy. Sales up, listings reasonable, prices stable. The realtors among us insist the correction is over, before it has actually begun. This is akin to yesterday’s tale of IMBY, the […]

September 26, 2018 | Crowd Teasing

This was probably inevitable. So what do you get when you combine a moister thirst for real estate with a cool phone-based app, blockchain technology, human greed, crafty marketers and investor illiteracy? Well, in Van it’s called “IMBY”, which means In My Back Yard. Here’s the idea: crowdfunding. That’s it. People get the chance to use […]

September 25, 2018 | Ballistic

This may not end well, Part Deux. Days ago we told you the beavs are borrowing again.  Household debt’s rising even as interest rates snake higher and real estate wobbles. The decline in new mortgage originations is being made up by refis and home equity LOCs. It may be hard to believe on this blog […]

September 24, 2018 | M&V

Despite the efforts of modern politicians to fuzzify genders and blur sexes, men and women are different. For one thing, the females last longer. That might have something to do with 55-year-old guys playing hard hockey after doing nothing but watching it for half a decade, operating heavy equipment in flip-flops or learning how to […]

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