Bad news Bear Sterns

What’s the fifth largest investment bank in the US worth anyways? Two dollars a share sounds like a good deal. As a stunning example of how bad housing credit bets have gone in the US, Bear Sterns has gone from a high price of $159.46 per share to being bought up by competitor JP Morgan Chase for $2 per share to avoid a total collapse.

The Fed will provide special financing for the deal to try to stop a spreading crisis of confidence in the global financial system. Bear Stern was founded in 1923 and survived the great depression, but apparently not the US housing bubble and resulting credit market fallout.

Meanwhile as far away as Britain the credit crunch has caused lenders to start removing offers for mortgages, push up prices and completely stop the practice of 100% financing. Will we start to see a tightening of credit creep into local mortgages soon?

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Damn Dan

The Fed cut rates because the economy is in huge trouble. Goldman Sachs profit declines only 53%. U.S. markets shoot up >400 points in response to all of this good news. U.S. dollar is becoming increasingly worthless. Inflation. Instability. Markets and currencies bouncing all over the place. Nothing makes sense any more. It's all bad. The sky is falling. Randallbard, you complete nuisance, you've been right all along! Anyone who doesn't have gold will be bussing for RE agents turned waiters/waitresses to earn a bucket full of worthless folding money each hour. Unemployed construction workers will be scraping the copper coating off our steel pennies (didn't ya know they weren't copper any more?) thinking they will earn 50 cents a pound, not knowing that copper has fallen from $3.50 a pound to $.0035 a pound. Armed squatters will take over… Read more »


People have been loudly calling for a serious correction or even a crash in Vancouver for what, fifteen-plus years now? It isn’t coming.

There was a serious correction in Vancouver in the late 1990's in Vancouver, which was less than 15 years ago, you moron.

After that nobody was bearish until about 2004.

When the bulls give up on the happy talk and start coming out with outright falsehoods, you know they're getting nervous.


Damann; " I find it hard to believe about energy consumption" A great percentage of my current income is involved in energy management of Condo Towers. I plot/graph and analyse Tower consumption on a daily bases. Just did one in Yaletown an hour ago. February utilities (Cold month) including in-suite heat an all common areas, nat gas fireplaces, hot water electricity, everything except city water supply; price per unit (530) $80.00 That includes pool, hot tub and steam rooms and sauna. The only thing the suite pays directly is for their electric lights and plug in appliances and dryer. All the suites are natural gas ovens, hot water heat. There is approximately 11000 sq feet of indoor common area. The suite charge is not neccessarily eighty dollars it is based on sq ft so 1 bedrooms (700 sq ft here)would… Read more »

Michael Randallbard

Andrew…you said "Just my two cents"


Michael Randallbard

Dozens of banks will fail by 2010: analyst

Precisely the reason why the Olympics will not come off. Who is going to be traveling and spending money by 2010?

This 2010 thingy is already looking like a disaster in the making.


Let's take a moment to visualise:

40,000 RE agents out of work.

Ahhhhh…. feel that warm glow?

You'll be able to tell who they are; they will be the waiters with $800 designer glasses…



I would still like to see the studies on it. I read up on concrete production and it's one of the worst green house emitting industries. Fair point on the sewage and water but I find it hard to believe about energy consumption.

Another Anon

Vancouver is Special.

Spain crashed. It had rich foreigners, beautiful scenery Beaches, Super climate, great lifestyle. Many of the Brits bought in Spain. We almost did when we were living in Europe.

Now there are 40,000 RE agents out of work.


DaMann;"The condo buildings use a massive amount of power. They have thousands of square feet of common area that is always heated/ air conditioned. Lights in these common areas lit 24/7" Sorry DaMann but I would agree with richard on this. From a green point of view condos including the related construction are much more energy efficient then equivalent SFH's. SFH subdivisions have a lot more "common area" cost then a condo of equivalent size. A lot 80 ft wide has approx 80ft x25-40 ft (based on a house on each side of a street) of roads, water sewer street lighting, sidewalks and electical utilities. I haven't the time to put up all the stats but per sq ft condos are much more energy effecient, initial construction also is far less per square foot(think huge machines cutting lumber, logging trucks,… Read more »


Andrew, aside from people not having to commute, have there been real studies on this? The condo buildings use a massive amount of power. They have thousands of square feet of common area that is always heated/ air conditioned. Lights in these common areas lit 24/7. Pools, saunas, gyms? That has to take up a bucket load of energy. Not to mention the production of concrete is one of the biggest energy pigs out there, as well the construction of a 20 story building with solid concrete takes a lot of energy too.

I have heard this said a lot and quite frankly i don't buy it.


"I think with the real estate."

What kind of a sentence is that? I don't understand it at all.


I think with the real estate. It's also the point you can't have people living in the single house anymore. They use too much resource and energy. Condo is the the future. For the environmental point of view, the government has to push things that way.

Just my two cents


Joel Parkes from Peterborough, Canada writes: No worries, folks. From my own personal experience it's quyite easy to live on sardines, bread and water. You just take one of the sardines from the can and put it into one slice of bread, fold it and devour. A good protein hit for not very much money. You can feed a family of 6 on two tins and one loaf of bread. As for the water, well look around you! It's everywhere for Christ's sake so it won't cost you much to put a pail out in the rain, or the empty sardine can for that matter. As for heat, well make sure you've got a roof at least, any old roof will do, and then you can make a fire with all of your stock certificates that you purchased like a… Read more »


Vancouver has special circumstances that protect it as a market

Thanks for posting that, funny how every market in the world is 'special' until the party ends. Just for the sake of comparison check out this article about Miami condos from 2005 (you do know whats happened to Miami condo prices since then right?)

Predictably, Mayor Manny Diaz and many of the city's top real estate agents deny the existence of a bubble.

"I think (the news media) is creating a bubble," Diaz said. "I'm not worried about bubbles."

Diaz ticked off the reasons why he is so secure: Favorable interest rates. Aging baby boomers looking to move to a warm climate. And the foreign buyers – 36 percent of South Florida's real estate is bought by people outside of the United States.

Now thats a classic.


The "prices won't go down" mantra is altering slightly to "prices won't go down until after 2010", though many will argue that prices will simply stabilize at that point. Like many other commonly held opinions, there is little in the way of rational argument to back it up. After all, those smart people in the newspaper or on tv say so, so it has to be true……

Regarding how people react to views expressed that run contrary to established opinion, I am reminded of a conversation someone had with John M. Keynes, where the man took Keynes to task for changing his views on a number of subjects over time in his writings. His response was "When I encounter new information, I adjust my opinions. What do you do with new information?"



Satv is going by Krrish now and he doesn't have opinions, he just regurgitates the things which he's heard that he thinks ought to support his side.


This guy sounds like Freako and the other rational (clever? knowledgeable?) people I have read on this blog and VHB:

"How far do you think home prices will fall?

My preferred metric is the ratio of home prices to rental rates. By that measure, average home prices nationally got way too high. We'll probably basically retrace all that. So that's about a 25% decline in overall home prices. "

Satv's opinion on this?

Tony Danza

Vancouver has special circumstances that protect it as a market, it always has yadda yadda yadda

Thank you for opening my eyes to the truth Anonymous poster! I will now go and buy a condo, maybe two, know any good realtwhores?


It's true, Drachen. CBC radio is about to do a show at 1pm about real estate prices. They aired a bit of it already, bunch of people on there insisted "prices can't go down, we have mountains, we have the Olympics, we have rich foreigners". Ridiculous. I always want to ask these people if this is the world they want for their children/grandchildren? So, your house is worth $650k now, and will be $5million in 20 years, big deal, because little Johnny, who is 6 years old now is going to have to hit you up for $3 million downpayment in 20 years for a leaky condo because he wants to settle down. There goes your retirement fund! People are so shortsighted. It's completely ridiculous to think that anyone who didn't buy before 2003 or so will NEVER be able… Read more »


Hi, two "news" First: Credit tightening. I was talking to my parents (in France) and they told me that the bank there are not giving any more lending for RE purchase unless you got an hefty down and a secure well paid job. The bubble did happen in france too but not as bad as here. The credit tightening is going to be world wide too. Second: The Canadian $ is crashing as badly as the US internationally too. And crashing is not an euphemism. For me it is good news since I m paid in Euro this year and all my saving are in Euro. If I take the extreme, November was 1.35CAD for 1EUR, we are now at almost 1.6 CAD for 1EUR. 18.5% return in 5 month. Not bad 😉 (Data from my trading services) In… Read more »


I find the most recent Anonymous comment interesting, it's becoming increasingly common here to have new people step into the conversation with a bunch of "reasons" why our market won't crash. Inevitably the "reasons" are just left dangling in the air as if it was patently obvious WHY mountains or ocean will prevent a crash (I presume that once the people run out of money the mountains will begin buying condos or some such). I think this kind of fuzzy logic is really illustrative of why and how our bubble has been so out of control. The sheer numbers of people here who simply reject reality because it does not conform to their image of the way the world should be is just staggering and yet many of those people are starting to question their fundamental beliefs (at least that… Read more »


Subprime contagion about to hit Canada

"Within 18 to 24 months, Canadian homeowners could see the value of their homes fall by 10 to 15 per cent, Turner warned, saying early signs of a deteriorating real estate market are "all around us."

It's a good thing we're in Vancouver!


Editorial in todays Province today about the closing of schools due to lack of students in BC. The author makes a connection to prices and smaller families. While it is an opinion it's an example of another cautionary tale of the social implications of higher real-estate from the MSM.


"People have been loudly calling for a serious correction or even a crash in Vancouver for what, fifteen-plus years now?"


You obviously missed the leaky condo crisis and the asian flu.


Patiently Waiting

Personally, I only became a bear three years ago and didn't start talking crash until late 2006. I think I posted a prediction on the old VHB saying the market would peak in June 2007 and then begin the decline. Like all bears, I was surprised by the Summer 2007 bull rally.

My timing is a little off, by a few months.