Friday Free-for-all!

The weekend is nigh!  Let’s do our end of the week economic news round up and open topic discussion.  Here are a few stories I’ve noticed lately:

Canadian consumers rated ‘remarkably resilient’
City Hall seeks Federal help to boost rental stock
Metro Vancouver health cuts include layoffs and increased fees
Advertisers not so hot on the winter games
-TD: All provincial economies to decline in 2009
-Merril Lynch: Get ready for 10% gdp growth!
-Conference Board: Lukewarm recovery coming soon
Boomtime building and Chinese toxic drywall
US Foreclosures at record high despite aid
Paulson hid facts to ‘protect taxpayer’
US 30 year fixed rate mortgages near record low
Nothing will stop housing prices from tanking, but rates help

So what are you seeing out there?  Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have fun-tastic weekend!

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That was me by the way. I don't like Anonymous posts.


Bob, don't worry mate. A rain will come soon (it is Vancouver after all) and wash these streets clean.

It's called high interest rates, and it has the amazing ability to silence those people who have been annoying you at dinner parties for the last 5 years with tales of their Trumponian sized empire.

It'll be back to talking about corn and Eugene Levy in no time.


$2200/month for a "LARGE" (cough cough) 600 sq ft apt in TV Towers….

someone obviously trying to clear their mortage and HOA fees..

And you don't even get to keep it over the Olympics !

ummm, not for me….


Does inflation include or not include energy? I was always told that energy and housing were excluded, this is what I was told when gas was hitting $1.50 a litre and housing was going up 20% per year, yet interest rates were low. I just read an article stating that we have deflation for the first time in 15 years, due to falling energy costs and housing. What gives?


Miracle: Well it depends how you define "inflation". Yeah sure, the government is "gaming the system". In fact the conspiracy is so complete it's to the point where trillions of dollars being held, issued, and traded on world markets are losing value as well. That's truly amazing stuff but I wouldn't put that one past the central bank cabal, those magnificent sly devils.


realpaul / patriotz inflation / deflation "The annual rate of increase in the Bank of Canada’s core measure, which eliminates a number of the more volatile series, both energy and non-energy, and thus better reflects the underlying trend in inflation, continues to increase close to the two per cent mid-range target."… According to this article, you are both wrong, at least at present. Volatile sectors are excluded from the monthly calculations, which may just be the feds gaming the system or there may be a reasonable argument there. Also, it would seem that federal stimuluses have have as yet little inflationary effect. Would be interesting to hear what you guys think of these "official" inflation numbers. Personally, I think month to month this is impossible to get a handle on, so I'm interested in looking ahead for the long-term… Read more »



The BOC has continued to print massive quantities of paper driving inflation up as the dollar becomes increasingly worthless.

Your dollar buys more house than a year ago – everywhere (including here).

And more stocks.

And more gas.

And more commodities.

And about the same amount of most everything else.

And rents a bigger condo.

What's that called?

And what's your definition of "becomes increasingly worthless"?

other ted

Bob I have lived in Vancouver and surrounding areas my whole life well up to 3 years ago. I don't remember it every being low key. I always found the peole flaky. Unless you moved here a long time ago like in the sixties I find it hard to believe it was low key when you got here.


I too drive over the ironworker's bridge everyday and that dock on the northside use to be full of iron pipes, and lumber. And it is EMPTY. I don't if it's seasonal but there is nothing on it at all.

I think the iron was imports, and the wood was exports, and the lack of both is scary.

But when I go to the ferry, Delta port looks really busy shipping out coal.

No Longer Looking

BoB, I notice its bad in the trendy yuppie areas like Yaletown and Kits. If you move out to the affordable suburbs, you'll find where the friendly, down-to-earth people went. Or even better, check out places like the Sunshine Coast.

drugs "r"

People have more money that brains around here.

I have a six thousand dollar motorbike for sale on craiglist listed for $8K (just for the hell of it – I don't really want to sell it, actually) and I'm getting several inquiries every day, some are repeats getting more and more anxious. They want it now!

I don't get it.


So after waiting years for the real estate bubble to pop in Vancouver I've come to the conclusion I don't really want to be here anymore. Over the years Vancouverites seem to have taken on an arrogant self absorbed me first attitude. When I first moved here I was attracted to the fact people in Vancouver were so accepting and low key. Is it just me or did something change here? Was it those "best place on earth" licence plates that made the majority fat heads?


#20, Stats Canada will sell you the alternate unemployment rates. The ones they have stats for are:

R1 – unemployed 1 year or more

R2 – unemployed 3 months or more

R3 – comparable to the United States rate

R4 – official rate

R5 – plus discouraged searchers

R6 – plus waiting group (recall, replies, long-term future starts)

R7 – plus involuntary part-timers (in full-time equivalents)

R8 – plus discouraged searchers, waiting group, portion of involuntary part-timers…


Ulsterman:I think that workload has been shifted to delta port and there are restrictions for batches of employees.Some might have lost many hours of work but others are gaining,Specially Those employees with permit for Delta port,Container traffic on that port was increased 95% compare to last year and it was reported in the Vancouver sun around May 2009 .


The Seven Immutable Laws of Bubbles: Example, Housing Markets in USA, UK & Dubai " Years ago I was friends with old man from Texas, he had a big silver buckle on his belt and crocodile-skin boots, and he used to eat three fried eggs, a slice of steak, for breakfast, extraordinary! Lovely guy; full of stories, he had a sidekick called Ron, and Ron wore "Blues Brothers" shades, and never said a word. I was just a kid and he was like in that Jerry Jeff Walker song…"Desperado Waiting For A Train" which he used to play on his car cassette-player over and over; it was that long ago. Anyway he'd been through the S&L and well, let's say, he was a long way from home. One day I asked him "what happened"? He said "Son"…when he was… Read more »


The whole system is phooked: The reduction in port traffic shows imports are almost 3 X's the exports. The imports , by and large, are basically loonie store stuff and other cheap manufactured goods. We sell them the raw materials to produce the aforementioned. The ports want to expand? Gateway? lol. No…they want to convert that prime waterfront to more condos and shift the truck traffic elsewhere. Improving Gateway any further simply worsens the imbalance…we are exportng more jobs than we are creating. Economists talk about our need to be more competitive, higher efficiencies,higher productivity blah, blah. Tell that to bankrupt auto manufacturing sector or BC's idle sawmills. There is a point that greater productivity is a race to the bottom, it leaves a lot of unemployed in their wake. When this mess started last fall I asked other posters… Read more »


"too many year spent creaming high union wages"

80K a year, and that seems to be NON union wage. wow.

read on

me neither. too many year spent creaming high union wages. time for a rational readjustment, imho.

then again, sucks to be those in the readjustment firing line, so let's hope they adjust well to the new situation.


It's not that i want to see people suffering, but longshoremen are so over paid for the work they do and their level of education / skills that this story doesn't evoke much sympathy from me.


Dry spell on the West Coast docks… Quote: Longshore worker Ryan Groening woke up at dawn one recent rainy weekday and drove from his Port Coquitlam condo to the east Vancouver dispatch hall, hoping for work at Vancouver's port. The 40-minute trip was fruitless, as there was no work for him and dozens of other longshore workers. Groening usually worked five days a week last year, but so far this year he's been getting two to three days of work a week. "It's like going from full-time to part-time," he said. Like his father, Groening was lured to the busiest Canadian port by the variety of work and the ability to make an honest living and "raise a family on a union wage." But annual wages have plummeted for many workers and nearly disappeared for some as work has… Read more »


Let’s assume Marry and Bob earn $60,000 and $50,000 respectively. They are approved for $500,000 loan and choose a 35 year, variable rate mortgage. After-tax income is $75,000 or $6,250/mth. $6,250 / month income less: Two Vehicles: $500 car payment $200 insurance $125 car maintenance $500 gas Home: $400 property taxes $100 house insurance $300 house maintenance $200 utilities $150 internet, cable, phone Food $800 groceries $200 work lunches, snacks and coffee ($100 a piece) Total deductions: $3,475 My wife and I are in a similar situation income wise so I'd like to comment on your numbers a bit. 1. 500$ a month for gas. It seems really high to me maybe we just have a full effecient car but even with my fairly long commute it has never went over $150 in a month. 2. Two cars. You don't… Read more »


Maybe signs of a difficult economy or mismanagement, regardless another group of decent wage earners are out of work for now.


Argentina is #1 in honesty, no such luck from Canada on H1N1 issue.


M-: #29 M, let me take a flyer here and let you know that I think the government is playing a game of 'backy-stabby' with the public through the media. I think the reason that the MSM isn't on the story is because when they are the government cuts off their advertising and access. It looks as if the government is being forthcoming but they play a cynical game of keeping the masses in the dark, so as not to 'create a panic, obstensively. Its the same game that they play with FOI docs. The info is available but you'll have to crawl over barbed wire to get to it. Now , you have found some info. The question is, how many people are going to go through that exercise? The fact that it isn't mainstream means that 99.9% of… Read more »


observer: #31 O, you're on the right track. The trouble is ( as the authors you have referanced have pointed out many times) is that money supply meddling has overrun any gains in productivity that are achieved. This is the basic fallacy of Keynsian economics. Systemic inflation was disagreeable but workable unti greedy governments weren't willing to pull back when the waves began to trough to ever expand the revenue goals they had set for themselves. Initially the stated rate was 2% p/a, now its 14% ++. The BOC has continued to print massive quantities of paper driving inflation up as the dollar becomes increasingly worthless. Many of the same authors you referance recognize this game as a giant ponzi scheme which has come precariously close to running its course. The BOC has 'intervened' in the CDN dollar market consistently… Read more »