Friday Free-for-all!

Hey! It’s free-for-all time! This is our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic economic discussion thread. Here are a few recent stories to kick off the weekend chat:

REBGV Stats PDF, Port Moody detached down 10.6% from a year ago
Sales fall, but overall Metro prices still up year over year
Five charts predicting future Vancouver house prices
Home sales still falling in Calgary and Vancouver
City may consider renting Olympic Village units
Millennium owes Rennie $188,650
Canadian bankruptcies rise in September
Commodity bubble?
Profit slump at TD and CIBC
Alberta best province to invest in
Bargains and pitfalls of buying US real estate

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

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@Mr. Poppinfresh: USA is a democracy?


Hey Mr. Poppinfresh,

At least in the USA people are free to read/watch/say what they want – unless they are the wikileaks guy, of course. 🙂

Mr. Poppinfresh

@logic: Yeah, China will never aspire to reach the stunning heights of success that democracy has brought to the good 'ole teabagging U-S-of-A.

Oh, wait…


And this, my dear, is why China will remain largely a 3rd world country.


space889 Says:

December 7th, 2010 at 8:54 am


Many educated Chinese, even the ones living in the West or Taiwan where they have elections don’t believe China should have Western democracy right now.


Looks like crash is just around corner bear. Any day now. once house price drop 75% you can buy dream house in British Properties and move out of basement.


@patriotz: No you don't because you know nothing about China history and culture and probably never know and talked to and understand what is important to the average Chinese. All government create propaganda but to say that Chinese government is constantly brainwashing its citizens is fairly far from the truth right now. 30 years during culture revolution, yeap. However to say and think the government is or can even do the same now just shows how far off base you are. Many educated Chinese, even the ones living in the West or Taiwan where they have elections don't believe China should have Western democracy right now. Many don't even feel that Western democracy is even the best system out there that Chinese should go for. There are many issues with the Western democracy and those problems can be devasting to… Read more »


@chip: Good for you for doing something. I never stated you weren't. For the benefit of those who agree public sector wages are too bloated please let them know what you're doing to remedy the situation, for inspiration.



"Dude do you know you’re a shareholder? Don’t like public sector salaries? Sell and move somewhere where there are lower taxes, or at least vote libertarian. Do something other than complaining."

Well, a shareholder forced to buy stock in a money-losing operation. And why the bizarre assumption that writing to a blog is the extent of my 'doing something?'

Sound like you may be projecting.



Not at all. It's effectively voted on when you buy the stock. The CEO is either contributing value or he isn't, and you have a decision either way.

Of course there have been grotesque payouts for failed executives and I'd like to see more oversight by the board. But the initial comparison here was between overpaid bureaucrats and overpaid private execs. The distinction is that the former and their budgets have multiplied across the West in recent decades at great cost to the economy (and the real pain is yet to come when their defined benefit pensions kick in).

CEOs are turfed all the time and no one is forced to handover money to support them.



Agreed, there is no such thing as fully effective corporate governance.

The conflict of interest is often even worse between management and bondholders.


However to say/imply that the West is responsible for China’s economic rise out of anything other than self-interest/greed for cheap resource and labour is simply wrong.

And you think the motivations of China's ruling class are any different? At least in the West we have a bit of a say about who that ruling class is and how they operate.

I know where you're coming from. The Chinese ruling class is constantly indoctrinating the Chinese people, whom they exploit, that they are protecting them from those evil foreigners and that it's "unpatriotic" to want Western things like democracy, free trade unions, and freedom of religion, that might undermine the hegemony of that ruling class.



The CEO is paid what the shareholders think he’s worth.

Really? I own shares in a lot of companies and nobody ever asked me what the CEO's should be paid.

You seem to think that executive compensation is voted on by shareholders. It isn't.

@betamax: You are right in that the current north american lifestyle can't be sustained for everyone. The estimates I have read is that the world can only sustain about 1.5 to max 2 billion with US lifestyle which includes tons of wastes. However the world can sustain a much more big populatino on European lifestyle. The other contention is right in that United States is extremely blessed with a lot of natural advantages that other countries can only dream of. These advantages allows US to spend less capital on basic infrastructure and more on other areas like R&D, etc. However I wouldn't say it's impossible for the current poor population to lift itself out of poverty just because someone else is already rich. It will be difficult but human spirit and drive to improve one's life is amazing and strong.… Read more »

@patriotz: Uhm hate to say it but Western Countries/Corporations aren't interested in helping other poor countries improve their economies. They only cared about cheap resource and cheap labour. That's it. It's true that China has based off it's growth strategy by exporting to the West. However to say/imply that the West is responsible for China's economic rise out of anything other than self-interest/greed for cheap resource and labour is simply wrong. Anyways, this stuff in the end goes back to how one views the world and no one is convince anyone of their views because it's all driven by personal experiences and perception. All I will say is that if you want to criticize China for this and that, take a step back and look at where China is in it's economic growth stage and compare to what other countries… Read more »


That’s why she tells the ones who rent not to bother trying to meet her.

Or she is looking for a free place to live. She may assume if someone owns a place she can move in for free. If a person rents she may be asked to pay for half.



So, shallow AND stupid.



The point wasn't that she is shallow — I won't make a judgment here about people's preferences or values, and in fact seeking financial stability in a mate certainly has something to recommend it. Rather, my point was that the mantra "owning is always more financially sound than renting" is widespread, showing up throughout our culture — such as on a dating site. It is considered to be obviously and incontrovertably true. Thus this woman would, without a thought and in complete self assurance, take renting to be the primary proof of financial instability. That's why she tells the ones who rent not to bother trying to meet her.


@Anonymous: "An overpaid public employee … receives money that has been taken"

Dude do you know you're a shareholder? Don't like public sector salaries? Sell and move somewhere where there are lower taxes, or at least vote libertarian. Do something other than complaining.


For comparison:

ere are the back numbers for December.

December sell new list sell/list

2001 2394 1856 129%

2002 2205 1895 116%

2003 2434 2301 106%

2004 2065 1764 117%

2005 2332 1735 134%

2006 1686 1524 111%

2007 1897 1695 112%

2008 924 1550 60%

2009 2515 2153 117%

AVG 2050 1830 112%

Listings are really big so far in December; sales are ok too. But, I don't expect that we will see the same activity in the 2nd half of the month as the first half, so I don't think the projections are so useful in a weird month like December.


Here are the December projections, based on Paulb's reported sales and listings numbers. December Projections for month totals Days elapsed so far 4 Days remaining 17 Average Sales this month 102 Average Listings this month 122 Projected sell/list 84.0% SALES Projected month end total 2147 +/- 668 95% Conf Interval lower bound 1479 95% Conf Interval upper bound 2815 NEW LISTINGS Projected month end total 2557 +/- 636 95% Conf Interval lower bound 1921 95% Conf Interval upper bound 3193 MONTHS OF INVENTORY Inventory as of November 30th 12384 MoI at this sales pace 5.77 Note: This is a simple linear projection of month end totals. This provides the answer to the question "What will month end totals be, if things continue on the same pace we've seen so far this month?" Hey, where are those trolls who used to… Read more »


@Sour Grapes:

" Are some positions overpaid? You bet!! Now how about in the private sector? Nobody can tell me that any CEO is worth millions of dollars per year. We’re nowhere near that. So who’s overpaid now?"

The CEO is paid what the shareholders think he's worth. Don't like the arrangement, sell the stock. An overpaid public employee – and there do seem to be a lot of them these days – receives money that has been taken, not given, from other citizens. Actually, considering the massive debts across the Western world today it's probably more accurate to say it is money taken from the citizens' children.


@Sour Grapes: System architects making 200k? Now you know who's buying.


@Sour Grapes: "My peers in the private sector make $150000 to $200000 plus bonuses and overtime. I make $89000 and no bonuses and no overtime. Why do I stay?"

Doesn't your pension factor into your decision?

I'd say you're arguably better off than the self-employed individual making $150K gross.

If you're self-employed, at today's interest rates, for every $30-$40K pa of pension expected, you have to have about $1M in the bank.


"I make $89000 and no bonuses and no overtime. Why do I stay?"

well if you ever go please post the opening here. i'd be happy to get an 89K a year job.