Alberta skeptics

Another Canadian housing bubble blog, this one more active. Calgary Real Estate Blog is written by a petroleum engineer and promises “quantative” analysis. That typo aside, the blog is clearly written, and features some nifty charts — check out the topic “Predicting Canadian recessions using financial variables”, for example. In other news, it seems I’mcontinue reading

The C-word

In the markets is capitulation. And it’s definitely underway now. Huge investment bank Bear Stearns to be sold to JP Morgan for nothing close to its Friday closing price of $30-ish per share, but for $2 per share. If there’s any reason it’s not just $1 per share, it’s not obvious. The only reason seemscontinue reading

The tyranny of fake politeness

Sunday morning, Museum station. Stairs are under repair. An elderly couple stand on the one escalator, and move sharply over to the right side to allow others to pass on the left. A young woman begins to pass on the left, then hesitates, as she realizes (to her apparent horror) that the fabric of thecontinue reading

Crunch, then squeeze

It sounds like an unpleasant exercise routine. But instead, it’s this move by some major British lenders, which sets new limits on mortgage borrowing in response to the crunch the banks themselves are facing: Borrowers with little or no equity in their homes face big increases in repayments when their existing deals end after Lloydscontinue reading

Jobs machine: running on fumes?

While other recent Canadian economic indicators have been weak, the February jobs numbers were strong. The fact that the figures didn’t mesh with economists’ expectations brought out the sarcasm: Craig Alexander, TD Bank: Clearly, one of two things will happen in the near term – either the Canadian economy is going to prove a lotcontinue reading

Dragging their feet

At 9 am yesterday, the Bank of Canada announced it was cutting the overnight rate by 50 basis points. Not one of the major banks announced it would adjust its prime rate until TD Bank broke the seal at 2:19 pm with an announcement that it would lower its prime rate. Announcements from the othercontinue reading


Now that we officially have signs of our own incipient economic slump, someone thought we needed a housing crash blog of our own. It’s a slow starter so far, but that could change:

Trust no one

It’s been 16 months since the great Hallowe’en caper of 2006, when Jim Flaherty announced just as kids began making their candy runs that the tax treatment of income trusts was changing immediately. The decision came amid fears that BCE and Telus would both convert into trusts, avoiding corporate tax as a result. (Of course,continue reading

What’s wrong with HR

They’re idiots. A “recruitment leader” from IBM answers a question in today’s Globe and Mail (print edition only): “The reason to ask the question is to get a ballpark of where they are in terms of making it a win-win,” Ms. Puskas says.

Anywhere but here

It’s no secret that Canada’s immigration system makes no sense at all. After spending much time and energy selecting highly-skilled, highly-educated immigrants, we leave them to their own devices, with few job placement programs in place and a patchwork of “bridging programs” that range from expensive, sometimes redundant re-training courses at universities to humiliatingly basiccontinue reading