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: http://canadahousingcrash.blogspot.com/

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.

The Battle of Other Milk Solids

Did you know that there is a pitched battle being waged over the composition of cheese? Since technological advances have made possible the creation of a whole new generation of milk products (for example, isolates or milk protein concentrates), which are not necessarily subject to tariff quotas and can therefore be imported freely into Canada,(2)continue reading

Unintended consequences…

Here’s an economic side effect that one might not have seen coming — business is good for Texans selling paraphernalia to cowboy-mad Germans following the wind boom: “Dandy’s Western Wear, the local cowboy attire shop, cannot keep enough python skin and cowhide boots in stock because of all the Danes and Germans who have comecontinue reading

It’s all a mirage

From a lexicon of housing bubble jargon, courtesy of the Irvine Housing Blog, a term whose definition has a familiar ring: · MIRAGE (Moneyed Immigrants, Rich Ancestors, Generous Expatriates): Acronym to lampoon the bulls’ argument that housing demand is being supported by cash-rich immigrants, wealthy parents and transplants from other states. February’s Toronto Life featurescontinue reading

Catching up on weekend reading

Britain’s economy is still looking shaky. According to a survey of employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: …38% of the more than 1,500 employers surveyed plan redundancies over the next three months, with a quarter intending to let go at least 10 employees. And the Guardian publishes one of the most lucidcontinue reading

Anyone interested in a Spanish timeshare?

…’cause another housing bubble has burst: The Spanish government is reportedly considering a rescue package to “refloat” the housing market and slow job losses in the construction sector, raising concerns over investor appetite for the country’s sovereign bonds. It’s a familiar story: …unemployment jumped 132,000 in January, the sharpest one-month rise in a decade. Carcontinue reading

The super sands

Patiently, comprehensively, Jennifer Welsh and Annette Hester take down Harper’s boasts of Canada as an energy “superpower”: First, we produce a great deal of crude oil (and, unlike most countries, could produce more), but our natural gas production is in decline. A decline that will accelerate as more natural gas is used to coax heavy,continue reading

Calling the recession

BMO joins the fray: Judging from recent indicators, we are prepared now to say that the U.S. economy is in recession. The marked and widespread deterioration of business, consumer and investor sentiment since the start of 2008 has prompted us to revisit and revise our forecast. Ever the optimist, though, BMO’s Doug Porter sees Canadacontinue reading