Monday, January 14, 2008

the quickening

There is a lot going on these days, despite the "roaring silence" that has been for a while. drachen linked to this video over at mohican's place. The collapse of the US dollar and economy, and perhaps US society? They are going down, and we, and a good part of the world will be going down with them.

Mike Mc sent this link from July 28, 2005 warning of a bubble in Vancouver and Victoria (thanks Mike). That was 2 1/2 years ago, and things have continued to inflate since then. It is now so out of whack that it has become like a lost chapter in Through the Looking Glass.

Today we hear that the Provincial Guv'mint is talking about a roughly 14 billion $ transit initiative. Just tack it on to our property taxes on top of the infrastructure costs for the boondoggle. I mean, Olympics.

Meanwhile, Surrey NDP MLA's are calling for Translink to roll back the latest transit fare hike.
"You can't have someone who makes $8 an hour have an increase in a fare and end up paying something like 18 per cent of their income on transportation. It's just not fair."
Too true. After coughing up 71% of income for mortgage payments, and 18% for transit, there will be a scant 11% left for food, entertainment, clothing, retirement savings, property taxes, up-keep, etc. Does anyone know if those percentages are net of tax?
Stephen Harper announced a billion dollar fund to help displaced workers in the manufacturing and forestry industries.

The rising Canadian dollar and an economic slowdown with Canada’s biggest trading partner, the U.S., has forced many mills and factories to either let workers go or shut down completely. In response, the Harper government has announced a plan that is not only ludicrous in its approach but politically underhanded as well.
I guess Stevie is worried. But a billion bucks is not going to cut it once things really get going.

The sell/list ratio over at Rob Chipman's place has gone from 200-odd % before Xmas to 30-odd %, and we are not seeing regular #'s there these days. (some might say that the Chipper is withholding because the #'s are grim. I don't buy that, but if the #'s are grim, who will be surprised - besides the greater fools?) Seasonal, or harbinger?

I had a whole bunch more interesting links, but I will not travail you with them now. The shite is hitting the fan in dribs and drabs, but it is quickening.


chris said...

A bit off topic.
I was riding my bike to UBC last Sunday. There are so many housing developments on Campus. It hardly looks and feel like a university.
Where do students and professors hang out and chat about Marxism or string theroy?
I don't remeber anything good and exciting coming out from UBC lately, of couse beside those new condo projects.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused, isn't it through fractional reserve banking the banks 'create' money. so if the system goes tits up, none of it was real just numbers punched into computers. right?

were're f***

btw how much 'money' has gone into circulation in the last decade, and how does that relate to the various increases in asset classes, ie RE, stocks etc

solipsist said...

none of it was real...

No. It is all an illusion.

Have you seen the original move Matrix? I got dragged out to see that in the theatres. I was flabbergasted when i saw it - not because of any SFX (I don't remember those...), but because it was so close to the truth. I thought "these fusters are taunting us".

How do you know that you are not dreaming?

The truth is always so much stranger than any fiction.

Cecil said...

Exciting news coming from about the university's recent declaration of its $18M subprime exposure?

M- said...

Cecil: it's $122M subprime exposure at UBC. They're taking an $18M writedown.

solipsist said...

it's $122M subprime exposure

Then there is the University of B.C., the Insurance Corporation of B.C. and the Fraser Health Authority have together invested $180 million into now-troubled asset-backed commercial paper, none of which are sponsored by any of the major banks. link

I think that the depth and breadth of subprime is not nearly realized. Pension funds are also "invested" in that paper. Banks, probably even governments are also exposed. But there is no real concern, and the reportage is diminutive at best.

Everyone is asleep, but for the snakes and sharks.

Scullboy said...


I know it's the real world because if I were dreaming, Vancouver housing prices would properly reflect fundamentals! :)

solipsist said...

scullboy -

Maybe it's a bad dream?(grin) Kind of like those dreams where you need to shout for help, but no sound comes out.

Drachen said...

I don't normally go to Chipper's website any more I posted there for a while but he's such a pompous gassbag I just couldn't stand it. It's interesting how shrill his tone is becoming and how aggressive he's become with his users. Do you think the stress is getting to him?

trotter said...

“Provincial … a roughly 14 billion $ transit initiative”
Sounds hollow and distant, 2015–2020.
Debts from Olympics and Waterfront Convention Centre will be hanging around taxpayers necks like albatross for at least a generation or two.

“Fed .. a billion dollar fund to help displaced workers in the manufacturing and forestry industries”
Not enuf, but at least no empty promises and he ain’t drunk.

Visited CondInfo and read about CIBC’s subprime mess.
Makes me feel better that I’m not one of those “very sharp and sophisticated people”

Scullboy said...


Consider the fact that if it's a dream (good or bad) that means SatV is haunting our dreams.

Mine's a double G&T, what about you? It'll take a few cocktails to wash those implications away, I promise you!

aetakeo said...

If I remember correctly from charts posted about the american bubblesphere during the run up ('05/'06ish), 2007 was just the *first* year of subprime resets. The resetting will continue for 4 more years at least. And of course, now people are truly pinned because their mortgages are worth more than their houses.
So I imagine it's going to get a lot worse; and a lot of condos will be turned back into rental stock.

patriotz said...

I think that the depth and breadth of subprime is not nearly realized.

Correction: the fact that the problem is way, way bigger than subprime is not nearly realized.

"Subprime" is an industry term used in the US for mortgages issued to people with low credit ratings. They do not even comprise a majority of the "toxic" loans issued over the past 5 years - Alt-A, option-ARM, etc.

Subprime simply got into trouble first because it had the weakest borrowers.

Any mortgage whose balance is larger than the (rapidly declining) market price of a house, especially if there is a rate reset, is a candidate for default.

Get the picture?

solipsist said...

Correction: the fact that the problem is way, way bigger than subprime is not nearly realized.

Thanks for the clarification patriotz.

My references are often oblique, and the reference to "subprime" was meant to encapsulate the larger picture. Subprime loans are just the fuse to the bomb. I have not yet grasped the implications because it is so convoluted, but I do think that the bomb is fricking huge.

Anonymous said...

getting back to the 'none of it is real' I don't think this mess is going to blow the system. sure the great unwashed will get kicked around, but the top is closing ranks and protecting one another.

using their 'fake' fiat money... haha suckers we are.

Anonymous said...

meridia online
It might cause a serious harm.
[url=]reductil online[/url]
No hidden fees, money back guarantee!
Meridia, one of the most important drug in the medicinal field. - buy meridia
In fact it is highly advised that you should have all the basic knowledge about it before the actual use of Meridia drugs.