Wow, TSX down 814 points - about 7 per cent - at the last I heard, and this on the news that the latest bail-out package in the US has passed the Senate (now up to $800 billion). It still has to pass the House of Representatives though, and that is the body that rejected it last week. Will they pass it this week?, and if they do, will it save the American economy? I doubt it (on both counts).
The pain is coming, whether we like it or not. The only question that I have is, how bad will it get, and how will that affect the Vancouver RE market? (a pure, rhetorical question) Draw your own conclusions, but the RE market was already on it's way down - before all this global doom and gloom hit. Any investor with a modicum of sense will be looking for deals in the stock market, and will be staying well away from Vancouver RE, IMHO. The tanking price of oil is a bell-weather (unintended pun), I think. Potash Corp. was a big loser today - down almost 20% - anther bell-weather? Is the TSX a true measure of our economy? It doesn't look so good right now.
So, to slip into election schtuff; Harper said in the French debate last night that Canada is not the US (yet), and that we have solid fundamentals. Like the Potash Corp.? Or, oil production? What about manufacturing (Auto workers), tourism/service, etc.? How is that doing? RE is tanking across Canada, what about those soon-to-be unemployed realtors, mortgage brokers, conveyance clerks, construction workers, home stagers...? I don't see a strong outlook, fundamentally. Harper said not to worry. OK, he pretends to be not worried, but are you? Do you have faith in someone who says to ignore the train barreling down the track toward you with its horn blaring? Are you thinking of buying a new car? Plasma TV? New computer? Buying a house? Going on vacation? Buying an Olympic ticket package? Are you going to take a HELOC, or rack up your credit card going out for dinner and drinks? If you are not, do you think that any government is responsible in saying "don't worry, spend with a big Prozac smile"?
I have to say that I didn't take much away from last night's debate. I found it hard to follow because I couldn't watch it live, and saw a translated version. The problem for me was that the translation was over the French, and my mind kept on switching back and forth, and leaving me lost. I also have a hearing problem, and tend to watch people's mouths, which threw me off even more. I felt that Duceppe was the best speaker, and that Dion is not the right guy (not because of a lack of sincerity, ideas, but because of his style, and challenges with English). Neither is Layton, and Harper is certainly not. His body language was revealing, and it was obvious that he had complete contempt for everyone, including you and me. May did well - considering that she was out of her language depth. As after every federal debate, I have to ask the same question that so many do: Why couldn't Duceppe be the leader of a national party not bent on Quebec secession? He would take it.
Unfortunately, the salient election issue is on the personalities put forth by the leaders (at least, the personality that is wanted to be seen), and not about the real issues. How shallow is that?