Make it a century

No retirement for the youth:

A 50-year home loan might sound depressing to some, but perhaps not if the alternative is never being able to buy a property. Long-term fixed-rate mortgages are an emerging financial product that should in theory allow first-time buyers who are currently priced out of the market to get on the housing ladder.

By spreading the repayments over longer – the average for mortgages taken out this year is 29 years – buyers should be able to borrow up to eight times their income, rather than the current average of 3.2 times, say potential providers.

50 years? Those are rookie numbers. Go for 100-year mortgages! The boomers racked up huge budget deficits and exploded the public debt. Might as well add mortgages for the grandchildren. It's not like all that debt will be paid back.


GDP goes negative

Using prices gathered by Statistics Canada, the cost of hosting a Canada Day barbecue with eight adults and eight children today would cost $302.04 — more than 17 per cent higher than in 2021, when the bill came to $257.27. [...]

"Prices are going up much faster than we've been accustomed to for the past four decades," said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Financial Group.

That's a big reason why a recession is practically guaranteed. When the average family is spending close to a combined 50% more for rent, mortgage, food, and oil compared to 30 months ago, then they simply don't have any cash left for cars, restaurants, hotels, and vacations.


Was it the vax?

I got an email today titled, "A Message from Air Canada's President". He apologized about the upcoming cancelation of flights in the summer months. It was initially confusing because I don't have any domestic or US flight but then I realized that he's telling all possible customers to not bother booking any North American flight in the next couple of months.

Air Canada's stock fell as much as nearly 9 per cent in early trading on Thursday, after the company said it would cut more than 15 per cent of its scheduled flights in July and August.

The Montreal-based airline said on Wednesday that it will reduce its schedule – already operating at a capacity below pre-pandemic levels – by an average of 154 flights per day in July and August. Most of the affected flights are to and from Toronto and Montreal, the airline said, on domestic and Canada-U.S. routes.

Air Canada fired thousands of workers two years ago and then implemented vaccine mandates last year. My best guess would be that 20% of their original labor force has zero interest in returning to work for them which closely aligns with the volume of cancellations. Plus, it's likely that a few of the vaxxed pilots have had totally unexpected and unrelated health issues that make them unfit to fly. Sad!


Squeezed

The price of butter tracks almost exactly with my experience: $3 to $4.29; a 43% increase. The most insane price increase I've noticed is for corn. It used to be $0.2 each, now it's going for $0.5.


No shortage of suckers

Yeah. The highest savings account interest rate in Ontario, Canada is 2.4%. The best rate for a 5-year GIC is 4.6%. The long-term yearly average US stock market return is 8%. Anything that "guarantees" a percentage return that's more than a single digit is a guaranteed scam.


Money printer went brrrr

Some are stunned. A few idiots accuse him of lying. How can that add up to $155! There's no meat! Where are the lobsters!

Of course, most completely miss the point. All this food was $60-70 only a few years ago.

The really shocking part was the price of bananas: $2.5 per pound! Just today, I saw them at the supermarket for under US$0.5 per pound. (CAD$0.6.)


A debt-powered economy

Airlines, hotels, restaurants, and car companies are going to suffer in the following quarters. When people are squeezed to the point where a giant proportion of their incomes is going to rent, mortgage, and food, then they don't have any money left for weekend trips, vacations or new cars.


Money printer dead

The two-year easy money bull market is officially over:

The S&P 500 slipped into bear market territory on Monday as rampant inflation and the increasing likelihood of a recession spooked wary investors. [...]

“With the Fed out of policy tools to stimulate economic activity and runaway inflation, all signs currently point to an extended period of stagflation – high unemployment coupled with high inflation – which we haven’t seen in earnest since the 1970s,” said Liam Hunt, Writer and Analyst at GoldIRAGuide.com.


A magical universe

Even with all the fake math, we still got the highest official inflation rate of the last 40 years. That dubious 8% is just for one year. Zoom out a bit and most people have easily seen a 50% increase in food prices since the beginning of 2020. With super-high oil prices, retailers will have to bump up prices even more later this year. November should be fun for the Democrats.


"It will break people"

The result of decades of credit inflation and wage suppression:

Skyrocketing prices are forcing more Canadians to make tough decisions, leaving even middle-class families to choose between buying the food they need and paying their bills.

Yeah, an overall inflation rate of 50% in three years will do that.

Christine Taylor, who lives in southern Ontario, said she's finding it hard to pay all of her family's bills, and she worries about those less fortunate. "This direction is not economically sustainable. It will break people — not only financially, but emotionally and mentally," she said.

Taylor, who has a job in the fuel and energy industry, said she and her husband, who works in home and mobile electronics, bring in a combined annual income of about $85,000. Yet it's not enough to keep up with all of the expenses that come with owning a home and raising two teens.

Annual combined income: $85,000
Income tax: $17,000
Mortgage: $24,000
House upkeep: $6,000
Utilities, phone, internet: $4,000
Food: $16,000
Car related bills: $12,000
Income left after all the above expenses: $6,000

That's $6,000 for a family of four. They have to plan for phones, computers, clothes, sports equipment, entertainment, vacation, emergency repairs, etc. on just $6,000 for the entire year. Imagine the stress of losing work hours or getting fired.

Before the 1990s, it was possible for the average family to live a comfortable life on one median salary. But thanks to the insidious central banks that keep printing money, a sharp increase in the number of women in the labor force, and the importation of millions of cheap foreign workers, we've finally reached the point where it is difficult for the average family to live a decent life on two median salaries.


Did someone say unaffordable?

The median household income in my city in Canada is roughly $75,000 (US$60,000). The median price for a detached house in the last quarter was $1.1 million (US$873,000). So, that's 14.6x!

A median apartment goes for $650,000. That "affordable" option gives us 8.6x!


No comment from Bank of Canada

I remember a time when a decent used car sold for the same price as a nice gaming laptop: $3,000. Those days are long gone:

Autotrader said the average price of a new vehicle in Canada reached $54,048 in May, a 17.3 per cent increase from last year and up slightly more than 1 per cent from April, when prices last hit a record high. The cost of a used vehicle also increased in May, reaching an average price of $37,984, up 36.4 per cent from 2021 and nearly 1 per cent from the previous month.

A stunning stat:

The price increases have been especially prominent for larger vehicle categories, including light-duty trucks, SUVs and minivans. For example, the average price of a new minivan in Canada hit $59,592 in April, a 44.2 per cent increase from the previous year.


Whatever helps the regime

A man can identify as a woman and, sometimes, a recession is not a recession:

Perhaps, it's a transitory recession!


Top minds in charge

No skin in the game for these vultures:

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged Tuesday that she and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell “could have used a better word” than “transitory” when describing the expected run of inflation in the U.S. economy. She added that she was hopeful it would soon be on the decline.

One of the top economists in the world couldn't see this coming:

She told CNN last week that she did not fully understand the impact that unanticipated large shocks and supply bottlenecks would have on the economy.

It's curious that the article doesn't explicitly mention one of the major reasons for high inflation: the easy money policy of the Fed for the past two years. They let the money printer loose. The crypto world exploded with massive returns. The stock market doubled from its crash and grocery stores started increasing prices in a big way in early 2021. These idiots should have started increasing the interest rates a year earlier. Now, that the poor have been crushed and the middle class is getting squeezed, their reply is: COULD HAVE USED A BETTER WORD!

The least these assholes can do is resign.


Here's your spike

Three major reasons for high oil prices in America:

  1. Increase in demand due to the end of lockdowns.
  2. US domestic supply restrictions.
  3. Money printer go brrrr.

It would have been absolutely shocking had the price of oil gone to the same level as it was in 2019 (roughly $65). That would have been possible if OPEC had gone totally nuts and pumped huge amounts of oil in the global market. Given the price crash to $20 two years ago, OPEC isn't losing sleep now when oil is hovering around $120.

What will we do without these experts? It's funny how basic economics is referred to as "dubious". We knew it would happen and now we know the exact magnitude: the price of oil has roughly doubled from three years ago.

The elections later this year should be interesting.


Not serious

50% of Millennials are dumbasses:

A new survey published by Acorns last week revealed that half of millennials think they'll need just $300,000 to "retire comfortably".

The funny thing is that they mostly guessed! They didn't even do this simple math: At a baseline annual spending of $50,000, one should have a minimum $1 million to retire today.

Most Millennials will be retiring many years later. Thanks to inflation, they'll need millions of dollars to retire comfortably in the US.


Fact check of the year

The size of the government is absolutely monstrous.

The funny thing about 8 or 9 months is that both figures are wildly optimistic. If the US government was retarded enough to confiscate all that eeevil billionaire wealth today, then it would have to sell roughly ~$3 trillion to get cash. Four points:

  1. This would lead to one of the most spectacular stock market crashes in history.
  2. Who the hell in their right mind is going to buy billions of dollars of equities when they know that the government will simply confiscate their money when it feels like it?
  3. Whose neck gets it when the billionaires are toast? The big bad multi-millionaires!
  4. Capital is going to leave America at a staggering rate.

More pain

Add to that the staggering price increases for rent, food, cars, and oil, it'll be a miracle if the US didn't experience a recession.


You will own nothing!

Enjoy your pods, peasants!

The housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area has gotten so bad that one startup is now offering renters the chance to live in a “bunk bed pod” with 13 other people for just $800 a month.

I lived in a student house with 9 other people and we had 3 washrooms and that was sometimes a problem. The luxury apartment above is for 13 people and it has 2 washrooms! How is that going to work?


Math is hard

Two things I've heard often from coworkers on the topic of stocks:

  1. This company's share price has gone down 90%. So, it must be a good time to buy, right? Example: Tilray went from $300 to $30. The pain wasn't over. It dropped to $3.
  2. The share price of Company A is higher versus that of Company B. So, B is a better buy, right? Example: Apple is expensive ($145) but BlackBerry is cheap ($5).

I learned about the stock market in high school in the previous century. Most of these people are older than me and they still don't have a clue.


Waiting for "skin in the game"

Black Swan yesterday:

Anti-fragile today:

The Coinbase stock price has crashed by roughly 85% in just over half a year. Definitely, not anti-fragile.

Bitcoin is down over 55% in the same time frame. Definitely, not an inflation hedge. Bitcoin has been the most incredible speculative "asset" of this century but its sheer volatility makes it unreliable for the average person. It could be near $0 or closer to $100,000 by the end of the year.


Aramco vs. Apple

The Saudis must be very happy with Biden's energy policies:

Saudi Aramco overtook Apple Inc. as the world’s most valuable company, stoked by a surge in oil prices that is buoying the crude producer while adding to an inflation surge throttling demand for technology stocks.

That's quite the change in under five months:

Earlier this year, Apple boasted a market value of $3 trillion, about $1 trillion more than Aramco’s. Since then, however, Apple has fallen nearly 20% while Aramco is up 28%.


The Housing Market Insanity

Here's a photo of a simple house that's a one-hour drive away from Toronto:

Dundas house

There are 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and it's 2,100 square feet. Not too small to be cramped and not too big to be ostentatious; it's just the right size for an average family.

It's on sale. Can you guess the asking price? $1.6 million*. The 20% down payment would be $320,000. The monthly mortgage payment? $6,700. That's $80,400 a year for 25 years! A husband and wife together would need to make a minimum of $200,000 income to even think of buying such a basic house.

Only the top 2% of households in the province can afford it.

* $1.23 million in US dollars.


The pain isn't over

One CEO can see what's coming ahead:

"I thought we may be able to have said that last year. When we started the year, we thought inflation would be up double digits. We have now revised that forecast to be more in the high teens. We are seeing it across a broad basket. We have seen it in our commodities like wheat and other things we cover. We are seeing it in our fuel costs and transportation. We are seeing it in packaging. So it's difficult for me to see the peak now."

I've seen a price increase of roughly 50% for food in the last two years. It's likely going to be another 20% by December. So, a staggering 80% jump in food prices in just 3 years. It wouldn't surprise me if we see an elegant and painful double for 2020-23.


The Maleducation of the Masses

The useless universities and the programing from the media leads to these results:

The Yahoo/Maru survey polled 1,517 Canadians between April 23 and April 25. It found COVID-related supply chain issues narrowly topped the list of potential causes, with 29 per cent pointing to the pandemic's lasting grip on global trade. [...]

A similar number of respondents (28 per cent) chose "profit-taking by companies and speculators" as the chief cause of runaway inflation.

It's unfortunately predictable that close to 90% didn't even mention money supply. An economics background is not necessary to grasp the concept. One just has to get the logic in this simple sentence:

[..] the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve are expected to continue hiking benchmark interest rates in a bid to tamp down inflationary pressures.

So, doesn't that mean that the record-low interest rates of the recent past is a major reason for the highest inflation in the last forty years?

Shhh. Ignore that logic, it's COVID, greedy corporations and RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA!


Winter is coming

More pain for the average person:

"We take a lot of the raw materials and blend them together into the finished goods, the final product of fertilizer that farmers will be putting on their crops," explained Carson. Those raw materials include three main nutrients: NPK -- nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, also known as potash. The three top exporters of these nutrients are Russia, China, and Canada.

Canada has got a truck driver issue thanks to the federal vaccine mandate, China banned its specific export last year, and, of course, Putin VERY BAD!

The result? The price of fertilizer is up 128% from one year ago. It went up more than 20% in just one month of the war in Ukraine.

Absolutely staggering. Food prices are going to increase a lot more in the coming months.


Theater

Yup. There's no social cost to thrashing a rich White guy. However, when the target is a colored Muslim, then there can be accusations of racism and Islamophobia. They aren't moral or logical; they're dumb, virtue-signaling cowards.


The wicked speak

Vox Day:

After nearly two years of harsh lockdowns and vaccine mandates, Australia’s Prime Minister declares that if you suffered any adverse effects from the vaccines they forced on you, it’s your fault. After all, you didn’t have to work, or go to school, or go to the supermarket.

Yeah. Here, in parts of Canada, the government mandated vaccine passports for shopping at Walmart. The polling data must have been intensely negative because the Quebec government got rid of that rule a few weeks later. Still, quite a few people buckled under pressure and got the jabs. Big Pharma gets $$$ and the government accrues power while the vaccinated sheep suffer the consequences.


The NIMBY morons

Yup. It's the same in Canada. Forget roads and rails that take kilometers of area; the construction of simple real estate is slow as molasses. For example, a car dealership was sitting empty in the city. The land was bought; the new owner wants an apartment building in its place. The tiny dealership was torn down five years ago. The construction for the apartments hasn't even started. Locals aren't happy about the upcoming "tall" building and the city is dragging its feet.

In that time, rent and house prices have almost doubled.