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.


The second largest country in the world

The economists at the largest bank in Canada can see the plain reality:

Housing affordability in Canada was at its worst level in 31 years at the end of 2021, according to RBC Economics, which is warning that there’s no relief in sight for the country’s already-stretched homeowners.

Here's a shocking statistic for those who live outside of Canada:

Almost half of median pre-tax household income (49.7 per cent) would have been required to cover mortgage payments and other costs tied to owning a home, on an aggregate basis, in Canada in the fourth quarter of last year.

Note these two words: pre-tax and household. Take the median Canadian couple where both people work. Assume that their income is the same. In the current market, the entire after-tax income of one person is not enough to cover the housing costs for the average property! This means that both people must work to live in the average-priced house.

An anecdote: rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my building used to be ~$500. Now, it's $1,500. A new worker making minimum wage working 50 weeks of the year would make $25,000 after tax in Ontario. So, after rent, a low-skilled single person would have $7,000 left to spend in the entire year.

This is not going to end well.


Ontario Housing Crisis

Doug Ford has been in power for four years. Now, two months before the next election, he's taking action!

Premier Doug Ford's government is unveiling the first phase of its plan to deal with the skyrocketing cost of buying a home in Ontario.

The last few years have been brutal:

In 2021, the average sale price of homes in the province was 44 per cent higher than two years earlier, according to figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

I just looked online at a nearby house for sale: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1400 sq. ft. That's a small house by modern standards. Asking price? $1.45 million.


You will own nothing

I've been following the insane real estate market in Canada for many years but this still astonishes me: a 3-bedroom, 1(!)-bathroom house is approaching a $2.5 million asking price in Vancouver.

For context, the lifetime earnings of an average Canadian is under $2 million.


Insidious inflation

The Babylon Bee has competition: Inflation Stings Most If You Earn Less Than $300K. Here's How to Deal.

Perhaps, the economics professor who wrote the article above can help provide a few tips to this woman who feels the sting:

Kathleen Black is facing a 50% rent increase on the older three-bedroom central Scottsdale apartment she shares with her four kids and father.

“My apartment’s management is upping my rent by $800 a month,” said Black, who moved from Goodyear to Scottsdale in 2020 after a divorce so her children could go to school with their cousins.

“That will take almost 100% of my income, and my father is on a fixed income," she said. "Our apartment isn’t that nice.”

That's a rough $10,000 increase in rent for the next year. It's true that those making $300,000 won't sweat over it but those who earn around $30,000 will have harsh and ugly choices ahead.


Three years of inflation

Sale price increases in Ontario, Canada:
January 2020 --> August 2021 --> March 2022

Eggs (12): $2 --> $2.8 --> $3
Milk (4L): $4 --> $4.7 --> $5.3
Butter (1lb): $3 --> $3.5 --> $4.3
Coke (6 x 710ml): $2 --> $2.8 --> $3.3
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4 --> $5
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3 --> $3.5
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $4.5 -->$5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $2.5 --> $3
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5 --> $5.5
Prime rib roast (1 lb): $5 --> $7 --> $9

When one looks at real estate, food, and oil costs from the beginning of 2020 to the predictable end of 2022, in three years, the inflation rate will be roughly 50%.

For someone struggling with an annual income of $30,000, that's a $10,000 pay cut!


Are Russians transitory?

The Trump era RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA! makes a return:


Max the Vax

It is. Big Pharma makes billions and governments, like here in Canada, seize tremendous power. It has been proved again: MPAI.


The beginning of the end for Trudeau

Prime Minister Zoolander unleashes the Banksters on unacceptable Canadians:

Using powers granted under the Emergencies Act, the federal government has directed banks and other financial institutions to stop doing business with people associated with the anti-vaccine mandate convoy occupying the nation's capital.

Trudeau just made tens of thousands of permanent enemies:

"Paying bills, paying rent and any kind of day-to-day financial transaction can be stopped for people who are part of the protest movement," she said.

There may also be some "unintended consequences" from frozen accounts, such as suspended alimony and child support payments, Davis said. "It's going to be very difficult for them."

A Romanian politician has a few choice words for the Canadian Clown:


A wicked world

Yup. Those who were buying young sex slaves are shielded. Those who donated a few bucks to an unacceptable peaceful protest are subjected to harassment and financial ruin.


Capital flight

That's one way to start a bank run:

Under orders from the Supreme Chancellor of the People's Republic of Canada Justin Trudeau, all bank ATMs across the provinces will now require anyone attempting to withdraw money from their accounts to take a small quiz on their political beliefs.

"Let me be perfectly clear," said Trudeau while standing in a puddle of his own urine. "Those with unacceptable views shouldn't have money. These evil working-class people being allowed to buy things and eat is a threat to public safety and national security. Starting today, all ATMs will screen people for unacceptable views before they can withdraw funds."


Prime Minister Zoolander wants cheap labor

Not enough rooms in hospitals, congested highways, a skyrocketing real estate market and stagnant wages. The response from the Canadian government? Import more people!

Canada plans to welcome more than 1.3 million new immigrants to the country over the next three years to help its economy recover from COVID-19 and to drive future growth. [...]

The new plan calls for an annual intake that will reach 431,645 in 2022; 447,055 in 2023; and 451,000 in 2024 — equivalent to 1.14 per cent of the population by 2024.

The average price of a house in Toronto hit $1.4 million in 2022. It was only $1 million two years ago.

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment nearby was $600 six years ago. I heard of a couple moving into one recently. Their rent? $1,600.


The science has evolved!

Starting January 24th, the provincial government of Quebec imposed strict vaccine passport requirements on big stores like Walmart and Costco:

Large stores in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec require vaccine passports. It applies to stores that are larger than 16,000 square feet but does not include grocery stores or pharmacies. The government of Quebec’s policy is an attempt to convince holdouts to get vaccinated.

This has not been easy to implement for retailers like Walmart, IKEA, Costco, and other big box stores.

And now, not even a month later, Quebec announces that they fucked up:

Quebec will drop its vaccine passport requirement for all public spaces by March 14, the government announced Tuesday.

Health Minister Christian Dubé explained the decision at a news conference, saying the COVID-19 situation in the province has improved enough to gradually ease the measure.

As of Wednesday, Quebecers will no longer need to show a vaccine passport to enter liquor and cannabis stores as well as larger retail outlets.

So, for huge retailers, the vaccine passport lasted a grand total of... 23 days. Surely, those Big Bad Truckers had nothing to do with this turnaround.


Calamity for the young and poor

It's the same in the dumb North. In the last two years, the biggest city in Canada saw a 43% increase in the average sold price of a property. The average price of property in Toronto is now $1.14 million. Understand that this includes condos and townhouses. The average price of a detached house is close to $1.4 million.

For a rich guy who could easily borrow at 3% to buy and flip a house, that translates to a profit of roughly $15,000 per month for two years. If he bought two houses, then that's a cool $1,000 a day for two years.


Two weeks is too much?

With sky-rocketing housing costs and inflation at a 30-year high, millions of Canadians find themselves scraping by between pay periods. [...]

The most recent survey from the Canadian Payroll Association found that 36 per cent of respondents said they live paycheque to paycheque.

But proponents of a new approach to payroll called "early wage access" say time's up for the traditional model of getting paid once every two weeks.

Canadians have stagnant wages, inflation is the highest in 40 years, an average house in the big cities goes for over $1 million, and the federal government imports 400,000 people every year. Yet, the media discusses this so-called problem of delayed payroll:

Early wage access — also known as on-demand pay — is facilitated through app-based, third-party services offered by employers. These allow workers to get some of the money they've already earned without the two-week delay or the high interest rates offered by pay-day loan services. [...]

If your cellphone bill is due a couple of days before payday, you could access the funds to clear that bill before incurring a late fee, for instance. Or you could restock groceries when you run low instead of eating ramen for a week.

Most Canadians get paid every two weeks. If you worked from Jan. 30 to Feb. 12, then you'll get paid for that period on Feb. 17. So, one has to wait 18 days to get the pay for the work on Jan. 30. However, there's a flip side. Everyone has access to credit. One can spend on a credit card for the whole month of January and get the bill on Feb. 1. The due date is Feb. 21. This delayed payroll and interest-free credit spending largely cancel out themselves.

Now, if you've got student loans, car payments, maxed out credit cards, and a negative balance in your chequing account, then instant on-time pay is not going to be the solution to your problems.