Sick care costs are already absorbing an impossible (and rising) level of our limited resources. Restoring balanced budgets requires a major behavioral shift in the food we are consuming. Right now junk is cheaper than fresh, and the lost productivity, drug, medical and environmental costs of this perversion are killing us financially.
Incentivizing better food habits and personal responsibility for our own individual health, is key to the economic recovery we need. Here is a direct video link.
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According to Canadian Real Estate Association statistics, average national home prices have fallen 10 per cent since the heights of April this year.
Change is attributed in part to the Bank of Canada raising interest rates for the first time in years, as well as provincial legislation in Ontario and B.C. aimed at slowing skyrocketing prices in Toronto and Vancouver.
But is this dip in price a blip, a soft landing, or the bursting of a bubble? Here is a direct audio link.
As we listen to this mainstream discussion about whether ‘bubble’ is a fair term for Canadian realty prices, we can consider this chart comparing Canadian real home price moves (in blue) with the US (in orange) over the past 42 years. Note the US infamous subprime driven-price peak in 2006 (in orange) and the -40% average decline that followed and has not yet recovered a decade later.
In all the circumstances, Canadians would be unwise to think that our price cycle should be kinder.
Even for those that are able to keep making their debt and upkeep payments as rates rise and/or incomes fall, the cash flow they have left to pay for other living expenses and save for the future will be diminished for years while current debt levels are worked down.
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Doing away with unnecessary friction costs and dramatically improving energy efficiency is a huge part of reducing expenditures and increasing savings again in the economy.
“If you wanted to power the entire U.S. with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States,” Musk said. “The batteries you need to store the energy, to make sure you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile. That’s it.”
It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud. Only this isn’t the U.S. housing market circa 2007. It’s the U.S. auto industry circa 2017. A decade after the mortgage debacle, the financial industry has embraced another type of subprime debt: auto loans. And, like last time, the risks are spreading as they’re bundled into securities for investors worldwide. Here is a direct video link.
“Wall Street has rewarded lax lending standards that let people get loans without anyone verifying incomes or job histories. For instance, Santander recently vetted incomes on fewer than one out of every 10 loans packaged into $1 billion of bonds, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The largest portion were for Chrysler vehicles. Some of their dealers, meantime, gamed the loan application process so low-income borrowers could drive off in new cars, state prosecutors said in court documents.” Sound familiar?
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Craig Unger discusses his investigative piece in The New Republic, “Trump’s Russian Laundromat: How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House.” You can read it here.
Unger discussed his findings on Charlie Rose on Friday.
“An explosive critique about the investment industry: provocative and well worth reading.” Financial Post
“Juggling Dynamite, #1 pick for best new books about money and markets.” Money Sense
“Park manages to not only explain finances well for the average person, she also manages to entertain and educate, while cutting through the clutter of information she knows every investor faces.” Toronto Sun