Take up

Somewhere along the line I gave up. What’s the opposite of that? Take-up? Live up? I dunno, but I bet it has nothing to do with wasting endless work hours in front of a computer not working and pawing the internet for dopamine that doesn’t exist. I bet it has much to do with time in the mountains. Time exploring. Time laughing with friends. Time in/on/over the ocean. All of the things that I’m getting so little of right now.

And they still deny…

I love it. The COVID deniers’ basic take is:

 “If I’m not sick or dead, it’s not a big deal. If Bolsonaro isn’t sick or dead, it’s not a big deal.”

 That’s fun.

 This is also fun.

 According to Wikipedia, 10,580 Boeing 737s have been produced to-date. Maybe 6500 are in service. Average capacity is about 150 humans. People’s moms, dads, brothers, sisters etc etc take those seats on a regular basis, or did in the before times. It’s safe to say that almost everyone in the developed world has been aboard one and many in the less developed world.

 The number of coronavirus deaths globally is currently 624,000 (after only 4 months of high infection rates). And is climbing by 1% per day.

 If the entire active fleet of 737s was filled to 3/4 capacity, lofted into the sky and then crashed, it would kill that many people. And the world would lose its mind. The world lost its mind when four planes managed to kill less than 3000 in NYC, rest their souls. Or, you could note that about two 911s have been happening every day for the past four months.

 Or, you could note that the globe is seeing about 40 737s full of happy life travellers hit an unforgiving deck each day due to this virus. I don’t care how old they are in the median, that’s a massive number.

 So, to get started, you wack the entire fleet of 737s full of people and then, on an ongoing basis, another 40 planes per day goes down. No big deal, right? It’s just someone’s grandma. Who cares if they are bringing refrigerator trucks into the US south to start storing the dead. Who cares if so many died in NYC that a huge uptick in persons buried in the city mass grave was recorded.

 These are deaths on top of normal death rates. Yes, people die, we get it. That’s never an argument against concern for additional deaths. It doesn’t hold water now and will continue to leak water like the 3$ walmart sieve it is as death rates continue to climb.

 This is not a flu. It has rapidly outstripped typical ILI/Pneumonia deaths in only four months, many of the deaths in summer even though there have been efforts to control the spread of the virus. Yes, 99% of people get it and get over it. But 1% have a really crappy ride (look up what it actually means to be intubated and put on a ventilator — it’s hell and deadly in its own right) and half of those, maybe a bit under, will die.

 And all that had to be done was for you numbskulls to listen to a few directives about social distancing, wearing masks and not being greedy for all of a month at most. But the planet failed. The author of the GreaterFool.ca blog downplayed the virus as did many others in its comments section and, of course, all over the media. The US failed the worst. Brazil a close second (note the equivalent, nationalistic leadership of both nations). All you had to do was take a tiny bit of inconvenience and the virus would have run out of hosts. But now we all have to take a year’s worth of mask wearing and family missing and social distancing and on and on and on because of your inability to grasp the magnitude of something that every professional who knew better howled how large scale this would become.

 I get it, you are libertarian. You believe in freedom. Fine. But an essential tenant of libertarianism is respecting the rights of others to do as they will. While not a fan overall, I think this concept is really cool. It allows complete personal freedom as long as you don’t wreck someone else’s day. Yet, here you all are. You took all of your freedoms and completely crapped all over everyone else’s right to live happy healthy lives. Total garbage.


What I wrote that time I yelled at the right:

Descent back into internet addiction

In March, coronavirus began to tighten its grip on the world. It had already briefly choked China and proceeded to Europe in January and February and then taken hold firmly as spring neared. At the end of February I travelled to Oregon and returned dragging behind some kind of illness that left my kidneys aching and my body feverish on and off through the dawn of spring.

I came to from that illness to a new, locked-down world. Work from home was now the norm. Social distancing and staying home as much as possible. My battle with internet addiction was about a year old then and it had been successful even if the progress was tentative. I had bouts of internet numbing but was able to attend meetings and overall keep a fairly even keel and a far more positive attitude than I had been prior to seeking recovery and help.

At the end of February, the stock market crashed and my concern for my investments grew rapidly. This concern locked me deeper into staring at the screen and wringing my hands and scouring the data to try to outsmart whatever was about to happen.

I had been following a blog at greaterfool.ca for a couple of years leading up to the lock-downs. It mostly takes a contrary stance against real-estate in Canada but also is right of center and occasionally inflammatorily so, The blog hosts a comments section that is marginally better than a typical internet flame fest, but still manages to be filled with grumpy, greedy right wing goons who complain about PC culture, any attempt at equality of rights and certainly that the coronavirus is mostly a hoax to be ignored.

Well, by late March the blog’s comment section had me and was helping me to undo all of the work I’d done to restrain myself from the internet and be productive at work over the past year and actually start to feel like I had a grip on my life trajectory however alien the process felt.

Since then it’s been a steady decline. I’ve started to fail to take daily work notes — something that had become habit since restarting work in October. I started missing meetings and ignoring phone calls. Etc. etc.

This state of affairs is ongoing although I’m taking some steps to help matters. One of those steps was to harvest all of the writing that I did in the comments section of the blog and to post it here. This writing starts innocently with questions about the stock market, but eventually fades into disagreements about the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 and eventually into arguments about right wing crap and outright flaming and trolling of other posters. Ech. What a massive waste of time, but at least I have all of those words and will present them now here. It will make little sense, but at least will provide an illustrative history of my descent back into internet addiction and what that can mean in one of its dimensions/forms. Without further adieu:

What I wrote that time I yelled at the right

#83 Faron on 02.27.20 at 6:43 pm

Question: if yields are down and prices are up for bonds, why do my bond ETFs keep staying flat or dropping? XQB. Is it that there is so much exodus that capital is fleeing the bond market too?

#93 Faron on 03.03.20 at 7:29 pm

I’ve read that the virus hit older Chinese males harder than anyone else because of the greater prevalence of smoking in the group. It’s also true that Chinese urban centers have some of the worst air pollution in the world. I’m guessing that we’ll see a strong relationship between per-capita smoking rates:


along with urban air quality against corona virus severity. Nations with more developed clean air standards will do better overall. That’s my hypothesis.

I’ll also own up to the fact that I panicked and traded from an equity dominant portfolio to a bond dominant one at precisely the current two week bottom. Sigh. This is my first year investing and I think I’ve learned my lesson.

#66 Faron on 03.05.20 at 6:51 pm

Re: #42 Get Out

I mentioned before that I managed to sell my equities on the open of the 25th which was the bottom so far. Tracking my old portfolio, I can see that it has regained more than 1/3 of the loss while my new bond-heavy portfolio has gained only a wee bit. The story doesn’t end here, but I’ve already learned that missing out on big days sucks.

#108 Faron on 03.07.20 at 12:25 am

It is amusing to me when people say they’ll buy a stock for its high dividend yield. Aren’t they forgetting that the dividind has no gaurantee of staying that high? In a year vermillion’s board could decide to cut to 0 at which time the share price would have also cratered.

#36 Faron on 03.16.20 at 5:11 pm

It’s almost like the population has been thrown into a cold lake. The first response is senseless thrashing. As time wears on, everyone is still in the lake, but the shock fades, people settle down, look for shore and start figuring out how to get there.

This is the thrash. No one knows what to do but for god’s sake do something. Amid all of that, there is real illness, misery and death at the very core for the old or vulnerable.

Sooner than we think, the thrash will fade away. The next step will be getting used to the water and heading to shore and hauling out. When that phase comes for us in virusland, even though the virus will be here and may just be peaking, it will be something we have adapted to so our behaviour will get more sensible, markets will stabilize (except when earnings reports or bad economic data or news of flare ups come in). People will adapt to the hand they are given and find work arounds for their needs.

Probably like everyone, I can’t quite tell if this is actually happening. You go outside and everyone looks normal, smiles at you, dogs wrestle. Here in Vic it’s sunny and beautiful. I guess when folks are told to STOP, they have to fill the space with some mental noise like worry or TeeVee news. Even to my pessimistic self, this is all seeming overwrought. I’m calling peak thrash this week then the fade will begin just like the tapers in the spikes of the VIX.

Only twist is the potential for resurgence in the fall when our guard is just coming down. Or CDN housing bubble popping and causing more harm than anyone has planned for.

I just plopped half of my last paycheck into the RRSP. What to spend it on?

#122 Faron on 03.16.20 at 7:38 pm

Re: #84 Vancouver Brit on 03.16.20 at 6:28 pm

Curious of peoples thoughts on leveraging into this market? Unfortunately all of my cash is invested and I’m unable to invest any more without taking on an LOC of some sort.


Gawd no. This is a clear sign that there are still too many bulls in the market and that the market has further down to go.

1) There’s no guarantee it’s going to bounce back in the timeline you need it to for the interest, fees, your time etc to be outweighed by the gains
2) Regardless, you will be losing money to interest from the start.
3) Your loan payments will prevent you from saving up for a cash deposit into your account to purchase equities with.
4) You may invest wrong and not capture enough of the rebound to win your gambit.
5) You invest, watch three -5% days go by, panic and pull out 15%+ of your original loan poorer. Now you are paying interest on the lost dollars thus further compounding your loss.

The risk/reward is waaay off.

#149 Faron on 03.16.20 at 8:50 pm

#136 Utilities on 03.16.20 at 8:21 pm

Can someone explain to me why a defensive stock like Algonquin power, a utility is down and paying almost 6 percent dividend ?


Don’t forget that a stock’s dividend is not guaranteed in any way. The yield against previous earnings will rise when the price falls, but if a company struggles, goes through some negative earnings quarters and eats into its cash, then they might just cut their dividend rather than take on more debt.

A hypothetical:

You buy algonquin expecting 6%

Heavy industry in Ontario takes a huge hit from the economic downturn so suddenly algonquin is selling power on a grid with way less demand thus lower prices. They are no longer breaking even on the costs of production. But the price dropped so the dividend is up even more.

If this continues, eventually whoever it is that decides what happens to the dividend decides that a good option to trim their losses is to trim the dividend. Say they slash it in half to start.

Stock price tanks because of the dividend news to half the value you bought it at. Yield on your trading app always says a dividend of 6% or more and still does, but now you are actually receiving 3% on your original investment and the capital value of that investment is 50% down plus whatever small percentage the dividend has paid.

#78 Faron on 03.20.20 at 6:42 pm

Thanks for the posts of late Garth. These are truly odd times with economic disruption akin to wartime and lots of uncertainty and your insight is very helpful.

I’m just old enough to not be a moister, and one who has never felt like buying into the Victoria RE bubble (not without FOMO as prices have nearly tripled in the time I’ve lived here). Now I’m starting to wonder if the bubble will finally burst. The questions are:

1) Is it a bubble (in the obvious markets of SW BC and Southern Ontario)?

2) How much of a bubble is it? i.e. given the need-based demand for housing, income levels and the housing stock, what would fair prices look like if second homes/speculation and AirBnB and other skewing factors were taken out? I know that’s not something we can expect, and I know it’s not this simple, but what if?

3) Will this economic shock be large enough to knock enough people out of their mortgages to flood the market with listings, drive prices down, induce fear based selling and thus trigger the feedbacks that lead to a crash?

4) Would the Gov’t of Canada allow this to happen? And if not, under what justification should props be put into place? To protect the debt consumers (an extremely strong no in my opinion)? Or, with more nuance, how can the crash happen (assuming it needs to) without threatening the stability of Canadian banks. I think there needs to be demonstrable and demonstrated pain among the over indebted and now jobless to help keep these mistakes from being repeated. If people walk away from this bailed out by the government and retaining their overpriced house(s) car(s) doodle(s) and spouse(s) while gov’t debt goes up, this would be a huge WTF for me.

#79 Faron on 03.20.20 at 6:46 pm

Garth, it also says a lot that you live in rural Nova Scotia. Those towns are beautiful and waaaay undervalued/underrated in my opinion. Talk about value.

I have chosen carefully and deliberately. Some day I will share why. – Garth

#36 Faron on 03.22.20 at 4:15 pm

Thanks for this post Garth. I’m with you in almost all of it except your second paragraph that at this point is simply distasteful/pissing in the wind. I am taking by your concluding sentence to say that all that preceded it are shameful outcomes.

“In the overall population, the number of infected is tiny. However this has caused a global meltdown. Civil liberties are being stripped away. Citizens have turned into social distance warriors and shamers. National and provincial borders have hardened. I hear people in my little town asking for road blockades. What a shame.”

Garth, I would have expected someone with a background in finance to understand exponential growth and compounding. When your growth rate is 5-20% per day, tiny becomes yuge real quick. That’s why investing works and is why, in this case, we want that rate as small as possible to keep tiny tiny. You deniers have to get the “it’s such a small number relative to the population” shit out of your head. Stop watching fox news or reading the conservative rags or immersing yourself in pools of thought oriented more toward capital preservation than the fact that, without these measures, we will certainly see a healthcare system at its breaking point. Understand the facts and stop throwing around these meaningless stats. If a hurricane struck that killed a thousand Nova Scotians would you just divide 1000 by 7.7 billion and laugh it off and blog out that number? I should hope not.

Civil liberties are being stripped away to force above rates down. Watch Italy this week. They are two weeks in to their lock-down and it should begin to pay with steady declines in newly infected and easing the apocalyptic load on their healthcare system. And f#$k your civil liberties. You don’t have the right to drive your truck/car/hybrid into a crowded plaza even if it only means killing 3%…

Social distance warrior good! I agree shaming is bad.

Boarders have hardened. Good! Essential commerce is allowed to flow. Take a staycation and quit whining. See rates above.

Road blockades, agreed that it’s bullshit. NIMBYism is a pox.

It’s your blog so do with it what you may, but you have to realize that you have a fair number of readers and with them comes responsibility to shed a point of view that may benefit the largest number in times like these. This is true even if you don’t understand why we are being asked to take the measures we are asked to take or to put the economy through the wringer.

The post is balanced, unlike the comment. – Garth

#32 Faron on 03.24.20 at 5:31 pm

#11 MF on 03.24.20 at 4:52 pm

2 Red_falcon on 03.24.20 at

…just like any other bear market.

Wait until some earnings reports or unemployment figures come out.




US initial unemployment claims # comes out Thursday. There are estimates of 2million. Who wants to bet if this has been factored in by the market yet? Any cowboys out there going to buy leveraged, inverse s+p 500? This is going to be the first in a really depressing string of economic data out of the US. Wait until the April jobs report. Yow.

Portfolio is off 17% from peak. Would have been worse except I have 1/4 of it in US dollars that have appreciated 10% owing to the exchange rate. Tempting to repatriate those dollars. Currently sitting 30% equities, 60% bonds and 10% cash.

I think we are at the fear/panic phase in the cycle. Half way down.

#79 Faron on 03.24.20 at 6:56 pm

Re: #41 Cto on 03.24.20 at 5:38 pm

I’m going to wager that this causes a major contraction in housing prices depending on how much bubble is in the bubble. If much of the excess demand on housing driving the insane market has been second home/speculative, then the bubble is huge and gassy. If it’s driven by demographics and immigration, then there’s probably less gas in the bubble. I’m sure this statistic is known somewhere.

If sellers try to offload their houses and there continue to be no takers into the summer then that may trigger panic selling as people try to get out of the market and thus flooding of the market and lower prices. A major housing flop would come on the heels of the primary economic effects of COVID as a 1-2 punch and be a major mess on top of the energy sector collapse. This has to be a significant portion of Canada’s economy under threat. I foresee troubled asset purchasing by the BoC to keep banks alive and economic aid to help those who are at risk of losing a primary residence. I’d expect other measures to make the landing as soft as possible. As much as I want to bubble to pop, I don’t want to see the economic mess that ensues if it does unchecked.

An upside is that building/development is going to stop cold which will put pressure on housing supply and keep prices up a bit, but that would be a bit down the road from the initial plop.

#211 Faron on 03.25.20 at 1:46 pm

You aren’t hearing from Greta because
1) She has taste and knows that immediate loss of life and health is the most important thing.

2) GHG emissions will be dropping bigly over the next couple of months. This is a break the planet needs. Unfortunately, I’m sure we’ll overburn hard on the rebound when oil is cheap and the economy grows to make up for lost time. So, the gains will be lost quickly, but for now the Keeling curve will have a nice kink in it this year before resuming its exponential increase.

#66 Faron on 03.25.20 at 5:31 pm


#355 Faron on 03.27.20 at 11:08 am

#347 Sail away on 03.27.20 at 10:42 am

#338 Shake Stain and Dew Drip on 03.27.20 at 9:58 am

Rosie drives nails through his palms for recreation. – Garth


Best. Response. Ever.


I dunno, on Feb 7 he called BS on the market:


We were already headed for a major correction or even a bear market and now we have massive unemployment and the dominos starting to fall on the Canadian household debt disaster. That kind of market condition will absorb a lot of rate cuts, stimulus, rent freeze and whatever else you want to throw at it. If you multiply zero by anything you still get zero.

#370 Faron on 03.27.20 at 12:19 pm

“Dead cats rarely last consecutive sessions nor add 20%. Markets are anticipating what we all know will be the reality in six months. – Garth”

Oct 28th – Nov 4th, 2008. 14% jump followed by a 30% plop over subsequent months. Not three big days of gain, but I’d wager that it’s not statistically different than this week, so there’s no basis for that claim. Admittedly, that’s a cherry pick of retrospective data on my part.

The point being that there is zero clarity and noone has any idea what’s coming in ~3-6 months, maybe longer.

Regardless, if you bought at that sub-peak in November of ’08, your money would have doubled in 5 years before dividends. That’s crudely 20% annual capital growth plus dividend cash. And that is very likely to recur.

Of course we know what’s coming. Recovery. Markets are just trying to position for the amount of damage to occur in the meantime, and the period of time until restoration. But the outcome, as stated, is known. – Garth

#68 Faron on 03.27.20 at 5:02 pm

“Washington is passing a bill allowing folks to take up to $100,000 from their retirement plans, paying no tax as long as it’s repaid in three years. Anyone with the virus is eligible, along with those who have lost a job or need the money to look after kids or ill relatives.

Simple. Self-financing. Doesn’t add to the public debt. Immediate. Do it, Bill.”

Horrible idea! May not add to the debt now, but there will be that many more struggling at retirement and likely being squeaky enough to force public assistance. Also, think about how much opportunity cost that will have for these folks in the long run. That 100k could very well be 300k half a decade from now.

Those with large portfolios would be hit the least as their proportional RRSP balance will change little compared to those who are young or poor savers. Yet they will net a huge tax benefit if they can show they were impacted by the virus somehow.

If enough liquidity exists, How about low interest loans backed by the RRSP? People’s portfolios won’t take a hit at exactly the wrong time and lenders can rest easy that the loan is collateralized against assets that will almost certainly explode in value over the next year or two. This would force a lock on people’s RRSP which would probably be a good thing to help keep folks from monkeying with their portfolio when they shouldn’t. Gov’t can even buy those loans off the banks and likely make money off of them in the coming years akin to how the US Fed did pretty well with many of its distressed asset purchasing during ’08.

Finally, the RRSP is already designed to work well when drawn upon when income is lower than average. If your income is down and you spend carefully from your RRSP then you’ll pay very little tax in the end.

#86 Faron on 03.28.20 at 1:48 pm

I think there are still a lot of surprises coming down the pipe. Thus, lacking information, there’s simply no calling the market. Everyone is and has been behind the curve on the pandemic side of this (others called the top on fundamentals long ago) and that means that any market movement is based on clawing at limited information and is thus meaningless in terms of projecting a bottom or a further drop.

If you have any faith that in a few years the market will have returned to pre-incident highs, then anytime is a good time to buy especially if you choose wisely. You may miss the max opportunity, but opportunity is here now with a 20% discount off of the peak.

I personally think that with the US still undergoing rapid infection and with key economic data still to come, that we are going to see a second breathtaking drop along with another spike in the VIX before a very slow return to normalcy.

The ongoing presence of the virus will keep us from getting back to normal quickly because the lockdown will have to last longer than anyone wants to acknowledge in order to prevent a resurgence of cases. Every day that the economy is frozen, the longer it takes for a return to normalcy and the more the V turns to an L.

Finally, that there are pundits calling bottom and people here clawing to get back in to buy tells me that there is still demand in the market meaning that capitulation has not arrived and that the bottom is still some time off in the future.

#73 Faron on 03.29.20 at 2:10 pm

#7 trailor_sailor on 03.29.20 at 12:27 pm

“The infection rate nationally, thus far, is 0.015%. Three weeks ago the federal health minister said it could be between 30% and 70%. That is two thousand times the current level. Thus, it’s hard to know where truth lies. Does an overwhelming deluge lie ahead? Or was shutting down the entire economy, idling millions, an error?”

The infection rate is 0.015% nationally BECAUSE we shut down the entire economy.

Don’t want to live like N. Italy? Like your elders? Stay home.


Hear, hear. Weighing our current state against the counterfactual state when the counterfactual is outside our experience is something humans fail miserably at (cf society failing miserably at reining in climate change). In this case, the current state is guided by science and asks us to isolate and thus slow the spread of disease. Luckily, we have a pretty good understanding that if we do this well we get what was seen in China or S. Korea and apparently now in Canada. A low infection rate, less burdened healthcare and relatively few deaths.

The counterfactual (meaning counter to the fact of our current state/path not meaning fake-news) can only be modeled and that modelling is guided by science that, like all science, is imperfect although often surprisingly accurate. If we took no measures then we would very likely experience infection unlike anything in our living experience as a nation/global population. Because it would be outside our experience, it’s very hard to grasp what it would actually mean. 30%-70% infected, sure. Exponential growth would get us there in a matter of weeks.

But what does that look like? what would it mean to us? Would that be worse than 25% unemployment? We have no experience to answer those questions so are left to fumble and speculate. It’s easy to speculate that maybe it would all go away magically, or maybe it was a false alarm and we wouldn’t lose 5%-15% of our seniors and a percent or two of everyone else. Maybe our precious portfolios wouldn’t have had to take the XX% haircut.

As mentioned before, it’s a catch 22. We take measures and get a crappy outcome. We don’t take measures and it’s very likely we get a really really crappy outcome. No one likes it when positive action still nets us pain. But sometimes that is what has to happen. Go to the dentist, get your vaccinations, get your physical exam, maintain your car, replace your roof, save your dollars for retirement etc. etc. None of these things are fun, but we do them because they lead to a better future.

#78 Faron on 03.29.20 at 2:16 pm

Thank you for airing the concerns of a cross section of your readers/respondents. In times like these we need to hear real stories of people’s experience so that us isolated actually know what’s going on in the world.

#130 Faron on 03.29.20 at 4:03 pm

#82 Stone on 03.29.20 at 2:30 pm

#57 Stone on 03.29.20 at 2:28 pm
As I write this, the link below from Reuters indicates 99,303 individuals have either recovered (70,791 or 71%) or have died (28,513 or 29%) from the virus.


For all of you advocating herd immunity, please step forward.

For 29% of you, your sacrifice will be remembered.


Forgot to add the caveat. Not including the data out of China, only data fro overseas. After all, data from China is 100% fake news.

Actually your link shows a 4% death rate, not 29%. Slight difference. – Garth


Neither is accurate and both versions of the death rate are likely high.

deaths/total outcomes would be accurate except testing is currently limited to the worst cases. So, our number of recovered is likely way way too low.

deaths/total cases isn’t accurate either because many of those total cases have an unknown outcome.

I think the better metric is some fraction of the %severe. Currently the severe rate is 5%. So, the death rate can’t be higher than that unless people are getting sick and not going to get care. Find the percentage of severe who die, multiply that by 5% and that’s your death rate more or less. Less than 1% in countries with capacity. More in countries that are overwhelmed.

Yes, I’m a pedant.

#242 Faron on 03.29.20 at 8:02 pm

#154 Spiltbongwater on 03.29.20 at 4:38 pm

More people die from smoking- Garth.

Garth, is smoking contagious?

Second-hand smoke kills. No government has outlawed smoking, with its 45,000 annual deaths in Canada. Why? – Garth


Ever hear of the Tobacco lobby? Likewise with booze. Guns (in the US)?

Huge, extremely profitable industries with all kinds of political power. All nonsensical in terms of public health, but thriving industries. $$ == power.

#133 Faron on 03.30.20 at 7:21 pm

Great video and thanks for plugging away at this Garth and giving us commenters fodder to debate the pros and cons of what’s going on here.

The ethical questions we are wrestling with are enormous. If we do/did nothing millions would die and the economy would take a smaller hit. Taking the extreme measures we have is whacking the economy hard and keeping infection rates somewhat contained and thus are saving many lives due to COVID but at the cost of potential long-term economic pain and the public health effects that attend large scale poverty.

One thing to keep in mind is that there would also be economic impacts in the do nothing case either through voluntary isolation, through the number of deaths, through the sheer public health cost of caring for the sick, through work refusal etc. It’s not known how big that impact would be, so it’s easy to discount, but it certainly wouldn’t be zero.

Here’s a good article looking at the downsides of our lockdown approach as well as the upsides.


#136 Faron on 03.30.20 at 7:28 pm

Another thing to keep in mind for you conspiracy minded folks is this: the stock market lead the political/public reaction to the virus. Equity markets were rosy despite the full month of bad news until the weekend of the 23rd/24th when cases erupted in Iran and Italy.

Markets plunged yet political action and public reaction was almost nil for the better part of a week. There wasn’t (and almost cannot be) conspiracy in the markets. There was fear based selling as well as analyst driven selling when folks calculated what would happen if the virus reached N. America. Finally in the second week it dawned on the politicians (actually the US fed) that action was needed.

From there everything evolved in an ad hoc (making crap up as we go) manner with the Chinese lock-downs and quarantine the only example to follow where results were proven.

Dollars to donuts this would evolve the exact same way under any combination of governments/political spectra. Fumbling in the dark, egos in the mix, and a messy and inefficient solution.

#124 Faron on 03.31.20 at 8:11 pm

The markets will respond to big news or unforeseen events be they positive or negative. Think about it, when is the last time you looked at the news and were surprised? Yeah, late Feb? Maybe again when you got locked down mid March?

At this point, there’s not much new news so the markets are responding by looking at valuations in light of likely eventual improvement and seeing bargains everywhere. The market shrugged (or had already priced in) off huge new unemployed numbers out of the US; they are shrugging off (or have already priced in) rising deaths/infections in the US; the CDN market is shrugging off (or has already priced in) gutter oil prices.

However, maybe this is just the free-fall when everything feels weightless despite impending doom as we crash back to earth. We are all locked into our homes either working from home or performing an essential service or jobless and negotiating that bureaucracy. Days run together with no distinction. Major corporations are propped up with infinite credit. Your local mom and pops businesses are probably dropping like flies but that’s never going to make the news. Essentially, for the time being, many are numbed out. So what would the flies in the ointment be (however unlikely they are)?

–Something comes in that makes the fact of the pandemic really hit home. Just today I found out a friend of my sister’s has COVID. It’s one degree less removed from me now. Maybe this will happen to many soon? Maybe ongoing virus growth causes greater restrictions on people thus further squeezing the economy?

–Housing market panic due to defaults or FOSL (fear of selling low) or fear of underwaterness or flood of supply from speculators. I could see a new wave of fear from that. If housing goes crunch (which would mean consumer credit going crunch as well) just as oil companies debt gets downgraded and smaller players begin to default, you could see a hiccup from the banks that may be unnerving.

–Some kind of new supply shock due to the virus like a food spike or any other kind of upward pressure on consumer staple prices. Sick-outs or other labour protest.

–Public unrest as people get fed up with loneliness.

–geopolitical tomfoolery. N. Korea does something silly. Or a major cyber attack comes when the global west is weak. (reaching here).

Something doesn’t sit right with me. It’s hard to see a sharp V event when the impacts are massive so-far and still developing. Seems equal weight that something bad is lurking or good news/no news is all that’s left here.

#82 Faron on 04.01.20 at 2:18 pm

#26 JFC on 04.01.20 at 12:10 pm

Additionnal help coming? A line of credit that will never be repaid?



There are strong cases to be made for this. Think of it like student loans. A student borrows at a low rate for four years in order to learn and gain skills all the while not contributing much to the economy. This benefits all in the end by producing a well-educated, skilled workforce. It’s an investment made by society to improve people’s chances of a better paying job than their parents had. And, if the gov’t is going to provide infinite credit to corporations, the very least it can do is extend a similar hand to citizens.

Demonstrated need. You need to show through tax filings and bank statements that you are on the verge of being bled dry and not because you own two spec condos and an Audi.

These loans should be regulated so that repayment is required regardless of bankruptcy or any other mitigating factor thus helping to ensure repayment.

Repayment could be rolled into the tax structure so that annual filing needs to demonstrate payment else your tax bill is raised (if your income is above some threshold level).

Interest rates should be very low. Benchmark + 1%. But there should be interest. There’s risk here and interest will encourage repayment.

Loans should be forgiven in full or partially if people take jobs in less desirable locations or in high-needs fields.

Payment is immediately deferred if a person is out of work or goes back to university or trade school.

Some mechanism is needed to show that funds are being used for living expenses. You take a loan, you agree that you are going to file the receipts of expenditures on your tax return.

Credit limit should be high. Annual income x 0.6 x projected virus timeline.

#68 Faron on 04.02.20 at 3:43 pm

“Btw….still believe all those global warming models folks?”

First, thanks for the great post today Garth. This is a cataclysm. Seems we are speeding down a highway at night with our headlights off here. Although my opinions seem differ from yours in some areas, I really appreciate your view and dedication to providing it.

Regarding Mr. Deplorable:

–their modelling (COVID) is bang on for deaths so far, which is their modelling target. To get hospital resource use they back-calculate from the modelled death. This compounds potential error. Error in their death model and error in their hospitalization model. (I read their paper, did you? Ask Garth for my e-mail and I’ll send it to you if you don’t have access).

–They have had only a few months to develop a model and its based on early and incomplete data.

–It’s called model uncertainty. No one ever claimed 100% accuracy. You see those shaded areas around the curves? Those are their model range. They are huge. For total deaths the range is 40k to 177k. You think being a politician is easy? This is what they have to form policy on routinely in all arenas.

–The global warming models have been accurate for temp or, if anything, have underestimated things. They are also based on physics while this modelling is based on statistics. The comparison is apples to oranges.

#152 Faron on 04.02.20 at 5:59 pm

#89 Deplorable Dude on 04.02.20 at 4:18 pm

$67 Faron “–It’s called model uncertainty”


Who is this “we”? Do you think there’s a conspiracy? Some cabal? Some deep state maybe that got together and planned this all out? The Illuminati? If you think that, you are deluded. Look at how the last few months have evolved. Everyone is behind the curve and everyone is doing what appears to save the most lives.

“For actions this drastic governments better be pretty damn sure of their figures.”

The actions are drastic because the risks associated with a path of inaction are extremely high. Also, humans tend to downplay the risks and likelihood of something bad happening. In an ideal world weighing risk against probability would be a major factor in making decisions. Take driving your car. You have a roughly 1/8000 chance of dying in a car accident each year. Over a life, the odds are 1 in 100. The risk to you is infinite — death — but everyone thinks the chances are miniscule so they continue to drive.

In the COVID case the probability of catastrophe is high if a course of inaction is taken. The risk of said catastrophe to human life (and the economy) is extreme relative to the risks associated with the path we are on.

Don’t forget that If 1-5% of the population gets deleted, there would be a major economic impact from that disaster as well.

#211 Faron on 04.02.20 at 8:41 pm

Two things:

How in heck is the stock market shaking off what appears to be more and more news that this economic gap/freeze/whatever is going to have major and lasting effects that could be multi-year?

Global MSCI sits at 2017 levels. 3 years at a generous 3% global GDP growth says that at base the economy is 10-12% bigger. Global stocks have grown at ~6% annual, so should be 18% higher. We are currently 14% below that. Is that 14% actually going to stand as the stock market impact of the biggest fiscal shock in global history? One that still appears to be unfathomed by many? Or are enough people clinging to the glory days of 6 weeks ago that the market is holding on juuuuust a liiiitle longer? I’m a doomsayer but I think this is why folks look at the 50day running mean. 50days is about how long it takes for people to really wake up to their situation. For it to really sink in.

Sorry for the doom. I need to get off of the internet.

#279 Faron on 04.03.20 at 1:43 am

#191 Deplorable Dude on 04.02.20 at 7:43 pm

” to flatten the curve based on the projections of a single model”

Educate yourself:


#283 Faron on 04.03.20 at 2:38 am

#37 Deplorable Dude on 04.02.20 at 2:14 pm

Actual……31,000. (https://covidtracking.com/data)

Total garbage.


I dug into covidtracking.com’s data. You are right, it is garbage. The purpose of their site is to report testing numbers and that’s their focus. For other numbers, their total is the total reported by states and the vast majority of states don’t report Hospitalization, ICU or Ventilator numbers. None of the top 5 hardest hit states provide these numbers. For example, covidtracking gives a number of people on ventilators in NY a zero for yesterday even though more than 300 people died. So, their count is way low. Go to their site and take a gander at their spreadsheet.

#47 Faron on 04.03.20 at 4:41 pm

“In that vein, I now give you free access to all the infectious disease control experts, public health authorities, pandemic modelers and renowned epidemiologists in the comments section. Enjoy.”

Ha, that’s great, and thank you for another great post today Garth. I’m a real-estate doomer, so I like hearing my thoughts in the echo chamber :-).

Serious question: do you take real estate reports from banks that have a massive portion of their business in mortages with a grain of salt? 30% sounds like a reasonable drop, but who are the keeping the 70% alive? These are the banks that have pumping mortgage sales hard in recent years with no mention of fast-rising housing cost to income ratios. What do the independent analysts say? Or will you just run into the same problems of self-interest in their reporting?

I’m going to try hard to refrain from wading into the coronavirus crud for a while. Deeps breaths, count to ten. I can do it.

#132 Faron on 04.03.20 at 7:04 pm

#67 Sail away on 04.03.20 at 5:17 pm

#7 Sail away on 04.03.20 at 3:32 pm

Well, if there’s ever been a time to cutoff all illegal drugs to Canada, this is it.

No flow, no supply. Cold turkey. Sorry junkies, life is hard.


#51 BS on 04.03.20 at 4:48 pm

B.C. drug users will be given access to a safe supply of drugs to encourage self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.


I have no words


“Cut off all illegal drugs.” Ha ha haaa, that’s a good one.

C’mon, you free market capitalists should know well enough that where there is demand (in this case driven by very strong addiction) there *will* be supply. This is why the war on drugs failed. This is why no country will ever succeed in halting a drug black market unless the country controls the supply chain and drives prices down even if it offends your delicate morality.

I know it gets your undies in a bunch, but one or a small team of persons in protective gear administering will do a lot to keep gatherings down when compared to hundreds of addicts grouping up to buy from another addict none of whom are able to much in the way of hygiene.

And maybe you should take an opportunity to actually have a conversation with an addict or a someone who is struggling. You will realize that you are in the presence of a fellow human with the same heart you have but who happened to have the sh*t kicked out of them either by bad choice or circumstance. You’ll probably laugh together and get a genuine smile.

And you realize that the uptick in homeless people and addicts is strongly correlated with the rise in the housing cost/income ratio. Right? And you realize that many who are living paycheck to paycheck are doing so because they came of age when specuvestors and air BnB drove housing costs (both rent and ownership) way out of reach while wages stagnated and opportunities were minimal?

Good, I thought so.

#152 Faron on 04.03.20 at 7:24 pm

#103 Penny Henny on 04.03.20 at 6:09 pm

In the States 100,000 were expected to lose jobs in March.-GT


I was amazed to read that too. In what world are they living to expect ONLY 100,000 job losses last month?


Has to do with timing of data collection. They collect data over the week that includes the 12th of the month. This month, that period occurred before most lock-downs began. Cycle seems to be survey for a week, analyze data for a couple. Release he report in the first week of following month, revise then repeat.

#104 Faron on 04.04.20 at 7:27 pm

#65 Don Guillermo on 04.04.20 at 3:25 pm

#62 MF on 04.04.20 at 3:02 pm
#22 Don Guillermo on 04.04.20 at 12:47 pm
Global CV-19 update (numbers rounded) April 04th
Cases: 1,150,000
Deaths: 66,000
Typical Global annual flu (numbers rounded)
Cases: 5,000,000
Deaths: 650,000


-So covid already has 1/5 total cases of annual flu in just a month, even though the annual flu has been circulating for thousands of years.
Got it. Thanks Dan.


Here are some dispassionate numbers for you Don.

From the US CDC:

Total annual deaths from all causes in the US: 2.8 million per year

Deaths per day is that divided by 365 or: 7600 per day

The 2017/2018 year was bad for flu and pneumonia (they are tracked together) and was responsible for 11% of all deaths at its peak from both flu and pneumonia.

0.11 * 7600 = 836 deaths per day.

However, pneumonia and flu are lumped together. Not all pneumonia comes from flu, so the actual flu deaths are lower. 10% of that total is typically attributable to flu, leading to 83 deaths per day. The real number of flu induced deaths is somewhere in between.

Yesterday, with coronavirus still far below its peak lethality, 1328 people died in the US. 1328 / 83 = 16. Yes, 16 times more people are dying of coronavirus than they would of flu alone per day when compared to a recent high mortality flu peak death period.

Even if you assume all pneumonia+flu deaths arose from flu, you get 1328 / 836 = 1.58.

A typical year peak flu death rate is 7.6% of deaths. This leads to P+I death rate of (.076 / .11) * 836 = 576 deaths per day at peak. 1328 / 577 = 2.3, or coronavirus is 2.3 times deadlier than baseline flu+pneumonia at best or ( 0.076 / 0.11) * 83 = 57 deaths per day. 1328 / 57 = 23.3, meaning over a typical year, coronavirus is 23.3 times deadlier than flu alone at worst. Again, the answer is in between.

Plus, this year is actually above baseline for flu deaths so the coronavirus deaths are happening on top of an already high flu death rate.




Get over it. This isn’t a conspiracy and it is serious.

#151 Faron on 04.05.20 at 6:19 pm

Thanks for the levity Garth. Much needed.

I was considering gluing coronavirus spines on my car just to help keep traffic at bay. Too soon?

#287 Faron on 04.06.20 at 12:24 pm

#282 Sail away on 04.06.20 at 11:24 am
Yes! Also tie EI eligibility benefits to a certain measure of picked fruit. Head to the orchards for exercise, sun and fun.

If the work is there and needs to be done, why would able-bodied people be paid to sit on their tushes…


I’m guessing, as an engineer, that you work at a computer and are, thus, being paid to sit on your tush. Or at least stand around at your desk all day. Funny how people always wish the hard labour on others.

#303 Faron on 04.06.20 at 3:06 pm

#302 JonBoy on 04.06.20 at 2:30 pm
So, 450 people will die OUT OF 335,000 PEOPLE. That’s 0.135% (ie, 1% of 1%).

Why is the economy shut down again?


Can you remind us again what an acceptable number of excess deaths is? And unacceptable? Thanks. That will be useful next time there’s a major tragedy so we can decide if we care or not. Should we have let this burn a little hotter and kill 10 x more people? 50 x? And you are certain that if everyone had sat on their hands starting with the Wuhanese and ending with Brasil we would all be better off?

BTW 0.135% is 13.5% of 1%

#92 Faron on 04.06.20 at 7:31 pm

#49 -=withwings=- on 04.06.20 at 6:07 pm

“And Garth keeps the stupid train moving:”

Yeah, wow.

#116 Faron on 04.06.20 at 8:38 pm

#104 Sail away on 04.06.20 at 7:54 pm

Really? Rome literally burned? I didn’t see anything about a fire.

Or did you mean ‘figuratively’, which means metaphorically, or making use of a figure of speech?


Actually, the Oxford English Dictionary literally modified their definition in 2013 to include “emphasis” even on the figurative.

#127 Faron on 04.06.20 at 9:03 pm

#63 Me on 04.06.20 at 6:29 pm

Stop comparing Coronavirus deaths to heart disease, or smoking, or flu deaths. You’ll be embarrassed that you said it, sooner or later.



Naaaah, they’ll just find a differen’t way they are “right” about something.

Thanks for the article.

#225 Faron on 04.07.20 at 12:46 pm

Wow, this place is a war zone.

I wonder how many people posting here angrily made big mistakes in the stock market and either got pooched when it crashed or are missing out on the recent big gains.

I, for one, had some grumpy days because of those things. I’ve since rebalanced and set an extremely cumbersome password on my online brokerage and am going to try to whistle past the grave yard. Literally.

#206 Faron on 04.08.20 at 2:50 pm

#204 TurnerNation on 04.08.20 at 1:36 pm

Notice in their map of hotspots USA is deeply into Cyber Troops as per this report:


Did you read the article?

Here’s a concluding paragraph:

They mention the US only twice in terms of examples of manipulation. Russia gets 16 mentions. The UK six.


“Organized social media manipulation occurs in many countries around the world. In
authoritarian regimes it tends to be the government that funds and coordinates propaganda
campaigns on social media. In democracies, it tends to be the political parties that are the
primary organizers of social media manipulation.”

I’m not saying the US and other democracies don’t manipulate, but it’s not as simple as pointing at a map and shouting “Duh US Is REDdER. DUhRR”

#35 Faron on 04.08.20 at 4:37 pm

Thanks for the post today Garth and for giving a nod to a growing wealth gap and how hard this is going to hit those with the least. It’s nice to hear coming from a non-leftist blog.

IMO, the equities market will grow or at least stay stable until there’s evidence that the fiscal “bridge” that central banks and gov’ts have built isn’t going to be long enough to span the timeline of the lockdowns. If economic data begin to reveal that the dip will be deeper/longer than thought and if there isn’t a stimulative response, markets will fall again. The consequences of the bridge failing are massive, so it seems unlikely that it would be allowed to happen.

I personally think the market is overly optimistic given that all economic data thus far has been worse than projected. Couple more weeks of float and then the reality of unemployment in the high teens will set in. But I’m a contrarian, negative bastard who is an armchair economist…

#93 Faron on 04.08.20 at 7:10 pm

#73 not 1st on 04.08.20 at 6:02 pm

There are tons of stocks that could have been bottom fed…


Ha, are you really trying to give advice to the guy(s) running a well-respected wealth management business? Ha!

#96 Faron on 04.08.20 at 7:18 pm

#44 Kurt on 04.08.20 at 5:00 pm

“How does driving a car spread infection? Use your head and stop being afraid of dying from a virus which so far has infected 0.053% of the population. – Garth”

…The virus supposedly ran rampant in Italy and the infection rate there so far is 0.023% of the population… – Garth


Off by a factor of 10 for Italy. 2306 cases per million = 0.23% infected. Deaths are 0.029% of the pop. Just keeping the facts straight, not weighing in here.

30% to 70% infected would be years down the road if no vaccine is found and it becomes endemic. Not impossible, but the motivation to prevent this from happening as a global society are very large.

#269 Faron on 04.09.20 at 12:49 pm

#211 SoggyShorts on 04.09.20 at 7:03 am

All stock tho, not balanced. Not worried at all.
YTD not Inc dividends
SOGG -13.26% 100/0
VEQT -14.28% 100/0
VGRO -11.79% 80/20
VBAL -9.01% 60/40


Wait, VGRO and VBAL are not “all stock”, or are you just tracking these?

I’ve been dumb and pessimistic so am missing some of the upside by dipping in and out. Didn’t see the additional 2+T fed backing coming. I guess that’s why you don’t try to time the markets…

#10 Faron on 04.09.20 at 3:51 pm

Garth, please fix your numbers or state your source. According to infection prevention and control Canada the total annual deaths from flu are 500 – 1500 per year on average.


I agree that what we are all experiencing is a major economic tragedy. I’ll contend that it is also a major health tragedy. 500 people dead on top of the typical death rate is 500 people dead. If a hurricane blew through Nova Scotia and killed 500 in Halifax or across the province, it would be a major tragedy. Questions would be asked about why more wasn’t done to prepare the population.

I strongly disagree with the notion of comparing death numbers and thereby justifying or refuting public health action. It’s simply tasteless and ignores the very real possibility that inaction would be worse for both the economy and human life.

I’ll agree though that we won’t know the death rate of COVID-19 until a year or two from now when we have a handle on the # of excess deaths that were reported. Until then, the death numbers (on both sides of the debate) need to be dropped. We don’t know the death rate from COVID-19 because we don’t know the actual number of positives nor do we know the actual numbers of deaths. Flu is better known, but even there, the vast majority of people that get the flu don’t get tested for it and I’m sure that many who die don’t get flu counted as the cause of death.

The flu/pneumonia mortality rate in Canada averages 20 per 100,000 population, or about 7,500 annually. – Garth

#13 Faron on 04.09.20 at 3:56 pm

#3 Freckles on 04.09.20 at 3:29 pm

COVID 19 tamed the climate protesters!


No, it didn’t. 1) we have enough taste not to pile on or distract from the immediate problem. 2) CO2 emissions are going to be waaaaaaay down this year. Unfortunately at a major cost, but here’s hoping that low oil prices combined with the stimulus/quantitative easing go a long way to helping us switch to renewables. Alberta, you have a lot of wide open and windy prairie space. A billion spent on a pipeline for crappy bitumen sold at a $25 discount was money badly spent.

#89 Faron on 04.09.20 at 6:06 pm

#49 not 1st on 04.09.20 at 5:07 pm



Remember last time RT started showing up in western news feeds? I do, it was during the 2016 US election when Russia was pushing an influence campaign. Pick your propaganda wisely.

#153 Faron on 04.09.20 at 8:12 pm

#131 bob on 04.09.20 at 7:28 pm


The 30-60% infection was based on the do nothing scenario. The very low numbers of death (so far!) is a result of social distancing efforts.

While you might not intend to diminish virus impact, you are in fact do just that by misleading people:

do nothing 30-60% infection –> 300K deaths
do what we do now ~10% infection –> 3000 deaths.

We’re killing the economy to PREVENT 300K deaths.

I don’t understand why you keep on mixing the two up.

Where did I say ‘do nothing’? Extreme statements suggest weak arguments. Of course we should mitigate, but with common sense. Far fewer deaths and not 4 million on pogey. – Garth


Garth, please explain how fewer deaths than what we have had and less economic support from the Gov’t would have been achieved.

Furthermore, if a significant portion of your readers find your statements misleading or incorrect or sometimes even callous, maybe you need to work on clarifying your writing? Or consider that you are dog whistling to your base — a page straight out of the Trumpian playbook.

That was telling. – Garth

#206 Faron on 04.10.20 at 12:23 am

182 Herb on 04.09.20 at 9:50 pm

#138 Flop…,

2.3 trillion stimulus package has anything to do with “the coronavirus pandemic”.



A lot of the fed’s actions are to fund loans. In the financial crisis, the troubled asset relief program that took bad loans off of bank’s books actually netted the fed a profit. Many of the loans this time around will not end in default and may lead to some profit to the Fed. The fed is the only entity that can backstop banks to this extent. If we are lucky, this will help bridge the coronavirus gap in the economy. It may not in which case run for the hills.

#218 Faron on 04.10.20 at 2:05 am

#157 45north on 04.09.20 at 8:15 pm

“What? People are going to use less oil because prices are lower?”

No, but if it stays low it will help kill off the tar sands and US shale producers which eventually will drive prices back up and force Alberta and BC to enter the 21st century of resource realities.

“The stimulus is going to people to buy food – how are they going to switch to renewables?”

There were many stimulus programs aimed at infrastructure in the fiscal crisis. It seems safe to assume that a forward looking leadership would put the dollars toward something that will be useful now and in the future if such programs are needed to get people employed again.

“The implication is they can set up massive wind farms to produce electricity which they can export over North America.”

Uh, it’s called wire. Or, in organized form, a “grid”. BC exports electricity to the US on the regular through that crazy wire technology. Or, pipelines in the sky as I like to call them.

“It’s not spent.”

I’m talking about Alberta’s proposal to pitch in for Keystone. Maybe not spent, but who do you think lines Kenney’s pockets?

“The Canadian Government needs to invest in pipelines and refineries to ensure Ontario has a reliable source of petro chemicals. Which it needs.”

Agreed, we aren’t going to drop oil cold turkey and as a feedstock for materials it’s invaluable. But materials is only 4% of total consumption, so we don’t need that much to cover that need.

#258 Faron on 04.10.20 at 10:49 am

#250 OK, Doomer on 04.10.20 at 10:05 am

So how many deaths are acceptable to re-open the economy?

What is it?


I’ve read 0.3 deaths per day per million people indicates a safe rate of infection to take off restrictions and keep this thing in check. Depends on the pop density of the area too.

#110 Faron on 04.14.20 at 6:43 pm

#42 Timmy on 04.14.20 at 4:27 pm


you talk about being financially literate and responsible for one’s finances. That’s fine for those of us who have good paying permanent–whatever that means–jobs, but how come no one is asking the question that as one of the richest countries in the world we have so many young people in precarious low paying jobs that are unable to save much, regardless of how frugal they are?



I would like to hear an answer to this question as well. From Garth or anyone with a thoughtful answer regardless of where you stand on the matter.

My understanding is this: at the heart of this issue is the widening gap between the wealthiest and poorest. In the US between
07 and ’15 the bottom 40% saw real income drop by ~4% while the top 40% saw an increase of about 3%. The middle stayed about the same. If those starting out climbing the ladder are forced to start on lower and lower rungs with each passing year, it’s not surprising that they may never be able to climb out of the basement. This has very little to do with laziness or failure to pick one’s self up by one’s bootstraps. As much as I, too, like making fun of Millennials’ inability to use a can opener (look it up) I believe everyone has a fundamentally similar desire to achieve within the context of the society they are born into.

To my understanding, this failure has everything to do with umpteen thousand small changes that deregulate (air BnB, Uber, Skip the Dishes etc. are examples of how tech has helped deregulate), deunionize (gig economy as well but also outright union-busting efforts in the US), and deconstruct (budding attempts to privatize healthcare in Canada anyone?) the social systems that were put in place in the last 1/2 of the 19th and the first 3/4 of the 20th century. I’ll grant that those constructs almost certainly make the economy less efficient and bring down GDP growth rates but the trade off is more people landing closer to the middle and fewer people running away with immoral wealth.

Vote Sanders! Oh, wait…

#114 Faron on 04.14.20 at 6:56 pm

#84 Lurker on 04.14.20 at 5:49 pm

I was wondering how many people are making more money on CERB than working? I calculated that approx. 27% – 32% of Canadians make more money (or the same amount) on CERB than working.

What are the unintended consequences of people making more than if they were working? Any incentive to go back to work? Places like Banff Alta and service industry may have a hard time finding workers if this ends slowly.


First, CERB is slated to last less than four months (16 weeks). So, dropping off the dole will encourage people to get back to work.

Second, if it lasts longer, businesses will have to raise wages for the lowest earners. That would be a win in my book.

Fly in the ointment? If the gap is too large, employers will find non-human means of getting the work done or ways to outsource. Not sure how you do that in the service industry, but…

Frankly, as Garth pointed out, the service industry is probably going to be a zombie for longer than most other sectors, so it may be a moot point.

#132 Faron on 04.14.20 at 7:35 pm

#112 Toronto_CA on 04.14.20 at 6:51 pm

So please, I beg you, stop trying to use the numbers provided to justify anything of the sort of bashing one country or another, the data isn’t ins’t strong enough yet to do that. Maybe in a few years we’ll know more.


Coming at it from the other side (I think the numbers will reveal how serious this actually is/was) I agree that the numbers game is pointless. The results will be revealed when the excess deaths (the death rate in recent months versus that in same months years earlier adjusted for demographics and overall population) statistics are available. That will reveal how big the net life loss was. Who knows, maybe fewer people driving will have offset the deaths from the virus?

Regardless, the public health and economic course we are on is lockdown into May. Now it’s time to figure out how to go on from here. Mass testing when that’s possible and mass issuance of PPE when that’s available. Careful analysis of industries where social distancing is practical. Somewhere along the line the war metaphor was dropped, but for these things it needs to be picked up again. The war-level effort has to be toward getting people back to work while preserving safety. Humans are smart, this will get figured out probably faster than anyone thinks.

#175 Faron on 04.14.20 at 10:20 pm

#153 Attrition on 04.14.20 at 8:44 pm

I could go on, but my point is aptly made.


If your point is that you are a judgemental codger who is completely out of touch with the realities of the generation who is actually now running the ship, then you are correct. Or, to put it more succinctly and in the language of those you seem to despise, “Ok, boomer…”

#180 Faron on 04.14.20 at 10:40 pm

#109 OK, Doomer on 04.14.20 at 6:42 pm

And that’s why you don’t let Arts grads anaylze data. No clue.


Deaths per million (that means pop adjusted rates):

USA – 79 (11th among countries of any size)
Canada – 24 (19th among same)

Cases per million:

USA – 1855 (9th among same)
Canada – 717 (25th among same)

Tests per million:

USA – 9260
Canada – 11942

There is plenty of evidence Trump failed his constituents bigly by blending politics and his ego with the response of his administration:

#252 Faron on 04.15.20 at 11:30 am

#228 OK, Doomer on 04.15.20 at 10:03 am

“The US is ahead of Canada on the curve. Do the same analysis using US data from two weeks ago and Canada’s today’s data.”


Nope, look at the data. Canada started to flatten at the end of March, the US took almost a week longer. If you blur your eyes, at best you could say they are on the same timeline.


“Also the COVID train-wreck US states are all run by Democrats and have been for decades.”


They also have the highest population density. With a contagious disease, don’t you think that might be a problem? Why do you think cruise ships (stuffed to the gills with republicans BTW) have such huge problems?

Also, Ontario’s premier is about as Trump as they get up here and that province is one of the worst hit. Again, population density. He also managed to shelve his politics and work hard to protect his constituents.


“They were the most unprepared and sold off their emergency supplies to pay for their pet “Social Justice” programs like “Drag Queen Story Time” for kids in the public libraries.”


First, prove it. Second, I’m almost sure the drag queens read for free. Really a win-win situation.


“They were also the ones screaming and begging Trump for help”


Anyone with a soul would ask for help from the feds or anyone if they were faced with clogged hospitals.


“and he delivered.”


No, he didn’t. He picked favourites among governors, completely failed those he didn’t like and patted those he did like on the back. Regardless, he was claiming that the virus wasn’t going to be a problem until 99% of his staff was shouting in his ear that he needed to act.

And now that the “staggeringly incompetent” democrats in the coastal states are planning to open their economies and possibly help get the nation’s GDP out of the gutter, he’s telling them they don’t have the power or the right. Trump is an example of taking any incompetent jerk off the street (like you or I) and putting them in a place requiring great skill. He’s fumbling every ball and making the US look like garbage.


“But I get the feeling that you’ll give the Dem’s staggering incompetence a pass.”


Again, show us how they are incompetent. Or simply show us that this isn’t just a verbatim reiteration of a Rush Limbaugh rant.

Also, I don’t understand the Trump apologists. I have the sense that if you folks were living under Hitler you would be the ones looking the other way or praising his actions even as those actions slid into ethical horror.

#20 Faron on 04.15.20 at 2:11 pm

Wow, thanks for putting this together Garth. Thanks DV.

#25 Faron on 04.15.20 at 2:33 pm

#259 Sail away on 04.15.20 at 12:14 pm


“General agreement with policy is not apologist in any way. Completely different definitions.”


Apologist: a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial

Trump has repeatedly failed to condemn violence at his own rallies yet his supporters will either ignore this or claim there’s nothing wrong with that. He failed to unequivocally condemn the white supremacist fool who mowed down protesters in Charleston. He consistently expresses hate toward the left and often does so with violent innuendo. He recently stated that he has “total control”. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to extend that form of nationalism to something worse when his base of morons continue to stand behind him despite all of these messes.


“policy agreement”


He would have to have policy for that to be the case. Meaning: planned and carefully deliberated actions that arise with the support of expert advisors and carefully weigh the costs and benefits of his constituency. Trump flies by the seat of his pants, ignores anyone who doesn’t espouse his beliefs, lets non sequiturs fly at every opportunity and only seems to care about the stock market which is equivalent to caring only for about 10% of the US population. Ironically, his base are disproportionately unlikely to hold stocks.

Why the hell would he revoke funding for the WHO? Oh yeah, because he needs a scapegoat. Yet, again, his supporters will fall in rank behind him and start commiserating about all the terrible things the WHO has done. Like promoting womens health, like supporting vaccination programs.

#125 Faron on 04.15.20 at 6:23 pm

#98 Sail away on 04.15.20 at 5:22 pm

If Trump is part of the headline, use the whole shaker.


Why, because salt kills giant orange invasive slugs? Check.

Oh, yeah, right. The fake news. Thanks for experienceizing me boomer.

#173 Faron on 04.15.20 at 8:11 pm

#142 Nonplused on 04.15.20 at 6:57 pm

“Trump specifically condemned the white supremacists at Charleston.”

Eventually after much outcry from both the left and right. His first statement was about the hatred and violence on “both sides”. It took him two more days to read a prepared statement that condemned the acts. Numerous politicians on the left and right called his response disgraceful. He later walked his prepared statement back at a rally.

And, oh, the venerable Scott Adams. A real paragon of journalistic integrity. Do you realise that you are being subject to a revision of history aimed at cleaning up yet more Trump messes? Pretty soon you will claim that he was misquoted when he said “grab ’em by the pu__y”. The guy is total garbage.

#268 Faron on 04.16.20 at 11:48 am

#242 Steven Rowlandson on 04.16.20 at 8:50 am

Speaking of diseases let’s bring up the topic of real estate.



Thanks for the article. It pretty much re-iterates what we’ve read on this blog for years. As much as I want to see the insanity of the Vancouver/Toronto real estate markets get taken back to earth, I fear the resulting recession would be apocalyptic especially in light of what’s currently going down with the virus.

A huge portion of Canada’s workforce and major components of its banking system are propped up by the real estate bubble. A crash would mean massive job losses and threaten the banks.

Real Estate in Canada has become too big to fail. The gov’t will do everything in its power to keep it propped up.

#27 Faron on 04.16.20 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for all of your work on this blog. This post seems right on and is frightening in what the implications are for the country. Just this morning I ran up Victoria’s skid row where now there is a legitimized tent city. It sprawls for two city blocks and lines the newly installed bike lane termed the “Lisa Helps Expressway”. The homeless are encouraged to sleep in parks and on the beaches to maintain social distancing. It’s not hard to imagine this city within the city expanding as people’s economic dreams melt to zero.

Aside from more gov’t bail outs, there are two things I see that could help support the real estate markets in the long term. Probably won’t help the near term bite.

First, demand. Folks have to live somewhere and the rental market in Van, Toronto, and here in Victoria is extremely tight. That may help keep inventories down and prices high. Obviously, that says nothing about those who simply can’t afford their homes any more, but a serious question will be where do those people go who have to sell? Move back to Alberta? Or will enough speculators who are eking it out put their air BnBs on the rental market and ease rental supply?

Second, the rate of supply of new homes is going to crash. The US housing starts came in lower than expected and I’m sure the same will be happening here.

Maybe the long-term upside to this is that it will wake people up from the false promise of moving to coast where coffee shops and yoga studios abound and real estate goes up up up. Then they will realize that profoundly livable, fun, safe and cheap places are strewn across the heart of Canada and over to the east coast and they will move there and live where markets are in some semblance of balance.

I would love to see statistics on physical economic mobility wherein people move to achieve a better livelihood for themselves. I would wage that it’s been concentrated in people moving to coastal BC, Toronto and in years past Fort Mac, Edmonton, Calgary (back when oil was a thing). It would be refreshing to see people begin to value other places in this beautiful country. Easier said than done, I know, butt he west coast and southern Ontario are overbought and overdone.

#101 Faron on 04.16.20 at 6:32 pm

#76 BrianT on 04.16.20 at 5:17 pm

Currently in the GTA houses are still selling (even with bidding wars)-you can see it on Bungol-why? Beats me. I guess in the GTA the desire to buy RE is the only emotion that is stronger than the fear of the virus.


I once listened to a good description of how money flows during a economic downturn. A lot of it simply gets taken out of the equities market and much of it will flow elsewhere. This is a huge pool of dollars and if everyone in the world knows that Canadian real estate is the physical equivalent of the Japanese Yen, then the money will flow here. Foreign buyer tax or no.

#148 Faron on 04.17.20 at 7:27 pm

I’m out. Steerage sucks. Garth’s vacillation between taking the arch-conservative line like today and occasionally grasping that the bug’s a real problem that needed radical government intervention also sucks.

I can handle Wall Street Journal conservative, Rupert Murdoch and all. But I can’t handle this right-wing, whining conspiracy crap when all you’re are being asked to do is take care of each other, hold tight on the dole or not for a couple months and ride it out for the sake of your fellow humans is just pathetic. It’s like being asked to slow down in a school zone and instead of recognizing why you are asked to do so shouting “DON’T IMPINGE ON MY CIVIL LIBERTIES! I’LL ROLL COAL WHEREVER AND HOWEVER FAST I WANT TO. GOTTA GET TO WORK TO MAKE SOME BUX. NO TIME FOR THESE KIDDOS.” It’s no wonder politicians don’t often engage in enacting public good when regardless of the action or outcome, the idiotic populace comes unglued like a bunch of apes rather than make an effort at understanding the nuance.

Sure, read and question the media (both the stuff you don’t like to hear and the stuff that tells you exactly what you want to hear and think). Listen to and question your leaders and criticize. But for the love of god, engage your brain for a sec and digest things before spewing drivel back out on the internet. Write letters to your MP, go sit in a city council meeting, maybe try to get an op-ed in your local rag. By all means make your voice known, but engage with and try to absorb some real information before you do so.

The echo chamber is resonating with itself here and growing louder and louder. I’m going to cash before this whole thing implodes.

#46 Faron on 04.24.20 at 5:00 pm

#22 calgary rip off on 04.24.20 at 3:43 pm

“…bunch of misogynist garbage…”

Garth: “This post was edited.”

Ah, so nice of you to edit this one and still manage to allow a 1950’s era level of misogyny to bleed through. Congratulations on your noble accomplishment.

Racist comments were removed. The relationship comments are fine. I thought you were leaving us (please). – Garth

#86 Faron on 04.24.20 at 6:27 pm

#47 Faron on 04.24.20 at 5:00 pm

Racist comments were removed. The relationship comments are fine. I thought you were leaving us (please). – Garth

As an explanation, your blog is mostly excellent, sometimes frustrating and at the very least a well-written and humorous analysis of this slowly evolving train wreck we are all a part of. It also has been prescient thus far and has helped guide me to giving up on my dodgy day trading of late, balance the ETFs and scramble my online brokerage password to keep my greed/fears out of it. I don’t believe in black magic, but that’s what the majority of investing “analysis” seems to be based on aside from sites like yours.

Steerage, in my opinion, is mostly a conservative dumpster fire — gross but hard to peel one’s eyes off of. Kind of like the orange man himself. It’s maddening because I know the internet trolls are a minority of the overall population, but their clanging noise and strangely submissive and subjugant devotion to far right talking points is hard to not attack. But, I guess that is their purpose.

I am a dual citizen among the US and Canada currently living in Victoria. I was glad to see Harper go and Trudeau get in, but have been dismayed by Trudeau’s leadership. In the US, watching the rise of white nationalism and utter republican obstinance or, more neutrally, the growing urge of members of both parties to ignore the needs of constituents in favour of political gain and tactics has been truly dispiriting. The right is now using the radical right among those tactics to push against the left (see Mitch McConnells agenda and capitulation to trump). In Trump they have a bully who is a buffoon that no one will or even, it seems, can stand up to. Everyone in the government of any party who is being honest with themselves know he’s a fool, but no one will do anything about it because they are afraid of the populist minority who has enough power to sway the vote. I fear that this approach will take hold here and fear that the comments here reflect an upsurge of that kind of thinking in Canada. I only hope that the better education and better standard of living (maybe until now…) keeps it at bay.

Anyhow, It surprises me that someone who was a political achiever and who dabbled in industry geared toward preparing for climate change and even considered joining the Green Party muddles in this company. But, we all gots hobbies I guess.

You may ban me/my IP or not. Post this or not. But that’s where I’m coming from.

#130 Faron on 04.27.20 at 10:53 pm

So, what are the ways to close the gap between the well-off and the struggling? In the last decade, that gap has been partially filled by personal debt growth effectively simulating real wage increases and the capital appreciation of real estate that some have cashed in on and many others are going to watch vaporise in coming months. What are the policies needed to help rebalance the wealth gap somewhat? And without stifling the economy?

First, get the cost of living under control.

One idea would be to restrict non-resident ownership through zoning. You are allowed to own one home you are going to live in and if you want a second home without paying a large spec tax, it has to be in a region with vacation home zoning. Anything else gets the crap taxed out of any capital appreciation that occurs and is subject to spec. tax upon purchase. I was looking for a rental last year and was shown a place by a frantic (Alberta) couple who seemed frazzled that they had just taken on a massive loan and were going to need renters to cover those costs barely if at all. It was hard to feel sorry for them given that they are investing in housing in a community they have no interest in.

Foreign ownership needs to be severely restricted through an even higher foreign buyer tax. Those implemented in Van and Tor forced material declines in housing prices if temporary. I’m sure loopholes will be found, but something needs to be done. And, yes, it is a problem. I’ve read papers stating 5%-10% foreign ownership rates and that is plenty to skew a housing market.

Air BnB needs to be subject to the exact tax and regulatory framework that hotels are and use should be limited to rooms in owner or renter occupied residences. Or it should be illegal.

If there’s any housing market after all of that is implemented, the generated taxes should go toward creating affordable and rent controlled housing including sufficient temporary housing for a city’s homeless. The growth in homelessness in Victoria has been very noticeable over recent years as it has been in Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and likely other places on the warm side of the continent. Sure there are addiction issues, but those that were on the brink, but could afford a $600/month bachelor pad then watched that price double in a few years are in their numbers.

#132 Faron on 04.27.20 at 11:01 pm

The S&P closed at 2878 today. The same level it was at on August 26th, 2019. Yeah, 8 months ago. Given that there is a tough and very uncertain fight ahead and some serious thrashings in earnings, corporate stability and consumer confidence does this really make any kind of sense? Yeah, the market is forward looking, but in August last year when the market was in the same position, was there anything nearly as predictably long-term and dire as there is now? No. I can’t see the market going anywhere but sideways for the next several months.

Of course, this doesn’t matter to long term investors, but it’s going to induce a lot of fear in anyone prone to bailing out when the news gets bad.

#167 Faron on 04.28.20 at 11:59 am

#142 Jimers on 04.28.20 at 2:11 am


Not sure if you have covered this topic before, but erosion in ETFs? I know commodity ETFs, especially Bull/Bear; 2x, 3x funds like Horizon can suffer from it, from re-balancing. But how do the standard ETFs compare?


Index tracking ETFs that hold equities won’t/can’t have a problem as long as there isn’t anything fishy going on in the background (there isn’t). The market for ETFs among the financial firms is highly competitive, so anything with a too high MER (DesJardins) isn’t going to attract funds and may have to close if the fund isn’t profitable. In the case of closure, I think the holder can opt to take cash or the underlying holdings as shares in some cases.

Non equity ETFs are a different bag and can get squirrely. Bond holding ETFs trade on stock exchanges while their underlying assets trade elsewhere and by a different process. This can lead to strange bid/ask spreads and large NAV/price differences.

The leveraged and inverse ETFs are based on derivatives of some kind and those can go to unexpected places when the markets are pushing the fringes. The negative oil price for the May contract partially arose because the USO etf was creating new units and thereby buying and holding a large fraction of the May contracts. When the time to roll those contracts over came, there was a need to sell a huge number of May contracts and there weren’t enough buyers because there was no where to put the stuff and earn money. Like household garbage, there’s lots of supply and zero demand so you pay to have it taken off your hands. The prices crashed hard negative essentially making the ETF units worthless.

Bottom line: don’t worry about ETF stability if you are holding plain Jane equity ETFs. Be cautious with derivative based ETFs because they may become exposed to untested fringe markets and behave erratically with your dollars attached.

#169 Faron on 04.28.20 at 12:20 pm

#166 Figure it Out on 04.28.20 at 11:54 am

#148 Sail Away


Oh man, I love that video. My guess is that its neural net classified the car transport as an upward sloping highway/driveway. Look at how the lines converge as if you are looking down a long empty road. Image recognition must have won out over the lidar. A Tesla has to be able to enter a steep driveway when the lidar will be telling it that objects are close and getting closer and I bet this is what it was “thinking”. Tesla saw the Mustang’s brake lights go off and thought it was time to pull in. Maybe the truck brake lights, which were low to the ground, weren’t visible to the Tesla’s cameras?

“What if the light or the sign on your usual route home from work is missing one day?”

This is the fun part. Another thing that could happen is overt sabotage. I read a journal article about images that can be created that look like nothing to a human but that will make an image classification system (like Tesla’s) see a stop sign and think “toaster”. Curiously, it only takes a small image to ruin the whole scene. So, one could construct such a spoof to say “tree” to Tesla and put it on stop signs and such and ruin everyone’s day. Of course, this came out a couple of years ago, so the issue has probably been addressed.

#170 Faron on 04.28.20 at 12:24 pm

“The unemployment is largely temporary, not structural. Remember that. – Garth”

Yet, as the shut-in lingers, the structure will steadily erode and it wont be until the reopening and when money begins to flow again that we know how rickety it has become.

#14 Faron on 04.28.20 at 5:19 pm

White flight II! Imagine the apocalyptic landscape if all those condos turn into tenements. Yikes indeed.

I don’t feel for Jon even though his offers to his tenants are more than kind. He is a specuvestor who is partly responsible for the RE inflation in TO. He’s almost certainly wealthy and can afford to rent. That doesn’t mean he deserves pain, but he’ll be fine — no where to land my arse! If he’s not fine, one has to ask why a mid 6 figure income hasn’t been enough.

I don’t agree with squatting, but if one chooses to be a landlord, one takes on certain risks. If he had put his $ into a REIT ETF he would

1) not have a tenant issue;
2) maybe have more $ and certainly more liquid $;
3) be able to vulch a place in a couple months when the market sinks a bit further.

Plus, it wouldn’t be hard to find 100s of stories of renters being renovicted in the days of yore (like 3 mos ago). Tough tacos Jon.

#51 Faron on 04.28.20 at 6:21 pm

#33 Sail away on 04.28.20 at 5:44 pm

Not my problem.


Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. If this was never a primary residence then you have contributed to the unaffordability issue in some small fraction by using single family real estate as a spec investment. It will become your problem concretely when either property taxes spike to keep yvr solvent or the price of your house falls.

Regardless, even if it isn’t directly your problem, because you choose to live in society where RE overvaluation is a societal problem who’s echos will impact you, so it is your problem.

#105 Faron on 04.28.20 at 8:38 pm

Of course I’m judging you sailboat. Isn’t that the purpose of the internet?

Just pick good tenants and stop asking the state to hold your hand in keeping the bad hombres out.

#143 Faron on 04.28.20 at 10:20 pm

#110 AlMac

“I have yet to see any evidence that the spec tax has increased rental availability in Vancouver.”


Incorrect. Do your research:


and CMHC data show an overall rise in vacancy rate of 0.4% from 2016 to 2019. Not much, but a measurable change:

Both the spec tax and the foreign buyer tax (temporarily) caused prices to drop in Vancouver.

#217 Faron on 04.29.20 at 12:43 pm

#218 Damifino on 04.29.20 at 12:15 pm

Just checking: is ‘amorol’ one of the disinfectants that Trump is advocating for people to inject?

#6 Faron on 04.29.20 at 1:53 pm

Regarding: Real estate migration.

I’m not so sure. The previous exodus of folks to the burbs happened at a time when cities had not yet sprawled and commutes were still short. Today the growth of suburbia and reliance personal vehicles has resulted in crippling traffic that is (or should be) a strong deterrent. And many will still have to go in to the DT core to work. Plus, if all the doomers are correct that condo prices will drop, it will be really cheap to live DT.

Personally, I’d love it if the boring family types oved their kids and black labs to the burbs. It would be great if all the empty DT condos became populated with young creatives or somehow an otherwise more vibrant population. Vancouver is the most boring place in Canada and I’d argue that it’s directly proportional use of real estate as a (former) cash cow.

Regarding: The spigot can’t be shut.

It’s true that once entitlements are in place it’s politically difficult (or impossible) to claw them back. Consider this though: those dollars don’t just evaporate. They will be spent and some of the money will spread through the economy and help it stay strong. The rest will percolate up the wealth ladder. The problem for Canada is if any that percolation happens up the wealth ladder to foreign corps. That will evacuate dollars from our economy and make UBI a permanent drag. So, if UBI, then there needs to be some protectionist measures put in place to ensure the $$$ stays in Canada.

#51 Faron on 04.29.20 at 3:13 pm

#22 Paterfamilias on 04.29.20 at 2:25 pm

” We ride at dawn” Whither ?


Jeez, I’m not joining the posse, but even I know that. Ottawa. I’ll be working here in BC to secede into Cascadia formerly known as the state of Jefferson. It’ll be the yoga capital of the world! Kale for all! Gluten not allowed through border security! And with California, we’ll be one of the top economies in the world. Huzzah!

#148 Faron on 04.29.20 at 7:04 pm

#101 BrianT on 04.29.20 at 5:04 pm

Maybe not overrunning in terms of a majority infected, but still causing serious harm. Excess death data is starting to roll in and shows an average of a 60% undercount of deaths and death rates spiking to as much as 6 times the normal rate in the worst hit areas. That’s with distancing measures. With no measures, the results would have been far worse.

To make this not just a virus post, countries that took the most rapid and dramatic measures are getting through this the fastest and are reopening and their economies stand a much better chance of staying whole. If anything, your fair democratic country should have slammed the door on freedoms/civil liberties/fun tighter and faster. We could have been looking at a fun May 2-4. Now we’ll be looking at our curtains.

“Well, whuddabout Sweden and Brazil?”

Sweden has a death rate 3x higher than Denmark, 7x higher than Norway and Finland. And, those countries have a flattened curve. Sweden’s is still concave upward. Currently 7th highest deaths per capita among large countries and by far a much lower population density. Sweden will probably surpass Netherlands and France in the near future. Good job Sweden. Oh, and their economy is taking a hit too… AND their booze is too expensive. Have fun with that.

Brazil’s story is still being written and it’s looking bad with exponential growth taking off now. Top 3 in new cases and deaths yesterday. Deaths doubling every 8 days. Real up and comer which is a tough prize to take given that they were late to the party and had time to learn from almost every other country.

#169 Faron on 04.29.20 at 7:45 pm

#145 Sail away on 04.29.20 at 6:56 pm

With irrational exuberance: “Ok, accurate report of one-day returns”

Meaningless unless you sell and realize the gains. Do you trade aftermarket? TSLA falls in the category of stocks your uninformed cousin Vinnie tells you is reeeel hot right now (like YVR real estate). That means sell.

Anyhow, I’m with you that those gains feel good. XBM, ICLN, VDE (yes, hypocritical like bacon on a veggie burger) and FIE all treated me right. 3 of 4 have high dividends and they represent WAY more diversity than four indiv. stocks. And yes, I am boasting :-). Regardless, one day gains in a volatile market are meaningless.

Some will consider this boasting.

It’s not if you post your biggest one day losses some time in the near future. I’ll go first. I bought a leveraged inverse ETFs on the 25th of March thinking the two day pop wouldn’t hold. Went backwards when the indexes gained 6+%

Possibly use the info to their advantage.


#230 Faron on 05.01.20 at 12:58 pm

#145 Sail Away on 04.30.20 at 10:06 pm

Anyway- 30 ft swells are gigantic. Absolutely huge. Not something you recount as making you puke, mostly because on a recreational fishing boat you’d be dead.


Because this is an ocean blog: You are mixing up 30′ seas with 30′ swell. It’s possible to be in a placid, smooth ocean with huge swell (probably not 30′ as 30′ open ocean swell is rare) rolling under you. It would make you hell of sick if you are prone to motion sickness, but if the swell isn’t breaking it would cause no harm. Swell is an organized sea condition occurring after waves have travelled some distance, not the conditions occurring in a storm.

30′ seas are another matter. Any small, open topped boat without positive buoyancy would be toast.

#236 Sail away on 05.01.20 at 1:35 pm

#232 Faron on 05.01.20 at 12:58 pm
#145 Sail Away on 04.30.20 at 10:06 pm

Anyway- 30 ft swells are gigantic. Absolutely huge. Not something you recount as making you puke, mostly because on a recreational fishing boat you’d be dead.


Because this is an ocean blog: You are mixing up 30′ seas with 30′ swell. It’s possible to be in a placid, smooth ocean with huge swell (probably not 30′ as 30′ open ocean swell is rare) rolling under you. It would make you hell of sick if you are prone to motion sickness, but if the swell isn’t breaking it would cause no harm. Swell is an organized sea condition occurring after waves have travelled some distance, not the conditions occurring in a storm.

30′ seas are another matter. Any small, open topped boat without positive buoyancy would be toast.


Always nice to have someone who knows everything around. After you’re done explaining sea states to me, feel free to continue correcting Garth as is also your wont.

#33 Faron on 05.01.20 at 4:45 pm

22 Rick on 05.01.20 at 4:25 pm

Obviously, you don’t know what freedom is.

It sounds like freedom is the state of being ruled enough by your fear or lust for destruction that you feel like you need a security blanket. I mean assault rifle.

#109 Faron on 05.01.20 at 8:37 pm

81 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.01.20 at 7:20 pm

For the first time in my life I find myself questioning that pride.

My wife is a US citizen and I have options. I am thinking of moving to the US. Texas, in fact…to leave this commie hell.


As a dual citizen living in Canada but raised in the US let me say:

Give it a trial period before you cut your ties up here.

There’s a lot to love and there will be a lot that will make you wonder if you just moved to a developing economy — overall health, education and poverty. Depending on where you go, it will shock you. Maybe enough to see that, although imperfect, the more socialized system up here seems to care for its citizens better as a whole.

#57 Faron on 05.02.20 at 5:37 pm

#155 Bytor the Snow Dog yesterday…

Utah is stunning in its scenic beauty and if you are into any kind of outdoors stuff from hunting to 4x to backpacking to skiing, its all doable. Mormons take care of their towns and their own. People are very friendly. If you aren’t Mormon, living in Utah could feel isolating depending on where you settle. Logan, a bit north of SLC is a nice little town at the foot of the mts. Much less traffic than SLC.

What Sail Away says about rule following is right on. People in the US is a bit more “interpretive” when it comes to social rules and some laws. I think it’s a reason why the US is so innovative industrially, technologically and artistically and probably always will be. I have found in the research I do for work that Canadians and many Germanic Europeans aim to replicate and perfect while Americans generate new ideas.

Arizona isn’t my place as a lefty but there are amazing places to see and some cool small towns. I think you will find like minded folks. Obviously, I’m generalizing in the extreme. I like Flagstaff as a left leaning college town in the hills.

You would probably like central and eastern Oregon but the winters are still quite cold.

#162 Faron on 05.04.20 at 1:15 pm

113 Cherry Nameit on 05.04.20 at 1:53 am

I watched the new Jeff Gibbs doc (Michael Moore produced it). I’m a greenie however hypocritical. They made some good points that there is a serious problem with global population, climate, climate change and resource degredation. I also appreciated that they made the point that there is no such thing as a free lunch. It takes energy to make energy producing solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy types.

They were wrong in drawing an equivalence between green technologies and coal or gas burning power sources in terms of CO2 production. Depending on your source of data, the amount of carbon it takes to mine materials for and manufacture a wind turbine is covered in 1/100th of a wind turbine’s lifetime. If a good turbine lasts 20 or 30 years, it takes a few months to offset the carbon. In time that will go down as renewable energy becomes a larger mix in the grid. For solar it’s 1/20th. For nuclear it’s 1/50th or so. They used way outdated numbers and even much of the footage was archaic (note the 3:4 aspect ratio of computer monitors in some of the scenes. Those died 15 years ago).

They didn’t say much about wind because they know it’s a non-starter. Wind power is cheap.

That electric cars in some areas are powered by fossil fuel burning is true in some places (not BC or Quebec) but is missing the point for two reasons. One, a small engine is waaaaaay less efficient than a large power station that, through profit motive and regulation aims to be as efficient as possible. Second, electric cars are part of the transition. Nobody ever said they were the end solution.

About the corporate corruption. Well, is anyone surprised? When a profitable industry comes up to replace the ultra corrupt oil and gas industry, some of that dirty money is going to flow to the new industry. People are greedy and corporate lobbying and pocket lining is always going to be around. That doesn’t make Al Gore’s movie incorrect.

#164 Faron on 05.04.20 at 1:26 pm

158 Deplorable Dude on 05.04.20 at 12:48 pm

#141 BrianT..”

There is almost no science backing up these arbitary distancing rules.





“We need some common sense rules here, not knee jerk puesdo science that keeps changing.”

Common sense *IS* pseudo science. Real evidence based science will always undergo change. Any decent scientist will update their results as soon as new information comes in. Common sense is saying stuff like “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” even though poultry farmers will model exactly how many chickens they will get from a brood and what their profit will be based on those projections and the price of meat. If they used “common sense” they would bumble around in the dark.

“Our response should be targeted at those groups.”

So either take away their freedom of movement and put them at greater risk by raising the number of people commiunicable at any one time by throwing out social distancing? Or just throw them under the bus so you can hang out in your hippy drum circle? And right were the same people who decried Obamacare because of the “death panels” that were never a thing to begin with.

Do you care for your elders or not? Sounds like not.

#165 Faron on 05.04.20 at 1:33 pm

139 Dharma Bum on 05.04.20 at 10:03 am

This message brought to you by the Society Of Paranoid Soccer Moms, and the Fear Mongering Association of Irresponsible Vote Buying Politicians.


Your line of thinking (read: repitition of your fave right leaning media source) has been thoroughly debunked. The simplest way is to look at excess deaths and note that the hundreds of thousands that have died are above and beyond the already existing death rates and have nothing to do with personal choice. This has also been batted back and forth here ad nauseum. You aren’t convincing anyone one way or the other at this point. Polarization has been achieved.

SOPSM and FMAIVBP: your societies need better acronyms.

#174 Faron on 05.04.20 at 2:23 pm

#166 not 1st on 05.04.20 at 1:38 pm

#164 Faron on 05.04.20 at 1:26 pm

“You do know there were 650,000 flu deaths on the planet last year and that’s with a vaccine.”

I like enumerating, so let me enumerate this for you.

First, that number is wrong, so no I don’t “know” it other than knowing it’s incorrect. That’s flu plus pneumonia. Not all pneumonia is flu, thus the flu deaths are lower.

Second, that number is modelled not counted. If you believe it you have to believe SARS-CoV-2 projections and the grave tone that people who make those projections take. You have to then take as fact that the massive projected deaths with no measures in place would have been correct. Not to mention economically devastating in their own way as even more people cowered in fear than are doing so now.

Third, flu is a known enemy. Much less infectious, much less deadly and you have antibodies to many flu strains which is why even in a bad year, you may not get it.

Fourth, when a disaster occurs that kills a Jr. Hockey team do you shrug off those deaths as a small fraction of the flu deaths? No, death is death and at any age it’s tragic when unexpected. 250,000 on top of the typical numbers is still a 250,000 people dead and that number is still climbing.

Fifth, you can’t compare the death rates of an unchecked disease with the deaths of a disease for which we took extreme measures.

“Did you lock granny up last yr.”

No, both of my grandmothers are dead.

“If the economy doesn’t open up, granny will be the least of your concerns.”

I agree in the sense that the stalled economy is wreaking all kinds of hell that will reverberate for half a decade. That’s a fact at this point. I agree that it sucks balls. I still have a job, but I know that in a year or two I very well may be putting a resume out into a very unforgiving job market.

Those who want to open up now aren’t being strong and revolutionary by being in the minority of people that do despite all evidence and consequences. You are being ignorant, naive and wasteful by proposing that we undo all the hard work and sacrifice that has been done to keep numbers where they are by opening up and risking another spike that will further scare people, kill people and cause folks to stay in and cause those businesses shrivel anyway. Opening up too quickly wont gain you anything other than an empty office/store/restaurant to socially isolate in. By toeing that line you are being at least as much of a sheepperson as you probably think I am.

I’m sorry that the provincial health officers use real and complicated words and sound competent in a way that you don’t relate to. There’s always trump whose utterances from the ID will resonate with you. Keep yourself in the echo chamber of dolts. Good luck.

#175 Faron on 05.04.20 at 2:37 pm

#98 The Trudeau Dellema. on 05.03.20 at 9:59 pm

“You see here the problem with bailouts? Does anyone get it?”

If people do not want to go back to work because minimum + $2 is less than the dole, then the price being paid for low-wage labour is too low. If the gov’t sets a base rate, then if employers want to have workers they have to beat that rate. This simply means minimum wage has to meet basic needs and expenses which it doesn’t in many large cities in Canada. Pay more, you will have workers. Margins too thin to pay more? You have to ask how much offshoring production has caused payable wages to fall.

#187 Faron on 05.04.20 at 4:17 pm

#176 Toronto_CA on 05.04.20 at 2:42 pm

You could just keep on scrollin’. Think of it like hunting for stations on the FM dial when you are travelling. Oh crap, christian rock… Anyhow, glad you tuned in!

#188 Faron on 05.04.20 at 4:22 pm

#185 Don Guillermo on 05.04.20 at 4:13 pm

#183 SoggyShorts on 05.04.20 at 3:30 pm
#112 akashic record on 05.04.20 at 12:25 am

So, for the record, you are saying that you understand that climate change is real and a real problem?!

#43 Faron on 05.04.20 at 5:24 pm

#4 Millennial Realist on 05.04.20 at 4:18 pm

So, thanks to those idiotic attitudes, sometimes expressed in the comments here, America will soon experience the equivalent of a 9-11 disaster,




Quoth the boomer: “Who cares?”


“As long as it isn’t terrorists doin’ the killing, fine by me. Granny was gettin’ on my nerves anyhow.”

#132 Faron on 05.04.20 at 8:55 pm

#119 Don Guillermo on 05.04.20 at 8:03 pm

#92 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.04.20 at 7:15 pm
#188 Faron on 05.04.20 at 4:22 pm sez:

“So, for the record, you are saying that you understand that climate change is real and a real problem?!”

” No one says that climate change isn’t a problem. Where we disagree is what the cause is”

The cause is the burning of fossil fuels. There is zero question among anyone who knows radiative transfer or paleoclimate (I know both well) that this is the case.

“and if there’s anything peoplekind can do about it.”

Stop burning relic carbon reservoirs. It’s simple. Implementing that is not simple.

” Except adapt.
Like humanity always has”

Agreed. But getting from here to fully adapted will be a mess unless measures are taken. If nothing is done, the adaptation will have to happen quickly and the period of adaptation will be fraught with famine, war and economic decline.

” And we aren’t going to solve climate change with solar, wind or bio mass energies.”

Wind will work for sure, solar yes, nuclear certainly to cover for the windless and sunless times. Bio mass not so much. The movie had that right. Biomass is glorified garbage disposal. A dumpster fire if you will.

Fun fact. If CO2 production goes on unchecked for another century, warm high humidity areas will become lethal to mammals that rely on sweat to cool themselves. Think of that. All the furry critters in the forests in the SEern US will drop dead. Humans that can afford to cool themselves in AC will be fine, but the ecosystems will be trashed.

#148 Faron on 05.04.20 at 9:40 pm

#99 Deplorable Dude on 05.04.20 at 7:29 pm

The peak and decline starts pretty much on the day of our ‘lockdown’, 15th of March.

I’m pretty sure they report the back projected date of infection when they report “episode date”. Here’s the fed’s language:

“*Episode date corresponds to the earliest date reported according to the following order: Symptom onset Date, Specimen Collection Date, Laboratory Testing Date, Date reported to the province/territory or Date reported to PHAC.”

This builds in lag.

#203 Faron on 05.05.20 at 10:14 am

165 Nonplused on 05.04.20 at 10:56 pm

#133 Faron

Did you watch the new Micheal Moore film?

Yeah, I did. I blathered on about it here:

I appreciated the points about general overpopulation and resource destruction and/or awareness of how our activities impact regions we don’t often think about.

I’m not surprised there is corruption. Some of these industries are growing and becoming profitable, so of course dirty money is going to come in. Take that as a hint for future investment. These industries WILL explode. Tesla is a fetish, but it also indicates that these things are viable.

Al gore always seemed creepy to me. But, it doesn’t mean his movie was incorrect.

I agree that biomass burning is not good. I got useful information from the film that I confirmed with other resources.

I liked that they philosophically linked people’s blind leap into green “things” as arising from deeply entrenched fear. I have family friends (boomers) who spent millions building a “green” house with money they did not have. This is in Oregon where a bungalow can be had for <$200k. They failed to realize that if they just build a smaller stick-built house closer to the city their impact would have been less and they would have saved money. There is plenty of stupidity and blind faith on the left.

I was disappointed they didn’t talk about nuclear. It’s a clear winner in my book. You think people have irrational fear of the coronavirus? Start talking to them about nuclear energy production and they will really start wringing their hands.

The film was way outdated when it came to solar and wind. Those sources repay their carbon deficit very early in their lifetimes. Still not sure how steel will be smelted without coal in the future, but otherwise the energy will come off the grid which will eventually be mostly wind, nuke, hydro and solar.

Hydro is interesting though because a MASSIVE amount of CO2 is released to produce the cement. But I think that the 50+year lifetime of a dam still overpays that carbon cost relative to coal/gas/oil.

#207 Faron on 05.05.20 at 10:26 am

199 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.05.20 at 9:36 am

Victoria just released their report.

Even when the numbers are in plain sight, they pick the brightest light among them. In the write-up they stress that the “benchmark” price went up YoY and Mar to Apr. However, when you look at the actual average or median selling prices, there were drops in local detached homes and condos. So people who buy are spending less on homes. I’m sure the benchmark price will drop next. Most importantly the sales:listings ratio fell to ~15%’

The value of single-family homes in Victoria plunged 11% last month. – Garth

#220 Faron on 05.05.20 at 11:38 am

210 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.05.20 at 10:40 am

Will panic set in by June ?
July a full real estate rout?


Yeah. I think right now, as Garth mentioned, there are enough people covering their payments with a HELOC thinking “I got this”. Or their payments are in forebearance. But it won’t be long before they see how over leveraged and under water they are.

I also don’t think the magnitude of this crapstorm has quite sunk in for folks yet.

I don’t want to say “I hope so” because of the even-greater economic badness that will come on the heels of a RE crash. But, I’ll be in the market in the fall and wont mind a low interest mortgage at a huge discount relative to now.

Garth: if I may ask a question. When do the banks start to worry about the uninsured mortgages backed by the Bank of Mom?

#247 Faron on 05.05.20 at 1:56 pm

#234 Don Guillermo on 05.05.20 at 12:51 pm

Convincing the GP to even accept nuclear energy is difficult enough and then throw in the costs and the years it takes for engineering and approvals.

No easy answers.


Agreed. I think the 1970s were pivotal in this sense. The oil shocks hit and oil dependent nations responded by seeking energy security/independence. France and Japan went nuclear and now have a substantial portion of their grid powered by fission. The US started to go that route but Three Mile Island helped to kill public sentiment and that was that. It seems safe to assume the oil sector lobbied hard against nuclear also. I don’t know Canada’s history very well other than that Ontario has active power stations.

No easy answers, but efforts are needed.

#250 Faron on 05.05.20 at 2:29 pm

#229 Sail away on 05.05.20 at 12:21 pm

Re: plastic in ocean

Who were you quoting?

I think the garbage patch, or people’s understanding of it, is a bit like the POLAR VORTEX that our media outlets like to crow about when it gets a little cold. The media misrepresents things. But, it is there but has been misrepresented as looking like your local garbage dump.

Curious: Why would you sail through a Gyre that is, by definition, a low wind place? Wouldn’t you want to head further south into the trades if you were headed to Hawaii?

If there was wind do you think that in and among the seas you would be able to visually pick out the bits of plastic? It’s hard enough to see a person when they go overboard much less a tossed out cigarette lighter.

#255 Faron on 05.05.20 at 2:50 pm

#227 Toronto_CA on 05.05.20 at 12:11 pm

It’s fun how you guys used to say “watch Sweden, watch Brazil”. And, now that Brazil is hurtling off the rails, it’s watch Sweden. LOL.

I gotta get off this thing…

#7 Faron on 05.05.20 at 3:12 pm

Garth: “…which the virus has turned illiquid.”

The coronavirus is known for its clotting effect in human blood. Who knew it could apply to RE?

Yikes. Thanks for the post Garth and thanks for the forum. Despite some yelling back and forth, I’ve learned a thing or two I didn’t want to hear or was pretending not to hear. I’m sure you will all be sad to know this is the last post from me until I can regain some self control w/re arguing here.

#71 Faron on 05.05.20 at 5:09 pm

#29 John on 05.05.20 at 4:04 pm

#7 Faron

Come on man, shake it off.
No one likes a quitter.

Not quitting, just need a break from the obsession. It’s getting in the way of my job and keeping me at my desk when there are better things in life (partner, basset hound, socially distanced driveway beers with friends, liberal handwringing about the virus etc.)

#324 Faron on 05.11.20 at 10:59 am

291 John in Mtl on 05.11.20 at 8:59 am

“…India and china should step up their efforts on educating their populations about birth control…”

Ha ha ha. Did you forget that China, until fairly recently, had a strict one child per family rule? Now it has a two child policy. I wouldn’t call that a failure of birth control.

If you want to reduce the birth rate, educate and promote the status of women, don’t shove birth control down anyone’s throat. India has a long ways to go.

As for Melanie. You guys double standard much? You complain about her spending the money however she pleases while many here said they would take CERB despite not needing it/having a job. And some even would invest it in equities essentially piping the dollars across the planet (a planet that you don’t seem to care much for I might add). WTF? You will also claim, with pride, how you evaded paying tens of thousands in taxes and then get whiny when some of someone else’s (someone elses because you didn’t pay your fair share) tax money gets spent in a way you don’t like.

By whinng about Melanie, you are also forgetting that a major purpose of stimulus is to keep the economy flowing. The gov’t doesn’t give a rats arse about individual citizens as much as it doesn’t want an economic collapse. It doesn’t matter much what you spend the CERB dollars on as long as you spend it in the local market economy.

Good to see this place is still a wasteland of Fox News talking points.


Can’t stay away. eh? – Garth

#25 Faron on 05.11.20 at 4:25 pm

Hah, great image today.

And the last paragraph is all that one needs to know (and can know) about planning for the future.

#202 Faron on 05.12.20 at 12:24 pm

#180 Sail Away on 05.12.20 at 10:21

Every thinking adult eventually realizes Elon is the man.


Every right-wing wind bag needs a father figure. Funny that.

Can you name a female thinker/CEO/scientist/leader who you admire and who isn’t Anne Coulter, Margaret Thatcher or Ayn Rand?

#74 Faron on 05.12.20 at 6:05 pm

62 God on 05.12.20 at 5:14 pm

Uhmmm…no. That’s not true.

My readership is apparently expanding. – Garth


Ha ha. That’s the real reason I keep coming back. Garth’s on a roll today.

#87 Faron on 05.12.20 at 7:05 pm

#219 Howard on 05.12.20 at 1:55 pm

#202 Faron on 05.12.20 at 12:24 pm
#180 Sail Away on 05.12.20 at 10:21

Is that what passes for cultural marxist rebuttal these days? Why don’t you look at all the marxist paraphernalia in your closet sporting the visage of an Argentinian mass murderer from the 1950s and tell me whose heros are virtuous are not.


Che Guevara? I’ve never owned an image of him other his image on a Starbucks coffee cup on the cover of a book written by economists describing the commercial appropriation of political/humanitarian/environmental movements. Insofar as Motorcycle Diaries was an accurate portrayal, he seemed like a good doctor who cared about poor and dejected folks. I never liked nor understood the mass-marketing of his image just as I despise same regarding Bob Marley and the resurgent popularity of Nirvana t-shirts on Gen Z kiddos ’cause “you don’t get it mannn, Kurt was revolutionary”.

Karl Marx had some good ideas, but to be honest, I haven’t read him. I gather that somewhere on the spectrum between Marx and Smith there is a workable economic solution. I would argue that truly free market capitalism leads to concentration of wealth and very poor conditions for the vast majority of humans.

#89 Faron on 05.12.20 at 7:10 pm

#80 Ustabe on 05.12.20 at 6:25 pm

But Hawkins Cheesies is a made in Canada product that is far superior.


Whenever I travel to the US I bring 6-8 big bags of cheezies to keep the Americans happy.

#94 Faron on 05.12.20 at 7:32 pm

Non-political question:

There is now a kink in the yield curve between the 6 month and 2 year rates. The spread is 0 for US treasuries and -0.01% for Canadian treasuries. Is this saying anything more than “next 6 months will be hell. By 2 years things should be more golden?” Is this an indicator of upcoming market turmoil (like today’s slip-slide)?

#239 Faron on 05.13.20 at 1:01 pm

#226 Toronto_CA on 05.13.20 at 12:06 pm

Oh, so you live in a one room home in a slum with no food or water?

I donate to UNICEF and would trust their numbers given that I don’t live in Africa. Neither do you.

Africa has also managed any and the few outbreaks well, especially considering their low resource levels. No one, myself included, ever said a one size fits all-of-humanity solution was the right answer.

#248 Faron on 05.13.20 at 2:00 pm

#234 Penny Henny on 05.13.20 at 12:52 pm

#66 Toronto_CA on 05.12.20 at 5:52 pm
#52 1-800-DOCTORB on 05.12.20 at 4:52 pm

It’s fun that you folks don’t talk about Brazil any more. I’m too lazy to dig up the quote, but a few of you said “watch Sweden, watch Brazil”. You don’t because the virus is on a rampage there.

Sweden is nothing like the places in Canada where the virus is a severe problem. Population of Stockholm is < 1 million. Montreal 1.7, Toronto 2.9 million. The population density of the country is 1/4 to 1/10th that of the worse hit areas in Europe. Sweden’s death rate is mid-pack Europe and as high as the Netherlands despite the Netherlands having 8x denser population. That is shameful. Here in BC, the province has a low and controlled infection rate and never had as severe a lockdown as many places and will be lifting some orders this week. This is because BC has one boring city where no one talks with one another anyway (sounds like Sweden) and the rest of the province is small cities and rural areas.

Sweden’s health minister spoke at the WHO a couple weeks ago and made a couple of important points. The first is that Sweden has fully socialized healthcare, elder care and employment insurance. If someone gets sick, they get treated and then they get paid to quarantine for 14 days. This is before any CERB-like benefit. With a very strong social support system (that you righties despise and would complain about ad nauseum if it were implemented here) they are able to get away with a slightly less cautious approach. That is, if you consider flattened, but not dropping infection and death curves. Sweden can guarantee the highest standard of care for ALL of their citizens. Canada can not make that claim.

DOCTORB: Using your credentials as an ER doc that apply to fixing broken bones, bullet holes, heart attacks, and drug/alcohol ODs to claim authority on infectious disease is highly misleading. It’s about as bad as washed up casino owners who think they know how to run a major western nation. It reminds me of PhD’s who use their credentials in chemistry or biology to weigh in against (and even those who weigh for) well-understood climate science. I’m a climatologist (study recent and past climates) and I will only rarely weigh in on climate change outside of the best-established facts because I know to stay in my lane. What I write here on the virus I glean from raw data or respected international authorities. I make no claims about infectious disease knowledge other than an understanding that unchecked exponential growth will bite you in the arse.

#249 Faron on 05.13.20 at 2:09 pm

#231 Sail away on 05.13.20 at 12:40 pm

#205 MF on 05.13.20 at 10:27 am

But, I am intrigued: If you think you’re not an animal, what would you be?


Maybe the M is for mineral? (sorry MF, had to be done).

#254 Faron on 05.13.20 at 3:41 pm

#252 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.13.20 at 2:23 pm

Don’t be a d**k. UNICEF is “relatively” safe when it comes to this kind of work. Hell of a lot better than sending your church group to build a school that no one asked for.

I also searched your article for mentions of UNICEF and saw zero instances…


#247 Toronto_CA on 05.13.20 at 2:00 pm

“…Unicef Chief Medical Officer’s…”

Maybe you and fartz should talk to decide if UNICEF is reputable or not…. Sounds like you and I agree for once though Tdot.


“…a startling amount of people in North America do live in poverty like this… especially on Reserves.”

Thanks for the info ;-). The difference is they are living in a country that should know better and has the resources to provide but refuses to acknowledge the problem. And as if you actually care. I’m sure you were at the rail blockades in full support… 🙂


“Point is – The universal lockdowns are having vast, unintended health consequences that will be more devastating than the virus.”

I agree that there are major health consequences. I’ve read about the huge spike in domestic abuse and am aware and saddened by what kind of hell that would be. It’s hard enough to get out of abusive relationships on a good day. Depression, yep for sure, I have it going on here. Suicide, yeah definitely. Drug overdoses are way up here in Victoria likely due to poor supply and depression among a beaten down population of addicts. I might add that NA/AA just isn’t going to be as good under a lockdown. Critical resources are gone. It sucks.

The point is that this stuff is a known risk of acting as we have acted. In any move that society makes there will be winners and losers and it’s my understanding that, although there will be many losers in the scenario we are following (maybe eventually I’ll know some of the pain acutely) there will be more winners. The ratio is better under this scenario than the do-nothing-and-watch scenario in which even more people die and fear of that death causes spikes in public avoidance that are more unpredictable and more impactful than any controlled lock down.

From your UNICEF article:

“One size fits no one. The objective is to slow the virus, not to lockdown people. “We need to lift our eyes and look at the total picture of public health.”

I couldn’t agree more and believe that is what is being done.

#255 Faron on 05.13.20 at 3:52 pm

I can’t wait until Bytor chimes in quoting me about “Virtue Signalling”.

Hey Bytor, the 2000s are calling. Yeah, they want their put-down back.

#256 Faron on 05.13.20 at 3:55 pm

#253 Ballingsford on 05.13.20 at 2:46 pm

“…Then I would explain it to you..”

That’s a sweet sentiment, but maybe you should explain it to him then?

#54 Faron on 05.13.20 at 4:23 pm

#31 Sail away on 05.13.20 at 3:49 pm

#21 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.13.20 at 3:23 pm
@#249 Faron.

“In short, he is not vegetable, animal, or mineral,
he has simply sprung full-formed as a fanciful idea.”

Or maybe I’m a figment of MF’s imagination? Who will ever know? Tune in next week…

Oh, wait, Garth probably knows.

Regarding amateur renters or rentees, it’s simple: don’t be a jerk if you rent and don’t be a jerk if you are a landlord. I’ve been a respectful renter all my life and have avoided renting from landlords who are jerks. Never had a problem. Do unto others etc.

Professional outfits should be cautious but also have contingency in place if the SHTF just as banks are currently bulking up their reserves for the coming wave of non performing loans.

#117 Faron on 05.13.20 at 7:05 pm

There’s always going to be tension between haves (landlords) and have-nots (tenants; admittedly simplistic framework there…). Some of that tension will drive the have-nots to better their situation in life in order to not be subservient, some of the tension will result in innovation that keeps one from stiffing the other and still another share will lead to regulation.

As I see it, a failure of the gig economy is that it “disrupted” the status quo by cleverly circumventing regulation. This is all fine and dandy (actually it isn’t) until the edge cases are met when the thing falls apart. One edge case was rampant specuvestor/AirBnB landlords driving down vacancy rates and driving up housing costs. The other edge case is now when short term rentals are trashed and the whole balloon is shrivelling.

In the long-term rental space, the industry is older and better regulated so it’s harder to hit untested marginal cases. But, here we are with a marginal case smacking us in the face. It’s causing strife and it will be worked out. Rights will shift in both directions between landlord and tenant and next time something this serious comes around there will be more clarity.

It’s good to discuss what those rights and regs should be. In cases where a newly out of work person can’t make rent should they really just be kicked to the literal curb? Sure, everyone *should* have an emerg fund, but the vast majority don’t and many can’t because of the cost of living. In the example given today, should the lawyer be able to screw over his landlord? No, it’s disgusting. The solution to either case disables the other.

Maybe a form of temp housing is needed that’s capable of sheltering folks until the tribunal gets to them? Maybe in times like these, public prosecutors should be shunted from drug and other non-violent crime to bolster rent tribunal work?

Maybe the tenant and the landlord should move in together and the whole thing be filmed for hilarious lock-down reality television?

#123 Faron on 05.13.20 at 7:23 pm

#92 Do we have all the facts on 05.13.20 at 6:26 pm

#59 Ronaldo

“….Elon Musk noted that Tesla has 7,000 employees in China and not one death from Covid 19 and full production is occurring…”

Pop China: 1.39 Billion
China cases and deaths: ~83,000 and 4600
Pop California: 40 million (1/36th that of China)
California cases and deaths: ~72,000 and ~3000

If that’s not enough, Tesla’s factory in China is in Shanghai where only 660 cases have been confirmed and 7 deaths.

I certainly didn’t expect Ronaldo or you to be smart enough for basic math and deduction, but c’mon Elon. I thought da Man would be better at math. It’s almost like he as a 700 million dollar stock option payout coming his way that he wants to defend…

Oh, and it’s not a conspiracy. Trust me, our lives aren’t that interesting. The WHO is here to help, it’s a bargain at the price and it’s to our peril that it should be put at risk by small (minded/handed) orange people from down south.

#150 Faron on 05.13.20 at 8:57 pm

#123 TurnerNation on 05.13.20 at 7:27 pm

I agree with this if Trump gets cornered and it looks like the election wont go his way. It’s more likely to start with a bombing raid on Iran though and be more limited in scope.

War doesn’t instantly jumpstart anyone’s economy. The years of war are a waste of death, production for death and limited resources because of all of the production leading to death. Subsequent years are a waste of resources as rebuilding and a very slow climb out of the rubbled economy happen. The US and Canada were able to spring to economic life quickly after WWII because the ware was, for the most part, never here while a large portion of the industrial development was. Plus, we received many refugees who were able to help fire the economy because conditions in Europe were so poor (My mom’s side of the family moved to Edmonton from the Netherlands in the 50’s for better opportunity).

Europe, Russia and Japan all struggled for a solid decade before their economies built up steam.

The west and China need each other too much right now economically for a war to begin in the foreseeable future + mutually assured destruction is a thing… The US may not be the social nor economic superpower that it was, but it certainly is the military superpower. Although Cyber may be a toss up.

#9 Faron on 05.14.20 at 1:02 pm

#213 Ronaldo on 05.14.20 at 9:35 am

#195 Do we have all the facts on 05.14.20 at 7:33 am

I apologize for insulting your intelligence. I am still going to argue with you and titter to myself a little bit at the two on one pile on.

Elon is quoting the numbers that are convenient to him and his personal bottom line. And you are buying his egotistical crap because it aligns with your perceptions of government conspiracy. I have bias here because ever since Elon lied about the $420 per share sale of Tesla (on obvious stoner joke, but Elon, the CEO, should know better than to tweet when he’s in his stoner paradise) I have despised him. I wasn’t surprised when he called the Thai cave rescue person a pedophile.

Elon is not some noble character out to do good. His motivation is not for more and more-accurate data (which everyone of every stripe wants except maybe Bolsonaro). His motivation is profit and celebrity and ego.

And its funny when folks claim rationality then get sucked into the vortex of right wing conspiracy because the youtube (and Fox and Friends) talking heads make them feel righteous (emotion) and indignant (emotion) toward the people they hate (emotion) for some reason. The emotions are strong enough that they/you fail to question the speakers actual ability to gather data and speak meaningfully about the topics they go on and on about.

No, actually it’s not funny at all because it has completely undermined any basis for truth in this world and is leading us down a course of speculative authority, massive political rifts and likely worse.

Here’s a fact that you and I can both agree on: I’m sure you are aware that excess deaths through March in Canada came out yesterday and showed declines in death rates everywhere except Alberta. Yes, declines. I look at those numbers and think “Cool, my hypothesis is that the death rates are down because of fewer accidents due to travel restrictions and people seeking and getting care when they have flu-like symptoms. It will be interesting to see what the April numbers look like. I don’t believe that the ~1400 lives saved should come at the cost of the economic melt down, but I do believe that 1400 is a very large underestimate of lives saved owing to these measures.”

What does the right (who crapped all over StatsCan earlier in the course of events when they released some numbers they didn’t like) think of this report? I hypothesize that it aligns with your beliefs, so you like it but it’s messy because of the crapping-on of StatsCan so you are exposed but you will happily bury that truth and chalk it up to rationality.

#19 Faron on 05.14.20 at 1:37 pm

15 BrianT on 05.14.20 at 1:23 pm

“…completely in favour of making Canadian society more like that of Communist China”

I doubt this given that the Chinese government meddles in everything and anything that goes on within the borders and most corps seem to want the exact opposite. Look at the mess Huawei is in. If Huawei’s technical ability were in a freer society, they would be a runaway success. Instead they are hampered by Chinese geopolitical tanglings that eat severely into their bottom line. I dunno, Sail Away owns a business, ask him.

“OK-so we have 25% of the population opposed”

You are a true revolutionary. I salute you.

#25 Faron on 05.14.20 at 1:56 pm

Nice pic BTW. A dog curled in its bed has to be one of the most calming sights out there. Our Basset is on his bed under my desk as I write…He’s snoring away.

Quoth DT:

“Thus all I can see are the statistics (here they are very, very positive – we have reduced the infection rate by ~97% in 6 weeks).”

My question for DT and thus Garth: Don’t you think that one (low infection rate) begets the other (positive outlook re the virus)?

Here in BC, for me and my friends at least, things feel relatively positive. I went INSIDE a cafe yesterday and got a coffee. Nuts. Why is this? Because the infection rate was never that high here, so the sense of viral doom never crashed down on us. We are exposed to the same media. Or maybe it’s all the weed?

Oh, and our leadership is unwavering, calm, cool and collected ❤ Bonnie Henry. That makes a huge difference.

#35 Faron on 05.14.20 at 2:18 pm

One last post for the day. Promise.


By the end of the first wave, if projections are correct, you will be among the highest five countries world wide in terms of death rate. And, your economy is almost as pooched as everyone else’s. I know it wasn’t deliberate, but way to effectively throw your elderly under the bus. I’m sure those beers on your open patios were worth it though! Way to do your own thing and forget that your country is situated in a global economy thereby negating your intended outcome with death the undesirable side effect.

#139 Faron on 05.14.20 at 7:44 pm

#85 Toronto_CA on 05.14.20 at 4:54 pm

I’m glad I’m tiring you out and that you diligently read my posts. Coming out of one-day retirement because I can’t help but be provoked by seeing lies (see section 2) propagated.

By the way, I state that I’m leaving as a way to ask permission of Garth or whomever reads this stuff to plow through yet another bible-length tirade on my part. I’ll be more direct in the future.

1) RE your civil liberties: The global community is asking us to make some sacrifices for the greater good. Never before have virtually all nations agreed that action is needed, and hopefully this will never have to happen again. In my opinion it takes a blind and selfish person to not be able to handle a request for a very small number of your activities to be constrained temporarily to support the global greater good. And maybe ask yourself why it is that when you perceive your liberties to be trampled you leap to some conspiratorial global cabal? What’s up with that?

2) This whole death coding thing is not based in any fact. Here’s a quote from the guy who originated the claim that hospitals receive more money from medicare for treating COVID patients:

“Jensen said he did not think that hospitals were intentionally misclassifying cases for financial reasons. But that’s how his comments have been widely interpreted and paraded on social media.”

Ask FactCheck’s conclusion: “Recent legislation pays hospitals higher Medicare rates for COVID-19 patients and treatment, but there is no evidence of fraudulent reporting.”

You are propagating a myth that the Trump-aligned want to be true so that Trump’s absolute failure to properly handle the US outbreak will somehow be overlooked. Trump repeatedly fires the smartest people around him in order to plant crony yes-men by his side. When you are leading a large and diverse population, maybe one would want contrary opinion and insight? Nope, not the stable genius.

And you know what else? Of course they get paid more! That there’s a provision for this is a good thing. If you ran a for-profit hospital you would be glad you can cover a little bit of the additional costs of treating COVID patients and loss of revenue from elective procedures. And, of course they get coded differently. Welcome to the US healthcare system where the coding tables are byzantinian at best so that the insurance companies can screw over as many patients and families as possible.

Your BS detector is broken. You think you are a bloodhound on the trail here, but you aren’t. Maybe focus on the major corps that are taking small business money. That’s a problem. Maybe go see what you can do to support the less well-off who are suffering in your community. That’s a problem. Global conspiracy? Fun to think about, but not the problem.

3) We mostly agree on the economic suckiness at our hands. I’d wager that stricter and therefore shorter lock down would have been easier on the economy. Japan says I’m wrong (no major lock down and they seem unscathed-ish). China says I’m right (extreme measures and they are getting back to work-ish). Regardless, it’s a global economy and a deeply interconnected world, thus the solution *had* to be radical and global.

4) Yeah, models can be wrong. For instance, at one point models had the US capping at 70,000 deaths. It’s 83,000 now and rising at a 1500 person per day clip. Actual is likely >100,000 with excess deaths analysis. *over two months* of intense infection, five if you are generous. Test results show a 2% infection rate, so multiply by 30 to get to 60% infection (admittedly very crude and a worse case scenario) and you get 3M deaths. Tell me that doesn’t matter.

Excess death numbers are out. Here in Canada they are down. Huzzah. Seriously, that’s awesome. Stockholm, up by 60% if I recall correctly and Sweden’s excess deaths are up overall. Some areas up by 4x normal. Here:


or for access to many visualizations of these data:


Interesting that last winter was a pretty nasty flu winter on top of all else. Maybe that’s a factor?

5) Agree. Time will tell. I’ve read that minimum infection rates have to reach 60% for herd immunity to occur and therefore help prevent a second wave. It’s doubtful that Sweden is there yet. But, as you say, we need more testing of antibodies and active cases.

#253 Faron on 05.15.20 at 1:15 pm

#192 VicPaul on 05.15.20 at 1:04 am

#9 Faron

“youtube (sic)”

Actually, I spelled that correctly. Real cute of you to tell me to grow up then pick apart a couple missed apostrophes as part of your rhetorical approach. Maybe not grade 5 like me, but def grade 7.

“(CNN,MSNBC,HUFFPOST) talking heads make them feel righteous (emotion) and indignant (emotion) toward the people they hate (Trump) because you Lefties are on the right side of history, right?.”

Nope, I hate all of those media sources and agree with you that commercial televised media has problems. My media sources are: local rags, Reuters, Associated Press, NYT (paid), Economist (paid), WSJ and the New Yorker (paid). Even I get sick of the NYT. The real news they publish is fine but they really like to blend opinion articles with normal headlines and that just adds fuel to the right wing dumpster fire of calling everything fake news. If you don’t think the deliberate undermining of free journalism and outright censoring of reporters who ask “nasty” questions, you need to reexamine your ideals.

Ah, where would you be without your gotcha buzzwords (I’m making the assumption that you’ve called things Fake News. Please excuse me if I’m wrong)? I hear “virtue signalling” bandied around. I’m not in the know so had to google it as a whole phrase. Yeah, turns out it’s right wing pablum that gets tossed out whenever they don’t like what they want to hear and want to sound superior. Bytor uses it too, you guys should be friends. You know what buzzwords are a sign of? GroupThink. That is doubleplusungood if you catch my drift.

“Anderson Pooper, Rachel Madcow”

Again, cute. Grade 3 at best. I also dislike them. Can’t watch TV in fact because the editing and advertisements hash my brain into pulp to I don’t know what to think.

“(you mean like “Russia Collusion”….flogged for a couple of YEARS…and nothin’).”

First, there’s no question that Russia tampered with the elections through targeted social media campaigns and were in support of Trump. Regarding deliberate connections, many were indicted and several went to jail. Details in the report were redacted by the attorney general who was a Trump appointee and superfan. The *republican* investigator did his job despite threats of firing and active firing of those around him. The left may have lost in that he wasn’t impeached. Very wrong? I’m not so sure.

“Surely you/them, in your/their unbounded arrogance, don’t think you need to inform people of Trump’s narcissism, boorishness, tactlessness – that’s obvious.”

I’m glad we agree there. But many seem not to see those traits and that’s a problem.

“How about getting on point with some cooperative, helpful legislating.”

Do you seriously think they’ve done nothing? Furthermore, you know who/what Mitch McConnell is, right? That he’s a stubborn pork barrel politician in the pockets of the Kochs? You also recall that for eight years the repubs blocked anything and everything Obama related often just on principle. Funny too how Trump just throws out every Obama-related thing around him — oh, like the pandemic task force in the CDC. Good thing the US and the world didn’t need that!

#255 Faron on 05.15.20 at 1:32 pm

211 ImGonnaBeSick on 05.15.20 at 8:35 am

“a good little nazi…”

That’s uncivil.

Nice to see the dog pile again today.

No, I don’t follow every gov’t edict, nor follow all rules. I’ve been regularly breaking COVID rules that I know wont put me in contact with other humans and allow me to do what I want to do for my health. I am capable of seeing when it’s a good time to question and dissent and when it is not based on the information at hand and the professionals who know better. By professionals I don’t mean Trudeau I mean the experts in infectious disease and the science behind what is being asked of us that is informing the Gov’t. We are tasked with accepting the lesser of two evils. Any path we take will cause and is causing great harm, but doing nothing would be the worst outcome and the majority agree (even in Sweden). The devil is there’s no way of knowing how bad it would have gotten had we not acted nor if we could have slipped past this more easy with good leadership and rapid shut downs.

#266 Faron on 05.15.20 at 2:16 pm

200 Toronto_CA on 05.15.20 at 4:11 am

Sorry Garth, this is getting epic… Toronto_CA, last word is yours.

“Where did I ever say there’s a global cabal or a conspiracy? I don’t think that at all.”

Sorry, I mix you up with TurnerNation and BrianT.

“I just think there’s a lot of government group think going on and doubling down of bad policy decisions that were made early with little knowledge. It happens all the time in governments and corporations.”

I agree that can be a problem. I don’t think that’s in play in general. I look at countries that were hard hit, that locked down and got past the worst as examples of what works well. No, it’s not one size fits all, but the general play book is about right. Speaking of which, the general responses among countries have been similar because there is a lot of well-documented study of viral outbreak and this is what you do.

I do think some Canadian provinces should open up ASAP. BC has had very low infections. The job is done for now, lets get back to it albeit with caution and inter-province travel restrictions. I *hate* work from home. It turns me into an internet troll.

“a very small number of activities”?


“…the largest cramp down on liberties outside of wartime in our lives. It is NOT a small sacrifice.”

Has my life been less good these two months relative to the rest of my days? For sure and I’m among the least impacted. I hate it. But it’s not that bad and it’s not permanent and will be less so the better job that is done. I also hate taking pills for a bacterial infection (’cause the farts and overprescription of antibiotics). But, I take them because life will be better in the end and I know that bacteria grow exponentially and a minor infection can turn to sepsis in 24 hours.

“We let people drive cars, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, go skydiving, work in mines, pollute the air, and countless other activities that shorten the lives because we say the life has more meaning that preventing early deaths.”

If you crash your car, does it trigger an exponential wave of car crashes/deaths? No.

If you drink yourself to liver failure, does it cause an exponential wave of liver failures or drunks? No (although the alcoholism could impact generations, the growth isn’t any threat of exploding across the populace).

These comparisons don’t hold up.

“The reaction to this virus has not struck a balance between risk and freedoms; but I think it did in Sweden. Time will tell, but every day it looks more and more like an overreaction.”

Ask yourself, with precision and honesty, why it looks like an overreaction. Please consider if the effectiveness of the measures taken has any impact the perceived lack of severity.

“And anyone who questions the balance made by their government is not selfish and blind. They are simply analytical and perhaps a measure more intelligent than a sheep.”

I think it would be fun to compare normative behaviour and lifestyle to mine and yours and see who the sheeplest sheep is (hint: almost certainly not me).

Can we agree to not use the Sheeple buzzword? It’s used on the left and the right and, while fun to say, is just tired.

“You’re focusing on one suspected problem with US data and the private medical system incentivizing overcounting covid deaths.”

I focussed on this to take down your erroneous notion that financial motiviations are driving coding and thus virus counts. They aren’t.

“Everything else you seem to agree with me on. Models are shit and it’s too early to say what the economic carnage will be because it’s only a few months into it and the damage will be felt for years.”

Yeah. I wouldn’t call the models shit though. Computer models are a tool to be used with care and appropriately. Trying to hammer in a screw will make a hammer like pretty shitty (or the screw).

“We need time and accurate data to analyze everything”

In the mean time given the explosive viral growth in China, then Italy then Iran then New York should we have just done nothing?

“and its premature to declare winners and losers. Other than I declare you a loser for your childlike 3rd post sarcastically Sweden is a winner. Grow the hell up.”

People of all stripes really like to make strong statements and then hide them when they are proven wrong or become inconvenient. Sometimes you have to call them out and using childlike tactics often gets a response. So, tell me about Brazil….

#123 Faron on 05.15.20 at 6:26 pm

102 Lost…but not leased on 05.15.20 at 5:24 pm

“Canada is being converted from an alleged democracy to somewhere between a totalitarian state and a nanny state”

Wow, just… wow. Need to loosen up the straps on your tin foil hat. It must be stressful living in one of the freest democracies on the planet while feeling like it’s North Korea. Better get back to youtube before it’s all censored.

#124 Faron on 05.15.20 at 6:31 pm

119 SWL on 05.15.20 at 6:24 pm

I’m stoked that I can still order pizza. Thanks! Also, was just up in Duncan on Saturday for a hike up Prevost and to lie about the river. Used to live in Glenora. Beautiful.

#161 Faron on 05.15.20 at 8:16 pm

#131 Lost…but not leased on 05.15.20 at 7:00 pm

#121 Faron on 05.15.20 at 6:26 pm
102 Lost…but not leased on 05.15.20

“Whatever…. dude or dudette…yawnnnn

Maybe review pattern recognition.”

The human brain is an unrivalled pattern recognition machine. Great when we were seeking out prey or learning about weather patterns in the early days. A source of serious error and bias nowadays. Don’t say you werent warned.

” Calm before the storm….don’t say you weren’t warned.
Don’t come crying when SHTF.”

Ok, and I’ll try not to snicker when I see you shouting nonsense and being ignored on a city corner.

Happy maylong, off to a BBQ

#46 Faron on 05.16.20 at 4:16 pm

#34 Doug Rowat on 05.16.20 at 2:54 pm

#29 BLACK GOLD on 05.16.20 at 2:29 pm

Your colleague is describing perhaps the key reason people prefer working from home. A 5 second commute is infinitely better than 1-2 hours on public transport during rush hour.



A short commute is nice, but time in the car or on the train or bike is good “me” time which I think was BLACK GOLD’s point. Punctuates the work day so home feels like home. Personally, a 20 minute commute by bike is optimal (live on the west coast where winter biking is much more doable than points east). Get some air, yell at some cars, exercise then return to the comfort of home rejuvinated.

#47 Faron on 05.16.20 at 4:21 pm

BTW: the chart looks like it’s from google finance, not yahoo. For what it’s worth.

#69 Faron on 05.16.20 at 6:35 pm

#49 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.16.20 at 4:28 pm

“Careless cash Fandango.”

What, in your understanding, would this economy look like without massive support? The US fed chair who leans right has a clear opinion as do most economists of all stripes. In your answer, don’t be lazy and claim “int’l conspiracy”. Think outside that box.

#31 Faron on 05.17.20 at 2:54 pm

#121 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.17.20 at 10:24 am
@#111 Billy Bob

“Does it really matter where a fricken graph comes from?
Apparently it does to pedants.”

I believe that sources matter and properly referring to your sources also matters. So do you apparently by distancing yourself from BrianT and TurnerNation and their conspiracy theories.

I gave Mr. Rowat the benefit of the doubt and took it as light hearted ribbing.

#40 Faron on 05.17.20 at 3:07 pm

#19 Do we have all the facts on 05.17.20 at 2:20 pm
I thought the premise behind the Bank of Canada’s decision to buy mortgage backed securities in the open market was to increase the supply of money available for loans.

Yeah, it looks like the purchases are ongoing. BofC website shows $235 million purchased last Thursday. I would guess it depends on what percentage of mortgages are taken off commercial bank balance sheets. If it’s a small fraction, then banks still need to be cautious. I would also speculate that there is regulation on the quality of loans that get packaged into MBS. Especially after the GFC when MBS were getting investment grade ratings but contained total garbage.

#46 Faron on 05.17.20 at 3:15 pm

#10 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.17.20 at 1:47 pm

Have you been tested for Covid 19?

Yes (and it’s effing uncomfortable) and negative. I’m not a medical doctor or health practitioner of any kind.

#62 Faron on 05.17.20 at 4:00 pm

#17 DrC on 05.17.20 at 2:06 pm

I’m a pessimistic fear monger, so read the following with that in mind.

I personally find it hard to believe that stocks can go much higher this year and that seems to be a large minority of the opinion out there. The shrinking majority is still looking for gang busters Q3 and especially Q4 and onward.

I know equities are forward looking and all, but really how far forward? If stock holders can be so sure that in 1 or 2 or more years things will be rosy, at what point do you just start calling it a bond market?

To answer your question, unless you are going to try to get in there and win some bets, your portfolio will be pretty flat over the next year with a big drop and retracement or two in there just to keep you on your toes. Given that bonds yield about the same as some indexes, it probably doesn’t matter what your mix is. You already made it through the most hair raising drop, so you’ll probably be able to weather the smaller drops that lie ahead and you want to maximally capture any won ground to the upside. Don’t change.

#64 Faron on 05.17.20 at 4:15 pm

#51 Abby

A poll is a poll. It’s agnostic. – Garth

Ha ha. That’s a good one.

It’s very easy to subtly or not so subtly write a poll to get exactly the answers you want or to get the political effect you want. Come on Garth, you were in the political arena, you know this.

An extreme example but one that’s used in dirty political campaigns frequently:

“If you knew that Justin Trudeau was involved in a secretive society of world leaders active in climate science would you vote for him?”

[] Yes

[] No

Is that a polling question. Yes. Agnostic? Efff no. It’s clear from your posts and your die hard readers/commenters that you (Garth) are biased toward seeing the virus response as mishandled at best or a dire global overreaction at worst. That comes across in your questions and it was what Abby was picking up on. The result is people will then bias their answers to counter the pollster’s bias or to align with it. It doesn’t suit you or your seemingly intelligent readership to play dumb like this.

Questions were simple and clear. If you don’t like the answers, find another blog. Maybe you could do that anyway. Thanks. – Garth

#81 Faron on 05.17.20 at 5:11 pm

Questions were simple and clear. If you don’t like the answers, find another blog. Maybe you could do that anyway. Thanks. – Garth

It’s your blog, you can ban me or delete my posts. I come here because it gets me out of my media bubble and by playing the opposition, maybe it helps y’all get out of yours.

#201 Faron on 05.18.20 at 1:57 pm

175 Howard on 05.18.20 at 5:54 am

#155 BOYCOTT CHINESE PRODUCTS on 05.17.20 at 11:42 pm

An Amazon search parameter allowing users to filter out products according to location of manufacture would be massively popular


Would work for about 3 seconds or until they notice the non Chinese goods are 1.5 x the price. If you took all of the Chinese made goods out of Walmart you would be left with the produce section. The wallets call the shots and wallets are getting really thin.

#124 Faron on 05.18.20 at 6:01 pm

Thanks for the post. It sounds ideal. Good of you to give back to the community by offering space. Nothin’ prettier than a wood boat. Kudos to any sailor who learns out there. Such a rich heritage of seafarers and truly testing conditions.

I had the pleasure of visiting lockeport for a holiday in February. We get some good storms out west here but the eastern seaboard is the home of the bomb cyclone. What the weather lacks for pleasantness in the winter it makes up for by being interesting. There’s some good surf in NS if you can stomach taking your wetsuit off in minus 5 after the sesh.

Happy Victoria day y’all

#135 Faron on 05.18.20 at 6:58 pm

Oh, and the food. Halifax has great beer, a grep public market and I’ve had one of the best slices of pizza in my life at a joint that shares space with a bar. Get your ‘zza and head over for a pint. Maybe it was so good because I’d just finished a long bike ride on a rental bike up and down the Shearwater Flyer/Atlantic View Trail. There’s a long stretch on an old railroad causeway with gorgeous estuary on both sides that all leads to Lawrencetown and the open sea.

Oh yeah, virus bad, you all are idiots etc. etc. Back to the sun.

#184 Faron on 05.19.20 at 2:36 am

152 Re-Cowtown on 05.18.20 at 8:34 pm

“Artists-per-square-mile is huge.” Garth

No offense to all the artsy types, but the reason that you get to make a living pursuing your muse is that other people do the dirty work of stoking the fires of the economy.

No one ever died from not viewing a performance of Cirque du Soleil, but plenty have frozen to death when the heat ran out.


I beg to differ. It life had no artists and thus no art, it would be so bleak as to be not worth living. Depressed and or despondent and uninspired workers are not going to get much done. Therefore, the economy needs artists. 30,000 years of human art bears the necessity of it out.

I’m guessing you have an immaculate , featureless lawn with a STAY OFF sign on it.

#231 Faron on 05.19.20 at 12:36 pm

192 Sail Away on 05.19.20 at 8:07 am

#184 Faron on 05.19.20 at 2:36 am
152 Re-Cowtown on 05.18.20 at 8:34 pm

So is it safe to assume then that you have no art on your walls, listen to no music and have never enjoyed a theater or dance performance? Damn, that’s bleak. And if you have but are claiming it doesn’t have some impact on your happiness or give you some insight, my mind is blown/you are robots.

Agreed that form following function is really appealing. I finally got around to rebuilding and lubing/greasing the winches on my boat. They aren’t complex machines, but the quality of the castings and machining is stunning. Neglected for prob almost 40 years and they cleaned up beautifully.

What about architecture? There are many nice looking (to me) elements of the built environment that have zero function. Even in brutalism.

#242 Faron on 05.19.20 at 2:38 pm

#234 Sail away on 05.19.20 at 1:10 pm

Old Barlows. I have a small boat, so they are single speed non self tailers, so not much to go wrong. I appreciate old, well used machines with parts that still show factory hone. Replaced the head on an old Toyota and was pleased to see the condition of the cylinders after 350k km. Thing leaked oil but sure didn’t burn it. New decked head improved the milage and power.

10% palatable sounds too high! Sounds like a boring gallery.

I’d think it’s a tough point to argue because, luckily, we are immersed in art on a daily basis so it’s hard to truly judge what an artless world would look and feel like. I would guess an artless world would have a max efficient economy for about a week before a few people said “eff it” and quit their jobs helping to make widgets in favor of max expression.

#18 Faron on 05.19.20 at 4:40 pm

7 BAC on 05.19.20 at 3:57 pm

I’ve similarly heard that one of the reasons kids are least effected is that their naive immune systems are constantly bombarded by non SARS-CoV-2 corona viruses so their immune response is keyed into such critters. There must be an expiry on the effect given that the older one is, the worse one fares.

One could imagine a world where Avery 5 or 10 years you gat the SARS2 until a vaccine comes along or all of the susceptible die off.

#93 Faron on 05.19.20 at 8:20 pm

#4 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.19.20 at 3:54 pm

My My
A scow on the toney side of Vancouver….how dare they…..


While we pedants are mincing words for no purpose, a scow is a flat bottomed craft, often with a snub bow. And not all scows are slow, but most are pretty ugly.

#118 Faron on 05.19.20 at 10:08 pm

#88 JBL on 05.19.20 at 7:57 pm

“(where it will grow tax free and remain liquid)”

Grow is the operative word here. Is the opportunity cost of putting the payment toward your mortgage really high enough over a 1/2 year timeframe to offset the interest you will be accumulating during forbearance and a potential credit hit and any potential market risks? Have you noticed that the market is quite volatile?

If liquidity is what you are after, at least put the deferred payments into a money market fund or some other guaranteed and fully liquid instrument.

What am I missing?

#169 Faron on 05.20.20 at 11:54 am

For those of you whining about the indebted/struggling poor. Add up the number of times you have gone to Timmies, cdn tire, grocery store, Starbucks, or virtually any other place of business with service workers.

So, now you have a fairly large number on your hands likely 2 or 3 times per day. You could probably say that you are reliant on such stores and the people who work in them and stock the shelves or check out the groceries or remember your coffee order.

Min wage is $13.85. Work 40 hours a week and you gross $2216. Net about $1800 A MONTH. One bedroom apartment here in Vic was going for about $1400 (dropping now). Utils another $100 leaves you $300 for food, savings, gifts, clothing etc.

Either STFU about the poor not saving. Or go to bat for them to be paid more by supporting higher min wages and organized labour. Or the Gov’t needs to get its shit together and fully pop the housing bubble or allow it to deflate in the current recession.

The tropes of low income people being dumb, lazy, greedy, etc. are outdated, false and would be highly offensive if you let that fly on the street and were overheard. In some neighbourhoods you would be lucky to leave with your teeth. You, I, or anyone else is equally dumb, lazy and greedy etc as a composite group.

Low income folks know how to budget, they know how to squeeze every cent of value out of a dollar. And because they continuously flirt with overdraft fees, credit card interest or fees, and other such “poor” taxes, they are being hoovered off of at a very high rate. Meanwhile, the stupid wealth where I live buys carbon fiber bikes and carmelatto lattes and buys cookie cutter shed roof modernist homes and talks smack about the less fortunate or just pities them and wishes it were other.

Minimum wage needs to be commensurate with cost of living or the cost of living needs to come down full stop. Check yourself and how the game is set up before you rip into other humans who have the same wants, needs and dreams you do. I’ve heard more enlightened talk at the yacht club than I’ve read among your posts this morning.

#44 Faron on 05.20.20 at 2:04 pm

In my opinion, the private lenders and the banking system needs to eat/write down exactly as much of the debt as they can and still remain functional. The paying of dividends in the worse case scenario is downright criminal. (I say that as a holder of CDN banks for their dividends).

This collapse could “work” if deflation and wage loss could happen in sync. Basically we all just “agree” that the whole economy is now worth less (or worthless), assets are worth less and wages need to drop. The pain in any economic event is in the transition to a new equilibrium.

Of course, all of the debt makes this impossible. Wages will drop, deflation will occur but the debt will remain in the hands of those that hold it. Either banks take massive hits including the failures of some or the government assumes as much of the mess as is needed to keep enough of the gears grinding to prevent starvation. In that case it gets paid back over generations if ever. No matter what, it will drag on the economy (global) for a loooong time.

No matter how you look at it, the low interest rate environment was a MASSIVE underestimation of global financial risk. That is plain to see now that debt is at a peak and the whole works is about to reorganize to put it mildly.

God speed you all. It’s coming for you (me)

#49 Faron on 05.20.20 at 2:17 pm

#35 Not 1st on 05.20.20 at 1:33 pm

Garth what is the sector or industry that will lead us out if this!

If there are none then shouldn’t the Feds be working on s national infrastructure program to spark it? What else is there?


Good question. Canada has the sleekest LEED certifed spankin’ new condos and the infrastructure of the poorest European countries. Seems like driving your lambo would be crap with so many bad roads around.

Funny aside: in last month’s US employment report the employment dispersion (breadth of up or down swings) was talked about. Of something like three sectors that gained in employment, one was the Federal Reserve banking system. Hilarious…

#54 Faron on 05.20.20 at 2:39 pm

#173 Sail away on 05.20.20 at 12:15 pm
#171 Faron on 05.20.20 at 11:54 am

On the military and worker mobility.

It’s true that one can join the military, but should that really be the only option? As much as you think everyone should be like you, we are luckily that it’s not the case. In the US it means a real likelihood that you are then sending the poorest off to face death which seems like a poor means of improving a life. And you recognize that that is a fully tax-funded and corporate giveaway of a work-training program, right? The US does have alternatives that (I think) Canada lacks. Americorps and Peacecorps for two.

I’ve long been a quiet proponent of mandatory national service either military or civil. You get paid a livable wage, some needed work gets done and you’ve earned your place in the country. Voters would have a better sense of what the military actually is and hopefully it would give the gov’t a bit more pause when sending folks into global scraps. Plus you get exposed to new career options and don’t turn into a right-down-the-chute academe like myself.

As for minimum wage and geographical economic mobility. Minimum wage is lower elsewhere by a couple of bucks, so there’s that. But, yeah, while I would prefer that people could choose where to live rather than become economic migrants, it seems strange to me that more people don’t seek opportunity elsewhere. Maybe living in WinnaGinaToon doesn’t allow one to live their #BestLyfe. Or maybe they don’t want to live in NS because they are afraid of Garth’s chiseled abs.

#112 Faron on 05.20.20 at 6:03 pm

#98 NFN_NLN on 05.20.20 at 4:55 pm

I’ve been wondering about the potential for rental price increases too. Between the time folks are forced out of their homes and when those homes are repurchased and put on the rental market there will be a big demand shock in rentals.

Very short term rent rate drop due to excess Air BnBs hitting the rental market. Then a gradual rise as demand picks up from foreclosures. A check-mark shaped price trend until houses resell and get reoccupied. Eventually the rental rates will land lower if vacation rentals become fewer and empty spec properties become occupied. Maybe a bouncing ball shape? First bottom in the next few months, second bottom about a year later.

Regardless, demand for apartments owned by residential REITs should be steady. Only question is how much rent prices deflate and ability to recoup rent or evict to get full rent payment.

#120 Faron on 05.20.20 at 6:33 pm

#99 Sail away on 05.20.20 at 4:57 pm

#54 Faron on 05.20.20 at 2:39 pm
#173 Sail away on 05.20.20 at 12:15 pm
#171 Faron on 05.20.20 at 11:54 am

Well, in the last 20 years, a total of around 6,200 US military have died in combat. Considering a military of 1.4M personnel and 30% annual turnover gives somewhere around 10 million servicemembers in that time, let’s just say the ‘real likelihood’ is vanishing small. 0.062%, or 1 in 1,612.

Math, you know.


Yep, the US military is really good at keeping people alive even without limbs present or operable. Combat morbidity is about 10x higher not including PTSD and then there are training accidents. Nice they give them free healthcare unlike the majority of non military in the US.

Excluding PTSD and using your numbers, that gives you 1 in 162 chance of life changing injury. Including PTSD that’s certainly worse not to mention that occasionally PTSD sufferers bring down additional victims stateside. That’s all on top of day to day hazard of being a working human. Plus, minorities and people from lower income backgrounds are more likely to land in the military because of a lack of other options. Obviously there’s personal choice there, but US highschools, through forced administration of the ASVAB, and heavy presence of recruiters make it damn clear that being vacuumed into the MIC is the only viable choice.

And, it’s all on the backs of the taxpayer and, being generous, maybe 50% of combat deployments have any real geopolitical value.

#144 Faron on 05.20.20 at 8:27 pm

#125 Sail Away on 05.20.20 at 6:57 pm

#120 Faron on 05.20.20 at 6:33 pm

Denigrate the military if you like


Criticizing with facts and denigrating are two different things. That’s your overly defensive assumption. I strongly question any claims that the military should be the primary rung on any upward mobility ladder. Seeing recruiting centers aside payday lenders in minority neighborhoods is a pretty good hint at their target audience.

#174 Faron on 05.20.20 at 10:29 pm

#123 Sail Away on 05.20.20 at 6:46 pm

Google morbidity ya goof. But thanks for upping the mortality number, that just makes it look more risky and like a worse option to force kids into when they had the bad luck of being born in a shit environment. If you think it is just for a bunch of rich a-holes in government to command people into wars that are intended to enrich themselves, then your sense of justice is pretty effed.

Been a pleasure. I’m done arguing with you and wasting both of our time. Everyone’s entrenched, it’s pointless.

#138 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.20.20 at 7:43 pm


@#120 faron.
Michael Moore anti military documentary….. blah blah, blah.
Capitalism bad, blah blah, blah. ”

PTSD is a thing and the US and Canadian militaries spend a lot to treat it. It has nothing to do with fairness. You are welcome to leave the stone age where people don’t have feelings at any time. I’d say “grow up” but clearly you are a fossil.

Said nothing about Michael Moore. Nor did I say Capitalism is bad. Never have. Pull your head out of your fart cloud and stop putting words in my mouth.

#130 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.20.20 at 7:11 pm

Even in the middle of a real absolute disaster Whitmer can’t stop herself from virtue signalling.


What the hell are you talking about? The only quote from her in the piece is her making a boilerplate request for federal aid. The real jerk is the orange fellow who made an a-political natural disaster into some kind of crappy put down. Way to bring people together.

Yeah, keep pulling out your pet phrase “virtue signalling”. Sounds like you have a mind control problem.

It’s way past beer time.

#254 Faron on 05.21.20 at 1:06 pm

#246 Sail away on 05.21.20 at 12:05 pm

#174 Faron on 05.20.20 at 10:29 pm
#123 Sail Away on 05.20.20 at 6:46 pm

All kinds of criticism, no solutions. Fairly common theme of a certain subset, actually.


Your interpretation of my words is based on what you *expect* me to write and think not what I’ve actually written. This is funny, because you have accused me and others of doing the same to you. Go back to square one and read my posts the first of which contained one possible solution. Instead of an accusatory implication of a “certain subset” just strap your nuts on and say what you think that subset is. Take a risk and expose yourself and your beliefs as I have done in responding to you.

TL:DR I’m not arguing against the military or those in it. Nor am I arguing that folks don’t volunteer to join from all walks of life. Nor am I arguing that it cannot help people achieve a viable livelihood. It would be foolish for me to do so because I have four family members that have served and one who still does.

I’m arguing that it shouldn’t be the only viable option especially because it has greater hazard. Again, I presented one solution in my first post: mandatory civil or military service. Another would be expansion of Americorps to help serve underserved communities. Another would be expansion of trade schools and scholarship funding for them. I suspect that the bang for buck metric on non-military programs would be much better because the overhead of weaponry, logistics, housing etc etc.

Good morning darlin’. I’m off to drink my kale smoothie and get my chakras cleaned.

#259 Faron on 05.21.20 at 1:28 pm

#181 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.20.20 at 11:12 pm


Michael Moore regurgitated.


Enough with the Michael Moore accusation. I don’t even know which film you are talking about and I’m not a fan of his style of shallowly researched gotcha journalism. That approach doesn’t serve anyone well. And, yes, I would have written that before his producer’s green technology film came out.

#39 Faron on 05.21.20 at 4:38 pm

#8 Attrition on 05.21.20 at 2:30 pm

In step 6 of your Latte recipe, does it work if I shake it like a polaroid picture?

#40 Faron on 05.21.20 at 4:41 pm

#13 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.21.20 at 2:47 pm

Apparently you missed “irony” when the stork was handing it out……..


I blame Alanis. She ruined that and many other things for me.

#79 Faron on 05.21.20 at 6:30 pm

#50 Attrition on 05.21.20 at 5:07 pm
#39 Faron on 05.21.20 at 4:38 pm
#8 Attrition on 05.21.20 at 2:30 pm

Only if you’re very, very vigorous about it.


Worked a treat. My WFH life has been improved. Curious, why the two-stage hot water add?

#85 Faron on 05.21.20 at 6:54 pm

#46 Attrition on 05.21.20 at 4:59 pm

I hypothesize that the size and impact of a bubble is a function of the stickiness of the asset price. I would say oil prices were pretty bubbly right before and after the GFC into 2014, and Albertans may argue that the pop had a pretty big impact. But, the asset price is highly volatile and about as unsticky as it gets. I would wager the momentum of a bubble build can’t last too long so the duration of pain is also short and can be surmounted by taking on and paying off corporate debt and laying off workers from time to time.

Housing: super sticky helping to make bubble growth decades long in the current Canadian case and thereby loading in a lot of potential for pain. careers have been build in sales, law, construction etc over this time and they are going to be unwound in the event of a major drop.

All of this is reminding me of the scene in The Big Short where the guru points out that being right on their bet against MBS has massive economic implications. Garth and whomever else being right in envisioning the bubble is cold comfort.

Hubris Garth. You remind me of the giggling vacationers in Phuket in videos of the 2004 boxing day tsunami. It starts with them watching some big waves coming in. Then they realize it’s serious, then they turn to run right when it’s too late. – Faron

#16 Faron on 05.22.20 at 1:27 pm

#2 Classical Liberal Millennial on 05.22.20 at 12:56 pm

Right here CLM. Ouch Garth, it hurts when the bus runs over me like that.

For one, the economic tsunami is still unfolding. I think at the time a V-shaped recovery was predicted with an overshooting growth rate in 2021 before things settle. Based on the dire blog posts here of late and the news in general, it doesn’t sound like that’s happening. So, not wrong.

For the other… Mid march. Let’s see. Those heady days when lockdowns were still fun and we could innocently joke about toilet paper. Here are the case and death numbers based on 15 Mar.:

Total cases now: 5,100,000
Total global cases then: 89,000
Factor of 57 larger in two months

Global daily infection rate now: 107,000 (new record actually)
then: 15,000
Factor of seven larger in two months. (imagine how happy you would be if your returns went from 15% in March to a yield of 107%).

Daily death rate now: somewhere between 3400-5000 and dropping (seems fewer people die on weekends…)
Daily death rate then: 691
Factor of five to seven larger

Total deaths now: 334,000
Total global deaths then: 6,500
Factor of 51 larger.

And this is with global measures in place everywhere except Brazil where the virus is growing at an unchecked exponential currently.

Although the rates haven’t adhered perfectly to the models, the growth has been massive and continues at a steady, hot simmer. Pooched, yes. Blame the near-global identical response? I won’t be. Even after I lose my job and am living in a tent feasting on Squirrel.

#39 Faron on 05.22.20 at 2:09 pm

#19 Leo on 05.22.20 at 1:30 pm

Take a deep breath and let your fear go… it will set you free.


Fully agree. I’m the first to admit that fear has played an outsized role in my life.

The misunderstanding is that we who cried hubris are worried about the virus when the actuality is we are worried about the people who just can’t wrap their minds around how interconnected we are and how easy it is to spread this thing and the real impact it’s having.

I’m 42 y.o. and fit. I’m not too worried about the virus in terms of my personal health. Boomers should be worried, especially boomers that have any kind of heart condition/diabetes/obesity/COPD.

There’s a great article in The New Yorker that talks about the people in the CDC trained to communicate epidemic response. They highlight the challenge of striking a balance between effectively communicating danger and asking for behaviour change. Push too strong and people revolt and you’re hooped. Don’t push hard enough and the thing takes over and you’re hooped. Regardless, there will be rancor from the don’t tread on me crowd. The results of successful messaging and response are clear when comparing locations that received differing information. I know most (or none) of you will read it because you see it as Fake News or MSM, but in case you are interested:


#107 Faron on 05.22.20 at 4:34 pm

#70 Phylis on 05.22.20 at 3:45 pm

You know you put yourself under the bus, right?


BS. To hide a post (I don’t think he even marked it as DELETED in the post stream) and then use it later as red meat and to claim victory in the viral component of the battle that is about 1/3 over is throwing someone under the bus regardless of how much you dislike their stance. Plus, I was and am right in having made that statement. Look at the numbers.

Just because we are all lucky enough to live in a place where infections have been low doesn’t mean this hasn’t been and doesn’t continue to be an utter disaster in terms of public health.

#114 Faron on 05.22.20 at 4:53 pm

#96 Deplorable Dude on 05.22.20 at 4:15 pm

That model’s algos were so bad it gave different results when run on different computers.


Send us the evidence. I understand numerical stability and given how these models work, I think you are very likely wrong. But, I will concede to you if you give me a source to read.

#151 Faron on 05.22.20 at 6:31 pm

#126 Toronto_CA on 05.22.20 at 5:22 pm

Thanks Toronto_CA and I hope you are well also. Thank you for posting those. I don’t have access to the first so I read the Daily Mail article. It sounds like a pretty woolly bunch of code. I would love to see it for myself.

Anyhow, you were right Deplorable. I hope you read on in that article that there’s a lot more to the findngs and not all of what Ferguson has done or said has been off base or wrong. The article quotes the paper as saying:

“If the strictest possible measures are introduced, the number of deaths over a two-year period will fall below 20,000, the scientists said.”

UK is now at 36,000 dead. So, I would say that his work was fairly prescient in that particular case.

I’ve personally written code and presented results from it when there were errors in the code. Fixing the problem didn’t affect the results. If it did I (and I hope any reputable researcher) would either correct or retract the finding.

The code that runs the computer and the software you use on it are full of bugs BTW. Research code of this type has been slowly replaced as folks (like me) realize that computer scientists actually code professionally. Nowadays many of the larger modelling centres hire computer scientists. That keeps the code base strong and allows researchers to do what they do best. That doesn’t mean that old results need to be thrown out, but review is always a good idea.

#172 Faron on 05.22.20 at 7:23 pm

#129 Freedom First on 05.22.20 at 5:24 pm

One more message- I believe that Trump won the coming U.S. election yesterday


If not then, Biden handed it to him today with his “You ain’t black” gaff. You thought the conservatives handed the election to the liberals in Canada. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

#236 Faron on 05.22.20 at 11:17 pm

Hubris ye naysayers,

You still remind me of the giggling vacationers in Phuket in videos of the 2004 boxing day tsunami. It starts with them watching some big waves coming in. Then they realize it’s serious, then they turn to run right when it’s too late.

Have fun out there this weekend kiddos. Don’t go chasing the fish flopping around on freshly exposed ocean bottom.

#241 Faron on 05.23.20 at 12:06 am

Sorry, I missed this:

#268 Sail away on 05.15.20 at 3:58 pm


I’m assuming you are a climate guy based on your general stances on other things.

A question:

Do you find it difficult to reconcile going to great lengths to protect all people from virus danger while simultaneously recognizing that climate degradation would be reduced if there were fewer humans?

The two views seem, in my mind, to be diametrically opposed. For vehement climate emergency buffs, the Corvid should be a godsend, and the more people it scythes away, the better. Yes? No?


I’m sure you were waiting with ‘bated breath to hear from me on this.

I’ll take your question as sincere and at face value.

I believe that people on the earth have the right to as comfortable and as happy and as free of lives as is possible given circumstances and that I have the responsibility to do what I can to help that while looking after those close to me.

There’s diametric opposition in one dimension (more (fewer) people = greater (lesser) resource use = likely greater (lesser) climate impact). But there are a multitude of other dimensions that make that view far too narrow to be the basis of action (or inaction) or policy.

One is that choosing to do nothing now WRT virus has nearly immediate costs in terms of human life with little hope of mitigation. Another is that population is only one of many factors leading us to trouble with climate change. It’s harder to achieve climate goals with a larger pop, but not impossible. It’s also possible to achieve these goals while helping to raise the overall status of humans in the world if constructive policy could be agreed upon.

It’s also true that an unsought side benefit to the stoppage of the economy is lower GHG emission. This in no way is what any rational policymaker would have instituted to reach emissions targets. It is very unfortunate that the Gov’t has had to mount an extremely expensive campaign to keep the country afloat during the birus when those dollars could have just as well gone to aiding the transition to a less carbon intensive economy. But, c’est la vie.

Have a good weekend

#298 Faron on 05.23.20 at 11:32 am

#264 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 8:37 am

Thanks pal. It’s nice how instead of countering ideas presented in good faith with ideas you offer a paternalistic correction of my rhetorical approach.

#74 Faron on 05.23.20 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for the great post Ryan. That’s an appreciated sober and positive outlook.

I just wanna say thanks to #60 and #61 for your usernames and for posting in that sequence.

#88 Faron on 05.24.20 at 1:55 am

76 Fused on 05.23.20 at 9:49 pm

Looks like WHO says 1m, research shows up to 6m is needed.

Do your own experiment.

1) go buy some cheezies or doritos
2) put a handful in a ziplock and keep with you at all times
3) if you feel a sneeze coming on quickly put cheezies in mouth and chew
4) let er rip
5) grab a tape measure and see how far the smallest chunks travelled

Procedure also works for coughing and moist talking

#82 Faron on 05.25.20 at 1:18 am

#76 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.24.20 at 8:58 pm

Minus a few thousand rental cars in Florida……


Florida man, at it again.

#15 Faron on 05.25.20 at 2:33 pm

Sounds like a horrible tenant. It also sounds like the tenant is paying rent. The garbage isn’t the l-lord’s business until the time of end of tenancy unless some cleanliness level is stated in agreement. At end of tenancy any damage can be held back from the d.d. So grounds for eviction are pets and smoking. Fair enough. That’s one side of the story.

There obviously needs to be a change in how tenants are protected when egrigous abuses like this occur. Some way of either housing the evicted or compensating the owner until time of tribunal is needed. This also makes me think if the issues the US FDA faces when a fast response is needed out of an otherwise long process. They have streamlined many pathways and it sounds like the federal Canadian govt needs to push provinces to do the same, or step in with their weight. Another option would be a tax deduction for lost rent or for having to pay rent when you can’t occupy an owned primary residence.

Take a moment to think of how things would look if there were no protections for tenants unable to pay right now. Suddenly you have thousands more on the street on top of the thousands who are there from addiction or other pre covid problems. I guess then you ignore them until the tents pop up on the dog pooping grounds? Then what? Jail? But then a trial would be needed…

Keep in mind, too, that many who are able to pay mortgages are stiffing the banks and stuffing their TFSA as Garth highlighted earlier. But I guess that’s not theft because the banks have the BoC buying MBS so NBD? Many here also stated they would claim CERB even if not needed. Who is screwing who starts to get fuzzy.

Keep in mind that the squeekiest wheels get heard. And that the more resources you have, the louder you can squeek. There are certainly many tenants who are facing (or have faced) pushy landlords who violated their rights. This doesn’t make the present example okay, but the evicted side isn’t getting heard. I’d like to know their story.

#52 Faron on 05.25.20 at 4:51 pm

No one is claiming CERB is a right. CERB has eligibility criteria, rights dont. You are eligible to drive, but it’s not a right.

Stable housing of some kind *is* a basic human right by international agreement.

The govvy isn’t advising any particular action WRT rent payment, just pointing out policy. Look at their words. They are describing provincial policy in action in all provinces.

What are your solutions after the eviction happens? Or does the problem magically end there?

Facts matter
Endless complaining doesn’t help
Let’s debate solutions

#152 Faron on 05.25.20 at 9:52 pm

#129 Shirl Clarts on 05.25.20 at 8:20 pm

#123 Howard on 05.25.20 at 7:57 pm

Here’s a solution.

Maybe a simple way (in concept, not action) of doing this would be for the owner and tenant to go into a bank. The tenant gives their financial information showing their inability to pay rent and a credit line is issued with a rate identical to that of the homeowner’s mortgage + some increment to protect the bank (although this should be backstopped by the gov’t). The renter has no control over the funds. The landlord and/or tenant show the lease agreement displaying the monthly rental amount and duration of the lease. Each month, the bank pulls money in that amount from the tenant’s “credit line” and holds it in escrow thus protecting the homeowner by building up a reserve of compensation dollars. The bank is protected because no dollars have been gained or lost, they can reasonably bail and zero the debt with the escrowed dollars. If lease expires, the tenant has to move out. The homeowner, if deferring, doesn’t need to do a thing. The renter has an increasing debt, but can still get by day-to-day if dollars are tight.

Unwinding this requires that the situation be eased enough that the tenant can afford rent again or moving is possible given social distancing restrictions. Or that the tenancy tribunals are moving enough for resolution to be found. Regardless, the escrow dollars will go to the owner and the tenant is on the hook with a risk of credit score damage if they fail to pay/go bankrupt.

BTW, Those of you grousing about the contract breaking probably forgot that when the owners signed up for a mortgage, they probably signed a contract or two saying they would pay their mortgage on a set schedule.

#239 Faron on 05.26.20 at 11:43 am

#226 Sail Away on 05.26.20 at 10:11 am

I’m not a genius like Elon.


Too bad he’s already married. I bet you’d look good in a dress at his side.

#253 Faron on 05.26.20 at 1:21 pm

#241 Sail Away on 05.26.20 at 12:29 pm

#237 Faron on 05.26.20 at 11:43 am
#226 Sail Away on 05.26.20 at 10:11 am


It’s good to see we’ve reached the level of true intellectual discussion.


Ha, yeah. As soon as I wrote that I realized I deployed that ol’ “why don’t you marry it.” Alas.

But, declaring someone a genius isn’t much more intellectual now is it? Last time I put thoughtful effort into responding to you I got nothing in return.

Anyhow, gotta go, I have some virtues to signal.

#35 Faron on 05.26.20 at 5:16 pm

#5 Doug t on 05.26.20 at 4:32 pm

The housing market is destroying this country – burn it down now please and thanks


Yep. Unfortunately, there’s global demand for RE in stable countries. If it drops much, money will come flooding in, FB tax or no. Still, the market has to be allowed to melt down in order for a lesson to be learned by amateur landlords or those that view RE as investment rather than shelter and a safe place to stash money.

All those freed up dollars would help personal savings and financial markets and thus make Canada more competitive.

#44 Faron on 05.26.20 at 5:32 pm

#7 Deplorable Dude on 05.26.20 at 4:35 pm

#233 YukonElvis…” Scotiabank stock up 4.94% today after that announcement. How about that ?”

Actually finished the day up 7.4% ! All the banks were up big time today.

No idea what to make of this….all seems fake


Pretty stoked to hold a financials ETF.

Not long ago that would have made for a nice bump up for the TSX. But now a big chunk of the index is Shopify and today it went the other way to put it mildly.

#51 Faron on 05.27.20 at 4:12 pm

An aside:

An interesting example of the fractal (self-similar) nature of markets today. Look at a plot of the S&P index from open to about 2PM today. Looks almost identical to a plot of daily closing from Feb 21 until now.

Initial drop, small resurgence, steep drop, rapid recovery, steady climb with dips.

Not making any assumptions of future performance, but neato if you ask me.

#58 Faron on 05.27.20 at 4:36 pm

#47 SaveOurGreatCountry on 05.27.20 at 3:59 pm

Kinda what happens when a country is pinned to two asset classes — resources and real estate — or three if you count banks. Oil is on its way out (kicking and screaming), RE may take a hard hit and injur the banks along the way. All of this policy predates Trudeau. However, he’s had a few years now to fix the mess and has done little.

I see a direct relationship between the underperforming TSX and the oil struggle bus, diversion of capital to RE and RE debt servicing, and high dividends. Way too much money and credit has been tied up into an incredibly backward looking, un-innovative and oligopolistic banking and RE sectors. Doling out dividend cash to investors instead of leveraging those dollars within corps makes your stock popular, but does nothing to stimulate creative growth. It’s no coincidence that many of the most innovative publicly traded companies have a near zero dividend. BRK.B is another example. Buffet is smart enough to direct capital to where it has leverage and knows share holders will (eventually) benefit.

#103 Faron on 05.27.20 at 7:55 pm

#73 not 1st on 05.27.20 at 5:44 pm

Easy there.

Oil would sell if the market price were high enough full stop. Sure, lack of infrastructure puts a premium on our oil. But when you have 10% of GDP in one commodity, you are tying the economy to a boom bust sector. Doesn’t matter what leader is in office, $30 bbl crude means that 10% is faltering. The US sits on a lot of oil and until recently was the largest oil producer, but the economy is diverse enough that an oil hit can be withstood (when there isn’t a crippling pandemic in play).

The other 20% is RE and RE related stuff. So 30% of 1.7T is 500B devoted to two industries that aren’t exactly hotbeds for innovation. The world is slowly turning away from oil and Canada had better stop hoping for that to reverse and start using all the well educated who are here and the stability of the nation to work on more progressive things. I’m not saying oil will or should go away anytime soon, but it will. This is obviously a simplistic way to look at things, but i think the gist makes sense.

This is no one in particular’s fault other than failures to promote an environment that inspires investment in anything else than the above (grossly speaking — or should I say moistly?). It’s been too easy for politicians to goose the economy by goosing housing. Time to goose something else.

#55 Faron on 05.28.20 at 6:16 pm

Heres my guess for house price over time although not sure if the parametric shape is correct at the start of the drop:

When t = DOM

P = Po – Pf * (1 – e ^ -(k(t – DOM)/DOM))

t is time in days since list
Po is listing price
Pf is floor price
P is market value
k is fear factor

#60 Faron on 05.28.20 at 6:23 pm

#29 Not 1st on 05.28.20 at 5:22 pm

food and utilities. Great place to stick your money


If you want minimal risk. If you want growth, throw some $$$ at the equities that are just now waking up. More risk but way more growth potential. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

#92 Faron on 05.28.20 at 8:31 pm

A friendly update because facts matter:

Remember that time many of the COVID deniers said

“watch Sweden, watch Brazil”?

Brazil with 1/5th the active cases and 2/3 the population of the US is exceeding the new death and new case rates of the US and any other country on the planet. Bolsonaro, How’s that chloroquine working out for you? Good, good. Oh, and your economy is awful. Well done.

And out good friend Sweden. While the rest of europe has had its cases more or less level off (although there are new spikes in cases in France and Spain). Sweden with a population density far surpassed by every other large European nation (population density more or less a proxy for contact between people) will soon exceed France in deaths per million. And your economy is awful too. And look, the case and death rates are flat and not declining. Meaning:

every day
it’s a gettin’ closer
movin’ faster
than a roller coaster…
Love like Sweden’s will (hopefully never) come our way.

Lookout Spain!

Anyhow, I’ll concede that Japan remains a mystery. However, it’s known as a very culturally polite nation, so I’m sure minimal rule issuance is effective there.

#94 Faron on 05.28.20 at 8:37 pm

#80 Captain Uppa on 05.28.20 at 7:42 pm

So with appetite for risk diminishing hourly


sez who? Today was mildly down (although with a run for the exits at close) but over the past two weeks, there’s been a 7.4% gain on the S&P. Someone is hungry for risk.

#114 Faron on 05.28.20 at 10:11 pm

#105 Don Guillermo on 05.28.20 at 9:13 pm

Much less fun, but pick up a $1000 toyota and do your trip. If they damage the vehicle, who cares, you can still sell it for $1000 when you get home. Plus, you’ll get sympathy points so less likely to be harassed.

#177 Faron on 05.29.20 at 11:53 am

#160 Job#1 on 05.29.20 at 10:05 am

#128 CJohnC
#133 Do we have all the facts

Just because it’s on researchgate (facebook/linkdin for scientists) doesn’t mean it’s been peer reviewed or represents anything other than opinion. Looks like this particular article was posted there to give it an air of legitimacy even though is sole authored and has not undergone review of any kind.

You have to understand your sources.

#184 Faron on 05.29.20 at 1:17 pm

#176 Sail Away on 05.29.20 at 11:52 am
#168 BrianT on 05.29.20 at 10:53 am


Logic has no place in this conversation


Apparently not to you guys.

Racial composition of the US:

5.7:1 white to black

Racial composition of police shootings

1.8:1 white to black

Pull your head out.

I love your tells BTW.

#20 Faron on 05.30.20 at 4:08 pm

#6 Sail Away on 05.30.20 at 1:36 pm

I absolutely agree with Trudeau about racism and am vehemently opposed to anti-white racism

Anyone who has to expressly state opposition to anti – white racism in the US as their first claim on race related issues is vile. I know you think you are stirring the pot and or taking a “brave” minority view. In actuality you are joining voices with a cowardly, fearful, backwards and racist group too afraid to be overtly hateful towards minorities but too mired in the MAGA glory days when the only voices were white to be anything but contemptible if not white nationalist.

#81 Faron on 05.31.20 at 2:48 am

#58 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.30.20 at 7:54 pm

#43 Sail Away on 05.30.20 at 6:14 pm

I know a troll when I see one and crap when I smell it. My statement stands. You’ve been leaking mildly racist comments here for three days sailboat.

Bytor, I’m a middle aged white guy living in one of the most prosperous nations on earth with great friends and family and enough dollars to stay afloat. I’m lucky AF and recognise it as such.

Happy Sunday everyone.

#115 Faron on 05.31.20 at 12:52 pm

#95 PsychMajor on 05.31.20 at 9:54 am

Thanks, that’s excellent advice. Cheers.

#121 Faron on 05.31.20 at 3:58 pm

#111 MF on 05.31.20 at 12:27 pm

95 PsychMajor on 05.31.20 at 9:54 am

I am willing to own up to my role in upping the Troll:normal ratio. I stand behind my words but also regret souring the discourse here to the extent I have.

My heart is with all who are experiencing violence in the US right now — both demonstrators and police. This is tragic and very hard to watch as a native of one of the affected cities. The US is further wounded which will be to the peril of many worldwide.

#106 Faron on 05.31.20 at 7:59 pm

#79 MF on 05.31.20 at 5:49 pm

Thanks MF, I likewise appreciate your posts. Always impressed at your unflappability. I’m not going for a double MJ and retiring again. I’m pledging to keep from amplifying the more inflammatory stuff i see and not posting my own. But, if I see tripe pulled straight out of the Daily Stormer playbook, then I’ll call it out no matter what nationality the hands it was typed by are.

#157 Faron on 06.01.20 at 12:05 am

#130 Sail Away on 05.31.20 at 9:41 pm

I apologise Sail Away. I saw language and statistics being bandied around recently that are very, very frequently part of racist or barely sub-racist dog whistling. If I misread you through the imperfect lens of the internet, I apologise. You are a smart man, you should consider widening the pool from which you draw ideas from to better serve your mind. If you can suggest sources for thoughtful, right leaning commentary or analysis I’ll do the same.

Fair winds

#228 Faron on 06.01.20 at 11:56 am

#177 Gent Cull on 06.01.20 at 7:43 am

“If you meet a girl and you tell her your dream is to be a leach living in a tent, expect to wake up alone.”

That’s actually a perfectly acceptable and successful dating strategy here in Vic and, IMO, there are some damn hot hippy chicks.

#53 Faron on 06.01.20 at 3:40 pm

#17 Millennial905er on 06.01.20 at 1:40 pm

“It seems like, just like there are protected classes of people who can protest, (anti lockdown protesters are slandered as yahoos, others …. ?!?) there are also protected segments of GDP (real estate gets headlines for gvt financial support, but not Oil and gas)

As far as I can tell, none of the anti lockdown protests were stopped. Nor have the peaceful George Floyd protests aside from the stray dude here and there who showed up to the “help the police”. But whaddya expect from a dude from Barstow CA.

There have been people slandering the anti-lockdowners just as there have been people slandering the George Floyd and BLM protestors in the US. I don’t see protection. In fact, I see plenty of instances of police hammering on peaceful protesters when there were no cases of that (as far as I know) in the anti-lockdown rallies.

As for protected sectors. First, to be clear, I’m rooting for a RE correction back to normalcy as are many. Second, RE is considered for protection because it’s both directly tied to consumer’s pocketbooks and it’s got a large portion if the CDN GDP wrapped up in it. Third, oil, gas and coal are on their way out. No time soon, but when Blackrock highlights the need to transition to new energy sources, it means that there’s money to be made there and/or money to be lost by not doing so. Despite offering some nice, cheap ETF’s for lazy investors like myself, Blackrock is not a charitable organization.

We’ll also always use coal unless we find an alternative reducing agent in smelting. We’ll always use oil and gas as long as plastics and other feedstocks are needed, but oil as energy is a waste of an otherwise extremely useful substance. I’d be really bummed if I couldn’t buy epoxy anymore for instance. Burning oil makes me think of burning arbutus as firewood. Arbutus is an excellent fuel and holds up to oak in terms of BTUs per cord, but it’s also an extremely beautiful hardwood. So, maybe using it to heat your home doesn’t make sense. There are alternatives, they are growing, invest in them.

#60 Faron on 06.01.20 at 3:53 pm

#51 604-closure on 06.01.20 at 3:36 pm

Interesting discussion.

I wonder about #3 and #4 too. People will have to go somewhere if they get foreclosed upon, and that could make things quite complex (slumping one RE sector while another spikes). It’s also why I hold apartment focused REITs. It’s hard to imagine fewer people renting in the future and I’d guess that the bottom is in as far as non-payment of rent is concerned.

Sideline money for sure. Walking example here. There are a lot of renters who are “just” out of the market and who will rapidly come in when the prices dip. I think this may provide more support than credit is given for. However, it would surprise me if CMHC hasn’t factored this into their model(s). It also conflicts with my hypothesis that apartments REITs are a sure bet.

#63 Faron on 06.01.20 at 3:59 pm

I’ll add that it’s essential that as much support as is possible is provided to those in the oil/gas/coal sectors as the transition happens. If a gov’t is going to impose carbon taxes to push a migration it absolutely has to help those negatively affected. 10% of the economy is a lot of workers working at all income levels.

#87 Faron on 06.01.20 at 5:11 pm

#65 James on 06.01.20 at 4:03 pm

“Who pays the exorbitant strata fees and who will pay for the insurance? If you can get it!”

I’m sure a REIT would be happy to scoop up whole buildings to add to the portfolio. During the GFC, property management outfits scooped up many distressed home sales in the US. I’m reckon they will be in the mix here too once prices are low enough to help the business cases.

#119 Faron on 06.01.20 at 6:33 pm

Sail Away:

“Weak leaders avoid hard decisions. Sound familiar?”

Sorry Sail Away, but I gotta write this:

Do strong leaders dictate policy by fiat over twitter while consulting cronies and denying viewpoints that run counter to his overinflated sense of self and sense of intelligence? “Sorry Dr. Fauci, I know you’re a preeminent global expert on viruses and infectious disease and have served under numerous administrations in a bipartisan way such as joining forces with W to build an AIDS program that has saved millions of lives, but I’m going to do this my own way.”

Bleach anyone?

The man can barely read a teleprompter which would be fine if he was dislexic or ESL, but he’s neither. Dumb and hard-headed != strong. Just means he’s is a rock and eventually everything will flow past him and leave him blubbering in the smoldering pile of his once strong country.

In my opinion.

#210 Faron on 06.02.20 at 12:29 am

#155 Sail Away on 06.01.20 at 7:59 pm

Fair enough. And true.

#215 Faron on 06.02.20 at 1:34 am

#125 Attrition on 06.01.20 at 6:47 pm

Can you please disclose for us what invisible leftist force is keeping you from typing and submitting a post here? And can you further outline why it is that when the ratio of right wing wind bags to left wing wind bags gets down to 3:1 people like you start to complain and ask for us to be silenced somehow in the name of free speech?

Don’t waste your time composing complaints about the political make up of the internet. Use it formulate your arguments. Us leftist moths are drawn to your luminous garbage fire. At least make the smoke potent enough to make us pause and consider.

#64 Faron on 06.02.20 at 4:59 pm

#46 SunShowers on 06.02.20 at 4:34 pm

Yep, CERB sets a minimum rate for labour in the free market. You want an operating business and want workers to leave the teat, raise your wages — in a simplistic sense. Through globalism, the labour market rates are diluted by people who live in lower cost of living environs so can afford to ask for less. This brings wages down here while maintaining or increasing corporate profitability so those same corps can pay CEOs, increase or maintain dividends and or buy back shares. Now that the investing class demands large or stable returns, the strip mining of wealth from the 90% continues to get worse through stagnant wage. And, guess what, if people earn more then they can pay a bit more in taxes.

#67 Faron on 06.02.20 at 5:13 pm

#57 Toronto_CA on 06.02.20 at 4:54 pm

We agree here. Consumption taxes are regressive and flat taxes are worse still. Toronto_CA said it well. I’d go for a luxury tax.

I also agree that further taxing the consumption of a consumer driven economy will just extend the pain of the least well off and keep GDP growth in the pit.

Tax what you don’t want. Failing that, work to retain as much tax already in the code as possible by making it as hard as possible to offshore dollars. In my opinion, individual nations will never be able to do this because large corps will relocate. It would require a (probably impossible) unilateral effort.

MF points out that other nations are able to maintain a decent economy with steep and progressive taxation making up for that pain with world class schooling and medical care. This was one reason Sweden cited for taking a more lax approach toward COVID, if someone gets sick, the social support system is there for them with paid sick leave and excellent medical services.

Can’t wait until the blog or comments start flogging the dead austerity horse.

#74 Faron on 06.02.20 at 5:21 pm

#45 BillinBC on 06.02.20 at 4:28 pm
#8 Paul

“Fewer” agents

Jeez Sail Away, one post under your alias and you give it right away. And they call me a pedant?

#80 Faron on 06.02.20 at 5:30 pm

#69 NewWest on 06.02.20 at 5:16 pm

Just about spat out my coffee. RIP Robin Williams

BTW: Garth, thanks for your ongoing interesting posts and for the hard work you must have to do to pour through the comments here. Hopefully you have some AI or other computational support or, as we would do in academia, a grad student/intern.

Cheers. I/we owe you a drink!

#100 Faron on 06.02.20 at 5:59 pm

#75 Howard on 06.02.20 at 5:24 pm
#66 Faron on 06.02.20 at 5:13 pm
#57 Toronto_CA on 06.02.20 at 4:54 pm

We agree here. Consumption taxes are regressive…


Why? Aren’t food staples GST-exempt anyway?

Why would it be unfair for people to pay more sales tax on an iPhone they don’t need?


You are right that it would disincentivise consumption and the argument is that isn’t what a recovering economy needs. You are right that, by
rate, it’s flat (neither prog. nor reg.) By effect it’s regressive. Say you earn 60k and I earn 30k. Say you are really frugal and we both have the same fixed costs to live say 25k per year. Food, rent, clothes, housewares etc. Some of those costs are subject to GST. If 60% of those fixed costs are taxable then that’s 15k taxed at 5% or $750 . For me that’s 2.5% of my income. For you it’s 1.25% and that’s regressive.

You may say that the 60ker will pay more because they will spend more and that’s true. But, if 25k is an unavoidable floor on cost of living, then the 60ker has options to decrease their tax rate while the 30ker has very few. Again, the impact relative to income is regressive. To pay a flat rate relative to income, the 60ker could spend another 15k on misc items just to get up to an even rate and still sock away 20k per year in their RRSP.

See what I’m sayin’?

#193 Faron on 06.02.20 at 10:19 pm

#166 Howard on 06.02.20 at 8:14 pm

I could get on board with a time-tiered CG tax on primary residences. I think anything that takes basic needs out of the speculative game is a good idea.

#161 Howard on 06.02.20 at 8:02 pm

#122 Rico on 06.02.20 at 6:40 pm
Both increasing GST and flat tax would severely exacerbate the wealth gap in Canada


No it would NOT.

Did you read my admittedly simplistic illustration? It’s regressive if you ask poorer people to pay out a larger share of their income than wealthier people do which is what GST does. Regressive tax are punitive to low incomers and make it even harder to get ahead. They incentivise having a high income, but there are already plenty of incentives there.

I guess you could expand GST exempt items or increase the size and income threshold of the GST tax credit. But there are other ways to encourage saving and hobbling consumer spending will be a bad idea into the future until the economy is rolling again.

#258 Faron on 06.03.20 at 10:55 am

#206 Serge McLennon on 06.03.20 at 12:09 am

This guy is a freeloader and has no right to enjoy the benefits of living here, IMO. I’m going to guess he’s very much not alone among those at his income level and above. I’m going to assume many in position to wrangle their tax bill down are doing so yet these same people are probably taking a wage subsidy right now and also going to bitch about a higher tax rate. These are some of the loop holes that need to close. Or, you can recognize the direct relationship between your taxes and the quality of life in your country and quit with the tax avoidance.

Oh, and a carbon tax HAS to be revenue neutral to gain any traction. I’d be happy to see it raised a lot, but those dollars need to be offset by lower tax elsewhere if it’s to be at all politically palatable.

#259 Faron on 06.03.20 at 11:00 am

#250 Sail away on 06.03.20 at 9:48 am

Two problems with your scenario

1) the “food” is not being sent out of Canada

2) when the “food” is consumed it just gets handed off to another person who can eat it.

Your scenario neglects the fact that, even if you don’t benefit from CERB directly, you most certainly do indirectly and you have probably already had CERB dollars pass through your accounts.

#260 Faron on 06.03.20 at 11:08 am

#222 Howard on 06.03.20 at 6:56 am

OMG Howard’s turning blue. Someone give him the heimlich maneuver.

Oh look, he was choking on his silver spoon.

I gather Toronto_CA is an accountant and as such he’s seen the finances of many folks and knows taxation very well. I’ll take his word over yours any day.

And, I make about 100k and live in an expensive city. I can save almost half of my income easily (should be more but I’m dumb enough to keep a sailboat). I call that rich. With kids, I still think I’d be doing okay.

#15 Faron on 06.03.20 at 3:55 pm

#278 Toronto_CA on 06.03.20 at 1:07 pm

@ #220 Howard on 06.03.20 at 6:37 am

“Look, if you can’t see that a consumption tax is regressive without massive state intervention you don’t deserve my response. It is self evidently regressive.”

TO said it best. I sassed ya because I made my case in my first post and you either didn’t read, or dont care that GST is punatively regressive. GST places a tax on income spent that is largest for those making the least and becomes vanishingly small as income rises. By that standard, a flat income tax is better (even though a flat income tax is also garbage).

Howard and VicPaul

You seem to think that intelligence and strength and morals are well correlated with wealth. Is that correct? I also heard “evolution” in there which smacks of eugenic thinking. Nice.

Anyhow, all good. Lets wage your IQ against mine (even though IQ is a poor proxy for intelligence). Winner takes the other’s net worth. Or lets take a walk into your local low middle class housing neighbourhood and stand on the corner. I’ll video tape you as you express your archaic views about morality and intelligence and laziness to any passersby.

#57 Faron on 06.03.20 at 6:30 pm

Victoria RE

Median SFD up 4.9% MoM
Median Condo down 4.9% MoM, down 9.1%YoY
Median Townhome down 4.1 % MoM and down 5.3 %YoY

Total units sold down 46.1 % YoY but a bit higher than April

Sales to listing up to about 21%

Anecdotally have heard talk of work from homers moving to BC from Ont especially Toronto. Time will tell, but rather than a more local hollowing out of cities, we could see migration over greater distances.

#160 Faron on 06.04.20 at 1:01 pm

#133 VicPaul on 06.04.20 at 9:31 am

“by nature of the vagaries of life/genetics/evolution, are less competent – either intellectually, physically or morally (they don’t give a whit about self-sacrifice/delayed gratification, self-improvement)”

And today:

“Are you high…or kidding? I stated that competence, commitment to task is an avenue to carving a contributing, successful (you can earn your keep) niche in life.”

These are very different statements. What sounds like superiority is just holding you to your own standards and y’all getting whiny when that gets uncomfortable for you.

It’s like Trump and hydroxychloroquine. Now that it’s out of favour (study after study shows no benefit or worse) he pretends his words never left his mouth.

And I’m clean, but thanks for revealing *your* stereotypes.

The point of all this was to discuss GST as a regressive tax. I wasn’t the one who started accusing any group of being lazy or morally deficient.

#10 Faron on 06.04.20 at 2:04 pm

Thanks for the post Garth and all your work here.

I’ll take my share of crow. Especially on the economic end of things. However, i think the stimulus measures were necessary and have helped precipitate the V. Yes, ideally people could have bridged this gap with savings but RE obsession and insane cost of living with low wages and exorbitant consumerism precluded that for many. So, given the situation, CERB etc. was the only viable option to keep economic bed-crapping to a dull roar.

I’m saddened that a slow response led to more death and a more drawn out lock-down and slower reopening. I’m also watching global case numbers accelerate over the past month and find that troubling. There may be fall surprises but the playbook is a known entity now and that does a lot for confidence.

I’m happy to have some camping trips lined up and am able to hang out with friends again. Life was never bad for me in this but now it’s getting good again.


#18 Faron on 06.04.20 at 2:25 pm

#15 not 1st on 06.04.20 at 2:18 pm

If you have a problem with media having an agenda, don’t you think RT may fall into that category? And do you support RT’s agenda? Especially as laid out in an Op Ed?

#45 Faron on 06.04.20 at 4:06 pm

#31 not 1st on 06.04.20 at 3:21 pm

    #18 Faron on 06.04.20 at 2:25 pm

    Oh I heard about that through social media where the real news is.

    RT was the only organization that looked into it and google search didn’t censor.

    Pick your poison.


I’ll add that I don’t think the op ed was wrong. Anecdotal evidence among my lefty friends in the US tells me gun sales among that group are going up. I’ve read articles in other news sources

But, I bristle when I see RT showing up or Sputnik. While you may not agree that there was Russian/Trump collusion, there certainly were concerted social media campaigns aimed at supporting him. I was getting a lot of their content in my feed in 2016 as the campaigns ramped up. Some was run-of-the-mill news and other stuff was either subtly or not so subtly pro-Russia propaganda.

Russia aims to sow confusion and chaos in North America especially the US wherever possible and that can take many forms and doesn’t fall along party lines unless it benefits their agenda.  They were campaigning on behalf of Sanders for cripes sake. They’ve helped amplify conflicts between BLM and others and they are certainly acting to amplify current tensions in the US. I don’t mean to patronize you, but if you value western democracy, whatever you view it to be, you should read RT and Sputnik or any other media source carefully. I read a lot of Al Jazeera who are based out of Qatar, but I know what their biases are (anti Saudi for one). I don’t watch any cable news because all of it is geared to ad revenue and commercial appeal.

The “real news” could be on social media, but you have to be ready to listen to all voices, not just the one’s you like. More and more this is lost on all of us.

#100 Faron on 06.04.20 at 6:51 pm

#65 Deplorable Dude on 06.04.20 at 5:24 pm

Uh, Facebook accounts are free. Twitter bots are easy to program and free. Your CNN article (didn’t think you were the type) explains exactly why the charges were dropped and it was for no lack of evidence. Putin must get a kick out of how easy it is to manipulate people like you.

Check out the film Icarus if you have Netflix. Details how the Russian doping scheme worked over the past 70 years. Very bold and very sophisticated and would have never been detected without evidence from a turncoat. And that’s for pure Putin ego. With US politics, there was Russian skin in the game.

#220 Faron on 06.05.20 at 12:32 pm

Wow, just tuned into the internet. Sorry Sail Away, you make some interesting points, but I’m not wading in this morning. These discussions would be best had in person so folks can see eye to eye in the literal sense and approach from a humane basis.

Anyhow, on the topic of “OMG look at the markets”, I’m going to relay my foibles from Feb 21 onward so you can either laugh or identify with any good or bad decisions. A story of my investing during the pandemic:

Didn’t see the drop coming until the Friday before. I had dialled back from 90% equity to 80% the week before because spidy senses were tingling. Not because of the virus so much as seeming irrational exuberance as markets were on a pace that seemed unmaintainable.

Starting the next week I panicked. Sold bought sold but luckily sold into bonds about half way down.

Had bought VIX through HUV but sold for a tiny gain. Oops. Had no idea what that holding actually meant.

Mostly stayed sidelined until April when I came down with FOMO combined with straight fear of the market plunging again. Made a lot of trades including leveraged and inverse leveraged ETFs. I was gambling hoping to make up for losses. A few wins, but more pain than gain so managed to tread water as the market surged.

More of the same into early May.

Finally I divorced my account from myself after the relatively small mid May drop. Bought a few high quality ETFs: XBAL, FIE, XMW, AOR. Opened up a roboadvisor account that I can’t touch. Locked it all up and threw away the keys. Scrambled my password and directed recovery of it through a family member.

Been happy to watch it grow like wildfire since. Still down YTD because of April foolishness. I’ve learned that I’m way less risk tolerant than I thought I was when I answered screening questions with what I know is correct versus a real assesment.

That’s my story. Hope it’s useful.

#6 Faron on 06.05.20 at 2:23 pm

Three things I wish I grasped sooner in my life (but could apply to pandemic too).

The world is not going to melt. Living for today is fun when young but not a “plan”.

Investing is stupidly easy especially with ETFs. A small hurtle of paperwork and you are in. At the very least TNL@TB will help you put $500 into a balanced mutual fund with as low MER as possible. Better than nothing. No big lumps of cash are needed. Wish they taught it in highschool.

The third is personal, so not for the toothy comments section.

As for the wild class debates going on here, advice I can apply to myself and that may apply to others is: write out my pithy self righteous comment. Wait 20seconds. Dial the tone down to 25%, ask if I would say this to my mother. Hit send. Obviously I don’t always do it, but am trying to use that as a guiding principle.


#86 Faron on 06.05.20 at 5:38 pm

#77 IHCTD9 on 06.05.20 at 5:12 pm

“Everything about that place is an abomination. Especially that fence out back”


I think the ’90s furniture makes up the $775k balance. Estate sale?

#135 Faron on 06.05.20 at 9:00 pm

#126 john m on 06.05.20 at 8:40 pm

Yeah I’ve been watching. There will be a lot of seeds for this thing right about the time fall pushes populous north america indoors. Even if you don’t think it’s severe, all gov’ts seem to. You can probably ignore it for a few months, but she ain’t done.

Heard a podcast calling the pandemic and our response to it the hammer and the dance. The initial wave was the hammer, the dance is the open, close, open, close sequence that may start soonish.

#41 Faron on 06.07.20 at 4:02 pm

Very nice post to read this afternoon. The dogs humanize us by teaching the virtues of optimism and play. Plus seeing photos from readers and commenters reminds me that we all have trying to live a decent life in common.

Just back from a good long walk with our basset Randall and a friend and their pup Maple. Smiles all around.

Enjoy these long summer days

#143 Faron on 06.08.20 at 1:59 pm

#136 SoggyShorts on 06.08.20 at 12:57 pm

Good on ya for hanging on w/ 100% equities. Must feel relieved right now.

Interestingly, among index type portfolios, over the long time horizon, a 40/60 has performed similarly to mixes on up the scale from there at near 7%. This seems not to work anymore given the obscene growth in equities since the GFC that continues to this very moment.

Did my once monthly rebalance today. Trimmed some winners and consolidated back into XBAL and AOR. Bought some DLR too for cash holdings.

#108 Faron on 06.08.20 at 10:55 pm

#72 Nottawa Housing Bust on 06.08.20 at 7:12 pm

Can anyone explain what is happening in the markets.

HTZ filed for bankruptcy. Stock is up 114 % since then. JCPNQ filed for bankruptcy. Up 96%. CHK about to file for bankruptcy, up 175% in one trading day.

WhT is going on here. Is the QE money. Or some type of algo trading. Who is bidding up bankrupt companies and why????


I don’t know. I just watched a video about bag, gun, liquidate as a strategy. It was in reference to airlines. A huge portion of total shares are trading premarket, the price pops at open and then profit is taken.

I just had AC go up 35% in a week. Sold it today. Watch this space for tears if it continues to skyrocket.

#153 Faron on 06.09.20 at 10:45 am

#143 Greg on 06.09.20 at 9:45 am

Been about 30 years since my last mortgage. If the “BANK wants to know,” how did money laundering and drug $ become such a factor in real estate? Or was that yesterday.

With those kinds of $$$ there is no lender.

#159 Faron on 06.09.20 at 12:32 pm

#155 Sail away on 06.09.20 at 11:42 am

Original art? cash

That would be the form following function variety I assume.

#35 Faron on 06.09.20 at 7:35 pm

Interesting the VIX was up yesterday despite a nice equity pop… Suggests shorting is winning out as Sinan pointed to.

The problem with froth is no one knows how frothy the froth will get. The froth could keep frothing for a year until the anti froth shows up. Covid just suspended froth for a few months. There was little market capitulation. Given that many analysts are just throwing their hands in the air and that there’s enough twitter noise for me to hear it tells me this is pure bubble. Maybe up a bit more then range bound for a good long while if not a pop. I’d say there’s a lot of instability and a breath of bad news will topple.

#36 Faron on 06.09.20 at 7:39 pm

For the record: I know shorting equities is not the same as buying put options

#22 Faron on 06.10.20 at 11:36 am

Until I see large-scale statistics that show CERB is preventing workforce participation, I take this all with a grain of confirmation bias flavoured salt. To the extent it is a problem, raise wages. Generally, sitting on your arse all day is boring AF and people want to work. Here in Vic, for example, the entry level labour supply may simply have moved away (UVic is closed for the foreseeable) and tourism is kaput.

I’m open minded to stats. Not so much to anecdote.

#26 Faron on 06.10.20 at 11:55 am

#13 Sail Away on 06.10.20 at 10:52 am
#10 Penny Henny on 06.10.20 at 10:38 am
#8 Sail away on 06.09.20 at 4:23 pm

I despise Elon’s arrogance. Despite that, I have to admit that Tesla is the iPhone making all other cars look like BlackBerries. I’d consider one except:

–I’ll never pay more than $6000 for a car

–They aren’t as practical as a beater toyota that you can bang up logging roads in and not worry/care.

I’d still be plenty concerned about the portion of the stock price that’s due to unfounded retail spec and fanboyism. I’d wage that the value of the stock is in the neighbourhood of $400.

#95 Faron on 06.10.20 at 3:37 pm

#41 Sail away on 06.10.20 at 12:44 pm

#26 Faron on 06.10.20 at 11:55 am

Ok. Up 8% to its all-time high today, or put another way, if I chose to realize today’s bump, it would pay cap gains plus buy a 2-3 yo Toyota 4Runner.

But sure, stick with your $6,000 beater. I’ll give you a ride out when it breaks down, although you might have to ride in the back with the dogs and open the gates. Heck, I’ll even give you some $ for a bus ticket home. Do unto others, you know?

We seem to agree on Toyotas at least. My current $5000 car:

Bought with cash in 2015.
Oil changes, basic maintenance and one set of tires
Drive it everywhere
Engine light came on once. Gas cap was loose.

Fun expirement (that I didn’t do obvs)

You buy your Tesla for 100k, I buy my yoda for 5k and invest the 95k in SPY in 2015.

I get a free 50k plus still have the 95k and a reliable car (okay, the CVs are starting to click). I’ll prob have put in another 10k in gas and routine maint. Lets call it 130k net.

You have a depreciated car with a battery at half its life and maybe some admiring looks from image conscious lower mainlanders and and misty eyed enviros. You at 50k net? Tetch less. And Elon now has a trove of your personal data. And Elon owns the license to your car’s software and, hence, pretty much your car.

Seems pretty simple to me. Maybe own TSLA not a Tesla?

#134 Faron on 06.10.20 at 5:52 pm

#121 Sail away on 06.10.20 at 5:08 pm
#95 Faron on 06.10.20 at 3:37 pm
#41 Sail away on 06.10.20 at 12:44 pm
#26 Faron on 06.10.20 at 11:55 am

Kinda. Except, you were poking fun at owning a cheap used car while I illustrated that buying a new, luxury car has MASSIVE opportunity costs. Flushing 80k down the toilet massive.

100k is play money to very few people. For you, well YDY; for the rest, stick with beater Toyotas.

#156 Faron on 06.10.20 at 7:39 pm

#147 Rowdie on 06.10.20 at 6:55 pm

I feel the virus problem is over

That would be nice. But, it’s not.

Infections are currently spiking back up in the hot US states where summer is the indoors season. India now that the monsoon is here and all over latin america as well. This winter in colder or rainier parts of the NH is going to suuuuuck. Recall that the virus came here *after* our winter was mostly past.

The upside is that %mortality is dropping as the medical system learns how best to treat those with the virus and probably due to protection of the elderly.

Use this summer to get in as good of physical shape as you can. Training for the second wave might be a good hedge. At the very least you’ll add a couple years to your life. You might even enjoy it.

#158 Faron on 06.10.20 at 7:47 pm

Oh yeah, and nothing precludes a flu pandemic on top of the SARS. Chances are very slim, but not zero. THAT would keep some exuberance out of the markets! Keep your ears to the ground this fall.

In that case, it might be time to get a bigger boat and put a year’s worth of supplies on it and set off…

#240 Faron on 06.11.20 at 11:38 am

#186 Sail Away on 06.10.20 at 10:37 pm

#134 Faron on 06.10.20 at 5:52 pm
#121 Sail away on 06.10.20 at 5:08 pm
#95 Faron on 06.10.20 at 3:37 pm
#41 Sail away on 06.10.20 at 12:44 pm
#26 Faron on 06.10.20 at 11:55 am

Go read the thread again to see how you carried yourself away. TLDR: I despise Musk and do not see a slot for a Tesla in my life. Dollar for dollar, owning a Tesla would never be a smart choice for me. I think TSLA is overvalued based on the information I have. Because I think that, it does not meet my risk criteria. TSLA gives me the garbage feeling the RE in Van, VIc and TO does. Overhyped and overvalued — to me.

YDY and Enjoy your $$$

#30 Faron on 06.11.20 at 3:34 pm

A debt of gratitude to whomever posted the link to David Portnoy a few days ago. When dudes like that get noisy, it’s time to run. Sell your crypto lambos, load up yer Toyotas and head for the hills or to wherever your peaceful equivalent is.

Anyhow, if today’s carnage follows through with another couple downs it could get to be another good buy opportunity. Oh, down 6% today? Maybe time to buy already.

#33 Faron on 06.11.20 at 3:42 pm

#25 Ace Goodheart on 06.11.20 at 3:12 pm

“or a hard crash not seen since the Great Depression”

This part scares the bejesus out of me. Someone posted the stress test that CDN banks undergo way back at the beginning of this. Can that person repost the link?

Luckily for me, cooler heads prevail in my household. Including a docile old hound who snores like a trucker. Okay, maybe the hound isn’t cooler than I. He spooks himself when his collar clinks on his food bowl… Ha! Poor guy.

#37 Faron on 06.11.20 at 3:51 pm

Is there a damped oscillator model for index price crashes? Add a multi-frequency stochastical component with an upward trend and I bet you could fit recent history. I’m curious if the height and longevity of the upswing has anything to do with the extreme velocity of the downturn.

Think throwing a ball at the ground versus dropping it. The thrown ball will bounce higher and take longer to get to it’s crest before losing steam.

Anyhow, any such model would probably still fail to predict the future with any kind of certainty because chaos underlies market behaviour.

#130 Faron on 06.11.20 at 8:41 pm

#115 Sail Away on 06.11.20 at 8:09 pm

What would happen to someone wearing a BLM shirt at a Trump rally? That’s right: nothing

I just threw up in my mouth a little… Were you in the wilderness during ’16 when Trump encouraged violence against protesters at rallies? Are you that ignorant? Maybe under house arrest under Maduro? Don’t tell me there’s actually a trope out there claiming violence wasn’t encouraged at Trump rallies?

#11 Faron on 06.12.20 at 2:20 pm

#201 Yukon Elvis on 06.12.20 at 11:10 am
#151 OK, Doomer on 06.11.20 at 10:35 pm

“…the past is interesting, but not a limiting factor.”


Garth, I’m sorry. I know that you don’t want this to become a race battle, but this is important in my opinion.

Consider those words. Are you saying history doesn’t have any relevance to the trajectory of our lives today? It’s true that being born black or first nations or Latinx in the US or Canada doesn’t assure a bad outcome, but the deck is stacked against you depending on the conditions you were raised in. In fact, the deck is stacked against *anyone* raised in poor communities in North America regardless of race.

There is abundant medical research that shows that *anyone* who grows up under the influence of factors like physical or sexual abuse, observing violence especially domestic, substance abuse, hunger etc. will have poor development in brain structures that foster planning, self control and abstract thinking all of which are needed to be successful in an advanced society. They will be otherwise equally intelligent, curious and bright. They are vastly more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs and to drop out of school. These are odds, not guaranteed outcomes. A middle class raised person can fall flat and those born poor in adverse condition can rise above the morass.

Given that, take, for example, first nations communities in Canada that are poor and clearly in distress. If you were to walk around the community, what do you see? Alcoholism, delapedated houses, fresh faced kids and harried looking adults, lots of garbage, vagrancy etc. If you are born in those conditions you are likely to inherit and develop traits that judge you into recreating that environment. On top of that you have an unsympathetic public and public safety force that will jail/fine and generally show up when things are a mess. Rightly so because to the rest of us, those conditions mean crime and disturbance. But they also link your nativeness, your skin colour to what they see in those communities. It would be hard not to because the human brain likes heuristics to help reduce its workload.

So, history. We know that black people in the US were and are subject to undue racism and violence through history all of which pushed many into the kind of poverty that brings about the above. This is true for native communities in the US and Canada as well. Once that legacy has been established, the cycle is hard to break because it is wired in to people’s brains through their childhood development.

Take small towns in the US that were once prosperous and could be viewed as the American Dream. Good jobs, whole communities and things were generally functional as industry thrived. Then two things happened: manufacturing was offshore and the workers were left to patch up their life; then opioids came on the scene and spread like wildfire. I’d be willing to wage that these, largely white, communities will face a long period of being down and staying down.

My story: white, raised low/middle with an alcoholic mother. I had one of the factors that help promulgate alcoholism, but just one (maybe two if you count genetics). I worked hard and have advanced degrees and am doing okay. But, the influence of my mother’s alcoholism is real and present. I’m fearful and timid. I don’t blame anyone, these are my traits, but in knowing them I can overcome them. If I pretend they don’t exist things go sour. But I don’t have to deal with anyone looking at me and deciding what I am.

I’m going to go out on a limb here. Sail Away, you are Venezuelan and have used your latinate heritage combined with your US citizenship to broadly claim that race wasn’t a factor in your life. Can you please share your story? Your story didn’t guarantee anything nor does anyone’s, but our pasts do carry weight. The more traumatic, the heavier that weight. My biased guess is that you came from a poor but otherwise intact and loving family and those things helped give you a foundation for succeeding.

The point is that you cannot ignore the past when assessing where people are today unless you can make a convincing case that that past is far enough removed as to be irrelevant. Sorry to whomever’s family history included slavery in Egypt. Otherwise, no one gets to walk away from it. You cannot just sweep it under the rug and say we are equal now. Do acts like removing colonial names and statues help? Does making a territorial acknowledgement help? Does attending a demonstration help? Probably not as much as we’d like, but they, at the very least, show a willingness to change and address the issue instead of keeping our heads in the sand.

#21 Faron on 06.12.20 at 2:45 pm

#17 SoggyShorts on 06.12.20 at 2:40 pm
#205 Sail away on 06.12.20 at 11:35 am
#192 JB on 06.12.20 at 10:15 am
#186 SoggyShorts on 06.12.20 at 9:44 am

“Perhaps liberals are just funnier”

Nope, I’m lib/progressive and drier than the Gobi desert.

#39 Faron on 06.12.20 at 3:28 pm

#31 crowdedelevatorfartz on 06.12.20 at 3:02 pm

@#11 Faron.
“The point is that you cannot ignore the past ….”

OR do we place new plaques benaeth those self same statues to explain from todays viewpoint who these people really were and how they achieved their accomplishments.
Smashing and burning everything that you find offensive is something I personally find offensive.

I can fully get behind what you are saying. I really have to wrestle, mentally, with the idea of taking down statues (unless they are abjectly horrible, like a statue of an overthrown dictator). I’m not a tear it down advocate. I was pretty uncomfortable with the swiftness of the John A. McDonald statue removal here in Victoria. There seemed to be very little public engagement and that just alienated most citizens and did nothing to educate. There was a missed opportunity there at best.

I think a more educational display could be helpful. Or commission a work that surrounds the statue to give a fuller historical context. Perhaps erect memorials depicting crowded first nations reserves with folks dying of small pox. Or, allow the statue to be defaced by the public as they see fit. If a figure is to be revered, then maybe that reverence would show in how the thing is cared for.

#43 Faron on 06.12.20 at 3:55 pm

#28 Sail away on 06.12.20 at 2:54 pm

#11 Faron on 06.12.20 at 2:20 pm

It’s not racism, it’s upbringing. Pretending it’s racism is wrong, divisive and damaging to society.

Thanks for your constructive posts crowdedelevatorfartz, SoggyShorts and Sail Away.

Sail Away, can I assume that you took courses in partial differential equations and maybe coupled systems? If you have, you will understand the futility of isolating any one component of a system that is fully coupled. Race, racism, history and economic and social upbringing are fully coupled and have to be looked at as a whole. In my personal coupled system, I experienced zero racism because white people “won” history in Oregon so those headwinds weren’t there. There was probably some subtle classism having been raised in a white trash town. I would venture that, in Sail Away’s case, his upbringing was strong and stable enough to overcome any subtle racism that may have existed. None of this takes away from all the hard work you put in through your career in the military and afterwards.

My understanding is that In poor, black communities the historically awful interactions between black citizens and the law and the subtle and the overt racism that undeniably exists (to a decreasing degree as time goes on) between black and non-black persons is fully coupled with poverty, trauma and all other parts of the system that is their day to day lives. If you extract one part of that system, say poverty and try to solve the problem by, say, throwing funds at the issue you will get no progress. As Sail Away has noted, you may actually get resentment from the community for interfering. Likewise, I don’t think it’s right to blame the police either other than diligently working to weed out bad actors. If you isolate the police as the problem and change only that, you will get poor results. I’d wage that even if you could, now somehow take racism out of the picture through some kind of magic, there would still be major difficulties in those communities through their inertia.

However, although changing any one component may not alter the future of a community, that doesn’t mean any of those things should be ignored as problems. I guess I’m saying that the coupled system that is a community is quite stable to alteration of its components. I would say that there will be improvement with slow and steady change and working to at least recognize racism has to be one of those changes.

Finally, I don’t think this is condescending or sanctimonious coming from a white guy. I’ve listened to and read multi-racial thinkers and writers and my thoughts are an amalgamation and reflection of what I have learned.

#49 Faron on 06.12.20 at 4:21 pm

#20 looking up on 06.12.20 at 2:44 pm

Garth… why do you stick to your prediction of real estate mayhem in the fall including lower prices, defaults etc.?

The government does not offer mortgages, and I made no such prediction. – Garth

Regardless of gov’t intervention, a market will respond to changes in supply and demand because this is a free(ish) open(ish) market. This week in equities, the demand for an overfrothed market went away and priced dropped despite all the stimulus.

In RE, that drop in frothy demand takes more time due to the illiquid nature of the asset, but is coming. Plus, economic headwinds against any kind of major purchasing will be F5 tornado strength by fall, demand will be way down because of that while supplies go way up as people give up investment or primary residences. Prices will have to drop no matter what the feds do.

The only way this doesn’t happen is if a massive influx of sidelined dollars comes in. But, that money is smart and wont leap in until value prospects align or if that capital is under threat where it currently resides. There will be some such influx, but likely not enough to keep prices from the 20%+ plop.

Enough from me today.

#54 Faron on 06.15.20 at 5:30 pm

#4 Jenn on 06.15.20 at 2:49 pm

Thanks for that post Jenn. I’m also dismayed about what has transpired under Trump and his media arm, Fox News. The fact that his governing “approach” appeals to some Canadians (luckily very few) is a good indication how powerful his propaganda is. He’s debased almost all media credibility to sow a factless murk that suits his ego and his agenda best. A brave leader will face and respond to any media scrutiny while Trump simply call’s reporters “nasty” if they are women and ask uncomfortable questions or “fake news” if the reporter is a man. Trump is an utter embarrassment.

#58 Faron on 06.15.20 at 5:43 pm

#51 Bob on 06.15.20 at 5:27 pm

“Who managed the situation better? The US did of course.”

Your logic is flawed there Bob.

#64 Faron on 06.15.20 at 5:49 pm

#57 Howard on 06.15.20 at 5:38 pm

“What they missed was a microscopic and very last minute shift in a few swing states”

Microscopic shift caused by a macro event. James Comey declaring the reopening of an FBI case just a week before the election… I’m not much for conspiracies, but that’s a tough one to take at face value.

And, I still have a major hate on for fivethirtyeight.com as I wonder how many voters stayed home thinking the election was a lock.

#65 Faron on 06.15.20 at 5:51 pm

#47 Figus Makum on 06.15.20 at 5:14 pm

#10 Sail away

Wisdom of a feckin eejit.

Heh. I’m guessing he’s bitter about the Supreme Court ruling.

#89 Faron on 06.15.20 at 6:50 pm

#68 S on 06.15.20 at 5:53 pm

#54 Faron on 06.15.20 at 5:30 pm

Keep ’em coming kid. In these dark, hopeless days we all need good laughs.


Eventually the writing of folks like you will be preserved in a museum next to the lil’ black sambo cartoons. Your laughter will be seen as quaint and pitiable in how ill informed it was.

#114 Faron on 06.15.20 at 8:08 pm

#82 Yukon Elvis on 06.15.20 at 6:34 pm

#54 Faron on 06.15.20 at 5:30 pm

Trump is an utter embarrassment.

You are 100% right about that. Have u seen Joe Biden try to answer a question or explain something? The guy is not all there.

Agreed there. I’ll vote for Biden, but he’s not my favourite. I’d be happier about the election if it were something like Warren v/ Paul Ryan. Or, Sanders v. Rand Paul. At least those folks have interesting ideas, are smart and may have a chance at a civil discourse.

#147 Faron on 06.15.20 at 11:05 pm

#145 VicPaul on 06.15.20 at 10:10 pm

Aw, I guess we aren’t friends anymore.

If I was trying to be popular with the “crowd” I’d be pandering to the implicit racism present among the so-called “equal rights for all” crowd that is dominant here. If I were trying to be popular in the/an echo chamber, I’d be posting on Facebook. Among my friends, I tend to take the more libertarian/contrarian viewpoint. You have no basis for your claim.

What I do here is express a viewpoint and arguments against principles that I deeply disagree with and find ignorant. That I do so seems to deeply aggravate many of you who often want to boot voices like mine off the platform or ask for a “filter” to remove the posts all the while claiming that we on the left are silencing your voice. Your voice is loud and bellicose and is reminiscent of country-club culture where everyone pretends to be among equals. But, “sorry sir, you aren’t allowed in here…” I have never told anyone not to express their views. While I sometimes forget Sail Away’s precious IMO, it should be a given that what I say is one view and that, through the internet, I have zero power to silence you or anyone. That you and many others here feel I have this power shows that you all feel threatened and insecure when presented with these kinds of views. I’m sorry that’s the case for you and your psyche.

Yes, I’m goading you.

Finally, I was setting the ignorance of Trump apologists like S, yourself, Bytor, SailAway, not 1st, Deplorable etc. adjacent to relic racism because that’s exactly where it belongs. Trump himself promotes a return to how things were in the past — MAGA. He dredged up a platform based on a past when women had just earned the right to vote, segregation was accepted law, lynching was mostly ignored, white men were seen as superior and the de facto bread winner, and racism was rampant. His views are part of a past that had been left behind and was appealing to those who benefited from them then and will benefit from them again now — namely middle and upper class white people. He’s done a great job into hoodwinking the white poor into thinking that tax breaks for the rich that went to share buybacks benefit them somehow (they dont). All of it is trash to be left in humanity’s wake. It’s trash that in most advanced economies has long ago been laid to rest.

Nothing I’ve written here prevents you from holding or expressing your views so stop claiming that the left is censoring the right. That’s utter BS and disingenuous. If you bring up Twitter’s flagging of Trump posts, you are forgetting that Twitter is a private platform and generally not protected under the first amendment. That Trump is so lazy as to not engage with his constituents through anything other than spinal reflex thumb mashing, doesn’t mean Twitter owes him anything. If you claim that media such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian and many others do nothing but report negatively on Trump maybe you should consider that when a trained journalist is presented with a complete dumpster fire of a megalomaniac who managed to lose a popular vote but take an election, it’s their duty to devote as much time to revealing just how much of a dumpster fire he is. To do otherwise would be Fake News.

#187 Faron on 06.16.20 at 12:12 pm

#184 Sail away on 06.16.20 at 11:50 am
#182 Wrk.dover on 06.16.20 at 11:14 am

I was pleased to see that she saw herself a victim in the end. Poor lass was probably forced to use roads, be protected by police, and generally operate in a stable, civil society because of all those tax dollars fleeced off of her. Horrible how she was treated.

#193 Faron on 06.16.20 at 12:54 pm

#186 Deplorable Dude on 06.16.20 at 12:05 pm

“What are you basing this comment on? Trump has repeatedly said he wants national voter id to stop fraud.”

But there is almost no fraud in the voting system whenever it’s investigated. Recall how Trump started a commission to investigate voter fraud? Recall how that died quietly because there was no indication of Fraud? Recall that’s how numerous researchers saw the situation before Trump wasted taxpayer dollars on his ego driven commission? He was convinced the popular vote (that he lost by a YUGE margin) was rigged. It wasn’t.

Is he afraid of vote by mail (which has worked flawlessly in numerous states for decades)? Yes, and it has nothing to do with fraud. Any reform he or the repubs are asking for are crafted to look idealistic to people like Deplorable, but are intended to increase or retain repub power in a country that is increasingly immigrant and nowadays poor. If an election was held with high turnout, everyone knows the repubs would go down in flames.

#212 Faron on 06.16.20 at 2:24 pm

#199 S on 06.16.20 at 1:28 pm
#195 Stan Brooks on 06.16.20 at 1:00 pm
#200 Howard on 06.16.20 at 1:35 pm
#198 Looking up on 06.16.20 at 1:19 pm

For those of you complaining about extending CERB, it would be interesting to know what you do for a living. If it *at all* saw growth attributable to deficit spending maybe you should be thankful that the indebted and jobless are being supported in order to better support the economy you are inextricably a part of now and were a beneficiary of when the bubble was inflated.

This calculation is naive and may be wrong. But, personal debt is now at ~2T if you include mortgage debt. The Canadian Economy is roughly 1.7T. Say the debt bubble grew from 2000 onward. That’s 0.1 T per year. That’s 5.8% of GDP and that is much higher than the GDP growth rate. It’s probably safe to say that everyone in this economy has benefited from increases in debt, so perhaps slandering the aphid you milk nectar from is misplaced? All the CERB dollars will trickle up to you anyhow.

#213 Faron on 06.16.20 at 2:35 pm

#200 Howard on 06.16.20 at 1:35 pm

“Make it a loan rather than a grant.”

Well, it kind of already is a loan that will be repaid through taxation. But, if you made it a loan program that had a 10 year term and an interest rate of the 10yr fed bond, you might have something.

If you made it a loan that could be turned into a grant if the borrower worked x years at a service oriented job or simply to relocate to BFE Canada to help that local economy, then I could get behind some portion of CERB being a loan.

My strong preference (and here is a rare support for a Trump policy from me) would be that the dollars be paid for employment in projects aimed at infrastructure improvement. Much of the oil sector has transferable skills and would probably be happy to take the work on.

#215 Faron on 06.16.20 at 2:41 pm

Hmmmm, stocks way up but VIX is flat and flirting with positive territory. Careful out there.

#221 Faron on 06.16.20 at 4:41 pm

#211 Toronto_CA on 06.16.20 at 2:23 pm

Re the 2 new cases in NZ

Great article in the New Yorker about Iceland’s handling of COVID. 0.5% death rate. Perhaps NZ will follow that lead. Society there (Iceland) is wide open and the means are in place to test visitors. Would be some nice opportunities to see parts of the world without the throngs of tourists. They looked ahead, prepared, and let health authorities guide them.

Also, new econ numbers show Sweden may have saved their economy lots of damage with their approach. A tip of my cap to you Toronto_CA.

#61 Faron on 06.16.20 at 6:50 pm

#7 Tater on 06.16.20 at 4:52 pm

Hey Tater,

Can you educate me (us) on your VIX comment from last post? How does high 19day vol and lower 30day vol create rising or stable VIX today. My naive understanding is that VIX is a measure of volatility based on put/call options on a given index. How the the past 19 and 30 day vol fit in? If the VIX is somewhat predictable, are you reading on that predictability?


#62 Faron on 06.16.20 at 6:50 pm

Trading not reading

#116 Tater on 06.17.20 at 6:41 am

#61 Faron on 06.16.20 at 6:50 pm
#7 Tater on 06.16.20 at 4:52 pm

Hey Tater,

Can you educate me (us) on your VIX comment from last post? How does high 19day vol and lower 30day vol create rising or stable VIX today. My naive understanding is that VIX is a measure of volatility based on put/call options on a given index. How the the past 19 and 30 day vol fit in? If the VIX is somewhat predictable, are you reading on that predictability?



Small typo, should have been 10 day vol, to be clear.

VIX is a measure of implied vol from the options market. The options market will have higher implied vol, generally, when realized volatility is high. This is because the market makers earn (or lose) on the difference between realized and implied volatility.

Typically market makers are short the spread between implied and realized and over the long run, implied is generally higher than realized.

Since dealers are typically short options, when realized volatility moves up, they are losing money. So, they need to get paid at higher implied volatility to be incentivized to sell more options.

#142 Faron on 06.17.20 at 1:04 pm

#108 Between genX and millennials on 06.17.20 at 12:39 am

“It seems like the concern with deficits only happens on a certain category of proposed ideas… Almost makes me wonder if this is a disingenuous argument by a conservative who generally wants government policy to transfer wealth upwards? Surely that’s not it, right?”

If you get an answer from anyone here it will be along the lines of trickle-down economics despite the fact that since the term was coined and the programs largely put into play, the social support network in the US has been eroded, middle and low income earners have seen zero post-inflation wage growth, wealth at the top end has exploded upwards and the stock market has done just fine (that largely benefits the stock owners that are largely wealthy by stripping profits out of consumers in order to raise dividends and valuations). The actuality of torrent-up economics occurs at both the federal and the corporate levels. Any attempts to reverse this state of affairs will be met with cries “foul” and reasons will be given why it’s “unfair” to change the structure when the underlying sentiment is sheer greed. Holding 5 million isn’t enough, holding 10 million isn’t enough, holding 100 million isn’t enough etc. etc.

The missed opportunity is that true wealth equality would almost certainly lead to social stability and peace. But, again, then you aren’t selling F35s so someone wont be happy… A capitalist system wont self-organize in any other way than trickle up and because money == power (just look at the tone of the business owning posters here constantly calling questioners “children” or telling them to “grow up”) it’ll be very hard to reverse the policy to benefit those who have less.

#151 Faron on 06.17.20 at 2:59 pm

#145 Sail away on 06.17.20 at 1:49 pm

#142 Faron on 06.17.20 at 1:04 pm

“totally uneducated wing nut”

That would be true if a) I was uneducated and b) if my views were not founded in the thought and literature of other highly educated folks and whose ideas are held by Buffet himself among many other business owners.

Provide evidence that trickle-down has done anything but strip wealth from less well-off workers and put that wealth into your or my hands. I hope your answer isn’t “provide inexpensive plastic crap to consumers via walmart” because I don’t think owning materialistic garbage counts as “wealth”.

Show me that policy (almost all of it from either party) isn’t formed in the US under the pressure of lobbyists representing the 1%. Show me how the Citizens United ruling allowing virtually unlimited funds to flow into the US political system helped those less well off. Show me that the Trump tax cut didn’t put billions into the hands of those who already have billions through share buybacks. No, one-time bonuses to employees, while nice, don’t help much in the long run. Show me that COVID lockdowns, what you like to call a gov’t caused crisis so I’ll run with that for a sec, hasn’t made the extremely rich all the more richer including, apparently, yourself through your claimed stock market wins, business growth and federal subsidy taking. A growing economy does zero good for anyone middle-class or poorer when inflation is outpacing wage growth at that end all the while the wealthiest are benefiting from the growth by some large multiple and the gap grows.

Many here seem to think that those making bottom-end wages are lazy (with all your references to week smoking and Netflix) or stupid. It’s highly unlikely that the expansion of the poor is a result of some strange lowering of IQs. Occams razor suggests the simpler answer (that it’s simply harder than ever to get ahead) is the correct one.

Show me that you didn’t hide from my question by slandering me and hoping it would go away. I would expect a level-headed business owner like yourself to suck it up from an uneducated fool like me and answer the question. But I guess the internet threatens you somehow?

Anyhow, I’ll categorize that under the patronizing tone mentioned previously. It’s fascinating how huffy and whiny y’all get when you don’t get the “respect” you think you deserve, but that’s another discussion.

#19 Faron on 06.17.20 at 4:36 pm

#155 Sail away on 06.17.20 at 3:40 pm

#151 Faron on 06.17.20 at 2:59 pm


“You were telling me how businesses should be run?”

No, I was telling you how, with steady deregulation as well as neo-liberalism, low and middle class folks have become poorer or had wages stagnate through upward wealth stripping. Run your business however you like under the law/regulatory framework.

Slander, when used as a verb, refers to any statement written or oral. Yes, I had to google that to be sure, but nice try though. I’m glad you nitpicked instead of delving into any substantive defence of trickle-down. All you have to do is google Reaganomics and do some copy-paste work. Bam. Lunchtime.

I hope if/when your son falls into some kind of substance abuse problem your response is “Something would have probably killed you, anyway. Seems like it happens to almost everyone.” That would be fitting of your classiness.

#41 Faron on 06.17.20 at 5:28 pm

#37 Sail away on 06.17.20 at 5:20 pm

“Hope not. Leave my son out of this.”


Will do. My apologies for making it personal in that way.

#42 Faron on 06.17.20 at 5:31 pm

#37 Sail away on 06.17.20 at 5:20 pm

I’ll further clarify that I don’t wish addiction of any kind on you, your son or anyone. I have close relationships with addicts former and present and there’s nothing fun about it.

#106 Faron on 06.17.20 at 11:12 pm

#48 Dolce Vita on 06.17.20 at 5:46 pm

#32 Apocalypse2020


~26th after 4 months of pandemic status ain’t too shabby.

Sometimes I wonder if #14 — Encephalitis lethargica — isn’t running rampant among posters to this blog’s comment section

#142 Faron on 06.18.20 at 10:58 am

109 Sail Away

those projects are the key to making renewables viable which is the futre. Elon certainly doesn’t lack vision. Find a good lithium mining stock.

#24 Faron on 06.18.20 at 2:19 pm

#6 TurnerNation on 06.18.20 at 1:30 pm

I’m curious, does QAnon mean anything to you TurnerNation?

#30 Faron on 06.18.20 at 2:32 pm

Two things.

First, it just occurred to me that what has happened with sovereign debt is very much akin to a leveraged buy out wherein some sort of venture capital buys a struggling business, makes all kinds of changes to make it appear more profitable, loads it down with debt then either sells it or reaps profits until the whole thing collapses.

Crudely speaking, if the national debt of a country more or less winds up in the hands of the citizens and if the 1% holds 25% of the wealth, it seems that one could make a case that all of those debt dollars (or a vastly disproportionate amount) went to the wealthiest who then offshore the bux to avoid tax.

One thing that is certain about CERB is those dollars are getting spent. Therefore, they are not adding to the wealth of the recipient (with some exceptions I’m sure). The dollars torrent up to the concentrated wealthy, they help fuel growth in equities which benefits those here, and the rich get richer while the poor continue to hang by a thread.

And this from Garth: “Accepting a position can lead to advancement, more hours, better pay and responsibility. Sitting at home watching Space Force does not. Never will. You stay unemployed.”

The second part is true and I fully agree that a life on the dole is no life ‘tall. WFH has made it really clear to me that, although I’m a loner, I need to get out of the damn house and miss being interrupted by colleagues at work.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the first sentence applies nearly as much as it used to. The growth of the “gig” economy is an example. Many entry level jobs do not and will not lead anywhere. That fact needs to be addressed if workers are to be allowed a meaningful life.

#39 Faron on 06.18.20 at 2:49 pm

#18 IHCTD9 on 06.18.20 at 2:06 pm

#8 Fereshteh Hashemi on 06.18.20 at 1:32 pm

This is exactly what our esteemed leadership in Ottawa should be working on right now.

I agree with these ideas. CERB or some form of stimulus *had* to be rolled out quickly and indiscriminately to keep the economy from going into total vapour lock this spring. Since then, there’s been ample time to craft more nuanced approaches, incorporate some component of work programs etc. and it’s odd to me that such has not been introduced. Here’s one example:

Make CERB somehow contingent on retraining those who work in the service industry and haven’t been able to scrape enough dollars together to go back to school either for a trade or for a degree. Likewise for slowly dying industries like the oil patch. Support the workers whose jobs may never come back so they can retrain and make Canada stronger.

I feel the same way with how elective procedures have been hobbled in the health care system and continue to be so. We are past the point of potential for huge waves of infection and ICU admissions at least until the next wave comes. It’s time to reallocate resources until there’s clear sign of the next wave which will be known through testing a couple weeks before ICU resources are needed.

And the last thing in this hodge-podge of a comment is that it appears that the lethality of this thing is dropping. I presume that is because it’s a better known entity and doctors have developed better approaches to treatment. That doesn’t mean that this spring’s response was inappropriate. We didn’t know a lick about the virus then and allowing it to spread unmitigated would have been a disaster. But, there’s hope, in my mind, for a less dire winter coming up.

Thanks for the food for thought today Garth

#60 Faron on 06.18.20 at 3:58 pm

#43 SoggyShorts on 06.18.20 at 3:19 pm

#41 SunShowers on 06.18.20 at 3:10 pm

“Pay higher wages…
and never any solutions offered as to how businesses can do it and survive”


Crude numbers:

For the large, publicly traded half of the business world lets look at walmart (which, BTW, pays more than minimum in the US, but still is at $12 per hour)

2.8 billion shares with a $2.16 dividend is $6.1 billion. Another $10 billion was spent on share buybacks in each of the past two years. So, $16 billion per year. Walmart has 2.2 million workers. That comes to $7300 per year per person. That’s a meaningful amount on its own. If you scale that by cost of living in the various parts of the world walmart operates in, that could be a significant wage increase. Furthermore, if the pay scale were to be made even moderately less top-heavy, that would be improved further.

In the long term, if those $7300 were invested at a 7% rate for 30 years the worker would have a 600k+ portfolio. Or, over 18 years those dollars would be enough to put a couple of kids through college and thus better the family’s chances in the long run.

There is money for wage increases. Saying otherwise is supporting the greedy and inhumane pay structures that are baked into the structure of our economy and political system but that we like to ignore because we benefit from them.

#72 Faron on 06.18.20 at 4:18 pm

#46 Sail away on 06.18.20 at 3:27 pm

#38 Faron on 06.18.20 at 2:49 pm

” It’s never been inordinately lethal, and yes, it actually does mean this spring’s response was inappropriate.”

How? Present the counterfactual scenario of no action and how that would have played out well. Brazil and much of Latin America may be playing out that counterfactual as I write.

“The current ongoing restrictions are also inappropriate.”

How? Agreed that no country got this perfect nor continues to have a perfect response, but the median response was and remains appropriate. You are making out like a bandit, why do you care?

“Every official reaction to Covid has been, and continues to be, inappropriate.”

In my experience, using absolutes like “every” isn’t a good tactic especially in cases where a full gamut of responses has been put in play. Read about Iceland’s handling of it and how they continue to handle it and tell me it was not suitable for the circumstances. Would you have preferred Bolsonaro’s? Is there another dimension to approaching this that I’m missing?

#146 Faron on 06.18.20 at 8:31 pm

#136 Headhunter on 06.18.20 at 7:54 pm

“Town of about 1.3 million.. 1 million want tickets to hear him speak..”

Ha ha. Maybe with this wild thing called the internet, some non-Tulsans registered for tickets? Or maybe this prez, who seems happy to lie about almost anything, just inflated the number?

Regardless, the collective IQ of Tulsa will be taking a brief dip over the next few days as Trump supporters flood in and non-supporters run for their sanity.

I can’t wait to read the transcript of his speech. Pocket dictionary meets Vitamix blender. Bigly.

#158 Faron on 06.18.20 at 8:57 pm

#144 Flop… on 06.18.20 at 8:29 pm

Put the caution tape away, and get creative…

Ha. Yeah. I had fun laughing at park benches shrink wrapped in CAUTION tape sending the message “THIS BENCH IS OUT TO KILL YOU”…

#162 Faron on 06.18.20 at 9:10 pm

#148 SoggyShorts on 06.18.20 at 8:44 pm

#56 SunShowers on 06.18.20 at 3:54 pm
#43 SoggyShorts on 06.18.20 at 3:19 pm

4. Due to those raised prices SunShowers now has the exact same buying power as before.


The percentage of the wage increase that gets pushed to higher prices would, at most, be the percentage of the business’ costs that the lowest wage labour represents. For service industries, this is a larger percentage, for other industries, much smaller. Overall %inflation would be some small fraction of the % wage increase.

For example, when the cost of wheat doubles, the price of bread increases by some amount less than a doubling. Likely much less.

Another, cloudier example: when manufacturing was offshored from the ’90s onward the change enabled prices for consumer goods to drop, but the full price drop was much less than the wage differential between the offshored labour and North American labour.

You are right that wage increases would bring some inflation, but incorrect that it would be a 1:1 relationship. Thus it’s not a zero sum game.

#228 Faron on 06.19.20 at 11:51 am

#192 SWL on 06.19.20 at 1:00 am

@45 sunshowers

Why should a 15 year old kid washing dishes be making a government mandated ‘living wage’?

It shows your age that you think that low-income jobs are held by kids nowadays.

And for those 15 y/o kids working entry level, if you show them that by working a shitty job they can do decently well for themselves, they would be inspired to work their faces off.

And why not allow any person to earn a living wage? Why would anyone deserve less because of age? That becomes a slippery slope that soon includes sex, sexual orientation, race etc etc. How do you know the 15 y/o didn’t run away from abusive parents and actually needs to make a living wage? Just because *you* were raised in an era where 15y/o did paper routes before school and then played sports and went home for supper doesn’t mean all were.

#193 Dr V on 06.19.20 at 1:19 am

161 Faron

Fair enough, but it’s still not one to one and not zero sum, so it’s a lie to state otherwise. You didn’t make that statement, but others did.

I think very very few are willing to admit that paying as low a wage as possible allows a business to be profitable enough for the owner to take a nice chunk off the top. Maybe not small/medium sized businesses, but there’s no question that extreme wealth is generated by large corps and that wealth is scraped off the skin of the low wage worker either here or wherever the labour has been outsourced.

#232 Faron on 06.19.20 at 11:56 am

#223 IHCTD9 on 06.19.20 at 10:36 am

Who would win with a higher “living wage”?

Business owners

Ha, nice. Then why don’t they push for it?

#251 Faron on 06.19.20 at 1:39 pm

#237 IHCTD9 on 06.19.20 at 12:15 pm
#232 Faron on 06.19.20 at 11:56 am
#223 IHCTD9 on 06.19.20 at 10:36 am

Sounds like you’re assuming all business owners care about is making money?

They’re also people with ideas and opinions.

That’s a fair point, I fall into that trap. And I can see why any increase in wage is going to be challenging to small/medium sized business.

However, as businesses scale larger, the corporation becomes beholden to equity holders and many of them only care about ROI.

#5 Faron on 06.19.20 at 1:54 pm

Investing question:

I was playing around with a portfolio simulator and it seems like owning a couple % of the portfolio as a VIX futures ETF has the effect of hedging strongly against market volatility. During the latest drop, 2-3% VIX futures offset almost all of the downside of market nuttiness. It provides a drag on growth during calm times (that are most of the times) and because VIX futures are also in contango, there will be constant capital erosion. But for fearful people like me who freak out when 7% down days happen, it looks like they do a good job of backstopping risk while allowing more than decent returns.

I assume if this is a good idea, many people would do it. Anyone here have thoughts both for “normal” times and for these times where volatility spikes happen on the regular? Perhpas the problem is knowing when to cash out of the VIX futures ETF to maximize the protection by realizing the gains.

Somehow, I think the answer is to take the dollars spent on the VIX erosion and hand the portfolio over to a financial advisor. That would have the benefit of supporting smallish business as well.

#44 Faron on 06.19.20 at 4:23 pm

#28 Sail away on 06.19.20 at 3:41 pm

Let me predict the MSM afterward:

What do you think? Will the above hit 100% accuracy?

I’d give you 83% fidelity in interpretation of the likely MSM response.

1) If the ejections happen without assault, then fine. If a Trump supporter assaults a non-Trump supporter without physical provocation, that’s worthy of being aired and is “inappropriate”.

2) Probably

3) True, but it will also be likely that most reporters will have a hard time finding anyone who isn’t a dullard. However, this may be the case at any rally. Don’t people have blog comments to make? Why waste time at a rally?

4) Maybe. Lets see how many “stars and bars” we see in the mix before the score is tallied.

I think Ponzie is correct, it will be entertaining for all. +- inspiring.

#60 JacqueShellacque on 06.19.20 at 6:11 pm

#5 Faron

Like you I’ve thought about hedging against the badness. Not a 7% drop, but more like a 30% or so. Garth, Ryan, and Doug et al will advise against considering such possibilities. But it can happen. In fact, it’s consequential – as Nassim Taleb points out, someone invested for the last 50 years would’ve doubled their CAGR if they’d just missed the 10 worst days in that time frame. 10 days in 50 years!

[WARNING: PRETTY BORING] The balanced portfolio paradigm is based on asset pricing models that have the fluctuations in the values themselves as the only source of randomness. As Douglas Hubbard points out, if a nuclear power plant did this, you’d need multiple meltdowns in order to properly account for risk. Worse, these fluctuations are assumed to be the variance around a normally distributed mean, which means outliers are considered (a) rare, (b) inconsequential, and (c) exponentially less likely as you move further away from the mean. So this actually understates risk. Further, the Austrian business cycle theory view states that stimulus and artificially lowered interest rates mess up intertemporal decision making and this has a way of reasserting itself, resulting in nasty crashes. Use Tobin’s Q as a measure of this. It “should” be 1, for the last little while it’s been around 2. In essence, this theory predicts markets are seriously overvalues.

What do I do? Like you, I’ve got some VIX (a call at $55, expiring in November). Also I do a poor man’s version of a Mark Spitznagel tail hedge – 0.5% of the portfolio in a put on QQQ (NASDAQ index) expiring in 2 months at a strike price 30% below the current. It costs peanuts (you can get like 6 contracts for a few hundred bucks) but protects you against sudden drops. Sell it after one month, rinse and repeat.

#45 Faron on 06.20.20 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for the post Ryan. It’s not at all surprising that democratic eras outperform Republican eras equity wise. Clinton and Obama oversaw 16 years of massive economic expansion including the Clinton era’s period of a balanced federal budget and rolling back of the deficit clock. Repubs like to claim to be deficit hawks, but the federal deficit has climbed under most of them because they can’t help themselves but cut taxes for all with an emphasis in making the tax code less progressive while boosting military spending.

#48 Faron on 06.20.20 at 4:06 pm

#32 Sail Away on 06.20.20 at 1:12 pm
#12 Prairieboy43 on 06.20.20 at 10:45 am

“No, no there won’t. Because the right is not batshit crazy”

Yeah, nothing BSC at all about showing up at your state capital building with rifles to protest a public health response. Makes total sense.

To your credit, maybe you’re getting your cognitive dissonance machine warmed up for when you have to explain the BS that’s about to go down in Tulsa and spin it so the righty dunces look like the good, smart guys just victims of the left. Victims. Ha. Bigly.

#190 Faron on 06.22.20 at 3:34 pm

Thanks for your post Garth. Your blog was the first news I saw after a weekend afloat. Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end of Trump. Not that his departure will put the cat back into the bag, but at least some healing can begin to happen then. These next four months are going to be wild.

Happy belated Father’s Day to the dad’s out there, BTW.

#6 Faron on 06.22.20 at 3:54 pm

“Memo to self: never, ever again (ever) write about Trump. Juices and prejudices have made debate or analysis impossible. The deplorables win. Pass the ammo”

Noooooooo. Unleashing the trolls is how they have dominated the social media space. Don’t let it happen to you. I can’t imagine what you had to read through yesterday. Argh.

#42 Faron on 06.22.20 at 6:01 pm

#24 Patrick Hardy on 06.22.20 at 4:57 pm

Garth: “the result of a once-in-a-century global pandemic.”

Patrick: “…I can think of multiple ways this whole virus situation could replay itself in the coming decades…”

You are both right. The probability of any given event is not contingent on when the previous such event happened. It’s possible to get 100 year events in back-to-back years in stationary statistics. And return intervals become upper bounds in non-stationary statistical environments. Our odds of getting a 1 in 100 flu bug this year is the same as it is every year. Just because we already have COVID, doesn’t prevent anything if such events are random. In all likelihood, flu will remain subdued this year due to social distancing and the like.

#26 Yukon Elvis on 06.22.20 at 5:01 pm

“…losing a lot of business and clients…”

Nothing to do with a ‘grudge’. It’s all about risk assessment. People who don’t make payments because of financial stress pose greater future risk. – Garth

I don’t think the banks will care much about losing lossy clients Yukon! Their boards and share-holders will applaud any such move as prudent. And, although the banks are only slightly less oligolopolistic than other canadian business spaces, there are still few options out there. The customers will come back and be met with higher fees and interest rates as penance paid for their sins.

#140 Faron on 06.23.20 at 12:49 pm

#115 jane24 on 06.23.20 at 1:50 am

Why is Canada 3 or 4 times the UK insurance rates

Long distances
Bad weather
Higher healthcare costs
Monopolistic agencies (all of BC under one insurer)
Poor performing assetts of late
Worse drivers?

#142 Faron on 06.23.20 at 12:58 pm

#107 Sail away on 06.22.20 at 10:42 pm
Huh. Violence, sexual assaults, physical assaults, arson and shootings break out within a week of declaring a non-policed autonomous zone. Who would’ve guessed?

Oh, things happened in a city that always happen in cities regardless of police presence? Who’d a thunk? Are you disappointed that no one was there to bust the skulls of any “suspects” (i.e. any black or brown persons who happened to be nearby) to make you feel safer in your Tesla?

#5 Faron on 06.23.20 at 2:57 pm

#147 Sail away on 06.23.20 at 1:40 pm

#143 Faron on 06.23.20 at 12:58 pm
#107 Sail away on 06.22.20 at 10:42 pm

“…protecting them?”

Have you been to the CHOP? Yeah, me neither. But, you have this idea that lots of people live there and have businesses there, right? I kinda did too. Anyhow, Google has been there, so I just street-viewed the blocks in question. The central block has almost no storefronts on one side and the Police precinct on the other and a newish looking condo build. Public storage and a film center on another aspect. A taco shop, liquor store and what looks like another apartment building. A sports field. Lots of street art and overall the kind of vibrancy that makes Vancouver stand out for how achingly boring it is while leaning on its west coast progressive credentials. Victoria too. But I digress.

The food outlets are probably seeing the best business they’ve seen in many months. The cinema, probably part of the protest and would be closed anyway. Liquor store? no brainer, BOOMING. The police? who cares. I’m sure they just shifted their resources for the time being. I bet it’s safe to say that a large chunk of people who live in those two buildings are STOKED about CHOP. These kinds of movements are fun and inspiring.

Regardless, I can’t speak for anyone there, nor can you. But, there are probably as many or more local voices in support than there are of cowering citizenry afraid of the rampant arting and demonstrating and freedom having. And the cowering few almost certainly live in the new condo building and moved there for the neighborhood’s vibrancy without realizing that vibrancy actually means people sometimes do unexpected things and stand for something rather than meekly doing yoga and buying $4 coffee and driving their Teslas to Ikea.

The crux is that protection from police is an illusion in many cases and is designed to serve and protect those who have. Police or no police, the violence would have probably happened thus there was no and would have been no protection at the time of incident. Zero. Any protection would be an illusion to make the Tesla drivers feel better. Police can lead folks to “justice” but eventual incarceration only funds the private prison system and does nothing to make anyone safer.

“Defund the police” was a horrible and alienating choice of phrasing for the idea of shifting resources from where they go now to a more diverse set of services that do more to serve where service is needed and retain protection where that’s possible. A police force wouldn’t be removed from a city. But, in locations where police spend inordinate amounts of time dealing with addicts or other mental health problems, more qualified staff could be part of a response.

#74 Faron on 06.23.20 at 5:15 pm

#51 Deplorable Dude on 06.23.20 at 4:36 pm

…(presumably to get special C19 funding)…

This has long since been debunked.

Regardless, if the scientifically ignorant, uncompassionate, and greedy right wasn’t opposed to socialized medicine and hadn’t wasted so much legislative time the past 10 years undoing as much of Obama Care as possible, the point would be moot. You can’t root for a system (for-profit, privatized health care) and then decry it if it behaves exactly how you should expect it to (private insurance companies beholden to shareholders trying to code as many procedures as possible as expensively as possible to maximize profit). You have zero grounds there Deplorable.


Listen to her calm and clearly spoken words… She’s saying they (hospitals in the smallest US state) test people who are in the hospital out of convenience so we all have a more accurate picture of infection in the country so public health officials can respond (or not) with good data in hand. Meanwhile, Trump wants to slow down testing because it makes him look bad bigly.

You are right, N mortality will tell the tale. Cases spiking in past week, deaths should start to grow in the coming week. Watch that space.

As I’ve said before, the upside is that everyone knows more about COVID and how to treat it. We will soon see if hospitalized people survive in greater numbers because of that knowledge. That will be a win anyone can celebrate I should think.

#102 Faron on 06.23.20 at 6:20 pm

#78 Flop… on 06.23.20 at 5:22 pm

Are you allowed to say colour commentary anymore…

I’ll check with the social justice minions, stand by.

Yeah, looks like it’s okay as long as ancestral lands are acknowledged and pronouns are correctly applied. And the foam on the mic should be a medium brown color. Oh, the helicopter should be burning high octance hemp seed oil. It’s complicated. I’ll get back to you.

#123 Faron on 06.23.20 at 7:29 pm

#103 Sail away on 06.23.20 at 6:21 pm

Aw, didn’t like Ponzie’s score keeping? I give you equal points for starting an interesting discussion. Ponzie’s a harsh judge.

First of all, I’m not condoning any violence. I’m pointing out that it could and would have happened anywhere. CHOP or no CHOP cops or no cops. Your news sources like to hone in on this because they oppose CHOP, not because they care about reporting crime full stop.

Your FoxNews, Fair and Balanced reporter managed to find one person who thinks they saw a crime but probably just saw a brown person grabbing their own bike. And, who calls 911 for a bike theft anyway? And they found one business owner who claims there was an issue a block and a half out of CHAZ. Pretty thin reporting. I’m guessing the poor reporter had to throw away lots of notes from interviews with enthusiastic residents and supporters.

Send something substantive and I’ll change my mind, but the right only does drive-by reporting, so I’m sure substantive will never materialize.

And, ah yes, the ol’ trope of scaring people into their own oppression with rape stories. Don’t do such and such, you (or your tender, young, innocent — white — daughters) will get raped. That one helped marginalize black men for a good 140 years and counting. That one tells women to “stop dressing like such a slut” and “she pretty much was asking to be raped” and “she deserved it”. Good thing big tough police mans are there to protect the fragile ladies:

“…victims of sex-related police crime are typically younger than
18 years of age”

Gosh, almost sounds like we should defund the police a little bit. Maybe spend those dollars on a real sexual assault response? The majority of rape isn’t reported to the police because most women know it is pointless to do so and will ultimately be demeaning to them. That’s not right. And, again, would happen police or no police.

#145 Faron on 06.23.20 at 8:22 pm

#97 Sail away on 06.23.20 at 6:09 pm

article from Forbes:

That’s an op ed, not journalism. Sorry.

Andy Ngo is a troll master intent on spurring asian/black racist tensions (among others) for profit. Still, that was surprisingly balanced for him.

#147 Faron on 06.23.20 at 8:33 pm

#138 IHCTD9 on 06.23.20 at 8:07 pm

#123 Faron on 06.23.20 at 7:29 pm

Uhh, in Canada; if a Woman calls the cops to report being assaulted in any form by a male, said male is immediately hauled off in cuffs no matter if the accusation was false or not.

I don’t think that’s true. But, people are hauled away in cuffs prior to conviction in all kinds of cases that you probably don’t care about. Women, on average, have little to zero incentive to accuse someone of rape given the balance between the negative attention it garners and the turmoil of a trial.

And, most will never call the cops for a long list of reasons having nothing to do with the legitimacy of the accusation.

Regarding mental health and related violence. I take your point and trust your experience. Two questions: are cops alone able to de-escalate and, if so, are they satisfied that such is the state of their job? Was mental health support a reason they joined the force?

#149 Faron on 06.23.20 at 8:53 pm

#132 Sail away on 06.23.20 at 7:58 pm

#122 Ponzius Pilatus on 06.23.20 at 7:23 pm



“Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best agreed that ‘the entire structure and mission of the Seattle Police Department has to be reimagined and re-envisioned.’

‘It will be done with direct community guidance,’ Best said during Monday’s press conference.”

Sounds like a blighted success to me.


Unfair enough, I don’t think it’s ever a great idea to cancel speakers out of the blue. I doubt the legal action will make it very far.

Nuff said?


#235 Faron on 06.24.20 at 1:10 pm

#204 Sail Away on 06.24.20 at 9:16 am

#185 Pick any number from 100 to 900 on 06.24.20 at 2:12 am

Yeah, sounds like you guys need to run with this. Totally on to something.

lessee, 190+ countries with regional results, so say 20 regions on average, sampling all population sizes and infection rates, 120 odd days of infection that’s 456000 samples. Typical daily infection rates are in the 500 case sweet spot as a guess. Skewed right because you can’t have negative new cases and the US/Brazil are dumb. I don’t know the dispersion, but probably not far left and a fair bit further right… Carry the three, divide by the boltzmann constant…

Sounds like you guys discovered statistics!


Scorecard for today:

Pick any number: +4 million pts
Sail Away: +10 pts
Ponzie: +3.14159
Faron: -2000 billion pts.

#238 Faron on 06.24.20 at 1:23 pm

#234 MF on 06.24.20 at 12:48 pm

7 Sail away on 06.24.20 at 12:16

Don’t let the weirdos and nutcases who post here cloud your seemingly sound logic.

I second that. Disagreements aside, you are way to smart for that one. I guess it shows how easily we are all led when we see things we want to see.

May have to consult with Ponzius and revise scores somewhat.

#254 Faron on 06.24.20 at 3:28 pm

#241 akashic record on 06.24.20 at 1:48 pm

#239 Faron

This is a holographic universe, all virtual reality.

Whoa, trippy brah! Human perception is gnar gnar.

#173 Faron on 06.25.20 at 12:06 pm

#140 Coho on 06.25.20 at 12:46 am

et al.

coho, 11 majillion points today.

Glad you guys are doing some hard thinking about SARS-CoV2. That one yesterday about googling case numbers was AWESOME. I’m sure your mastery of google/reddit/facebook/4chan/foxnews are digging up heretofore uninvestigated niches of the pandemic. Kudos to you. It’s almost certain that tens of thousands of medical professionals and infectious disease experts who have seen a million flu/cold seasons in aggregate don’t have a clue what they are talking about. Citizen science at its finest.

branches of science now under question by the wacko right:

–Atmospheric science – check (unless its a weather report or THE POLAR VORTEX!!!!)

–Geology – check (unless it brings them moar oil or gold)

–Medical/biological – check (unless they have cancer, need surgery or otherwise like to talk about all their medical procedures, then they are all for it)

–Oceanography – check… I didn see no grbage ptch an I drove right through it. Pass the Tuna!

–Chemistry – not yet. But they’re coming for you!

–Physics – who knows. too smrt.

Top o’ the morning from your elite, leftist contributor,

PS: please line up for your rations of freedom gruel just to the left of the sani station. thx.

#188 Faron on 06.25.20 at 1:08 pm

#179 Job#1 on 06.25.20 at 12:35 pm

#173 Faron

Thanks. I take that sincerely. Yes I can.

For one thing, I like to play around with styles.

For the other, well, sometimes reading posts by armchair pundits with IMHO tagged on at the end even though the post perfectly reflects what was just said on FoxNews (so isn’t really their HO) gets irritating.

For another, let’s start with this: I don’t like realtors, but I don’t pretend to tell them what to do. I don’t agree with Sail Away, but I would never tell him how to go about designing/engineering something. Politicians, same. I’m ever so thankful that there are people who dedicated their lives to drilling and filling teeth with great skill and care even if I may not like that person or their views and even if they cause me pain at the time of performing their work. Science and the work that scientists do falls into these categories.

Science has given humanity a lot (I admit that’s arguable, but a separate discussion) and depends on some hierarchy of knowledge. Anyone can do it, but you have to start at the bottom reading a shit ton of papers and learning the basics and then work your way up to becoming an expert. It’s not a perfect system and it is exclusive by nature. But, it also works well for minimizing the human tendency to observe patterns where none exist, separating the wheat from the chaff and for crystalizing knowledge from the unknown. It’s also the only system that we, as humans, have for increasing our real knowledge about how nature — which we are a part of — works. The process is under threat by a US government that has no damn clue about how science works and a social media fuelled conspiracy culture that thinks it knows better. This infuriates me.

I respect expertise and will usually hear out those who I know to be more knowledgeable about almost anything. I’d even listen to Donald Trump if he were to talk about real estate deals or TV production. Questioning experts is fine, but at the end of the day, it’s helpful to know who knows more about something than I do. That alone saves everyone time and allows us all to focus on the things we do well.

Lastly, this place is pretty dystopian and arbitrary and seems mostly to serve as a means for people to feel superior to others and be rightous. It’s fun to toss firecrackers down a well and listen to the BANG reverberate. Seemingly harmless entertainment excepting the trolls that live in that darkness.

#197 Faron on 06.25.20 at 2:58 pm

#188 Sail away on 06.25.20 at 1:41 pm

#187 Faron on 06.25.20 at 1:08 pm

But, but… you haven’t told us your area of expertise. What are your own bona fides?

At risk of positive ID — although I thought standing up for physical sciences would have told you — I’m not in the arts/social sciences:

B.Sc. chemistry, M.Sc. geography/climate science, Ph.D. geology/atmospheric science. Considering returning to school to study economics.

I’d appreciate not being doxxed.

straight, not single. PC AF but can be annoyed by PC culture as can almost everyone.

Currently employed in my field.

Waste waaaaaay too much time here.

#199 Faron on 06.25.20 at 3:18 pm

#188 Sail away on 06.25.20 at 1:41 pm

#187 Faron on 06.25.20 at 1:08 pm

-You believe white privilege exists, but paradoxically feel that stable upbringing is more important, regardless of race

-You feel materialism is vulgar (this one’s my assumption)

w/re the first: It’s not a paradox. They are interlinked and in the US, entrenched historical norms persist to make it way more likely that nonwhite don’t benefit from a stable upbringing and onward. Among other factors.

I am a member of a yacht club, drive or bike through a toney neighbourhood to get there and have to keep my stomach from turning whenever I go for a sail. Hypocracy? you betcha.

#6 Faron on 06.25.20 at 3:20 pm

About the picture: …

Enough about your haircut, when does Bandit get his trim?

#127 Faron on 06.26.20 at 12:13 pm

#119 Lambchop on 06.26.20 at 10:50 am
#115 Sail Away on 06.26.20 at 10:22 am
#101 Dharma Bum on 06.26.20 at 7:55 am
#84 Sail Away

the quote in question:

“If everybody was either lesbian or homosexual, this would be the last generation on Earth. Because two homosexuals cannot produce offspring…two lesbians cannot produce offspring. So, why would I want to support something when this would be the last generation on Earth? I’m not going to go there,” Currie said.

Offensive or not, PC or not, the guy’s a freaking idiot. But, the US has long shown that intelligence and ability in politics don’t correlate at all.

And Sail, what would you do if the politician you pine after was female? Would you still use he/him in reference because “him” = “reasonable politician”?

Just checking.

#130 Faron on 06.26.20 at 12:23 pm

#116 TurnerNation on 06.26.20 at 10:31 am

…agents have infiltrated our cities and are demo’ing them.

Wow, you never fail to amaze TN.

One idea would be for you to Juuust put down the keyboard, put down anything with a screen, put on some pants and a shirt, socks and shoes and go outside. Maybe sit on a park bench (if it’s not covered with Caution tape) and watch people smile and laugh. Watch some dogs playing. Listen to the birds. Just take it easy. Ten deep breaths. There are plenty of people like you who can be vigilant while you give your brain a rest.

#133 Faron on 06.26.20 at 12:28 pm

A markets question:

If the market is so healthy, why is the US 10 Year yield stuck at 0.6X? Wouldn’t one expect a forward looking market to roughly track the effective yield on long bonds? Seems bonds think the economy is utter crap.

Anyhow, last one before my internet filter kicks in for the day. Happy Friday.

#36 Faron on 06.26.20 at 5:37 pm

#143 JonBoy on 06.26.20 at 2:13 pm

Reasonable, intelligent, logical discourse is essentially forbidden right now.

No. The problem is your “discourse” lacks at least two of the three elements you are implying it would have should you express and aim to debate any of the opinions from your post. Using reason or logic would be too tedious for you even though it could be shown that your points are almost entirely based on a historical framework that does not apply any longer. Nor should it.

And take down your confederate flag.

#126 Faron on 06.29.20 at 12:06 pm

#110 IHCTD9 on 06.29.20 at 9:24 am
#60 Izzy Bedibida on 06.28.20 at 7:59 pm

How do I make this work as a single person?

OMG. – Garth

Garth, I think you meant to write “OMG + SMH.

What should be really said is if you are SWF/SWM then you get SFA
— –

Well, that’s a real SOB


#165 Faron on 06.30.20 at 2:23 pm

#157 Sail away on 06.30.20 at 12:48 pm
#151 kingston boy on 06.30.20 at 11:50 am
@#139 Dharma Bum on 06.30.20 at 9:30 am

…they usually don’t last too long since there are other shinier whinier blogs more aligned to an entitlement mentality

Or we spend a few weekends with good company IRL and read thoughtful articles, books or whatever and come to realize that this comment section is as addictive, useless and as toxic as hard drugs.

#11 Faron on 07.01.20 at 2:04 pm

Thanks for your post today Garth. They are well-wrought words that ring true to me.

I’m lucky enough to get to chose between the US and Canada. Each country has its virtues, but Canada shows greater respect for the well-being of it’s citizens and the world’s and a stronger allegiance to education and knowledge over ideology. I sincerely wish for our politicians to maintain those virtues and keep the trajectory pointed to an obscure but higher good that benefits all.

Happy Canada Day everyone!

#10 Faron on 07.02.20 at 4:02 pm

Tater, Bytor, Lambo, for the love of Corona, here:


It’s not the article you are citing, but reviews what is known as of mid-June. 0.6 % IFR overall, 5.0 % if you are a boomer+. That is the current status of knowledge and that will change.

Bytor, Lamb — if you want to pretend to have objectivity and that you apply rational thinking you have to be open with information, accept more than one viewpoint and question “articles” that are pre-prints. Your “neener-neener, I know something you don’t know” approach is childish.

Tater, don’t take the bait.

#45 Faron on 07.02.20 at 6:43 pm

it’s both. part of the case increase is from enhanced transmission due to mobility and another part is from steadily rising test numbers.

importantly, states with abrupt spikes in numbers are seeing death rates starting to pick up. watch that space.

i speculate that there’s a seasonal effect here too. healthier folks in summer maybe leads to fewer severe cases? if so, winter will be ugly.

#63 Faron on 07.02.20 at 8:04 pm

#50 Deplorable Dude on 07.02.20 at 7:09 pm

“7 day moving average of US daily deaths… now below 500.”

Uh, by “…below 500” you mean “…is at about 560” right? (Assuming we are all looking at the mysterious worldometers)

The rate could keep dropping and that would be a plus, but a M.A. is retrospective (unless it’s centred which this isn’t) and deaths lag infection growth by a couple of weeks. Mean time to death is in the 10 – 18 day range. Cases started to climb again some time around the middle of June say the 18th.

So, if any part of those increased case loads are occurring in the susceptible, you should see deaths start to climb again in the next few days. June 18th + 14 days (time to death) + 3.5 days (centres the MA) gives July 5th.

I’d give 3 to 2 odds that by next Thursday the backward looking 7-day MA will be on the rise again. I’ll further venture that the US has bought itself a continued increase for at least another 3 weeks after that, so into August unless people shelter or states lock down again ASAP…

#131 Faron on 07.03.20 at 11:38 am

#124 Sail Away

Maduso? Xi? Un? Putin? Trump? The sherrif of Klickitat county? Soumds like you are looking for a big, strong man to scratch that itch no one else can.

#15 Faron on 07.03.20 at 1:54 pm

Some stats from Victoria REB folow. Note, stats may be skewed because of low volumes in previous months. Low volumes == low sampling rate == high potential for error. Be warned.

The takeaways

*big bounce back in sales as anecdotally noted elsewhere for other cities.

*Possible urban flight and very likely condo flight is under way.

*Business property for lease number up, while new signed leases has dropped. Small businesses are suffering.


— Overall sales up 10.8% YoY — pent up demand yes, but yikes!

— SFD Victoria up 14.7% YoY but tellingly, outside of Vic core up 32.6% (urban flight perhaps)

— Townhomes up 26.6% YoY — the condo market migrating to less icky TH?

— Almost twice as many condos sold in June as last month, but still down 3.2% YoY

— Total sales up 10.8% while active listings down 11.3%. That puts upward pressure on prices.


— YoY median SFD in Vic price is up 10.2%. Avg price up 17% (I’m guessing a few luxury properties sold skewing the average. CF Robust and resistant statistics)

— YoY median Condo and TH prices up 1.2% and 3.6%

— Sales to new listing ratio up above 35%
— YTD total sales down 13% YoY
— YTD days to sale up 5% YoY
— YTD Office leases listed up 48% (N=43)
— YTD Offices leased down 78% (N=2 vs N=9 YTD 2019)

#23 Faron on 07.03.20 at 2:10 pm

Dear Garth,

Thank you for what you do here both in posting your insights and in moderating this unruly crowd. It continues to amaze me that you have time for this and that we have some, if only slight, access to your perspective and experience in this country through government, media and finance. The only explanation I have is that your entanglements with Stormy Daniels resulted in a sentence of community service and this is how you are whiling away those hours 🙂 Kidding of course.

I have to agree with StatsFreak that, if the double burden of your blog and the comment moderation jeopardizes the blog, then the comments should be cut loose. Or, give the moderation keys to others that you trust to leave the scope wide, but mostly out of the vile murk of the internet thus allowing you to devote your time to more productive endeavours.

Have a good weekend everyone

#35 Faron on 07.03.20 at 2:38 pm

#133 Attrition on 07.03.20 at 12:13 pm
#52 Sail away on 07.02.20 at 7:20 pm
#28 Attrition on 07.02.20 at 5:44 pm

“Climate change can be proven a lie and a hoax”

Really? Please prove that to us. Greenhouse warming was first calculated more than 120 years ago and those physics are as valid today as they ever were. Temperature fluctuations on the planet began to decouple from natural climate variability in the 1970s and there is no other explanation for why this is so that holds up to physics.

ICLN vs NASDAQ vs VDE. Even if you don’t think it’s factual, you may want to get on board with your investment.

“the Russia hoax can be proven a hoax”

So if the hoax is a hoax, does that mean the collusion actually happened? Ha ha.

#58 Faron on 07.03.20 at 3:25 pm

#51 Alex on 07.03.20 at 3:05 pm

“do we know when the Real Estate boards publish June stats?”

See post 15 for VIC or google your latest REB publication. They will be crowing from the rooftops so should be easy to find.

#67 Faron on 07.03.20 at 3:36 pm

#41 Holly on 07.03.20 at 2:49 pm

It’s true that testing has gone up and that’s probably a part of the story. But, looks at the daily death counts in Arizona, Florida and Texas among others with big spikes. They are beginning to show the effects in terms of mortality based on the upward trend in 7-day MA death rate.

Also, here’s a report on excess deaths in the US from March through May:


This indicates that the official death count is about a 25% under estimate based on excess deaths. True total deaths in the US right now are probably closer to 160k and ticking upward at 560 a day.

Also, over the period, COVID deaths cause an 18% uptick in total deaths compared to previous years. That’s a huge number and the reason this disease is being taken seriously.

#22 Faron on 07.06.20 at 3:02 pm

Looks like I owe you a bottle of your favourite scotch Garth.

Dan and I had the same idea. I went sailing this weekend. He, obviously, didn’t.

Perl? Really? I though the snake ate all the Perls :-).

And because I’m a pedant’s pedant (of Penzance) it would technically be a javascript script

The idea of “true world theories” speaks to me of late.

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?”


#53 Faron on 07.06.20 at 5:29 pm

#38 Sail Away on 07.06.20 at 4:36 pm

To Faron:

“God is dead” –Nietzsche

“Nietzsche is dead” -God

Ha, that’s funny.

Just curious: which god is your quote from? And, if a monotheistic god, did they give you authority to quote them outside one of the many consecrated texts from one of the numerous monotheistic religions? I gather you are christian, so please feel free to sub in “He” “Him” and “the bible” in the above.

I lean animistic if anything.

#113 Faron on 07.06.20 at 11:19 pm

#97 Dave on 07.06.20 at 9:52 pm

“The S&P 500 is likely do a ‘Golden Cross’ on Wednesday…a mega big deal for bulls. $$$$”

Does anyone really believe this technical trading mumbo jumbo? Seems like lipstick on a pig or, at best, a broken clock being right twice a day. In a type II chaotic system, the more you think you know the less you actually know.

I could see some group psychology leading to relevance in RSI and running means, but I’d be surprised if there was any statistical support for any technical trading ideas. If there was, everyone would do it and then the markets would adapt and it wouldn’t work anymore.

As was indicated by Ryan, I see rangebound indexes with the odd bubble until we are certain that the increases in cases are not being followed by increases in deaths and until a treatment comes along. If you want to trade, buy dips in high quality names and sell tops. Rinse and repeat.

#160 Faron on 07.07.20 at 1:23 pm

#135 n1tro on 07.07.20 at 8:38 am

#114 Faron on 07.06.20 at 11:19 pm
#97 Dave on 07.06.20 at 9:52 pm

“The S&P 500 is likely do a ‘Golden Cross’ on Wednesday…a mega big deal for bulls. $$$$”

People were a little worked up about the so-called “death cross” back at the end of March. What did markets do? Rally 40%. Given the market’s overall bias for moving upward with 54% upward days vs 46% down (due to economic expansion, improved efficiency, higher tolerance for large PE etc.) the golden cross probably will be followed by net gains, but correlation != causation.

#161 Faron on 07.07.20 at 1:28 pm

I’ll add that until proven otherwise, I hypothesize that technical trading advice is the snake oil (“I’ve got a system maaaannnn”) that makes dodgy financial advisors, authors and hucksters rich off of book sales and membership fees. I bet the ones that have made money are good at business and probably invest in their retirement dollars in a BDP.

See also DDTG Global. Stonks always go up is the null hypothesis (and maybe better overall than any other system because over the long run a diverse portfolio does always go up).

Learn about technical and fundamental analysis before further embarrassing yourself. One deals with economics and the other human nature. Together these forces move markets. – Garth

#172 Faron on 07.07.20 at 2:55 pm

#166 billinbc on 07.07.20 at 2:01 pm
#163 Faron

” I was thinking of covering him in Skippy and unleashing Bandit. – Garth”

That just sounds gross. Plus, that’s a long trip for you and Bandit to make.

I’m challenging people here, so instead of a rebuke, how about some education and statistics to prove me wrong? I’m open minded to data.

First off, of course do fundamental analysis. That’s what I’m arguing for. Identify strong corps/sectors based on fundamentals and look for bargains. I obviously wasn’t clear in my inflammatory rant above. I’m also not saying that the work that you, Garth, and your team do falls in this category. You clearly do good for your clients and almost everyone, myself included, could use your services.

Here’s where I’m coming from. What I’ve read is that very few professional, active managers beat the indexes. That’s why hedge funds are falling out of vogue (or were until revently). In fact, the majority don’t. Again, that’s what I’ve read. I then go look at whatever financial web site google points me toward and I am flooded with ads where experts claim to do such and such and in only ten easy payments of $99.99. Sure, you can get lucky and win big and be among the minority, but technical trading sounds like garbage. It sounds like humans applying their faulty pattern recognizing brains in search of relationships that just don’t exist.

I’ll give you that the markets are partly driven by human psychology and as such, there are consistent elements gleanable by understanding herd mentality such as markets being oversold etc.

Finally, if it were possible to beat the market consistently through technical trading, as soon as such patterns/relationships were identified the market would respond and make the method worthless. If that weren’t the cast, then the market wouldn’t work.

Technical analysis is not for beating the market through alpha-drenched stock picks (as with fundamental analysis), but rather for understanding market sentiment, which comes from investor actions (volume, breadth etc.). Totally different animals. – Garth

#177 Faron on 07.07.20 at 3:49 pm

“Technical analysis is not for beating the market through alpha-drenched stock picks (as with fundamental analysis), but rather for understanding market sentiment, which comes from investor actions (volume, breadth etc.). Totally different animals. – Garth”

Thanks and noted. Enough blather from me. Thanks for your time Garth.

#170 Faron on 07.08.20 at 1:37 pm

#160 JB CONDOS R TOAST on 07.08.20 at 12:03 pm

“Yuck, property value for the owners left in condos will plummet and costs will rise.”

Q: When does the “buying when there’s blood in the streets” principle apply in this case? At the end of the day, cities will come back if they ever even fall out of favour. The virus will go away and people will want to live in Condos again. 1, 2, 5, or more years from now? But it will happen and anyone who scooped up one or more bargain basement priced condos may be glad they did. However, capital erosion through condo fees and property tax would be a thing. Thoughts?

#34 Faron on 07.08.20 at 4:14 pm

#176 Lee on 07.08.20 at 2:37 pm

“Is it my imagination or is COVID-19 exploding out of control in the USA?”

Yeppers. Deaths, a lagging indicator by 2-3 weeks, are starting to catch up to the spike in cases. Hospital utilization is growing rapidly. Up about 5% day over day (Imagine 5% daily growth in your portfolio for a tangible reference to what that level of growth means). Case numbers are up both because of testing that has grown at a linear rate and because of greater infection in the populace. Positive test rates as a proportion of total tests are increasing quickly.

With any luck, the amount of testing and early (in the course of the disease) testing will help keep people alive despite hospitalization. And a lot of the new positive tests are in the young, so deaths wont respond as sharply as was the case in March/April. Still, the US has a massive problem as do the markets by extension. If states have to broadly close down again I’d expect to see more June 11th type corrections.

#59 Faron on 07.08.20 at 5:28 pm

#37 Sail Away on 07.08.20 at 4:28 pm

“If you haven’t noticed, their death rate is dropping”

Wanna wager a share of Tesla on that?

Also, did a brief tour through the archives to see what Garth and commenters were saying at end of Jan. Those Flu comparisons are continuing to look dumber and dumber. y’all like statues and history, I suggest you go back and have a look.

To your credit Sail Away, you were promoting protective equip stock and surely made a killing. Hope you sold near the peak and re bought.

#94 Faron on 07.08.20 at 6:36 pm

#74 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.08.20 at 5:49 pm

The Canadian dollar to $0.50 by Christmas 2021….?


Put your money where your mouth is and buy some Yen. Or some USD. Oh, wait, those countries have even higher debt to GDP ratios than Canada… Nevermind. Maybe some EUR then? Regardless, you have the power to buy foreign assets and profit off of this if you think you are right.

I’d wager that the real reason Canada’s credit rating has dropped is that the economy here has an over-reliance on oil and real estate (that are both vulnerable as heck right now in case you haven’t noticed) which makes our national debt uglier than the US’s. But if it were actually thaaat ugly, yields would have jumped when the downgrade hit. They didn’t.

Your response to the debt growth is conservative reflex, I get that. But, until you or anyone else can show that not stimulating the global economy would have worked out just dandy or even just slightly better than the current economic position and that holding a crap-ton of national debt at near 0% interest to do so was a bad choice, I think you need to defer to the educated experts in our and in every other major economy’s government.

Yes, the debt sucks and we will be taxed more for it. But we are also in a (hopefully) once in a lifetime pandemic that just seems to be getting started. How else was Canada to respond? Make a case for the counterfactual. Especially one that includes your apparent understanding that the virus is dangerous and that some measures needed to be taken to limit its spread. Start with a do nothing base-case where millions of people in Canada suddenly couldn’t spend dollars.

–Rapid and permanent small business collapse much worse than what we are seeing now.
–Zero fertile grounds for any kind of real recovery for many decades.
–Massive loss of tax base, oops, now what?
–Not to mention the human suffering this would bring about. And that might lead to:
–People avoiding lockdowns out of desperation then Canada sees mass second wave of virus…
–Some people die and many others avoid the few remaining businesses (that would likely all be US corps at this point because they stimulated and eased) and the spiral deepens.

There’s a time and place for fiscal conservatism but in the midst of a global pandemic and economic crisis is certainly not it.

That’s three blathers from me today. I’m out.

#107 Faron on 07.08.20 at 7:29 pm

Sorry Garth!

#84 Sail Away on 07.08.20 at 6:20 pm
#59 Faron on 07.08.20 at 5:28 pm
#37 Sail Away on 07.08.20 at 4:28 pm

“By the way, do you remember ridiculing my Tesla purchase around 450 in March?”

No, because that was in April. I do love how small your ego is by the way. It probably almost fits inside Vancouver city limits. So easy to stroke. So supple. You really should show it off more.

Thanks for reminding me though. You also gloated about IEP, BAC and GEO:

” #145 Sail away on 04.29.20 at 6:56 pm
Ok, accurate report of one-day returns from yesterday’s purchases as noted on this blog:

IEP: +1.6%
GEO: +8%
BAC: +5%
TSLA +14%

Some will consider this boasting. Others will accept this is a finance blog and possibly use the info to their advantage.”

IEP was worth $51 now is worth $48 -6%
GEO was worth $13.32 now is worth $11.69 -10% (eyeballing the pcts here)
BAC was worth $24.78 now is worth $23.10 -5%

Granted, you made some divvies in the mean time. Good for you. I know you like participation prizes. Funny thing is that I made a watch list in my trading platform called dbag_portfolio knowing it would come in handy.

For transparency, I counter-gloated:

XBM +17% since the 29th
ICLN +24% ditto
VDE -6$% ditto (that’s what I get for being an energy holding greeny!)
FIE up 1% but I continued to buy and sold at the June 11 top for about +15%. Since have rebought and earn 9% dividends all the while.

And those are ETFs! Vastly lower risk than four stakes in individual equities. Thanks for the advice though 🙂

Hope you sell your TSLA soon! Did you see that upward inflection over the past week? Yeah, that’s a bad technical sign. Ha haha.

Oh, you are wrong about the death rate BTW. “is” means presently, not March. It’s up over past couple days US wide and much more so in Repub states. Sorry!

“Try not to be too smart for your own good.”


#121 Faron on 07.08.20 at 8:23 pm

#106 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.08.20 at 7:28 pm
@#94 Faron

Fair enough and points taken. I’m not a Trudeau fan, but I accept what has been done.

Anyhow, I’m regretting my stridence today. And now two posts in the hole on my blather quota. Sheesh. Burrito time. Garth, thanks for wading through my posts today and always.

#215 Faron on 07.09.20 at 12:49 pm

#185 Re-Cowtown on 07.09.20 at 8:43 am

Whether dinos like you recognize it or not, climate change activism is now centrist. – Garth
Without political labeling for consumption “Climate Change” ceases to exist.

The statement is correct as it stands. This is now mainstream political thought. Fact. – Garth

Among those who do climate science, there are no politics involved even though some scientists have made the mistake of getting active in politics. Or very little as saying “no/none/never” is a great way to be wrong. The evidence is dead obvious (for temperature change especially). Scientists are used to looking for subtle clues. With climate change there is no longer subtlety.

Regardless, by your logic, if you can’t see it, a thing doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, if science stopped there, we would all be driving wooden carts and gathering berries for survival. Not that that would be a bad state of affairs for humans overall, but definitely a major economic contraction!

Here’s a concrete example albeit with a much shorter timescale and a bit blunt. It’s based on personal experience.

You are waiting in line to cross a border into El Salvador. It’s a long line, but like all good unregulated capitalist countries, there are vendors and one is selling pollo con arroz plates for a handful of Lempira. The equivalent of about $0.75 US You are leaving the country so can stave off your hunger and get rid of a worthless currency. The food is delicious although the rice is a little cold.

Later that night you arrive in San Salvador and through your broken spanish, manage to communicate the location of your hostel to the taxi driver. He’s incredibly kind and tolerant and you work together to find your guest house. It’s a beautiful night. The stars are out, the air is warm and tropical. The guest house is a beautiful spanish colonial house with a central open courtyard that echoes your footsteps as you walk the tile second floor walkway. After a long day travelling by chicken bus across three countries, you are so happy to have a bed and a fan. You feel accomplished and fantastic for these small achievements.

At 3 AM you wake up, something is very wrong. The next 6 hours are a hell of concurrent vomit and diarrhea echoing through the house and waking your poor hosts. By 9AM you are a hollow shell. You check out and walk into the tropical sun and somehow manage to stitch together rides to La Libertad without getting mugged. You spend the next two days wasted and weak in a hammock recovering.

So, when I ate the bacteria I couldn’t see it, feel it, taste it, smell it or hear it. The “hearing it” came later :-(. But, the bacteria was certainly real and from then until 3AM was very active and undergoing an exponential, physical process of growth. A couple hundred years ago, the illness would have been a mystery and could have been chalked up to humors or a spell or the alignment of the planets and stars. We know that bacteria exist and existed on my food because of science. We now know that some processes aren’t directly sensible to humans even though they are real and amplifying. If I knew when I ate the rice that it was contaminated, I would have taken my ciprofloxacin (developed through science) and partially staved off the misery. By the time I took it at 3AM, it was too late to stave off the misery, but I was glad I had it!

Garth, please correct me if I’m wrong in the below or feel free to delete.

BTW. I once googled Garth and did some reading about him because I was curious about how he got where he is. Experienced, tolerant, witty fiscally conservative, but deeply caring about his country and the people in it. He seemed hard to classify as simpleminded folk like myself are wont to do. Turns out, among many things, Garth once dabbled in green energy business. I have a sneaking suspicion he sees climate change as a problem for humanity. I doubt he and I would agree on how it should be solved, but that’s politics and that kind of disagreement is healthy. But disagreeing that it’s a problem doesn’t so anyone any good at this point but delay action and prolong the eventual pain.

#216 Faron on 07.09.20 at 12:53 pm

#203 Ace Goodheart on 07.09.20 at 11:33 am

With all due respect Ace, you don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to atmospheric circulation.

Now I know how well-educated finance types must feel when I blather about technical indicators…

#217 Faron on 07.09.20 at 12:59 pm

#203 Ace Goodheart on 07.09.20 at 11:33 am

#193 Re-Cowtown on 07.09.20 at 9:48 am

The “Climate Change” debate is very complicated.

I like to play “follow the money” whenever I engage in this debate. It is helpful to understand why the various players are making the arguments that they make.

“Global Warming” is a proven fact. If you put CO2 in the atmosphere, it accumulates at the poles due to the Earth being a spinning ball and spinning balls having a certain characteristic where items that are caught in their atmosphere usually end up at either pole, depending on where they start out.

This is really funny!

#225 Faron on 07.09.20 at 1:57 pm

#218 Jess

Actually, the press’s tendency to pin single events on climate change is a distraction. This kind of science, called detection and attribution, is difficult to do and for now only works on regional scale temperature events and large scale precip events. The press puts climate scientists in an awkward position. Here’s the sequence:

1) big weather event
2) press loses it and calls climate experts for ALL THE ANSWERS
3) we can’t, with any integrity, say one caused the other until we’ve done months to a year’s worth of analysis.
4) so, we have to waffle and say it’s consistent with climate change
5) reporter takes that story and publishes a headline like HAILSTORM CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
6) we in science land cringe
7) a year later the paper comes out or not if there was no firm link
8) press ignores the paper.

Actually 8 isn’t always true.

#232 Faron on 07.09.20 at 2:37 pm

#204 Sail Away on 07.09.20 at 11:46 am

“And here I thought you didn’t like me.”

Of course I like you. You are the Yang to my Yin. You and I are evidence that we are further removed from the heat death of the universe than some like to think.

Also, did you like how so gave you the white side and me the black to head off any claims of implicit racism? Or did I just make a racist statement?

Sincerely, enjoy your hunnabands. I’ll enjoy my echo that now has a hole in the exhaust and sounds like a murder hornet. Except for those effing seats… And the lack of dog mode… Life is hard.

#7 Faron on 07.09.20 at 2:48 pm

First, and most importantly: thank you Garth for keeping this comments section alive and for your posts and for at least tolerating my trespass here.

#193 Re-Cowtown on 07.09.20 at 9:48 am

“…climate computer models have been shown to be flawed.”

Duh, every model is flawed otherwise it would actually be reality. Modellers know this and address the issues in every study they publish. Another flawed model/modeller? Your and my brain, yet we seem to navigate the world alright. We project with enough accuracy to not get killed when we cross the street. Other flawed models? Oil and gas exploration geophysical models yet they don’t fail to lead to oil. Others still? CFD models (based on the same set of equations that govern atmospheric circulation) that help Lockheed Martin design supersonic jets. When I make dumb statements here about things I only understand at an elementary level, I expect to get called out and regularly do. It’s called discourse. It hurts the ego, but helps me and maybe everyone in the long run. I’m happy to return the favour.

This seems political to you because $$$ has made it so. Exxon, the Koch brothers and many others have spent a lot on active disinformation and lobbying campaigns. Do you think it’s a coincidence that two of the most climate change denying nations also happen to house massive oil, gas and coal industries?

#27 Faron on 07.09.20 at 3:33 pm

#229 Re-Cowtown on 07.09.20 at 2:35 pm
#203 Ace Goodheart on 07.09.20 at 11:33 am
#193 Re-Cowtown on 07.09.20 at 9:48 am

“Pre- Global warming hysteria (1960’s to early 1980’s) the CO2 residence time was estimated to be around ten years, which means that excess CO2 is scrubbed out in the blink of an eye and is irrelevant to Global Warming. French nuclear tests in the 1960’s support the ten year residence time with nuclear isotopes.”

Sorry Cowtown. That’s about as bad as Ace.

#43 Faron on 07.09.20 at 4:07 pm

#28 Ronaldo on 07.09.20 at 3:37 pm

Whoa. This sounds like a disaster in the making. We could see a drop in condo prices approaching 50% imo.


#37 Keith on 07.09.20 at 3:56 pm

Agreed. As much as I hate to say it because I think corporate investment in residential should be a crime or at least heavily regulated, there may be a time when REIT’s swoop in and vultch whole condo developments at 60 cents on the dollar. That would be a good time to buy residential REITs. Now may already be a good time. When the mortgage holiday ends and folks can’t afford their house, they are going to have to rent somewhere…

#50 Faron on 07.09.20 at 4:31 pm

#38 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.09.20 at 3:58 pm

“…the pot smoking…”

CEF, you seem obsessed with pot smokers having mentioned it several times in recent posts. I, personally, hate the stuff and am not a fan of the rise of the crappy head-shops, but I wonder why it’s such a big deal for you. Sincerely. This isn’t a call-out, I’m curious.

#58 Faron on 07.09.20 at 4:57 pm

#46 yvr_lurker on 07.09.20 at 4:21 pm

Well said.

I’ll add that if a mortgage holder is getting a holiday, then that should be extended to renters to an equal extent. As Garth noted, banks are supported by the gov’t in giving these holidays partially to enable passing down the freeze of capital exchange that is a hallmark of COVID lock-downs. This only means that the rent amount is deferred, not eliminated. A renter who can pay certainly should, but if that renter’s landperson is seeing a mortgage holiday, then they have much less leverage ethically speaking to demand rent from a tenant. They still have some, but much less.

I like the idea of mutual circumvention of eviction tribunals wherein renters and rentees mutually coming to a workable plan. Eventually, the rent does have to get paid. I agree with Garth there.

Frankly, like the “Defund the Police” folks, the “Keep Your Rent” people may have an angle, but their messaging is massively alienating to those they most need to influence. They need marketers. Maybe all those soon to be out of work Realtors (TM) can apply their skills?

Landlords who defer mortgages end up with more debt. Tenants who do not pay their rent never will. Get a grip. – Garth

#85 Faron on 07.09.20 at 6:02 pm

Landlords who defer mortgages end up with more debt. Tenants who do not pay their rent never will. Get a grip. – Garth

Good point, I overlooked that part. I’ve argued and outlined a plan before in that rent “deferral” should be seen as a loan with interest and fees where they apply payable to the ll. Sounds like Ford’s bill is headed in that direction. Maybe future lease agreements will hint at such a structure.

#100 Faron on 07.09.20 at 6:30 pm

#232 Sail Away on 07.09.20 at 3:18 pm
#230 Faron on 07.09.20 at 2:37 pm

Tesla Dog Mode is the best. Although the pup did chew a hole in the passenger seat at the grocery store the other day. That’s kids for ya… At least he was comfortable.

I could send a hunnaband your way for another couple Echos if it would help?

Sure. I’ve long dreamed of having a yard full of cheap Tercels to pull parts from as the primary car ages. Should work for the ’05 Echo. You know where I work. Send the dollars there.

#106 Faron on 07.09.20 at 6:38 pm

#67 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.09.20 at 5:34 pm

Those are about my sentiments. I grew up in a house full of stoners and have a negative knee jerk reaction to weed. But, I also know a fair few wicked smart and accomplished stoners. Seems like a drug that’s harmless to some brains and really rough on others (like mine). Not unlike the COVID.

#115 Faron on 07.09.20 at 7:05 pm

#109 David Greene on 07.09.20 at 6:45 pm

Care to see my pronouns? – Garth

Ha! That’s good. Something tells me Garth doesn’t go by Zhe.

David, I thought the same thing, but I then considered that Garth is an author and knows the importance of colouring a scene with detail. And, benefit of the doubt should always go to the host.

#122 Faron on 07.09.20 at 7:13 pm

#111 Sail Away on 07.09.20 at 6:57 pm

#232 Sail Away on 07.09.20 at 3:18 pm
#230 Faron on 07.09.20 at 2:37 pm

Cool. I got your address from the front desk and am sending three wrecked ’05 Echos over. Told the driver to leave them in the front yard.

Dude, you offered a hunnaband!

But if you must, can you order them in blue, 3 door hatchback, manual tranny? Preferrably not in scrap metal cube form? And while I’m asking, can I take that sail boat, the 50 footer you mentioned, for a spin around Vancouver Island? I like adventure, probably more than the next guy, but 22′ of boat rounding Cape Scott sounds like a tough time.


#156 Faron on 07.09.20 at 8:59 pm

#129 idiocy

I’ve embarrassed myself in two ways today. first in posting way too frequently and wasting Garth’s and my time and second in responding to an anonymous coward who offered nothing yet is trying to claim some kind of righteousnes in a conversation they have no stake in. I’d much rather flail with ideas openly and risk being told than seethe in the ignorant darkness that you have given us no other option than to believe you wallow in.

good evening

#230 Faron on 07.10.20 at 11:47 am

#164 Sail Away on 07.09.20 at 9:42

Regarding the cash: I’m just saving you the logistics, and I also know you eschew gauche materialism, so no temptation now toward impulsive consumerism.

You misunderestimate me Sail Away. I don’t consider holding a balanced portfolio of equities and securities gauche at all. I’ll even give your bux back after a few years or when the TSLA bubble finally pops. Even if that’s 40 years from now when Elon hands the corp over to his kid and the wheels start to come off the company.

Let’s do 60% VVL and 40% XBB (VVL because it guarantees zero exposure to TESLA in bubble mode).

#239 Faron on 07.10.20 at 1:34 pm

#234 Bytor the Snow Dog on 07.10.20 at 12:06 pm
#205 Gravy Train on 07.10.20 at 9:24 am snarks, again:

“#107 Bytor the Snow Dog on 07.09.20 at 6:38 pm

No subsidy, no green energy

You are killing it Bytor! As always. (Secret admirer here).

Good thing for your consistency’s sake that the Canadian government and the Alberta government haven’t bought pipelines. Would hate to think the government is supporting a trillion dollar, well entrenched and creakingly archaic industry like the burning of a limited reserve of reduced algae. It would be really silly if they were at all forward looking to the day when coal is only used for smelting and oil only for advanced composites and polymers. And the days ahead when gas is only occasionally burned when the climate change induced heat waves require excess air conditioning or when the flood control pumps have to work extra hard because Richmond is flooding again.

#40 Faron on 07.10.20 at 3:10 pm

#30 T on 07.10.20 at 2:41 pm
#171 n1tro on 07.09.20 at 10:15 pm
#149 T on 07.09.20 at 8:21 pm

“…think of a physical bubble around everyone.”

Tellin’ you, Zorbs are the wave of our COVID future. EZ rollin’ transit for all. Virus? Get outta town! Burning man 24/7/365!

#56 Faron on 07.10.20 at 4:04 pm

Love the picture today Garth. Human wins the race to the stick, blue heeler then proudly steals stick from human is my prediction. Regardless, looks like a nice taste of summer which is something that has not yet appeared here in SW BC.

#65 Faron on 07.10.20 at 4:56 pm

#60 Bytor the Snow Dog on 07.10.20 at 4:34 pm

#239 Faron on 07.10.20 at 1:34 pm

Oh, sorry. I forgot that the current Alberta gov’t is Green. What was it? $7.5 billion? During a massive economic crisis? Who buys votes again?

Then there’s this:


#79 Faron on 07.10.20 at 6:17 pm

#70 Billy Buoy on 07.10.20 at 5:35 pm
Is it just me or has the world totally turned into an alternate reality?

TSLA at $1544

Notice all the wannabe electric car makers showing up in headlines with massive one day gains? Seems the 1500 TESLA tag is getting a little high so people are delusionalky looking for alternatives. Getting bubbly out there… Retail investors are about to transfer some wealth.

Also, check out the bubble in the Shanghai index.

Oh, and it looks like the deep state is fiddling with the COVID numbers. Seems cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all accelerating like an Echo RS. Beware the murder hornets.

#116 Faron on 07.10.20 at 10:03 pm

#95 Sail Away on 07.10.20 at 7:23 pm
#79 Faron on 07.10.20 at 6:17 pm

All I’ll say is: 18-bagger baby!

Sell you greedy idiot. Or, more aptly, the market is full of Tesla loving greater fools right now all hungry to give you $$$. Give them that pleasure.

Also, if you make any more money, that ego of yours is going to block out the sun here on VI. At least sell 7 shares and send me the $10k owing for your US COVID death rate acceleration gaff.

#42 Faron on 07.11.20 at 1:38 pm

#138 Bytor the Snow Dog on 07.11.20 at 8:18 am

Pointing out your hypocrisy is not deflectionism. Pointing out the oil and gas subsidies is relevant because it also illustrates why you can’t wrap your brain around any alternative. Green power is subsidized because that’s the direction we have to go. Oil is subsidized because cheap oil is a massive tailwind for the economy (not saying that’s a bad thing) and because, by being the default player for a century the industry has massive lobbying and financial heft. Unbridled capitalism ignores externalities until they are in our face, then adjusts. That’s not an option with CO2. Hence renewable power has to be subsidized and hence you have no argument as usual. Only bluster.

#68 Faron on 07.11.20 at 3:58 pm

#25 haylor_taylor on 07.11.20 at 12:39 pm
#9 Rocuronium

Thanks for the useful discussion guys. While insuring your portfolio during non COVID times may be an unnecessary drag, doing so during COVID would have paid in a big way. Link below is same port 1 but with 3% global equities exchanged for 3% VIX futures ETF. Again, a huge drag when times are normal, but a huge buffer when volitility reigns as it does now. I continue to hold a couple percent. Obviously this strays far from simple or set it and forget it, but possibly worth considering?

With insurance

#77 Faron on 07.11.20 at 4:55 pm

Sail Away

Can Tater and I get you on the record saying that the TSLA stock price is currently not a bubble? If not, respectfully, why not?

My thought is that Elon tweeted that the stock was too high, IHO, because a bubble burst will just be crappy marketing for his vision for the company long term. Groupies are fun until they get in your way…

#132 Faron on 07.11.20 at 10:06 pm

#98 R on 07.11.20 at 6:49 pm

Thanks for your thoughts. Presuming that was a response to my query.


That’s a good question. I think asset bubbles (nasqaq, crypto, cdn housing, tulips) bother me because I’m too risk averse to jump into them yet I watch with envy as people reap many dollars for participating in them. They aren’t hard to spot but their longevity seems almost totally random. Thus, when spotted, they are too dangerous for me to shelve my fear of the risk involved. More importantly, bubbles also bother me because we are commonly told that markets are efficient, but it that were true bubbles wouldn’t form. One can conclude from that that markets have a huge autoregressive stochastic component and are thus much more risky than I’d like to believe and fundamentals much less important than I would like to be the case.

I accept Sail Away’s answer that he’s in for the long term, so even a 50% correction isn’t a concern. TESLA isn’t going away any time soon. But, were I in his shoes staring at a triple digit pct gain since March, I’d be taking money off the table, especially in this environment. That’s why I hold broad ETFs with small holdings in companies that appear badly undervalued.

#9 Faron on 07.12.20 at 1:10 pm

#174 Ponzius Pilatus on 07.12.20 at 12:20 pm
#171 Faron on 07.12.20 at 11:42 am
#162 Ponzius Pilatus on 07.12.20 at 10:37 am
#148 Doug Rowat on 07.12.20 at 9:10 am
#140 Future Expatriate on 07.12.20 at 12:03 am

“Sure, they locked it down quickly and that avoided a real disaster, and a real hit to the economy. Of course, even during WWII there was “some” economy in Germany.”

Ponz, we agree for the most part and we are probably equally appalled by the situation in the US right now. The salient point of Doug’s is confirmed in your above statement though. There was an economy in WWII and what followed WWII (in the US anyway) was an insanely strong period of econ expansion. This will happen again after COVID. The less COVID is ignored, the faster it will happen.

“Stop nitpicking.”

I can’t. That would be akin to asking a shark to stop swimming.

#39 Faron on 07.12.20 at 2:50 pm

#29 Bytor the Snow Dog on 07.12.20 at 2:28 pm
“…Alas one cannot find these numbers…”

Then how, exactly, do you know the numbers o rational and wise one? Are you an ICU nurse in Houston? Ah, you made them up. A fox news fantasy. I see. Tucker Carlson is attractive.

Here are some numbers:

During an eight-day period in late June and early July, Houston’s 12 busiest emergency departments have neared or hit maximum capacity nearly three times as often compared to the same period a year earlier.

#43 faron on 07.12.20 at 3:01 pm

#38 Shawn

Maybe check the numbers on that before making such claims.

Since mId April:

VCN: +4.3%
IXUS: +6.0%
ITOT: +3.8%

Not a cherry pick, just the numbers from a robo account I opened and funded on the 19th of April. Admittedly, could change in the blink of an eye, but the US isn’t running away with anything. Also IXUS isn’t as good a comparison as a euro-centric index.

#51 Faron on 07.12.20 at 3:23 pm

#45 Dolce Vita on 07.12.20 at 3:03 pm

“Try taking a Math course”

Okay, but only if you take a course on HTML tags so we don’t have to wade through your ALL CAPS.

click here

With all due respect :-). They are a pain to type, but make things easier for all to read.

#152 Faron on 07.13.20 at 12:07 pm

#143 Ramshackle on 07.13.20 at 11:36 am

“On behalf of many who post and many many more who
lurk here, THANK YOU Mr. Turner!”

I second that. Hear! hear!

MSU: This forum is a rarefied space in which an extremely skilled and competent person (Garth) whose time should be considered a rare commodity, Is willing to wade through everyone’s garbage to maintain a diverse set of ideas and opinions and allow them to be pinned below that person’s (Garth and the suspender snappers) own thoughts, ideas and opinions. The more garbage we spew, the smaller that pool of will becomes. And, once again, the tragedy of the commons will unfold.

Finally, Garth, you may set my quota as you wish, but I ask that it be no higher than two per day in the name of your and my potentially wasted time.


#28 Faron on 07.13.20 at 4:13 pm

Post one of two:

Thanks for the post Garth. Good reminder to keep an eye on the credit reports.

Regarding the federally backed cryptocurrency job, that sounds like wicked cool work. It’s not often that you see a job posting an opportunity to address a massive intellectual challenge like that. It would be a really cool job. And if crypto keeps money laundering at bay, you may just see a side effect of a lower mainland housing price crash.

#35 Faron on 07.13.20 at 4:39 pm

Post 2 of 2:

#106 Ponzius Pilatus on 07.12.20 at 8:46 pm

But Ponz, sharks are rad. Although I don’t like “getting the vibe” when I’m out for a surf in sea lion infested waters on a cold foggy day with poor water visibility in Oregon, they are really amazing creatures. I’ve never laid eyes on one, but would like to.

#158 Ronaldo on 07.13.20 at 1:09 pm

As for feedbags. I’m thinking of the following set up:

— beer helmet with self purging valve that allows switching from one tube to the other. Blue tooth connected for easy switch?
— mask with septum that allows feed tube to pass through while remaining hermetically sealed from COVID.
— beer or bev of choice
— Wide-mouth mason jar
— lithium ion immersion blender

1) Go to resto and order food/bev to go
2) Load bev in one side of beer helmet
3) Put food in jar and puree. Add water if needed
4) Load meal jar into other side of helmet
5) Go for a walk in a public space and be nourished and adored

and finally:

#150 Sail Away on 07.13.20 at 11:31 am

TSLA – 20 bagger! I know you all want to hear it.

Faron, sorry, I didn’t take your advice to sell.

Ha, no worries 🙂 When I saw that VIX was up in the face of a rising s&p and that bond yields were starting to drop I took some profit to cash and watched my value prospects keep on climbing. Two hours later, S&P plopped and the value prospects stayed strong.

Maybe we can agree on TSLA:

Sail Away: 4 (could be higher)
Faron: 1 (admittedly probably not higher)

Anyhow, bragging about unrealized one day gains is just stupid. Especially on a blog devoted to long-term buy and hold.

#75 Faron on 07.13.20 at 7:24 pm

Post 3 of 2 (but it’s informative and personal finance related!)

#62 William Peartree on 07.13.20 at 6:33 pm

Quick question about ETF tracking error if someone can enlighten me. The SP500 is up about 40% since March. ETFs like SPY and VOO are up about 38%. Now looking at HXS, an Horizon SP500 ETF, it seems up by about 30%. Is that a mistake on my part ? How could this be explained ?

1) USD has lost 8% since late March.

2) HXS is a total return product that uses a financial instrument to re-invest dividends into the units. HXS will grow without tax on dividends. Cool product if you don’t hold many assets, don’t want to DRIP or pay commissions on re-investing divvies.

#120 Faron on 07.14.20 at 1:26 am

one of one

#85 William Peartree

Sorry, i wasn’t clear. Great for small holdings because small investments can’t DRIP when the total dividend is less than the price of one share. Manually reinvesting cash dividends isn’t fee efficient unless you are continuously growing the holding with additional funds.

#28 Faron on 07.14.20 at 4:59 pm


Wild times out there. Globally, the COVID19 toll is the equivalent of thirtythree 737s crashing and killing all aboard per day (this in excess of normal human death rates). In the us, a mere five 737s full of people going down per day. No biggie ;-).

Yield on the US 10 year trending down since June flirting with 0.6% where it’s been, more or less since the ploparooney.

Yield down 2.5 basis points today.

My credit union is out with a 2.29% 5 year mortgage.

S&P up 1.4% today after a 3% peak to trough skid from yesterday to this morning.

10,000 Robinhood accounts added TSLA per hour on Monday, right before it gave back 13%.


Talk amongst yourselves.

Stay balanced dogs.

#66 Faron on 07.14.20 at 7:13 pm

3/1 (I guess I wont be posting tomorrow, or this will get quota-ed)

#25 NoName on 07.14.20 at 4:54 pm
#149 PetertheSeparatistfromCalgary on 07.14.20 at 2:12 pm
“CBDC should continue to work even during electrical power and network outages.”

Is that even possible?

Ah, for the love of Pete guys.

Here are some ideas I can think of off the top of my head for how this will work:

–NFC/RFID takes almost no energy relative to a Li ion battery.

–Your wallet will (continue to) be your phone or a cheap RFID FOB with a few coin cells in it and a fingerprint scanner. Likely both.

–FOB will be sealed, so 100% waterproof and very durable. Battery life of years is likely.

–Details on your account holdings will live in the cloud somewhere, so no biggie if you lose the FOB (unless you lose your finger with it). Thing is disposable and can be replaced for a nominal fee that will be high enough to keep people from losing the damn thing.

–There will be touchless NFC terminals associated with every ATM, park bench, cash register, cross walk, light post etc etc. They will be ubiquitous and free to use. (All working over the 5G network BTW)

–When grid power is off, transactions continue and are logged on the FOBs in both parties’ blockchain thus when the FOBs are re-synced, it will be clear if someone conveniently “lost” their FOB trying to avoid the transaction.

–Like all crypto, it will be decentralized, so extremely difficult to hack because a near infinite set of copies of the truth are everywhere. The only threat will be the rise of quantum computing that will make encryption more burdensome for non-quantum use until quantum tech is common.

–EMPs will become a worry, or more of a worry I should say. And solar flares too. Both could then do serious harm no matter from Trump’s arse or from the fireball in the sky.

–Catastrophic volcanism can’t be hedged against. If it happens, just make sure you enjoy the sunsets until it gets too cold out.

The above is pure speculation on my part, but all of the tech is there and will get cheaper and cheaper with each passing year. I give it a decade.

#81 Faron on 07.15.20 at 8:54 pm

#67 crowdidelevatorfarts

I thought i detected a certain musk in the air today.

#122 Faron on 07.16.20 at 11:01 am

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.15.20 at 10:00 pm

@#81 faron.

“I thought i detected a certain musk in the air today.”

My rebuttal to you.

Ha ha. Touche

#127 Faron on 07.16.20 at 11:55 am


Anecdotal real estate report from Victoria. (report that trails off into a dispirited rant about state of affairs)

I went to look at a house yesterday. My partner isn’t listening to my Garth-ese about leveraged buying of real estate in a pandemic. Probably doesn’t help that she knows I spend an inordinate amount of time here arguing against right-wing extremists…

Anyhow, in setting up the appointment, our agent indicates that the house (been on the market for less than a week) has 25 viewings that day so we could only get 15 minutes to have a look-see.

House is a mid-1990s infill. Has seen zero maintenance since build. 450 sq ft footprint over two floors plus a suite totalling just under 1500 sq ft. Awkward. No lot to speak of. In the shade of the other infills. Nice neighbourhood — Fernwood if you know Vic. Asking $690,000.

We meet our Realtor (for the first time). He’s really nice and honest. He jokes about the guys who drive Audis. He drives a Leaf. He makes crass jokes. We like him despite a strong anti realtor bias in both of us.

He informs us that he’s been selling properties at a fast clip, sight unseen, cash sales to out of towners (Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Vancouver etc). People seem to be fleeing COVID for the clean, pure air of the Island. He guesses this place will go for $30k over asking. Maybe that’s hype to make a sale feel urgent, but the literal line forming in the street for subsequent viewings says he’s telling the truth and the trend is on for the time being.

None of us are impressed with the place. Mouldy soffits, ferns in the downspouts, total crap paint job on interior walls, exterior paint is flaking off and looks like it ever only got one coat no primer, carpet is a mess. Layout is okay, but the house gets in the way of itself. Suite is decent but a dark cave. Overall, a dismal place to borrow half a mil for.

Later, she and I talked it over at burger night on a sunny patio at a place looking over Cadboro Bay. I ranted that I can’t stand being the greater fool when things are so bubble-icious. I have family in Oregon who purchased nice little homes for $250k within easy commute of hot hot hot Portland. You can live a block from the ocean on beaches prettier than Tofino’s in Oregon for the same. Where’s the value here in Vic? She noted that we rent and those rental dollars may just as well go into a house and a suite will help pay into the equity. Stability of ownership. And babies not too far off. Sigh.

Meanwhile, the US breaks 1000 deaths over the day for the first time since early June. That’s another six or seven 737s worth of people dead in one day most of whom wouldn’t have died if the pandemic were controlled. The president of ‘murca hocks Goya products from the oval office — what once was the seat of global power. Indexes gyrate 1-3% in inter day action like it’s no biggie. Rates on 10-year bonds lie dead in the gutter. What the hell is happening?

#131 Faron on 07.16.20 at 12:47 pm

2/2 (assuming joking with crowdie doesn’t count)

#128 Masks really do save lives on 07.16.20 at 12:06 pm

Perhaps a steerage roll call is in order…


I had the same thought. Also, not a peep here when the gunman who ranted essentially the same anti communist garbage on facebook that posters here rant went looking for Justin Trudeau a short while back. Then there’s the BC RCMPer Dustin Dahlman who “just has a different opinion” and apparently is too simpleminded to see that that “opinion” is in perfect alignment if thinly veiled racism.

These people are all intolerant trash in my and many others’ (the majority of Canadians and American) opinions. They likely hold the same beliefs about “cancel culture” and yet they get a voice here albeit small. I’m trying to keep to two posts here and to not weigh in on these things because it’s below the calibre of Garth, myself and probably many others. Frankly, it’s below the calibre of the potential humanity has in the world. It’s all radical, but not in the good way that stirs thought and debate, growth and progress in the community. It’s radical in the way jihadism, chinese oppressionism, bolsonarist nationalism and other isms are — they are harmful and need to be called out for the tripe that it is.

#137 Faron on 07.16.20 at 1:51 pm


#141 Faron on 07.16.20 at 2:07 pm


#132 Sail Away on 07.16.20 at 12:48 pm

That decision is probably not yours, admittedly b

You are right, it’s not. I have a loving relationship in which decisions like those are shared equally and given the respect their gravity deserves.

You are slime. By all evidence, sociopathic slime to put a fine point on it.

I’m drawn to fight with you because you are the very embodiment of an intelligent person with roughly zero ethical compunction. You ooze greed to the extent that you foolishly call out “20 bagger” the very instant your beloved TSLA hiccups a double digit percentage back down the valueless hole it came from. You display zero empathy to anyone other than your poor wounded Andy Ngo. You provide next to zero useful insight here and, last I checked, arguing with a minority (who claims the minority card iff it’s convenient for them) is fully above board.

I hope for the love of all that is good that this gets me banned from here so I am less compelled to read the drivel from the likes of you.

#15 Faron on 07.16.20 at 3:11 pm


#145 Sold Out on 07.16.20 at 2:51 pm

#141 Faron on 07.16.20 at 2:07 pm

#132 Sail Away on 07.16.20 at 12:48 pm

Thanks Sold Out, I really appreciate hearing that.

Garth, I apologize for souring the tone here and for claiming excesses of your time by posting my rambles earlier today.


#131 Faron on 07.18.20 at 3:05 am

#112 Flop… on 07.16.20 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for the reminder about SA. Not surprising that he went after you in that scenario. Life’s too short to embroil one’s self with those who fear vulnerability or, worse, who lash out or go in for attack when they see it. And anyone, myself included, who is posting here multiple times daily and with smug superiority or malice needs to consider what the void is that they are using this comments section to fill. I think about that frequently.

#132 Faron on 07.18.20 at 3:25 am

#150 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.16.20 at 10:51 pm

@#127 Faron
” I have family in Oregon who purchased nice little homes for $250k within easy commute of hot hot hot Portland.”

I have a friend who moved to Portland ( he was a refrigeration mechanic, she was a nurse).
They had jobs immediately.
He used to torture us with photos of his pay cheque with the almost non existent tax deductions as he tee’d off on a Friday nooner game.
They love it there.
As BillyBob has implied, Dont get stuck in the home country if other opportunities exist elsewhere.
Especially if you’re young.
You can always move back.

As for purchasing NOW in Victoria……..?
Why not wait 6 months.
You’ll be glad you did.

Yeah, the Willamette Valley is great and it would be nice to be close to family here esp. if kids are in the picture. It’s on the list but my partner would have to get a work permit to make it happen and that’s out of the question with COVID.

Considering interior BC and I could easily live in Halifax/Dartmouth. Excellent surf and I’d love to cut my teeth on some North Atlantic sailing.

I gather you find Vancouver pretty hollow. I did too when I lived there. Bummer because the landscape is a win. Happens to any town that loses its affordability.

#152 Faron on 07.18.20 at 3:31 pm

#138 ain’t life rand on 07.18.20 at 8:42 am

If you’re a longtime westcoaster, Nova Scotia weather may take awhile getting used to. Hali isn’t particularly affordable anymore.

Yeah. East coast weather is another animal compared to west. I’ve visited in Feb and got lots of 90kph slush storms then rain then snow.
Surfed a couple sessions of excellent surf.As a weather geek, i liked it. Granted a week is a far cry from a full winter. The humid summer is what would get me.

#153 Faron on 07.18.20 at 3:45 pm

#146 Sail Away on 07.18.20 at 10:56 am

May I respectfully suggest group therapy (no hugs!)?

I’m done with your high school, macho BS. If, at 50 odd years, you haven’t learned that taking comfort and getting strength and support from fellow humans through all means including therapy is of massive value, may your omnicient squirrel and your rolls of cash help you. A materialistic, gun loving, mask hating, internet trolling, wealth boasting, science selective, therapy denigrating world is a callous one. I’ve made the mistake of participating in that world here, but it’s one to avoid. Far far deadlier than COVID.

Here come the trolls…

#154 Faron on 07.18.20 at 3:53 pm

#144 Phylis on 07.18.20 at 9:57 am

#125 Ronaldo on 07.17.20 at 11:51 pm
#87 Bill Grable

Maybe the hockey bags have finally stopped showing up at the casinos (pandemic or otherwise) and has delayed the bulk return to the banks

Ha, i bet that isn’t far from the truth. Between casinos and RE, i have to wonder what percentage of Canada’s money laundering happens in the Fraser Valley? Some time in the future a winter crash on the Coquihalla will emit a plume of hundred dollar bills into a snowy night.

#83 Faron on 07.18.20 at 4:20 pm

Sorry Garth or Ryan, last post:

#122 Deplorable Dude on 07.17.20 at 11:42 pm
#92 Jal…” About CERB ….

I did not read any better alternative proposals”


Should have been an interest free loan repayable over 5 or 10 years

Were I a policy maker, I would support a form of this. My additions:

One time cash payout so Immediate funds delivery to prevent the economic shock of sudden work stoppage

Run it through the the banks (like ppp in the US) and allow a piecework fee so banks are compensated for their time.

Do it as a credit line

Not sure if credit reporting agencies should be involved, could see both sides

Would need a facility to help the unbanked

Maybe longer repayment timeline? I see 10year min.

Rate is median 5yr fixed mortgage rate or something meaningful to inspire payback but not be punitive.

Cannot be used as registered acct. contrib or invested (dont know how to control the latter). Keeps funds in the economy where needed.

Everyone who takes that form of assistance has some skin in the game. This would actually help people fight covid as well. Their loan clock is ticking…

#153 Faron on 07.19.20 at 2:03 am

#6 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.18.20 at 9:59 am
@#125 Ronaldo
“People are now hoarding cash insted of toilet paper.”

A minor correction if I may…..
If the Liberals continue to spend us into a bottomless pit of debt and our dollar tanks…..

People will hoard cash to USE as toilet paper….

Not Canadian cash. That plastic stuff can only smear. Give me a fist full of well worn greenbacks please and thank you.

#154 Faron on 07.19.20 at 11:45 pm

#81 Long-Time Lurker on 07.19.20 at 6:11 pm

Legendary Climate Change Senate Hearing
30,581 views•Nov 13, 2015

Dr. Don Easterbrook’s

I can attest from much experience that Easterbrook does horrible work and did horrible work before he started to play loose with the truth about climate change.

I am entitled to put Dr. In front of my name, but that doesn’t mean i know everything about everything. It means I know a lot about a very narrow slice and am well versed in a larger slice.

#157 Faron on 07.19.20 at 11:56 pm

Further w/ Easterbrook:

I’d be happy to take apart his opening slide in any level of detail asked for (that would be the “well versed, larger slice” bit). I was prepared to give him a listen, but he failed at slide 1 of his deck by mis understanding the hiatus and by calling a few years of deep snowpacks proof of no trend. Watching more would be a waste of time.

Presentation is from 2013 not 2015 BTW

#199 Faron on 07.20.20 at 12:22 pm

#190 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.20.20 at 11:11 am

Sooo if Trump suckers China into a war…..will the US still hold an election?


At risk of sounding like TurnerNation…

Nah, that war is for the second term to enrich his buddies. I see some kind of lawful-ish but manipulative election tampering. Yesterday I listened to an episode of “The Uncertain Hour” — a podcast put out by Marketplace down in the US — dealing with quarantine and its application as a political tool in the past. Here’s one idea someone will probably bring to Trump:

1) let the infections get way out of control — this disproportionately affects minority communities. Already happening.

2) Right about the last week of October issue a hard lock down in communities with X rate of infection thus making voting a serious chore. Trump is practicing federal physical enforcement techniques, terrorism and intimidation in Portland as we speak.

3) Outlaw mail in voting

I see something like that — using the COVID disaster to ensure he manipulates which groups vote. For the record, mail in voting has been working very well in many states for decades. Any time there’s been an inquiry into voter fraud, at worst a few cases are uncovered. Never enough to have even the slightest effect on an election.

#204 Faron on 07.20.20 at 12:45 pm

I’d be curious to hear what you all think:

I find the steady roll-off of the US 10 year bond yield over the past two months very unsettling. The 10 year bottomed at the time of max fear on March 9th at 0.565%. It approached this level again just 11 days ago. The implication is that there is huge demand for bonds and, in the little I know about econ, bonds tend to foretell badness as they did in Jan and early Feb before the virus ate us. They seem to be calling BS on the v-shaped recovery.

the US is set to have its CERB equivalent program expire at the end of the month and congress isn’t even in session to work on a successor.

Rent abatement programs are expiring or expired.

Real-time indicators are that retail traffic and other metrics of economic robustness are dwindling especially in places where COVID is rampant.

Furthermore, the S&P, for one, has grown at an unsteady but fast clip since the bottom in March bringing it to an intersection with the long-term growth rates of the past 12 years. Punching higher implies the S&P valuation is meaningfully greater than would have been projected based on what we knew last Summer. That seems like BS to me. I haven’t looked at this using an equal weight index. Those valuations are probably more representative of the overall state of large-caps.

It seems hard to justify any more growth in the indexes. Maybe no big pullbacks are in our future, but any growth seems unlikely until there’s some kind of certainty with the virus and also with the recession ball that just got rolling.

#32 Faron on 07.20.20 at 6:15 pm

#27 Stan Brooks on 07.20.20 at 5:33 pm

“I suggest CHMC to start ‘insuring’ Robin-hood traded stocks

Ha! That’s good. We laugh now, but I hate to think. The fed’s corp bond buying is doing a fair bit to insure the NYSE/NASDAQ. So maybe CMHC can just outsource that job?

I love it. The COVID deniers basic take is:

“If I’m not sick or dead, it’s not a big deal. If Bolsonaro isn’t sick or dead, it’s not a big deal.”

That’s fun.

This is also fun.

According to Wikipedia, 10,580 737s have been produced to-date. Maybe 6500 are in service. Average capacity is about 150 humans. People’s moms, dads, brothers, sisters etc etc take those seats on a regular basis, or did in the before times. It’s safe to say that almost everyone in the developed world has been aboard one and many in the less developed world.

The number of coronavirus deaths globally is currently 624,000 (after only 4 months of high infection rates). And is climbing by 1% per day.

If the entire active fleet of 737s was filled to 3/4 capacity, lofted into the sky and then crashed, it would kill that many people. And the world would lose its mind. The world lost its mind when four planes managed to kill less than 3000 in NYC, rest their souls. Or, you could note that about two 911s have been happening every day for the past four months.

Or, you could note that the globe is seeing about 40 737s full of happy life travellers hit an unforgiving deck each <b>day</b> due to this virus. I don’t care how old they are in the median, that’s a massive number.

So, to get started, you wack the entire fleet of 737s full of people and then, on an ongoing basis, another 40 planes per day goes down. No big deal, right? It’s just someone’s grandma. Who cares if they are bringing refrigerator trucks into the US south to start storing the dead. Who cares if so many died in NYC that a huge uptick in persons buried in the city mass grave was recorded.

These are deaths <b>on top</b> of normal death rates. Yes, people die, we get it. That’s never an argument against concern for additional deaths. It doesn’t hold water now and will continue to leak water like the 3$ walmart sieve it is as death rates continue to climb.

This is not a flu. It has rapidly outstripped typical ILI/Pneumonia deaths in only four months, many of the deaths in summer even though there have been efforts to control the spread of the virus. Yes, 99% of people get it and get over it. But 1% have a really crappy ride (look up what it actually means to be intubated and put on a ventilator — it’s hell and deadly in its own right) and half of those, maybe a bit under, will die.

And all that had to be done was for you numbskulls to listen to a few directives about social distancing, wearing masks and not being greedy for all of a month at most. But the planet failed. This blog’s author downplayed the virus as did many others here and all over the media. The US failed the worst. Brazil a close second (note the equivalent, nationalistic leadership of both nations). All you had to do was take a tiny bit of inconvenience and the virus would have run out of hosts. But now we all have to take a year’s worth of mask wearing and family missing and social distancing and on and on and on because of your inability to grasp the magnitude of something that every professional who knew better howled how large scale this would become.

I get it, you are libertarian. You believe in freedom. Fine. But an essential tenant of libertarianism is respecting the rights of others to do as they will. While not a fan overall, I think this concept is really cool. It allows complete personal freedom as long as you don’t wreck someone else’s day. Yet, here you all are. You took all of your freedoms and completely crapped all over everyone else’s right to live happy healthy lives. Total garbage.