Saturday, October 3, 2009

October begins and reality rears its ugly head

In Canada, real estate experts like Brad Lamb have been saying the recession is over and buy quick before prices go up.

In the last week of September, the Globe and Mail actually reported as news, releases from Re/Max and Coldwell Banker printing comments like “While there may still be some challenges down the road, the worst is definitely behind us in the housing industry..The bounce-back that began in early spring has made this recession one of the shortest on record for real estate” or “It is particularly interesting to compare the affordability levels now seen across North America and other global centers. Compared to many major markets throughout the world, Canadian real estate looks like a bargain.” As Garth Turner writes "The media which reported this – from the CBC to the Globe and Mail – are probably more culpable for carrying the piece without comment or context. The biggest losers, of course, are the ones who will swallow this stuff."

The Truth about Canada's real estate bubble.
'CMHC is encouraging speculation, overlending and insuring it with tax dollars
. This will all end very badly.'
'Looks like CMHC has managed to orchestrate theft on an even grander scale than the one going on in the US.'
'This will prove to be THE biggest Gov’t backed ponzi scheme in history'

Can't outrun a tsunami. With July GDP numbers released, banks (TD, CIBC, BMO, National, Laurentian)
own "economists" are feigning surprise as they spin the results. Some less successfully than others.

There’s no spark in our economy...Okay, this is a shocker

"The numbers...are very disappointing, if not depressing.

Nothing like a dash of reality to bring out a little truth telling.

Propaganda cheerleader the Globe and Mail writes "The Canadian economy was unexpectedly flat in July...
Gross domestic product didn’t budge in the month. "
They neglect to mention GDP fell -4.6% YoY July 2009 vs July 2008.

Another whiff of reality to come in the main street media

U.S. Job Losses May Be Even Larger, Model Breaks Down

We are probably still underestimating job losses...In this period of steep job losses the birth/death model didn't work as well as it usually does...To the extent that there was an overstatement in the birth/death model, that is likely to still be there.”

The nightmare revision from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

'March 2009 Payrolls Overstated by 824,000 - Birth-Death Model Falsely Boosting Jobs Reporting in Recession Environment'

Outside the propaganda media, using the US Bureau of Labour Statistics own reports, K. Denninger
estimates the US is actually losing closer to 1 million jobs a month. using solely
BLS's own household survey estimates September job losses at 710,000.

And the situation continues to deteriorate..

Personal bankruptcies up 41 percent
"Equifax Inc said recently that mortgage delinquencies accelerated in August to a record level"

Housing Crash to Resume on 7 Million Foreclosures
"The crash in U.S. home prices will probably resume because about 7 million properties that are likely to be seized by lenders have yet to hit the market"

US large-loan bank losses triple to $53 billion
"The report said total identified losses of $53.3 billion in 2009 surpassed last year's total of $2.6 billion, and nearly tripled the previous peak in 2002, when losses totalled $19.1 billion."

'Regulators may be pacing themselves on closings because the FDIC fund “is only so big,” there isn’t enough staff to close all the struggling banks at once'

Early Job Cuts Worse Than First Thought, as More Companies Go Belly Up
"Total U.S. nonfarm employment as of March was probably lower by 824,000 than previously thought, or about six-tenths of a percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday"

Most of the additional job loss… appears to be due to in part to an increase in the number of business closings,”
BLS Commissioner Keith Hall 

It’s a huge number, much more than usual,Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. The government’s models “tend to assume dying firms get replaced, but that didn’t happen.”

Gault said the revisions suggest the economy doing worse in the first quarter than previously assumed and cast doubts on a recovery.

One temporary silver lining: it could be good news for corporate profits in the just-finished third-quarter, since firms saw increased sales while continuing to cut back on wages and salaries, he said. “But then, where’s the future demand coming from?

“Today tells us employment’s going down, hours worked are down, incomes are falling — so how can we sustain robust growth in consumer spending in that environment? The consumer doesn’t have to lead the expansion,” he said, “but the consumer has got to be part of it."

For those market boosters who are prattling on about the possibility of a "jobless recovery," I offer an invitation to join me for a breakfast of "fat-free bacon," "eggless omelets," and "no-carb bread. - Peter Schiff

My favorite video about the US consumer economy. Truth hurts
"As a country we are out of control, we're in a death spiral."

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