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Monday, August 31, 2009 9:14 PM

Fiscal Stimulus Canadian Style

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Price deflation is turning up in interesting places. Please consider Tickets To See Bill Clinton Slashed To $5.

A much-hyped appearance by a certain charismatic former U.S. President is receiving a cool reception in the city.

After two weeks of sluggish ticket sales to hear Bill Clinton speak, the Canadian National Exhibition has slashed prices from $20 to five dollars plus admission.

Organizers were hoping to fill the 25,000-seat BMO Field, but to-date have only sold 7,000.
Can someone please explain how promoting Bill Clinton in Canada was supposed to stimulate anything other than Pepto-Bismol sales and the pocketbooks of the organizers?

I suppose not. At least it's not as destructive as cash for clunkers. Then again maybe this is Canada's version of cash for clunkers.

Thoughts on the Canadian Housing Bubble

In response to Mish Videos - On the Edge with Max Keiser when I mentioned the Canadian housing bubble, I received numerous emails from people telling me that Canadian banks were in better shape than the US, that lending standards on houses were tighter, and how commodities would support home prices.

Perhaps banks are in better shape but that does not mean they are in good shape. But the real reason we can say Canadian housing is in a bubble is the same reason the US was in an identifiable bubble:

Home prices are standard deviations above rental prices and wages. That may not be true of every city Canada (it was not true in places like Danville, Illinois either), but judging from housing prices in Toronto, Vancouver, etc, it is crystal clear Canada is in trouble.

I cannot quantify exactly how many standard deviations above norm the major Canadian cities are, but a look at home prices and acceleration in appreciation is telling in and of itself. In the US, homes prices to wages and rent were a whopping 3.5 standard deviations from the norm at the peak.

Canadian home prices are a bubble waiting to pop. When the bubble does pop, it will take as long to fix as in the US, 6-8 years minimum, perhaps way longer, depending on how big the bubbles got in each location and the speed of the declines.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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