Sunday, July 4, 2010

Speculation can kill...

The rampant housing speculation in this city has made it the number one industry, topic of conversation and has brought riches to some and misery to others.

There have been many examples in the blogs of locals who have bought multiple units, often with Government backed insurance (? Government blessing too) and have benefited, along with the RE-Industry from this speculation.

Clearly there is housing demand. Clearly the population is growing. So there is pressure on housing stock and prices. Since wages are not keeping up, a greater % of income is being spent by buyers to service their purchases.

The Government cares not one bit that buyers are having to spend 50,60, 70% of their after tax income on servicing mortgages for these bloated assets, but they will quickly run to act at the first sign of significant weakness.

Anyhow if you think that the system is rigged in favour of speculation, and that is causing those wanting to get into the market could be a LOT worse.

How about speculation that leads to starvation and death. And I don't mean the international arms-dealers (some of whom I hear are based in Vancouver)

We are a global economy and a suspender-clad trader sitting in an investment bank in New York, buying grain for a bet, is literally taking that grain off the plate of a poor person.

And if the bet goes wrong, Uncle Sam will be there to help pay the Investment banks losses. Nice to have

Our current political system is set up to protect powerful speculators, here and in the US.