Trimming Excessive Home Ownership Subsidies

While the cost of housing has prompted much debate, too little attention is on the heavy subsidies granted to residential real estate investment and the way in which these subsidies have caused price inflation. Fortunately, the Government of Canada mortgage insurance program is being scaled back.  The restrictions introduced late in 2016 are ‘cooling the […]

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Cashless, the political counter argument

Communications professionals know that you can sell something if you give it a good ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ brand identity.  This is the spin we hear all the time regarding a ‘cashless society’.  Apparently convenience means more than anything else.  But there is a darker side to this proposition; the expanded role of large intermediaries (e.g. […]

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A Real Estate Fueled Boom

Recently, economist Michael Hudson visited Vancouver to speak on the issue of housing and the ‘Junk Economics‘ (the title of his most recent book) behind our apparent good times.  The substance of his observations is presented in a readable article in this week’s Common Ground.  Hudson spoke at an event sponsored by the Centre For […]

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Many Losing Ground and Hope

At the recent Central 1 conference and AGM I listened to economists provide updates and, somehow, the growth in inequality got little attention.  Although Helmut Pastrick, the Chief Economist at C1,  did provide  a recent analysis showing the job growth in BC (and Ontario), but he did not observe that it has been where wages […]

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Mortgage Insurance Paradox

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) has created what could be called a mortgage insurance empire.  With a book totaling $526B in 2015, that book alone was larger than Canada’s fifth largest bank and exceeds 1/3 the total all outstanding residential mortgages in Canada.  This coverage is sold through banks, credit unions and other lenders.  […]

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Precarious Work – Life

Sometimes it seems that credit unions are in denial, or simply averse to exploring some of the larger issues facing our memberships.  Working people, most particularly young people, are facing a very different set of challenges when it comes to ‘surviving’.  The evolution of work in the ‘contract economy’ has implications when we ask marketing […]

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