"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." Jane Austen spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey'
CLICK to ENLARGE Super Rich Sources of Power
Follow the Money or "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is." (Zen Aphorism, Donovan, etal)
The Super Rich are peevish (contrary) when it comes to accepting what comes out of the mouths of real estate promoters: "Vancouver is Unique". I heard this oft touted phrase from a genial Realtor last weekend at his west side Vancouver open house in a below street level grade "garden" condo asking well over $600,000 (~$650/sf); it looked to me like a good place for starting a mold farm.
The tables presented here are from The Wealth Report 2012 created by Knight Frank and Citi Private Banking gleaned from opinions of their HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals) aka The Super Rich.
CLICK to ENLARGE Super Rich Important Cities
To gauge which cities are considered the most important to the world’s HNWIs, The Wealth Report surveyed Citi Private Bank’s wealth advisors around the world and Knight Frank’s global network of luxury property specialists. They asked which are the most important cities to their clients now, which will be the most important in 10 years, and which are growing in importance the fastest. In addition respondents were also asked to name the cities that they felt were global leaders in the fields of economic activity, political power, knowledge and influence, and quality of life.
Apparently very wealthy people enjoy Vancouver over Toronto for "Quality of Life" but as a destination for "Knowledge, Influence, Political Power or Economic Activity", Canadian cities don't make the list. When it comes to grading Canadian cities by the well heeled with respect to a trend to rising importance in the world, only Vancouver is currently viewed in ranking as important but with a bias to the downside as developing destinations move up the list.
If we look at the top tier cities in these two tables, it's evident that the Super Rich, the 1-2%, the Go-to-Folks want reliable established proven money and power centric cities (London, New York, Paris) or alternatively they look for emerging volatile liquidity centers (Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore) so they can leverage some change.
Canada is a nice place to visit and perhaps dabble in real estate flipping during a manic heat wave but the real money is flowing elsewhere.
A new page devoted to Whale Watching and the Knight Frank data is here now.
Today, the New York Times ran the Op-Ed "Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs" by Greg Smith a 12 year employee. In the exposé, Greg relates how Goldman Sachs refers to their clients as "Muppets"... a handy pejorative I suppose if you look at your clients as brainless puppets. Large clients who are herded into big yielding profits for Goldman Sachs are referred to as "Elephants" to be hunted down.
Note to Canadian buyers of pumped up real estate: Do your due diligence. As you can see from the graphic above, great real estate bubbles have an end date (Dubai and Ireland are only 2 of many examples) and that's usually when enough participants in the party on the way up start getting the "vision".
For a better understanding of the sheer callousness of sellers at the peak read the 2 page Op-Ed from the New York Times "Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs" by Greg Smith "... the environment now (at Goldman Sachs) is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."
Burj Khalifa Dubai
The following goes a long way in reporting how a fascist state can exist in a "modern" world and how good people are easily persuaded to do bad things. The collapsing real estate bubble in Dubai has the potential to spark a switch from global risk embrace to revulsion setting up a viral firestorm of credit markdowns and interest rate hikes. BR
The Dark Side of Dubai "Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging." by Johann Hari April 7, 2009
"Dubai is a vast sinkhole into which western banks and governments unquestioningly poured not just billions but trillions of dollars which was then leveraged enormously by means of derivatives enabling Dubai to build itself up into a latter day Rome, with a level of opulence and extravagance that would have made Caesar green with envy." by Clive Maund December 6, 2009
History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense