Below is a mashup of "FRED" charts on Velocity of Money and the Probability of Deflation. The Bank of Canada does not publicly publish those metrics.
M1 Money Velocity has been trending down since 4Q 2007 (the "Great Recession") as unemployment rates have been rising (the 10 year change in unemployment in Canada is up 38.4% on the May 2020 data chart). The unemployed consume less; hence they save more. As consumption rates fall, GDP drops: (from 4Q 2008 to 4Q 2009, GDP dropped 1.9% and with the Covid 19 shutdown the March 2020 GDP print is down 6.8% since 4Q 2019).
M2 Money Velocity was trending up until 3Q 1997 and both employment and greater consumption (inflation) increased. The first hit to consumption came with the DotCom crash in 1Q 2000 and the Consumer Price Index began to drop and then plunge into the March 2009 Great Recession. By 2011 the commodity super cycle peaked (see the Deflation Probability chart below and the TSX Indexes chart)
The Bank of Canada's 2% CPI target and their policy framework (ZIRP & NIRP) is to "avoid a persistent drop in inflation". The most recent CPI print (April 2020) was negative at -0.2% via pandemic repricing.
Theses are still early days in the pandemic. New deaths from the novel coronavirus today (June 28, 2020) are the highest in Mexico. The U.S. is ranked 7th and Canada is ranked 72nd (Worldometers). Trade wars are intensifying, supply chains are being disrupted and cash flows are being diverted towards turning debt into equity. Let's take a look at Greg The Analyst's argument and the charts he used:
Argument Bullet Points: Why Greg's view is that this cycle is deflationary, not inflationary.
Where's the Steering Wheel?
GM bought Cruise in 2016 for $1 billion to jump-start its self-driving efforts. The company has said it plans to deploy its fully driverless cars, without steering wheel or pedals, for commercial ride-hailing use as early as 2019.
Engineering - Autonomous Vehicle Hardware & Software +/- 90 positions
Engineering - Product & Infrastructure +/- 70 positions
Executive Support 3 positions
Finance & Strategy 5 positions
Global Customer Support 1 positions
Global Vehicle & Market Operations 6 positions
Legal & Government Affairs 2 positions
Marketing & Communications 6 positions
People +/- 35 positions
Product Management and Design 11 positions
Product Operations 2 positions
- Increase one's skill set to a higher wage demand level,
- move to where the income to expense ratio is more favourable
- or drop out.
Don't bother getting a driver's license.
‘Maxed out’: 48% of Canadians on brink of insolvency, survey says.
That's what the recent survey via BNNbloomberg.ca conducted by Ipsos for insolvency firm MNP Ltd. says.
48% - of Canadians are $200 or less away from financial insolvency every month.
35% - say an interest rate increase would move them towards bankruptcy.
54% - worry about their ability to repay debts.
40% - said they won’t be able to cover all living and family expenses in the next 12 months without taking on more debt.
55% - say they are $200 or less away from the financial brink in Atlantic Canada.
51% - say the same thing in Quebec.
48% - say the same thing in Ontario.
The poll is conducted quarterly for MNP and surveyed 2,070 Canadians online from March 13-24... phew.
Fortunately for the rest of us, this is a small sample relative to our more than 35 million residents... but according to sciencebuddies.org a survey of 2000 random people will produce a margin of error of only 2.2%. Oh oh.
If this poll is a reflection of Canadian's ability to continue borrowing to fund lifestyle as they have for the past decade of accelerated leverage, then next up will be a slowdown in consumption which is Canada's major GDP input. The April 2019 IMF table of Global Economy projections is below; Canada's economy is indeed facing a challenge.
But this is not new news because since the July 2008 commodity peak, the Canadian Balance of Trade has been negative for 77% of the time (monthly prints). Also the Federal Direct Investment metrics have been negative for the last 20 years and the spread has widened in the last 3.
...and the Yield Curve
The flattening of the yield curve is a signal from the bond market that it is worried about the economy and its ability to continue to grow. In addition, it is a signal that future inflation is nowhere to be seen. One outcome of an inverted yield curve is a weakening in bank lending as banks begin to earn less profits from making loans. In the most recent earnings announcements, the banks have already made this clear as they expect net interest margins to contract. This is because a bank’s role is to borrow funds at usually lower short-term rates and lend those funds at usually higher longer-term interest rates. The spread between these two rates represents the banks’ profits.
However, with an inverted yield curve, the spread between the short-term and long-term rates narrows and the banks’ incentives to lend are greatly reduced. Not only is the profit margin eroded by the yield curve, but the banks could become worried about the possibility of an economic slowdown. As banks become less incentivized to extend credit (make loans) to their customers, it results in a vital lifeline of the economy being choked off. PacificaPartners.ca
High household debt levels reduce consumption abilities which puts downward pressure on employment which is already facing the digital transformation of supplying goods and services. Lender and borrower risk leads to debt revulsion by both sides of the equation.
"The retail industry will be transformed by technology, just like newspapers were."
@benedictevans March 20, 2019
Thanks to Benedict Evans for retweeting Andreessen Horowitz's 76 page slide show "Mobile is Eating the World"
The charts to the left from the slideshow are related to autonomous transportation, but the bigger picture of this presentation is about machine learning and the eventual end of your employment if your job is a repetitive task.
"Machine Learning...the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention." sas.com
"New lending activity and refinancing have contracted significantly since the beginning of 2018, a culmination of regulatory pressure, enhanced scrutiny following the banking royal commission, and the self-fulfilling consequence of slowing house prices driving an investor pullback... A rising cost of credit represents a blunter instrument for slowing lending, since it impacts both owner-occupiers and investors in parallel,"JP Morgan's Henry St John
that's not a quote about Canada;
but these are:
Canadian real estate sales are feeling the pinch of higher interest rates, and consumer credit isn’t far behind. Bank of Canada (BoC) numbers show household debt printed a new record high. Despite the record high, the rate of growth continues to slow for consumer debt levels. The decelerating growth is yet another indicator that the credit cycle has peaked. Better Dwelling, July 2018
Market Rate Outlook: One more hike this year plus two more hikes next year. The market is not fully pricing in the next BoC rate increase until December... Canadians are now more sensitive to higher rates than ever before. That means consumption is slowing faster with every 1/4% BoC rate increase. RateSpy.com Sept 2018
Canada's economy is set to slow down even with a NAFTA deal, economists say:
"Our research finds that even with a NAFTA deal in place, the long-desired rotation in growth towards exports and business investment will be sluggish and won't offset the coming slowdown in household spending and housing activity," Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets
Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, is also expecting growth next year to slow to 1.8 per cent, as reduced consumer spending and housing activity will weigh on growth.
RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen said the bank doesn't publish forecasts for 2020, but agrees that growth is shifting lower.
"We do expect a more modest pace of consumer spending going forward, and while housing activity should remain a contributor to growth, this sector as well should see more modest growth relative to the past," said Brian DePratto, senior economist at TD Bank.
Quote Sources: CBC News Sept, 2018
And as my long term chart study of Canadian Debt, GDP, Foreign Direct Investment and Balance of Trade shows, since the credit crash of 2009, Canadian's awesome consumption via debt has not led to higher wage employment production in Canada but to lower wage warehousing and transportation of goods and services that we import to maintain our lifestyles.
"The one-million square foot Toronto centre will be Amazon’s sixth facility in Ontario and ninth in Canada." Financial Post, July 2018
"Stabilization should not be interpreted as the start of another strong rally," they warned (TD Bank economists Derek Burleton and Rishi Sondhi). That's because mortgage rates are on the rise, and home affordability levels have reached their worst levels in a quarter century... in fact historical data shows that over the past half century, inflation-adjusted house prices in Toronto fell for about a third of the time. huffingtonpost.ca, Sept 2018
My recent update of Foreign Direct Investment on my Canadian Household Debt, GDP, and Balance of Trade chart demonstrates that Canadian Capital would rather flee than fight.
But peak debt may be upon us in this business cycle as banks begin to report a drop in mortgage demand.
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce anticipates it will issue half as many new mortgages in the latter part of the year as it did in the same period of 2017 amid cooling in the real estate market. Times Colonist May 23, 2018
David Rosenberg: Ottawa created the debt monster that Canada now faces.
"47% of residential mortgages
are set to roll over for renewal next year."
David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates, joins BNN Bloomberg to provide his take on the Canadian economy as Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz sounds the alarm on household debt in this country. Originally aired on May 2, 2018 on BNN Bloomberg
As we wait for the first week of April to unfold and the March real estate data to come in, questions about the stock market's melt-up comes via @anilvohra69
Anil, a retired UBS rates options trader, quotes investment strategist Jeremy Grantham:
Bubbles have a blowoff phase lasting 21 months. Using a 5% threshold, the run from Feb 16 to Dec 17 was 22 months.
Hence the question "Have we seen the melt-up?" It certainly appears that way for Toronto Real Estate (as of February 2018 data) and the March data may add even more weight to the thesis.
If you are thinking of 'buying the dip' make sure your income is amortized over the length of your mortgage. In a melt down, the erosion of net worth will shift a lender's risk management exercise to more closely examine the strength and security of your net income.
As we know employment income growth is facing profound challenges.
Global Risks 2018
According to the IMF, over the past three decades 53% of countries have seen an increase in income inequality, with this trend particularly pronounced in advanced economies. Furthermore, today’s economic strains are likely to sow the seeds for longer-term problems. High levels of personal debt, coupled with inadequate savings and pension provisions, are one reason to expect that frustrations may deepen in the years ahead. We highlight four concerns: (1) persistent inequality and unfairness, (2) domestic and international political tensions, (3) environmental dangers and (4) cyber vulnerabilities. We conclude by reflecting on the increased dangers of systemic breakdown. World Economic Forum
Strongest 'Bubble Burst'' Alarm Just Went Off
Jeremy Grantham 2018
"While there is a lot of talk about how employment is becoming more temporary, this graph from joint work with Alex Thomson and Arthur Sweetman shows that the average time that the currently employed has been with the same employer has been almost constant at just over 100 months since 1976." Hat Tip to Macleans.ca
And for those of you who are under 40 years of age, you might end up changing employers 6 more times before you reach 70 years old.
That’s why, when you finance a real estate purchase, you should double check both your debt AND income amortization to see if they support each other.
If you have to move to a new city to get that better job, make sure your real estate asset can produce a net revenue stream.
Computer technology is already eating jobs and has been since 1990. To survive, get non-routine skill training. Thanks to Futurism.com for the chart below.
The Precarious Generation
In less than 2 decades we have gone from a country where the ability to easily change employment or one's residence has evaporated. Now we are pinned to our job and our postal code because leaving either results in lineups to fill our departure.
I suggest that both the opening of access to information via the internet and the collapse of bond yields sponsored and promoted by governments mirroring each other have left us with a country of over-consuming and under-producing populace.
My regularly updated Household Debt Chart includes the FDI-FDO plot which illustrates the point; we are a country of consumers highly prized by offshore producers, a situation that is now entrenched in our behaviour, modified by our regulations. Currently, for every $1.00 of Foreign Direct Investment into Canada, there is $1.27 of Canadian savings being invested offshore where the yield is greater.
The Paradise Papers underscores the problem; greater access to stealth information along with domiciled yield suppression has led to increasing capital flight by Canadians and Canadian corporations unwilling to invest in Canada. This and the vacuum created from interest rate suppression has turned a lot of us into serial house and condo flippers and the ease and return on investment has attracted a flood of offshore money wanting in on the fun.
Those of us who could not or did not participate in the mania have been left with the sorry reality that for the last 10 years, housing costs in the runaway markets have increased by 10-12% per year or more depending on location and product. Wages have not increased to the same degree but balance sheet debt to equity ratios have.
- CBC News November 23, 2017 - Canadian households lead the world in terms of debt.
- Toronto Sun July 2, 2017 - Canada's middle class shrinks.
- Market Watch November 3, 2017 - Blame the Internet for your stingy paychecks.
- Stats Can November 11, 2017 - Housing prices, social ties and transfer payments may inhibit mobility.
- Stats Can March 24, 2017 - Canadian waste management revenues increased 11% in two years to 2014.
- CHPC.biz Ongoing Chart - Foreign Direct Investment OUT higher than IN over the last 20 years means Canadian companies are investing outside of Canada to get a better return on Capital and Labour.
- CBC News November 6, 2017 - More than 3,000 Canadian names in the Paradise Papers.
Globe and Mail October 15, 2017 - The CRA is unable to identify the assignors who sell (flip) their contracts.
Millennials on Money: 'I am working two jobs right now’
CBC News - January 5, 2017
Real estate depreciation is a worrisome event especially if the property is indebted to an arm's length party.
As this page has noted many times before, technology is redefining cash flow so that even if there is no real estate price correction and we all agree to continue to value this commodity at present values, there is still the growing threat to cash flow if you depend on employment for it.
Bloomberg News (Sept 24, 2017) reports that:
Vikram Pandit, who ran Citigroup Inc. during the financial crisis, says technological advances could make 30 percent of banking jobs disappear in five years.
McKinsey & Co. partner Jared Moon predicts that technologies sweeping through investment banks will relieve rank-and-file employees of about a third of their current workload.
Management consultant Opimas LLC says about four of every five Wall Street firms have already implemented, or plan to use, some form of AI, according to Greenwich Associates.
Take a look at Bloomberg's interactive info graphic on the Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerization? and see the probability of your job being replaced with a machine algorithm.
If your job requires repetitive actions during the course of your workday, your job may no longer have an amortization value in the eyes of your employer nor will your mortgage robot rep want to sign that term renewal on your loan without an increase in equity.
Automation Entering White-Collar Work
"I witnessed 40% of my department laid off"
Quote from a bank mortgage department employee
Source: CBC's The National, March 2017
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
Balance Of Trade
Rent Or Buy