Who’s the ‘hare-brained’ one? More hot air from perma-bull Jay Bryan

Jay Bryan, perhaps the most ardent housing perma-bull in the mainstream media, is back at it again, this time suggesting that the notion of a Canadian housing bubble is ‘hare-brained’.  You can count this one among a number of poorly researched articles suggesting that since our bubble is not ‘American’ in nature, it means we have no problems to contend with.  As I have long maintained, it is exceptionally dangerous to look south of the border at arguably the greatest wealth destruction in human history and somehow allow ourselves to become smug at the fact that our excesses did not equal theirs.

I’ve never suggested that our bubble experience will mirror theirs, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our own structural issues to deal with.  Please read this pitiful article before reading my response below.

How Canada ducked the housing bubble

As is increasingly true of most recent media stories about the glories of Canadian real estate, this one leans heavily on weak anecdotes and outright false statements.  As such, I take great pleasure in dismantling this garbage.

If you gather that I may be perhaps more put off than usual, it’s probably because Mr. Bryan’s writing style reeks of arrogance and hubris in addition to providing incredibly misleading and dangerous information.  We’ll get to that in a moment.  First word to Mr. Bryan:

“Canada’s hot housing market has settled down without any serious slump in either prices or sales.”

False.  While prices haven’t budged much, sales (the precursor of future price movements) certainly have.  Sales slumped as much as 40% year-over-year in a number of markets earlier in the year.  In October, sales volumes in all major boards were still 20% to 40% lower than year-ago levels.  While sales volumes showed less of a decline in November, the mid December readings out of Toronto, the largest realtor board in the country, showed significant weakness in year-over-year sales data.  I’m highly doubtful that final December data will show the same strengthening sales trend we’ve seen in the past few months.  I’m not sure where Mr. Bryan is getting his info from.

“It’s hard to find a reputable analyst who predicts anything other than mild fluctuations in housing over the coming year or two.”

If you switched the word ‘reputable’ with ‘bank-employed’, I would totally agree with this statement.  But that kind of changes the message, doesn’t it?  I’m not sure how Mr. Bryan defines ‘reputable’, but I’d suggest that the following list of famed economists and money managers who all see trouble in Canada’s real estate market would put Mr. Bryan’s list of ‘reputable’ analysts to shame:

Dean Baker- “It looks me like you have some real problems…Canada could see house prices collapse by 25 to 30 per cent if interest rates rise by about two percentage points”

Robert Shiller– “The Canadian housing market could face a similar housing bust to the United States, particularly in more bubbly markets as Vancouver and Calgary”

Paul Krugman– “Canada cannot be complacent in the face of disturbingly bleak global conditions, because Canadians spend too much relative to their household incomes and the country’s housing bubble has yet to burst.”

David Rosenberg“…Housing values are anywhere between 15 per cent and 35 per cent above levels we would label as being consistent with the fundamentals. If being 15 per cent to 35 per cent overvalued isn’t a bubble, then it’s the next closest thing. We are talking about two to three standard deviation events here in terms of the parabolic move in Canadian home prices from their lows. So, if it walks like a duck …”

Mike Shedlock– “A Canadian housing crash is a given. The only thing that remains to be seen is how deep the crash is.”

Don Coxe– “Canada continues to experience a real estate bubble”

Stephen Jarislowsky– “In Canada the hardship still lies ahead. Our houses are still 20 to 30 per cent above normal levels…I think things are going to get a hell of a lot worse….I hope I’m wrong but I think Canada is on the edge of a lot of trouble.”

Note that unlike the bank-employed economists Mr. Bryan no doubt is referring to, none of these analysts are employed by an institution whose basic business model revolves around perpetual expansion of credit, something that tends to slow markedly during housing corrections.  As I’ve noted before, both the profit engine and the unsecured debt exposure of the big banks call into question their ability to give a completely unbiased prediction.  With that in mind, Mr. Bryan, let’s hear your list.  Who have you got?  And remember, bank-employed analysts only get you half marks.

“There was never a solid basis for the scary speculation, but it just kept bubbling up. Serious Canadian media, including the Globe and Mail, made housing-bubble headlines into a staple. Below the headline, there was usually an acknowledgment that there was no evidence of anything more than a hot market, but the scary headlines didn’t stop.”

Oh my!  What a ridiculous thing to say.  ‘No evidence of anything more than a hot market’?  Seriously?

As I have always maintained, the rational way to gauge the potential overvaluation in real estate is not through anecdotes, as Mr. Bryan is evidently fond of, but rather through a long-term comparison of widely accepted measures of fundamental value.  Without these anchor points we quickly resort to the unfounded drivel spewed by the likes of the author.  Among the most widely accepted measures of value are the price/income ratio, the price/rent ratio, and long-term real (inflation adjusted) house price growth.  Without recapping the entire primer hyperlinked above, let me simply provide a few graphs for your consideration:

As the most fundamental indicator of the sustainability of current house prices, the current price/income ratio has a lot to say.  As we are well into uncharted territory for Canada, and now past the peak the US experienced during their own real estate bubble, this graph alone calls into question the author’s assertion that there is ‘no evidence’ of a housing bubble.  But let’s not stop there.

There is currently a severe dislocation in the costs of home ownership versus the costs of renting the equivalent dwelling.  Bringing this back in line with long-term trends will involve a massive increase in rents, a declining housing market, or a combination of both.  You can probably guess what I’m betting on.

Yale professor Robert Shiller (co-creator of the famous Case Shiller house price index in the US and one of the disreputable analysts I cited above) famously calculated that house prices pace inflation over long time horizons.  The obvious implication is that any time house prices rise significantly less than inflation over long periods of time, a mean reversion will result in house prices correcting to the upside.  More importantly in the context of this discussion, periods of time that are marked by an increase in house prices relative to inflation are followed by periods of downward pressure.  So what does that imply about the graph above?

Needless to say, the notion that there is absolutely no evidence that housing may be in bubble territory is either a blatant lie or a statement that exposes the ignorance of the author.  Which one is it, Mr. Bryan?

“A bubble, unlike a normal price cycle, is a rare phenomenon that occurs when over-optimism and price excesses last so long and become so extreme that a large number of people begin to believe that prices can only go up, never down.”

I agree with this statement but not with what’s being implied.  Current sentiment towards real estate is exceptionally bullish, with well over 90% of the population seeing real estate as an excellent investment regardless of current prices.  Coupled with the highest home ownership rate in history, this certainly suggests that a massive swath of the population is engaged in the very euphoria that Mr. Bryan asserts (and I agree) is indicative of a speculative bubble.

“This kind of speculative bubble was allowed to form in the U.S. housing market through a combination of monetary policy that was too easy for too long and shockingly irresponsible regulation of banks, which enabled people to get mortgages they could never repay and allowed banks to package these bad mortgages into toxic securities that eventually shook the foundations of the banking industry in the U.S.”

“In Canada, nothing remotely like this happened.”

Let’s start with what is true about this statement.  Certainly we never experienced the same level of reckless lending that occurred in the US in the run up to their collapse, but by no means were our lending requirements prudent.

Before discussing that in more detail, let me quickly debunk one of the major lies contained in this quote.  Mr. Bryan suggests that while the US got into trouble by bundling mortgages into securities, ‘nothing remotely like this happened’ in Canada.  That’s a lie.  The securitization process is currently consuming more than 100% of new mortgage.  These mortgages are packaged and sold as ‘mortgage backed securities’ such as the Canada Mortgage Bond.

You can see from the chart below, courtesy of the Bank of Canada, that total outstanding mortgage credit grew by $65.4 billion between 2008 and 2009.  But the growth of mortgage backed securities totaled $84.6 billion, or some 129% of new mortgages.  This was only possible as the big banks reduced their mortgage exposure, possibly seeing the writing on the wall.  The notion that we don’t have an exceptionally active securitization process taking place in Canada is complete nonsense.

About those prudent lending standards by our Canadian banks.  I’ve written about this many times before, but let me quickly recap some of the key points in this discussion:

  • Since 2005, CMHC has loosened mortgage insurance requirements from a maximum amortization length of 25 years to the current 35 year max, with a brief experiment with 40 year, zero down payments.
  • 20 percent down payments were the minimum requirement for most of CMHC’s 60 year history.  By contrast, they currently insure 5% down mortgages.  While ‘technically’ zero down payment loans do not exist in Canada, there are many ways around this, such as the 7% cash back offer from CIBC or the 5% cash back offers from most big banks.  Borrow the down payment from a credit card, line of credit, or friend and then pay back once the funds are released.  Voila!  You own a home with zero equity.  We can debate just how prudent these new lending requirements are, but the fact that we have seen a major loosening of lending standards over the past half decade is indisputable.
  • In an effort to prop up the real estate market in 2008 (when affordability nose-dived and the economy soured), the Harper government directed the CMHC to approve as many high-risk borrowers as possible and to keep credit flowing. The approval rate for these risky loans went from 33% in 2007 to 42% in 2008.

With regards to Mr. Bryan’s assertion that Canada has not allowed ‘people to get mortgages they could never repay’, let’s once again consider the data.  Virtually all mortgages in Canada come up for renewal every 5 years, which is very different from the American system where the vast majority of mortgages are for 30 year terms at extremely low fixed rates relative to ours.  When fixed rate mortgages in Canada renew, they do so at the new market rate.  Let’s connect two dots:  1)  5 year fixed rate mortgages in Canada are still hovering near historic lows with only one direction to head.  2)  A recent CAAMP report indicated that 16% of Canadians with a mortgage could not manage an extra $300 increase in mortgage payments.  In addition, 11% of households would run into financial trouble if mortgage rates rose only 1.5%.

If we have even a moderate increase in interest rates over the next few years, we’ll very quickly see just how many mortgages were given to people who ‘could never repay’.

Finally, I want to address the very dangerous and blatantly false assertion by Mr. Bryan:

“…Unlike stocks or commodities, homes are an asset that’s resistant to big drops in value.”

This is exceptionally misleading and dangerous information for several reasons.  First of all, the notion that homes are resistant to big drops in value is ridiculous.  Our own Canadian experience certainly shows this.  In the six months between Fall 2008 and mid Spring 2009, house prices in Canada shed some 20% of their value before emergency low interest rates and government stimulus managed to stem the tide by dragging demand forward.

Countries like Ireland, The UK, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and the US all experienced significant declines over the same time period.  Some, like the UK, are now dropping again now that stimulus measures are running out and the pool of potential buyers has dwindled.

Now I know that “it’s different here”, and we could never see the sort of declines experience in the US, but let’s just take a moment and gaze at the carnage south of the border, particularly the change from the peak.

Mr. Bryan’s assertion that real estate is inherently stable is reminiscent of Ben Bernanke’s famous interview in which he brushed off the possibility of a housing bubble in the US because house prices had never declined on a nation-wide basis.

The reality, as is now being discovered by millions of home owners all over the Western world, is that real estate is inherently volatile simply because of the leveraged nature of most real estate purchases.  The vast majority of stock and mutual fund purchases are made with savings.  This is not the case with real estate.

Consider the example of a first time home buyer who purchases a home with a 10% down payment.  If the home is worth 200K, they start out with $20,000 (10%) in equity.  Well, not quite as they would have to pay 5% to sell it, plus legal fees and the substantial costs of breaking the mortgage…but I digress.  If the real estate market declines by 10%, they’ve lost 10% of their investment, right?  Wrong!  They’ve lost 100% of their investment as they now have zero equity remaining, but still lots of debt which is now impossible to escape from without ponying up additional cash to cover the transaction fees associated with selling.

This is what people like Mr. Bryan forget.  Leverage = risk.  The notion that real estate is inherently stable is questionable at best, but is outright false when one considers the leverage carried by the average new home owner.

This is dangerous, misleading information.  Mr. Bryan owes it to himself and his readers to become much more familiar with the issues he claims to be an expert on before writing ‘thin gruel’ like this ridiculous article.


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37 Responses to Who’s the ‘hare-brained’ one? More hot air from perma-bull Jay Bryan

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post.

  2. Sam says:

    Prices have not gone lower and they will continue to go higher in 2011. At least you wil get a year to find more ammo for your blog to stay astray from reality and miss the boom

    • Happy New Year to you too, Sam. I see my posts are increasingly calling into question all that you hold dear. Your responses are understandable. Sorry for shattering your reality.

      • Sam says:

        Ben, the reason you can find so many against the housing crisis is simple. Rosenberg has been wrong for about a decade. But of course using the words “Canada” “housing” “bubble” gets your 2 cents read and people such as yourself will start to quote them and make all the crap they say (have been saying for years) It sells, hot topic, I wouldn’t be quick as to mark any of these people excellent, except at getting people to listen to them by making a comment on housing. Simple game theory should answer your question – would you not choose to be safe and say ” bubble” if you are wrong, the market is up and everyone is happy and forgets about you and if it’s down, you can be the next guy to right a book about black swans.

        Ben, you are very thoughtful, happy new year to you also. But sometimes these self claimed market jocks say things to get attention. Mention housing in any bar in Canada, you might see some fists fly. Hot topic.

    • AG Sage says:

      So, Sam, I’m curious what you think is going to reverse this trend?

      Feel free to insert your favorite quote about gravity here.

  3. jesse says:

    My worry isn’t about 2011, it’s about 2012 and the years that follow. I think the US, with what you have demonstrated to be a significant fall in national prices, is approaching, but not yet at, a point where they can “get on” with their economic growth. In history the shift from bust to boom can be fast, especially after a loan default-induced bubble. Canada is setting itself up to be caught with its pants down when this shift happens. My concern is there is little that can be done about it now.

  4. Cam Fitzgerald says:

    That is one of the very best rebuttals to a very flaccid mainstream media article that I have seen in a very long time Ben. Excellent work and all the best to you for taking so much of your own time and making the necessary efforts to dispel the smoke screen of ignorance that some of our paid media are attempting to cloud our judgment with.

    The sad part is that Jay still has the advantage for the moment as a paid writer of some of the countries remaining popular press and so we can be sure there will be many Canadians who will innocently fall victim to his misleading assertions and be beguiled into complacency.

    Thank you Ben for a very hard hitting factual response. We all get some comfort though in knowing that Jay will undoubtedly see your article today and he will now know that there are many intelligent people in this country who have no respect whatsoever for those of his kind who use their position in the press to spin nonsense which thus manipulates public perceptions.

    Did you catch that Jay? We have no respect for you or your pro real estate bias whatsoever. None. You have in other words failed as a writer because you have not captured the nations mood nor addressed some of the real concerns homeowners have. You have not documented your assertions with valid data as Ben has done here today and you have misunderstood public perceptions and the primary trend. To wit: real estate is heading in the opposite direction of your articles assertions.

    That would be down my friend and history has given more than enough examples already to make that obvious to even junior copywriters. You only need look over the border and into the US to see the obvious.

    Thanks again Ben for a job well done.

    • HHV says:

      Cam, I generally agree with what you’ve wrote but I must point out one minor irritating factual error: Jay has, unfortunately, captured the nations’ mood where real estate is concerned. With home ownership levels at all time highs and home equity levels at all time lows, the majority of Canadians do not want to know about the possibility of substantial home devaluation. Nor are they concerned with pesky things like facts. They are concerned with the continuation of a meme that they literally bought into and have tied up their life savings within.

      Until prices tumble, the common belief so eloquently written by Jay will continue; newspaper editors wont deny their advertising departments of real estate related cash flow and the general population isn’t clamouring for the type of analysis that Ben writes and I echo elsewhere.

      Ben, your blog has quickly become a daily must-read for me, great job!

      • Cam Fitzgerald says:

        Actually I have to agree with you on one of the points you made HHV. Canadians in fact do not want to hear bad news and for exactly the the reasons you outlined. Low home equity ratios and high levels of home ownership. Fear in other words; we also call it denial. We all know we have extended ourselves too far.

        There is risk in that.

        Need I also add to the above list, record levels of personal indebtedness, huge distortions in the price-to-rent ratios and very real concerns of interest rates being on the rise following the recent remarks from the Bank of Canada’s Mr Carney or the follow-up to those worries by Mr Flaherty on December 25th of this year in his Canadian Press interview?

        There seems to be little valid excuse for our media spokesmen and journalists (who once had our respect) to keep feeding nonsense into the machine and expecting positive feedback fom the public.

        I am the public by the way and so I am happy to roundly criticize Mr Bryans article for it’s errors and ommissions.

        The fear amongst the home owning class is already here as far as real estate is concerned and offering consolation and hope while dismissing legitimate objections will not make all the problems go away. I think my dispute with Jay is that he does not seem qualified to write on real estate or economic issues.

        Nor does he seem to understand the consequences of easy credit policies or why those policies might end in tears for so many Canadians.

        I am frankly repulsed by his assertions that there is nothing to be concerned about (I paraphrase here of course) when in fact we are in every way a market of extremes.

        We have the highest levels of personal debt ever, the most extreme price to rent ratios, almost the lowest level of savings in history and the highest levels of home ownership on record.

        If these few facts are not cause for concern then what is? And if Jay wants to portray himself as an analyst of the Canadian real estate market he had better start doing a little more serious research and backing it up with facts. Either that or start doing columns on kitchen recipes or offering details on how to mix Christmas cocktails. We can all use more of that kind of information as we seek to drown our tears and fears over the coming inevitable real estate bust.

        Jay just seems out of his depth on the subject of real estate analysis. He is correct that the worst of our worries did not materialized in 2010 but he has done a disservice by implying that there is no cause for concern going forward.

        Nothing could be further from the truth and this is amply magnified by the recent comments of none other that Mr Carney. Perhaps Jay sees himself more capable and in tune with the trends than the Governor of the Bank of Canada himself…………

        But what does M.Carney know? He only has a small staff of world class expertise and insight at his fingertips. Only a few dozen experts on finance, banking, international affairs, credit issues plus a coterie of analysts who study interest rate trends and global markets full time every single day. Only the best of contacts in the world from the most respected of sources.

        Carney warns of complacency. He sees trouble ahead. Gee, I wonder who is really right about the underlying trend?

        Mark or Jay.

  5. Sam (not the pumper) says:

    I had this argument with lots of folks on some of the US bubble blogs from 2005 forward .

    Some idiots there used to claim since the US statistics did not line up exactly with any previous bubble the US couldn’t be in a bubble.

    This is the kind of thing that passes for “thought”. So riddle me this: how has there ever been ANY bubble, if in order to be a bubble, the statistics must match up with something in the past? How was there a first bubble ever, if it had to match up with something in the past?

    The dummies/doofuses/dorks couldn’t see how totally, completely invalid and ridiculous their arguments were. And those were the thoughtful ones – those were not the trolls.

    Too bad Canadians couldn’t learn the lesson by watching, but had to go & repeat it. Seems we now believe “learn from your mistakes & those of others, so you can repeat them, but worse, next time.”

  6. vreaa says:

    Excellent dissection, thanks Ben.

  7. Leith says:

    Beautifully done Ben. It never ceases to amaze me how similar the Australian and Canadian situations are. In Australia, we constantly have to deal with similar spruikalicious articles from deluded perma-bulls. Unfortunately, they are the ones that receive the bulk of the mainstream media coverage. Contrarian bloggers like you and I are left in the margins attempting to keep the bastards honest. While we use official data and rational arguments, they use dodgy anecdotes and hyperbole.

    Keep fighting the good fight.


  8. Pingback: Jay Bryan, Montreal Gazette – “Homes are resistant to big drops in value. … It’s hard to find a reputable analyst who predicts anything other than mild fluctuations in housing over the coming year or two.” | Vancouver Real Es

  9. Pingback: Jay Bryan, Montreal Gazette – “Homes are resistant to big drops in value. … It’s hard to find a reputable analyst who predicts anything other than mild fluctuations in housing over the coming year or two.” | Vancouver Real Es

  10. Maurice says:

    The Province article was, at minimum disingenious, and at most blatantly misleading. A sad piece of ‘journalism’ in an insignificant rag.

    A well-thought out and measured rebuttal Ben.

  11. Chad says:

    Thanks for making your blog mobile friendly 🙂

  12. Ralph Powers says:

    Great Post Ben. Your blog is a daily read for me.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Pingback: Tweets that mention Who’s the ‘hare-brained’ one? More hot air from perma-bull Jay Bryan | Financial Insights -- Topsy.com

  14. pascal says:

    With this great response to your article M.Jay Bryan, I will say: left right, left right you are knock-OUT !
    Bravo Ben!

  15. Gaui says:

    Good writing and thank you for the deep analyzes you have done Ben. I live in a country that is already fallen and I look with sadness to my fellow Canadians who arrogantly talk down to us, the stupid people who bought all over our heads. I assure you that real estate prices can and will fall in Canada just as it did here and in other places in Europe and the USA. Every Canadian I talk to is in a state of denial. I was too couple of years back.

  16. Pingback: Rant against the Toronto Star; Albert Edwards chimes in on China’s “freak economy” and deflation | Financial Insights

  17. Excellent summary and analysis! A great irony of Bryan’s article is that within the space of a few lines he states that a) housing prices are resistant to big drops, and b) a bubble occurs when people believe prices can only go up. To say that prices can’t drop is pretty darn close to saying they can only go up. The combination of statements therefore screams that there is a bubble… but Bryan is blind to it!

  18. Gilligan says:

    You know what would be a good financial product right now…….an ETF that mimics realestate price movements in Canada. I could then hedge my house bet.

    Come on banks through one out there!

  19. Chris Reed says:

    Was linked to your article by a friend of mine that is just as unimpressed by the current housing market as yourself. I share your assessment that there is a major correction of property value coming in this country, and I hope that it does come about. To have both parents in a household pretty much handing their paycheques to the bank so that they can own a plywood palace that is within a semi-reasonable commuting distance screams insanity to me (it’s one reason why I left Southern Ontario, aka subdivision hell)

  20. AG Sage says:

    I totally agree with your assessment. But I have a question, Re: the mortgage bonds.

    It was my understanding that in Canada, the securitized mortgages remain on the bank’s balance sheet and therefore these bonds don’t actually free up capital. (Is that correct?) If they bonds don’t free up capital, nor do they create moral hazard for the banks then they are indeed not comparable to the U.S.

    Details like this matter for the dissection post-crash. Given the wide diversity of the markets that bubbled, it seems the commonalities are few, distilling down into easy credit and bank appraisal methods that automatically, dangerously, lend into a bubble (based heavily on recent sales rather than something more fundamental like rent or income ratios).

    • Mortgage bonds are guaranteed by CMHC and represent no risk to the banks. Banks pool their eligible mortgages together and sell them as NHA Mortgage Backed Securities to the Canada Housing Trust which issues the bonds to investors.


      “The Trust sells non-amortizing Canada Mortgage Bonds to investors and uses the proceeds to purchase mortgages packaged in newly issued National Housing Act Mortgage- Backed Securities (NHA MBS) from Approved Sellers.”

      “Approved Sellers are typically mortgage lenders such as banks, trust companies, and other types of lending institutions.”

      “As a tool for managing liquidity, capital, and risk, Canada Mortgage Bonds enable the mortgage lending industry to further increase the supply of low cost mortgage funds available to Canadians.”

      • AG Sage says:

        This is what I was going by:

        In Europe, covered bonds have provided banks with cost-efficient secured financing for over 200 years, and they were first issued by a Canadian bank in October 2007. Covered bonds are backed by identifiable and legally “ring-fenced” pools of loans, and in the event of issuer insolvency bondholders have an unsecured claim on the issuer plus a priority claim over other unsecured creditors on the pool. Because the assets remain on the balance sheet, the issuing bank retains the ultimate credit risk and is encouraged to maintain loan quality. This stands in contrast to the situation with traditional securitization vehicles, such as mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), where the issuing bank has little if any “skin in the game”. On the other hand, covered bonds do not provide the capital relief associated with securitization.

        Maybe this is yet another vehicle…

      • Declan says:

        Under IFRS (international accounting standards – currently in use in Europe, Canadian banks mostly switching over to IFRS from Canadian GAAP in 2011) securitized assets are no longer off balance sheet so there is no capital relief strictly from securitization of assets.

        Prior to securitizing mortgages, banks will typically obtain CMHC insurance on them (the government guarantee is needed to get some outside to buy the bonds in these nervous times). The banks pay a fee for this (the same as a homeowner pays a fee to CMHC for insurance if they need it for their mortgage).

        Obtaining the insurance from CMHC does reduce the capital required (roughly cutting it in half) because the mortgages are now insured by the government.

        The capital requirement is only (roughly) cut in half and not reduced to 0 because even with the government guarantee, the bank still faces some costs when a mortgage defaults that can’t be charged to CMHC (the cost of having money tied up and not earning interest while the collection proceeds, costs of additional reporting and tracking required for loans in default, risks that there are paperwork problems that will lead CMHC to reject the insurance claim, etc.).

        So, as Ben was saying, the transfer of risk is not due to the securitization but due to the government providing the insurance on the mortgages that are securitized.

  21. “This stands in contrast to the situation with traditional securitization vehicles, such as mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), where the issuing bank has little if any “skin in the game”

    You can see from the Bank of Canada chart above that it is the MBS process that is essentially our entire new mortgage market in Canada.

  22. Pingback: Capital Economics on the Canadian economy: Housing downturn to hit hard | Financial Insights

  23. Pingback: Interesting article in The Economist: ‘Bricks and Slaughter’ | Financial Insights

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