Saturday, May 5, 2007

Weekend Open Thread...

Some thoughts and observations:

-Are the big upgrader projects-yes the story behind this boom-getting serious second thoughts from Big Oil? And this is occurring when prices are still north of $60.
-One can actually feel the massive rise in inventory in Edmonton as you move around the city. The number of private sale signs and the realtor signs have gone up quite a bit. And just based on anecdotes, a few flippers who bought 2 downtown condos for around $250k last year have been so far unsuccessful in selling them for more than $300k.
-Looks like rent controls just might be required. There have been just too many cases of 80 year old grannies seeing $1000 rent increases. After all, during the last oil boom, there were rent controls in place. Notwithstanding the long term impact of rent controls, I just find it amusing that in a country where there's healthcare access is considered a fundamental right, a basic necessity such as shelter can be left to 'market forces'. My problem is not with market forces, in which I firmly believe, but the selective usage of 'market forces'.
We don't have very much of competition in Banking, Telecom, Dairy Industry, Chicken Farming, Book Retailing and a number of other industries. I'm almost tired of hearing 'market forces' at work in the case of rental market, but no 'market forces' are apparently needed for any of the above industries.
I guess the reality is that people hardly matter. Those with the biggest and most powerful lobbies can sway things their way. Such is the nature of modern democracy. Sorry for this slightly off topic rant.

Have a great weekend everyone.
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