As suggested, stock markets rose Monday on the clear expectation Trump is toast. Which he is. Republican leader Paul Ryan abandoned The Donald after the weird debate. Billionaire Warren Buffet released his tax data, to shame the presidential nominee (who doesn’t pay tax, apparently). And Trump himself says if more tapes emerge of him being a Neanderthal (they exist) then he’ll go after Bill Clinton, who isn’t running against him.
Meanwhile, from time to time, there are days when I seriously consider shuttering this pathetic blog. Yesterday was one of them. The comments section was worthy of the National Enquirer. It was embarrassing to give voice to so many who see politics as a game of blame, revenge and retribution. Trump has stirred the loins of the disenfranchised, the disentitled, the envious and the wanting. That such anger exists is a serious social issue and needs to be addressed. Electing an inexperienced, deeply flawed bigot who publicly promises to jail his opponent, like a dictator, is no solution.
Both candidates are substandard and unworthy. But one, Mr. Market says, is a lunatic. And he’s unelectable. If that turns out not to be the case, you might want to take November 9th off to play with your dog.
$ $ $
The battle for freedom of information in the real estate business continues. Weeks ago the ‘Just Sold’ report, which informs subscribers (for free) what all MLS listings actually changed hands for, ceased publication after evil, meanie lawyers for the real estate cartel told it to quit or have its furry derriere sued off.
The feisty little journal is not calling it quits quite yet. On Monday night it send out this message to its followers:
“Since we were compelled to suspend publication of the Just Sold report I have received 1,000’s of emails from subscribers. Most of the messages have been supportive and encouraged perseverance. Some recommended “fixes” that we are not able to implement.
“As many of you know, this is yet another chapter in a saga that has been going on for a decade. In the intervening years, millions of dollars have been expended on legal fees and court cost to bring a resolution to the issues involved in disseminating listing data. The principal proponent of the cause to bring openness and transparency to the real estate marketplace has been my lawyer and friend Lawrence Dale.
“The final chapter in this quest will be written by Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal in THE TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD v. COMMISSIONER OF COMPETITION. The appeal is scheduled to be heard in Toronto on December 5 and 6.”
TREB appealed a federal decision forcing it to effectively share data with the public by allowing its members to publish it at will. That would see Canada developing sites similar to Zillow in the States, where open transparency exists. Potential buyers can see previous listing and sales prices of a property, days on market, property taxes, prices increases or reductions, plus compare the value of any listing with all of the other houses on the same street, or the entire city, for that matter.
The Toronto Real Estate Board has threatened to cut off any dues-paying member who shares this info in a broad public sense, only allowing it to be passed on (in limited form) to an agent’s current client. To date the only Zillow-type service in Canada, which freely shares almost all MLS data is Viewpoint.ca, operating in Nova Scotia.
If you have an opinion on this, you might want to share it with Larry Cerqua, who runs TREB, the largest (and most secretive) real estate board in North America. Here’s his email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, wasn’t that a Trumpian thing to do?
$ $ $
Here’s an update for you on the fallout from Will Bill’s mortgage madness launched barely more than a week ago, now rippling its way through the nation. The share prices of monoline mortgage lenders and the companies behind them have been whacked on the market, and it’s estimated up to 40% or even half of the business they finance will not qualify under the new rules.
The implications have been swift. Brokers have been told many of their financing partners will no longer back loans for residential rental units, to self-employed, stated-income clients, or to anyone wanting a mortgage with an amortization of more than 25 years. And that’s quite separate from the moister-killing ‘stress test’ requiring everybody seeking mortgage insurance to qualify at the 4.64% Bank of Canada benchmark rate, rather than the much lower contracted one.
Anyway, chaos has broken out, joining the shock and misery already on display. This, we hear, has not been lost on the Ontario premier, who may well delay announcing a new GTA version of BC’s Chinese Dudes tax. Delayed. Not dead. You still have time to bail.