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The test

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Did the vote in Toronto change anything?

You betcha. Everything, likely. The Liberal loss in a long-held riding was meaningful. The Cons came from a 20-point deficit in the last election to a 2-point win. It doesn’t happen often. Moreover, the voter turnout (at just shy of 45%) was double the normal in a byelection. Third, this is Toronto, home to millions of wokey people and a sea of red ridings –  some of the safest Lib seats in the nation.

As such, yesterday made it official. Change is in the air. The odds of Justin Trudeau reoffering in the autumn of 2025 have declined. After all, who wants to end up like Stephen Harper? When ego gets in the way of political smarts, the guy who was once a big asset turns into a leaden liability.

Implications?

A Conservative win in just over a year may result in a rollback of the capital gains inclusion rate, which takes effect today. It will probably mean no carbon tax, or its replacement with something you won’t actually see. It will make no difference to housing affordability until late in the first mandate when more construction materializes. That is four or five years from now, and in the meantime lower mortgage rates and economic optimism at regime change will likely increase house values.

Will a Poilievre government do what Poilievre as a Harper MP supported and bring back 0%-down CMHC-insured mortgages plus 40-year amortizations? Will federal civil service levels be rolled back, reducing federal programs? Will the age OAS is paid out be increased, as Poilievre supported, to 67 in order to rescue finances? Will the budget ever be balanced? Will the 40% of households paying no net tax be asked to pony up their fair share? Will dentacare, pharmacare, state-subsidized day care, big payouts to indigenous groups or tax-free payments of parents be trimmed, paused or suspended? Will we spend enough to meet NATO defence commitments? Will Poilievre make good on his word and kill the CBC?

We’re closer to finding out today than yesterday.

Also on Monday we didn’t know inflation had snuck back up to 2.9% last month. Like the Toronto vote, this came as a surprise. Economists has figured a small drop – to 2.6% – after four months of shrinkage. But more expensive services and groceries, plus continued pressure from high rents and mortgage interest pushed the CPI up. No disaster. Maybe a blip. We’ll see.

The implications?

No rate cut in July – not that one was ever seriously contemplated. “With inflation back on a bumpy path, the outlook for BoC moves is similarly bumpy,” says BeeMo Economics. “For now, our official call remains that the next BoC rate cut will be in September, and this report does nothing to move that needle.”

Analysts at TD have the same view. “Now, one bad inflation print doesn’t make a trend, and inflation remained below 3%. But it does speak to the unevenness of the path back to 2%. For this reason, we think the BoC will likely pause at its July meeting, before cutting rates again in September.”

Most Bay Street econs think the CB is good for at least two, and probably three, more rate reductions by Christmas. Meanwhile the US Fed will be moving only once, says Mr. Market. That means by the end of the year our bank rate could be almost 1% less than that in the States – certainly putting pressure on the Canadian dollar, but also giving us a prime of under 6.5% and mortgages with 4-handles.

Of course, by Christmas this might look like a whole different world.

Biden and Trump are running neck-and-neck at 46% apiece according to the latest NY Times poll of polls. Thursday night’s debate looms as a pivotal event. Biden has the most to lose since any slip, fade, gaff or whoopsie will be used to attack his mental acuity. As a man already found guilty of sexual assault plus financial fraud and convicted of 34 felony counts while awaiting two other criminal trials, Trump has a low bar to jump. In a world where up is down, the improbable might become the inevitable. Dog help us.

In any case, this may interest those of you who feel it necessary to prepare.

In a second Trump presidency, current thinking is that inflation would resurrect and inevitably so would interest rates. He wants to maintain corporate tax cuts. His trade tariffs would increase consumer prices. Augmented miliary spending and promised tax relief would boost the deficit. Deportation of ten million migrants, as promised, would put upward pressure on wages in a labour shortage. All inflationary.

“The intermediate-term outlook for inflation will largely depend on the outcome of the November election,” says Pennock Idea Hub. “We project that a Biden win would be bearish for bond prices and mildly bullish for stock prices. A Trump win would be bond and USD bearish and gold bullish. The path of equity prices under a Trump Administration is too difficult to forecast as it depends on too many variables. A survey of market-based indicators suggests that the electoral momentum is toward Trump and away from Biden.”

Or, the best option. Do nothing.

About the picture: “My daughter has a small home based business in Qualicum Beach, “Odd Ball Adornments “. She designs and makes these collars for French Bull dogs like Griselda,” writes Denyse. “Lol, there is a market here, it appears that retired folks really like the Bling for their Frenchies! $$$ Boomers galore living the “Good life” in Qualicum, B.C. with their Constant Companions. The Town has numerous new pet-friendly condominium buildings now. Rent is very high , eg. A two bed one bath duplex is $2700.00+ a month , an extra bathroom will cost you $3000.00 monthly. There are Seniors-only residential buildings, longterm care, and hospice , as well as a funeral home service. . Most of my friends  made a windfall when they sold their real estate and now able to finance their retirements without worry of out living their money.”

To be in touch or send a picture of your beast, email to ‘[email protected]’.


Source: https://www.greaterfool.ca/2024/06/25/the-test/


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