To The Pointwith Boris Bozic
Commentary, Opinions, Thoughts and Discussion on Current Events, Politics and The Mortgage Industry

0 Comments The Joys of Travel

Article written by on the 30 Jun 2011 in Canada,Personal

I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The month of June has been one long road trip for me. I’ve spent a grand total of 6 days at home this month. It was one of those months where my work obligations and responsibilities to CAAMP converged at the same time. Mission accomplished, and I’m going to be grounded for a while. For those of you that don’t have to travel for occupational reasons, I can honestly say professional travel isn’t very glamourous. Being away from family, living out of a suitcase, and eating way too much crappy food catches up with you. The worst part of traveling today is the air travel. Most people are less than thrilled about air travel today. The destination you’re going to is great, but it’s the getting there that’s a pain. Air travel changed after 9/11.

The need for security is real, but some of the security practices at airports seem to be an exercise in optics. Really, A woman’s lipgloss was confiscated going through security! I know, many a plane has been taken down by lipgloss. Admit it, I think we all believe that whatever is confiscated at security is later divvied up amongst the security staff. Protestations to the contrary by the airport, well, I don’t buy it. But on a positive note, at least when you’re going through that security shakedown the security staff makes the experience pleasurable. It must be due to all that extensive training they received. I believe the classroom training consisted of the following; “Everyone’s a threat, treat them accordingly. Congratulations, you’ve just completed your training”. I get it, nothing about that job seems enjoyable. But no one forced these people to take the job.

20110630-080019.jpg

I would be remiss not to mention the role that the airline staff could play in making air travel a little more tolerable.

I primarily fly Air Canada because, well, brokers aren’t the only one’s who want to earn status.

I’m sure we will all remember the AC strike of 2011. No, you don’t remember it? That might be because the strike only lasted 3 days. I flew twice with AC during the strike and can honestly say that I didn’t notice any difference in service levels. I’m thinking that if employees withhold their services, and no one notices, they have a problem. I have a suggestion for AC employees when they negotiate their next contract with management. Create a new bonus structure. For example, the employees would receive a 50 cent bonus for every time they say the following to a passenger; “good morning, good afternoon, good evening, thank you, you’re welcome, hello, goodbye, please let me know if I can be of any further assistance, it’s wonderful to have you back with us”. Oh, and maybe there could be an additional 25 cent bonus if an airline attendant didn’t treat you like you were a member of a sleeper cell because your seat wasn’t in the full upright position prior to landing.

Until next time

Cheers

Read More Add a Comment

0 Comments Too Big To Fail

Article written by on the 28 Jun 2011 in Economy,Mortgage,Politics

20110626-103935.jpgThis was a term we were all too familiar with back in August and September of 2008. It is also the name of a new HBO movie which chronicles what transpired at the beginning of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. HBO assembled an outstanding cast, and given the subject matter the movie was rather entertaining. I would highly recommend watching the movie. It is a good reminder to all of us that the term boom and bust is as applicable today as it always has been.

In typical Hollywood fashion, a liberal bias amounting to revisionist history, the movie tried to blame George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan for the meltdown, and all other evil things. The truth is you can go back to the Jimmy Carter administration, and the passing of the Community and Reinvestment Act. That work of art stated that home ownership was a right, and not a privilege. This is where the slippery slope began. Then old Slick Willie, aka “which way are the political winds blowing today because that’s what I’ll stand for”, Bill Clinton, put that program on steroids. Suffice to say the responsibility for the meltdown, and the nuclear fueling of the problem, is equal parts Republican and Democratic.

The movie is a great reminder of how perilously close we came to an economic meltdown. How our standard of living was at the precipice. If you think this is hyperbole, because this was really a US issue, the reality is that this carcinogen (sub-prime mortgages) infected world markets. I can’t help but to think about the auto worker in Windsor and Detroit, the welder in Germany, the machinist in France, all, asking the same question: “Tell me again why my pension has taken a hit because of some mortgage problem?” No one from Wall Street could explain what happened in laymen terms. The average person cares little about default swaps, derivatives and mortgage-backed securities. All the layman cares about is finding out who the hell let this happen. That question has still gone unanswered.

20110626-103250.jpg

The movie doesn’t deal with the who. The movie played up of the part about the moral dilemma the government faced. Who did the government decide to bail out, AIG, and who did they allow to fail, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. All very fascinating and dramatic. But after watching the movie I couldn’t help but ask myself the following question: “How the hell has no one gone to prison over this?” I’m all for a free market system, and the pursuit of wealth, but reckless endangerment of our economy and standard of living should not go unpunished. There were individuals and institutions who knew full well they were passing on toxic assets. They were passing on the risk so they didn’t care. They could care less about the consequences. Yet none of the perpetrators of this ingenious fraud has ever been charged or convicted. You would think at least a couple of them should be experiencing the joys of being passed around in prison for a carton of smokes.

Until next time

Cheers

Read More Add a Comment

0 Comments Thank-you Macquarie

Article written by on the 23 Jun 2011 in Current Events,Mortgage

I suspect by now that you have heard the news that the Macquarie Financial brand will no longer be available in the broker market. To be clear, because there seems to be some confusion in the broker market, Macquarie Financial is not exiting the Canadian market place. They will continue to operate other lines of business in Canada, as well as support multiple brands in the broker space. But the big “O” (Macquarie Logo) will in time disappear from the broker landscape. However, their legacy, and the enormous amount of talent they assembled, will carry on. Macquarie’s success in the broker space will reverberate for years to come.

20110622-012242.jpg

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my office at Merix, and across my computer screen came the official press release that Macquarie had purchased a lender, and that they were committed to a trailer fee model for mortgage brokers. Even though Merix was the pioneer and present day champion of trailer fees, Macquarie’s entrance into the market gave me a sense of relief. I was relieved because another entity would preaching the same story as ours. More importantly a recognizable brand such as Macquarie’s legitimized what Merix was attempting to accomplish, change the way an industry does business. We still have a ways to go before we reach our final goal, but I think it’s safe to say that trailer fee’s today are no longer viewed as that great unknown. Everyone knows today the value of trailer fee’s. Everyone knows today that they should have some portion of their book of business with a trailer fee lender. That in it self is a significant accomplishment relative to where the market was six years ago. The psychology of something new is critical relative to acceptance, and Macquarie contributed to the acceptance of trailer fee’s. For that I would like to publicly thank all the staff and management at Macquarie Financial.

As for Merix, we will always be the torch bearer of trailer fee’s. We believe to our core that it’s the right model for mortgage brokers. As for other lenders who may decide to offer compensation models which reflects what Merix has to offer, I will be the first to congratulate these lenders when they finally do so. I look forward to the day when other lenders join our cause, i.e. creating future wealth for mortgage brokers. Now’s a good time as any.

Until next time.

Cheers

Read More Add a Comment

0 Comments The Man Gets It…

Article written by on the 21 Jun 2011 in Canada,Hockey,Sports

My work requires that I travel a fair bit, and during my travels I’ve spotted numerous celebrities at the airport. I’ve never had the compulsion or desire to walk up to them and engage them in conversation. They do what they do, and I do what I do.  Besides, I think it’s a Canadian thing to be respectful of other people’s privacy, and we allow them to be.  But there’s something about Donald S. Cherry (aka Grapes) that makes the rational part your brain freeze, and a voice in your head says go over and say hello. So, that’s exactly what I did.  I was at the Vancouver airport walking to the gate to catch a flight to Toronto. In the corner of my eye I spotted Grapes talking to few people and they were getting their pictures taken with him. I’ve seen Grapes in airports many times, and I’ve always find myself walking over to say hello. This time was no different. With the one exception that after I shook his hand, and told him I was fan of his work on Coaches Corner, he said thank you very much and would like a picture. Ah, yeah, sure. So out comes my Blackberry, and another man standing close to Grapes says I’ll take the picture.

After the man took the picture and was handing my blackberry back to me, I realized it was Ron Maclean who took the picture.

I think the uniqueness of Grapes is that people view him has the every day man.  He came from a humble background, and there’s nothing pretentious about him. He’s always honest and speaks straight from the gut. At times that offends people but his attitude is too bad, deal with it. That’s so refreshing. Today it’s all about carefully crafted messages, and god forbid if you’re not politically correct. I admire the fact that he puts it out there, and let’s the chips fall where they may.

What’s also interesting is that this is the same man who will shed a tear on national television when honoring our brave men and women in the armed forces who sacrificed their lives for Canada. I’ve seen him choke-up on many occasions on Coaches Corner.  His reaction is sincere and that’s why he connects with the viewer.

By the time Grapes made it to the gate to catch his flight, I would say at least 100 people stopped him to get their pictures taken with him. Not once did he say no. He smiled, he shook hands and he gave his famous pose for every picture, the thumbs up. The man gets it, and so did Dominion Lending Centres.

Until next time.

Cheers

Read More Add a Comment

0 Comments Like a Kick in the Stomach

Article written by on the 16 Jun 2011 in Canada,Current Events,Hockey,Sports

I suspect this is how Vancouver Canuck fans are feeling today. The feeling comes from the realization that the journey is over before you had chance to reach the destination. It’s the feeling you get when something is taken from you which was so close. That something is the memory of your favorite team winning the Stanley Cup.

I have no allegiance to either the Vancouver Canucks or the Boston Bruins. I have no emotional attachment to either team but I have many friends and colleagues who do. I lived in Vancouver for eight years, and I call tell you that Canuck fans are as passionate as they come. I had a chance to witness that passion thanks to Debbie and Grant Thomas, owners of TMG and close friends of mine. They graciously invited me to be their guest for game five and seven. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity because being from Toronto a Stanley Cup final is fantasy. The only pre-condition Grant made was that I must wear a Canuck jersey to the game. Being a Leaf fan that was difficult to do but the picture is proof positive that I’m no idiot. Let’s see, wear the jersey and go to the game. Don’t wear the jersey, watch the game on TV. Woohoo, Go Canucks Go!

Just wearing a jersey doesn’t make you a fan. I went to the game as a casual observer, and what a spectacle it was. The capacity crowd in the arena last night, as well as the legion of Canuck fans watching on TV, there was nothing casual about their emotional attachment to the game. That’s why Canuck fans are feeling empty today. They’re all spent. You can only go from euphoria to nail biting to bitter disappointment for so long, and now it’s over. I feel for my friends and colleagues who are big Canuck fans. But the important thing is your team gave it a good shot and they provided you with so much excitement.

Ah, that’s a bunch of bullshit!  This isn’t play day where everyone gets a ribbon for participating. This is professional sports where the only thing that matters is winning. Losing sucks! But what’s worse for real Canuck fans they now have to deal with the embarrassment of a city coming unglued after defeat. Smashed windows, violence, burning cars, tear gas, flash bombs have nothing to with hockey. Yet now that’s the story, what a shame.

Until next time,

Cheers

Read More Add a Comment

0 Comments Rolling the Dice, Fixed vs. ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage)

Article written by on the 14 Jun 2011 in Interest Rates,Mortgage

Roling the Dice with Fixed vs. ARMRolling the dice is perfectly acceptable when you’re in a casino in Las Vegas. I know from first-hand experience that playing “craps” in Vegas can be a rush. For those of you who may not be familiar with the rules or finer points of “craps”, and would like to give it a try next time you’re in Vegas, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PLAY UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND ALL RULES!  Now that you’ve rolled your eyes and are thinking thanks for enlightening me Bozic, the fact is many do play without understanding all the rules. Why? Because that’s where the action is and where all the noise is coming from. The noise draws you to the table, and when you get there you think I want some of this. You find yourself placing bets, not even understanding what your odd’s are. You might even start mimicking the bets being placed by other gamblers at the “craps” table. You look down at the table and you’ve got all your bets covered. Come on shooter, make this a magical role. Then you hear the most dreaded words at a “craps” table, seven out…seven out. For those uninitiated that means all your chips are gone! That’s when you start thinking if you only had played blackjack instead you could have played for much longer. But that’s gambling and it’s a part of the experience. That’s okay for Vegas but maybe not so much so when choosing between a fixed rate mortgage and an ARM.

The reality is that many borrowers are rolling the dice today. I’m setting aside those borrowers that can withstand the rate variances, and have the stomach to ride out an ARM for 60 months. I just wonder about borrowers who truly don’t understand the rules of the game. I wonder if some borrowers are placing mortgage bets based on what their neighbor or co-worker did with respect to their mortgages. Maybe borrowers are being influenced today by advertising. The 50/50 mortgage is getting a lot of airplay today, and that product was designed for those that wanted to play it safe or safer. Maybe it’s all about today and they’ll worry about tomorrow, whenever tomorrow comes. Maybe all of the above plays a part in the decision-making process but the biggest influence is the brokers personal bias.

All I know is that at some point in the not too distant future rates are going up. The warnings and predictions have been there for all to see for some time now. For example, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney recently said the following, “Low interest rates today do not necessarily mean low rates tomorrow,” warned Carney. “Risk reversals, when they happen, can be fierce; the greater the complacency, the more brutal the reckoning.” There’s no ambiguity there, and I’m thinking he might be one of those people “in the know”. The way I look at it any five year mortgage, under 4%, is free money. It’s also 60 months of peace of mind for the borrower. I can’t help but think if borrower’s get squeezed by a rate hike, and then they ask you how did this happen, irrespective of the facts all they will hear is, seven out…seven out.

Until next time

Cheers

Read More Add a Comment

1 Comments Was That a Chain Gang I Just Saw?

Article written by on the 09 Jun 2011 in Current Events,Ontario,Politics

Thoughts on Chain GangsFor those of you who reside outside of Ontario, you may not know this but we here in Ontario get to exercise our democratic right one more time.  Then again some of you who live in Ontario may have forgotten that we have a provincial election coming up this October.  Who could blame you for wanting to suppress the idea of yet another election.  In the last 12 months, the good residents of Toronto endured a municipal election, and the voters in Ontario cast their ballots for a needless federal election. Could voter fatigue be setting in? I suspect the incumbents, the provincial liberals, hope so.

During our municipal election, candidate Rob Ford ran on a very simple campaign. The message was clear and to the point, “the gravy train stops here”. I’m not kidding, that was his campaign slogan.  His message was that days of wasteful spending was over.  It was time to be fiscally responsible, and do what was right for the citizens of Toronto.  I know what you’re thinking, sheer lunacy.  Being fiscally responsible was the complete opposite of what everyone in Toronto had became accustomed to under the previous regime. The spend first and think later cabal that used to run city hall were flabbergasted that Rob Ford’s message resonated with the electorate. So much so that the incumbent mayor, David Miller,decided he wouldn’t run for re-election because he wanted to spend more time with his family.  When a politician says he’s not running because he wants to spend more time with his family, it really means that we just did a poll and the results say if I run again I’m going to get my ass kicked. I digress.  Rob Ford won overwhelming majority, and the citizens of Toronto have spoken.

The federal election is still fresh in everyone’s mind.  The conservative party finally got their majority.  Why? Ontario put them over the top. The only way the torries could gain a majority was to do well in the 416 and 905 are code, and that’s exactly what happened. What was the message that resonated with the voters in Ontario? Fiscal responsibility, cutting wasteful spending and lowering the deficit. I’m not a Rhodes Scholar by any stretch of the imagination but I think I see a pattern here.

This brings me to the upcoming provincial election. I’m going to let you take a wild guess what Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario PC Party, platform is for the upcoming election. You’re so smart, you’re not just another pretty face.  Tim, you had me at lowering taxes.

The fact that you want to bring back chain gangs makes me school girl giddy. That’s not a joke. The issue has been getting a lot of air time in Ontario, and it appears the idea is gaining a lot of support. As a voter I’m a buyer of a politicians vision. Every four years I buy what a politician is selling by casting my vote. Political parties share similarities with private enterprise. If you don’t give consumers/voters what they want, if you think you’re smarter than the consumer/voter, if you suffer from hubris, you do so at your own peril.  But you don’t have to take my word for it. Just ask David Miller and Michael Ignatieff

Until next time.

Cheers,

Image Source: McLeans Magazine, July 27, 2001 

Read More Add a Comment

7 Comments Hello Blog World!

Article written by on the 07 Jun 2011 in Personal

I’m sure that right now you’re saying to yourself thank goodness we have another blogger in the world because there’s not nearly enough of them out there today. I can’t say I could blame you if you thought that way, and so the question is why would I do this?Firstly, all the so called experts say you should blog. By doing so it enhances your company and personal brand, or so they say. Secondly, it’s a creative outlet. I work in a world of numbers, process, execution, risk mitigation and all kinds of other sexy stuff. To share my thoughts, opinions and personal tidbits does have some creative appeal for me. It will also push me to do something that I am not totally comfortable with, writing. Get me in front of a room full of people to do a presentation and I’m on. Writing a story that others may actually be interested in reading sounds like a challenge to me. The reality is that I enjoy a good challenge and if it ends up that mom is the only reader of my blog so be it. I know she’ll love it because she loves everything I do, and I’m her favorite. My poor brother is so delusional.

I hope it’s clear by now that my blog will have a lighter side to it. At times I’ll comment on serious issues relating to the mortgage industry.
But I have every intention to comment on my other passions, family, politics and sports. Hey, it’s my blog. Remember, there’s one person out there that will love it. Hi mom!

I’m off to dig through newspapers, the net and other information sources to come up with great ideas for a blog. You see I have plenty of time to do that right now because I’m in the the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, waiting for my flight which has been delayed by three hours, and counting. Me thinks there will be a blog in the future about Air Canada, oh, most definitely.

Until next time.

Cheers.

Read More Add a Comment

Contact Boris

Archives

  • Welcome!

    "I work in a world of numbers, process, execution, risk mitigation and all kinds of other sexy stuff. To share my thoughts, opinions and personal tidbits does have some creative appeal for me. It will also push me to do something that I am not totally comfortable with, writing. Get me in front of a room full of people to do a presentation and I'm on. Writing a story that others may actually be interested in reading sounds like a challenge to me. The reality is that I enjoy a good challenge and if it ends up that mom is the only reader of my blog so be it."

  • Subscribe

http://tothepointwithbozic.com/wp-content/themes/pinotage_single
http://tothepointwithbozic.com