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

0 Comments Bank of Canada: It’s Almost Shakespearean

Article written by on the 29 May 2013 in Business

I have a tremendous amount of admiration for those that can craft words in in a way to enlist emotion, and to make people say, “What the hell?”  I’m not talking gibberish or some inane cliché.  Real articulation and pictures being painted with words is an art.  Indeed, my tired eyes have glimpsed a Picasso of statements.  The artist? Outgoing Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney. Today was Mr. Carney’s last monitory policy update prior to his departure this summer.  It’s an art form to be able to say the same thing 32 consecutive times, and make it sound interesting.

In fairness I did detect something new when reviewing the text of his speech.  For example, how would you describe your business today?  Challenging?  Concerning? Apprehensive?  I have a sneaking suspicion you didn’t think of this, “constructive evolution of imbalances in the household sector.”  These were Mr. Carney’s words used to describe the current economic state of affairs.  In fairness, here’s the entire statement, “With continued slack in the Canadian economy, the muted outlook for inflation, and the constructive evolution of imbalances in the household sector, the considerable monetary policy stimulus currently in place will likely remain appropriate for a period of time, after which some modest withdrawal will likely be required , consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target.”  See, nothing has really changed with exception of the categorization of our industry, and the real estate market in general.  “Constructive evolution of imbalances in the household sector” sounds so much better than the market has slowed down significantly, the condo market is weak, job loss in the housing sector may reach 180,000 due to a real estate slowdown, many borrowers can no longer qualify for mortgages and household credit posted its slowest annual growth in 17 years in April.  I’m not debating the importance of slowing down consumer debt or the Bank of Canada’s policy in general.  I’m just admiring the phraseology.

So Mr. Carney bids us adieu with a message of, well, much of the same.  So we wait with bated breath to hear from the new leading man, Stephen Poloz.  The market will cast its eyes, and especially its ears, to the new governor of the Bank of Canada.  Markets move up and down based on statements made by the governor of the Bank of Canada.  So don’t expect absolute clarity from the new governor as it relates to future predictions of what the Bank of Canada may or may not do.  Wiggle room is always required.

Until next time,



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0 Comments That Time of Year

Article written by on the 22 May 2013 in Merix Financial

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  I’m about to take part in what has become a marker of history for MERIX.  Every year since inception we gather as group to reflect on the past twelve months but more importantly focusing on the future.  It’s the one time of year where we gather to share ideas, to council, motivate and enjoy eachother’s company. We’ve taken our gathering across our country, and last year we converged on the city of San Francisco.  This year?  We gather in our nation’s capital.  When I asked the organizers of the event why Ottawa?  The answer was simple, not everyone on the team has been to Ottawa. So Ottawa it is.  

I’ll be with the MERIX team for the remainder of the week, which is code for I’ll get back to regular blog posts next week.  For the next few days I get to spend time with an inspiring group of people from across our country.  

Until next time,


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1 Comments Game 7: You Gotta Be Kidding

Article written by on the 15 May 2013 in Canada,Current Events,Hockey,Ontario,Personal,Sports

One of the byproducts of getting older is perspective.  Gone are the days of being emotionally invested in a professional sports franchise.  What happens on the ice, the court, the diamond or football field will not alter my life one iota. Irrespective of what happens during a game the same responsibilities await me the next morning.  I don’t get worked up over million dollar athletes who get to extend their childhoods by playing a game for a living.  But I must confess that the historical meltdown by the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night brought back memories for me.  It’s been a long time since I yelled at the TV, wondering if my flat screen TV was going to be functional by the end of the game.

“Maybe I should start watching Dr. Phil. I suspect some Leaf fans might be making an appearance on the show.”

Alas, sanity prevailed.  As soon as the game came to an end I went back to being my dispassionate self as it relates to the local hockey “heroes”.  I’ve long since stopped being an apologist for the Leafs.  Don’t get me wrong, I go to games but I go more so for the experience.  So now when people, usually those who reside in other parts of the country say to me, “Leaf suck”, my answer is, “agreed”. That usually stops the conversation. Now, there was no stopping the conversation about the Leafs colossal collapse Monday night.  Leaf nation is stunned,  numb and frankly I worry about some being suicidal.   Everyone in Toronto is talking about the Leafs blowing a three goal lead with only ten minutes to play in the seventh and deciding game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.  The analysis by the sports media is, and will continue to be, unrelenting.  This is way too much fun for them.  One radio station found a creative way torture Leafs fan by interviewing a statistician who calculated the probability of the Leafs winning that game from a historical context.  Kid you not, the stat’s geek looked at every game seven played in the NHL since 1918 to determine the probability of the Leafs winning the game.  For example, when the Leafs made it 3-1, based on history the probability of the Leafs winning was 95%, when the score was 4-1 it was 98%.  I laughed out loud in the car when I heard this.  This exercise was nothing more than plunging the knife a little deeper.  Poor Leaf fans, maybe the team should change the saying The Passion That Unites Us All to The Therapy That Unites Us All.

The only impressive thing about the game was the press conference with Leaf coach Randy Carlyle following the game. To have to face the media and answer questions why he and his team failed so spectacularly cannot be easy.  Like in business a leader’s character is measured by how they deal with adversity.  A hockey coach is the leader of the team.  Most teams take on the coach’s personality, and if that holds true for the Leafs it will serve the players well.  Carlyle made no excuses.  Someone in the media asked if the officiating worked against his team and he refused to be drawn into that debate, he simply said his team ran out of gas.  He was calm, leveled headed and waited until there were no more questions to be answered.  I couldn’t help but admire the dignity and accountability he exhibited under the most trying of circumstances.

So now that the Leafs have gone down in the hockey chocking history, I’ll have to change my TV viewing habits.  Maybe I should start watching Dr. Phil.  I suspect some Leaf fans might be making an appearance on the show.

Until next time


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0 Comments Back to Basics: The Power of Listening

Article written by on the 07 May 2013 in Business

I write this blog while waiting for repairs to be made to the plane prior to take off.  Which by the way I think is a damn fine idea, if there’s a problem with the plane I don’t care how much time it takes to fix the problem.  It never ceases to amaze me how some people moan and grumble about the plane not being able to take off for mechanical reasons or when the plane has to be de-iced.  What could possibly be that important at the end of the journey to piss and moan about flight safety?  So, I have some time on my hands and I had a little extra time to devour the National Post.  I came across an interesting article; it was especially interesting given the purpose of my trip…

I decided that 2013 was the year to reconnect with our customers.  The previous twelve months became somewhat of black hole with respect to this practice.  No excuses, but I was the Chair of CAAMP in 2012, at the same time working on a management buyout, which came to a conclusion in February of this year.  Now that my responsibilities with CAAMP are becoming fainter and the Merix and Paradigm ownership issue is resolved, it’s back to basics.  I’ve always believed that sitting directly across from your customers, looking at them in the eye, and asking them for feedback is the best way to gauge exactly how your organization is performing.  So on tour I go.  I’ve met with a number of our status originators in Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, and with plans to meet in Ottawa, Vancouver and either Saskatoon or Regina.  One way to show a customer that their business is valued is to meet them in their backyard.  The effort alone should speak volumes (pardon the pun).  Back to the article in the National Post entitled, “Six skills to ensure success,” written by Rick Spence.  He states that one of the six keys to success is to “snuggle up to your customer“.  According to Spence, “some of your best sources of market intelligence and new ideas will come from clients.“  That is so true, and its why enjoy meeting with our loyal supporters.  I talk very little about Merix Financial when I meet with our customers.  I’m more interested in their business, and how we might fit within their mortgage ecosystem – the best way to find this out – talk less and ask questions.  Your customer will provide a detailed road map for you and all you have to do is two things – don’t interrupt and make them THE focal point.

If you’re executing fundamentals in customer feedback such as: requesting feedback, surveys, one-on-one meetings and user groups – that’s fantastic because it’s a key to success.  However, in this day and age of text, twitter and every other medium contributing to the erosion of effective and personal communication – the one-to-one meeting is a huge advantage.  There’s still customers out there who value the simplicity of an authentic conversation (and that’s becoming a skill set today).  Your customers enjoy the engagement, and you learn from it; doesn’t get much better than that.

Until next time,



National Post: Small Business Skills for Success


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