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

0 Comments Australia: What I’ve Learned So Far

Article written by on the 22 May 2012 in Economy,Mortgage,Personal,Travel,World Events

For God’s sake they should get a couple of thousand tugboats, some good strong rope, and tow this island somewhere closer to civilization. 

In the name of all things holy it’s far.  For God’s sake they should get a couple of thousand tugboats, some good strong rope, and tow this island somewhere closer to civilization.  For transparency I was fortunate to be able to sit at front of the bus for the flight over.  That gave me the opportunity to stretch out and get some sleep, some seven hours’ worth.  It was the other fifteen hours that I had to fill, and what I learned is that to pass that amount of time away you need a distraction.  Like food!  The flight attendants try to feed you at every moment.  “Mr. Bozic, is there anything I can get you?” Let me see, it’s been 22 minutes since my last meal, “sure, how about some dim sum and 4 bags of chips”.  I’m not kidding.

The real estate market is red hot here – This according to the cab driver who drove me to my hotel.  Property values are increasing by 10% annually, and he owns multiple properties. Hmm, interesting.  I was afraid to ask him if he was a part-time mortgage broker.  Let me rephrase that, I was afraid of the answer.  I have this illusion that the Australian mortgage broker industry wouldn’t allow that.

As soon as I unpacked at the hotel in Melbourne, I went for a walkabout.  I went out and picked up two newspapers, which I planned to read from front to back, so that I can get a flavour of what’s current and happening in Australia.  On the front page of The Australian and The Daily Telegraph was this number one story: the original Wiggles are no more.  Yes, Australia’s jewel and gift to children’s programing is going through a radical makeover.  Three original members are leaving for personal reasons; the usual, wanting to be closer to family etc.  Yeah right, one day the truth will come out and we’ll all learn that there’s a Yoko Ono story in there somewhere.  One of the replacements is, are you sitting down, a Wigglette.  Only 22 years of age, Emma Watkins is the new face and the first female member of the Wiggles.  If you’re wondering she will dawn the yellow shirt.

Australian stock market has tanked.  It’s lost all of its gains in 2012. The European debt crisis dominates the business section but the major banks here feel they’re insulated because they have been preparing for the inevitable for some time now.  Australia biggest trading partner is China.  As goes the Chinese economy so goes Australia’s.

The best five year fixed rate I could find is 6.5%.  Gulp!

Melbourne is a lot like Vancouver, from architecture to the overall feel.  Melbourne hates all things Sydney; just like Vancouver and Toronto.

The learning continues.  The bastards drive on the wrong side of the road.  I was nearly killed twice jaywalking.

Revolving doors at the hotel turn in the opposite direction.  Smacked my head a few times – D’OH!

Clearly I speak funny.  I was in Melbourne for less than twelve hours and two people asked me the following: “so you here on vacation, mate?”

The most important thing I’ve learned so far is that there’s no awkwardness in meeting family for the first time. It was odd talking to my cousin on the phone, making plans to meet at the hotel and having to describe what I was wearing so he could pick me out of the crowd.  He found me, and I got a chance to spend some time with him, his beautiful daughter, his brother and his mom, my aunt.  They were extremely gracious and they treated me like family.  It doesn’t matter what happens from here – that will be my lasting memory of this trip.

Until next time

Cheers

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0 Comments Europe’s Dark Clouds

Article written by on the 10 May 2012 in Current Events,Economy,World Events

Europe Debt CrisisIt’s hard to imagine that Europe’s economic situation could become more uncertain but you have to hand it to the Europeans, they figured out a way.  The “left” is taking control of the political leavers in Europe, and the response was somewhat unexpected.  The markets did not react negatively to the elections in France, and Greece last weekend.  Pundits on Wall Street are suggesting they have already built in the outcome of the elections.  It’s seems somewhat odd that the markets took the elections in stride given past responses to the European crisis.  Ah, but that was on Monday.  By Tuesday the markets started to react as investors finally took note.  The delayed reaction was surprising because recent history suggests that the markets will respond negatively to all things Europe.  Manchester United loses 1-0 to Bolton; the Dow and TSX down 200 points.

 The stock market aside, this wasn’t a good week for Europe.  Some economists are suggesting that Europe is once again in, and heading towards another deep recession.  Last month Europe’s aggregated economy contracted.  Spain now holds the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate of member countries in the EU.  It’s estimated that one in four Spaniards are unemployed today.  You know Europe is teetering when Germany and France’s economy has come to a sudden halt.  The population of Europe is looking to punish someone for the mess there in.  The first big shoe to drop was in France.

There’s a new president electEurope News President Hollande in France.  President Hollande is a left wing ideologue.  He exploited the mood of the French population, and convinced them that they could tax and spend their way to prosperity.  He convinced the French population that France could recover without having to impose deep austerity measures.  France’s new president wants to move from transatlantic agreements and focus more on member countries of the EU.  This will impact Canada.  The Harper Government has been negotiating with the EU about a new free-trade agreement but now that Hollande is controlling one of the leavers the free trade agreement may not come to pass.  At the very least it might be put on the back burner.  France is not the only country to move to the left.  Greece, they’re back.  Yes, a new government was elected in Greece last weekend, one that promises to spend their way out of debt.  Correct me if I’m wrong – but I think that way of thinking contributed to mess they’re in today.  It’s worrisome to see the direction Europe is headed in.  But I also understand when people feel hopeless, confused and desperate, the impulse is to roll the dice and hope for a miracle.  How much worse can it get?

It can get worse, a lot worse.  What was unthinkable a year ago, countries defaulting, is starting to look more probable.  The IMF will not put up with Greece if they attempt to increase spending.  There may be no more bailouts, and if that was to happen there’s no way Greece could remain a member of the EU.  There’s a real possibility that we’ll be witnessing history; rather appropriate given a number of countries in Europe appear to be history.

Until next time,

 Cheers.

 

 

 

 

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0 Comments We Just Assume

Article written by on the 19 Jan 2012 in Current Events,World Events

From time to time all of us put our faith in people we know nothing about.  We assume that if our life was in danger a police officer would risk their own life to save us.  We assume that if were in a burning building a fireman would navigate the flames of hell to save our life.  We assume that if we ‘re attacked by terrorists our politicians would respond in a way to not only protect us but to extract vengeance as well.  We assume our children are safe in schools because the faculty and staff would do everything humanly possible to protect them.  I only started to think about this after reading about sinking of The Costa Concordia.  It’s only dawned on me now how much blind faith I’m capable of. (more…)

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11 Comments God Keep Our Land, Glorious and Free

Article written by on the 10 Nov 2011 in Canada,Current Events,World Events

debate poppyWhy is that we have to make things so difficult.  Sometimes the answer is simple, and the solution stares you in the face.  Yet for many in our society the obvious is too easy and they would rather debate and bludgeon us with theory.   The poppy is now being debated.  Should we wear one or not?  Does it glorify war?  Should we wear a white poppy which denotes peace?   I guess we’ve solved all the world’s problem that it’s time now to debate the poppy. (more…)

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1 Comments Captain Canuck – Mark Carney

Article written by on the 08 Nov 2011 in Canada,Current Events,World Events

mark-carney-G20-Financial-Stability-BoardAs the Greek economic tragedy unfolds before our very eyes, you may have missed that a Canadian has  been asked to come in and help clean up the mess.  Mark Carney, Bank of Canada Governor, was appointed head of the G20 Financial Stability Board.  The FSB will be responsible to bring in more regulations and oversight to world markets.  (more…)

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2 Comments A Brilliant Politician or World’s Biggest Dumb Ass

Article written by on the 03 Nov 2011 in Current Events,World Events

Normally when you think of politicians the word brilliant does not come to mind.  There’s an appreciable difference between being a brilliant politician and an effective legislator.  You can be a brilliant politician and do nothing for the people you serve.  Brilliant politicians know how to play the game.  One of the best game players was President Bill Clinton.  Think of the scandals he faced, as well impeachment proceedings, and he walked away from it all, unscathed.  Some might suggest that his reputation have forever been tarnished.  (more…)

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0 Comments 72 Summit Series, John Lennon and 9/11

Article written by on the 08 Sep 2011 in Hockey,World Events

 There are historical events that take place in everyone’s lifetime which are seared in our memory.  Every generation has their moment.  I thought about what historical events do I remember vividly as we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Three events immediately came to mind…

’72 Summit Series

The 72 Summit Series.  Canada versus Russia…. good versus evil… democracy versus communism.  This was more than a hockey series.   I was 12 years old back in 72.  Like the rest of the country I so desperately wanted the good guys to win.  Back then I didn’t get political nuances, all that mattered to me was that my heroes were playing against this team from far away.  I remember when the series moved to Moscow for the final four games, my first thought was, oh-oh, school’s going to get in the way of me being able to watch the games.

All the games would be broadcast in the afternoon.  I really didn’t get differences in time zones back then.  Alas, there was no need to worry.  My grade 7 teacher wheeled a TV into the classroom, and there we watched game five, six and seven.  Then the unthinkable happened.  After game 7 our teacher reminded us that were going on a field trip, and unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to watch the eighth and deciding game.  Clearly she was joking, and I believed that up until the moment I was getting on a school bus to go on the field trip.  I was furious, I couldn’t believe we would miss the deciding game because we were going to a nature preserve, to look at plants and bugs.  As game time approached I made a decision, I had to find a way to watch the game.  When we drove up in the school bus I noticed there was a building on the property.  I decided to have a look.  The building was empty and I went for a walk about until I found a room that looked like a cafeteria.  I walked in, and is if my prayers were answered, there was a TV.  I went to turn it on, promising god that if the TV worked I would be really good.  He heard my prayers, its minutes to game time.  Then my teacher walked in…arms folded across her chest…she asked me, “and what do you think you’re doing Mr. Bozic”.  Back then I didn’t understand rhetorical questions, was so I answered “I’m watching the game”.  She gave me mypaul henderson winning goal marching orders but I responded with, “I can look at bugs and plants any day of the week, but this hockey game is history”.  She walked out and I thought this game better be worth it because my old man is going to kill me.  You see back then you didn’t defy teachers, at least not in our house.  As I contemplated that my life will probably end in four hours, I figured that’s what would happen when I get home from school, my teacher and fellow classmates walked into the room.  We all sat there together and watched this amazing hockey game. When Paul Henderson scored the winning goal, with less than a minute to go in the game, the room went nuts. I remember walking up to my teacher and hugging her, and to say thank you.  I remember her looking down on me, with a smile on her face, and she said, “you were right”.  Some teachers are amazing.

John Lennon

I remember the night John Lennon was murdered because I just started working at a radio station.  Many moons ago I worked on air, and my first gig was an overnight jock at a radio station in Orillia, CFOR.  During my 45 minutes of training, I was told keep an eye on the news wire.  It’s a service radio stations subscribed too, and the newsmen would use the copy to read on air. So there I am, a rookie announcer, all by myself at the station, nervous as hell and the wire service is going crazy.   I heard some beeping coming from the wire service machine, so I figured something big must be happening. I walked into the newsroom, I looked at the  copy which was being printed, and there it read, BULLETIN…JOHN LENNON GUN-DOWNED IN NEW YORK.   Holy &@!?…what do I do now?  So I went into the music library and pulled out every Beatles album the station had.  I played Beatles music for rest of my shift, and went on the air every 15 minutes with updates about John Lennon’s murder.  There was no protocol to follow so I winged it.  Thankfully the program director was on side the next day, and I’m sure all my listeners that night – the overnight gas station attendant and the two cab drivers – appreciated the music.

9/11

I was supposed to be on a plane on 9/11.  I was at the Fairmont Hotel at the Vancouver airport on the morning of 9/11.  I had a plane to catch back to Toronto.  I woke up that morning, made some coffee, and started to read the newspaper.  I’m reading yesterday’s news so I’m completely oblivious to what’s going on.  I then get a phone call from my cousin, who lives in Vancouver, and he asks me if I’m watching the news?  I said no, and he said turn it on, I think we’re at war.  I thought what the hell? Did he fall out of bed and bump his head?  Okay, I’ll play along.  I turned the TV on, and I watched in stunned disbelief for about twenty minutes.  For some reason a voice in my head said, “get away from the airport”.  I packed up my clothes and made my way to my cousins place.  I had to stay there for 5 days before I could get a flight out.  I’ve never wanted to come home so badly.  I just wanted to be around family and friends.  It’s been 10 years since 9/11, and our world changed dramatically that day.  Especially for the 27 Canadian families who lost loved one’s on 9/11.

Godspeed.

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2 Comments Is it just me? – People taking to the streets to protest.

Article written by on the 11 Aug 2011 in Canada,Current Events,Politics,World Events

Is it just me, or does it appear that world has gone mad? Based on the images we are seeing from England, I asked myself that very question. TheLondon Riots 2011 images are shocking and very troubling when you consider why it’s happening. What started as a peaceful demonstration in Tottenham, has now become a violent uprising in many cities. There’s doesn’t appear to be any visible reason for why this is happening. Cities are burning for kicks. Maybe it’s just me getting older but after the third day of watching cities burn I was wondering why the British Government had not deployed the military to quell the civil disobedience. At the very least the police should have been using stronger measures to bring this to an end. The police seem to be taking the velvet glove approach with the anarchists. So far no water cannons or rubber bullets have been used. There’s reluctance by the police, pardon the pun, to pull out the big guns. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, questioned police methods in parliament yesterday. He’s demanding the police use a much more aggressive approach with the hooligans, anarchists, arsonists and petty thieves. Gee, hugging won’t work?

The average age of the rioters is between 18 and 21. I’m not sure how the state has wronged them to such a degree that they would be willing to burn their cities down, and shame their country in front of the world. But it’s clear that in their tinny pointed heads they’ve found some irrational justification.London Riots youth I get it, 18 to 21 year old are dumb or rather have a lot to learn. I remember being that age, I had all the answers, how my parents survived all those years without my council was beyond me, but even being that dumb at no time did I say to myself, “I think I’ll go burn down Toronto, just for the hell of it”. Why? Because we respected authority, we were taught right from wrong, and I was more afraid of my mother than I was of the cops. That part still true today. When the civil unrest finally ends in London, we will hear the usual verbal diarrhea. The youth of Britain feels disenfranchised, they’re poor, they have no hope, blah, blah, blah. What that really means is, “I live in a world of entitlement, I’m accustomed to getting something without earning it, the state owes me, and if I don’t get mine I’ll burn the city down”. No, that’s not just anger, that’s nuts.

Conversely we’ve witnessed the Sprig Arab Uprising. It still continues today in Libya and Syria. These people took to the streets peacefully in the name of freedom and Syria Protestsself-determination. They faced jets, tanks and bullets because they wanted to overthrow oppressive totalitarian regimes. I live in the greatest country in the world, Canada. I’ve been accorded every opportunity to succeed. My parents worked themselves to the bone to provide a better life for their kids. My success or failure is my responsibility. As I compare my so called “problems” to those who took to the streets in the Arab world, I’ll take my problems any day of the week.

There does seem to be a common thread in the in the world today. People are taking to the streets to protest. Is some cases it’s warranted, in others it’s mind boggling. So I can’t help but wonder – can it happen here? The Tea Party in the US is a populist movement. So far Tea Party demonstrations have been peaceful but partisan politics in the U.S. has become so anger based one can’t help but wonder if they will be able to keep a lid on this boiling pot. Based on the language being used by both sides in the U.S., I think there’s reason for concern. As for Canada, I think we would all like to believe that it won’t happen here. We’re far too reasonable and respectful of our community. Then I think about the G20 in Toronto, and the aftermath of game seven in Vancouver, and now I’m not so sure.

Until next time,
Cheers

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    "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."

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