Bozic on Flaherty

Bozic on Flaherty

Bozic on Flaherty

One of the industry’s most influential thought leaders pulled no punches last Thursday when he was featured on the Canadian Mortgage Hangout (#cmhTV) – especially when talking about Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s recent threats to intervene in the housing market once again if necessary.

“I think he’s done a terrific job but it’s a tightrope act,” Merix President and CEO, Boris Bozic said about the finance minister’s past regulation changes. “Being prudent is a good thing for our overall business… my concern is overstepping.”

And while future regulation changes are always a hot topic, Bozic believes such postulations aren’t as common as they once were.

 “One of the basic changes that we have seen over the last six months and I think it’s been critical to our business is that the decibel level has certainly dropped in terms of what we are hearing from Ottawa and also the regulators,” he said. “I think a lot of this has to do with some of the players shifting in terms of those who control the levers of power.

“This was a big problem for our industry was the decibel level and sort of the debate that was going back and forth between Carney and Minister Flaherty.”

Understandably, brokers have voiced concern about Flaherty’s constant threats to intervene further. It’s a frustration that is exacerbated by the media’s constant prodding and questioning about the minister’s future plans pertaining to the mortgage industry.

“It is unfortunate that there is a certain group of financial writers, including some mortgage brokers, who thrive on writing negative 'news' by predicting complete market collapses,” Jackson Middleton of First Foundation Residential Mortgages – and one of the hosts of #cmhTV -- told “The more severe their message, the more attention they draw to themselves.”

And while some may take umbrage to Flaherty’s constant threats, Bozic believes the blueprint for how to best handle media hypothesizing has already been set by the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz.

“He is speaking only to monetary policy and not speaking in a broad-based sense in terms of what Canadians have to do in terms of fiscal responsibility, et cetera; so I think as much as we hear chatter today it’s not nearly as loud as it used to be and I think this is important because this all leads to consumer confidence,” Bozic said. “And it really is interesting that even with all the chatter and everything that was in the press, the consumer, I think has started to shut out all that noise. They make decisions based on their pocketbook and based on what they think is right.”

Perhaps the industry may be better served to consider the public’s opinion as well as Mr. Flaherty’s.

“The best arbiter, in terms of the health of the economy, is really the consumer, themselves,” Bozic said.

  • VLT2 2013-11-18 11:46:09 AM
    Stephen Poloz... Gee, this may be the first time I have heard that name since the early days when he took office. Gone are the days it seems, of the Mark Carney B.o.C. media madness.
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  • Paolo Di Petta | 2013-11-18 12:57:55 PM
    Not sure if that comment about "some mortgage brokers, who thrive on writing negative news" was directed towards me, but I think we're all entitled to our own interpretation of the data.

    Conversely, I'd also like to say it seems a lot of reporting from most industry professionals is one sided, focuses heavily on the few positive stats, and doesn't always put them into proper context vs. other negative stats.

    As long as a logical, factually based argument is presented, I don't see a problem. We SHOULD be having open discussions about the data, and sometimes there WILL be disagreements. Though, it doesn't seem like too many people are willing to do that.

    It's our job to present our clients with the most complete data, and the best possible advice based on that data - providing them solely with one-sided cheerleading is a huge disservice.

    For the record, I'm not calling Jackson a cheerleader, but there's a lot of other industry professionals that are. And many of them do their very best to keep dissenting opinions under wraps.

    I've openly debated our housing market before (and published my opinions on my blog, MBN and elsewhere) and welcome any further discussion. You know how to reach me.
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  • VLT2 2013-11-18 1:33:31 PM
    Fact: All the pundits have predicted interest rates on the rise for years now. Headline news all the time. Rates have not gone up despite what the so called professionals have predicted for YEARS!

    Fact: My book of business has increased every year for 7 years.

    Fact: With all the crying about how Canada was in the same position that the US was in, it was smoke and mirrors because we have always had a different way of approving mortgages.

    Fact: We learned from US mistakes

    Fact: In the political world , perception is reality so the government will make changes so the public perceives it to being doing something, regardless if nothing should be done., or it should be done to consumer debt not mortgage debt.

    Fact: If you want to reduce consumer debt, the fastest and easiest way is to reduced the consumer credit. In lieu of reducing the credit limit, reducing the consumer interest rates will allow consumer debt to reduce much faster. That fact however is really just a dream.

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