A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the World Wide Web.
A Morningstar analyst and Macleans magazine bailed me out on a slow news day by projecting a 30 per cent decline in Canadian home prices. The structure of the piece – a seven-part debunking of the "the Canadian real estate market is different from 2007 U.S." rationalization – is interesting.
Analyst Dan Werner believes Canada's high down payments, non-recourse mortgages and higher immigration rates won't stop a steep slide in domestic home prices. I don't buy the argument, for what it's worth, but it's a good read for Canadians who want to really test their optimism.
"Why Canada isn't immune to a U.S.-style housing crash" – Macleans
The South China Morning Post presents more signs of a wobbling Chinese economic growth model. Chinese companies, many of whom were operating on a borrow-and-expand-first, worry-about-profitability-later strategy, are increasingly failing to repay debt owed to Hong Kong banks, "[China] carried more bad debt than any other country for the fourth consecutive year, and it contributed to 42 per cent of the overdue money owed to Hong Kong exporters."
"Bad debt burns hole in pockets of city's exporters" – South China Morning Post
A Wall Street Journal interview with Goldman Sachs analyst Michele Della Vigna uncovers some dire predictions for the North America energy industry. Mr. Dell Vigna notes that the U.S. shale production was able to compensate for the loss of 2.5 million barrels of oil per day from Libya and Iran. With this supply coming back on stream, he expects numerous projects to be cancelled, much to the detriment of the oil services industry.
"Oil companies' $700-billion problem" – WSJ (video)
Diversion: "Chimpanzee IQ starts in the genes" – Nature
Follow Scott Barlow on Twitter @SBarlow_ROB