Stephen Jarislowsky – “I am convinced there is a housing bubble in Canada, fueled by government measures that encouraged consumers to take on debt.”

Who to believe? A successful investor growing cautious of identified risk, or a Minister of Finance trying to keep things afloat, with other peoples’ money (yours!), until the next election? -vreaa

This from Bloomberg.com, ‘Jarislowsky ‘Convinced’ Canada Has Housing Bubble’, 12 Feb 2010 -

Stephen Jarislowsky, chairman of Montreal-based investment adviser Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., said he is “convinced” there’s a bubble in Canada’s housing market, fueled by government measures that encouraged consumers to take on debt. “They have basically encouraged people to buy houses based on cheap mortgages,” Jarislowsky, 84, said. “That has created the opposite effect of what was desirable.” “I am convinced there is a housing bubble in Canada.”

Jarislowsky’s investment fund owns shares in Canada’s four biggest banks, including Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada. The comments by Jarislowsky, who is one of Canada’s wealthiest investors with a fortune worth C$1.85 billion ($1.8 billion) according to Canadian Business magazine, contrast with the view held by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who sees “no clear evidence” of a housing bubble.

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