“High household debt and a heated housing market remain the biggest domestic threats to Canada’s financial system, the Bank of Canada said on Thursday, despite tighter mortgage rules introduced by the government in July.
“The most important domestic risk to financial stability in Canada continues to stem from the elevated level of household indebtedness and stretched valuations in some segments of the housing market,” the central bank said in its semi-annual Financial System Review.
Canada’s financial system remains robust but the overall risks to the stability of the banking sector remained high, unchanged from June, it said. …
Housing prices and construction in Canada roared higher in 2011 amid low interest rates, sparking fears of a U.S.-style bubble. The market started to slow after the government tightened rules on mortgage lending in July, the fourth time it had acted to curb borrowing since 2008.
The Bank of Canada’s two-year freeze on interest rates is also seen as a reason for the credit binge and the bank has said it could, as a last resort, use monetary policy to address the problem.”
– from ‘Bank of Canada says housing market risk still high’, Reuters, 6 Dec 2012
“Chief among those domestic concerns is record-high household debt, the inevitable result of rock-bottom interest rates that, nevertheless, have acted as a buffer against even more worrisome threats from outside Canada.”
– from ‘Bank of Canada warns own low rate policy poses risk to economy’, Financial Post, 6 Dec 2012
The Bank is warning us of a problem, while simultaneously confessing that its own ongoing policies have caused and are perpetuating this problem.