Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Macro View – Health, Financial And Political News Relevant To E-Health And The Health Sector In General.

March 22, 2018 Edition.
It is really impossible to believe what is going on in the Trump Whitehouse at present. It is so bad that the Chief of Staff has had to reassure the staff that the “night of the long knives” is almost over and that most of their jobs are safe! Just amazing… With firings, tariffs(big time now with China announced on Friday) and increasing tension with Russia, China and NK it is hard to see what else will go wrong but I feel sure something will!!!
The only good news is that it seems that despite gerrymanders in many districts that the Republicans will lose their House Majority in November and that a real check on Trump will come into place.
In Australia it has been all about Mr Shorten tax grab and the furious reaction to it. He may just have overreached with this one as there are a fair few who are not fat cats who are hurt – some quite badly. The next Newspoll will be very, very interesting as will the election results in SA and Batman.
As it turns out Batman has been retained by Labor and The Liberals are forming a new Government in South Australia after 16 years of Labor rule.
Here are a few other things I have noticed.

Major Issues.

Conservatives leave door open to progressive change

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 10, 2018

Noel Pearson

There is truth in conservatism. Not the narrow preservation of inherited wealth but the importance of inherited social, cultural and religious institutions and traditions.
Edmund Burke’s preference for the “small platoons” of society and our responsibilities to dead ancestors and unborn descendants is foundational. Conservatism speaks to our memory as peoples and cultures and lifts us out of our mundane material existence, offering answers to humankind’s great questions and life’s meaning.
Ever since, as a 14-year-old, I embarked on a political letter-writing campaign from my Brisbane boarding school against the decision of the Hope Vale show committee to turn our annual show day, with its wide variety of events and activities for non-cowboys into exclusively a rodeo, I ­realised the importance of con­servatism. I had been a silent participant in the show committee’s Wednesday evening proceedings since I first accompanied my father as a small boy. I know small platoons. Alas, I lost the battle.

How we could gang up against a Trump trade war

By Ross Gittins
11 March 2018 — 2:16pm
A possible trade war looms and, as always, an adverse overseas development has caught poor little Oz utterly unprepared. Well, actually, not this time.
Just as Treasury had been war-gaming the next big world recession well before the global financial crisis of late 2008, so the Productivity Commission began thinking about our best response to a trade war soon after the election of Donald Trump.
In July last year it published a research paper, Rising protectionism: challenges, threats and opportunities for Australia, to which Dr Shiro Armstrong, co-director of the Australia-Japan Research Centre, at the Australian National University, made a major contribution. (During a visit to ANU last week I also benefited from discussion with Professor Jenny Corbett.)

Steel tariffs show Australia isn’t fair dinkum when it comes to fair trade

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 12, 2018

Adam Creighton

It is said all is fair in love and war. It is, or should be, in trade too. The idea of fair trade, which ­motivates new US steel and aluminium tariffs, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
If countries can produce goods and services more cheaply, that’s not unfair — it’s just a fact of economic life. If others want to erect trade barriers, that’s their right too. They only hurt themselves. You won’t find any rich countries with high average tariffs.
“If they drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on U.S. products going in, we will likewise drop ours. Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc. FAIR!” President ­Donald Trump tweeted yesterday, capping a series of tweets that included demands for Japan to curb its $US100 billion trade surplus with the US — “not fair or sustainable”.

Come on in! Australia's secret to avoiding recessions

By Jason Scott
13 March 2018 — 6:51am
Australia is standing firm amid growing calls for immigration curbs, even as the US and Europe succumb to rising populism. It has little choice if it's to continue its period of record economic expansion.
A flood of arrivals that's swelled the population by 50 per cent over the past three decades has underpinned economic growth and allowed a succession of governments to boast of avoiding recession since 1991. Populists are blaming immigrants for over-burdened infrastructure, soaring housing prices and low wage growth.
Former Prime Minister and now backbencher Tony Abbott is among those saying "enough." He wants to slash the annual allowance to 110,000 migrants from 190,000, a move the government says could shrink its coffers by as much as $5 billion over four years. Pauline Hanson's One Nation is calling for a complete halt to immigration.

Who is to blame for the housing crisis and how to fix it

By Ross Gittins
Updated 14 March 2018 — 7:37am
There aren't many material aspirations Australians hold dearer than owning their own home - but dear is the word. There are few greater areas of policy failure.
The rate of home ownership, of which we were once so proud, has been falling slowly for decades. And as the last high home-owning generations start popping off, it will fall much faster.
Melbourne is growing faster than any capital city in Australia, but at what cost?
We've been debating this issue for years, while it's just got worse. Yet we have a better handle on the causes of the problem, and what needs to be done, than ever.

Disillusioned voters not keen to go to the big party

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 14, 2018

Paul Kelly

The malaise in our democracy is a malaise of party. This is a core truth too rarely stated. The major parties of government, Liberal and Labor, are ailing and face a loss of primary votes that, without correction, will mean a realignment to some degree in the party system.
If the main parties cannot check and reverse this trend then our democracy and our government will change in fundamental ways — almost certainly for the worse. In its report this week, A Crisis of Trust: The Rise of Protest Politics in Australia, the Grattan Institute warns the big parties face a choice: they can instigate radical improvements or prevaricate until voters “rebuild governments without them”. The report finds Senate votes for minor parties exceeded 26 per cent at the 2016 election, the highest level for 60 years and 15 percentage points above the 2004 figures — largely at the expense of the Coalition and Labor.
It says a minor party vote beyond 25 per cent “is prone to reshaping politics”. At the recent Queensland election the minor party vote reached 31 per cent and at the upcoming South Australian election Nick Xenophon, now fading, was involved in three-way ­debates over the next premiership.

Pimco dumps Australian banks, property bonds as risks escalate

By Ruth Carson & Andreea Papuc
15 March 2018 — 8:46am
Pacific Investment Management Co., one of the world's largest bond managers, is cutting its investments in Australian bank debt because of lofty valuations. It's also trimming holdings of real estate and retailers' bonds.
The unwinding of some of its holdings in Australian lenders' debt is the first such move in about five years by the $US1.75 trillion ($2.2 trillion) money manager.
Pimco's reduction of its exposure to notes sold by real estate investment trusts and local retailers reflects concerns that surging personal debt will constrain consumption, according to Aaditya Thakur, senior vice president and portfolio manager in Sydney.

Why Australia joining ASEAN is a great idea

By Peter Hartcher
16 March 2018 — 12:05am
Why are the leaders of south-east Asia holding their summit in Australia for the first time? Malcolm Turnbull invited them because Australia is feeling more insecure in the world than at any time since World War II.
With a mad king in the White House castle and with an unconstrained China breaking international rules, Australia is casting about for security. South-east Asia could be Australia's last best option.
And its leaders agreed to come because they are feeling every bit as edgy, and some of them much more so.
Vietnam, for instance, is in a state of high alert against Chinese maritime territory-grabbing. Last week it hosted a US aircraft carrier for the first time since the Vietnam War.

Trade wars: a group exercise in self-destruction

By Ross Gittins
17 March 2018 — 12:15am
With The Donald now busy playing poker with Little Rocket Man, the threat of a trade war has receded. Good. Gives us time to get our thinking straight before the threat returns.
Everyone knows a trade war would be a terrible thing, but most people's reason for thinking so is wrong. This misunderstanding means such a war could happen, even though everyone knows it would be bad.
Global stocks and the dollar slumped on Wednesday after a strong White House advocate for free trade resigned, fanning fears that President Donald Trump will proceed with protectionist tariffs and risk a trade war.

Royal commission bombshells - great to watch, painful to receive

By Jessica Irvine
17 March 2018 — 12:05am
AT 10am on the street outside the Commonwealth Law Courts Building in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD – home to several courts and, from Tuesday, the Turnbull government’s bank royal commission - the queue of people waiting to clear security snaked out the door, and around the corner.
Inside, the response from Commissioner, Justice Kenneth Hayne, was swift, delivered the next day.
“As I foreshadowed yesterday, unless somebody has good reason to the contrary, I propose to start sittings from tomorrow commencing at 9.45. Anybody game enough to suggest otherwise?” Hayne challenged the assembled packed courtroom of silks, solicitors and public relations experts acting for banks, along with media and the odd disgruntled bank customer – none of whom dared to dissent.

Aussies who missed out on economic good times

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 17, 2018

Adam Creighton

Rick Morton

Recall the proverb about the struggling Russian farmer Ivan who, granted a wish by God that he could have whatever he wanted on the irritating condition his neighbour would receive double, decided he wanted one eye plucked out. That’s a seriously warped case of envy, but pecking order matters greatly to many, perhaps even as much as their own standard of living.
Analysis revealed in The Weekend Australian today shows the dramatic improvement in real incomes across all income groups since 1988. Overall, our living standards are almost 70 per cent higher than they were then, adjusting for increases in the cost of living. Even the so-called poor are much better off — so-called because Australians today are, across whatever measure one chooses, among the richest people to have lived.
According to research by Peter Whiteford, a professor of public policy at the Australian National University, the median household income in Australia, adjusted for inflation, has increased more between 1995 and 2012 than in any of the 18 other major OECD countries, just pipping Norway.

Marshall storms to win in SA election

Liberal leader Steven Marshall has claimed victory in the South Australian election, and thanked voters for electing them into a majority government.
Tim Dornin
Australian Associated Press March 17, 20188:50pm

Liberal leader Steven Marshall has claimed victory in the South Australian election, declaring it a new dawn for the state after 16 years of a Labor government.
Mr Marshall will take over from Labor's Jay Weatherill as premier with the Liberals likely to win at least 24 seats, enough to govern in their own right.

Australia is a far less equal place than it was in the 1980s