Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

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

April 27, 2017 Edition.
Well it has been a lively few days with a visit from Vice-President Pence (who actually seems to be keeping the US Government running) and a threat to bomb poor old OZ. See here:

North Korea warns Australia of nuclear strike over Julie Bishop's comments

Kirsty Needham
Published: April 23, 2017 - 9:58AM
Beijing: North Korea's foreign ministry has lashed out at Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and warned Australia was "coming within the range of the nuclear strike".
The threats were reported by the North Korean state news agency KCNA as being made on Friday, in response to a radio interview given by Ms Bishop.
According to a translation of the KCNA report, which was dated Friday, the same day US Vice-President Mike Pence arrived in Australia, Ms Bishop had said in the radio interview that North Korea seriously threatens regional peace and she supports the US policy that "all options are on the table".
Now that would really ruin the week. Thank heavens he can’t make good just yet (we believe)!
If you want to get really alarmed locally, try this:

'This thing's gonna blow': Top economists' interest rate warning

Michael Koziol, Political reporter
Published: April 18, 2017 - 12:01AM
A dangerously overcooked housing market and rising interest rates are poised to plunge thousands of Australian families into mortgage stress in coming years, top economists have warned.
As the Turnbull government grapples with how to address the housing affordability crisis in its May budget, some experts are predicting a housing correction that cannot and should not be stopped.
Deloitte Access Economics' quarterly business outlook, released today, predicts the official cash rate of 1.5 per cent will climb slowly in 2018 and 2019 to reach 3 per cent in the early 2020s.
The Reserve Bank was well aware "interest rates are now a massively more potent weapon for slowing the Australian economy than they've ever been before", the forecaster said.
Great click bait this!
In more local news May 9, 2017 is Budget Day if you are wondering. Really not far away.
Here are a few other things I have noticed.

National Budget Issues.

I'll never be able to afford a house - and older generations don't give a damn

Megan Shellie
Published: April 15, 2017 - 11:45PM
Joe Hockey, in trying to justify increased student contributions to higher education, used the quote, "In your twenties you complain and in your forties you explain." It's an easy way to brush away the anxieties and anger of an entire generation of Australians, but it also feels like for the first time, this may not be true. I don't see a future, even in my forties, where home ownership and economic stability are a reality. It is scary, and it is my reality. And the generations before me don't give a damn.
You only have to look at the figures to understand the horror in the eyes of Millennials. Total stagnation of wages growth coupled with the median house price now some 14 times the average income, and growing.
Australians are now saying that a household income of $150,000 would allow for a comfortable existence, and yet with more than half the population of Australia on incomes under $60,000 per year, this seems like a distant reality. Household budgets aren't going to miraculously grow, unless policymakers get serious on fixing the cost of living, or we suddenly embrace polygamy.

Disadvantaged should rate higher than rich and powerful

Ross Gittins
Published: April 17, 2017 - 12:15AM
I shouldn't say it, but the thing that annoys me most about the readers of this august organ are those who want to consign me to a party-political pigeonhole. "He's only saying that because he's Liberal/Labor/Green/Callithumpian."
Sorry. I have a lot of strong views, and I hope it isn't hard to detect an internal consistency in them, but they're not driven by loyalty to any party.
Like many old journos, the older I get the more disdainful I become of both sides of politics. They're not identical, but they have far too many bad habits in common.
But if my views come from a consistent set of values, where do those values spring from?

Rise of the machines: robots are coming for middle-class jobs next

Adam Gartrell, industrial relations correspondent
Published: April 15, 2017 - 12:15AM
From the factory floor to the supermarket, the call centre to the video store, it has happened to the working class already: waves of technological change that have rendered many of their jobs obsolete.
But the next advances in automation won't just affect the low-skilled and low-paid. In the years ahead many middle-class professionals - engineers, accountants, journalists and insurance workers to name just a few - will find themselves replaced by computers, robots and artificial intelligence.
Technological change can be liberating but it also breeds anxiety. And if it's not managed properly it could also worsen inequality by further skewing the power balance in the workplace and across society.

Even Coalition voters believe the minimum wage is too low, polling finds

Adam Gartrell
Published: April 17, 2017 - 12:15AM
Nearly 70 per cent of Australians believe the minimum wage is too low, including a strong majority of Coalition voters, a new poll has found.
Only one in five Australians believe the $17.70 an hour minimum wage is "about right" and just four per cent of people think it is too high, according to the polling commissioned by the peak union body, the ACTU.
Conducted last week, the Essential Research online poll of 1015 people found 69 per cent of Australians want a higher minimum wage, with 33 per cent of those respondents saying it should be "much higher". Nearly 60 per cent of Liberal National voters believe it should be higher, as do 77 per cent of Labor voters.
The ACTU has asked the workplace relations umpire to raise the minimum wage by $45 a week, triple the 2016 $15.80 increase. Such an increase would lift the minimum wage to $37,420 a year. 
17 Apr 2017 - 3:34am

Hewson questions ditching deficit levy

Former Liberal leader John Hewson says the Turnbull government is about to get rid of the deficit levy even though the budget position has deteriorated.
AAP 17 Apr 2017 - 3:34 AM  UPDATED 9 HOURS AGO
Former Liberal leader John Hewson has questioned the logic of getting rid of the deficit levy on high-income earners when the budget is in a much worse position than it was three years ago.
The temporary levy - a two percentage point increase imposed on the top marginal tax rate - was introduced in 2014 under former prime minister Tony Abbott when he described it as a 'budget emergency".
Back then the 2016/17 budget deficit was projected to be $10.6 billion.
However, last December's mid-year budget review put it at $36.5 billion.

The green, amber and red of housing affordability policies

Matt Wade and Jessica Irvine
Published: April 18, 2017 - 12:15AM
It costs $47,880 each year to service a typical loan on a median-priced house in Sydney, research by the Housing Industry Association shows.
Numbers like that have pushed public anxiety about housing costs to an all-time high. The latest Ipsos Issues Monitor poll found 41 per cent of people in NSW now rate housing as one of the most important challenges confronting the community, up from 29 per cent in 2013.
The experience of people such as Daniel Stone is driving the public's apprehension about property.
(This is a really sensible article.)

ATO data shows inequality is in everything from super to the property market

Jenni Henderson, The Conversation and Josh Nicholas, The Conversation
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released data for 2014-15 that paints a picture of how much Australians earn and what they claim in tax concessions. We asked our tax experts to tell us what the data says to them. The Conversation
John Daley and Danielle Wood, The Grattan Institute
The latest data from the ATO is consistent with what we’ve seen in the past. It shows that people with high-income occupations – doctors, lawyers, and others – are more likely to use negative gearing than the nurses and teachers on whom Treasurer Scott Morrison focuses when he tries to justify retaining negative gearing. It also shows that negative gearing is typically worth four to five times more for doctors and lawyers than nurses and teachers.
The tax data shows that with falling interest rates, fewer landlords are negatively geared, and the average loss is also falling. Overall the investor property market seems to be concentrating a little, with slightly fewer landlords but more investment properties per landlord.

Financial distress looms due to spike in negatively geared properties among Australia's poorest: report

Nassim Khadem
Published: April 18, 2017 - 12:00AM
Australia's poorest people are taking on negatively geared property investments, despite their inability to manage the risks, a new report from KPMG shows, putting them at severe risk of financial distress when interest rates begin to rise.
While the proportion of households facing economic hardship has remained static in recent years, the total number of very poor households has risen and reached almost half a million people.
Household incomes have grown, not because of rising wages and salaries, but rather due to higher investment income and government transfers, according to KPMG Economics' report Financial Stress in Australian Households: the haves, the have-nots, the taxed-nots and the have-nothings.

Tony Abbott: ‘Stop the spending, ScoMo’

April 18, 2017 12:00am
FORMER prime minister Tony Abbott has called on Treasurer Scott Morrison to scrap all new spending, cut deeper, and leave housing affordability to the states in yet another provocative intrusion into policy debates.
In his second intervention in as many days, Mr Abbott took aim at Mr Morrison’s 2017 Budget, to be handed down in three weeks.
“Everyone has got to live within their means and government ultimately is no different to businesses and households,” Mr Abbott said.
  • Updated Apr 18 2017 at 12:01 AM

Budget good news unlikely to last, warns Deloitte's Chris Richardson

The nation's budget continues to deteriorate despite tailwinds from China and the housing market improving the government's revenue outlook, warns budget forecaster Chris Richardson
Cautioning that neither a strong China nor the housing boom are likely to last indefinitely, Mr Richardson said there was still not enough being done to reduce the deficits of recent years.
"Spending continues to climb at a solid clip, and attempts to rein it in remain fruitless vote-losers," he writes in the latest Deloitte Access Economics business outlook on Tuesday.
"Rather, the current improvement in deficit trajectory simply says that the twin engines of chance - a China boom and a house price boom - are both supporting the national tax take at the same time.

Reserve Bank warns regulators could take drastic action to cool Sydney, Melbourne housing market

Eryk Bagshaw
Published: April 18, 2017 - 2:29PM
The Reserve Bank has warned regulators could take drastic action to slow Sydney and Melbourne's runaway housing markets. 
In the minutes of its April meeting, released Tuesday, the RBA said the Council of Financial Regulators regulators could clamp down on home loans and "consider further measures if needed" to maintain financial stability. 
The council, which includes the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Treasury, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), would keep a watching brief on the market as it responds to its previous warnings to keep investor loans and interest only loans in check.
"Developments need to be kept under review ... depending on how the system responds to the [previous] measures," the minutes stated.
  • Updated Apr 18 2017 at 4:40 PM

Capping landlords' properties could make renting worse

Limiting the number and value of negatively geared properties owned by individual landlords could trigger an administrative headache for taxpayers, make renting even more unattractive and have little impact on housing affordability, according to housing experts.
Both the independent economic think tank, the Grattan Institute, and the Housing Industry Association warned the federal government must consider the unintended consequences of putting a limit on the number of properties investors can buy or imposing a dollar-value on the tax deductions claimed on negatively geared properties as part of a federal budget housing package.
The potential limits on multi-dwelling landlords has been an option investigated by the Turnbull government as it looks for a quick-fix housing affordability solution.

We need a 'soft decline' in house prices before it is too late

David van Gogh
Published: April 18, 2017 - 3:28PM
Intense media focus on housing affordability has primarily focused on the story of the individual; the young person who can't afford a house. But in all of our focus on the individual, we are failing to recognise the greater problem – that when house prices do fall, and they will, they risk taking our banking system and the wider economy with them. We need to induce a "soft decline" before it is too late.
The myth that house prices must continue to rise, and that housing is somehow different to any other asset class, is a dangerous one. Like any other asset class, housing is subject to changes in demand, speculation, and increases and decreases in price. This is obvious when one looks to the house price reductions in the US and Europe during the global financial crisis, and house price declines in Australia in the early and late 1980s.
Are we in a bubble now? Pricing bubbles exist where price growth outstrips demand growth. Population growth has increased by less than 2 per cent per annum over the last five years, while housing prices have increased at an average of 7.5 per cet per annum. To back this up, in March ASIC made the unusually direct statement that the Sydney housing market is in a "bubble" scenario where asset prices are overvalued.

IMF paints a rosy picture of Australia ahead of federal budget

Peter Martin
Published: April 19, 2017 - 7:45AM
The May budget is set to forecast a surge in economic growth, much lower unemployment and a rebound in inflation, according to a 'sneak preview' released by the International Monetary Fund Wednesday morning in Washington.
The Fund's updated forecasts for Australia contained in its annual World Economic Outlook are much more upbeat than those in its special survey of Australia released in February.
It consults with the Australian Treasury before finalising its forecasts.

Economic alarm bells beginning to ring

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 19, 2017

Alan Kohler

Donald Trump now says China is not a currency manipulator, which is hilarious on so many levels, while at the same time he is trying to become one himself.
Not that the US President is likely to sell dollars to force it lower. His statement last week that it was too high was more slogan than intention, a bit like the commentary from previous presidents that a strong dollar “is in America’s national interest”. They never did anything to make it so — it was Volcker and Greenspan who did that. China, on the other hand, has long been an active currency manipulator and has lately been intervening to prop up the yuan, or at least cushion its decline.
But the US dollar is now weakening, especially against the yen, not because the President has told it too, but because it’s clear the economy is weaker than expected and the Trump stimulus is unlikely to get up.

The federal budget deficit noose is being loosened by 'dangerously dumb' house prices

Apr 18, 2017, 9:24 AM
A combination of rising house prices, helping revenue in the eastern states, and demand in China are doing the federal budget favours, according to the latest Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook report.
However, interest rates will rise again, probably in 2018, and China’s debt poses risks for maintaining economic growth beyond the next couple of years.
Treasurer Scott Morrison will bring down the federal budget in Canberra in three weeks when he is expected to announce plans to make housing, with prices getting further out of reach to first home buyers in Sydney and Melbourne, more affordable.

We've had a major housing crisis before - and this is how they fixed it

Rae Dufty-Jones
Published: April 19, 2017 - 10:50AM
As politicians across Australia grapple with a fix for housing affordability, you might be forgiven for thinking this was the first time the nation has confronted a crisis in housing. But analysis of documents from the reconstruction period following World War II finds that, as the war was drawing to a close, concern was building about housing availability and affordability.
Some of the issues, arguments and solutions being presented today are extremely similar to those consuming Australian politicians and policymakers three-quarters of a century ago.
Treasurer Scott Morrison recently asserted that the housing affordability crisis was so severe that: "People are putting off when they buy their house. They are even putting off when they have kids so they can save more."

Investors will be the target of changes in the federal Budget

April 21, 201711:31am
THE FEDERAL government may yet tinker with negative gearing in next month’s Budget.
The most likely scenario would see the introduction of a limit of say two claimable investment properties or alternatively a dollar value cap on how much can be negatively geared by investors.
There are now a record 2.05 million taxpayer individuals with an ownership interest in a rental property in Australia.
This represents a jump of 348,000 investors over six years, increasing at around 1000 every week.

Fourth industrial revolution, led by disrupters like Amazon, sure to be bloody

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 22, 2017

Alan Kohler

Australian retailers and landlords are rightly shaking in their sensible shoes about the impending arrival of Amazon to these shores, and this week it became a little bit more urgent.
Up to now, the world’s scariest retailer has been too busy laying waste to Europe’s storekeepers to bother with Australia’s measly number of shoppers, so our lot have been granted a little more time to prepare for The Coming.
But that’s now over: this week Amazon confirmed that it’s looking for a place to put one of its $1 billion distribution and fulfilment centres and that it already has 1000 people on the ground here, doing what we don’t know.

Health Budget Issues.

Reducing Australian obesity to prevent future chronic disease burden

Georgina Connery
Published: April 17, 2017 - 12:00AM
If at risk populations reduced their weight by a little as three kilograms, Australia could avoid 14 per cent of disease related to being overweight and obese in 2020, a new study has found.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease Study, shows relatively small changes can have a big impact.
The new findings look at the health impact of excess weight in terms of years of healthy life lost through living with an illness or injury, or through dying prematurely.

People in aged care ‘falling off radar’ of public health system

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 18, 2017

Rick Morton

Older people in the $15 billion aged care sector are often “isolated” from the public health system, which should do more to provide cover for them.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt told The Australian that people in residential aged care frequently “fall off the radar” of the health system, especially in rural and remote areas, and ought to be a clearer priority in the eyes of health services. “In some instances this might impact on resources in the health budget but I’m not talking about new money here, it’s about the distribution of resources,” he said. “I’m not looking at this fiscally at all. The fact is we often leave older Australians out of the equation and if you are in residential care I want to make sure you do not become isolated from traditional health services.”

Patients will be pushed to use ‘generic drugs’ as medicine prices fall in the upcoming federal budget

Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
April 21, 2017 10:00pm
PATIENTS and taxpayers will pay less for hundreds of medicines as a result of the May budget as the Federal Government wrings $1.8 billion in savings from big drug companies.
However, many people will be pushed to switch to cheaper generic versions of their medicines under reforms to save the taxpayer money.
And the price of X-rays and scans could rise with the government poised to abandon an election pledge to index the Medicare rebates for these services.

Health Insurance Issues.

'Dangerous path': Medicare 'seriously threatened' by private health insurance

Adam Gartrell, Health Correspondent
Published: April 20, 2017 - 12:01AM
The Turnbull government is under renewed pressure to tackle the cost, complexity and poor coverage of private health insurance amid warnings the problems are threatening the future of Medicare.
Health leaders, consumer advocates and policy experts have given damning assessments of the state of Australia's private health care regime in a new series of articles published by the Consumers Health Forum.
The authors warn relentless above-inflation premium price rises are threatening the viability of the entire sector, that insurers are failing people with chronic illnesses, and that the current model is contributing to growing inequality.

Private health insurance attacked for lack of value and transparency by experts

Consumers Health Forum publishes views of 20 experts in latest edition of Health Voices as part of series
Leading medical specialists, health economists, patient advocates and policy analysts have overwhelmingly criticised the value and transparency of private health insurance in a series of articles published on Thursday.
The Consumers Health Forum, which advocates for patients, published the views of 20 experts in the latest edition of its journal Health Voices as part of a series titled: Is Private Health Insurance Worth It?.
The chief executive of the Chronic Illness Alliance Australia, Dr Christine Walker, wrote that many people with chronic illnesses could not afford to pay the gap not covered by their private health policies. Some even refrained from disclosing they had private health insurance so that they could receive fully subsidised care in the public hospital system, she said.

No Prostheses List healing between insurers and suppliers

  • Shaun Gath
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 21, 2017
Humour me a moment: check your calendar. 2017 right? All good?
But hold on. Not so fast … particularly if you’re in the Australian medical prosthetics business. Over on that side of sleepy swamp the calendar is stuck hard on 2005. George W. Bush is still the US president and they are toe-tapping to the catchy beats of James Blunt and the Pussycat Dolls.
How so, I hear you ask? Well, it’s all down to an arcane government policy called the Prostheses List which right now is raising one hell of a nasty ruckus in the private health sector.
Like many things in that sector, the PL (as it’s known by the inside crowd) is the product of a series of soaring prices, uncontrolled events and panicked politicians … all covered over with a massive sticking plaster.

Fears ALP to axe $6bn health insurance rebate

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 22, 2017

Simon Benson

The private health insurance ­rebate could face further cuts under Labor after confidential discussions between insurance groups and the opposition sparked fears the $6 billion rebate could be abolished, potentially driving up the average cost of premiums by 40 per cent.
Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen is understood to have held meetings with members of the private health insurance sector last month, in which industry sources say the prospect of changes to its current policy were not ruled out.
Private health providers have warned that any moves by Labor to scrap the private health insurance rebate would deliver a devastating blow to families and drive up the average cost of premiums.

Superannuation Issues.

The lower the yield, the higher the cost of fees

Michael Pascoe
Published: April 18, 2017 - 8:22AM
This might sound like a fairy story, but once upon a time investors expected to receive double digit returns and often did. Fat yields and easy money were all the rage, so if various fees were chewing up 3 per cent or so, what the heck – there was plenty to go around.
Of course, money was not growing on trees and inflation was eating up a bigger slice of earnings than most realised, but the structure of the wealth management industry and a mixture of innocence and laziness on the part of average investors meant high fees were the norm and therefore didn't seem so high to most people. In other words, we were mugs.
A quick real-world example from a fairly basic eight-year-old statement of advice provided by a bank financial planner for a $550,000 portfolio: leaving aside the 1 per cent implementation fee, there were annual fees of 0.68 per cent for account keeping, 1 per cent for regular reviews and individual product fees ranging from 0.22 per cent for a cash fund to 0.88 per cent for an imputation fund and 0.89 per cent for an international share fund. Draw a line through the products and keep it simple by saying they averaged 0.72 per cent – thus total annual fees of 2.4 per cent before individual transaction fees. And this is by no means an extreme case.
  • Updated Apr 21 2017 at 8:30 PM

Super changes push more to family trusts

With dramatic changes to superannuation just 10 weeks away, family trusts are becoming more popular as the "next best" investment vehicle for those who have more to invest than the new super rules will allow. Financial advisers note a marked increase in clients wanting to set one up, either dismayed by how little they'll be able to get into super after July 1 or fed up with government changes to retirement savings.
But who do they suit and what are the potential benefits?
Just like a super fund, a trust is an investment structure into which you put money that's invested for you. But a trust, says HLB Mann Judd wealth management partner Michael Hutton, is tax-neutral in that it pays no tax on earnings and taxable income flows through to beneficiaries — a spouse, children and wider family members — and they pay tax on what they've been paid (their distribution). By comparison, super funds pay tax on earnings, albeit at a low rate (a maximum of 15 per cent).

International Commentary:

Opinion | Jeffrey D. Sachs

Our misguided ‘wars of choice’

By Jeffrey D. Sachs   April 16, 2017
There is one foreign policy goal that matters above all the others, and that is to keep the United States out of a new war, whether in Syria, North Korea, or elsewhere. In recent days, President Trump has struck Syria with Tomahawk missiles, bombed Afghanistan with the most powerful nonnuclear bomb in the US arsenal, and has sent an armada toward nuclear-armed North Korea. We could easily find ourselves in a rapidly escalating war, one that could pit the United States directly against nuclear-armed countries of China, North Korea, and Russia.
Such a war, if it turned nuclear and global, could end the world. Even a nonnuclear war could end democracy in the United States, or the United States as a unified nation. Who thought the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan would end the Soviet Union itself? Which of the belligerents at the start of World War I foresaw the catastrophic end of four giant empires — Hohenzollern (Prussia), Romanov (Russia), Ottoman, and Hapsburg — as a result of the war?
These are terrifying prospects, and they may seem unreal, even preposterous. Yet Trump is impetuous, unstable, and inexperienced. His foreign policies swing wildly from day to day. He makes threats, such as attacking North Korea, that could have horrific, indeed catastrophic, consequences.

There's only one workable solution to the North Korea problem

Peter Hartcher
Published: April 18, 2017 - 12:00AM
The failure of North Korea's much-anticipated ballistic missile test on the weekend tells us three things.
First, that it is completely undeterred. Donald Trump's missile strike on Syria didn't deter North Korea's "Dear Marshal" Kim Jong Un.  Neither did Trump's threat to attack North Korea. Nor did his talk that the US and China were now working to tackle the problem together.
Second, North Korea remains determined to become the planet's ninth nuclear missile state as soon as possible. It already has nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles. It now needs to marry the two technologies, making nuclear bombs small enough to fit onto a missile tip.

Trump Mulls U.S. Military Options for North Korea, All Grim

by Nick Wadhams
April 19, 2017, 2:00 PM GMT+10 April 19, 2017, 9:42 PM GMT+10
  • Seoul could be devastated in Pyongyang’s counterattack
  • Donald Trump vows that a nuclear North Korea ‘won’t happen’
Three weeks before becoming president, Donald Trump weighed in on the threat of North Korea developing a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the U.S.: “It won’t happen,” he vowed on Twitter.
Now planners are contemplating what a U.S. strike to prevent that development might look like, and the options are grim.
Analysts estimate North Korea may now possess between 10 and 25 nuclear weapons, with launch vehicles, air force jets, troops and artillery scattered across the country, hidden in caves and massed along the border with South Korea. That’s on top of what the U.S. estimates to be one of the world’s largest chemical weapons stockpiles, a biological weapons research program and an active cyberwarfare capability.

US stocks should 'terrify' Janet Yellen, says billionaire Paul Tudor Jones

Katherine Burton and Katia Porzecanski
Published: April 22, 2017 - 7:57AM
Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones has a message for Janet Yellen and investors: Be very afraid.
The legendary macro trader says that years of low interest rates have bloated stock valuations to a level not seen since 2000, right before the Nasdaq tumbled 75 per cent over two-plus years. That measure — the value of the stock market relative to the size of the economy — should be "terrifying" to a central banker, Jones said earlier this month at a closed-door Goldman Sachs Asset Management conference, according to people who heard him.
Jones is voicing what many hedge fund and other money managers are privately warning investors: Stocks are trading at unsustainable levels. A few traders are more explicit, predicting a sizable market tumble by the end of the year.
I look forward to comments on all this!

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