Measured against a basket of America’s trading partners’ currencies, the dollar fell by 10% in 2017, says Ira Iosebashvili in The Wall Street Journal. It could now slip further. Japan and Europe are now finally joining the US in recovery, making their currencies and assets more attractive, especially because tighter monetary policy is finally on the horizon in these regions. A stronger US economy and further interest-rate hikes have long been factored in. Tax reform will raise the fiscal deficit; overspending and borrowing tend to reduce a currency’s appeal.
“An NHS winter crisis is now an annual event… The only upside seems to be that the high level of human suffering is at last opening up the beginnings of a measured debate about whether there may be alternative models of healthcare provision that are preferable to the UK system… When winter comes in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland or Belgium, it is not typically accompanied by their health systems plunging into crisis. They appear to be able to deal with a change in the seasons effortlessly and without spending a great deal more money than we do in Britain.”
Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs, in The Times