Good morning and welcome to hump day. It’s been a wild ride so far, here’s what happened…
1. Sydney got soaked. Torrential rain, destructive winds and flash flooding ripped through the NSW east coast capital overnight. SES had to perform 40 flood rescues and it snowed in the Blue Mountains. Chaos. There’s plenty more on the disastrous weather, including some incredible photos, here.
2. If you end up in a car crash, be aware that there are new rules in place for reporting prangs to police in NSW from today. The good news is you no longer have to report minor accidents to police for insurance purposes. The bad news is you still have to break the news to your spouse.
3. Markets were just as wild. Don’t be fooled by what looks like fairly benign closes on European and US stock markets last night because it was actually a wild and crazy night with both regions bourses trading through large ranges. It meant that even though ASX futures are only suggesting a small fall when the market opens today of 3 points the actual range overnight was more than 60 points on the SPI 200 futures.
4. In Asia it was ugly yesterday. The Nikkei hates the fact that global investors love the Yen at times like this, so with the twin headwinds of a lower USDJPY (106.95) and US equity, it was bleak on Japanese stock markets with acute weakness in the Nikkei, which finished off a massive 364 points or 2.38%, with the index closing at 14,937. In Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks were much more stable falling only 0.41% to 23,048 and 0.30% to 2,359 respectively. Chinese CPI is due today so this is going to could be another big day for Asian trade.
5. The end of the world as we know it? Goldman Sachs feels fine and wants everyone just to chill. Sure RBA assistant governor Guy Debelle is warning traders about the possibility of a big spike in volatility, but GS asset management CEO Sheila Patel says that’s just part of an increased appetite for risk, so chill.
6. Aussies are richest. A Credit Suisse report put Australians out well in front when it comes to personal wealth, due mainly to their huge property assets. The fifth annual study by the Swiss bank of global wealth trends found the median Australian adult was worth more than $US225,000 ($258,000) in June, well ahead of the second wealthiest population on this measure, the Belgians, at $US173,000. Which is cold comfort for the million-odd Aussies identified recently as living in severe poverty.
7. Dick Smith’s foods face closure. Fifteen years after launching his line of Australian made foods, Smith is warning that the brand is about to collapse. Smith said he needed 1 in 10 Aussies to buy his Dick Mite and Dick Butter but couldn’t convince more than 1 in 25. He says his peanut butter might be 38 cents dearer, but it’s made with Australian peanuts by Australians and profits go to charity. Smith claims he’s still selling the product to supermarkets for the same price but they have upped the shelf price by three times the inflation rate since the brand was launched.
8. Here’s a challenge for Joe Hockey. Ireland’s plan to close the “Double Irish” tax loophole is set to cost US companies like Apple and Google billions, and there’s a growing global push to tackle tax avoidance elsewhere, so unless Nauru becomes a tax haven, corporate tax is going to be a big political debate.
9. The ugliest hit in football since Jon Hopoate’s coward punch on Keith Galloway has landed Ben Flower with a record ban. It took the Super League half an hour to hand down a six-month suspension on Flower, who made headlines worldwide for punching Lance Hohaia in the head while he was unconscious on the ground having already been knocked out by Flower.
10. An Aussie author won the Man Booker Prize. Tasmanian Richard Flanagan nabbed one of the world biggest literary prizes for The Narrow Road to the Deep North. It’s a truly epic novel of war and love. Read it. We think it’s the Great Australian Novel.
BONUS ITEM: The other disaster overnight. Mark Holden sent everyone into a meltdown with the most bizarre DWTS performance perhaps ever. Watch, pick your jaw up off the floor, get back to work.
And stay safe, Sydneysiders.
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