Good morning. It’s been a busy one so far.
1. Joe Hockey has moles working at Google in a bid to make sure that it doesn’t be evil and pays all the taxes it should. True story – he got the idea from British chancellor George Osborne. And the “Google tax” should be popping up in this year’s budget.
2. Iron ore, crude and a poor lead from offshore sets up a weak start for the new quarter for the ASX 200 today. There are a number of competing forces but with only two days before the Easter break it seems unlikely traders will step too far off the path set by global markets. Technicals suggest another test toward the very recent low of 5,828.
3. Shanghai was interesting given it was in the black until the dip after lunch, especially given China is bringing back deposit insurance. According to Greg McKenna, the interesting thing about this – and perhaps why stocks dipped – is that explicit deposit insurance, with an upper limit, means that banks CAN fail and the government WON’T bail everyone out fully. That means more risk, not less, for dealings with the more “speculative” end of the banking system.
4. Macquarie to slash 100 investment banking jobs. Asia is not a great destination for investment banking business. According to the Financial Times, it accounts for only 12 per cent of global fees, and in general, companies tend to make their own deals, preferring not to pay for advice. Macquarie’s cuts see it join Goldman Sachs, Malaysian bank CIMB and Standard Chartered in the shift away from fee-based dealmaking on the continent.
5. Iron ore is trading below $50 a tonne after being sold heavily on the Dalian exchange yesterday. June 2015 contracts slipped $1.70 to $49.76 a tonne, but the really big news is that almost the entire futures curve, out to 2017, is now below $50 a tonne. That’s the lowest pricing in over a decade.
6. Warner Bros just dropped the third Mad Max preview in what has to be the most exciting trailer trilogy ever released. Fury Road hits theatres on May 15:
7. Play Pac-Man on Google Maps. It’s more an Easter egg than April Fool’s Day prank – and it’s amazing. Google flipped a switch overnight that lets you run away from, and chase, ghosts up and down and all over your own neighbourhood. (We’ve found Canberra’s roundabouts make for a great game.)
8. Microsoft Surface got harder to resist. A baseline 16GB iPad, with all its limitations, sells for $620. You can now buy a 64GB Surface 3 for the same price, and it comes with a full version of Windows, including desktop apps and a one-year subscription to Office 365. It also has a larger display than the iPad, better front-facing camera and takes 1080p video compared to the iPad’s 720pHD.
9. Easter long weekend means Bells. The surf classic at Victoria’s Torquay is one of the most watched – and coveted – titles on the world tour. The surf report for the entire April 1-12 window is somewhat uninspiring, but the real thing is what’s important and looks pretty clean this morning:
10. AFL darlings Essendon were yesterday cleared of running a doping regime. But ASADA chief Ben McDevitt said Essendon’s behaviour in running an “injection regime” in 2012 was “absolutely and utterly disgraceful”. AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said the judgment and the evidence “should give no one any joy” and urged the players to approve the release of the tribunal’s 133-page “full reasons” for its ruling. Even the AFL Players’ Association said the tribunal’s judgment had not absolved the club of blame. The Essendon 34 might be “celebrating”, but they certainly don’t have a winners’ shine about them.
BONUS ITEM: You had one job:
You had one job. pic.twitter.com/2LGXyAozRc
— You had one job (@_youhadonejob) March 31, 2015
Have a better day than that guy. I’m on Twitter.
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