10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

That is all. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning. It’s going to be a big week.

1. Rates. Budget. US non-farm payrolls. Oh my. The biggest week of the year to date in data starts now. We get the NAB’s monthly business survey today, which is always worth a look. But the heavy lifting comes tomorrow at 2.30pm, when it’s looking like the RBA will cut. Five hours later, it’s Scott Morrison’s first Budget and just two months out from a federal election, the honey traps are already being set. How’s $1.2 billion for schools for starters? PMIs are out around the world, starting with the US tonight, but Friday night is non-farm payrolls. And we all know what that means, right? Right? Don’t miss any of it by checking Greg McKenna’s diary of all the key events this week.

2. So, markets. They ended last week in a bit of a funk with some negative US data which knocked the US dollar a bit, and the euro and yen went in for the kill. And Chinese PMI data missed to the downside yesterday, so expect maybe a bit more downward pressure on the ASX200 today beyond the 6 point loss the SPI200 suffered at the close on Saturday morning.

3. US President Barack Obama gave his last speech as a sitting president at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night. It could have been a sombre occasion, given it may be hosted by Donald Trump next year, but Obama reeled off some zingers:


That, in case you missed it, was a reference to former vice president Dick Cheney, who shot someone in the face on a hunting trip. Here are some more highlights from Obama’s speech.

4. Former Socceroos captain Lucas Neill is bankrupt. He’ll face a grilling at creditors Begbies Traynor over how he spent the estimated $40 million he earned when he returns to the UK in the coming weeks.

5. Suddenly, working for a startup is sort of depressing. Especially now the term “unicorn” has been replaced with “unicorpse” as Silicon Valley VCs smarten up and startup culture begins to drown in shiny-bummed salespeople. And people are writing about it. This week’s most shared missive is a post called “Uncanny Valley” by writer Anna Wiener for N+1, about life at a dying startup. It’s unmissable.

6. Microsoft, you’ve changed. We’ve got a couple of posts about how Microsoft is winning in the post-Ballmer era, purely due to a change of culture. One’s from a legendary open source programmer who sold his company to Microsoft for about $500 million in February, something the company would never have considered a couple of years ago. The other is from Microsoft researcher emeritus and Silicon Valley icon Gordon Bell, who says it’s making “bigger bets than ever before”.

7. Also changing. Victoria’s Secret looks like it’s dumping this billion-dollar market:

Victoria's SecretVictoria’s SecretIt might be smart that the company has eliminated this category.

Here’s why that might be its most savvy decision yet.

8. This laptop will replace your MacBook and iPad. Promise. It’s Microsoft’s Surface Book and yes, we’ve written about it before. But here’s why it’s even better now than it was when it was released five months ago.

9. While we’re on laptops, does the thought of opening yours make you want to leap out of bed at 5am? If you answered “Yes! Yes it does!” you might have the perfect job. Here’s why, according to a stand-up comedian who once worked for Facebook.

10. We could talk about the allegedly hilarious “Damn Daniel” meme that has now given Vans a 20% boost since it went viral became popular in February. But we’re more into this journo’s rare tour of a Rolex factory, and what he saw there that makes Rolex so very, very different to so many other things we consume these days.

Stay classy.

BONUS ITEM: You knew it was true, but here’s proof anyways:

Have a great day.

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