1. It’s GDP day here in Australia, so don’t expect a lot of market movement until the numbers drop at 11.30am. It looks like we’ve squeaked past a technical recession, so here’s what to expect. US GDP missed overnight and the Dow broke its winning streak of 12 days, just a day short of the 13-day record it set in 1987 before falling into a massive hole. Expect local stocks to tread water for a while, but the Aussie dollar is set for a massive start to March.
2. Who will rid us of this turbulent fake news? Coalition strategist Mark Textor writes on BI today that in the era of post-truth politics, the internet has enabled an environment that’s not unlike the Wild West. We see few norms that need abiding and angry vigilantes keep the “peace” – an alien, wild environment for normal people like you and me. There are existing powers under the law to solve this, writes Textor, here, where he may also mention ASIC and the ACCC.
3. It’s a big day for Trump, even by Big Day For Trump standards. He’s got a major address to both chambers of Congress at 1.30pm AEDT in which he’ll outline his spending plans. He’s already given a hint that we’ll see raw Trump speaking from the heart, so expect the usual sideshow blow-up headlines for a few hours before everyone gets down to the nuts and bolts. Here’s the only thing Wall Street will be listening for.
4. Back at the Oval Office, Trump is still facing the fallout for the Yemen raid which saw one Navy SEAL killed (and two dozen civilians). The SEAL’s dad slammed Trump, saying there was “not a target worth one American life” (don’t forget the two dozen civilians) in Yemen, and demanded an inquiry into why it was greenlit. Trump said the mission that claimed the life on one Navy SEAL (and two dozen civilians) was started by the Obama administration.
5. Bill Gates is having the greatest time these days:
That’s his promo for another reddit AMA. Ridiculous, but in a good way. Unlike this brooch which lets you stick your AirPods to your chest. But Apple CEO Tim Cook is sure AirPods “are becoming quite the cultural phenomenon right now”. Meanwhile, Steve Kovach finds it sadly obvious that the iPhone is now turning into a Samsung Galaxy.
6. Also having a great time are the Obamas. They stand to make US$200 million out of being ex-presidents and first ladys. But it’s peanuts compared to JPMorgan’s traders, who collected $US80 million a day in 2016. It didn’t have a single day of losses. This is what a perfect year in trading looks like.
7. Australia’s first startup incubator, Pollenizer, has gone bust. Pollenizer co-founder and CEO Phil Morle said a shift in strategy towards consulting corporates on the startup scene “had proved financially unsustainable”. After 10 years, it will direct what remains of its cash towards startups still in its portfolio, and 22 people will lose their jobs.
8. Mt Etna is erupting. It’s been a couple of years since its last blow and this one has people a little bit more on edge, given the spate of deadly earthquakes in the past year and talk of Campi Flegrei coming back to life to kill everyone. The spectacular photos have started coming in, and RT has the live feed:
9. Aviation porn comes to Australia this weekend, when a couple of JSF F-35s buzz the Australian International Airshow at Avalon this weekend. It’s a controvesrial aricraft, to say the least, but the US Air Force general just recently made it clear the F-35 would dominate China’s J-31 ripoff. But fans at Avalon will also get to see the RAAF’s new EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. They arrived yesterday, and we have some early pics.
10. What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning? I’m glad you asked. This.
BONUS ITEM: Germans and asparagus. Who knew?
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