1. Privacy vs convenience – which do you want more of? Facebook announced a vast array of changes to the front and back end of its platform at its F8 developer conference, including merging the back ends of Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram DMs. The “new” Facebook is also targeting privacy through six core principles, but users may not agree that this is the kind of privacy they’re after.
2. The Aussie dollar is showing signs of weakness after the release of Chinese PMI data yesterday. While it was expected to rebound against the greenback ahead of today’s Federal Reserve rate announcement, the Aussie has stayed low to the ground. AUD/USD was at 0.0702 this morning.
3. Housing credit in dire straits. Lending to buy Australian housing had a slow month, with credit growth now at lows not seen since 1977. RBA released their housing credit data, showing only 0.25% growth in March (adjusted). Meanwhile, Australians continue to increase home loan arrears, with S&P Global Ratings showinglevels rose to 1.47% in February.
4. Trump sues Deutsche Bank. Trump and the Trump family trust are suing Deutsche and Capital One in order to prevent them from complying with congressional subpoenas. A joint investigation team are seeking the banks’ records on Trump’s family finances – which include large loans and unsecured lines of credit – but Trump’s legal team says that complying would be “unlawful”.
5. The ATO has its eye on Facebook. The social media conglomerate hit around $598 million in sales in Australia last year, but only paid $11.8 million in taxes. In past years, Facebook has been forced to back pay taxes, while Australian laws have been tightening to close loopholes found by international corporations.
6. Debt scared. Australians fear of taking on debt is seeing credit cards drop to an all time low. Data released by APRA shows that credit card debt has fallen 4.8% in the year to March, the second largest annual decline since June 2002. One senior economist is attributing the change to “buy now, pay later” schemes likes AfterPay.
7.Hack attack. Hackers have stolen data from Porsche, Oracle and other high profile clients of a German IT company and they’re using it to blackmail the company. TA spokesperson said they have not yet given into extortion but are keeping clients informed as the hack progresses.
8. 2020: Democrats power ranking. The lead up to the election has been a rollercoaster for the Democratic presidential nominees and is looking to be one of the most competitive primaries. We’ve run an investigation into who voters believe will be the most likely contender to run against Trump. Here’s our list.
9. Sinking city. More than 10 million people live on the sinking city of Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, so the government is proposing to spend $33 billion to move the city. Built on former swampland, Jakarta is one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world with research suggesting that 95% of the city will be submerge in the next 30 years.
10. China’s military PLAN. The People’s Liberation Army and Navy (PLAN) is growing faster than any other naval resource in the world, and is already the one of the largest. International research bodies suggest that China could have as many as 430 surface ships and 100 submarines within the next 15 years. This list shows what their current arsenal looks like.
Ever wondered what it would be like to live in space? Here’s an entrant for an official NASA competition to design living quarters on Mars.
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