Good morning folks and hello, Friday.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will be sent into Sydney in another escalation of the city’s lockdown. Some 600 troops will be on the ground for at least six weeks, after Police Commissioner Mick Fuller requested the assistance. Half of those troops will go door-knock the homes of positive cases to ensure they are self-isolating in Sydney hotspots, while the other half will set up roadblocks to prevent travel outside of them.
It comes after Sydney’s worst day yet, as it recorded 239 cases yesterday, inspiring a broader crackdown. Under new powers granted to them, NSW Police will be able to shut down businesses and workplaces it deems to be a public health risk. Residents in Sydney’s eight most-affected LGAs will also be fined $500 for not wearing masks outside and kept largely to within 5km of their homes.
Sydney property prices just keep grinding higher all the while. The city’s median house price has risen by $1,200 every single day without rest for the last three months, or a cheeky 8.2%. The period largely predates the city’s lockdown with Westpac expecting the market to hit a few roadblocks in the coming months, eventually slowing to just 5% next year. In the meantime, there’s a whole lot of very excited investors.
The unions have hit out at Morrison’s slow response on increased lockdown payments. Welcoming of the fact the payments have been increased, the ACTU nonetheless claims the payments have come “too late” and are playing favourites between some sections of the community and others.
Ongoing restrictions mean the construction industry will struggle to bounce back with many caught up in Sydney’s southwest hotspots. Our own analysis of the data indicates around one in three construction workers live in one of the eight LGAs, keeping them off the tools for the foreseeable future and putting further pressure on state and national economies.
There are plenty of theories for why conspiracy content has thrived among the wellness community but perhaps the most compelling is that it pays. As misinformation spreads online throughout Australia and the world, the biggest driver may simply be money. “If you are an influencer, your income depends on how much engagement you can generate,” one analyst told Business Insider Australia, “and conspiracy audiences are hugely engaged audiences.”
The US economy is now even bigger than it was before the pandemic. The latest GDP figures show the world’s largest economy is trailing where analysts thought it would be by now by, growing about 25% less this quarter than hoped. Yet while the recovery means things are bigger than ever, they are not better with the American labour market still a mess.
Zero-brokerage trading app Robinhood listed on the NASDAQ this week, after riding the new wave of amateur investors to notoriety. While its share price is being smacked around, its CEO claims the $US32 billion company has helped retail investors save ailing companies from dying during the pandemic.
Finland needs help selling a big bucket of Bitcoin. The Northern European country seized almost 2,000 Bitcoins from drug busts and is now looking for a broker to sell them. The haul is worth around $107 million at the time fo writing. Crime truly does pay.
Electric truck start-up Nikola has hit another pothole, after its founder was charged with fraud. The indictment claims Trevor Milton schemed to defraud investors into buying Nikola shares through statements about the company’s product and technology development. A short-seller had earlier alleged a promotional video depicting one of Nikola’s early semi trucks driving down the road was faked by pushing the non-operational truck down a hill. Just think about that for a minute.
Strange to think this was almost 20 years ago.