Good morning! Let’s start the week…
1. The market focus this week will be on China, which releases Q2 GDP on Wednesday, expected at 7.4%. On the same day we also get Chinese retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment for June. In Australia this week it’s relatively quiet, with new car sales and the RBA minutes out tomorrow. In Europe there are a couple of points to watch, with Mario Draghi speaking tonight and EU CPI out on Thursday.
2. Glenn Stevens on recessions. The Australian published an extensive interview with the RBA governor over the weekend that covered a huge range of topics. One area Stevens says he feels strongly about is the story of Australia’s economic “miracle”. “We are creating a narrative here about the twenty-three years of no recession as though this is some miracle and, you know, we’ve sort of advanced smoothly without any setback, but that’s not really true,” says Stevens. He points out that there have been severe downturns in the Australia over the past 15 years but because all the contraction was confined to a single quarter, there has been no technical recession. Greg McKenna has taken a look at this and some of Stevens’ other remarks here.
3. To the markets and US stocks recovered on Friday from some earlier nervousness around one of Portugal’s biggest banks missing a debt payment to finish slightly up for the session, with the main bourses posting modest gains. ASX futures are pointing to a rise at the open, with the miners in line to benefit from a rise in the iron ore price at the end of trading last week.
4. The most high-profile federal budget ever. The recall rate for “budget and taxation news” among respondents to the Westpac consumer sentiment survey is the highest in the survey’s history. Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans says that the “key to a recovery in momentum in the economy will be a solid recovery in the Index as concerns around the Budget dissipate.” Over to you, Canberra.
5. Speaking of which, what will Ricky Muir do next? The chaos in the Upper House is now seriously threatening to undermine the government’s ability to get things done, most importantly getting its budget measures signed off. Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party senator Ricky Muir is emerging as a wild card – he’s loosely aligned with the Palmer United Party group of senators, but last week split from them in a vote on the carbon tax repeal, and over the weekend his spokesman Glenn Druery was quoted as saying: “Who knows what is going to happen next week?”
6. The PlayBuzz phenomenon. Shaul Olmert, the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is a tech entrepreneur and founded PlayBuzz, a site with an uncanny resemblance to Buzzfeed, in 2012. In recent weeks it has exploded in popularity, and last month it crept into NewsWhip’s list of the top 10 publishers on Facebook. PlayBuzz has 16 staff and three writers, compared to BuzzFeed’s army of 170 staff and a platform that allows users to create their own posts. There’s more about it here.
7. Do you refrigerate your eggs? In the US, if you bought them from a supermarket, you should, to avoid salmonella infection. But in UK – and Australia – eggs are kept on the shelves, and many people keep them that way at home. It all comes down to how the eggs are processed, and it’s too complicated to explain briefly here. So here’s the surprisingly interesting rundown.
8. Brain-teasers busted. Google has decided to stop asking job candidates some of its famed brain teasers, such as, “How many golf balls can fit inside a school bus?” Google HR exec Laszlo Bock describes these as “a complete waste of time” that “don’t predict anything”, and “serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart”. Google is now taking the more conventional interview approach of asking people about, you know, experience and motivation.
9. Malaysian Airlines is overbooked, at least on some flights. BI’s Simon Thomsen recounts his experience flying from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney late last week, when he and his family turned up at the airport to discover the flight, on the airline that the world has been talking about for all the wrong reasons this year, was full. In total, a stunning 23 passengers were “bumped” from the flight, a huge rate of overbooking on a 250-seat jet.
10. Germany are the World Cup champions, having beaten Argentina 1-0 thanks to a goal by Mario Gotze in the 113th minute. Lionel Messi missed a chance to equalise from a free kick at the death.
Have a cracking day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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