1. The RBA is struggling to convince ordinary Aussies to start spending and get this economy moving after the end of the mining boom. RBA governor Glenn Stevens admits forecasting is not working well and now his assistant Christopher Kent says “it would be helpful” to have data which helps them could understand household behaviours. But Greg McKenna’s dug up a couple of graphs that might help Kent – they show Aussies are holding onto their cash because of huge debt and fears they’ll lose their job.
2. The local market recovered from acute early weakness which had the ASX 200 down near 5,490 around 10.30am yesterday. From there it rallied all day to be down just 6.5 points, around 0.1%, lower on the day. The lead from offshore for the day is again poor but yesterday’s price action shows that buyers haven’t given up on Australian stocks entirely just yet. Support looks likely around 5,490 again today and only a break of that level would get the bears excited.
3. In Asia yesterday, Shanghai dipped back 2%. It’s still in nose-bleed territory after stocks have trebled and are now worth $6.7 trillion more than a year ago. But Reuters reports this morning that it might now be okay to “call time” on the monster share run.
4. Asians are richer than Europeans for the first time in centuries. Boston Consulting Group just released estimates of private financial wealth and found the Asia-Pacific region grew by an incredible 29% last year. Here’s the new top three:
- North America: $US50.8 trillion (+5.6%)
- Asian-Pacific (ex-Japan): $US47.3 trillion (+29%)
- Western Europe: $US39.6 trillion (+6.6%)
By 2019, BCG expect Asia to have more than a third of the $US222 trillion global total. They also expect that Asian financial wealth will surpass the North America’s by 2016. It’s rubbery, but it’s likely the last time the region sat at the head of the table was just before the Great Divergence, which stretches back to the 16th century.
5. All your Minecraft dreams are about to come true. E3, the video games industry’s biggest global showcase, is on and Microsoft has already stolen it. Its Hololens headset projects augmented reality images onto every surface. That means you will soon be able to play Minecraft – which Microsoft bought last year – on your coffee table, in mindblowing 3D. Here’s all the screenshots fans have been waiting for.
6. Twenty wolves, eight lions, several tigers and jaguars and a hippopotamus roamed the streets of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi this week, after massive rains saw the local zoo flooded:
Sadly, not all the animals survived, and a zookeeper also died trying to save them. There are more pictures here.
7. Losing your job sounds horrible, especially if you’ve got a wife, 20-month old son and another son on the way. But Matt Becker did, after six years with a start-up software company. Fortunately, he’s been planning for the day since the day he started work, and because he did, losing his job wasn’t devastating. In fact, it was something of a revelation – here’s how Matt futureproofed.
8. Housing. It’s so bad in Sydney, this p..s-stained cardboard box just sold for $590,000. But here’s seven markets around the world that have gone horribly cold. And some of them are literally freezing.
9. Sent an email you regret? Here’s what it looks like to “unsend” it in Gmail using startup Criptext:
With Criptext enabled, you can see the status of all the emails you’ve sent, including whether each email has been opened, and from where. It’s available now as a plugin and a browser extension for Gmail and Outlook, and because it actually works, it just raised $US500,000 in a seed round from private investors.
10. Netflix is rolling out a redesign of its streaming website. In the next two weeks, you’ll see the carousel browsing disappear, replaced by a click-based system that Netflix promises is easier to explore. There’s also a few other nice tweaks – Steven Tweedie has all the details here.
BONUS ITEM: This woman can limbo… under a car.
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