10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Picture: TIME, 2010

Good morning.

1. To markets, and all things considering, we’re in decent shape. That’s because we tend to look to the US for a lead, rather than the Europeans now running scared of the Brexit reality. US stocks are calmish, waiting for hints from US Fed Chair Janet Yellen about where rates are headed when the FOMC meets tomorrow morning AEST. So the SPI has lifted clear off its overnight lows and is only the tiniest bit down, -2%, heading into today’s open. Iron ore is down again and the Aussie dollar’s under pressure.

2. Mark Zuckerberg posted his first live Q&A on Facebook and started out by answering the big question – am I actually a shapeshifting lizard? And gave exactly the answer a shapeshifting lizard would give, then invited Jerry Seinfeld on to join him for a breezy chat and distracted us all from thinking too much about the lizard question by revealing he has a broken arm and doesn’t believe in plaster casts. (Lizard People healing power +61.)

3. Mark Textor, the PM’s pollster, has let loose in his Business Insider column today with what is, at the first few glances, amusing satire. And then you read it closely and see it for what it is: piercing commentary on the current state of politics, as usual from Textor, with a few jokes about sport thrown in for good measure. Read it and weep in good ways and bad. Mostly good.

4. Lab tests have shown solar panels can potentially be 20% efficient at turning solar energy into power. That means we could feasibly cover Spain with them and power the entire Earth renewably by 2030. But Lyndon Rive reckons we’re only now five years away from that potential reality. Rive should know, because his mum is Elon Musk’s mum’s twin sister. And he’s CEO of Musk’s massive solar initiative to make solar power better and cheaper, SolarCity.

5. The one shot that tells you frisbee golf is valid:


That’s Philo Brathwaite landing a 260-metre albatross at the excellently named 2016 Beaver State Fling.

6. Britain is now officially on course to leave the EU. Germany’s 10-year bond yield just went negative for the first time ever. And one of the world’s biggest hedge funds is preparing for a ‘worst case scenario’. And that’s just in the last 12 hours, so now might be great time to tune in to DoubleLine CEO Jeff Gundlach’s latest presentation on markets and the economy. We’ve got all the slides here as Gundlach talks about what happens when the global economy turns to negative rates and people start investing in steel safes:

7. The father of the Orlando nightclub shooter has gone on a media spree. Seddique Mateen has a YouTube channel on which he supports the Afghan Taliban and recently declared his candidacy for the Afghan presidency. He’s shocked by what his son Omar did, but believes the “punishment for homosexuality is upon God”. There are reports that suggest Omar Mateen “may have been gay”. His ex-wife said he was bipolar. So it’s entirely possible Omar Mateen was neither a terrorist nor a homophobe, simply a sad, angry, confused man who didn’t think anyone could help him with his “problem”. And that – along with rational gun control – is a whole other problem which society has struggled to deal with effectively long before ISIS existed.

8. How was your commute this morning? Have you mastered that infinity gaze which means you can sit comfortably facing a complete stranger and pretend they don’t exist? Perhaps you shouldn’t – this study from Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley found you’ll be much happier if you chat with a stranger. And chances are, they’re looking for a chat too.

9. Unlike at the office water cooler, where we seem to feel free sharing our opinions on everyone and everything else happening in the workplace. “Gossip”, in other words, which is generally considered a dirty, destabilising word. But one of America’s favourite CEOs, Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst has a different opinion of the workplace rumour mill. Here’s why he says he’d prefer you lot to feel comfortable blowing off some steam.

10. Bitcoin’s gone bonkers. We’re now approaching three years since the cryptocurrency first took off from about $20 to $1200, then settled at around $300, laughing at every serious finance journalist calling for its head. Now, in the space of a month, it’s jumped 30% to $US700:

Bitcoin all time price chart june 14 coindeskCoinDeskThe price of bitcoin from its inception to date.

That’s because a programming rule halving the supply is about to come into play. And if the creator of bitcoin really is Aussie Craig Wright, that means he’s worth about $US700 million.

BONUS ITEM: It’s lengthy, but action-packed. Because in Lithuania, people really think it’s normal to fit smokescreens and pack tyre spikes in case a cop gets on your tail:


Have a great day.

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