10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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1. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is launching a new charitable $US2 billion ($AU2.8 billion) fund to support underserved communities and education programs. It’s called the Bezos Day One Fund and will focus on creating resources for the homeless as well as a full-scholarship preschool program. See his full statement announcing the initiative here:

2. The European Central Bank holds. It says rates won’t change until at least mid-2019 and continues to expect to end its quantitative easing program by the end of 2018.

3. And so has the Bank of England. The BOE left rates on hold at its September meeting. The bank raised rates at its previous meeting in August so was always unlikely to change policy for a second consecutive month. The decision came just two days after it was announced that UK Governor Mark Carney has extended his stay at the helm of the central bank until early 2020.

4. Podcast gold: This week’s episode of our markets and economics show Devils and Details features ABC Bullion chief economist Jordan Eliseo. He shares his memories of the GFC 10 years ago when was working in finance in London before turning to a look at why the gold price has been under pressure, what’s happening with cryptos, and the outlook for the Australian economy as house prices continue to decline. Find it on iTunes or under “Devils and Details” wherever you get your podcasts – or listen in below.

5. Two Russians accused of attempted nerve agent assassination have defended themselves in a bizarre interview with Russian state TV on Thursday in which they say they were only in the UK for tourism, and wanted to see a cathedral, its clock, and nearby Stonehenge. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May says the two men are Russian intelligence officers, claims which they and the Russian government has denied.

6. LinkedIn has revealed salary estimates for local roles for the first time. Here’s a look at the 10 highest paid roles in financial services:


7. Australian crypto exchanges are trying to break a deadlock with regulators on trading in digital assets. The crypto market is in a difficult phase, with prices falling and the assets straddling the lines between new technology and traditional finance. Cryptocurrency exchanges have taken on an increasingly central role in building the ecosystem and trying to establish legitimacy. Business Insider spoke to senior staff from two of the biggest Australian crypto exchanges and with the corporate regulator, ASIC. Here’s what they told us.

8. Larry Page has faded from public life. The introverted Google co-founder has mysteriously disappeared and is reportedly spending more time on his private Caribbean island. The last time he spoke in public was a TED talk in 2014. He’s reportedly taking less and less interest in Google’s day-to-day and is devoting more time to futuristic projects, such as investing in flying-taxi firms.

9. Hurricane Florence has made landfall, but before it’s even starting causing havoc, Super Typhoon Mangkhut is stealing the stage. It’s set to hit Southeast Asia and is predicted to be a far bigger and more dangerous storm than Florence, making landfall in the Philippines on Saturday before moving on to southern China, Vietnam, and Laos. It has already lashed through Guam, causing power outages, destroying homes, and flooding large areas.

10. Goodbye, iPhone X. Apple is no longer selling the iPhone X. That may be because the new iPhone XS has the same starting price, meaning Apple would have to offer the iPhone X at a discount. There’s a good working theory that the iPhone X was an experimental phone that cost a lot to produce, and that Apple chose not to make it available at a discounted price to avoid cannibalising sales of the XS. The two phones are almost identical in design and features, with the XS being a refinement of last year’s phone. So, good news if you held off getting an upgrade.

BONUS ITEM: ScoMemes have been coming thick and fast since the former Treasurer took the top job but there’s one that has caused bit of a stir on social media and prompted an apology from the PM. If you think the PM picked the wrong song for the video, put your hands up.

Have a great day.

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