10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Alexei Danichev/Host photo agency/Getty

Good morning!

1. Stocks were quiet. We’re waiting for the Fed this week and folks are sitting on their hands; the Dow managed a new closing high for 2016 at 17,229. ASX futures see an 11 point rise in the SPI 200 June contract so it might be a quiet start to the day. More here.

2. But then there’s iron ore which is crashing. It’s back down to $US55.55 and futures are weaker as well. Here’s the latest chart:

So Fortescue might be in for a bit of a pasting today. As Greg McKenna noted yesterday, its share price has become incredibly tightly correlated with movements in iron ore. Look:

FMG Stock price versus Iron Ore (Source: Rivkin Securities)

3. It’s the last week of Parliament before the budget, and the government is trying to get the pieces in place for Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to deliver an early budget and then go to a double-dissolution election called on May 10 for a polling date of July 2. There’s some tussling in the Senate that threatens to complicate things – Family First and Ricky Muir naturally hate the plan for Senate voting reform that would stop oddballs getting elected – but watch out for announcements on Thursday before the politicians give us all a welcome break.

4. Dick Smith lives, at least online, with Ruslan Kogan acquiring the doomed retail chain’s online store and all the IP. Dick Smith online will now be powered by Kogan’s technology and he’s promising to get great deals through his existing suppliers. Harry Tucker has more.

5. Could the next global crisis come from Japanese banks? One of the best-performing hedge funds of the year thinks so, and they’ve been looking at the Japanese banking system for more than a year. The rationale is: regional banks overstating recurring earnings, a shrinking mortgage market due to demographic changes, rising competition, ZIRP causing cash hoarding in housholds, and a massive amount of hidden bad loans that will reveal themselves as baby boomers start turning 70 – basically small business owners with loans they are never going to repay because there is nobody to take over the corner store. And that cohort is starting to retire now. Horseman Capital Management’s Shannon McConaghy (a very hedge funder name, that) thinks a Japanese banking crisis will “blindside the market”. They’ve been shorting banks there for a while.

IPhone 6s SkitchTech Insider/AppleAntenna bands on the back of the iPhone 6S

6. iPhone 7 photos leaked, maybe. The big difference from the iPhone 6 is there are no antenna bands on the back. Because how else are you supposed to telegraph to everyone that you have the fancy new one when they look practically identical otherwise?

7. Russia is pulling out of Syria. “The task assigned to the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces as a whole has been largely accomplished, so I order the minister of defence to begin withdrawing the main part of our military factions of the Syrian Arab Republic tomorrow,” Vladimir Putin said overnight. Also in the Middle East, the US believes it has killed the ISIS military mastermind.

8. In today’s instalment of Unusual Public Speaking Tips, here’s Gary Vaynerchuk’s pre-presentation routine. He goes into a trance-like state exactly six minutes before taking the stage, and then right before he walks out, he visualises himself punching everybody in the audience right in the mouth. “I know it sounds strange, but I feel a weird mix of love and aggression for the people in the seats,” he explains, “because on one hand I’m so grateful for their presence and their support and interest, yet I’m also determined to send them away with a powerful message ringing in their ears.”


9. Email is killing your productivity and the economy. OK, it might be. Perhaps. Deutsche Bank’s Stuart Kirk has floated the idea in a note to clients, arguing America’s productivity challenges began in at an ominous time. “Coincidentally, US economic output would also be one-third higher today but for a mysterious productivity slowdown starting [in] 1971. Economists might note that was when [the inventor of modern email Raymond] Tomlinson first hit send,” Kirk wrote. He cites research with US workers estimating they spend 6.3 hours a day checking emails, with 3.2 hours devoted to work emails and 3.1 hours to personal messages. It goes on: 80% of respondents look at emails before getting to the office; 50% said they check email on vacation. YouGov data suggests the average American is weighed down with 500 unread emails. Productivity is a major challenge for the Australian economy, too. So maybe it’s worth thinking about whether you’re doing important and productive things on emails or just sending them to look busy.

10. Science says cheap wine isn’t bad for you. It also explains why you can sometimes get a headache from just a single glass. Those and 14 other scientific viticultural nuggets are here, because wine.

Have a great day. I’m on Twitter.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.