10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Agony and the… whatever it is the Dutch guy is on. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. Markets first, where the US hit the brakes a little more after poorish retail sales data put a question mark against the strength of the US economy and we got a whiff of perhaps no more Fed hikes in 2016. So the US dollar is down a little, but so too is the Aussie after some weaker than expected China data. So SPI traders are looking for a small 11 point dip when the local stock market opens, but it’s a big week ahead – 100 companies on the ASX are reporting and early indications are it’s been a pretty good season.

2. Rio, and it was a bit of a slow night for the Aussies. Yesterday, you might have missed Cate Campbell admitting she may have suffered “the greatest choke in Olympic history”. Mack Horton wasn’t great in the 1500m either, but fortunately, we got a gold from a monster row by Kim Brennan. This morning, the Kookaburras got smashed 4-0 by The Netherlands. And right now, the Boomers are battling Venezuela. Our next solid shot at gold comes at 2am tomorrow, when our number one laser sailor Tom Burton sets out in his single-hull dinghy off the Marina da Gloria.

So, that means it’s learnings time. Today, we bring you a pool expert who tells us why we need to be worried about the green Olympic pools that smell like farts, the simple reason women beach volleyball players wear bikinis at the Olympics and a convincing theory for why Jamaica is so good at track.

And at the halfway point through the Games, if you’re worried that we’re not doing so well, here’s a handy comparison of recent Olympics from news.com.au:

Image: news.com.au

Oh, and US swim star Ryan Lochte had a gun held to his head last night.

3. NAB’s quarterly trading update is out, and as with most of the banks earnings are off a bit. For NAB cash earnings were down 3% in the third quarter, with the charge for bad and doubtful debt rising 21% to $228 million. The bank says that’s partly due to increasing provisions in the mining and agricultural sectors.

4. Hugh Grosevnor last week became one of the UK’s richest at the age of 25, after the death of his father, the Duke of Westminster. Hugh’s now worth about $15 billion. If he were subject to the same inheritance tax most Bits are subject to, he’d have to cough up £3.6 billion – almost equivalent to the UK’s entire inheritance tax take last year. But the cash and property has been in the family since 1677, and is only subject to a 6% tax payment every 10 years instead. This, pretty much, is how inequality works, according to the economist Thomas Piketty.

5. Your week in data starts with some pst-Brexit results with Rightmove House prices (August), CPI, and PPI (both July) all later today. In the US, we get Housing Starts and CPI on Tuesday, FOMC Minutes on Wednesday and the Philly Fed Friday and we’re still waiting for China’s July money supply and lending report. At home, the Wage Price Index for the June quarter is out Wednesday, followed by the all-important monthly Labour Force report for July on Thursday. There’s all that and more in Greg McKenna’s diary (courtesy NAB) of all the key data and events.

6. Fidel Castro turned 90 on Saturday, and while there were no special events held publicly in his honour, Cuban tobacconist Jose Castelar and a team of assistants worked 12 hours a day for 10 days to make him a present:

Picture: New China/YouTube

It’s a world record 90m long – one metre for every year. Pity Castro gave up smoking in the 80s.

7. Frank DiMatteo is the author of The President Street Boys: Growing Up Mafia. He describes himself as “a close associate of the Gallo crime family”. That means he drove getaway cars for the Mafia, so he’s got some great stories. Here’s one about how the bosses, Larry and Joey, used a lion to intimidate people. Haha.

8. A report produced by the British army was leaked to the Times newspaper. It was based on research into the tactics Russia has used during its conflict with Ukraine. And it’s no doubt causing some serious concern for new PM Theresa May, because it admitted the British army wouldn’t stand a chance against Russia. Here’s why, and it involves iPhones.

9. You might be lost in the massive new PlayStation 4 game “No Man’s Sky”, exploring the vast reaches of space and pretending life isn’t happening outside. But just like in real life, you’re probably out of cash and can’t buy a cool spaceship. So here’s how to make a ridiculous amount of money in “No Man’s Sky”. You’re welcome.

10. Even Apple CEOs get the blues. In a lengthy interview with The Washington Post, Tim Cook admitted the top job is a lonely one. Luckily, he has a direct line to some pretty smart people when he needs help. You’d hope former US president Bill Clinton, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and investing legend Warren Buffett would be able to get you out a jam.

BONUS ITEM: Kylo Ren’s not totally impressed with Rogue One:

Have a great day.

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