1. Markets took a breather as geopolitical tensions kind of subsided. More on that below. But for now, the money is coming back out of the safe havens and stocks are on the up again. The US dollar keeps finding buyers which has put the Aussie back under pressure. Bitcoin added a casual $US200, but Goldman Sachs says the current rally’s peak is near. Today in Australia we get the RBA minutes from its August meeting. ASX200 SPI Futures are up 21 points.
2. The US president finally admitted he’s not into the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists. “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs,” he said, as his approval rating plummeted to George W. Bush levels of low. Also unpopular is everyone now being outed on the Twitter account Yes, You’re Racist, including:
- Pete Tefft, whose dad said he’s “not welcome at our family gatherings any longer”
- Peter Cvjetanovic, who says he’s not the angry, torch-wielding racist peeps say he is
- Cole White, who “no longer works at Top Dog”, and
- Preston Wiginton, who reckons the time for a “White Lives Matter” rally at Texas A&M’s campus has come.
But wait, wait – it’s all just a George Soros-funded honeypot psyop false flag event designed to smear “the entire Right Wing in America”.
3. We need some light relief, stat. Here’s Conor McGregor thinking up ways to ambush Floyd Mayweather in 11 days:
Dangerous noodle is what we shall call this technique pic.twitter.com/wCsrzwLeTe
— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) August 11, 2017
4. Yes, 10 years is a long time to stay in a job, Gen Y. But if you do, you could become CEO of Pepsi – even if you started by driving a truck. John Sculley did, and he just told us how he did it, before being poached by Steve Jobs to run Apple. Not Fake News.
5. The CIA has assessed North Korea’s Hwasong-14 and yes, it’s almost certain it could deliver a nuclear payload to the USA’s west coast. And Trump’s national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster thinks North Korea can’t be stopped from attacking the US or allies. So here’s how the US will handle it from now, according to a plan laid out by in a Wall Street Journal op-ed by US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and secretary of defence Jim Mattis.
6. Remember “50 Cent”? No, 50 Cent the trader who, back in April had watched about $US89 million of his $US109 VIX bet expire as the so-called “fear gauge” failed to tick up. Finally, the selloff has begun, and last week, 50 Cent made $US21 million. Then bought more VIX calls expiring September 28.
7. Here’s an outrageous chart showing how much the top 1% in Russia has raked in since 1990:
It’s so bad, it’s almost like… America. Also outrageous is that figure of “100,000” Russian troops heading for the NATO border in Belarus, which turns out to have come from a Ukrainian blog run by dodgy journalists. The real number is more likely to be 3000. Also real is this RPG:
It’s being used by rebels against Ukrainian forces in the Donbas, can penetrate a two-metre thick brick wall, and can pretty much only be supplied by Russians.
8. Big Ben isn’t bonging. It fell silent at 9pm and won’t bong again for four years to protect workers inside who are restoring the London icon. There has to be a Nostradaumus prediction somewhere aligned with all this.
9. To the cloud! It’s the biggest race in tech – Microsoft Azure versus Amazon Web Services. And in Canberra, Microsoft just won. That’s big news for businesses looking to outsource their computing infrastructure cheaply and securely. And Microsoft announced it will also host “protected” data for the government’s cybersecurity agency Australian Signals Directorate, which is so secret, employees are constantly on guard for government agents jumping the fence.
10. Elsewhere in tech today, a leaked memo at Microsoft suggests that the Surface Book has an unusually high return rate. And Google could release the new version of the Android operating system, Android O, as soon as next week. Here are 11 of the best new features we know about.
BONUS ITEM: Jon Rahm could have got his feet wet but chose to show off:
— PGA of America (@PGA) August 13, 2017
We’re glad he did. Have a great day.
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