10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Picture: Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook


1. Amazon is serious about fresh food. So serious it ponied up $US13.7 billion to buy high-end US grocer Whole Foods’ 440 stores on Friday. That’s expected to bolster its network for both its delivery service and a new pick-up service it flagged back in March. And given the Whole Foods move saw its US competitors sink from anywhere between 5.74% and 17.2%, and the fact Amazon is about three months away from opening its doors in Australia, it could be a rough day for retail stocks here in Oz.

2. So now Amazon has a serious foot in the supermarket door. It all but owns online retail in the US. Alexa is leading the way in putting AI in our homes. AWS powers a huge chunk of web traffic and apps. In the air, Amazon drones will son be delivering door-to-door and Blue Origin will take us for space joyrides. What Krang said:

It even owns a bit of Business Insider. So it’s probably a good time for Steve Kovach to ask the big question – should you be scared of Amazon?

3. Wait. Hasn’t there been a slew of headlines in the past six months about how “the Trump brand is failing” since The Donald became US president? They’re all wrong. His golf clubs, resorts and real estate investments are soaring. Even his book royalties have jumped from $US165,000 to $US7.06 million.

4. The US Treasury yield curve measures the gap between short- and long-term interest rates. When it is steep — meaning it costs more to borrow money for the long term — that’s a good sign investors expect a quickly growing economy. Right now, it’s flattening, heading for an inversion. And seven times out of seven times in the past 50 years, it has inverted before a recession.

5. The US dollar is the big mover in markets. It’s still heading down after a series of poor data releases. The most recent was an eight-month low from new housing construction. The Nasdaq fell again, but the Dow, S&P and European markets were all steady enough. There are no big data releases in Australia this week, and futures traders have a slightly positive tone this morning. The Aussie dollar is back testing a level it couldn’t overcome last week.

6. It’s alarming how quickly 113-metre cargo ships can sink:

But it’s also great to watch, if they’ve been sunk on purpose.

7. You might want a supercar, because everyone wants a supercar. But Matthew DeBord has actually driven dozens of the things, from Ferraris to Pagonis to McLarens. And he’s actually found 10 reasons why driving a supercar isn’t as cool as you think.

8. Remember what it was like to be 33 and trying to run a $568 billion company? Of course you don’t. So here’s what a typical day in the life of Mark Zuckerberg looks like, as told by Zuckerberg to Jerry Seinfeld in a recent Facebook Live Q&A.

9. Humans are the dominant species on the planet because they’re the most intelligent, so working so hard on making something more intelligent than humans seems a little self-defeating. That’s why Elon Musk fears artificial intelligence. It’s also why he spends 3-5% of his day on Neuralink, so we can be cyborgs and stay ahead of AI. Here’s how long Musk reckons it will take for him to make us all cyborgs.

10. Oh, Wallabies:

Scotland brought its B game to Allianz and still pumped us 24-19. There’s a lot that needs to be said about the state of the game in Australia right now. Luckily, we have Jack Quigley up in Lismore already saying it all, in this rolled-gold rant he posted on Saturday.

BONUS ITEM: This is Ninth Island, a 16ha outcrop 12km off Tasmania’s north-east coast:

Picture: realestate.com.au

Nobody wants it. It’s been on the market three times in the past two years. And it’s yours for the price of a Sydney three-bed apartment.

Have a great week.

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