10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Three tweets, 1.16 million followers. Picture: Twitter/@POTUS

It’s been a big day already.

1. Are you ready for disruption? Attendees at the Daze of Disruption conference in Sydney right now are getting the heads-up on future trends. Yesterday, former News Ltd CEO Kim Williams warned Australia isn’t ready for the digital era and the Kiwis are killing us when it comes to innovation. But we also got a lesson – 5 things all businesses should understand about disruption and word from Deloitte on which industries are going to be hardest hit.

2. To markets, where the local came under heavy selling yesterday as BHP spin-off South32 undershot expectations, trading at the lower end of the expected range. The banks were also under intense pressure (more on that below). There was also another aggressive technical reversal off the bottom of the old trading channel from earlier this year. But overnight moves offshore and the rally in futures suggest a better day. Greg McKenna notes the globe’s top banking regulator has signaled that pressure will remain on Australian banks overnight.

3. The next 12 months for the Aussie dollar. “Australian importers and exporters actively hedging their FX exposure have demonstrated over an extended period of time that they are excellent currency risk managers,” says Martin Smith, East & Partners’ head of Markets Analysis. And their survey of 868 active importers and exporters expect it to “remain near current levels at 0.781 before sliding to 0.749 by the end of Q1 2016.” It’s currently got the RBA board members smiling by dropping back below 80c.

4. Why banks need to change. For starters, they’re suddenly under a lot of pressure after warnings about a property bubble gather steam and double up with intense pressure to retain more capital. Stefan Ingves, chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and governor of the Sveriges Riksbank, thinks the answer is as simple as, well, keeping things simple. And to make his point, he quoted BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie to explain the Basel committee’s end game:

“If you want to solve a problem, you make it simpler; it becomes soluble. Simplicity equals truth.”

5. Some big data today with the release of the RBA Minutes at 11.30am. David Scutt has all you need to know about that here – the market will be watching this closely. But before that, we get the first update of the ANZ weekly consumer confidence after the budget at 9.30am. Globally, CPI and or PPI is being released in New Zealand, the UK and EU.

6. Taylor Swift has a new video, and it stars all her supermodel friends as butt-kicking heroes, including Cindy Crawford and Selena Gomez, who she punches on with for a bit:

But whose butt are they kicking together? All bets are on Katy Perry. Swift once told Rolling Stone Perry was always nasty to her and once “did something so horrible” by trying to sabotage an entire arena tour. “So now I have to avoid her,” Swift says. “It’s awkward and I don’t like it.”

7. Bank of America Merril Lynch is bullish on US growth in 2015. We can tell, because here’s its note from yesterday which lists its 12 big calls for the rest of the year.

8. Barack Obama is on Twitter. As in, tweets that come directly from the POTUS. He tweeted three times so far, for a grand return of 1.16 million followers. One of them – from an iPhone, no less – was used in a thread with former POTUS Bill Clinton.

9. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is so far the must-see film of 2015. Dave Smith says visually, “Fury Road” is so good, it’s on par with “300”. But as a big fan of the character development in “Up”, Smith says Miller needed to add some backstory and context for Max to make “Fury Road” hit home, and it completely ruined it for him. (He hasn’t seen the other Mad Max films.)

10. It’s not a good time to be a worker who relies on shareholder empathy, because if it ever did exist, it doesn’t now. At least in the US, according to hedge fund Fortress Investments manager Mike Novogratz. He tells a story of a chat he once had with former Uber CFO Brent Callinicos, who said at any time, Uber could raise the rate it’s drivers return by 5% to improve its profit margin. Novogratz asked why would a successful company push worker wages down 5%? “Because we can,” was the reply he got. Here’s why Novogratz sees that as a big problem.

BONUS ITEM: John Oliver’s getting regular mileage from taking the p..s out of Australia for his US audience. Here he is in top form, talking about Barnaby Joyce:


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