10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

How about those Swans? Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. The Olympics is over and Australia continued its downward trend. Eight gold and 29 medals in total is our worst performance since Barcelona in 1992. Here’s the alarming chart you’ve been waiting for:


This morning, the Boomers missed out on bronze, going down by a point to Spain. Shut this Olympics down, now. (But look at these amazing images first.) And after the weekend’s Bledisloe result, cricket season never seemed so far away.

2. IRL, there is no such thing as a season for not doing business, and markets rolled on, albeit in muted form. September SPI futures are down 6 points after Friday’s 19 point rally. But Greg McKenna reckons a sectoral breakup on the S&P 500 which saw energy and materials up 2% and 1.3% respectively could be a good sign for the local market. And the US dollar also knocked the Aussie dollar lower, but the CBA doesn’t expect that to last.

3. To data, and with a bunch of big profit results coming through – think Fortescue Metals, Oilsearch, Vocus, Wesfarmers and Woolworths – it could be a bumper end to August. Especially with the biggest monetary policy conference of the year, the annual Jackson Hole Symposium, set to begin on Friday. All else is pretty quiet, but the Kiwis will be looking forward to Fonterra’s 2016/17 milk price forecast. It’s all here in Greg McKenna’s diary.

4. Just look at this photo:

The models above are from lingerie brand Aerie, Victoria’s Secret’s top competitor. It’s thriving, because there’s a big movement against airbrushing models so they look more like real women who change their hair colour and put makeup on every day. And because everyone loves that idea, Aerie is about to make another big, unprecedented step.

5. Here’s a radical idea. The RBA traditionally has a mandate to keep inflation between 2 and 3 per cent over the course of the business cycle. But Nick Xenophon wants the next RBA governor to ditch inflation targeting in favour of growth.

6. It seemed like an age, but after all the finger-pointing and laughing, it’s only taken four years for Microsoft to make its Surface experiment a success. The kind of success that even Apple is now finding irresistible. So we thought it was about time to give Surface boss Panos Panay a call and he told us how the Microsoft Surface was created — and how it’s dragging Microsoft itself into the next phase of computing.

7. But there’s two things Apple is still getting so, so right. One – iOs, while Android continues to be a fragmented mess. And two, that little stoush with the FBI earlier this year, as summed up in this glorious tweet:

8. And here’s a great cartoon the Public Domain Review dug up from Punch magazine in 1906, which is a solid 110 years ahead of its time:

“These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady is receiving an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results.”

9. Brexit. It’s not going to go away, but no one’s quite sure when it will happen. New Brit PM Theresa May has set up a new department to handle the changeover, the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), and the man in charge, David Davis, says keep January 2017 free. But here’s why it’s increasingly obvious Britain is nowhere near ready to trigger Article 50.

10. Hello, what’s all this about?

Yes, Sony is going to announce a high-end PS4 in the coming weeks, high on the back of owning the workable version of the biggest game in the world right now. But that machine above can’t be the so-called “Neo”. It’s small. And bizarrely, it looks like it’s already on sale somewhere.

Have a great day.

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