1. Markets were put on notice by the US President, who suddenly announced he was prepared to shut down the government if he didn’t get the cash to build his wall. Cue jitters, exacerbated by some weak US home sales data. The euro hit an eight-year high against the pound ahead of the meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole which starts tonight, but Aussie stocks aren’t following any strong global leads. Maybe earnings from 13 ASX200 companies today’s will spark a lift.
2. Australia’s CEOs are getting poorer. The median realised pay for ASX100 CEOs was $3.78 million in 2016 compared to $3.88 million in 2015 and $3.96 million in 2014. That’s about 15 times the average wage of your local MP. The top four ASX100 CEOs won’t get out of bed for less than $57,534.
3. Elon Musk revealed the space suit astronauts will wear in SpaceX’s Dragon capsule:
Musk said the suit “actually works”, which means it will protect its wearer in case the cabin depressurises, but not if they get spat out into space. Hopefully, it will at least stop that horrific problem current astronauts have with suits that make their fingernails fall off.
4. The largest chunk – 60% – of the Australian economy is made up from household consumption. How households spend their money has a huge impact on everything from job creation to interest rates to house prices. And households should be feeling pretty good about their cash in the next five or so years, given the consistently strong raft of positive data flowing through for, well, years now. Only they aren’t, which doesn’t make sense. Here’s David Scutt on why not, and why it’s a huge problem.
5. One of the more rickety bandwagon wheels is housing. And if you believe that Chinese investment has some impact on prices, things are about to change, because Chinese authorities will crack down on foreign investment in the second half of this year, and the impact is already being felt in global markets. And in Australia, hundreds of Australian building companies are at “high risk” of failure.
6. The new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has just been announced. If you held out for it instead of plumping for the Galaxy S8, you’ll be happy to know it’s packed full of upgrades, including a beautiful dual-lens feature. Here’s the breakdown from last night’s launch, and here’s an unconvinced Steve Kovach saying it will still suffer from old problems.
7. A London couple have been swamped with applications for their nanny position. But you might have to eat with their four children “at every meal, which will be cooked for them by a Michelin star chef”, drive the family Porsche or Maserati, travel internationally “up to three times a week”. You’ll get £100,000 a year and self-defence training:
8. This is the best theory about how Games of Thrones can save itself as it lurches into its final season, and it’s not actually crazy at all. It’s about Bran and the Night King, and this is Game of Thrones, after all. And when it’s done, sadness-binge on all 254 episodes of South Park on Comedy Central. It starts September 6.
9. In 2008, Columbia University engineer James Hone said it would take an elephant standing on a pencil to pierce through a sheet of graphene as thick as clingfilm. The world went crazy for the new material, until it realised it was hideously expensive to manufacture. Nine years later, we have graphene… rubber bands? But wait, wait – these rubber bands are extraordinary, and not just because they’re unbreakable.
10. Trump 2020? For those trying to shut their eyes for three years and make it all go away, some interesting poll results have come in. Trump’s first confirmed 2020 Democratic challenger is tied with him. And Mark Cuban – if he ran – would win. But if you’re pegging your hopes on Trump not running, here’s your bad news – he is flogging his possible fellow Republican opponents.
BONUS ITEM: Every falling dream you had:
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