1. Joe Hockey’s budget is out next week and all eyes will be on how he deals with the gaping hole in it left by plummeting iron ore prices. He can’t, says Deloitte, which predicts an underlying cash deficit of $45.9 billion in 2014-15, $5.5 billion worse than projected and little improvement from the recorded deficit of $48.5 billion in 2013-14. That’s worse than the mid year budget update or MYEFO in December and Deloitte has plenty more bad news where that came from, too.
2. Big Four earnings are out this week, starting today with Westpac. It’s new CEO Brian Hartzer’s first results report since taking over from Gail Kelly and it didn’t go so well – a first half cash profit of $3.778 billion, below expectations of $3.88 billion.
3. The ANU has a Shadow Reserve Board and it doesn’t see any need for a rate cut just yet. In fact, chair Dr Timo Henckel believes the cash rate should be put on hold and “lifted in 6-12 months”. Here’s why.
4. A big week in data, then, with the RBA’s decision due at 2.30pm tomorrow, but there’s plenty more market-moving releases coming in. TD monthly inflation gauge, Australian trade data, HIA new home sales, AiGroup performance of services index… and that’s just before the RBA announcement. Here’s Westpac’s excellent weekly diary of all the key data and events.
5. Locally, the ASX looks set for a continuation of Friday’s rally in trade. The range of 5,750 to 6,000 has been confirmed again and again over the course of 2015 and it seems it will break at some point. But for the moment traders are trading the range and buying in front of support and selling in front of resistance. Expect that not to change until it does. It’s likely only a shock budget (either way) or an offshore catalyst can see the break at the moment.
6. The “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao went the distance. Yet somehow, both boxers look fresh enough to hit the nightclubs afterwards. Yep, it was a no-knockdown non-event and yet another tribute to how Mayweather pulls massive paydays for spectacles that are everything but spectacular. Here’s why Pacquiao may have lost, why he thought he was robbed and to be fair to Mayweather, why it pays to study the art of fighting.
7. It wasn’t just about the fight. Here’s all the pics of A-Listers who could have paid up to $350,000 for ringside views and you might have noticed one James Packer sat impressively close to the action among them:
8. The Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska is a financial pilgrimage. This year, we went there to hear Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett and his vice chairman Charlie Munger take questions from journalists, analysts, and shareholders for seven hours. Here’s what that was like and here’s all the brilliant things Buffett and Munger said.
9. “The man who flies for free” has become something of an internet phenomenon. Scott Keyes, the author of e-books “How To Fly For Free” and “How To Find Cheap Flights” has planned a world trip that will take him over 50,000km across 13 countries, for free. He recently let us in on the three best websites he uses to achieve this; now he’s taken us through one of those – Skiplagged – and how it takes advantage of an industry secret known as “throwaway ticketing”.
10. Huh. The Logies were on. Nine’s increasingly irrelevant awards show was this year up against the semi-final of “My Kitchen Rules” on rival Seven which, along with Ten, broke the unwritten law of “playing dead” by running low-ratings shows against the Aussie TV industry’s night-of-nights. Which is almost a pity, because their viewers would have missed “The Project’s” Carrie Bickmore accepting her Gold Logie with an inspiring speech dedicated to raising awareness of brain cancer, which took the life of her husband.
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