1. Greece is in crisis over a $1.6 billion euro debt it owes creditors and has just been downgraded by Moody’s. But just over 10 years ago, it was healthy enough to run $13.5 billion euro over budget on building facilities for the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Here’s a sad reminder of all the now-unused and overgrown stadiums and sports grounds that $13.5 billion bought.
2. On the local market yesterday traders defied the weak lead from the previous night’s futures and took prices around 1% higher. The question on trader’s minds this morning was whether the move in our timezone pre-empted the offshore moves overnight or whether Australian stocks should rally again today. Futures are flat and not offering too much in the way of a lead so the level traders will be watching is 5,552.
3. In Asia yesterday there was fresh evidence the weaker yen and Abenomics are working in Japan. The Tankan survey was pretty solid with a strong Capex component, helping lift the Nikkei. In Shanghai, prices weren’t doing too badly until the last two hours of trade when they crashed to close at 4,054 for a loss of 5.22%, possibly due to disappointing PMIs released earlier in the day.
4. The Aussie dollar is back into the mid 76 cent region while the US dollar has regained the ascendancy. Everything else, including the yen, was weaker overnight with the Kiwi continuing a run of five-year lows.
5. Banker versus shark. Patrick Thornton, a 47-year-old banker from North Carolina, survived a vicious shark attack last week. Thornton was in waist-deep water with his 8-year-old son when he thought a crab was biting his ankle, but it was actually a 1.5 metre shark. Thornton yelled for everyone else to get out of the water as the shark then went for his back. He then excellently punched it three times, saved his kid, and escaped.
6. Scientists just discovered the first sinkholes on a comet. And they’re enormous – big enough to fit the entire 170m tall Washington Monument inside:
The sinkholes are the latest discovery on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the Rosetta spacecraft orbiting it. There’s hundreds of them, and they could be the driving force behind giant jets of gas and dust the comet spits into space.
7. Encryption. It’s what makes your iPhone, WhatsApp, and Facebooks secure. But it’s also great for terrorists who want to keep their communications untraceable, so British PM David Cameron is on a new mission to ban encryption altogether. That’s a blanket statement over an issue that’s so broad it’s almost impossible to know where to begin. How about there’s no point banning it in Britain if it’s still legal everywhere else in the world? Or, will you have to hand over your smartphone next time you step off the plane at Heathrow?
8. Over to you kids. Australians personally might be wealthier than ever, but the government’s finances remain stuck with deficits as far as the eye can see. The Grattan Institute says that’s because governments are addicted to
buying votes spending on older households. The problem with that? “The costs of repaying these deficits will fall primarily on younger households.” The institute believes these four key areas of reform need to become priorities for reforming Commonwealth and state budgets, pronto.
9. Whoa, the F-35 is some kind of awesome. So much so, Abbott and co have ordered 72 of the new fighter jets for just $12.4 billion. Sure, it’s unreliable engine means it can’t be tested properly. And it’s been completely copied by the Chinese, possibly off blueprints stolen by hackers. And a software glitch can render its cannons unusable, but apart from that, it’s next gen and we’ve got 72. Of which a total of all have now been found unable to outmanoeuvre the F-16 which it’s supposed to replace.
10. Miranda Kerr may have a new billionaire boyfriend. The Aussie supermodel is clearly a Snapchat fan now after being seen getting very cosy with the app’s founder and CEO Evan Spiegel. “They sat at the bar and were making out,” an observer told Us Weekly, which has the cozy pics here.
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