10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Wakey wakey. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

And the big news today is a man turned himself into a goat. More about that later. We have a rates decision and a federal budget to deal with.

1. At 2.30pm, the RBA will announce its May interest rate decision, and it could go either way. The momentum swung suddenly towards a cut last week when Australian CPI showed core inflation grew at the slowest annual pace on record in the 12 months to March. Cash rates futures and a goodly chunk of economists have the chances of a cut at 50-50. Of course, there’s absolutely no reason to expect a cut in your mortgage rate. Sorry. Here’s your 10-second guide to today’s decision and what TD Securities thinks markets will do after the RBA rate decision.

2. So, the federal budget. It’s actually tonight. Not tomorrow, which is when treasurer Scott Morrison is sure it’s all going down. Lucky he’s got a couple of things prepped in advance – here’s what we already know will be in his first budget. And rest assured, we’ll be up all night writing and doing all the twitters you need so you can watch “Seven Year Switch” instead.

3. Markets will be interesting. What with all the rates and budget and now ANZ not making any money. The big blue one took a hit this morning, reporting cash profit at $2.78 billion against an expected $3.57 billion. That’s a 24% profit plunge. Yesterday the ASX resisted some solid bank-bashing with reliance on strength in materials and pretty much everything else. But that’s a big miss from ANZ and energy dropped overnight, so the SPI 200 being up 12 points, 0.2%, might be a bit off the mark now.

4. The Aussie rallied to 0.7665 this morning and whatever the call from the RBA is this afternoon, it’s going to be a wild ride for forex punters today. We’ve also got Australian building approvals and the Caixin-Markit China manufacturing PMI for April to deal with.

5. Did someone say a man turned into a goat? Yep, this clown:

That’s Thomas Thwaites, a shameless attention-seeker UK-based designer who built himself a suit to achieve goat status and cross the Alps. He even ate grass. Idiot.

6. Go Hipchat. The awesome work chat app owned by Aussie company Atlassian has largely been overshadowed by Silicon Valley darling Slack. But news just in has Uber ditching Slack for Hipchat because it couldn’t keep pace with thousands of employees collaborating from everywhere. That’s a big win for Atlassian’s determination to stick to “word-of-mouth” marketing. For the record, Business Insider US uses Slack. But we use Hipchat, and not just because it’s run by a Farquhar.

7. The Bitcoin creator guy from Australia is back in the news. Wired admitted it might have fallen for “an elaborate, long-planned hoax” when it reported Craig Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. But Wright is back with a blog post, claiming he can prove it. One expert agreed, saying Wright had showed him, but wouldn’t share the details. All the other experts got jealous and said the one expert was lying too. But the strongest criticism came from cryptography expert Drew Blas, who didn’t hold back, describing it as “flimflam” and “hokum”, until somebody told him he was supposed to be talking about cutting edge digital technology, and not reviewing “Great Expectations”.

8. While we’re on grammar, please, please stop this splicing of commas. That’s when this new generation uses a comma in the middle of a sentence before heading off in a new direction entirely. Maybe it’s because semi-colons are so confusing; like, a full stop and a comma, what’s that all about? The world’s top grammarian wants it to end, now.

9. Batteries are great until they don’t run stuff any more. Most of the time, that happens far too quickly, with the good ones lasting about 7000 recharge cycles. But fifth-year pHd student Mya Le Thai was mucking about replacing the liquid in lithium batteries with gel, because it’s cheaper, to see if they still worked. And it looks like they do – and survive through 200,000 recharge cycles.

10. Tesla’s Model 3 will have ‘Ludicrous Mode’. Elon Musk just said so:


That puts it into some kind of rare super sport hatch class, if it means the Model 3 will rush from 0-100km/h in under 3 seconds.

BONUS ITEM: Congratulations Leicester City, for snatching a fairytale English soccer win in a pulsating “grand final” draw:

Picture: Channel 9/Twitter

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