1. China’s economic slowdown is not going as planned. The rest of the world knew that some time ago – its economy hasn’t grown this slowly since the 90s – but the Chinese government has finally admitted it. China’s top banker Zhou Xiaochuan told a meeting of regional leaders that his country’s growth rate had tumbled “a bit too much”. Here’s why that’s such a big admission to make.
2. The local market is set for a good day today based on the solid, almost 50-point, rise in the SPI 200 futures overnight. That comes in the wake of yesterday’s crushing loss and could be challenged by the continued fall in iron ore and the impact this could have on the miners. It’s the last day of the quarter though so even our own Greg McKenna’s more loathe than normal to make predictions about the ASX.
3. The “diva of the distressed” is in some distress herself. US private equity queen Lynn Tilton, who runs Patriarch Partners, has been slapped with a fraud charge by the SEC. The allegations are over three funds worth a combined $US2.5 billion, on which Tilton and others claim a 1% management fee each quarter. The SEC says Tilton personally directed the maintenance of high valuations on the assets in the funds, allowing her to claim some $US200 million in fees, when they really should have been falling. Tilton and Patriarch Partners say they look forward to vigorously defending the charges.
4. An Australian immigration official emailed Barack Obama’s personal details to a random someone by mistake. And Vladimir Putin’s and David Cameron’s and the details of 17 other world leaders, including passport numbers. An Immigration and Border Protection director was forced to fess up courtesy of an FOI request from The Guardian. Apparently, it was an Outlook autocomplete mistake, but the alarming part is, the official recommended against telling the world leaders about the stuff-up.
5. The Aussie dollar has fallen a full cent from where it was this time yesterday and, at 0.7637, is now down 3 cents from the highs of last week when the US dollar was under pressure. That’s a huge move in the world of forex traders where exchange rates usually move in tenths of a percentage point, not 1.46%. Here’s the three things responsible for its fall.
6. Finally, McDonald’s is considering all-day breakfasts. They’ll test it in San Diego first. It’s because, they say, customers keep telling them “they’d like to enjoy it beyond the morning hours” and definitely not a delayed response to this scene from Falling Down that is a whole lot scarier now than it was funny in 2007:
7. How much to change a Jetstar flight? This passenger booked return flights to Bali for $121 last year, but his mates recently pulled out of the trip. He showed us a screenshot of his chat with a Jetstar staffer who said it would “only” cost about $1200 to change the names – nearly five times the price of the original tickets. In other news – $121 return to Bali. Why do these great deals only appear for everyone else?
8. It’s been a big day in phones. We took the wraps off HTC’s gorgeous new M9 and found it’s only a little better than last year’s model, which, fortunately, was excellent. Samsung’s new Galaxy can’t stop looking exactly like an iPhone, despite the M9 proving it doesn’t have to. And speaking of iPhones, this might be the first leak of the new 6C coming in September.
9. War. What is it good for? Jeeps, Hugo Boss and M&Ms, for starters. Here’s 16 famous brands that started off as products for the military.
10. The Earth’s vegetation has increased in the past 20 years, despite all the hideous footage and stats about football pitches of Amazonian rainforest cleared every second. So we’re capturing more carbon than ever before and it’s because of a rise in rainfall, mostly. But wait, climate change deniers, that actually means we should be even more worried about rising CO2 levels.
BONUS ITEM: Ever wonder what it’s like to be a hamster? Zhou Ben Long used to:
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