1. If rates need to rise, “who cares what’s happening to house prices”, says RBA board member Ian Harper. He says in the near-term, steady policy settings are the “best thing the bank can do for encouraging confidence and stability”. The RBA has kept interest rates steady since August 2016 despite weak inflation, sputtering economic growth and elevated unemployment.
2. Bamboozled. That’s how Australians feel about the country’s superannuation system that leaves them billions of dollars poorer, according to the Productivity Commission. It says the almost 30-year-old compulsory superannuation is an outdated and structurally flawed system which has become “an unlucky lottery for many Australian workers and their families”. Chris Pash has more here.
3. Bearish bets against the Aussie are at the highest level since February 2016 after net short Australian dollar positions held by leveraged funds swelled by $US1.3 billion last week, according to ANZ Bank, citing data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) latest Commitment of Traders (CoT) report.
More on that here. Meanwhile, the Australian dollar travelled far and wide on Monday but ended up going nowhere, giving back earlier gains to finish flat. At 7am in Sydney, it was down 0.04% to 0.7545.
4. Italy finally has a new prime minister, almost three months after a general election — but it’s almost certain he won’t be able to form a government. Former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli has been named as interim prime minister. They call him “Mr Scissors” due to his fondness for cutting public spending.
5. The online shopping war has begun. eBay is about to offer Australians free delivery and returns. In its “biggest announcement in recent memory”, the original online retail giant will launch a new membership option called eBay Plus in “mid-June”, putting it at least a couple of weeks ahead of the expected arrival of Amazon Prime in Australia.
6. The University of Melbourne is the best uni in Australia, according to the Center for World University Rankings. It was joined in the top 100 global rankings by the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland and the Australian National University. Harvard University took out the top gong.
7. A 1,000km 10-hour road trip to Paris, squeezed into a small hire car alongside his 88-year-old grandmother, ended in Grand Slam joy for Marco Trungelliti at Roland Garros on Monday when he beat Australia’s Bernard Tomic. The Argentine was given a late spot in the men’s singles draw after Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the main draw on Sunday and the next standby player, India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran, was unable to take part because he was already entered in the draw for a low-key event in Vicenza.
8. The ex-boyfriend of Cecilia Haddad returns to Sydney in a bid to clear his name, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Mario Mercelo Santoro was named by NSW Police as a person of interest, but not a suspect, over Haddad’s suspicious death last month.
9. The Great Barrier Reef suffered five “death events” over the past 30,000 years as sea levels rose and fell, forcing corals to migrate land or seaward to survive. While the research revealed the past dynamism of the reef, scientists said the study was not “a beacon of hope in terms of how the reef might respond in the next 20, 50, 100 years”.
10. Saving the best for last… watch this man scale a four-storey building in 30 seconds to save a toddler. French President Emmanuel Macron has since offered the 22-year-old Mali immigrant citizenship. People have dubbed him the real-life Spider-Man.
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) May 27, 2018
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