1. First, the iCloud scandal, where Apple is in denial. There’s been a lot said about Steve Jobs’ ability to construct a “reality distortion field” around Apple’s products, but this is extraordinary. Apple is denying its systems were breached in the er, breach that led to hundreds of celebrities’ nude photos stolen off iCloud in a mass hack by someone at infamous forum site 4chan. Apple says it was a targeted attack on user names, passwords and security systems, but not iCloud or FindmyiPhone. Just a couple of recaps to note here – Apple yesterday fixed a flaw in FindMyiPhone that made it vulnerable and hackers have been offering to rip iCloud accounts for years.
2. To the markets, where the impact after a great day yesterday was a further 3-point gain on the September SPI 200 contracting to 5,649. Iron Ore is down again and China looks like it is coming after the iron ore miners so there could be some action in that sector today. The Nikkei ripped 1.24% higher as earnings rose 2.6% and the yen weakened against the US dollar to sit above 105 this morning – its highest level since December 2013. Shanghai was strong as well, up 30 points or 1.36% to 2,266. The Hang Seng was largely unchanged.
3. The Aussie dollar has done a stunning job holding in, all things considered. Not only did the US dollar crush the yen (105.08) and sterling (1.6467) but the RBA governor questioned China’s housing market and upped the rhetoric on the Aussie dollar level in his statement yesterday. Certainly the Aussie dollar is down more than half a cent at 0.9277 this morning, but that’s a solid performance. Elsewhere, the euro held in after recent falls and is at 1.3132 this morning.
4. On the data front today, the Q2 GDP for Australia is out at 11.30am. The market is looking for a fairly soft outcome between 0.4% and 0.6%. We’ll also get the AiG performance of services report and Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens is due to speak. Offshore, we get HSBC and Markit services PMI for China.
5. The Government finally achieved a key election promise yesterday in repealing the mining tax, but it came at a cost. Especially if you’re a 25-year-old Australian, as it looks like you could lose $100,000 in super savings because part of the deal with Clive Palmer includes rises in the compulsory rate being delayed by a further three years on top of earlier delays in the budget. It’s now put off for six years.
6. Clive Palmer hates the Ice Bucket Challenge. To be fair, we’re all over it, no doubt including this kid from Geelong who wound up with three severed tendons in his arm from his attempt. Palmer expressed his views just before his PUP stablemate Jacqui Lambie was drenched on the Parliament House Lawn for Ten Network show The Project. He stormed off, literally kicked a bucket and told The Tele: “I just don’t like the ice bucket challenge … It’s my business, see you later.”
7. If you think house prices will always go up, you’re a fool. At least that’s according to ANZ chairman and former Future Fund boss David Gonski, who last night told the Australian British Chamber of Commerce that the majors were “very aware of history” when it came to lending for mortgages. “The fact is, anyone who believes prices always go up is, I think, a fool,” he warned.
8. If you’re still not confident Apple has the situation under control and insist on uploading nude selfies, here’s how to make sure hackers don’t share them with the rest of the world.
9. Life on the fringe of mobster culture in the 60s. Yes, it was like The Godfather, according to one man who told a Quora audience of his experience in the 60s. He’s not saying his dad was a mobster, just close to it, with friends who were. He shared some great stories about “safekeeping” things, hanging with Al Capone’s nephew and the velvet walls of a mob boss’s house and actually gets a bit nostalgic about the honour and class of it all.
10. Hate your desk job but love the money? Life in a cubicle can be depressing, so here are 12 high-paying jobs that you could probably switch to without too much training. They feature a lot of time being up and about, and pay pretty well too, according to data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. Thank us later.
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