10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Margot Robbie, whose feature in Vanity Fair has horrified people. Photo: The Legend of Tarzan (2016)/ IMDb.

Good morning! Still no government, but…

1. … Malcolm Turnbull is closer to securing a majority with postal votes in the remaining close and undecided seats breaking his way. The ABC is now predicting 72 seats to the Coalition, and 66 to Labor. Turnbull, who now clearly will have to devise some strategy for assuaging the conservative wing of his party with Cory Bernardi setting up his own movement, said yesterday he was “confident we’ll have a majority in our own right”. Forde and Gilmore in particular have been moving towards the Coalition, getting them closer to the 76 required. On a national two-party preferred basis, here’s how astonishingly close it is:


That’s a gap of around 23,721 votes out of almost 10.2 million counted.

2. More British property trusts have shut the gates on withdrawals of client money. This has been a worrying pattern in the UK over recent days. The latest are Henderson Global Investors and Columbia Threadneedle, and it follows the shuttering of the $6 billion M&G trust. The worry here is that clients will start to try and retrieve money from other investments and markets, spreading the liquidity pressure. Greg McKenna has written a great overview of why this feels a little like 2007, and not in a Foo Fighters nostalgia kind of way.

3. As a result of this and other worries investors have been piling into global bonds, further pushing yields to all-time record lows, including here in Australia. Via the CBA’s interest rates strategy team, here’s a chart showing Australian government bond yields for the last 136 years.

Amazing. And it could fall lower. CBA explains: “The 10-year ACGB yield of 1.85% is incredibly attractive. We are nothing more than a spread to the rest of the developed world. Negative interest rates, the threat of Brexit, and the thirst for yield are pulling Australian rates lower.”

4. To the rest of the markets and the Australian dollar rallied overnight, back above US75c in a huge move following the release of the minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s June meeting. Risk is back on a bit, and futures are pointing to a modest gain for the ASX. The big question is whether the last weak US jobs report was just a one-off. We’ll find out this Friday night, Australian time, when the next non-farm payrolls report is released. More here.

5. Britain’s Chilcot Inquiry into the circumstances of the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war after 9/11 reported last night, and it unearthed damning evidence about Tony Blair’s determination to go after Saddam Hussein in league with George Bush. Reams of fascinating communications between the two world leaders have been unearthed. One of the notes – a compelling read – from Blair starts: “I will be with you, whatever” and goes on to set out what would be required to build the political backing for an invasion.

6. Margot Robbie is on the cover of Vanity Fair and people are horrified at some of the sexist lines in the profile of the actress, who stars in the new Tarzan movie. “As I said, she is from Australia. To understand her, you should think about what that means,” and “She can be sexy and composed even while naked but only in character” are among the inexplicable lines in the feature. One redeeming feature is when Robbie is speaking herself, like when she explains tall poppy syndrome.

7. Behavioural economics can be fascinating – just look what happened when Business Insider tried to buy lottery tickets off people for more than the amount they had paid for them. It’s a force called “regret avoidance”, which can make you make seemingly irrational decisions just in order to avoid feeling regret in the future.

8. Think you’ve got what it takes to be a trader? There’s now a game that can tell you. Here’s what it looks like:

The shapes are moving, and the aim is to see if you can absorb complex patterns in real-time and predict how they will move next. The creators believe it will help improve the work of real traders. you can try it here.

9. Microsoft has had to scramble after someone actually sent this email to interns.


Hella noms?

10. What champions are made of: Roger Federer came from two sets down to win a classic against Marin Cilic. He also saved three match points along the way. He later tweeted his thanks to the crowd:

Here’s hoping you have a day feeling half that good. I’m on Twitter: @colgo

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