10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Paul Gallen of the Blues fires up against Aidan Guerra and Greg Inglis of the Maroons. Photo: Getty Images

Good morning! It’s Wednesday and the State of Origin decider is tonight. Let’s get started:

1. There’s a bombshell revelation out of Greece: Alexis Tsipras is reported to have called the weekend’s snap referendum on the presumption that there would be a Yes vote – even though he was campaigning for a No result. A Yes would have given him room to roll over on creditors’ demands, but instead he now finds himself with a mandate that he didn’t want in the first place to fight the Eurogroup.

2. In other developments, this morning it emerged Greece has submitted proposals that are aimed at giving it a “final exit” from the crisis. Earlier, there was dismay as Greece, with astonishing chutzpah, turned up to the summit with its creditors without any ideas, and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned there were detailed plans drawn up for a Greek exit from the euro. Jeff Gundlach of DoubleLine funds just gave an investor presentation in which he said a “Grexit” would be the beginning of the end for the euro as it would create a model for other debt-laden countries like Spain to leave as well.

3. Iron ore prices are in meltdown. After the spot price tanked more than 5% yesterday to below $50 a tonne, Dalian iron ore futures – a reliable leader for the spot price – fell a huge 8% in overnight trade. The price is heading for record lows and if they stay at this level the questions about the profitability of iron ore miners will revive. Here’s the chart:

4. So after a big 2% rally yesterday, ASX futures are pointing to a pullback in today’s trade, but there a lot of macro factors in motion: the fact that Greece looks like it is finally making some moves may support the market somewhat, while the Aussie dollar sank below US74c overnight, and Nymex crude spiked.

5. Then there’s China, where authorities’ attempts to put a floor under the market continue to be frustrated in the epic sell-off. Another 200 stocks were suspended from trade last night, meaning that around one-third of all stocks are now in a halt. Broker Marcus Padley has an interesting take on this: a big blow to consumer confidence in China could spill over to Australia, where the strength in the property market and the resurgence in the tourism industry have been helped in no small measure by the enthusiasm of the Chinese middle class. Details here.

6. Tony Abbott’s answer to the global market chaos is a stronger Australian grocery sector. At least he was staying on message. But people might like to know that the government has a view on Australia’s resilience to global turmoil.

7. Boeing has registered a patent for a jet engine powered by lasers and nuclear fusion. It hasn’t been built yet, but the idea is to fire high-powered lasers at radioactive material in a uranium engine casing. There are details of the patent, complete with basic schematics, here.

8. Apple Watch sales look like they’re tanking. Slice Intelligence has this estimate for the sales volumes of the device which, if true, show sales are now running only at around 5000 per day.

Details here.

9. Want to work at Goldman Sachs? Think about how you might answer some of these questions:

  • “If you were arrested for something that you believed wasn’t wrong, what would you do?”
  • “What’s your opinion about Adolf Hitler?”
  • “Suppose you had eight identical balls. One of them is slightly heavier and you are given a balance scale. What’s the fewest number of times you have to use the scale to find the heavier ball?”

There are 18 more to melt your brain here.

10. It’s State of Origin decider time. NSW last won a decider in Brisbane back in 2005, so it’s not unheard of for the Blues to travel to the cauldron of Suncorp Stadium and produce the goods. But the stats are overwhelmingly against them. David Scutt has broken down the statistical history of deciders in the three-match series.

Enjoy your Wednesday. I’m on Twitter.

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