10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Wives and girlfriends could be banned from the cricket. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. Are you paying too much tax? If you answered “hell yes”, chances are a) you’re Australian and b) you might like to hear what Joe Hockey’s planning to do about that. (If you answered “no way”, we’d like to hear from you.)

2. To the markets, and locally it was a terrible day’s trade on Friday, with the ANZ down a whopping 7.5% and both Westpac and the CBA down more than 3% to follow their falls of more than 3% the day before. That saw the index dragged down 2.41%, back toward the bottom of the trend channel which stretches back to the beginning of 2012. So this week’s updates from the NAB and CBA, amongst other reports, are crucial.

3. Shanghai stocks finished the week more than 2% higher on the back of more hope for stimulus. The Shanghai Securities News reported 1 trillion yuan of fund manager money sitting on the sidelines as “ammunition” to be deployed into the market should the need arise. And there were reports yesterday of a 2 trillion yuan package being sought by the China Securities Finance Corp in addition to money already advanced from authorities.

4. Your week in data has a couple of highlights from the banks, with NAB’s trading update due today and CBA full year results on Wednesday. There’s also a couple of appearances from RBA heavies Philip Lowe and Christopher Kent, but the big news happens tomorrow – the NAB’s Business Survey for July. Here’s Westpac’s excellent calendar of the week ahead.

5. Parliament is back this week, and it looks like a warm welcome. There’s five candidates in the running for Speaker, with Philip Ruddock looking the goods for the golden handshake. And there’s plenty for everyone to yell and point fingers about, with Tony Burke, Joe Hockey and now, Peter Dutton, dragged into the “spending all our money on nicer things than normal people get” debate.

6. So, you’re having a biz lunch today? Brilliant – free nosh, maybe share a bottle of something decent… what could possibly go wrong? Everything, that’s what, especially if you ignore any of these 8 business lunch etiquette rules everyone should know.

7. A team of bright young sparks won nearly $9 million on the weekend for winning a video game tournament. There’s two amazing things going on here. First, that prize pool. Here’s the breakdown for making it through to the final 16 for the week-long “DOTA2” tournament:

Second, that prize pool. And the amazing way it grew. It was seeded by DOTA2 publishers Valve, with $US1.6m at the start of May. In the two months since, it grew to $US18,416,970 almost solely on the back of fan donations. Prospective sponsors, are your ears pricked?

8. There’s one ingredient that can power up your morning coffee to Ludicrous Mode. It’s an ancient fix, it sounds appalling, but from all reports, it’s surprisingly palatable.

9. Do you even “lol”? If so, you’re hopelessly out of touch with how other Facebookers laugh, or someone’s mum. In response to a New Yorker article on “Hahaha vs. Hehehe”, Facebook thought it would be fun to figure out how its users laugh online. The clear winner was “Haha”.

10. Michael Clarke will retire as Australia’s Test captain and from the game itself after the Fifth Test starting at The Oval on August 20. There’s a lot of speculation why, starting with Clarke’s reasoning – he’s just a bit worn out. Then there’s the analysts, who say the team broke down due to poor selection choices. But here’s our favourite – blame the wives and girlfriends! Two of whom are “at war”, and all of whom may be banned from touring altogether in the future.

BONUS ITEM: When will drone operators realise no one likes being forced to be part of their “hobby”?

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