1. Housing affordability update. RBA governor Glenn Stevens weighed in yesterday, saying that in some parts Sydney property prices were “crazy”. Grattan Institute CEO John Daley blamed it on three things on “Lateline” last night – John Howard, negative gearing and Baby Boomers. They combine to boost investment property purchases and create “an older generation that’s much more wealthy today than people of that age, say, 20 years ago. And that’s the generation that’s got money now to invest in … investor housing.”
2. Bonds are selling off, the US dollar is weakening and Greece is going broke. That all adds up to a better lead for Australian markets, says Greg McKenna. The ASX 200 managed to break its run of down days with a small rise in trade yesterday before the SPI 200 futures exploded more than one per cent with a rise of 54 points to 5528. The technicals were already looking better based on the past three days’ trade, so it’s fair to expect stocks to bolt out of the blocks this morning.
3. The Aussie dollar initially fell out of bed on the back of Glenn Stevens’ speech which explicitly left the door open for another rate cut. But then Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda suggested ther yen was “very weak” and it drove the yen, and the Aussie with it, sharply higher. Then the Kiwi got a little slammed, which dragged on the Aussie a little but AUDNZD shot up through 1.10 at one point. It’s sitting at 1.0950 now. Phew.
4. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is not unique. You’ll find one in Bayonne, New Jersey, that’s almost identical except that Sydney’s bridge has concrete pylons on either side and the Bayonne Bridge doesn’t. They were opened about the same time – officials from Sydney and Bayonne attended each other’s ribbon-cutting ceremonies. And despite what you were taught in school, the Bayonne Bridge is longer.
5. Aussie point guard Matthew Dellavedova was an undersized, underwhelming prospect who didn’t draw a bid in the 2013 NBA Draft. But the Cavaliers saw enough to offer him a meagre $100,000 as a free agent because Cavs general manager Chris Grant liked the way he pushed their young star Kyrie Irving in practices. This week, in the NBA Finals, “Della” has been given the job of shutting down the league’s best player Stephen Curry. And by “shutting down”, Dellavedova obviously assumes that means “Not letting Curry score a single basket”:
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 8, 2015
Contract negotiations for 2016 are looking better every day.
6. Bond, James Bond is nearly back. The first proper trailer debuted last night, giving us first glimpses of Christoph Waltz as the villain and another look at henchman Mr Hinx (Dave Bautista) who director Sam Mendes says is a nod to metal-teethed favourite Jaws. Watch the trailer for Spectre here and if you like the James Bond look, here’s how to nail that tight neckline.
7. Also back – Bilderberg. Conspiracy theorists have donned their tinfoil hats this week as the world’s elite gather in Austria for the Bilderberg Conference. It’s run annually since 1954 and was “designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America”. But only very rich and very influencial types get an invite and nothing spoken is allowed to be heard outside its walls. Some notable names this year include Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Here’s the full list of attendees.
8. Health fads are annoying, because they shame us out of doing and eating things we love to do and eat. Fortunately, a lot of them are also bollocks, and thrive purely on being spread about by Facebook “experts”. So you’re not gluten intolerant, you’re just gassy. MSG doesn’t poison anyone, ever. And standing desks are great … for your hipster cred. Here’s a bunch of other misconceptions you shouldn’t be letting ruin your life.
9. The argument over free-range eggs however, is not so clear. The CSIRO says 1500 birds per hectare is the limit of “free range”, but Queensland’s standard is 10,000. The Australian Egg Corporation wants 20,000. And now Choice reckons more than 200 million eggs were sold in Australia as “free range” when they weren’t. There’s a simple answer here – ditch the greenhouse gas emissioning dog, and get a chook.
10. Finally, NASA’s space probe is close enough to the dwarf planet Ceres to get a decent shot of the white spots which were first seen by Hubble nearly a decade ago. So, here we go:
Science has so far replied with a collective “Um”. Ice, salt, volcanic activity? Still no idea, so we’re putting our cards on the table – it’s gold. A whole planet made of gold.
BONUS ITEM: How to open five beers at once, without an opener.
Have a great day.
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