10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Source: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.

Good morning!

1. #BreakUpBigTech — is this the answer to the privacy woes, election interference and the growing power base of big tech? Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes seems to think so, and American politicians are spring-boarding off Hughes’ recent op-ed calling for the end of “dangerous” big tech monopolies, including Amazon and Google.

2. US-China trade negotiations continue, with the new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods expected to come into effect at 2:01pm (AEST) today. The Chinese officials have vehemently denied backtracking on their promises, but still no resolution has been found between the two. We will find out whether China will impose retaliatory tariffs on the US.

3. Time to fasten your seatbelts, it looks like a volatile session ahead.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

Here’s the current state of play, but coming up there’s the RBA’s quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy (SoMP) and the ongoing updates from US-China negotiations. David Scutt has more.

4. Amazon, heading to a moon near you. Jeff Bezos has just announced his long-awaited lunar program, that will see him soaring to new heights. The lander, called “Blue Moon”, is designed to build a “sustained human presence” on the moon by ferrying up infrastructure and robotics, with a larger model planned for future iterations that will carry people up to the moon.

SAUL LOEB / Getty ImagesJeff Bezos unveils Blue Moon.

5. An end in sight for the property downturn. It may not rebound fully, but it looks as though there’s some stability ahead. Auction clearance rates and access to finance appear to be improving, says ANZ economists, and “sentiment looks to be improving”. They’re not the only optimists in the room. On the same day HSBC reported signs of life on the property horizon.

6. Burger bubble could burst. The veggie burger-patty maker, Beyond Meat, had an insane market reaction to its IPO and experts are comparing it with the dot-com companies of the late 90s. By end of trade on its second day the stock had jumped up 163% – but the company has yet to turn a profit.

7. Australia’s lost innovators. Sydney has fallen in the global startup ecosystem rankings, from 16th in 2015 to 23rd this year, according to The Startup Genome Global Startup Ecosystem Report. Industry leaders are pointing the finger at government, especially post-Malcolm Turnbull, for dropping the ball and are calling for a national focus on innovation to return.

8. With great power, comes great “responsibilty”. The Reserve Bank has had a rough week, with a savvy consumer spotting a typo on the new Australian $50 note and sending evidence of it in to radio stations. More than 46 million copies of the note are in circulation since going to print in October 2018.

9. As property prices drop, all eyes turn to car sales. And the latest data in NSW and Victoria is dire, getting stung by the downturn in household spending and tightening lending conditions. Check it out.


10. The Gates household is tracking the economics of chores, and women are losing out big time. Melinda Gates, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has found that “unpaid labour” is holding women back from achieving their dreams. Women spend seven years more than men, on average, doing unpaid labour in the form of cooking, cleaning and childcare.
Have a think about that as you sit down to lunch this Mother’s Day.

It’s playoffs season, and some fans are having a harder time than others.

Just take a look at this quadruple rebound disaster from the Boston Celtics. They were eliminated after a 116-91 loss. Goodbye.

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