10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Picture: Warner Bros/Roadshow

Good morning.

1. We love the Aussie dollar. We think it’s like a football team, and the rest of the world’s currencies are like a super league, and some days we can beat them all. And when that happens, we can go to Vegas and all the stuff on Amazon is heaps cheap.

That’s spectacularly dumb. It costs us our car industry, among other things. Whereas a low Aussie dollar has seen tourism, education, and business services all pick up, helping drive Australia’s economic transition. So we need to change the way we think about AUDUSD and Greg McKenna has a radical, simple idea on how to do that right here.

2. We’ll take it from here. Since heading up a panel to ensure 7-Eleven compensated up to 20,000 underpaid workers fairly, former ACCC has handed out $14 million for 400 claims, more than half the $25 million 7-Eleven set aside for the expected outcome. Now 7-Eleven has jumped in, thanked the board for its sterling effort for guiding everything onto the right track, and wished them all a good night. It said the Fels panel had “agreed to transition the claims process for past under-payment of wages by franchisees to an independent unit within 7-Eleven” and it will close on Friday. Last night, Fels told the ABC’s “7.30” the claim could climb to $100 million, then unleashed on 7-Eleven on Facebook and Twitter.

3. All those older Aussies snapping up housing and forcing younger generations out of the city aren’t actually snapping up all the houses:

Okay, so they are snapping up all the houses. But they’re also building lots of new ones. That’s the first time investors are borrowing more money to build than owners are borrowing to buy since December, 2002.

4. Crude! It surged last night on an unexpected inventory drawdown. Iron ore didn’t and is looking increasingly less volatile. But US traders are suddenly more worried about abysmal retail results, so the Dow and S&P tumbled overnight and the ASX200 is expected to open lower with the June SPI200 futures contract off 33 points, around 0.6%, after trading above 5400 to a high of 5425 yesterday, and looking for some help from the energy sector.

5. The lifeblood of the global economy is draining away, says Bank of America Merrill Lynch. BAML strategist Joe Quinlan wrote a note saying yeah, China’s slowdown, emerging market debt, political instability and the breakup of the EU were all bad. But:

None of the hazards just mentioned are as remotely as threatening to the global economy as water-related climate change risks

Within 40 years, global water demand could shoot up as much as 50%, and water wars are a real possibility. In fact, water wars have already started breaking out.

6. Recognise this?

No? You will soon, because it used to be this:

Surely this will go down as one of the worst logo changes, ever.

7. Tesla reported first quarter earnings last week and all was well enough. It also, as was required, filed a form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It contains a section called “Risk Factors” – and Tesla‚Äôs reads like a horror story. In a nutshell, Tesla, which is facing a ramp-up in production of 50,000 cars a new to 400,000 for its new Model 3 in 2018, admits:

  • It’s experienced problems getting other new models to market
  • It has no experience to date manufacturing high volumes
  • It may not be able to meet its production and delivery plans, and
  • It doesn’t have long-term agreements with “a number of suppliers”

And that’s the shortened version, which no car manufacturer in the past would have admitted in any frame of mind.

8. Here’s one problem which didn’t make the list:

That moth knocked out reddit user Redebo’s Model S Autopilot function while doing 135km/h on “a lonely stretch of 93”.

9. Remember that mysterious planet which late last year was sending out mysterious signals? So mysterious the most rational explanation was it was surrounded by structures sending energy to alien lifeforms on the surface below? Here’s the update – we still have no clue what’s going on.

10. Weirder science. Would you like your kids to WhatsApp with their dead grandparents? A Chinese company thinks it’s entirely possible, and it’s not a startup. It’s mobile giant Huawei and its president Kevin Ho told conference goers yesterday:

“In the future you may be able to purchase computing capacity to serve as a surrogate, to pass the baton from the physical world to the digital world.”

But it will need data centres on some kind of epic scale.

BONUS ITEM: We absolutely, totally endorse this kind of behaviour towards drones:

Have a great day.

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