Here’s what your planet looks like this morning:
1. Growth has come to a halt in Germany. GDP there grew just 0.1%. That’s pathetic. Europe’s economic powerhouse has run out of steam, it seems.
2. Richard Branson just made another £70 million. The IPO of challenger bank Virgin Money raised £1.25 billion overall.
3. Asian markets are up. Japan’s Nikkei climbed again, closing up 0.56%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is also currently up 0.13% just ahead of the close.
4. David Cameron is warning of more sanctions on Russia. Russia could face further sanctions if it does not commit to resolving the conflict in Ukraine, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday, as he called Moscow’s actions “unacceptable”.
5. The heirs to the Samsung fortune are cashing in on their stakes as succession looms. An IPO for a unit of Samsung put a value of 5.6 trillion won ($US5.09 billion) on shares held by the Samsung Group’s three heirs.
6. The US used spy planes to suck up data from citizens mobile phones. Everyone was targeted, the Wall Street Journal reports. Basically, the tin-foil hat people turned out to be right.
7. The Islamic State has announced it will mint its own currency. And yes, they have basically chosen a variation on the gold standard. “The highest-denominated 5 dinar coin is set to contain 21.25 grams of 21 carat gold, worth about $US694,” The Financial Times reports. “The purchasing power of the money they’re emitting will be wholly dependent on what the purchasing power of gold, silver and copper are,” a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University told the FT.
8. People who leave Britain to go fight for Islamic State will be banned from coming back. PM David Cameron proposed the new law in a speech in Australia last night.
9. The market cap of Apple is now bigger than the entire Russian stock market. Bloomberg reports: “If you owned Apple Inc., and sold it, you could purchase the entire stock market of Russia, and still have enough change to buy every Russian an iPhone 6 Plus.”
10. S&P gave a “junk” rating to Twitter’s debt and its stock price dropped 5%. The ratings agency didn’t like the company’s cashflow. Twitter, naturally, disagrees.
And finally …
It doesn’t look good for AC/DC. The rock band’s drummer was behaving erratically even before he was charged with threatening to kill someone, the band says. Bass player Cliff Williams told The Guardian, “We had a few issues before with him, even when we were recording it was hard even to get to him to do the recording … And then he was supposed to show up to do promos with us, to do video shoots and a few shoots and a few other things, and he never showed up for that either. So, at this stage, it’s a pretty tough call for us.”
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