Squiz Today / 03 May 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 3 May

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Squiz Today Podcast

Pods in, news out. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

SYD
14 / 24
MEL
12 / 21
BNE
15 / 25
ADL
13 / 23
PER
11 / 23
HBA
14 / 22
DRW
25 / 35
CBR
3 / 19

Squiz Sayings

“It was a weird house. If I bought it, I’d probably pull it down too.”

Said Pete Rowsthorn (aka Brett Dean Craig) of Kath’s house in fictional Fountain Lakes, which is to be demolished. It’s o-v-a-h… Mandy must be thrilled…

Interest rates get interesting…

THE SQUIZ

Australia hasn’t seen an official interest rate rise since November 2010… But today, that might change when the Reserve Bank board meets to hold its monthly review of monetary policy to decide if it will hold, lift or drop the official rate. It’s currently at the historic low of 0.1%, where it’s been since November 2020. Many analysts are expecting a 0.15% rise to 0.25% today, followed by a series of 0.25% hikes. And in case you haven’t noticed, we’re in an election campaign, so this is fraught territory for an independent central bank to tread… 

BEFORE WE MOVE ON, EXPLAIN THE CASE FOR A RATE RISE…

You betcha. The Reserve Bank’s job is to use monetary policy to ensure that the growth in prices (aka inflation) is manageable. That’s a fancy way of saying it can increase the cost of money by raising the official interest rate to slow the economy down, or lower the cost of money by lowering it to encourage spending, which promotes economic growth. Individuals and businesses borrowing money to spend or invest has a big impact on the economy, and the interest rate has a big influence over how much of it happens. The problem right now is inflation is high at 5.1% thanks to the bounce out of COVID, supply chain issues, and the Ukraine war’s impact on global energy prices. So raising interest rates will put a handbrake on borrowing, which will slow the economy down a bit, which will stop prices from rising so quickly, which will lift some of the cost of living pressures off Aussies’ shoulders, which will help us live better lives. Simples… 

SO WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN? 

Dunno. But if you’ve got a mortgage, you’re likely to be glued to the news at 2.30pm today to hear what the Reserve Bank decides. If the rate rises to 0.25% today, a home buyer with a $500,000 mortgage would see their repayments rise by about $39 a month. That might not sounds like a lot to some, but rates are set to go up by more than that. Note: the financial regulator says 280,000 people who have taken out loans in the last 2 years have borrowed 6 or more times their income and/or have borrowed more than 90% the value of the home. Add to that the chilling effect a rate rise has on home prices, and it’s a serious economic calculation. As for the political maths, it would also mark the first hike during an election campaign since 2007, a race John Howard went on to lose. No wonder PM Scott Morrison is putting come distance between himself and the decision… 

Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Cannon-Brookes’ next go at AGL

It’s the Atlassian co-founder/rich-lister Mike Cannon-Brookes second strike at AGL in 3 months – this time he’s bought 11.28% of gas and electricity generator/retailer AGL through his family’s investment firm Grok Ventures. It makes him the company’s biggest shareholder and puts some heft behind his bid to stop the company from splitting into 2 divisions with power generation separated from the retailing arm. Writing to AGL yesterday, Cannon Brookes said he believes there’s a better future for the company “that delivers cheap, clean and reliable energy for customers” and “creates opportunities for AGL and value for its shareholders along the way.” He will vote against the demerger when it’s put to shareholders on 15 June “and will actively encourage all AGL shareholders to do the same” – it needs 75% approval to happen. He’s launched a website to help spread the word. It was a tough day for Australia’s largest electricity generator – it told investors yesterday that its profit for the year will be down by $100 million

Business & Finance

Chris Dawson won’t face a jury

The man accused of murdering his wife in the early 80s on Sydney’s Northern Beaches will have his case heard in a judge-alone trial after a jury was deemed unsuitable for his case. Dawson resurfaced in the national media in 2018 with The Teacher’s Pet podcast which looked into the disappearance of his wife Lynette in 1982. It investigated Chris, a rugby league player and teacher, and his relationship with a 16yo school girl along with the unwillingness of prosecutors to charge him despite 2 coronial inquests concluding that he likely killed his wife. Dawson was charged in 2018 and in the following years, his legal team applied for a permanent stay on the case claiming the extensive publicity would limit his opportunity fair trial. When that was rejected, they made an application to appeal against it in the High Court which was refused. The trial is due to begin next Monday and is set down for 6-8 weeks.

Australian News Crime

Qantas settles in for the long haul

The people behind the Flying Kangaroo yesterday said they will begin offering direct flights from Sydney to London and New York from 2025, making them the longest passenger flights in the world. A test flight in 2019 between Sydney and New York took 19 hours and 16 minutes, or almost 58 episodes of Friends. Qantas has purchased 12 Airbus A350-1000s that will be able to undertake “direct flights between Australia and any city in the world”, CEO Alan Joyce said yesterday. President of the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) Tony Lucas said it represents a “huge moment of renewal for the aviation industry” and a “learning experience” for the airline and its pilots. To help passengers stay confortable on the long trip, Joyce said they would be fitted with catheters. Just jokes, the plane cabins will be “specifically designed for maximum comfort in all classes”, including a relatively low number of seats and a “wellbeing zone” for stretching and exercise.

Australian News Business & Finance

Netflix dumps the Duchess

That’s a bit dramatic – the streamer has dropped one of Meghan Markle’s shows along with several others… Netflix reported its first drop in subscribers in over a decade last month, and it’s anticipating that it could lose another 2.5 million subscribers in the current quarter. In response, Netflix has cancelled the development of Pearl – an animated series about a young girl inspired by influential women from history that was set to be executive produced by the Duchess of Sussex. It’s not the end for the Netflix/Archewell Productions tie-up – they are working on other projects including a documentary series on the Invictus Games. Other shows getting the axe include comedies Space Force and Pretty Smart, family superhero series Raising Dion and animated kids series Dino Daycare and Boons and Curses.

Entertainment

Every pup is an individual

Golden Retrievers aren’t necessarily good at fetching and Border Collies aren’t necessarily affectionate, according to a new study that’s thrown out the idea that a dog’s breed shapes its temperament. Scientists at Cornell University interviewed dog owners and cross-checked their responses against genomic sequencing data to conclude that behaviours like howling or friendliness to strangers aren’t strictly passed down along breed lines. “It’s kind of luck of the draw,” said co-author and biologist Elinor Karlsson. While dogs became domesticated thousands of years ago, it was only recently that people began to selectively breed dogs for physical traits like coat texture and colour. However some traits were more common in certain breeds, for instance German Shepherds are easily directed and beagles can be a bit silly. And on an individual basis, some think they’re people, so go figure.

Environment & Science

Apropos of Nothing

Italians have been urged to “sweat for Ukraine” after the country implemented a new law to help reduce its reliance on Russian gas. Dubbed Operation Thermostat, air conditioning in public buildings cannot be set lower than 27C and heaters cannot be set above 19C until April 2023. Mamma mia…

The lady who claimed to have invented the modern discotheque, French singer/actor Régine, has died at 92yo. She opened her first club in Paris in the 1950s, eventually running 22 clubs that were frequented by the likes of Andy Warhol and Liza Minelli. 

If you’ve ever wanted to live in Monica Geller’s apartment from Friends, an Ohio house that has been meticilously decorated to resemble the iconic NYC apartment has been listed for sale. It’s very purple…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

8.00am (AEST) – Celebrities start arriving at the Met Gala – New York City

The Reserve Bank makes a decision on interest rates following its monthly meeting

Victoria hands down its 2022-23 Budget

2022 APRA Music Awards – Melbourne

World Asthma Day

World Press Freedom Day

Anniversary of:
• New Zealand being proclaimed a colony independent of New South Wales (1841)
• Margaret Mitchell winning the Pulitzer Prize for Gone With the Wind (1937)
• Japan’s post-war constitution going into effect, granting universal suffrage, stripping Emperor Hirohito of all but symbolic power and outlawing Japan’s right to make war (1947)
• the first spam email, sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the US west coast (1978)
• the disappearance of Madeline McCann (2007)

Squiz the Day

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