Squiz Today / 03 October 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 3 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Auditory communication was long considered absent for echidnas, with their only recognised sounds being ‘sniffing’ noises.”

Said researchers from Curtin University in their groundbreaking paper outlining that echidnas do communicate with each other vocally, using cooing and grunting noises to flirt. Add in the sniffing, and they’re still smoother operators than some blokes we’ve met…

Home prices to hit record highs

The Squiz

Depending on which side of the homeowner line you sit on, you’ll be cheering/aghast that analysts say Aussie home prices are on track to reach a new peak. New data from the real estate nerds at CoreLogic shows that 8 months of continuous growth in property prices has left the market 1% below its April 2022 high point. Half of the properties in Sydney now cost more than $1.11 million, while Melbourne’s median price is $776,000. Home prices have increased by 6.6% since January, with CoreLogic researcher Tim Lawless predicting that prices will reach a new national record next month. And that’s creating a headache for new Reserve Bank Governor Michelle Bullock as the board gets together to discuss interest rates today.

Rise or hold?

Well, the market is still forecasting that the official cash rate will remain on hold for Bullock’s first cycle in charge, although rising home prices and petrol prices staying above $2 a litre have thrown up a question mark. Economists speculate that we’ll get at least one more rate hike before the end of the year. And when it comes to what the experts say, a survey of 42 boffins by the Australian Financial Review suggests that interest rates will begin falling in August 2024 – that’s an update on the previous prediction of May next year. Katrina Ell from Moody’s said bringing rates down will likely be delayed because “underlying inflation pressures are still too hot for comfort”.

That’s a shame…

And if you feel that way, it’s probably because you’re paying a mortgage and feeling the burn of cost of living pressures… That discomfort is being seen in the official numbers, with the total value of Aussie deposit accounts dipping in the June quarter for the first time in 16 years. The experts say it means that the money we saved on doing anything nice during the pandemic is gone, and many are now turning to credit cards to pay the bills. An internal memo from the RBA also noted that Aussies are skimping on insurance, and that’s “becoming an increasing problem”. We’ll get a clearer picture later this week when the Reserve Bank releases its biannual Financial Stability Review on Friday.

Australian News Economy

Squiz the Rest

Bushfires burn ahead of a cool change

Get your brolly back out – a cold front is moving across southeastern Australia today and tomorrow. The Bureau of Meteorology says it’s likely to cause rain, flooding and thunderstorms in Victoria, NSW and South Oz – and that’s a worry because lightning strikes could spark more bushfires. It was already a big weekend for those… In Victoria’s Gippsland region, several bushfires burned – the most concerning of which was the Briagolong fire, which destroyed at least one home. In NSW, more than 80 bushfires were burning yesterday – the worst was near Mudgee in the state’s Central West. So it’s probably not a shock to hear total fire bans remain in place across multiple states. Note: the Bureau of Meteorology says it was the hottest/driest September on record.

Australian News Weather

An early chance to get your voice in…

FYI, it’s 12 days until voting day in the referendum on whether an Indigenous Voice to Parliament should be enshrined in the constitution, and PM Anthony Albanese is counting down… Early voting centres opened in non-public holiday states Victoria, the NT, Tassie and Western Oz yesterday, with NSW, the ACT, SA and Queensland opening for early voters today. Albanese used the occasion to urge Aussies to consider the “actual question” they’ll be asked over the ‘No’ campaign’s messaging about the lack of details. “No country was ever made more great by agreeing to a fear campaign … You need optimism. You need hope. You need a vision for the future,” he said. Regardless, the latest polling suggests support for the ‘Yes’ campaign continues to slide.

AusPol Australian News

The crypto king’s court comeuppance

It’s been a year since the spectacular downfall of crypto-exchange FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried after allegations of fraudulent use of customer funds – and now, he’s facing those allegations in a US courtroom. Arrested at his Bahamas headquarters in December 2022, the former multi-billionaire shot to fame after starting a place where investors could buy and sell cryptocurrencies safely – or so they thought… Now, the 31yo is facing 7 charges, including money laundering and fraud, after FTX’s customers were left an estimated US$8 billion out of pocket. Not great for Bankman-Fried is the fact that his top colleagues (and his former girlfriend) have already pleaded guilty and are working with prosecutors. He’s denied all the charges and pleaded not guilty. The trial starts in New York today and is scheduled to last 6 weeks.

World News

More cheese, please

File this one next to the revelation that chocolate is good for you… New research reckons the snack of champions – cheese – has some gouda health benefits. To help you brie-lieve it, a study from Japan’s National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology looked at 1,500 people over the age of 65yo and found that those who ate cheese scored better on average in cognitive tests than those who didn’t. It’s not confirmed, but the researchers say cheese might contain nutrients that support cognitive function. And more feta-tastic news – lower Body Mass Index/blood pressure and faster walking speeds were also hallmarks of the cheese lovers who participated. But as with most things, experts say moderation is key – cheese is high in saturated fats that can increase cholesterol, but a certain amount of it is necessary. And now the disappointing news – just 30-50g a day is what the experts say to aim for…

Environment & Science Quirky News

Footy was the winner…

Geez, what a weekend of footy it was…

  • Collingwood struck the first blow against Queensland with a thrilling 90-86 win over Brisbane. The Magpies were ahead at the end of each quarter, but the Lions weren’t far behind – and then they copped a tough umpiring call in the final 90 seconds that saw the game slip away from them. Best on ground was Bobby Hill – he transferred to the Magpies after a cancer diagnosis last year – he said that “going back to my family and here at the club, it’s made me a stronger man.” What a story. 


Apropos of nothing

If you’re not much into the game, but the entertainment’s worth a look, we see you… In Melbourne, KISS rocked the house (and is there anything much funnier than little kids in full glam-rock makeup?). And in Sydney, tribute was paid to the late Tina Turner, marking the 30th anniversary of rugby league’s ‘Simply The Best’ campaign.

Not all grand final dreams come true… Collingwood fan Zak Ashton gave his dad Matt a tattoo to celebrate, but after etching ‘Flagpies’ onto Matt’s bicep, he accidentally marked the year as 2020. “I was full of confidence … I thought I’d done a ripper job,” Zak said yesterday.

And in international football news, pop superstar Taylor Swift’s done it again – this time taking a posse of famous friends along to NFL Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce’s game in New York. She’s really going above and beyond to put him on the map

Quirky News Sport

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

2.30pm (AEDT) – RBA board meeting and rate announcement

7.30pm (AEDT) – Men’s Cricket – Cricket World Cup Warm-Up Matches – Pakistan v Australia – Hyderabad, India

8.45pm (AEDT) – Nobel Prize for Physics announced

Early voting opens for the 2023 referendum in NSW, ACT, Queensland, and South Oz

Term 4 begins for public schools in Queensland

Crypto-entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial kicks off – New York

ABS Data Release – Building Approvals, August; Lending Indicators, August

Mean Girls Day (“it’s October 3rd”)

Day of German Unity – anniversary of the reunification of East and West Germany (1990)

South Korea’s National Foundation Day

Melbourne Fringe Festival begins (until 22 October)

Birthdays for Lindsey Buckingham (1949) and ASAP Rocky (1988)

Anniversary of:
• the premiere of the Mickey Mouse Club (1955), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and Mr Ed (1961)
• American tennis star Billie Jean King becoming the first female athlete to win US$100,000 in prize money in a single year (1971)
• the marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama (1992)
• former NFL player/actor OJ Simpson was found not guilty of the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman in California (1995)
• Chinese President Xi Jinping announcing the Belt and Road Initiative (2013)

Squiz the Day

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