Squiz Today / 06 December 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 6 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Good conversation days start here. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

SYD
18 / 23
MEL
13 / 21
BNE
18 / 35
ADL
12 / 26
PER
16 / 29
HBA
10 / 16
DRW
26 / 35
CBR
10 / 23

Squiz Sayings

“It’s an unfortunate myth”

Said researcher Robert Paddle of the theory that the last-known Tassie tiger was a male called Benjamin. It was actually a female who died at the Hobart Zoo in 1936, and her remains – thought lost for more than 85 years – were recently discovered at the back of a storage cupboard in a Tasmanian museum. Spring cleaning ain’t all that bad…

Another interest rate sting on the cards

THE SQUIZ

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board will meet today to discuss whether it will raise interest rates for the final time this year. The consensus expert view is the central bank will raise the cash rate by another 25 basis points (aka 0.25%), taking the official rate to 3.1%. And as anyone with a mortgage probably knows, if it goes ahead, it would be the 8th consecutive month we’ve seen a jump. So set your watch to interest rate o’clock (aka 2.30pm AEDT on the first Tuesday of the month)…

HOW MUCH HIGHER WILL THEY GO?

Good question. If the RBA raises rates to 3.1% today, it’s still short of the 3.6% peak rate, which has been forecast by economists to curb inflation… As for when that might happen, there’s debate between economists about whether we’ll see it in early 2023 or if the RBA will hit pause for a while. Remember, rates are going up in order to bring inflation down… And this month’s meeting comes a week after October’s inflation rate was reported at 6.9%, down from 7.3% in September. One month’s worth of data doesn’t make a trend, but that drop has fuelled speculation that inflation has begun to slow, which could, in turn, see the RBA pump the brakes on interest rate hikes. Regardless, after today, the RBA board isn’t due to meet until February, providing boss Philip Lowe some recovery time after apologising last week for giving borrowers an incorrect steer about the timing of rate rises…

SO WE’RE NOT IN FOR A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS?

Well… not quite. As we’ve touched on before, despite the cost of living pressures, Aussies were expected to spend a record $6.2 billion in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales a week ago. Although the final sales figures haven’t been released by retailers yet, early signs from the National Australia Bank say we might have beaten those predictions with a $7.1 billion spend. That lines up with a report from the Australian Retailers Association yesterday, bumping up projections of how much we’ll spend in the lead-up to Christmas. It forecasts a record $66 billion will be spent in total, up 6.4% on last year. Boss Paul Zahra says that figure is due mainly to price increases and Aussies’ uncontainable desire to get out to bars and restaurants to socialise IRL post-COVID. “Aussies truly plan to eat, drink and be merry this Christmas,” he says. Cheers to that – just go easy on the plastic money…

Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

So, what happened in the 2022 federal election?

If your answer is “the Morrison mob got kicked out and the Albanese Government is in”, umm, yeah, we know… But the definitive study on what led to that result was released yesterday, underscoring what the remarkable poll delivered. The Australian Election Study, led by researchers from ANU, goes heaps deep into the minds of 2,508 voters from across the country, and it’s uncovered a major issue for the major parties – they can no longer rely on their traditional base for support. Almost one in 3 voters supported a minor party/independent candidate ahead of the Coalition and Labor – the highest since the 1930s. That’s unlikely to be an anomaly… The authors reckon many under-40yos won’t go back to the majors. The Liberals will fare worse than Labor, they believe, because voters’ attitudes are moving to the left while the Libs’ policies remain tethered to the centre-right. If a wander down last election’s memory lane is your thing, this is a great read.

AusPol

Georgia runoff overshadowed by Trump

One month after the US midterm elections, the Georgia runoff race gets underway late tonight our time after neither Senate candidate secured a majority on election day. Polling suggests the incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock – who’s had former president Barack Obama stumping for him – has a narrow lead over Republican challenger/ex-football star Herschel Walker. Democrats really want the win to shore up their majority in the Senate. But the highly anticipated rerun is being overshadowed by comments made by former president Donald Trump. He’s called for the US constitution to be “terminated” over his reignited claims the 2020 presidential election was a “massive fraud” that saw the win “stolen” from him. Trump also continues to face criticism for associating with far-right wingers like muso/entrepreneur Kanye West, which has infuriated Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. So, yeah, US politics ain’t slowing down as the year draws to an end…

World News

Swifties have bad blood with Ticketmaster

Last month, thousands of Taylor Swift fans were left empty-handed when Ticketmaster’s US website crashed under the weight of 3.5 billion system requests when presale tickets became available for the pop megastar’s first tour in 5 years. While Ticketmaster said its sale system was set up to deter bots and scalpers, they have been listed on resale websites for as much as $33,500 each. Now, 26 ‘Swifties’ from 13 US states have filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation Entertainment, accusing it of “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations”. Live Nation has been criticised for its monopoly over the country’s ticket sale market since it merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 – concerns that regulators were looking into even before the Swift debacle. In a chilling message for the big company, the group’s lawyer Jennifer Kinder said “Ticketmaster messed with the wrong fan base”. If you’ve been to a Swift concert, you’d know she’s probably right…

Entertainment

A long way to run for a record

Running a marathon – we’d sooner pluck our lady moustache hair by hair… But kudos to 2 Aussies who have smashed the nation’s long-standing marathon records within hours of each other over the weekend. At the Fukuoka International Marathon in Japan, 2-time Olympian Brett Robinson eclipsed the record time set by Aussie legend Rob de Castella when he won the 1986 Boston Marathon and set a new record for the Oceania region to boot. The 31yo finished 4th with a time of 2 hours, 7 minutes and 31 seconds – 20 seconds under de Castella’s record. And at the Valencia Marathon in Spain, fellow Olympian Sinead Diver one-upped the previous women’s record held by Benita Willis since 2006, setting a new record of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 34 seconds for the 42.195km course. The pair are training partners under coach Nic Bideau, who is likely to find his services are now in hot demand – just not from us…

Sport

Danish royals ditch Europe

In an effort to diversify our royal interests, we turn our attention to Danish Prince Joachim – he’s stolen the spotlight with reports he’s moving to the US following a row over titles that continues to cause a rift in the Scandinavian Palace. The 53yo brother-in-law to Crown Princess Mary is set to relocate to Washington DC with his family after accepting a new role in the defence industry. It comes after he publicly criticised his mother, Queen Margrethe II, for stripping his children of their royal titles, claiming they had been “mistreated”. And Joachim isn’t the only one preparing to hop on a plane… Princess Mary, her hubby/heir to the throne Crown Prince Frederik and their 4 children will spend Christmas in Tassie, marking their first family trip to Mary’s homeland in 5 years. Just don’t expect any meet-and-greet photo ops, as the Palace insists the trip will be a private affair…

World News

Apropos of Nothing

In need of some Christmas conversation starters? Why not stump your friends and family with festive-themed words from years gone by… They have a distinctly British flavour, but even here in Oz, we can relate to not getting the bull down and becoming a yule’s jade…

When you’re thinking of go-to Christmas destinations, European countries often come to mind, but a take on the most festive places on Earth has some surprise inclusions… Kenya’s capital Nairobi makes the list, as does Queenstown in NZ. Nothing screams Christmas like bungee jumping…

Last month, we brought you ‘sad beige parenting’… Now, it’s time to brace for minimalist nativity sets, with abstract takes on the historic Christmas decorations recording an increase in sales. There are plenty of photos to observe, but think small/named wooden blocks depicting Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. As they say, less is – well, on this occasion, it’s just less…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Sailing – Big Boat Challenge – Sydney

2.30pm – Announcement on interest rates following today’s RBA board meeting

11.00pm (AEDT) – Polls open for the Georgia runoff election in the US

Start of the Dubai Airshow (on until 8 Dec)

Finland’s Independence Day

Armed Forces Day in Ukraine

ABS Data Release – Monthly Household Spending Indicator, October

Saint Nicholas Day in Western Christian countries

Anniversary of:
• the ratification of the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution abolishing slavery (1865)
• the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty that created Northern Ireland (1921)
• the bloody water polo match between the USSR and Hungary at the Melbourne Olympics (1956)

Squiz the Day

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