Squiz Today / 08 March 2018
Squiz Today – Thursday, 8 March
TODAY WE'RE ONE!
"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?"
Answer – a lot older than one. A year of very early starts will do that to you. And then there was the time before that thinking about giving The Squiz a go.
All thanks go to you for reading the email and being engaged with what we’re doing. Our achievement has been earning your attention on a daily, weekly or sometimes basis. We’re so grateful.
Now to celebrate – can you help us out and invite one person to sign up today? Best gift ever.
OZ ECONOMY DELIVERS SLOW GROWTH
The quarterly report card on Australia’s economy – the national accounts – was yesterday marked “doing ok”. Economic growth slowed to 0.4% in the October-December quarter, which brought annual growth to 2.4% (note anything below 3% is considered sluggish). A snapshot of the quarter looks like:
• Going down – exports and construction activity.
• Going nowhere – wages growth.
• Going up – consumer spending and business investment.
In short, we’re not much better off than we were a year ago. But then again we’re in positive territory, and you can’t take that for granted.
WHAT DID PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY?
Treasurer Scott Morrison – “There is reason to trust in your resilience as Australians. We have the longest run of consecutive economic growth in Australia's history. We've had the strongest jobs growth last year in our recorded history.”
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen - "The government has had a strong global economic backdrop and hasn’t had to deal with a global financial crisis, yet economic growth remains stuck below trend and low wages growth continues to be a concern.”
Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe – “The underlying drivers leading to stronger growth are still in play.”
TRUMP’S TARIFFS WON’T HELP…
Well, Treasurer Morrison would say don’t get ahead of yourself and to keep your cool. But US President Donald Trump’s well-regarded former economics adviser Gary Cohn would say “abso-bloody-lutely”. He resigned from his White House job yesterday following Trump’s decision to impose the new steel and aluminium tariffs which could potentially spark a global trade war. Markets around the world, including the Australian Stock Exchange, went backwards as a result of Cohn’s departure.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
PRESENTED BY COMMONWEALTH BANK
"I’ve met many young girls and I love that process of just showing them what’s possible and making them realise that there’s just an infinite number of choices for them out there." - Professor Michelle Simmons, 2018 Australian of the Year/internationally renowned quantum physicist.
Commonwealth Bank is pleased to bring you Prof Simmons’ excellent IWD message on her approach to diversity, challenging herself and the benefit of doing difficult things. Watch it now.
SQUIZ THE REST
NERVE AGENT USED AGAINST FORMER RUSSIAN SPY
UK Police have this morning confirmed it was a nerve agent that was used in the attempted murder of former Russian-MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The pair were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon and remain in a critical condition. The first police officer on the scene is also in a serious condition in hospital. Police and counter-terror authorities are still investigating the targeted attack.
PLIBERSEK COMMITS TO REMOVING GST ON TAMPONS
Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek gave Labor’s International Women’s Day address yesterday. She said a Labor government would deliver a ‘women’s budget statement’ – something governments have done in the past. And there would be “measurable action” on pay equality. Plibersek also said Labor is signed up to removing the GST on tampons. “Australia levies the GST on tampons but we don’t apply it to Viagra. Only a bunch of blokes sitting around a table would think that that was a good decision,” she said.
The address was notable for another reason – there was what is technically called a ‘brouhaha’ over a couple of male journalists asking Plibersek questions about the Adani mine development. Some thought that was inappropriate for an IWD address. Social media then got worked up about one of the journos being booed, although witnesses said it didn't go down like that. For her part, Plibersek tweeted; “I’m completely relaxed about journalists asking me whatever they like - these journalists were just doing their jobs.”
PREDICTIONS OF STORMY WEATHER FOR TRUMP
Stormy Daniels, the ‘adult’ actress who says she was paid to keep an affair with President Trump secret, has asked a court to void her non-disclosure agreement because it is not signed by Trump. While the alleged affair occurred a decade ago, a ‘hush agreement’ and $US130,000 payment to Daniels by Trump’s lawyer only happened a few days before the 2016 presidential election. Trump, through his lawyer, has denied having an affair with Daniels.
KNOW YOUR BAZILLIONAIRES
Because you never know when you might need a favour. Forbes yesterday released the current membership of what it calls the “three-comma club”. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos increased his pile last year by US$39 billion bringing his total wealth to US$110 billion. As a rule, we never say “omg”, but omg. Closer to home, Gina Rinehart came in at #69 with US$17.4 billion. And it’s believed her kids have all became billionaires on their trust fund income. In total, 43 Australians made the list.
CURRYING FAVOUR WITH MICHELLE OBAMA
At just two-years-old, Parker Curry is a star. Last week she became a social media sensation when a photo of her completely mesmerised by the new portrait of Michelle Obama went viral. And yesterday it went up a notch when the former First Lady met (and had a boogie) with her young fan. "Parker, I'm so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)! Keep on dreaming big for yourself...and maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you," Obama tweeted. No matter what your politics, it’s pretty cute.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Releases - International Trade in Goods and Services, January; Assets and Liabilities of Australian Securitisers, December; Managed Funds, December
Start of the Kim Wall murder trial - Copenhagen
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