Squiz Today / 22 May 2019
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 22 May
“It’s been quite emotional for the past seven years. But now it’s about being strategic.”
Said Whitney Houston’s estate executor and sister-in-law Pat Houston. And so Whitney’s going back on tour - as a hologram. In a new deal the estate has made with a marketing company that specialises in the repurposing of former blazing stars’ glory, we could also see a Broadway musical and merch. And who doesn’t want to keep on dancing with somebody who loves them?
HELLO, MR MORRISON? IT’S THE ECONOMY CALLING...
And just like that, the 48-hour post-election breather was over for PM Scott Morrison as the government’s attention was drawn back to our challenging economic times. Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe yesterday said an interest rate cut from an already record low level of 1.5% was on the cards in June. And he said that immediate spending by the government on infrastructure projects would help, as would structural reforms to tax, industrial relations and education. Why? To increase economic activity toot sweet.
WHAT’S THAT ABOUT?
The Reserve Bank, policymakers, and the markets are concerned about our low inflation rate and slowing rate of economic growth. The most recent figures said inflation for January to March was 0% taking it to 1.3% for the year (note: the Reserve Bank’s target inflation rate is 2-3%). By lowering interest rates, the theory is Aussies and businesses will start spending and investing again, which is good for revving up economic growth. But the Reserve Bank can’t do it all – hence Lowe’s infrastructure call. And some economists have called for the acceleration of the Coalition's promised tax cuts. But that would blow out Morrison's commitment to delivering budget surpluses from the next financial year. So it could be a case of political pride before the (economic) fall…
WHAT ELSE CAN BE DONE TO GET THE ECONOMY MOVING?
Great question. One of the factors in the slowdown has been low growth in household consumption (which is a fancy term for how much every day Joanne’s like you and I spend) - and we’ve slowed our spending because of a few things including falling property prices. So yesterday’s announcement by the banking regulator of an easing of requirements for banks to assess the granting of loans on the basis that the borrower could repay it if the interest rate was 7% was seen as a step in the right direction. That will add to the pep in real estate agents’ step following the Morrison Government’s win last weekend.
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QUICK ELECTION NEWS WRAP
COALITION WINS IN CHISHOLM - The victory in Victoria sees Gladys Liu become the first Chinese-Australian woman to be elected to the House of Reps. It was the seat that former Lib Julia Banks held before ditching the party to have a go as an independent in the neighbouring electorate. The win also secures majority government for the Coalition.
BOWEN IN LABOR BOUT - Labor’s Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has thrown his hat in the ring joining fellow New South Welshman Anthony Albanese. With Bowen seen as partly responsible for some of Labor’s unpopular tax policies, a few of his colleagues poo-pooed his chances.
SHOW THEM THE MONEY - We’re starting to get a feel for how much taxpayers will reimburse the candidates for their campaigns. Parties and candidates that get more than 4% of the vote receive $2.76 per ballot paper. Which means the Coalition parties are looking at receiving more than $33 million, Labor more than $27 million, the Greens $9 million and One Nation $3 million. And as an indication of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party’s low level of support - he’s looking at getting about $650,000 back on his $60-80 million campaign spend.
TERROR CHARGES LAID AGAINST TARRANT
Kiwi police yesterday added new charges to those made against accused Christchurch mosque attacker Brenton Tarrant. One count of engaging in a terrorist act, an additional murder charge and two additional attempted murder charges were filed against the Australian man. That takes the total he’s facing to 92 charges including 51 murder and 40 attempted murder charges, and one terrorism charge. He will be back in court next month.
JOKO TAKES OUT INDONESIAN ELECTION
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has claimed victory in last month’s general election. 'Nah-ah’ said challenger and former military man Prabowo Subianto claiming widespread rorting. Indo-political watchers said it could be a re-run of what happened following the presidential election of 2014 when Prabowo challenged the result in the Constitutional Court - an appeal he lost. Prabowo’s claim has resulted in thousands of police and soldiers moving to prevent widespread protests and counter terror threats.
CANVA HITS TRIPLE UNICORN STATUS
Aussie online design and publishing platform Canva has hit the big time and is on track to becoming a big international deal in tech. Since its start in 2012, founders Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams have pitched their socks off here, there and everywhere to get the funding they needed to build and grow. And now the US venture capital funds are chasing them. Perkins said the latest investment round to raise $70 million - putting Canva’s value at $3.6 billion - was “surreal”. If you don’t know enough about this Aussie success story, this article penned by Perkins is fascinating.
VALE NIKI LAUDA
One of the biggest stars in international motorsport, Austrian Niki Lauder died on Monday at 70yo. He could have been forgiven for walking away from driving after a terrible crash in 1976 almost claimed his life. Instead, after suffering burns to his head and face and inhaling toxic gases that damaged his lungs, he was back competing just 40 days later. And the following year he added the second of three F1 world championships to his name. His competitive rivalry/friendship with British driver James Hunt was (some said mis)represented in the 2013 film Rush starring Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth. A pilot, he also started two airlines and was the chairman of the world champion Mercedes team. Reports say he had a lung transplant last year and had been ill earlier this year.
HELICOPTER BONOBO MUMS GO THE EXTRA MILE
There’s parenting, and then there’s this kind of monkeying around...
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Construction Work Done, March
Wear Orange Wednesday in support of SES volunteers
Republic Day - Sri Lanka
Anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing (2017)
Anniversary of the birthday of Arthur Conan Doyle, the Scottish writer best known for his creation of Sherlock Holmes (1859)
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