Squiz Today / 04 April 2018
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 4 April
“For me, it’s two things which happen to top and tail a perfect day: exercise and wine!”
Words to live by from Deborah Hutton, one of Australia’s most recognisable faces. And she’s a Squizer, which makes us squeal with delight. Please welcome the fabulous Ms Hutton to the Three Minute Squiz.
WORLD MARKETS HIT TURBULENCE
Stock markets across the world have been punished after a turbulent few days in America. The jitters can be put down to the escalating trade war between the US and China, and a bad Easter for many of the tech companies. And while US President Donald Trump is responsible for some of the recent poor performance, he probably won't take credit for the American market’s worst quarterly performance since mid-2015. The ‘Trump Bump’ on Wall Street last year was an achievement he had been keen to talk up.
WHAT’S HAPPENED TO THE TECH COMPANIES?
They’ve been the US market’s high flying darlings, but the big tech and innovation companies are facing a range of political, regulatory, and reputation challenges. For example:
• Facebook – its share price is down almost 20% since the start of February in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and check out CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s narky words for Apple boss Tim Cook. Ouch.
• Amazon – in great news for Facebook, Trump is busy hating on the online shopping behemoth. It has lost $60 billion in market value since late last week.
• Tesla – it’s had a shocker. There’s the investigation into the recent death of a driver of one of its self-driving cars. Also, some big loans are coming due, and it's got to get a new car to market. So when founder Elon Musk tweeted on April Fools’ Day that the company was bankrupt… investors didn’t see the funny side.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR OZ?
The Australia Stock Exchange had a bad morning yesterday, but trading finished only marginally down after the Reserve Bank confirmed interest rates would remain at 1.5% and a takeover bid came in for oil and gas producer Santos. And while we might be spectators in the great tech-lash of 2018, there is little doubt Australia would lose out in a global trade war. We really don't want to see the US and China go at it so cross your fingers for our economy.
GROWN FOR GOLD
PRESENTED BY WOOLWORTHS
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games are here. Woot-woot! And Woolworths is the official supermarket and fresh food partner. Woolies has a long and proud tradition of supporting great Aussie community events. And fresh, healthy food is essential to the success of any athlete. It's a match made in heaven.
If you're looking to amp up your cheer efforts, Woolies has a selection of GC2018 merchandise available and also look out for in-store celebrations of our golden efforts.
SQUIZ THE REST
SYRIA AT A TRICKY CROSSROADS
With the last rebel-held areas of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta captured by government-backed forces, you might think an end to its devastating civil war is in sight, albeit with Bashar al-Assad remaining in charge. This week Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani are meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara to talk about what’s next. Note: Syria’s not invited. Aside from the US, the leaders represent the nations that have had a big presence in the conflict. But as this analysis from CNN outlines, it’s far from simple given the competing priorities. The nightmare continues…
BAD NEWS DELIVERY FOR AUSSIE POST
Confession time: like the Russian ambassador, we sometimes like to have a good old-fashioned whinge. But we can hand-on-heart say none of the 1.1 million complaints made in 2016-17 about Australia Post was ours. Yesterday the Ombudsman said complaints were down on the last couple of years but some of that should be put down to complaint fatigue rather than improved service. Yikes. New-ish CEO Christine Holgate has a lot of work to do…
APPETITE FOR DATA INCREASES
In the last three months of last year, Australia's broadband downloads were up by almost 40% compared to the same period in 2016. Is it a coincidence that season two of The Crown was released then? Nope. All in all, data downloads have more than doubled since the arrival of Netflix three years ago. That’s a whole lotta bingeing.
BEAZLEY EMBRACES THE QUEEN
But not in a Keating-esque touchy way… Former long-time federal Labor leader Kim Beazley has been appointed Governor of Western Australia. The committed republican becomes the latest in a line of republicans to be appointed to a plum role representing the Queen. Ahem. Beazley was well regarded across the political divide while in Canberra and received rave reviews while serving as our ambassador in Washington DC, a post he held from 2010 to 2016.
NO MORE SLEEPS UNTIL GC2018CG
That’s the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games to the acronym-phobic. Not since Matilda the winking kangaroo graced the national stage in 1982 has there been such anticipation and excitement. Except maybe for the Sydney Olympics, but it didn’t have a blue koala named Borobi. Other things to know:
• These Games will be the first to offer gender equality with 131 medal events for both men and women (and there’s also a handful of mixed events).
• One hitch - some media outlets (other than broadcast partner Seven) will have problems covering it. Nine has had its accreditation suspended until at least tomorrow, and News Corp and Fairfax won't get in after refusing to sign a coverage agreement complaining it was too restrictive.
• Prince Charles and Camilla (who apparently hates flying) touch down in Brisbane today and will be at the opening ceremony tonight.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Senator Richard Di Natale, leader of the Australian Greens, addresses the National Press Club on 'The Trickle Down Hoax, and Why Government Must Step-In' - Canberra
7.00pm (AEST) - Opening Ceremony for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, broadcast on Seven. The Games are on until 15 April
ABS Data Releases - Retail Trade, February; Building Approvals, Australia, February
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