A Sniippet of weekly news #20 – Sep 2020

Santa is thrilled to know that borders will likely be open by Christmas. The stock market was up again for another month and China is banning more Australian imports. 

The AUD continues to perform strongly with some economists tipping US80¢. We also had another record for the current account surplus.

The government passed JobKeeper 2.0 and a NSW Supreme Court ruling promises extended rent relief for small businesses.

In other news, Elon Musk is putting implants in pigs’ brains, Germany is getting tough on dog walking, and Domino is using AI to predict when you will order your next pizza.

The one-minute weekly recap

A Sniippet for You

What will happen to property this spring (AFR, 31 Aug)

  • Except for Sydney, the stock of houses for sale is well down
  • Potential sellers are waiting to see if the pandemic and the economy will improve
  • Demand has been persistent during the pandemic

Small business rent relief to last until April after court ruling (AFR, 1 Sep)

  • Retailers who received rent relief under the federal government’s COVID-19 mandatory code of conduct should continue to enjoy concessions for six months after the regulations expire in October according to the NSW Supreme Court
  • Retailers and landlords who fail to reach agreement will have to pursue mediation
  • The decision would affect all small and medium sized businesses (including retailers) in NSW and perhaps nationally

AI tells Domino’s when you will want a pizza with uncanny accuracy (AFR, 31 Aug)

  • Domino’s is trialing a new AI system to predict deliveries 3 weeks in advance
  • The goal is to make rosters more efficient to save on wage costs
  • The system takes the TV guide, sporting fixtures, and past sales into account

Afterpay, Sezzle hit as PayPal unveils US push (AFR, 1 Sep)

  • PayPal has unveiled plans to launch a buy-now pay-later product in the US
  • The announcement led to a sell off in the buy-now pay-later sector in Australia on Tuesday
  • PayPal can roll this out to its merchants very easily and has many more merchants and customers in the US than Afterpay

‘Sitting for just 90 minutes could be fatal’ – working from home (AFR, 1 Sep)

  • Sitting for just 90 minutes slows the blood flow behind the legs by 50 per cent. The slower the flow of blood, the more risk there is of it becoming ‘sticky’ and forming dangerous clots.
  • Anyone of any age can get a clot and if untreated, death can incur
  • In the UK, working from home has seen the number of people who sit at their desk for four and half hours a day increase by 22.5 per cent

Competition rises for low-cost rental housing (AFR, 1 Sep)

  • Rental supply has increased but demand for low-cost rentals has increased according to Anglicare
  • Middle-cost renters are moving to low-cost rentals to save costs
  • This has prevented rents falling in the low-cost category

QLD Premier cancels schoolies (AFR, 31 Aug)

  • Last week, Palaszczuk announced schoolies week was cancelled
  • QLD opened its borders to the rest of Australia (except Victoria) on July 10, but snapped them shut again three weeks later with the 2nd wave in Victoria
  • Palaszczuk said she would not be pressured to open the borders by the PM or anyone else

How Australia could become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy (The Guardian, 27 Aug )

  • A massive 5,000-megawatt renewable hydrogen export operation has been proposed for the small WA town of Kalbarri and could be a model going forward
  • Historically the production of hydrogen relied on fossil fuels 
  • But advances in renewable energy means hydrogen production can now be green
  • Countries such as Japan, Korea and Germany have already approached Australia for renewable hydrogen exports

A Sniippet of Finance advice

Why getting better with money starts with habits not spreadsheets (ABC)

  • Choose a medium to long-term goal to motivate you e.g. holiday, education, new car, etc
  • Break it down into small goals that take only one to three months to achieve
  • On a day-to-day basis, come up with steps you can take towards the small goals

A Sniippet of Brain food

Elon Musk showcases brain implant in pig (The Verge, 28 Aug)

  • Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface company Neuralink showcased a pig outfitted with the company’s brain implant
  • It’s “like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires,” Musk said
  • Merging human brains with AI is why Musk wants to create the devices 
  • The device hasn’t been tested in humans yet, though the USFDA has designated it a breakthrough device

A Sniippet of Trivia

Germans must walk their dogs twice a day, new law will say (The Guardian, 19 Aug)

  • Germany’s 9.4 million dogs are not getting enough exercise according to lawmakers
  • Owners will need to take them out daily for at least one hour in total
  • Doubts are being raised over enforcement

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *