Australian financial news is again dominated by the lockdown in Victoria and its impact on the Australian economy.
We also look at cancelled holidays and the pandemic’s impact on travel agents.
However, not everyone is doing it tough, with a 25 year-old YouTube gamer buying a $9m beach house in Sydney.
In other good news, scientists have come up with a blood test for Alzheimer’s which should allow for detection many years before symptoms kick in.
The one-minute weekly recap
- Australia has recorded three consecutive days of record deaths (up to and including Tuesday 11 August)
- Several border breaches in QLD raise questions about honesty-based system. Tick here if you don’t want to go on your holiday? Hmm.. I wonder why that has not worked!
- The outbreak in Victoria has created a two-speed economy in Australia. Slow and down-the-gurgler!
- The Bank of America sees a fall in iron ore prices but has lifted its forecasts through to 2024. Ok Fortescue, BHP, and Rio, we see you.
- The Future Fund has increased its cash holdings by about $10 billion since March. Good to know someone is thinking about the future. If only I could get early access!
- The RBA now predicts that while the recession won’t be as deep, it will last longer.
- Tencent has been banned in the US; they have a 5 percent stake in local hero Afterpay. For this Afterpay will pay now and pay later.
- Virgin Australia will sack around 3000 staff, and discontinue the Tigerair Australia brand. Another Australian tiger becomes extinct.
- Singaporean eCommerce and gaming stock, Sea Ltd, has outpaced Tesla and Afterpay this year with a 880 percent increase. Hear the Merlion roar!
- Gold tops $US2055 as monetary finance enters fray
- Over 1.8m jobs were created in the US in July
- Three cruise ships are fighting COVID-19 outbreaks as industry returns. Aah, too soon guys.
A Sniippet for You
Supermarkets head off food shortages in Victoria (AFR, 6 Aug)
- Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has agreed to allow supermarket retailers to reduce staff levels in other parts of their businesses so as to avoid reductions in their distribution centres
- There has been a 20 percent increase in demand from consumers fearing stock shortages
- There’s no shortage of product, but the disruption of the supply chain could lead to some shortage of products at the supermarket level
- Businesses will now only need to show GST turnover has fallen over one quarter, instead of multiple, to be eligible for the scheme’s extension
- Workers will also qualify if they were already employed on 1 Jul, rather than on the previous 1 March
- About 530,000 extra Victorian employees will now join the JobKeeper program over the September quarter
- The typical worker would see a fall in their retirement income of just over 1 percent if they took out the full $20,000 allowed under the early super release
- Much of the fall in super income for middle-income earners will be made-up with increased pension payments
- For the very poor and very rich, a loss in future super income will not be made up by larger pension payments: the poor were already relying on the pension while the rich are not going to get any pension payments
The 25-year-old YouTuber who just bought a $9m home in Sydney (Domain, 7 Aug)
- Watkins was a former intern at Gilbert+Tobin in 2014 when he dropped out of law to pursue a career in gaming
- In 2017 he co-founded a talent agency for gamers, influencers and eSports players called Click Management and in the past month alone has averaged 53.65 million views ranking him eighth among Australia’s top YouTubers
Australia experiencing critical shortage of antidepressants, contraceptives and HRT (The Guardian, 8 Aug)
- Australia is experiencing a critical shortage of key drugs including antidepressants, contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies
- The shortages are generally unrelated to the pandemic
- Big Pharma is difficult to hold to account
- The Therapeutic Goods Administration has authorised the import of products but these drugs cannot be subsidised under the PBS
- Consumer bodies have received thousands of complaints
- Travel agents are dealing with millions of cancelled booking and it could take 12 months to deal with them all
- Without government support, 3,000 travel agents could go bust by Christmas resulting in 20,000 job losses
- Researchers have developed a new blood test which can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with 96 percent accuracy
- Doctors hope the test could allow for diagnosis before symptoms appear
- The test could also speed up the search for treatment of the disease
- Orica’s ammonium nitrate production and storage facility in Newcastle is four times larger than the stockpile that detonated in Beirut
- The Orica facility is only three kilometres from Newcastle’s CBD and only 800 metres from North Stockton residents
- The factory has has a controversial history in Newcastle, after a leak of carcinogenic chemical hexavalent chromium in the air over Stockton in 2011
A Sniippet of Finance advice
- A couple’s shared SMSF is one of the many assets that are considered “property” in a divorce
- The two parties cannot informally decide to split up a SMSF, it requires a binding “Superannuation Agreement” or a court order
- Get an accountant involved to make sure the split is fair in the broadest sense e.g. taking into capital gains tax for any sale of super assets made
A Sniippet of Brain food
- The person we choose is not nearly as important as the relationship we build
- The most powerful predictors of relationship quality are the characteristics of the relationship itself
- The shared norms, the in-jokes, the shared experiences are more important than the separate individuals who make up that relationship
A Sniippet of Trivia
The new space race (ABC, 10 Aug)
- In the last five years, almost a quarter of all objects ever sent into space have been launched
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX is scheduled to launch another 57 of its micro-satellites into space as part of its Starlink internet service
- More than 70 percent of all 2,600 active satellites are in Low Earth Orbit
- There are forecasts that by 2030, as many as 57,000 new satellites could be jostling for an orbital position