Here at Sniip, we’re making bill paying easier, faster and more manageable. That way, you can have more time for getting on with the other things in your life, like reading the news. But even the news can do with some ‘Sniip-ing’ sometimes. Every week we will aim to highlight a handful of important, useful, and fun articles that you may have missed. We will even provide a brief weekly recap of key financial news and try and make sense of it all.
The one-minute weekly recap
- In Australia and around the world, social distancing measures are beginning to be relaxed. Italians can return to cafes, football has returned to Germany, and France is re-opening beaches.
- Parents in NSW and QLD cheered when their governments announced that kids would be going back to school full-time from next week. Never have teachers been more appreciated.
- Markets have rallied with the easing restrictions and because of encouraging early results from a COVID-19 vaccine in the US.
- Economists have not come to the party however with some grim figures being released in the past week. 593,300 Australians lost their job in April.
- Retail turnover was down 17.9 percent in April from March. And the RBA is predicted that the Australian economy will contract by 10 percent in the first half of the year.
- Back in April, the IMF predicted that the world economy will contract by 3 percent in 2020, which is worse than during GFC.
- The Commonwealth Bank is also predicting that Australia’s house prices could fall by as much as a third.
But if you think we have it bad, just spare a thought for President Donald Trump, even Fox News has turned on him. He was chastised by Fox anchor Neil Cavuto this week after he admitted to taking the controversial malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19. The FDA has warned against the use of the drug outside of trials and hospitals because of its potentially deadly side effects on the heart.
Important for Sniipsters
- Rent and loan payment holidays will stop around the same time as JobKeeper and JobSeeker finish
- 10 percent of renters have already asked for rent reductions
- Free childcare will stop at the end of June with a return to the previous subsidy system as kids go back to school
- According to the government, the free childcare policy helped keep 99 percent of childcare centres stay afloat
CHOICE calls on lenders to cap interest rates for Virgin Velocity credit cards ,Choice Magazine, 18 May
- Point redemptions are currently frozen but will be allowed again after Sep 1 for limited destinations
- But with Virgin Blue in voluntary administration, the future is uncertain for Virgin Velocity
RBA Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes ,RBA, 18 May
- Australian economy expected to decrease by an unprecedented 10 percent in the first half of 2020
- Unemployment will peak at 10 percent in the June quarter
- Retail sales spiked in March as people stockpiled
- The Board is happy with the current target cash rate of 0.25 percent.
Australia’s next Tech Unicorn ,The AFR, 16 May
- NUIX has become a global leader in forensic data discovery and analysis of unstructured data
- It has over 2000 customers in 75 countries and will earn revenue this year of about $200 million
- NUIX does not rule out a future IPO, which could have a value of over $1bn
Brain food for Sniipsters
A Commencement Address Too Honest to Deliver in Person, The Atlantic, May 13
- “The theory of maximum taste says that each person’s mind is defined by its upper limit—the best that it habitually consumes and is capable of consuming”. At university, you are forced to learn hard things but once we start a job, despite best intentions, we end up slipping to “lesser” things.
Mental junk food is ok so long as you are also feeding on richer food
Use your spare time during the pandemic to explore books and activities that you would not normally do
Sniip Trivia Fun
Who invented the wheel? And how did they do it?, Wired, 6 May
- The earliest found axel was from a potter’s wheel in Mesopotamia
- A clay toy from pre-Columbian America is the earliest found example of a wheeled vehicle
- “Small versions of inventions—modernly called models or prototypes—nearly always precede larger ones”